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Old 06-14-2009, 09:57 AM   #1
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North Korea Warns of Nuclear War

SEOUL, South Korea North Korea's communist regime has warned of a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula while vowing to step up its atomic bomb-making program in defiance of new U.N. sanctions.

The North's defiance presents a growing diplomatic headache for President Barack Obama as he prepares for talks Tuesday with his South Korean counterpart on the North's missile and nuclear programs.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak told security-related ministers during an unscheduled meeting Sunday to "resolutely and squarely" cope with the North's latest threat, his office said. Lee is to leave for the U.S. on Monday morning.

A commentary Sunday in the North's main state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper, carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, claimed the U.S. has 1,000 nuclear weapons in South Korea. Another commentary published Saturday in the state-run Tongil Sinbo weekly claimed the U.S. has been deploying a vast amount of nuclear weapons in South Korea and Japan.

North Korea "is completely within the range of U.S. nuclear attack and the Korean peninsula is becoming an area where the chances of a nuclear war are the highest in the world," the Tongil Sinbo commentary said.

Kim Yong-kyu, a spokesman at the U.S. military command in Seoul, called the latest accusation "baseless," saying Washington has no nuclear bombs in South Korea. U.S. tactical nuclear weapons were removed from South Korea in 1991 as part of arms reductions following the Cold War.

South Korea's Unification Ministry issued a statement Sunday demanding the North stop stoking tension, abandon its nuclear weapons and return to dialogue with the South.

On Saturday, North Korea's Foreign Ministry threatened war on any country that dared to stop its ships on the high seas under the new sanctions approved by the U.N. Security Council on Friday as punishment for the North's latest nuclear test.

It is not clear if the statements are simply rhetorical. Still, they are a huge setback for international attempts to rein in North Korea's nuclear ambitions following its second nuclear test on May 25. It first tested a nuclear device in 2006.

In Saturday's statement, North Korea said it has been enriching uranium to provide fuel for its light-water reactor. It was the first public acknowledgment the North is running a uranium enrichment program in addition to its known plutonium-based program. The two radioactive materials are key ingredients in making atomic bombs.

On Sunday, Yonhap news agency reported South Korea and the U.S. have mobilized spy satellites, reconnaissance aircraft and human intelligence networks to obtain evidence that the North has been running a uranium enrichment program.

South Korea's Defense Ministry said it could not confirm the report. The National Intelligence Service South Korea's main spy agency was not available for comment.

North Korea said more than one-third of 8,000 spent fuel rods in its possession has been reprocessed and all the plutonium extracted would be used to make atomic bombs. The country could harvest 13-18 pounds (6-8 kilograms) of plutonium enough to make at least one nuclear bomb if all the rods are reprocessed.

In addition, North Korea is believed to have enough plutonium for at least half a dozen atomic bombs.

North Korea says its nuclear program is a deterrent against the U.S., which it routinely accuses of plotting to topple its regime. Washington, which has 28,500 troops in South Korea, has repeatedly said it has no such intention.

The new U.N. sanctions are aimed at depriving the North of the financing used to build its rogue nuclear program. The resolution also authorized searches of North Korean ships suspected of transporting illicit ballistic missile and nuclear materials.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the new U.N. penalties provide the necessary tools to help check North Korea's continued pursuit of nuclear weapons.

The sanctions show that "North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons and the capacity to deliver those weapons through missiles is not going to be accepted by the neighbors as well as the greater international community," Clinton said Saturday at a news conference in Canada


Source: The Associated Press via Yahoo News


Do You think that the UN Security Council is handling this situation correctly? Do you think North Korea will make good on their threats and we could be looking at perhaps world war 3?
China is known ally of North Korea will they step in and tell them to back down or side with their ally?


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Old 06-14-2009, 10:48 AM   #2
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I think that all the nations of this world need a time-out and should get their nuclear toys taken away for awhile.

I wouldn't be too worried though. I'll be optimistic and hope that no one is stupid enough to fire one of those nukes, whichever nation it may be.


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Old 06-14-2009, 11:12 AM   #3
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I'm not so optimistic. This smells more of saber-rattling than anything else, but with NK revoking the treaty ending the Korean war, and a very unstable leadership, I'm not so sure anymore.

I'm hoping China can apply pressure--I think even with their close ties in the past, however, the Chinese don't want to support a crazy leader. Jong Il could turn on them just as easily as he has SK.

I've been keeping an eye out in military news about troop movements to SK, but haven't heard anything. My guess is if we do make some kind of an attack, which would not surprise me a bit, it'll be tactical strikes on the nuclear facilities.


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Old 06-14-2009, 11:26 AM   #4
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I'm hoping China can apply pressure--
The tiny conspiracy theorist sitting on my shoulder says:

"China is silently encouraging this behavior. Once this situation gets a little more ominous, the rest of the international community will not only tolerate China's planned annexation of North Korea, they will BEG for it."

Realistically, of course, our only hope to diffuse the situation is to immediately send Jimmy Carter and Nancy Pelosi over there.
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Old 06-14-2009, 11:56 AM   #5
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I'm hoping China can apply pressure--I think even with their close ties in the past, however, the Chinese don't want to support a crazy leader.
I think that the PRC knows better than to support communist nations, especially when most of its supposed communist allies have either leeched off of them, abandoned them, or outright attacked them. Really, the last thing that China would want do would be to get on the US's bad side, which means a good deal of their economy going down the drain.

Even if there is some sort of conflict, it would be devastating to both North and South, regardless of decades of training and invasion scenarios. The DPRK has an active army of over one million, with almost five million more in reserve, so just the number alone is intimidating.
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Old 06-14-2009, 01:04 PM   #6
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Really, the last thing that China would want do would be to get on the US's bad side, which means a good deal of their economy going down the drain.
What the hell are we going to do? We're more linked to them than they are to us. They already own most of our asses... umm, I mean, assets.

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Old 06-14-2009, 02:41 PM   #7
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Agreed. This is one of several reasons (along with the gutting of our industry and the subsequent wrecking of our economy) why I was against opening trade relations with China in the first place.

I'm with the varmint on the whole conspiracy thing, except that I've long suspected that China would use diffusing the situation with North Korea as an opportunity to improve their international relations and prestige rather than as an opportunity to annex North Korea.


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Old 06-14-2009, 02:56 PM   #8
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I'm with the varmint on the whole conspiracy thing, except that I've long suspected that China would use diffusing the situation with North Korea as an opportunity to improve their international relations and prestige rather than as an opportunity to annex North Korea.
Ahhh, but they get to do both, you see. They aspire to huge diplomatic gains by alleviating the issue through annexation. "With us in charge" they will argue, "the country will stabilize, thus preventing the rise of another despot. This is the only way to permanently remedy the situation."
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Old 06-14-2009, 04:01 PM   #9
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So far as North Korea--hey, they ain't above stealing Kendo and Iaido from japan and calling it its own sword style. What's to stop them from other ambitions. TBH this looks like both beating its chest and trying to be recognized as a significant world power. So, if nothing else it's an antagonizing action to survey our response or reaction as well as probably china and others.

I think china is playing low key in this for its best interests and basically is a first-come-first-served-sell-to-the-highest-bidder type of nation. Possibly waiting its chance at being the next world power; I don't subscribe to conspiracies so much as think that it's just waiting its chance and biding its time. Isn't it going through its own version of the industrial revolution right now? Looks that way to me. Some not-so-pointless dick waving as it were. (Yes Jae, I borrowed that from you! ) It makes perfect sense.

@ Qliveur: So far as the NAFTA/CAFTA bit is concerned, I'm pretty sure I remember some survey in 1991 where most Americans *preferred* that farming and products continue to be made at home. Public Citizen (www.citizen.org) has had no shortage of bad stuff to say about it, anyway.


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Old 06-14-2009, 04:12 PM   #10
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The average Korean would rather stay Korean than become Chinese--I don't think they'd consider it acceptable to be annexed by the Chinese. The Japanese tried it in the mid-1900's with poor results.


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Old 06-14-2009, 04:38 PM   #11
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Your point is taken. Still, I'm not so sure china will do anything to stop North Korea.

I was speaking in a frame that China is willing to look the other way--though neutral, possibly more friendly if it were to their advantage. I'm not sure china is making a puppet of N. Korea like others. (Possibly just the strategist in me.) Nor am I at all sure about China's liking for the U.S.; yes they may own much of our economical assets, and are a major creditor of ours, but if we prove a liability...I hate to think about what they may decide to do. They're not stupid, after all. (Hint: asset liquidation would be very bad for us).


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Old 06-14-2009, 05:23 PM   #12
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Frankly, I think that the NK leader is that dumb, I mean, come on, he's always wearing Sunglasses, even at night probably. He might actually try something, which is why I propose Operation: No Green Sunset.
We go snipe the leader of NK, neutralize the annoying cabinate leaders that have itchy red button fingers, and leave them to the South Korean's. But, we all know the moment the bullet hits the Pres's face, the red buttons probably been pushed, so we probably might wait for them to move first. I will now go dig a REALLY deep hole in my back yard.


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Old 06-14-2009, 05:50 PM   #13
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If they actually do it, Jong will have done the most stupidest thing of the decade, or possibly the century. This better just be some kind of show of power that they are trying to do.

If they actually do it, Fallout just might become a reality. I hope that they don't fire the nukes, because I don't want my grand children to have to fight some mutants in the ruins of Washington.

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Some not-so-pointless dick waving as it were.
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Old 06-14-2009, 05:50 PM   #14
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Frankly, I think that the NK leader is that dumb, I mean, come on, he's always wearing Sunglasses, even at night probably. He might actually try something, which is why I propose Operation: No Green Sunset.
We go snipe the leader of NK, neutralize the annoying cabinate leaders that have itchy red button fingers, and leave them to the South Korean's. But, we all know the moment the bullet hits the Pres's face, the red buttons probably been pushed, so we probably might wait for them to move first. I will now go dig a REALLY deep hole in my back yard.
If only it were that easy....I've gotta feeling that we may be fighting a war on two fronts soon. If the UN acts, I think everyone will move on NK quickly, if Nuclear War begins. We'd need to take them out, and fast. But we'd need allies, America could not possibly fight alone in our condition.


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Old 06-14-2009, 05:55 PM   #15
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Well, if NK wishes to remain as a regime in any sense, it knows full well that a handful of "pocket nukes" (primitive nukes) are no match for the arsenal of its nemesis, America. I think it's mostly sabre-rattling as this regime's bigger threat, even post-succession, is its exporting both crude nukes and missle systems to "terror" states/groups. The only way I see the Chinese truly being moved to do anything is if SK and Japan make it clear to the PRC that they will now become nuclear powers themselves if NK is not reigned in. The PRC wants to be the 21st+ century power broker in that region, supplanting America's role to this point. A nuclear Japan (especially given the history of the 2 nations) and even SK would upset that equation.


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Old 06-14-2009, 06:19 PM   #16
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I've been thinking it was saber rattling too, but with Kim Jong Il I just don't know. The guy is a wild card...and even if he up and dies or something, his son is waiting to take power.

To me it's a scary even volatile situation. If anyone in the world right now will start a nuclear war part of me thinks it will be this guy.

The Chinese are kind of a wild card too...they've been the North's ally for years and I don't think the U.S. needs to be reminded what happened in the last war in Korea when the Chinese stepped in.


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Old 06-14-2009, 07:23 PM   #17
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Well, the Chinese did even the odds a little back in the 50s, but still, we gave them a rather nasty beating. The only problem was that there were so many of them.

As you've all said, this could just be saber-rattling, or maybe they're trying to cover up some internal problems? Coup de tat maybe? That may have changed with Kim Jong Un being declared the Heir, but still.

The idea of nuclear weapons {even if they are just pocket nukes} in the hands of a madman like Kim Jong Il is in itself a terrifying prospect. We're not even sure if he is mentally stable at this point. And besides, he doesn't need to launch them, he just needs to sell this stuff to terrorists, and then there's no telling about the destruction that could be caused.

The UN needs to work on a joint-agreement, one that hopefully includes China and Russia{who at this point don't look entirely like NK's fuzzy allies}. If we can get China to stand against North Korea {doubtful, but possible}, then we have nothing standing in our way to disarm Kim Jong Il's arsenal.


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Old 06-14-2009, 08:05 PM   #18
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China's support for the NK regime is primarly motivated by A: the desire to keep NK together, if the state fails, China will get refuge hell. and B:it is by default opposed to messing forcefully with states it considers sovereign, since it might be used by others to argue for taking bits of its own teritory. And seriously, who'd be insane enough to anex a country with a rather brainwashed population with acces to assault rifles?

As for NK's sabre rattling, with the dear leader in rather bad health, said leader needs to show strenght as well as making arangements for who will suceed him. Spitting the world in the face, while giving his cronies opportunities to become "heroes" acomplishes both.

@Qliveur: time to resurect a "free-trade" thread methinks
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Old 06-14-2009, 08:46 PM   #19
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Yeah, I think China's support for N Korea is nowhere near military-alliance level, not to mention they'd be insane to back the country that started a nuclear war. They're pretty much backing them to keep someone from starting a war against them, which would be bad for China, and to keep them in line. Sorta like the US does with Israel, and clearly they're about as successful. And I doubt they have any desire to annex them, as it would be pretty much zero benefit to China.

I think this particular outburst is to cover for how shaky the NK government is during this power shift. Kim is on his way out, his youngest isn't particularly leadership ready, and this is an attempt to hide that weakness. As well it's pretty expected when the UN put sanctions on them and announced mandatory ship-boarding/inspections. I don't think they're stupid enough to start launching nukes over that, but they might feel scared enough to do it. So I'd rather we try not to push their buttons or overplay our hand right now.


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Old 06-14-2009, 09:08 PM   #20
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I think this particular outburst is to cover for how shaky the NK government is during this power shift. Kim is on his way out, his youngest isn't particularly leadership ready, and this is an attempt to hide that weakness. As well it's pretty expected when the UN put sanctions on them and announced mandatory ship-boarding/inspections. I don't think they're stupid enough to start launching nukes over that, but they might feel scared enough to do it.
I agree. This sort've reminds me of a term that the news broadcasters have been using.

"The Dog barks loudest when it is most vulnerable..."

This applies very well if NK is having internal problems.


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Old 06-15-2009, 05:45 AM   #21
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I've been thinking it was saber rattling too, but with Kim Jong Il I just don't know. The guy is a wild card...and even if he up and dies or something, his son is waiting to take power.

To me it's a scary even volatile situation. If anyone in the world right now will start a nuclear war part of me thinks it will be this guy.

The Chinese are kind of a wild card too...they've been the North's ally for years and I don't think the U.S. needs to be reminded what happened in the last war in Korea when the Chinese stepped in.
Well, that was my thoughts. While totenkopf has explained why letting NK be a loose cannon is bad for china, I am still of the mind this is more due to external conditions (hint: economy, beholden elsewhere, etc.). Plus maybe dad whose on his way out isn't as fertile of mind as the son whose soon to take the lead. While I've nothing against the Chinese, personally...I just do not see them as being completely solid in their arrangements with the US under situaitons of temptation where it would be to their advantage to drop USA like a bag of hammers. Situaitons where it may be to their advantage.

Let's hope things stay the way they are without ceteris paribus (all outside variables assumed equal), though.

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If we can get China to stand against North Korea {doubtful, but possible}, then we have nothing standing in our way to disarm Kim Jong Il's arsenal.
If only.

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China's support for the NK regime is primarly motivated by A: the desire to keep NK together, if the state fails, China will get refuge hell. and B:it is by default opposed to messing forcefully with states it considers sovereign, since it might be used by others to argue for taking bits of its own teritory. And seriously, who'd be insane enough to anex a country with a rather brainwashed population with acces to assault rifles?
Hmm. That is a very good point.

My thoughts on this is China sit quietly for the time being were NK to see an opportunity to act with impunity--just sit and maybe make a deal with them later. However that assumes a lot of things have already occurred which of course have not happened yet. But you're right, as is it would definitely not be advantageous. What's more is with so many in play as it is...well, I guess the best thing for everyone is to play it cool, lest it spills over into a real mess. Which I'm pretty sure nobody wants.


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Old 06-15-2009, 11:44 AM   #22
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All the US would have to do is declare a trade embargo on Chinese items, and their economy would tank. The Chinese need us as much as we need them, so they are going to avoid ticking us off before they make moves on NK.

Unfortunately, with NK revoking the treaty and saying boarding ships will be viewed as an act of war, I think we're going to have another conflict there. I have not heard a lot in the news about troop deployments changing, other units getting called up, or procurements of large numbers of items, but that doesn't mean it's not happening quietly.

NK has a lot of troops, and they may be decently trained for all I know, but with the strict sanctions on NK already, I'm not sure how well armed or even how well-fed they are. NK does not have the resources at all to fight a prolonged war. I think if there was a conflict, SK, the US, and the UN would steamroll through the country in a matter of weeks.


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Old 06-15-2009, 04:18 PM   #23
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Jae, I agree with you on how this smacks of saber rattling...somewhat....there's an important point that needs to be clarified for everyone's further discussion-- the Korean war technically never ended. There was no peace treaty, only a signed armistice; a cease-fire. The difference is rather huge. Both Koreas have still been at war since 1954, just there has been no fighting since. If they had signed a peace treaty, and had revoked that, that would be an act of overt war. Since the armistice is NOT a peace treaty, and since they have already been at war, NK is not declaring war with this act.

That semantic difference aside, for those ex-pats living in Europe like myself, this is pretty troubling. I really don't want to be in Europe, 3000 miles away from home if/when WW3 breaks out. You better believe that if any war happens, myself and my ex-pat american friends are making a beeline straight to the embassy and getting on the next flight home.


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Old 06-15-2009, 07:33 PM   #24
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Saber-rattling aside, I think we have to take seriously the threat that NK would send a nuke flying at Seoul if they decide to get their shorts in knots.


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Old 06-16-2009, 12:40 AM   #25
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I shudder at that thought Jae...and I shudder at what the U.S. response would no doubt be...ICBM's, nuclear tipped Tomahawks...it would be a real life Fallout scenario.


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Old 06-16-2009, 01:28 AM   #26
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Saber-rattling aside, I think we have to take seriously the threat that NK would send a nuke flying at Seoul if they decide to get their shorts in knots.
N Korea had better get on with it then if they hope to have any chance, S Korea is supposed to have their missile shield finished by 2012, probably even sooner now that Kim is acting even more insane than usual.



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Old 06-16-2009, 01:34 AM   #27
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I shudder at that thought Jae...and I shudder at what the U.S. response would no doubt be...ICBM's, nuclear tipped Tomahawks...it would be a real life Fallout scenario.
For NK it would, yes. AFAIK, NK has no suitable intercontinental delivery system for their nukes, and it has no thermonukes. The contest would be rather one-sided.


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Old 06-16-2009, 02:28 AM   #28
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^While it's a good thing that they haven't advanced to that point yet...the other fear is that they have will (or may already) have the ability to attack S. Korea (a major major major ally to the US) and in this case...the US has a moral and political responsibility to retaliate...



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Old 06-16-2009, 02:53 AM   #29
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Indeed, even if the entire Korean Peninsula became a nuclear wasteland, the entire would would not become a Fallout-style scenario. There have been thousands of nuclear tests, at least half of them above ground, the nuclear attacks on the Korean Peninsula while they would be far more concentrated and far more devastating to people, would still amount to less than those previous tests.

Not to mention that if NK made the first attack, and a nuclear one on that, it would pretty much be The Entire World vs N Korea. Which would be a very short, very one-sided fight.


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Old 06-16-2009, 11:37 AM   #30
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All the US would have to do is declare a trade embargo on Chinese items, and their economy would tank.
No way would we ever have the economic stability to do that.

The Chinese can do whatever they want; an embargo would be like cutting off our own feet.



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Old 06-16-2009, 12:20 PM   #31
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First of all, I do not think that North Korea firing a nuke would start WWIII. Most nations prefer to avoid the end of all civilization and the most that would happen would be that North Korea gets hit but nuclear and cruise missiles to the point where there is nothing left at all. The environment is the area will be ****ed up for awhile, but general consensus is that any nation that tries to nuke another will be blown into so much radioactive ashes rather than allied with.

I'm not sure how much of a puppet North Korea is to China anymore, but if China actually starts putting pressure on them I have a feeling that Jong Il (or whoever is running the show at this point) will back down. North Korea saying **** you to China is like a 1 month old baby saying **** you to his/her mother who is actively breastfeeding him/her (if that's even possible).

The worst thing possible that can really happen is that Seoul, Tokyo, or both get nuked and then the US, Russia, and China all say together "Oh no you didn't!" and hit their respective big red buttons of DOOM!!!1!, thus causing so much destruction that it will create a rift in time that some North Korea who has been mutated by the explosions can go back and get rid of Kim Jong Il at a crucial moment that would cause the North Korean government to collapse and be assimilated by either China or South Korea.[/MOVIE]

Anyway, just though I'd bring some humor to a grim thread.

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Old 06-16-2009, 12:42 PM   #32
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First of all, I do not think that North Korea firing a nuke would start WWIII. Most nations prefer to avoid the end of all civilization and the most that would happen would be that North Korea gets hit but nuclear and cruise missiles to the point where there is nothing left at all. The environment is the area will be ****ed up for awhile, but general consensus is that any nation that tries to nuke another will be blown into so much radioactive ashes rather than allied with.
I don't know, nuclear war gets just about everyone involved. WWIII is a severe possiblity, but only if NK ticks off the right people. It's not impossible, as Kim Jong Il is no doubt, a madman.

Also, we know that the only way to truly win a nuclear war is not by nukes alone. Sure, they would work, but you have achieved nothing if you've just wiped out an entire civilization {but either way, if NK's people are as brainwashed as they seem, they may fight to the death}. You gain nothing from complete destruction, only ruins and a bad name. At least, that is what it seems.

Also, regarding China. Interesting example, China is sort've the 'Big Brother' or 'Motherland' so to say, but China and NK have been at odds. As I said earlier Kim Jong Il is unpredicatable. That and NK's isolation tactics make everyone seem like the enemy to them...we'll see.


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Old 06-16-2009, 01:17 PM   #33
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I contend that almost all nations would prefer to avoid nuclear war at any cost and would destroy any offender to do so. The reason why the Cuban Missile Crisis did not trigger WWIII was because we were unwilling to wipe out our species.


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Old 06-16-2009, 02:30 PM   #34
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No way would we ever have the economic stability to do that.

The Chinese can do whatever they want; an embargo would be like cutting off our own feet.

_EW_
And cutting off their hands. NOBODY, I repeat, nobody buys good from China in quantities even close to comparable to the US, and many of the things they make nobody but the US buys at all. Yeah, it would hurt us, we wouldn't get a lot of cheap goods, but honestly, we don't need most of the junk we buy from China anyway.


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Old 06-16-2009, 02:34 PM   #35
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Yeah, it would hurt us, we wouldn't get a lot of cheap goods, but honestly, we don't need most of the junk we buy from China anyway.
Yea, but we need the money they loan us to finance our own preemptive wars.


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Old 06-16-2009, 03:45 PM   #36
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Yea, but we need the money they loan us to finance our own preemptive wars.
As well as the nanny state we're now in the process of building, but don't have the money for as well either.


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Old 06-16-2009, 04:23 PM   #37
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Yea, but we need the money they loan us to finance our own preemptive wars.
They don't loan us money they buy our bonds.


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Old 06-16-2009, 05:44 PM   #38
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They don't loan us money they buy our bonds.
Sorry for being overly simplistic in my humor.


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Old 06-24-2009, 12:05 PM   #39
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"North Korea threatened Wednesday to wipe the United States off the map as Washington and its allies watched for signs the regime will launch a series of missiles in the coming days."

-From the AP via Yahoo News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/as_koreas_nuclear)

As laughable as the concept of North Korea wiping the U.S. off the map is (I think it would more likely be the other way around) do you still think the Koreans are just talking or are they really trying to goad the United States into a war?


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Old 06-24-2009, 01:38 PM   #40
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Oy...that statement was pretty strong...I'm not sure that the North Koreans know what they are getting into. Our economic situation is pretty bad, but that doesn't mean we're weak.

But now, I'm absolutley sure they want war. They've been threatening and threatening, over and over, but this is probably the first statement I've read that actually states that they will wipe the United States off the map. I doubt their ability to delt major damage on the mainland of the US, but Alaska and Hawaii{possibly} are within range. They do pose a threat, even if it's a small one. And it looks like they want war.

There is also the possibility that NK just has 'little person' Syndrome, and just wants to talk smack to the biggest person they can find....


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