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from Love's Critical Ground by L.K. Thompson, LTC (Ret.)

Copyright © 2017–2021 Lasrry K. Thompson

Chapter 22

2nd Infantry Division

Camp Casey, 15 km from the DMZ

Detachment Under-Eye In the tunnel

Tongducheon, South Korea

0845 hours Sierra



Comment of the Moment: “From the markings on the outside, I’d say it has to be a nuclear device of some type.”



Mungo asked Aleumdaun, “Where are Cowboy and Dude?”

“Slover sent them, with their weapons over their shoulders, on the scooters, to explore downstream toward Seoul, about fifteen minutes ago. I told them to mark everything on their maps. I told them they should be back within twenty minutes so that you would have the remaining twenty minutes to fill the sink hole.”

“Hmmm. Okay thanks.

“What are you two doing with this crate?”

“I need to get a look at the mechanism inside to see what we’re dealing with.”

“From the markings on the outside, I’d say it has to be a nuclear device of some type.”

“Truly, but what type? What size? Strength? Yield?”

“That’s what I’m going to try to determine.”

Slover offered, “Okay, I have the side of the case off. It appears to be lined with a thin sheet of lead.”

She said, “That is SOP for nuclear devices.”

“Do you want me to take the hatch off the device”

“Okay, unscrew the hatch, but before you remove it, let me know.”

“Will do.” Quickly he removed the screws.

He reported, “The hatch is ready to come off.”

Aleumdaun answered, “Okay, come around here on the other side while I check its radiation levels.”

Slover asked, “You mean we might get radiation sickness from this thing?”

“No, no, it’s just a precaution. Mungo, please stand over there with him.”

Mungo moved quickly to stand beside Slover. He nodded, “You bet I will,”

Aleumdaun stood on the same side of the device as the two soldiers and stuck her measuring device around the side of the case. She looked at the meter on the device and quizzically asked a self-absorbed, “Hmmm?”

Mungo asked, “What? Do we need to run?”

She spoke to herself, “No. No. Something is off here.”

Nervously, and holding his hands in front of his groin area, Slover asked, “Like what?”

She explained, “All the readings are off. It’s almost as if there is no fissile material in there. It’s like it was in there once, and the inside walls are irradiated, but it’s not in there now.”

She reached inside her pants pocket. She took out a small compact mirror. She stuck her hand, with the mirror, around in front of the open case. She exclaimed, “Ha!”

Astonished, Slover asked, “You mean the case is empty?”

“Um, yes, well, I wouldn’t just stick my head in there to find out; too much residual radiation, but I can tell you this device is not armed.”

Mungo asked, “Do you mean the DPRK put an empty bomb case in this hole?”

Pensively she murmured, “Yes, well, it’s empty now. It did have a charge in it. I don’t know why they took it out.”

She stood still in thought for a few seconds. Then she exclaimed, “On the other hand, it’s pretty smart.”

Mungo attempted to lean around the device to look inside. He asked, “What are you talking about?”

She replied, “Let Slover and me put the side of the case back on, and I’ll tell you what I think.”

Slover asked, “You’re sure it’s okay.”

She replied, “I’m taking care of you Slover. It’s okay.”

After the two had reassembled the crate, she looked at the two soldiers in the dim light of her flashlight. She said, “Here’s the situation. The reason I said it was smart to put the core of the nuclear device in the bomb in the first place was because that was a logical place to hide it when the international inspectors came to look for nuclear devices.”

Slover stated, “I don’t get it.”

“Okay, let me put it this way. The world seems to think the North Koreans are a bunch of bumbling incompetents.

“The world is wrong. The North Koreans are among the most clever and devious people in the world. They are cunning. Their leader has some of the most brilliant minds in the world working for him.

“Number one; the world does not know about these tunnels. Where else would you store a nuclear bomb while international inspectors are inspecting the heart of your nuclear facilities? Why not hide fissile material in place in a bomb case that they are clueless about?”

Slover exclaimed, “Brilliant! But why take the fissile material out?”

She asked him, “Why leave it in there when you’re not ready to use it, but more especially why leave it in there, after the inspectors ha...

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