North Korean biplanes nothing to laugh at

Many of us have been following the usually comedic efforts of North Korea to successfully test a ballistic missile that her apparently deranged leader can get downrange far enough to make good on his threats to nuke America or her allies.  Most of her test missiles keep destructing on the launch pad or shortly after launch, which leads many of us to suspect sabotage in the manner of how Israel and America cyber-sabotaged Iran's nuclear centrifuges.  Whether by incompetence or insidiousness, the constant failures have many around the world laughing at the No-Go Norks – although they did just have a semi-success in lofting a missile over Japan, only to have it fall apart over the Pacific.

At this moment, Japan is not laughing at her Keystone Kops neighbor.

However, it may not be the misfiring missiles that Japan should be watching.  The Daily Mail is reporting that some Nork-watchers fear that Kim Jong-un, despairing of missile delivery of nuclear warheads, could turn to an almost ancient aviation technology for his delivery vehicles: his fleet of Antonov AN-2 bi-wing transport aircraft, of which he reportedly has several hundred.  The Annie, as this aircraft is known by the thousands who have flown it and continue to do so all around the world, looks like something from WWI, having been designed by the Soviets and first flown in the late 1940s.

Annie is a true work horse and the go-to aircraft in many remote areas of the world because of its ability to carry heavy payloads in and out of primitive areas with minimal landing and take-off amenities.  It has a limited range of about 500 miles, but that is enough to reach much of Japan and all of South Korea.  "How could some old airplane do that in the face of all our modern air defenses?" you ask.  And therein reposes Annie's advantage.  She flies too low and slow to be detected by radar systems, and with an earth/sky camouflage paint scheme, she is almost impossible spot from above by faster, higher flying aircraft.

Our modern air defense systems are actually programmed to ignore such radar returns from the likes of Annie to sift out civilian distractions.  And when I say slow, I mean an aircraft that could possibly fly forty miles an hour at treetop level without stalling all the way from Wonsan to Nagasaki and Hiroshima, carrying a two-ton nuclear bomb.

How ironic would it be for the only two cities in world history to suffer nuclear devastation to do so again to satisfy the mad political strategizing of a fat little man, full of himself and his total power over small nation, yet completely ignorant of the world he shuns?  He does indeed possess a weapon that just might be capable of delivering that destruction upon those two cities and others – an aircraft that was being designed and first built when Allied forces delivered the first nuclear destruction upon them in 1945.

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