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North Korea tests a nuclear weapon





nopaniers
Well, the inevitable has happened. North Korea have tested a nuclear weapon.

BBC wrote:
North Korea says it has carried out its first test of a nuclear weapon. It said the underground test, carried out in defiance of international warnings, was a success and had not resulted in any leak of radiation. The US said intelligence had detected a seismic event at a suspected test site and Russia said was "100% certain" a nuclear test had occurred.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6032525.stm

It seems that the hardline tactics of refusing to even talk to them (or sign a non-agression treaty and end the half century old Korean war) did not work. It's a sad day for the world - now one of the truly far out countries control some of the world's most powerful weapons.
scotty
Bomb them, I give you my authority.

Honestly though the way people say they shouldn't test or have nuclear weapons is a bit hypocritical. NOBODY should have them at all, nobody, no exceptions. The days of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) from what I've learned were not nice and we don't a repeat.

But if somebody has to have them, I'd rather America had them rather than the little *poos* that run North Korea, they've already proven they can't be trusted.
nopaniers
I agree. Nobody should have them. North Korea having nuclear weapons is particularly worrying - especially if you live in Japan, or South Korea.
xalophus
nopaniers wrote:
It's a sad day for the world - now one of the truly far out countries control some of the world's most powerful weapons.


"A.Q. Khan day" in North Korea already ?
I wonder how far behind Iran are.

scotty wrote:
Bomb them, I give you my authority.

That's the whole point of having nuclear weapons, isn't it ?
Now America won't. Wink

Nuclear weapons established American superiority post-war, and gave them the power to manipulate, interfere, exploit - to engage with little discretion.
Due to their own policies, unfortunately, nuclear weapons have become the single most effective deterrent against them in the world today.

The only way to make sure you don't get anal probed for WMDs is to actually have them!


scotty wrote:
But if somebody has to have them, I'd rather America had them rather than the little *poos* that run North Korea, they've already proven they can't be trusted.

It's a shame really, that the little *poos* at North Korea might not quite agree.
dac_nip
this is just a display of power. they are somewhat showing power and strength against the world! hehe. nuclear wont be enough though. Very Happy
Animal
dac_nip wrote:
this is just a display of power.


I agree. The North Koreans are trying to show that they are powerful and "equal" to the rest of the world in terms of arms. They also know that the US won't do anything themselves to try and stop them (I won't get into a discussion about the Iraq disaster, but I'm sure it'll have something to do with it). It's also a bit of a deterrent - they know that the world doesn't trust them with these arms, so they're fairly sure that no government will attack them.

So that leaves the UN to bring "Sanctions" against North Korea. But I'm not entirely sure what they can do since direct intervention is not an option!

However... you can also see North Korea's point of view. The US has nuclear arms, as do the majority of western countries. So why can't they have them? I agree that the North Koreans are not the best candidate for trustworthy-ness but what would the US Government (or the UK Government etc...) say if another country said to them "we don't want you to have nuclear arms, so you're not allowed them"?

I'd suggest that it wouldn't go down too well!
Moonspider
As a clarification, even if the DPRK achieved a high order detonation, it was a nuclear device not necessarily a nuclear weapon.

There is a major difference. North Korea must carry out more tests and make more technological advances to create a nuclear device capable of being carried by an aircraft, let alone a missile.

As for the arguments regarding the North needing nukes to dissuade the United States from attacking them, I must disagree. True, the DPRK may see it that way. However, we will not attack them because they have a huge supply of chemical weapons and a conventional military force between Pyongyang and the DMZ that dwarfs anything that the United States and South Korea can muster there. North Korea also has a first strike chemical policy. They have enough missiles and artillery to level a significant portion of Seoul (even if they don't slime it).

Nuclear ability has nothing to do with the U.S. unwillingness to attack the DPRK.
endure
lol I don't know why is such a big fass about this, cuz USA and Russia test their new weapons every day (from which most are nuclear) and nobody says anything, but as soon as Korea does it everyone is acting as if the world is going to end or somethin... Why should USA be the only one with nuclear weapons, I say Kudos to Korea and if they want to test let them test. If a nuclear war starts there's nothing going to remain from this planet anyway so doesn't really matter.
Moonspider
endure wrote:
lol I don't know why is such a big fass about this, cuz USA and Russia test their new weapons every day (from which most are nuclear) and nobody says anything...


You are gravely mistaken. The United States has not tested a nuclear weapons since 1992. The USSR (hence Russia) last tested a nuclear device in 1990.
nopaniers
Endure: The point is that this means that North Korea definitely do have a working nuclear weapon, not the test itself. Since the initial spread of nuclear weapons, in 1968 the world has tried to stop their spread. I think it's pretty well recognised that these are horrible weapons, and the fewer of them the better.

It is illegal, under the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, which North Korea initially signed in 1985, for any new country to develop nuclear weapons. It calls for the disarming of the existing nuclear powers, the stopping of the spread of nuclear weapons, and the free use of peaceful nuclear technology for everyone. North Korea initially signed this treaty, but they withdrew (last time in 2003 after the US accused it of persuing a weapons program and suspended the oil shipments which were part of the agreement under which North Korea was a party to the NPT), which most people in the world find unacceptable.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_Non-Proliferation_Treaty

It is terrible that these horrible weapons are spreading.
Zpanzer
im not old(only 15 years old) but when i sit here watching things like that makes me think of what a ****** up world we live in. Is it really needed testing a bomb that will erease all life in the area and must likely throw radioactive dust into the air, manipulating with humans and animals(tjenobyl anyone?) and after that going over to Discovery Channel hearing that teorists could make Nuclear bombs if they could get the Uranium for it and the other metal name i cant remember the name of. This is a sick world we live in and i hope some near future, weapons of mass destruction will be banned, destroyed and the materials needed for them either hidden away or destroyed too.
nopaniers
Yes. It's true, Zpanzer, that at least in theory making a nuclear weapon isn't difficult. That is why the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) was set up. They montior the use of nuclear materials to stop them falling into the wrong hands. They conduct inspections around the world of every countries' nuclear facilities to make sure no nuclear material accidently goes 'missing' or gets diverted to some non-peaceful cause.

Also, it's difficult to make a weapon in practice. Although you might only need uranium, you need a particular isotope of uranium - U235. Regular uranium which is dug up out of the ground (when it's a yellow colour, so it's called yellowcake) won't do. You need to purify it, for example by using a specially designed certrifuge... And that's not something that's available at every corner store.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/International_Atomic_Energy_Agency
Soulfire
Here's how I see the situation playing out:

The U.S. goes to intervene - but through the slow, inefficient, and worthless United Nations (who disagrees with the U.S. taking action), we decide not to take action. The world breathes a small sigh of relief.

Then... on an early morning, everything begins as usual, until North Korea launches it's nuclear campaign across the world.

By the time the issue of preemptive action isn't a question anymore, we'll be fried in nuclear oblivion.

Oh well.
mojier
It's maybe a bad news
People lived in North Korea need paceful life,not nuclear weapon
scotty
Any country that has 1/3 of their people living in poverty has no right to have any weapons. Weapons cost money which would be better spent on helping the people who don't even have food. What is even worse about it, the President of North Korea is a jerk, the news tonight said that he lives a "playboy" lifestyle.

The reaction by the Australian Government is to not grant any Visas to North Koreans now Razz how useful!?!?
quex
Well, as a resident of Japan, I can tell you folks here are fired up like they haven't been in years. And by fired up, I mean expressing their opinions in public, using harsh language, even. Prime Minister Abe Shinzo has (so-far) assured everyone that Japan will not soon be looking to bulk up it's arsenal, but I bet you three to one that there'll be a relvelation in the next five years that some of Japan's nuclear plant fuel was diverted to prepare a small volley of missiles, JUST INCASE. There's a lot of fear that if N.K. does attack in any way shape or form, China will stand by and do nothing.

I'm sitting on the fence, personally. There are two outcomes that I can see happening:

1) N.K. joins the nuclear club. They get a slap on the wrist and are begrudgingly advanced a few ranks in the economy. Nobody wants to sanction them (money, oil, food, trade of most kinds), lest they further rock the foundations of an unstable and dangerous nation. After some years, they are a miniature version of modern China.

The great part about the nuclear club is that nobody can nuke you, and once you've made a public test, you never have to nuke anybody... The pact of mutually assured destruction, as we all learned back in high school. Also, because nobody even likes the idea of you nuking them or them having to nuke you, they start giving you the time of day and smiling every now and then in the global economy game. They may still hate your guts, but you've got the same shit in your missile silos as they do now.

2) Kim Jong Il flips out and pushes the button. Human irrationality overcomes survival instinct and common sense -- for one reason or another, Kim (or any other mad dictator with nuclear capabilities; I'm talking to you, Iran) decides he's going down and he's gonna take the world with him.

Imagine the man finds out he has inoperable brain cancer and he has two months to live. Two months is just enough time to spread word though the propaganda department that the enemy (nevermind who) is on the doorstep, and we have to launch the nukes; ALL the nukes. Of course, it'd take alot of agreement/loyalty/stupidity on the part of a great many military personnel to actually go through with a launch on this premise.

If they launch anything more than none of the missiles or less than all of the missiles, they're gonna be screwed solo. One nuke on Japan, South Korea, or any other non-communist country with anything worth trading, means flaming annihilation from the direction of America. It'd most likely start with precision attacks on all possible nuke sites within N.K., then a carpet bombing from east to west and back again. Provided we don't flub it up, a total wipeout of N.K. without crossing more than ten miles into the boundaries of China or South Korea should be within the modern American military's capability. No nukes, just conventional blasting.
nopaniers
I agree Scotty. In fact, I'd go further and say that no country should have nuclear weapons. We (Australia) can't, so why should anyone else? Kim Jong-Il is not exactly the world's best leader. I'd say he rates right up there with Burma's military leaders as the world's worst. This guy with nuclear weapons in his hands is pretty scary.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Jong-il

Even China, North Korea's closest friends were shaken by the test. I think it's good that China are playing a more active role.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6036129.stm

The worst fear that will happen is that Japan will go nuclear because of the North Korean threat. Fortunately the Japanese have said that this won't happen, having seen the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
nopaniers
True quex. I hope that it doesn't happen like (2). If Kim Jong Il flips out and it comes to war, it would be absolutely horrible. Seoul is only 45km from the North Korean border. North Korea could never hold out against the combined might of South Korea, Japan, the US, with a pissed off China staying neutral. But as they went down they could cause massive casualties - even millions in the nightmare scenario that they can get a nuclear weapon on a missile. It would be a disaster that nobody wants to see happen.

What do you think can be done? North Korea barely trades with anyone except for China, and they're more likely to let their population starve and freeze than to give up their nuclear weapons.
S3nd K3ys
nopaniers wrote:
The worst fear that will happen is that Japan will go nuclear because of the North Korean threat. Fortunately the Japanese have said that this won't happen, having seen the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


This is very possible. After WWII, Japan changed their attitude dramatically when it comes to war. I wonder just how much poking and prodding by NK (or others) it will take to bring them back to their old ways. Ways which worked very well for them, but not as well as their economic might is today.
WickedGravity
North Korea tested this bomb for the sole reason of having economic sanctions lifted off of them. They haven't admitted as much, but it has been hotly debated on all the news networks.

You have that whacko in charge of a country of that many starving people and you are going to eventually have your friendly neighbors get really pissed at you after a while.
S3nd K3ys
WickedGravity wrote:
North Korea tested this bomb for the sole reason of having economic sanctions lifted off of them. They haven't admitted as much, but it has been hotly debated on all the news networks.


If that's the case, I think it might backfire on them when all is said and done.
tidruG
Soulfire wrote:
Here's how I see the situation playing out:

The U.S. goes to intervene - but through the slow, inefficient, and worthless United Nations (who disagrees with the U.S. taking action), we decide not to take action. The world breathes a small sigh of relief.

Then... on an early morning, everything begins as usual, until North Korea launches it's nuclear campaign across the world.

By the time the issue of preemptive action isn't a question anymore, we'll be fried in nuclear oblivion.

Oh well.

Oh, a UN-bashing post from an Iraq-war supporter... how suprising...

Anyway, this is not how I see the situation being played out, but for the sake of it, I'll post another situation:

The US ignores the UN and the international community and decides to invade North Korea (Iraq, anyone?). North Korea decides to attack back, with nukes (since Kim seems to be a trigger-happy nutcase), and we all "fry in nuclear oblivion".... Oh well.

Oh, and one more thing... you talk about "taking action".
Apart from imposing heavy sanctions, what other "action" can you possibly think of? Would you like to initiate pre-emptive strikes against a nuclear-capable country?
Your rebuttal may include a line or two about how militarily strong America is and how Korean nukes will never reach it, etc etc... blah blah blah... well, so much for the rest of the world then? bye bye Japan, bye bye South Korea...?

Oh, and in the middle of all this, how come there's no mention of Pakistan, whose A.Q.Khan proliferated the nuclear know-how to North Korea, among other nations?
S3nd K3ys
tidruG wrote:
Soulfire wrote:
Here's how I see the situation playing out:

The U.S. goes to intervene - but through the slow, inefficient, and worthless United Nations (who disagrees with the U.S. taking action), we decide not to take action. The world breathes a small sigh of relief.

Then... on an early morning, everything begins as usual, until North Korea launches it's nuclear campaign across the world.

By the time the issue of preemptive action isn't a question anymore, we'll be fried in nuclear oblivion.

Oh well.

Oh, a UN-bashing thread... how suprising...

Anyway, this is not how I see the situation being played out, but for the sake of it, I'll post another situation:

The US ignores the UN and the international community and decides to invade North Korea (Iraq, anyone?). North Korea decides to attack back, with nukes (since Kim seems to be a trigger-happy nutcase), and we all "fry in nuclear oblivion".... Oh well.

Oh, and one more thing... you talk about "taking action".
Apart from imposing heavy sanctions, what other "action" can you possibly think of? Would you like to initiate pre-emptive strikes against a nuclear-capable country?
Your rebuttal may include a line or two about how militarily strong America is and how Korean nukes will never reach it, etc etc... blah blah blah... well, so much for the rest of the world then? bye bye Japan, bye bye South Korea...?

Oh, and in the middle of all this, how come there's no mention of Pakistan, whose A.Q.Khan proliferated the nuclear know-how to North Korea, among other nations?


I don't think NK has the means to distribute nukes very far, so only neighbors right now are at risk. Oh, and anyone else who happens to be targeted by some freak that little twit might sell the nukes to.
tidruG
S3nd K3ys wrote:
tidruG wrote:
Soulfire wrote:
Here's how I see the situation playing out:

The U.S. goes to intervene - but through the slow, inefficient, and worthless United Nations (who disagrees with the U.S. taking action), we decide not to take action. The world breathes a small sigh of relief.

Then... on an early morning, everything begins as usual, until North Korea launches it's nuclear campaign across the world.

By the time the issue of preemptive action isn't a question anymore, we'll be fried in nuclear oblivion.

Oh well.

Oh, a UN-bashing thread... how suprising...

Anyway, this is not how I see the situation being played out, but for the sake of it, I'll post another situation:

The US ignores the UN and the international community and decides to invade North Korea (Iraq, anyone?). North Korea decides to attack back, with nukes (since Kim seems to be a trigger-happy nutcase), and we all "fry in nuclear oblivion".... Oh well.

Oh, and one more thing... you talk about "taking action".
Apart from imposing heavy sanctions, what other "action" can you possibly think of? Would you like to initiate pre-emptive strikes against a nuclear-capable country?
Your rebuttal may include a line or two about how militarily strong America is and how Korean nukes will never reach it, etc etc... blah blah blah... well, so much for the rest of the world then? bye bye Japan, bye bye South Korea...?

Oh, and in the middle of all this, how come there's no mention of Pakistan, whose A.Q.Khan proliferated the nuclear know-how to North Korea, among other nations?


I don't think NK has the means to distribute nukes very far, so only neighbors right now are at risk. Oh, and anyone else who happens to be targeted by some freak that little twit might sell the nukes to.
Yeah, I know... their current missile strength would only probably let them deploy nukes on very close countries, which is why South Korea and Japan might be getting a bit paranoid, and are more likely to be attacked first, especially Japan, as it's seen as the US's little brother here in Asia.

EDIT:
PS: That is if there are any attacks at all.
nopaniers
Quote:
I don't think NK has the means to distribute nukes very far, so only neighbors right now are at risk.


Those neighbors include South Korea and Japan, some 200 million people. Apart from the humanitarian disaster that any war would be, that's also the second and thirteenth largest economies in the world. A war on the Korean peninsula would be a disaster. I don't think even the worst hawks would seriously consider it for a second. It would guarantee horrendous casualites, death, destruction and horror - not prevent it.

North Korea has a million man army. Do you have any idea how many people that is? Seoul is within artillery distance of the border. As soon as war broke out they could shell one of the world's most populous cities. Japan can be hit by North Korean missiles. War would be terrible.
S3nd K3ys
NK's test may have been a dud or a non nuke explosion. Wink

http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/1230/nork-data-it-was-a-dud

Quote:
NORK DATA: It was a DUD

http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/1230/nork-data-it-was-a-dud

HA HA HA HA.
I love the US Geological Survey.
They’ve published lat/long (41.294°N, 129.134°E) and Mb estimates (4.2) for the North Korean test.

There is lots of data floating around: The CTBTO called it 4.0; The South Koreans report 3.58-3.7.

You’re thinking, 3.6, 4.2, in that neighborhood. Seismic scales, like the Richter, are logarithmic, so that neighborhood can be pretty big.
But even at 4.2, the test was probablya dud.

Estimating the yield is tricky business, because it depends on the geology of the test site. The South Koreans called the yield half a kiloton (550 tons), which is more or less—a factor of two—consistent with the relationship for tests in that yield range at the Soviet Shagan test site:

Mb = 4.262 + .973LogW

Where Mb is the magnitude of the body wave, and W is the yield.
3.58-3.7 gives you a couple hundred tons (not kilotons), which is pretty close in this business unless you’re really math positive. The same equation, given the US estimate of 4.2, yields (pun intended) around a kiloton.

A plutonium device should produce a yield in the range of the 20 kilotons, like the one we dropped on Nagasaki. No one has ever dudded their first test of a simple fission device. North Korean nuclear scientists are now officially the worst ever.

Of course, I want to see what the US IC says. If/when the test vents, we could have some radionuclide data—maybe in the next 72 hours or so.

But, from the initial data, I’d say someone with no workable nuclear weapons (Kim Jong Il, I am looking at you) should be crapping his pants right now.

First the missile, then the bomb. Got anything else you wanna try out there, chief?


http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/Quakes/ustqab.php#details
nopaniers
Let me guess, without looking - that's Foxnew's viewpoint right S3ndK3ys? I bet they're beating it for all it's worth... Better than presenting a balanced picture.
S3nd K3ys
nopaniers wrote:
Let me guess, without looking - that's Foxnew's viewpoint right S3ndK3ys? I bet they're beating it for all it's worth... Better than presenting a balanced picture.


You should shy away from uneducated guessing, nopaniers. You're making yourself look silly. Wink

I haven't read Foxnews' viewpoint on it, but I have read one of CNN's, and it is just as you'd expect; North Korea is good, Bush is bad.

http://www.cnn.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1544033,00.html?cnn=yes

Quote:
North Korea Calls the U.S.'s Bluff
Washington has said it won't tolerate a North Korean nuclear weapon. Now, the question is whether that intolerance can be enforced



When I checked the network at lunch time, they were concentrating on Foley's Fellatorial Follies -Full Time !!
nopaniers
I'm sorry? How is that article possibly pro-DPRK? You're off your rocker, mate.

For interesting views look here:
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-10/10/content_5182753.htm
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2006-10/09/content_5182203.htm
http://www.tass.ru/eng/level2.html?NewsID=10874555&PageNum=0
Soulfire
Quote:
Oh, a UN-bashing post from an Iraq-war supporter... how suprising...

It's not my fault that the United Nations is slow, outdated, and inefficient. There's no need to condescend either - I do support the war in Iraq, now (but not then).

Quote:
The US ignores the UN and the international community and decides to invade North Korea (Iraq, anyone?). North Korea decides to attack back, with nukes (since Kim seems to be a trigger-happy nutcase), and we all "fry in nuclear oblivion".... Oh well.

So - each situation ends in us frying in a nuclear oblivion. Do we want to go down in history as the country who sat and waited to die? Or the one who tried to prevent it.

I'm not saying attack - I'm saying let's start with heavy sanctions, but what if it doesn't work. What should we do? Sit and wait? Roll over dead? Wait for the nukes to come? Wait for proliferation?

The longer we wait - the more dangerous the situation becomes. And isn't it possibly, even likely that an arms race may be starting here in Asia relatively soon.

Damn I love it when countries who can't feed their people try to threaten other nations with nukes.
allanxiao
This is the most stupid action that North Korea can ever choose. Good luck for them.

Poor people who live in that country.
nopaniers
Soulfire wrote:
It's not my fault that the United Nations is slow, outdated, and inefficient.


Under IAEA inspections only one country has become a nuclear power - South Africa - and they subsequently also gave up their nuclear weapons under the UN (contrary to the belief that you can't put the genie back in the bottle) and the ex-Soviet republics also disarmed. That's not a bad track record considering how difficult the task is. Why are you critisizing the one who tried to prevent it? Tell me - how do you propose to modernise IAEA methods?

Quote:
Do we want to go down in history as the country who sat and waited to die? Or the one who tried to prevent it.


Uh... I think the point is that attacking guarantees disaster, and thousands of deaths. It doesn't prevent anything.

And in your previous paragraph you were critisizing the ones who try to prevent nuclear proliferation, the IAEA. You seem to have an ideological chip on your shoulder about the UN, so end up critisizing the people doing the good work.

Quote:
The longer we wait - the more dangerous the situation becomes. And isn't it possibly, even likely that an arms race may be starting here in Asia relatively soon.


Did you think that three days ago? I did. Perhaps now you understand frustration with the "hard line" attitude of the US administration (contrasted with that of South Korea and Japan, for example) which meant doing nothing - year after year. The Korean war should be over. It's half a century old - everyone gains from a non-agression treaty. The North Korean nuclear program should have been run on light water reactors, supplied and monitored by the friendly West. But no - doing nothing is so much better according to Mr Bush - better for his poll numbers. That's a plan which has now seriously backfired.
Rhysige
An arms race is not what we want and not what we will see. Unlike many people who have commented I do believe that sanctions will be placed against North Korea, if we do not do it now then the world might actually fear the threat of war that they released should sanctions be placed... quite frankly "If you refuse to trade with us its an act of war" just doesnt seem to sit well with me.

Now the UN will be hesitant to make any military action but it always is since the UN is only as strong as the governments that back it, as such I forsee sanctions being placed on North Korea.

I echo the comments that no state that cannot feed its people has the right to invest so much money in to researching weapons particularly weapons intended for attack.
nopaniers
True. An arms race would not be good. There's already enough tension with North and South Korea, China and Taiwan and Japan and Russia and generally Japan and everyone they invaded in World War 2. Who needs more?

I'm also skeptical about sanctions. North Korea hardly trade anything so there's little point. The only things you can cut off are things like fuel for heating, and food which come across the Chinese border. And sanctions will only make North Korea more isolated.

Actually, I think the real solution lies in opening up North Korea. Give them tunable radios (not ones preset to DPRK preset frequencies). Give them TVs, video players (there must be millions of cheap second hand ones now that everyone else is moving to DVDs). Push them to accept South Korean newspapers, and the Internet. Give them crazy South Korean soaps. It's in bringing them into the modern world that this problem will be solved. That will achieve more than any war ever could.
S3nd K3ys
nopaniers wrote:
I'm sorry? How is that article possibly pro-DPRK? You're off your rocker, mate.


Are we on the same conversation? Because I thought I quoted you spewing some rhetoric about Foxnews... Wink
nopaniers
You quoted CNN and said it was "North Korea good". I don't understand how you think that it is pro-DPRK. Perhaps you would like to explain.
S3nd K3ys
nopaniers wrote:
You quoted CNN and said it was "North Korea good". I don't understand how you think that it is pro-DPRK. Perhaps you would like to explain.


Oh, now I see... you misinterpreted me. My premise is that CNN is anti-Bush, at all costs, not pro-DPRK. Perhaps you shouldn't try to read into it more than there really is. Wink
Moonspider
nopaniers wrote:
True. An arms race would not be good. There's already enough tension with North and South Korea, China and Taiwan and Japan and Russia and generally Japan and everyone they invaded in World War 2. Who needs more?

I'm also skeptical about sanctions. North Korea hardly trade anything so there's little point. The only things you can cut off are things like fuel for heating, and food which come across the Chinese border. And sanctions will only make North Korea more isolated.

Actually, I think the real solution lies in opening up North Korea. Give them tunable radios (not ones preset to DPRK preset frequencies). Give them TVs, video players (there must be millions of cheap second hand ones now that everyone else is moving to DVDs). Push them to accept South Korean newspapers, and the Internet. Give them crazy South Korean soaps. It's in bringing them into the modern world that this problem will be solved. That will achieve more than any war ever could.


I don't think Kim Jong-Il would approve the distribution of anything that would potentially open up the minds of his subjects. The South's Sunshine Policy certainly didn't seem to have helped.

The United States tried one-on-one talks in the 90s. We were criticized in 1994 by Asian countries like Japan and China for cutting deals behind their backs (hence the emphasis now on the six-pary talks). Furthermore, the DPRK did not honor their agreements.

I personally think that we should take two routes. First, as part of a series of strong sanctions, quarantine all seaborne traffic. U.S. naval vessels would stop merchant shipping coming and going from the DPRK and inspect it for any military items bound for export or import. Such items could be deemed a threat to us and/or our allies.

Given that by international law such a quarantine is an act of war, it is a dangerous step. (The same step President Kennedy took during the Cuban Missile Crisis). To mitigate this, I'd speak one-on-one with North Korea, returning to direct negotiations between our two countries.

We can't go directly to one-on-one talks now without some other consequence, otherwise we'd be rewarding bad behavior and thus only encouraging similar action in the future. (Which is what happened in 1994 and arguably encourgaes Kim Jung-Il now.)

Neither can we let such actions against the world community by North Korea go unpunished. Other countries, like Iran, are watching these developments closely as they will be going through the same thing in the very near future. If the DPRK is allowed to become a nuclear power with little or no consequences, then all future negotiations and IAEA efforts with Iran will fail. The same can be said of any other country wishing to develop nuclear weapons.

The futue of not just the Korean peninsula, but all future non-proliferation efforts hinge upon this one crisis. Thus, in my opinion, every option must be left open and every president must be willing to use what ever means necessary to prevent North Korea from obtaining a viable nuclear weapon. If the DPRK wins this showdown and becomes a member of the "nuclear club," we might as well give the technology away. Everyone will be after it and no one will fear any consequnces.

Libya may be wondering why they felt so vulnerable after the Iraq invasion and gave up their program. Wink
nopaniers
I agree with a lot of what you say Moonspider. North Korea is the first country to withdraw from the NPT and develop weapons. Other countries which developed them developed them outside of UN controls, for example, Israel, Pakistan and India all never signed the treaty. We can't let this be an example to the world.

The world needs to make a united show right now. Japan has already gone for sanctions, regardless of what everyone else does. China seems willing to go along with the world community, and they are the most important country out of all of us. South Korea are mostly pissed off. Russia is calling for calm, but I'm sure with a little respect for their position they will too. The US will do anything so long as they look tough. I'm pretty sure sanctions of some type are coming, regardless of if they have any effect at all.

And you are right: Kim Jong Il won't like his country being opened up. But then again, right now nobody couldn't care less what he thinks. The easiest way to start North Korea being opened is to flood the border area (with China) with rediculously cheap radios, TVs ect. Small stuff too which is easily concealed. These type of things already trickle across the border. Making that trickle into a flood. There's no way that North Korea can survive as it is if people start seeing the outside world. If China would help, then there's real hope for a solution - and not one which involves millions of dead people.
S3nd K3ys
The more I think about it, the more I think the US should stay out of it. We should remain involved only to ensure there is no invasion of SK or Japan, but keep out of this nuke BS.

I'm fairly certain the rest of the Asian population will not allow this twisted twit to drop a nuclear turd in thier collective asian punch-bowl. All NK's neighbors are at risk. All of them. The best thing the US could do is ignore them and let them deal with it themselves. Don't give them squat. If they ask for help for anything, tell them to jam it.

Holly crap, did I just say that out loud? Shocked
tidruG
Quote:
I'm not saying attack - I'm saying let's start with heavy sanctions, but what if it doesn't work. What should we do? Sit and wait? Roll over dead? Wait for the nukes to come? Wait for proliferation?

That still leaves out a very important question... what would the "action" consist of if the sanctions fail to deter North Korea? As of now, Kim wants direct talks with the US, but the US has refused that. Currently, it appears that the only country who can do something non-violent is US (direct talks). I'm not sure if it will (or even if it should), but my question is... if the heavy sanctions fail to deter North Korea from further testing/developing its nuclear arsenal, what "action" can you take?
There's high-handed talk about not wanting to go down in history as a country that just sat and watched... but what action can you possibly take? Any military action would result in war in that region... and heavy casualties in Japan and the Koreas.

Quote:
The United States tried one-on-one talks in the 90s. We were criticized in 1994 by Asian countries like Japan and China for cutting deals behind their backs (hence the emphasis now on the six-pary talks). Furthermore, the DPRK did not honor their agreements.

And yet
Quote:
U.S. naval vessels would stop merchant shipping coming and going from the DPRK and inspect it for any military items bound for export or import.

Do you really think Asian countries (and even North Korea for that matter) would just like to sit back and watch the US ransack merchant ships heading in/out of North Korea? Why not a 6-party group of naval vessel to monitor in/out-bound vessels?
And what about air traffic?
Besides, like you said, it would definitely be considered an act of war.

S3nd K3ys wrote:
The more I think about it, the more I think the US should stay out of it.
I don't think that's a possibility. N.Korea seems terribly interested in the US's reaction(s).

Quote:
If they ask for help for anything, tell them to jam it.
Shocked Should the global superpower poilceman not give a damn when a bunch of people need his help to apprehend a bully?
S3nd K3ys
tidruG wrote:

That still leaves out a very important question... what would the "action" consist of if the sanctions fail to deter North Korea?


The Korean Island Wink

Quote:
S3nd K3ys wrote:
The more I think about it, the more I think the US should stay out of it.
I don't think that's a possibility. N.Korea seems terribly interested in the US's reaction(s).


They're interested in US reaction only to deter our 'reaction' from Iran. They're nothing but a school yard bully who figured out he could get more attention by bringing his daddy's gun to school. They're not a real threat to the US, only to their neighbors. (For now anyway) Let them fend for themselves instead of giving them the opportunity to slam the US for butting in again.

Quote:
Quote:
If they ask for help for anything, tell them to jam it.
Shocked Should the global superpower poilceman not give a damn when a bunch of people need his help to apprehend a bully?


Just like we did in Iraq? See where that got us? Oh, wait, they weren't a threat to their neighbors or their people, were they? How about every other time the US has stepped in to help others?

Nawww, ****** it. I think the US should let the rest of the world see what the world would really be like without our constant meddling. I'm sure everyone would be real peaceful. Wink

:edit:

Ok, another solution besides the Korean Island, how about we flood the borders with small radios and TV's so the poeple will see what that misguided twit is really doing, and we'll get a regiem change.
tidruG
Quote:
Just like we did in Iraq? See where that got us?

Strange... I was under the impression that the US went to Iraq even though the UN security council hadn't endorsed the war? Wink
S3nd K3ys
tidruG wrote:
Quote:
Just like we did in Iraq? See where that got us?

Strange... I was under the impression that the US went to Iraq even though the UN security council hadn't endorsed the war? Wink


The UN did endorse actions right up until it came time to put the cards on teh table. Same old BS from the UN.
ahamed
Quite interesting reaction from Mr. Bush ... U.S. has "no intention of attacking".... may be he has enough experience from IRAQ ..

Please read on:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061011/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush
S3nd K3ys
ahamed wrote:
Quite interesting reaction from Mr. Bush ... U.S. has "no intention of attacking".... may be he has enough experience from IRAQ ..

Please read on:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20061011/ap_on_go_pr_wh/bush


I think your comprehension skills are a bit rusty. Wink

Quote:
WASHINGTON -
President Bush demanded stiff sanctions on
North Korea Wednesday for its reported nuclear test and asserted the U.S. has "no intention of attacking" the reclusive regime despite its claims that it needs atomic weapons to guard against such a strike.


NK says it needs nukes to defend against a US attack. You're misquoting Bush. Bush has said all along we're not going to attack NK. You're trying to use that quote in the context that his reaction to the (supposed) nuke test Sunday will not be military.

The facts are that Bush HAS stated repeatedly that we have no intention of attacking NK, which I believe, and Bush HAS stated that North Korea's continued threats to peace will result in serious repercussions for Pyongyang, and that the United States "reserves all options" to defend against aggression.

To sumerize, the US has no intention of attacking NK. But the US MAY if NK keeps up their crap. Wink
horseatingweeds
S3nd K3ys wrote:
tidruG wrote:
Quote:
Just like we did in Iraq? See where that got us?

Strange... I was under the impression that the US went to Iraq even though the UN security council hadn't endorsed the war? Wink


The UN did endorse actions right up until it came time to put the cards on teh table. Same old BS from the UN.


History demands that this will be repeated here, I think.
S3nd K3ys wrote:
ahamed wrote:

Quite interesting reaction from Mr. Bush ... U.S. has "no intention of attacking".... may be he has enough experience from IRAQ ..


I think your comprehension skills are a bit rusty. Wink


Let me give a hand here:

Krazy Kim: WE NEED NUCLEAR WEAPON SO US NO ATTACK OUR HAPPY LAND!!!!!

Bush: The US has no intention of attacking North – KOREA.

Kim ill: WE MAKE NUCLEAR WEAPON ANYWAY!!!!!

Bush: OK, but the US ‘reserves all options’ (like missiles and stuff) you stupid jack ass.
Moonspider
tidruG wrote:
That still leaves out a very important question... what would the "action" consist of if the sanctions fail to deter North Korea? As of now, Kim wants direct talks with the US, but the US has refused that. Currently, it appears that the only country who can do something non-violent is US (direct talks). I'm not sure if it will (or even if it should), but my question is... if the heavy sanctions fail to deter North Korea from further testing/developing its nuclear arsenal, what "action" can you take?
There's high-handed talk about not wanting to go down in history as a country that just sat and watched... but what action can you possibly take? Any military action would result in war in that region... and heavy casualties in Japan and the Koreas.

Quote:
The United States tried one-on-one talks in the 90s. We were criticized in 1994 by Asian countries like Japan and China for cutting deals behind their backs (hence the emphasis now on the six-pary talks). Furthermore, the DPRK did not honor their agreements.

And yet
Quote:
U.S. naval vessels would stop merchant shipping coming and going from the DPRK and inspect it for any military items bound for export or import.

Do you really think Asian countries (and even North Korea for that matter) would just like to sit back and watch the US ransack merchant ships heading in/out of North Korea? Why not a 6-party group of naval vessel to monitor in/out-bound vessels?
And what about air traffic?
Besides, like you said, it would definitely be considered an act of war.


I would be amenable to a coalition naval force. Air traffic would be more difficult. Besides though, there's not much in the way of military hardware that North Korea can sell to other countries via air. I'm not looking to strangle the DPRK, just prevent technology proliferation.

Speaking to those in this thread who think we should step away and let the chips fall where they may, remember that we have treaty commitments to the region. Any attack on South Korea or Japan by agreement is no different than an attack upon the United States. (George Washington warned us about such treaties. But they're a necessity in the modern world. He also warned us not to establish political parties. I wish we had heeded the latter. But that's another discussion entirely. Wink )

The issue with China is that they do not wish to see the very thing I believe must be done: the destabilization of North Korea. (As many in this thread have called for by opening the world up to the North Korean people.) Chinea fears a refugee problem if the DPRK collapses. Thus they will never vote for anything or support any action that may destabilize North Korea.

tidruG, you asked the tough question, what action can we take if all other efforts fail? Diplomacy (and as Michael Foucault wrote, "Politics is war by other means," contrasting Clausewitz) is not a game of chess, it is a game of poker. Are we bluffing? Is North Korea bluffing? At some point one of the players will either fold or call the other's bluff. I argue that we must be ready to lay our cards on the table, even if that means war. If not, the future of non-proliferation efforts, even international decorum, is over.

However, although in public we must never take the preemptive strike option off the table, I would not consider it a viable option because of the sheer size of the North Korean army and its large chemical weapon supply. The special forces of the North Korean military outnumber our entire army (including admin personnel Wink ). Plus, as I mentioned before, they have a first strike chemical policy. An attack by us in any form would probably precipate an all-out war. There are 10,000 artillery pieces aimed at Seoul alone.

Nonetheless, I don't think we should ever step back from the brink. Call their bluffs at every turn. Force them to either attack or back down. If they want war, let them start it rather than us. (Casualties would be much higher than if we started the war, but it would give us the moral high ground. And unfortunately in this day and age of confused sensibilities, having the moral upper hand in international politics is more important than saving tens of thousands of lives.) I believe we find ourselves here in the same position as we did during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It is a very dangerous game, but one we (and I mean the collective civilized world) cannot afford to lose.

Consider for a moment the Cuban Missile Crisis. Invading or attacking Cuba was never an option, just as it is not an option in this situation. However, we called the Soviet hand and quarantined the island, knowing that if the Soviets didn't back down it could mean a full-scale thermonuclear exchange at worse. However, the alternative, missiles in Cuba was unacceptable. We risked Western Civilization to prevent Cuba from having nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapons in the DPRK is unacceptable, thus we must take the same chances. In fact, the dangers in Korea, although grave, are far less than those during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Civilization will not be destroyed in a Second Korean War. Korea has no nuclear weapons (maybe some devices, as we saw in the test if it indeed was one), and certainly not thermonuclear weapons! (The United States possesses conventional bombs with as much power as the dud they tested.) A war in Korea would be horrific to say the least. But if we truly believe the DPRK's posession of nuclear weapons to be unacceptable, we must play the game out to the end.
nopaniers
I hope this will lead to a strengthening of non-proliferation efforts. In particular I'd like to see support for the IAEA, in terms of funding and political support. Countries who have not ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT) should think again about ratifying it.

And when the NPT comes up for review, or before, we should strengthen it - adding in real penalties for nuclear powers who ignore their comitment to disarm, or worse, like Pakistan spread military nuclear technology. There should also be a much clearer dividing line between peaceful and non-peaceful nuclear technology. For example - when is reprocessing nuclear fuel peaceful and when not? Many countries, eg. Iran, Australia, want to reprocess fuel for what they claim is peaceful purposes. We need a clear dividing line.
Moonspider
nopaniers wrote:
And when the NPT comes up for review, or before, we should strengthen it - adding in real penalties for nuclear powers who ignore their comitment to disarm, or worse, like Pakistan spread military nuclear technology. There should also be a much clearer dividing line between peaceful and non-peaceful nuclear technology. For example - when is reprocessing nuclear fuel peaceful and when not? Many countries, eg. Iran, Australia, want to reprocess fuel for what they claim is peaceful purposes. We need a clear dividing line.


I'm not intimately familiar with the NPT, but I agree that the grey areas like fuel reprocessing should be addressed and clarified.

I'd personally like to see all fuel reprocessing done within only certain counties, such as the United States, Japan, France, etc. These nations would provide the reprocessing at little or no cost to the client nation. Absorbing those costs would be a small price for us to pay in order to hinder profileration.

I'd also allow non-nuclear (weapons) countries to only build light water reactors.
Soulfire
North Korea has stated that "Sanctions placed against us will be considered a declaration of war."

So, what's Plan B?
S3nd K3ys
Soulfire wrote:
North Korea has stated that "Sanctions placed against us will be considered a declaration of war."

So, what's Plan B?


Here's Plan B



and then



and then

nopaniers
Thankyou for a summary of hawks plan, S3ndK3ys. Let us hope it doesn't happen. Sanctions and threats of war will have no real effect - as has been proved time and time again. North Korea would prefer to have its citizens starve than to bow to international pressure. Any type of military action would be a disaster. A better plan (I've put it in pictures so that you understand) is:

Opening North Korean society leads a Solidarity/Berlin Wall situation:


Korea unifies,


And just like the USSR, the UN oversees their nuclear disarmament:
Moonspider
Soulfire wrote:
North Korea has stated that "Sanctions placed against us will be considered a declaration of war."

So, what's Plan B?


I think you may have missed my point, so I'll elaborate.

First, we must all decide where we stand on this issue: Are we willing to have a DPRK with nuclear weapons or not?

If you are willing to accept it, you can do so begrudgingly, raise a ruckus, fire a few unimportant diplomatic salvos across their bow, but in the end say, “Okay you can be in the club too. (Here’s the secret handshake.)” Or you could just toss up your hands now and save some paper and go strait to the club member introductions and assignment of a classified nickname. (Forgive my sarcasm, I’m a little punchy at the moment.)

On the other hand, you may find it unacceptable. By that I mean that the only acceptable outcome is a non-nuclear DPRK.

I believe, for the sake of non-proliferation and civil behavior in the international community, that the possession of nuclear weapons by the DPRK is unacceptable. Thus we must be willing to go all the way in order to prevent them from gaining a nuclear capability. And as I said, I look to the Cuban Missile Crisis as an example of how we might go about it if other diplomatic efforts fail.

I seriously doubt the U.N. is going to do anything useful. China and Russia have their own self-interests at heart (as we all do, I’m not criticizing them for that) and they don’t want to see anything that may destabilize North Korea. However any actions short of that are practically worthless. Thus, the United States may have to act on its own in concert with its like-minded allies, such as Japan.

U.S. actions, such as a naval blockade, may push North Korea into re-starting the Korean War. But so be it. If you find nuclear weapons in their hands unacceptable, you have to be willing to go all the way, as President Kennedy was in 1962.

There is no “Plan B.” However, I would, while playing tough, be willing to negotiate the conditions by which they’d be willing to give everything up with intense verification and oversight. However, as we can see, North Korea is unwilling to return to talks! This sort of makes negotiation moot at the moment.

Until then, we tell them they cannot have nuclear weapons and must disarm, and must return to the table so we can negotiate that settlement. At every turn when they defy that demand, you step up the diplomatic and if necessary military pressure (short of attacking). They will either back down and return to negotiations, try to wait out the siege, or attack.
Moonspider
Nopaniers, I don't think the fall of the Berlin wall and the USSR have anything to do with the current situation unless you are willing to risk all out war. The fall of the Soviet Empire was not brought about solely by rock music and Coca-Cola. Maybe you missed the Cold War, but it was quite nasty. Not the least of the conflicts being the afore mentioned Cuban Missile Crisis.

Besides, as I pointed out, it is against the best interest of China and Russia for the DPRK to be destabilized. Thus they will not agree to any move to do so.
nopaniers
I certainly didn't miss the cold war. I used to live right next to the iron curtain. I was only small and used to lie awake at night worrying that troops would come across the border (perhaps an unfounded fear, but by the time it was on your news, we would have been occupied), and we went to several communist countries. I visited the place where that photo was taken a few months before it was - and around East Berlin as well. The first trains with people coming out through Hungary went right through my local station. I sat there one afternoon after school and watched them.

In the end it wasn't military which caused the fall of the Berlin wall. It was a little trade union in Poland known as Solidarity. It was people who refused to listen to the Stasi. A million people in the Baltic republics holding hands. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Similar types of revolution can happen in places as diverse as Albania, Lebanon, and Kyrgystan. All the important elements are present in North Korea. The difficulty is getting the ball rolling.

PS. It is you who say you want to stay on the brink like the "nasty" Cuban missile crisis. Personally I don't see the value in racheting up tension any more than necessary - because that doesn't bring about the solution. It didn't in the cold war, in fact, it was when Gorbachaev introduced Glasnost and Perestroika that things really got going.

PPS. It's not in China and Russia's interest to have North Korea collapse under sanctions. It is in their interest to have North Korea to reform and open up China-style when I think that North Korea can't survive in its current form. In fact, it is happening already under the sunshine policy that you mentioned, and through Chinese trade.
Moonspider
nopaniers wrote:
In the end it wasn't military which caused the fall of the Berlin wall. It was a little trade union in Poland known as Solidarity. It was people who refused to listen to the Stasi. A million people in the Baltic republics holding hands. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Similar types of revolution can happen in places as diverse as Albania, Lebanon, and Kyrgystan. All the important elements are present in North Korea. The difficulty is getting the ball rolling.


I respectfully disagree. Do you honestly believe those events would have taken place without the successful Berlin Airlift in 1948 – 1949? Do you believe the Cold War was just a waste of time, that the USSR and the Warsaw Pact would have simply remained behind their Iron Curtain without the deterrent force of the United States and NATO? I’m not saying that movements like Solidarity didn’t play a role, but to credit them solely for bringing about the destruction of the Soviet Empire is like claiming slavery in North America ended solely because of the activist work of Frederick Douglass. Allow me to quote Lech Walesa, “"When talking about Ronald Reagan, I have to be personal. We in Poland took him so personally. Why? Because we owe him our liberty. This can't be said often enough by people who lived under oppression for half a century, until communism fell in 1989.” (“In Solidarity,” Wall Street Journal, June 11, 2004). I encourage you to read the entire article by Lech Walesa at the following archive: [url] http://www.opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110005204[/url]

Quote:
PS. It is you who say you want to stay on the brink like the "nasty" Cuban missile crisis. Personally I don't see the value in racheting up tension any more than necessary - because that doesn't bring about the solution. It didn't in the cold war, in fact, it was when Gorbachaev introduced Glasnost and Perestroika that things really got going.


Once again, you are crediting someone with more credit for ending the Cold War than they deserve. Gorbachev would not have needed to introduce these changes if the Soviet Union was not already collapsing because of the variety of pressures being placed upon it by the Cold War. Gorbachev was in fact trying to maintain the USSR’s existence and that of the Warsaw Pact. He failed. He introduced democratic ideas in an effort to improve public sentiment. This backfired on him and brought about something he did not intend. Additionally, the collapse was also due to his economic failures and the economic failure of the communist system in general. He wasn’t trying to destroy the Soviet Empire. He was trying to preserve it.

Regarding North Korea, I am not saying that we ratchet up the tension unnecessarily. I think the DPRK is doing that fine without our help. I’m simply saying we can’t back down at any point if we think nuclear weapons on the peninsula are unacceptable. If they choose war, then so be it. But we can’t back away from the brink merely to prevent war for the sake of preventing war.

However, if in the back of our minds we consider a nuclear armed DPRK preferable to war, then we truly believe a nuclear-armed DPRK to be acceptable.

Quote:
PPS. It's not in China and Russia's interest to have North Korea collapse under sanctions. It is in their interest to have North Korea to reform and open up China-style when I think that North Korea can't survive in its current form. In fact, it is happening already under the sunshine policy that you mentioned, and through Chinese trade.


I argue that it is in China and Russia’s interest for the DPRK to remain intact. Any thing that may bring about reform is, by its very nature, destabilizing. Thus, Russia and China will support nothing that could cause this. They will support all forms of aid, including the sunshine policy, not because it may bring about reform, but because it subsidizes the Kim Jung-Il regime and therefore stabilizes it.
X3 Talk
The nuclear test undertaken for the despotic regime of Kim Jong-Il shows just how far he is willing to go.
His motives are not certain, in my opinion, but I think he looks like disliking the western way of life. Buy why? What life does he prefer? His country is thrown into famine and his own people (whom refer to him as the 'dear leader' have been sacrificed to this!
Seriously, what actions can the global community take? When he is behind the trigger, things look bleak. I am interested to see whether the UN Security Council
will approve the sanctions proposal by the US. Whilst I do not support the presidency of George W. Bush, I agree that strong decisive action must be taken for global and the East Asian region security.
I believe that the latest draft resolution (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6046550.stm) is a step in the right direction. The problem with any economic 'punishments' is that will they hamper Kim Jong-Il's regime or more likely, harm the common folk who suffering awful conditions.
What do you think about this issue, and even the more broad issue, communism and dicatorship???
nopaniers
Quote:
Do you honestly believe those events would have taken place without the successful Berlin Airlift in 1948 – 1949?


Yes. The 1989 fall of the Berlin wall had very little to do with the Berlin blockade. The people who brought down the Berlin wall are my age, or slightly older. Our family visited Berlin shortly before the wall fell. We stayed with a friend of the family who had lived in Berlin almost all her life. She was my father's nanny. Do you realize how old people who were taking part in the Berlin blockade are now? If they were 30 during the blockade, they were 70 in 1989. Not likely to be pulling down any walls. Our family friend had never visited the East (until we took her), and viewed them with suspicion. It was not these octagenarians who brought down the wall. It was our generation.

And more than that - It wasn't events in Berlin which started the fall. It was about October (it was certainly getting cooler, but no snow yet) when the Hungarians announced reforms (and were not challenged by Gorbachaev), opened the border with Austria. After that the wall became irrelevant. Some 13,000 East Germans fled through Hungary bypassing the border. So there was nothing that the new East German government could do to stop people exiting the DDR, and no point to stopping people pull down the wall.

And why did Hungary have a revolution? It wasn't the Berlin blockade, but the simple fact that goods which we'd normally expect in the West were not freely available in Hungary. Things were available in hard currency. We could buy caviar (not something I normally do!), but Hungarians could not. We could travel freely, but Hungarians could not. Austrians visitted Bratislava for dentistry, making the stark contrasts between east and west obvious. Their cars (if they could get one after the long wait) were made of cardboard. Their government was imposed from above, and they were occupied by a foreign country. These contrasts were obvious. Nothing to do with military brinkmanship - and everything to do with ordinary people becoming dissatisfied and wanting reforms.

Many of these same features are present in North Korea, with the exception that it is a more closed society. South Koreans don't go to the North (except in a very controlled way) for their holidays. The sunshine policy hasn't had a real chance to work. The contrasts aren't obvious because North Korean society is isolated. In fact, if you believe Geo magazine, many North Koreans don't even know that the Soviet Union has disintegrated. If you listen to North Korean radio (which I sometimes do - I like to listen to different points of view) you'll know why: Their news is all about anniversaries of the "Down with Imperialism Union" or The Dear Leader's receiving birthday wishes from the Communist Party of Rwanda.

Obviously from your point of view US-centric, and everything you talk about is about the US. But that's not really very helpful in most of the world. The most important country with respect to North Korea is not the US, but China. What does North Korea trade with the US? Nothing. If you place sanctions on North Korea, who could care less? If you threated North Korea, they couldn't care less - in fact, Mr Bush already did threaten them. But for China, and Russia the situation is the opposite. And these countries cannot possibly accept brinkmanship.

Russia and China do not want to see your brinkmanship. They call for
Lavrov wrote:
We with China have a common position in the need... not to be emotional

They say that sanctions should not be 'extreme'. An position which I agree with. For the US it's okay to cause hardship for Koreans, to take the region to the brink of war. But that's because you don't have to live with the threat of war right over the border. Your politicians care more about the sexual immorality of Republicans and rubbishing each other before the coming midterm elections. They couldn't care less if your sanctions hurt ordinary North Korean people if they go up in the next opinion poll. If North Korean artillery could hit your cities, they might take a less extreme view.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6046550.stm
Moonspider
My argument was simply that without the Berlin Airlift and NATO's deterrance, the events of 1989 would have been irrelevant because of the likely possibility that the Soviet Union would have invaded and conquered Western Europe in the years shortly after World War II. They certainly would have taken West Berlin if not for the airlift's ability to relieve the citizens during the seige (and the fact that the United States was the only nuclear power at the time).

Obviously the US cannot place sanctions against the DPRK, because of our lack of trade. But if the situation continues to escalate, we can stop and inspect shipping to prevent military sales and technology transfers.

I honestly don't consider myself US-centric in international politics, aside from those events that directly affect the United States and her allies (although because of U.S. power, there is very little that does not). I am biased by being a US citizen, of course, just as I would assume any citizen of another country to be. My travels have taken me all over Western Europe, the Middle East, and South Korea. However, every nation is centric to itself as we are all competing for the same resources, and many of us compete for hegemony.

China and the United States are currently competitors, which will grow as China's energy demands increase. The United States backs Taiwan, China's "renegade" (in their view) republic. Furthermore, China wishes to have regional hegemony, something it cannot as long as the United States is a the prominent power in the Pacific. A nuclear North Korea, or even an extremely belligerent conventional DPRK, may also push Japan to move away from their pacifist constitution (which may happen anyway given the recent election of Abe). China does not want a powerful Japan (again), which would also inhibit their long-term goals for hegemony.

For these reasons, China wants a stable North Korea and a non-nuclear North Korea. I also doubt that China wants the North to fall into any sort of democratic reforms or reunification with the South, as that could possibly place a country on its border more closely allied with Japan and the United States than China, further restricting their ability to gain hegemony.

The United States has not threatened North Korea, other than to say that she will stand by her treaty commitments (meaning that an attack by the North upon the South or Japan will be considered an attack on the United States). President Bush has said many times that the United States has no intention of attacking North Korea, which we do not. If war comes, it will be North Korea'c shoice. No one else wants it.

Everyone seems agreed that North Korea should not have nuclear weapons. There are obvious differences over how to proceed, with Japan, the United States, and Europe wishing harsher measures than China and Russia. The lesser measures will be taken by the UN in order to insure that China and Russia find them acceptable.

My point is a simple one. Either you find nuclear weapons in the DPRK acceptable or unacceptable. If the latter, you have to be willing to risk war if all other measures fail. (That does not mean attack them, but never back off even if they threaten war rather than complying to international demands.)

My question to you is, do you find nuclear weapons in the DPRK acceptable?

P.S. You mentioned that I might be less "extreme" if my cities were in range of North Korea's artillery. By treaty my cities are. An attack on Seoul is legally no different than a North Korean attack on Washington D.C. Hundreds of thousands of Koreans will die, including friends of mine. And tens of thosands of Americans will die, also friends of mine, and eventually perhaps even myself as war would place me on the Korean Peninsula in less than a month from the beginning of hostilities. (I do not wish to leave my family again for another war.) Furthermore, South Korea is one of my favorite places on Earth, for despite my European and Indian (Native American) heritage, my mind is more Asian-centric than Euro-centric. I look forward to seeing its mountains, seas, and people again, and pray that it is under peaceful conditions.

Believe me, I take the situation very seriously. But despite my emotional involvement and desire to see peace, I must approach the situation with logic and detachment, which is what I have tried to do here.
jc138587
I was worried for Japan and Sth Korea and possibly China, seems like the mid range missiles of Nth Korea can reach Northern Australia where I live.
This situation needs world diplomacy beyond the UN.

We should be VERY concerned

Regards,

Tony
Bikerman
Moonspider wrote:
Nopaniers, I don't think the fall of the Berlin wall and the USSR have anything to do with the current situation unless you are willing to risk all out war. The fall of the Soviet Empire was not brought about solely by rock music and Coca-Cola. Maybe you missed the Cold War, but it was quite nasty. Not the least of the conflicts being the afore mentioned Cuban Missile Crisis.

I'm one of the people who take the position (and have done for at least 20 years) that the cold war was indeed largely manufactured in threat and manipulated in scope.
I know that sounds a bit crankixh for some people and for others they just assume I'm either terminally naive or 2 keys short of a keypad, but I promise that I am neither.
A few politicians here, co-incidentally, have recently reached the same conclusions all on their own - 1 is a Tory which is quite astonishing. I'll see if I can dig a link to him out.
The post wat genesis of the cold-war was largely a creation of the US imperative at the time to keep Germany divided.The rise of US military might was rapid and huge and prompted by WWII. Up until that point the US had 2 oceans huarding her and needed no standing army at all. Before the war US was about 20th in world military power, after it was number 1.
Once one reaches the top the next question is always the same. How do I stay here and what do I need to do to ensure it ? In the US case it meant avoiding a unified Europe as a neutral block.
As Acheson said at the time 'Neutralism would be a shortcut to suicide'.
As Leffler points out Wester planners immediately postwat
Quote:
Did not expect and were not worries about Soviet agression

NATO was setup to keep Europe stable and to bring Germany into the fold. Immediately after the 1949 creation of NATO, ofr course, the USSR formed the Warsaw Pact.
As Leffler observes again: US policymakers became :
Quote:
Convinced that the USSR might really be interested in striking a deal unifying Germany and ending the division of Europe

The US regarded this as a threat to their primary goal of national security : the need to harness Germany's economic might for the atlantic community and, as stated, to vlock the 'suicide of neutralism'.
A CIA report from 1949 reads:
Quote:
The real issue is not the settlement of Germany, but the long term control of German power and denial of Soviet participation and influence


This is a huge subject and I haven't time for the forensic detail needed to deconstruct the story at the oment. I offer this simply as a thought and potential discussion point.

Regards
Chris
Moonspider
Bikerman wrote:
This is a huge subject and I haven't time for the forensic detail needed to deconstruct the story at the oment. I offer this simply as a thought and potential discussion point.


We'll have to agree to disagree on this one. I'll never be convinced that the entire Cold War was orchestrated by the United States to maintain power and subjugate Western Europe by creating a sense of fear (sounds a little too conspiratorial and doesn't give Western Europe much credit, I don't think.) Nor do I think I can convince you otherwise. I remind you though that there was no love lost between Churchill and the Soviet Union either. He even wanted to open the second front in Europe via Italy and the Balkans in order to cut off the Soviet advance through eastern Europe even as we defeated Germany.

Respectfully,
M
Bikerman
Nono...I don't go that far. There was certainly tensions and rivalry which was meant genuinely at various poiunts in the last few decades. Not for a long time though and certainly USSR was not anything like the dangerous foe it was being presented as. The US only has military might to retain it's global primacy so it has to use it and make sure there is no real threat. It is stated policy, not some fantasy.
There has always been the underlying reality of the defence review policy which is clear about the way ahead for the US. Temain the only superpower and stop and challenger regionally before they threaten. It's been written, in more or less those words in the 1999 release.
Therefore much of what you think you know is smoke and mirrors unless you really dig.
How many Americans thought that Iraq and 9/11 were linked ? Even Bush never quite cl;aimed it but he used the two together constantlly until it hooked.At one point I read that 50% or so believed it. That is how easy the big lie is. Repeat and reenforce and eventually it is fact. The victor writes history remember...
Moonspider
Bikerman wrote:
Nono...I don't go that far. There was certainly tensions and rivalry which was meant genuinely at various poiunts in the last few decades. Not for a long time though and certainly USSR was not anything like the dangerous foe it was being presented as. The US only has military might to retain it's global primacy so it has to use it and make sure there is no real threat. It is stated policy, not some fantasy.
There has always been the underlying reality of the defence review policy which is clear about the way ahead for the US. Temain the only superpower and stop and challenger regionally before they threaten. It's been written, in more or less those words in the 1999 release.
Therefore much of what you think you know is smoke and mirrors unless you really dig.
How many Americans thought that Iraq and 9/11 were linked ? Even Bush never quite cl;aimed it but he used the two together constantlly until it hooked.At one point I read that 50% or so believed it. That is how easy the big lie is. Repeat and reenforce and eventually it is fact. The victor writes history remember...


Okay, good. I was beginning to worry about you! Wink

As for the rest, I concur and actually find such policies logical if any country wishes to remain dominant. However, we probably disagree on some of the "smoke and mirrors," but probably not all. Wink

Sorry I misinterpreted your meaning.

Respectfully,
M
Bikerman
No apology needed. Very Happy
indianinworld
Everbody wants to be a Nuclear Power and North Korea is no exception from that.

Strict sanctions against North Korea will not only prevent North Korea from carrying out further Nuclear Tests, but also be a warning and also a message to other to stop themselves from carrying out such tests in the Future.

keep smiling Smile
MadeinIndia
The whole world is being silly in their reactions to the North Korean Missile tests. Of course even North Korea wants to be strong with military capabilities. It is their right to acquire such weapons as they are not a signatory of NPT or any such international agreements. In fact, to get rid of the Nuclear menace, the UN should take the initiative and apply the rules to all the countries in the same way, including USA.
Exander
MadeinIndia wrote:
The whole world is being silly in their reactions to the North Korean Missile tests. Of course even North Korea wants to be strong with military capabilities. It is their right to acquire such weapons as they are not a signatory of NPT or any such international agreements. In fact, to get rid of the Nuclear menace, the UN should take the initiative and apply the rules to all the countries in the same way, including USA.


Let's look at an analogy.

Much like the premise of owning a gun, it really depends on who has it. Would you say an attention-starved meglomaniac dictator deserves to have a gun because the cop down the street does?

And further, he deserves and has a right to a gun because he didn't sign a treaty meant to stop the proliferation of guns?

There is no moral equivilence here. It's more black and white than you think.

Really bad and unstable people shouldn't have access to weapons.
MadeinIndia
I guess everyone has this hollywoodised view about the USA! Who gave the post of the cop to USA? You? Me? or it appointed itself?


Do you know that USA is the ONLY country in this world to have used an atomic bomb against another country, fully knowing that millions of innocents would be killed.

Who is more trigger happy? When WTC attacks happened, It's the USA that blasted the hell out of afganistan, killing thousands of children and innocents, and still not hitting Bin Laden! It is again proved that Iraq had no WMD's and USA acted in haste! How many innocents lost and are still losing their lives due to USA's foolhardiness?

Pakistan, the biggest exporter of terrorism has USA as its best friend! It's the Pakistan that created Taliban, who encouraged Bin Laden and their main nuclear scientist had admitted in public to have sold nuclear secrets to rogue countries! So who supplies F-16's to Pakistan and gives it billions of dollars in aid? USA.

Personally, I love the people of USA. They are great and freedom loving, but it's the governments over the period which have continuosly pushed the world to the edge, are responsible for the current chaos around the world. USA also has responsible for much of the development of the modern world, but politicians are screwing up its reputation!
Exander
MadeinIndia:

Quote:
I guess everyone has this hollywoodised view about the USA! Who gave the post of the cop to USA? You? Me? or it appointed itself?


Neither you or I gave the U.S. the post of cop. Having the most mobile and technologically advanced armed forces has afforded us this post.

Quote:
Do you know that USA is the ONLY country in this world to have used an atomic bomb against another country, fully knowing that millions of innocents would be killed.


Of course I know this, it's common knowledge. I was talking about it in another post. As far as millions of innocents killed, the number is around 200,000. So, you multiplied the number by 5.
That's in no way saying 200,000 is a small number, it's a horrible amount.

What I said in the other post is that it was used to end a war in which approximately 60 million people had already died (around 35 million of which were civilians.) It was done to obtain surrender, which it did.
Did you know that certain high-ranking pro-peace Japanese officials saw the bombing as favorable?

Kōichi Kido, one of Emperor Hirohito's closest advisors, stated: "We of the peace party were assisted by the atomic bomb in our endeavor to end the war."
Hisatsune Sakomizu, the chief Cabinet secretary in 1945, called the bombing "a golden opportunity given by heaven for Japan to end the war."

Quote:
Who is more trigger happy? When WTC attacks happened, It's the USA that blasted the hell out of afganistan, killing thousands of children and innocents, and still not hitting Bin Laden! It is again proved that Iraq had no WMD's and USA acted in haste! How many innocents lost and are still losing their lives due to USA's foolhardiness?


Trigger happy? We are attacked on our own soil and we're trigger happy for responding? I guess I can say India is being trigger happy over Kashmir then. You've fought four wars over that small region, 3 with Pakistan and 1 with China. Some sources conclude 25,000 innocent civilians killed by India in Kashmir since 1990...as well as huge human rights violations on India's part.

Before you get all judgmental on how we've handled our conflicts, perhaps you should sort your own, India has been fighting over Kashmir since 1947.

Quote:
Pakistan, the biggest exporter of terrorism has USA as its best friend! It's the Pakistan that created Taliban, who encouraged Bin Laden and their main nuclear scientist had admitted in public to have sold nuclear secrets to rogue countries! So who supplies F-16's to Pakistan and gives it billions of dollars in aid? USA.


Pakistan plays a very important strategic role geographically. Look at a map...how were we to strike Afghanistan with out the aid of Pakistan?
Pakistan has also decided to crack down on terrorists on their own soil. Admittedly not much has been done, but it's a start.

Quote:
Personally, I love the people of USA. They are great and freedom loving, but it's the governments over the period which have continuosly pushed the world to the edge, are responsible for the current chaos around the world. USA also has responsible for much of the development of the modern world, but politicians are screwing up its reputation!


So the U.S. is soley responsible for the chaos in the world? It has nothing to do with anything else? That seems like a very dishonest take on things.
Moonspider
MadeinIndia wrote:
Personally, I love the people of USA. They are great and freedom loving, but it's the governments over the period which have continuosly pushed the world to the edge, are responsible for the current chaos around the world.


The people of the United States are the government. It's not as if politicians come into power of their own accord here. I consider a personal attack against my government, whether I voted for the president or the current congressional majority or not, a personal attack on me.
Bikerman
Moonspider wrote:

The people of the United States are the government. It's not as if politicians come into power of their own accord here. I consider a personal attack against my government, whether I voted for the president or the current congressional majority or not, a personal attack on me.


So presumably the vast majority that voted against your government are irrelevant ?
As for personalising the issue, I'm not sure what a 'personal attack' against your government would be...an attack on Bush personally ? An attack on the policies of your government is hardly a personal attack on you unless you wish to take it as such; in that case I find no reason to apologise or modify my stance since that is a choice you have made, and it seems to me to be an illogical extension.

Chris
Moonspider
Bikerman wrote:

So presumably the vast majority that voted against your government are irrelevant ?


Oh no, of course not. But once the election is over, a president, senator, congressman is my president, senator or congressman no matter how I voted.

Quote:
As for personalising the issue, I'm not sure what a 'personal attack' against your government would be...an attack on Bush personally ? An attack on the policies of your government is hardly a personal attack on you unless you wish to take it as such; in that case I find no reason to apologise or modify my stance since that is a choice you have made, and it seems to me to be an illogical extension.

Chris


Yes, attacking policies is fine. I wasn't speaking to the last argument directly, just speaking of personal attacks in general (a personal attack being akin to the manner in which President Hugo Chavez spoke at the UN recently).
Moonspider
Forgive me, I just wanted to clarify my post earlier and failed to well do so in reply to Bikerman.

The point I tried to make was that to say something like, "I don't like the U.S. Government but I like the U.S. people" is, in a way, contradictory.

Respectfully,
M
Bikerman
Moonspider wrote:
Forgive me, I just wanted to clarify my post earlier and failed to well do so in reply to Bikerman.

The point I tried to make was that to say something like, "I don't like the U.S. Government but I like the U.S. people" is, in a way, contradictory.

Respectfully,
M


I see no contradiction and, in fact, that is a fair summary of my own feelings.
The US government clearly does not represent a large majority of US public opinion (if a majority at all) on issues of foreign policy. Furthermore there are numerous US folks of my acquaintence who vilify Bush in much more blunt language than I would use.
I have always been puzzled by the American tradition of uniting around the victor in an election. 'My country right or wrong' and that sort of thing seem to me to be an abbrogation of personal responsibility, not to mention an invitation to fascism. European tradition is much different. Blair was a bad choice before the last election and remains so now (in my opinion of course). I thought his policy on Iraq was criminally stupid before the last election and I still think so. The fact that he won doesn't change my morals or my political convictions....
Chris
Moonspider
Bikerman wrote:

I see no contradiction and, in fact, that is a fair summary of my own feelings.
The US government clearly does not represent a large majority of US public opinion (if a majority at all) on issues of foreign policy. Furthermore there are numerous US folks of my acquaintence who vilify Bush in much more blunt language than I would use.
I have always been puzzled by the American tradition of uniting around the victor in an election. 'My country right or wrong' and that sort of thing seem to me to be an abbrogation of personal responsibility, not to mention an invitation to fascism. European tradition is much different. Blair was a bad choice before the last election and remains so now (in my opinion of course). I thought his policy on Iraq was criminally stupid before the last election and I still think so. The fact that he won doesn't change my morals or my political convictions....
Chris


I don't think it an abrogation of personal responsibility or an invitation to fascism. We're still a democracy. If I don't like the path my representatives are taking I'll say something about it, (I even write letters to senators, congressmen and the white house, for what good it does) and I can vote against them in the next election. Fascism does away with the whole democratic process, or at least reduces it to a fixed process.

However, I also look at it from the perspective of my position as a military officer. I can disagree with my leaders, but must support whole heartedly their policy decisions even if I dispute them. The same is true of all professional foreign service officials. (For that reason, I decided not to pursue a career in the foreign service. I thought I'd have trouble supporting and publicly selling foreign policies which I might not agree with while serving at an overseas post. In a career that would happen on many occasions as the government constantly changed hands.)

But I will try to never publicly say anything derogatory about an elected official, although I may publicly debate their policies and decisions. To villify someone never accomplishes anything but ratchet up emotions, in my opinion, and is therefore not constructive in an argument.

Respectfully,
M
Bikerman
Moonspider wrote:

I don't think it an abrogation of personal responsibility or an invitation to fascism. We're still a democracy. If I don't like the path my representatives are taking I'll say something about it, (I even write letters to senators, congressmen and the white house, for what good it does) and I can vote against them in the next election. Fascism does away with the whole democratic process, or at least reduces it to a fixed process.

But if you then support them in office even if you believe that they are acting immorally and possibly illegally then you are, I still maintain, abbrogating your responsibility unless you speak up against it.
Quote:

However, I also look at it from the perspective of my position as a military officer. I can disagree with my leaders, but must support whole heartedly their policy decisions even if I dispute them. The same is true of all professional foreign service officials. (For that reason, I decided not to pursue a career in the foreign service. I thought I'd have trouble supporting and publicly selling foreign policies which I might not agree with while serving at an overseas post. In a career that would happen on many occasions as the government constantly changed hands.)

OK - in that situation you have entered into an agreement by taking the job and that is different from the position of a normal citizen who has made no such deal.
Quote:

But I will try to never publicly say anything derogatory about an elected official, although I may publicly debate their policies and decisions. To villify someone never accomplishes anything but ratchet up emotions, in my opinion, and is therefore not constructive in an argument.

I agree, which is another complaint I have against the Bush foreign policy. From the start he has sought to polarise the issues in stark language. Axis of evil, servants of evil, with us or against us, and so on.
Quote:

Respectfully,
M

Equally respectfully
Chris.
Moonspider
Bikerman wrote:

But if you then support them in office even if you believe that they are acting immorally and possibly illegally then you are, I still maintain, abbrogating your responsibility unless you speak up against it.


You are right. If I believe someone in the government is acting illegally, then I have a legal obligation to disobey any unlawful orders issued by them and expose the illegal actions. However, I suspect we disagree on whether the Bush administration has behaved illegally. (Another debate in a different forum. Wink)

Respectfully,
M
Bikerman
Moonspider wrote:
Bikerman wrote:

But if you then support them in office even if you believe that they are acting immorally and possibly illegally then you are, I still maintain, abbrogating your responsibility unless you speak up against it.


You are right. If I believe someone in the government is acting illegally, then I have a legal obligation to disobey any unlawful orders issued by them and expose the illegal actions. However, I suspect we disagree on whether the Bush administration has behaved illegally. (Another debate in a different forum. Wink)

Yes indeed, we can agree to differ amicably on that one. Out of interest, though, I'll post a couple of links on the issue..

http://www.globalpolicy.org/security/issues/iraq/attack/lawindex.htm
http://www.worldpress.org/specials/iraq/

Equally respectfully,
Chris
tijn01
The test of the nuclear weapon in North Korea was scarry, provocative and of course stupid. However I doubt wether any military action against this poor country will be undertaken. The world has known for years that Kim is a dangerous lunatic, however this alone is not enough to start a war. The allies, and especially America, will only start a war if they have any interest in the area. Weapons of mass destruction are a good excuse to be used, but if they are not there we can always pretend they are.... like in Iraq. Oil is the main area of interest, not the poor people from Iraq. If the Bush administration had any ethics they would invest in a mission to resolve the problems in Sudan, but since the natural resources of this area are less then in the Iraq / Iran etc they won't. Same goes for NK.
fala
nopaniers wrote:
Well, the inevitable has happened. North Korea have tested a nuclear weapon.

BBC wrote:
North Korea says it has carried out its first test of a nuclear weapon. It said the underground test, carried out in defiance of international warnings, was a success and had not resulted in any leak of radiation. The US said intelligence had detected a seismic event at a suspected test site and Russia said was "100% certain" a nuclear test had occurred.


http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6032525.stm

It seems that the hardline tactics of refusing to even talk to them (or sign a non-agression treaty and end the half century old Korean war) did not work. It's a sad day for the world - now one of the truly far out countries control some of the world's most powerful weapons.


It seems that this news is a little bit old
Smile
ardabarda
Nuclear weapons are the most dangerous weapons in the world. Pushing some buttons can change people's and next generations life easily. So that must not be such an easy. Korea is a danger now but in the future there will be lots of Korea. We have to do somethings but what??
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