North Korean Nukes?


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So, I just read North Korea may fly a full-range armed ICBM on Saturday to celebrate its founding and prove its capabilities.

I just wanted to ask, in face of all of the recent developments in North Korea (ICBMs, hydrogen bombs, increasingly provocative behavior, etc.):

1)  What do you think of the situation in North Korea?  An existential threat to America, or overblown by the media?

2)  What do you think about the possibility of EMP attacks on America?  Again, true threat or overblown?

3)  Should America deter North Korea, or attack?  What should Trump do?

 

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Guest MormonGator

1. North Korea is all smoke and mirrors. Totally overblown by the media. Read "Nothing to Envy" by Barbra Demick. You (generic) will learn many things. Quick story-A North Korean solider was amazed and stunned by an invention the South had. Guess what it was? Metal toenail clippers. The solider then realized that if he was stunned about that technology, the North Koreans were way behind the rest of us. He eventually fled the country. 

2. Overblown. While an EMP is nothing to sneeze at, we'd have a lot of warning and we'd be able to take it down. I have full faith and confidence in the American military. 

3. Stand still and wait. Here's the dirty little secret. All China has to do is slap NK on the wrist and say "No." Then NK runs back to it's room, turns off the light and cries. China is the daddy over there. If we attack NK, China won't be happy about that. Russia won't either.

Global politics are much more complicated than beating your chest and playing the macho tough guy. while looking for countries to bomb and invade. 

Edited by MormonGator
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1 minute ago, MormonGator said:

1. North Korea is all smoke and mirrors. Totally overblown by the media. Read "Nothing to Envy" by Barbra Demick. You (generic) will learn many things. Quick story-A North Korean solider was amazed and stunned by an invention the South had. Guess what it was? Metal toenail clippers. The solider then realized that if he was stunned about that technology, the North Koreans were way behind the rest of us. He eventually fled the country. 

2. Overblown. While an EMP is nothing to sneeze at, we'd have a lot of warning and we'd be able to take it down. I have full faith and confidence in the American military. 

3. Stand still and wait. Here's the dirty little secret. All China has to do is slap NK on the wrist and say "No." Then NK runs back to it's room, turns off the light and cries. China is the daddy over there. If we attack NK, China won't be happy about that either. So global politics are much more complicated than beating your chest and playing the macho tough guy.  

I actually have read "Nothing to Envy".  It was one of the most heartbreaking books I have ever read, particularly the chapters about children dying in the famine.

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Wow!  What a face lift! (This is my first post on the new and improved site).

@DoctorLemon,

Answers to your questions:

1) Not an existential threat (meaning they can't wipe us out with a guy like Trump at the helm).  But they could possibly do some damage to a major city (possibly two).

2) An EMP attack?  As in man-made EMP?  Not very high on the scary-meter.  The stuff you see in movies is way overblown.  The EMP from a particular episode of "24" was somewhat accurate.  But the effects were blown way out of proportion.  

The most powerful EMP would come from solar activity.  But I don't expect any such activity for a while yet.

But there is a nuclear bomb detonated at just the right location and time that would cause some upset electrical customers.  It really isn't going to cause any more damage than a major storm would.

3) What should we do?  Do what we've always done.  We gain intelligence on enemy activities. We have our forces on various patrols as usual.  We get ready in case something happens.  We pray for the protecting Hand of the Lord.  And we go about our merry lives.

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Guest MormonGator
3 minutes ago, DoctorLemon said:

I actually have read "Nothing to Envy".  It was one of the most heartbreaking books I have ever read, particularly the chapters about children dying in the famine.

Remember the chapter about the doctor? How her moment of revelation was that "Dogs eat better in China than doctors do in North Korea." Horrific. 

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18 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

Remember the chapter about the doctor? How her moment of revelation was that "Dogs eat better in China than doctors do in North Korea." Horrific. 

I'll tell you a story.  South Korea wasn't any better shortly after the war.  But it has come from that to a developed country in only two generations.

I was watching a video on the impoverished conditions in North Korea.  One scene showed an obviously malnourished boy who crouched down to pick up a crumb so he could eat it off the ground.  This caused me to have a flashback.  I . was . that . boy.  I did that.

When I came to America, my parents were stunned that the photos didn't do me and my sister justice.  We were so skinny that not a single bone was hidden.  Our faces were gaunt.  Every joint was much wider than the flesh and bone between them.  I was just under 3' tall and weighed less than 20 lbs.  Many 1-year-olds in America have better stats than that.  We were living skeletons.

After only one month of full nutrition, we were just "normal" skinny kids like you see around the neighborhood.  I don't think my body fully recovered until about 15 years later.

Today, Korea is emerging as an economic power.  11th largest in the world.  Considering its population and natural resources, that is nothing short of a miracle.  My birth father went from ready to lose everything to becoming a local business leader.  Samsung, Hyundai, LG, and Kia are all household names in the US.

North Korea only needs to open up and they can see that kind of growth in a single generation.  Everyone wants to help them.  It's just that government there that's the problem.

I also have a similar story about a Russian woman in America that had a similar reaction as the NK soldier with the steel clippers.

Edited by Guest
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I hear and believe what everyone has said. However, no matter how backward N. Korea may be, if 1% of it's conventional weaponry survived a pre-emptive strike, they could kill 100,000s in Seoul--possibly millions. China wants its North Korean buffer, but if N. Korea decides to go rogue China will back--not prevent--it's ally. So, kicking this can down the road may not work much longer. Framing those who believe the time for "wait and see" is coming to an end as bellicose rabble-rousers is unfair, and probably naïve.

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Guest LiterateParakeet
18 hours ago, DoctorLemon said:

I actually have read "Nothing to Envy".  It was one of the most heartbreaking books I have ever read, particularly the chapters about children dying in the famine.

I haven't read that book, are you referring to the famine caused by Mao? That was the stuff of nightmares. Horrific.

I don't know enough yet to form an educated opinion about North Korea. 

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12 minutes ago, LiterateParakeet said:

I haven't read that book, are you referring to the famine caused by Mao? That was the stuff of nightmares. Horrific.

I don't know enough yet to form an educated opinion about North Korea. 

North Korea had its own version of the famine caused by Mao in the 1990s.  For many decades, the USSR propped up North Korea.  When the USSR collapsed in the early 1990s, North Korea plunged into famine.  The international community tried to help, but leader Kim Jong Il prioritized regime survival, weapons testing, etc. and stole most of the donations meant for the greater population to fund his lavish lifestyle and weapons programs.  In addition, Kim Jong Il's refusal to open up the North Korean economy or even solve huge systemic inefficiencies led to a full blown crisis.

By the late 1990s, the North Korean famine was horrific, comparable to the Chinese famine under Mao.  People resorted to eating bark off of trees, hunting North Korean frogs to extinction, and the like.  As many as 2 million people died in the famine (out of a nation of 20 million), and a whole generation of North Koreans was physically deformed due to the famine (stunted growth, etc.)

While famine conditions got better in the 2000s with better harvests, word has it that North Korea has plunged back into near-famine conditions over the last year or so, with Kim Jong Un more concerned about getting nukes than feeding his own people.  Most tellingly, Kim Jong Un's weight has absolutely exploded into morbid obesity, due to his lavish lifestyle and mass consumption of alcohol, while his people are starving.

Edited by DoctorLemon
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If North Korea only had conventonal weapons I agree they wouldn't be much of a threat. But even one or two nukes getting through is too devastating to contemplate. We could destroy them, but would that be equal to losing Seoul, Honolulu, Los Angeles, or Seattle? I don't think Kim Jong Un really wants to do that, I think he enjoys being a god in his country too much too really risk anything, but we are going on 3 generations of insane cult of personality rule so who knows what he is truly capable of? Not to mention the intense suffering of his people, who have been locked in this dystopian hell hole for generations. But what can Trump do? We really only have two options. Continue to impose sanctions and fines in an attempt to get North Korea to disarm it's nukes and keep trying too get China to do something about them (seems like the best idea on paper, but it hasn't worked yet) and hope he doesn't start a war or risk a premptive strike that could easily drag China into it or cause an insane man to launch the nukes he has. The death and destruction could get horrific either way and it all depends on that egomaniacal buffoon Kim Jong Un. I honestly don't know what the best solution is.

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Stratfor rocks and makes sense.  Good reading that helps us understand who the players are, and why they're doing what they're doing.

https://worldview.stratfor.com/article/us-and-north-korea-race-against-clock

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For the record, there is zero solid evidence that NK possesses fusion (hydrogen) bomb technology. They certainly do possess fission (uranium) bomb technology, and have so demonstrated. That in itself is worrisome. But for now, the Pyongyang line that they have hydrogen bomb technology is just propaganda.

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We have so many allies in the region, I don't think us using nukes on N. Korea would be an answer.  That radiation fallback would come onto S. Korea, Japan, and possibly as far as the Philippines.  However, I think N. Korea has a bad record.  They have done some aggressive acts in the past and nothing says that once they have nukes they will be completely peaceful either.   Eventually, they'll probably attack an army site or a ship or something else out there with a nuke without any provocation from anyone like they have in the past with more conventional weapons.  A nuke does a LOT more damage than a conventional weapon.

In the past, I'd say N. Korea was an annoyance backed up by China.  However, now, they are becoming what I consider a rabid dog.  The ONLY reason I think we have not taken them out before is China...so I say, we strong arm China.  For ever nuke on an ICBM they fly, we fly one towards china.  When China complains, point out that with their reasoning on N. Korea, if we go to war there, China will almost assuredly jump in to the fray...so we might as well attack China forthwith if N. Korea is going to attack us (or our allies). 

I am HEAVILY against war, and do not think we should take an absolute aggressive action at this time, instead relying on diplomacy.  That said, I think the only way to get N. Korea to act sensibly in any manner is to get China to take our concerns seriously...and that hasn't worked without a significant show of force for some time with them.  Instead, we've seen a regional grab by them to expand their borders and threats to Taiwan as we've sat back instead of flexing our muscles.

Flexing is not attacking, I'm solidly against war or attacking, but sometimes you have to show people a reason not to stir (or wake) the sleeping giant.

Edited by JohnsonJones
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I recently saw a pretty doom-and-gloom article about the prospect of an EMP off the West Coast.  So it's interesting to hear @Carborendum having a more optimistic take.  Any sources you'd recommend for me to educate myself further?

From what little I've gathered, it seems South Korea is flirting with an appeasement strategy.   If that is indeed the case, it may be time for us to just give nukes to South Korea and Japan for balance-of-power purposes, bring our troops home, and let nature take its course.

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Guest MormonGator
2 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

Did someone just say give Japan nukes?

I'm probably just very old...but did we just forget about what happened last time Japan was a Military power in the Pacific?

Also that Japan and China hate each other...quite a bit?

 Completely different world. Japan is one of our greatest allies now. 

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2 hours ago, JohnsonJones said:

Did someone just say give Japan nukes?

I'm probably just very old...but did we just forget about what happened last time Japan was a Military power in the Pacific?

Also that Japan and China hate each other...quite a bit?

Early 21st-century Japan is politically (and even socially) a much different place from early 20th-century Japan. And the fact that Japan and China are enemies is sort of the point; Japan could be an effective proxy for the US by defending themselves from Chinese aggression, if we were to arm them.

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Guest MormonGator
Just now, Vort said:

Early 21st-century Japan is politically (and even socially) a much different place from early 20th-century Japan. And the fact that Japan and China are enemies is sort of the point; Japan could be an effective proxy for the US by defending themselves from Chinese aggression, if we were to arm them.

Dude. I just said that. You are just as big a plagiarist as @person0 is. (Think I forgot that, huh kid? No way. I'm like an elephant. Never forget anything.) 

:: sigh :: 

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Guest MormonGator
1 minute ago, Vort said:

...always lurking just below the surface...

This is like that movie, Single White Female. Next thing you know @Vort will start dressing in metal t shirts and jean shorts. If he grows his hair out and gets tattoos, than we have a serious problem. 

 

Just now, Vort said:

Frightening.

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Now that's meta. Me fighting myself. 

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Just now, MormonGator said:

This is like that movie, Single White Female. Next thing you know @Vort will start dressing in metal t shirts and jean shorts. If he grows his hair out and gets tattoos, than we have a serious problem. 

The metal t-shirts and jean shorts are a frightening possibility. The long hair will never happen unless I'm in a coma, because I can't stand it when my hair gets long. And tattoos are another complete non-starter, despite the fact that I have more surface area now than ever before.

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