North Korea Threatens War with South

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North Korea Threatens Military Strike, End to 1953 Armistice.

May 27 (Bloomberg) — North Korea threatened military action in response to South Korea joining an anti-proliferation program and said it’s no longer bound by the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War.

South Korea’s actions are tantamount to a “declaration of war,” the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said in a statement today. North Korea said it can’t guarantee the safety of ships passing through its western waters near the maritime border with the South.

North Korea tested a nuclear weapon on May 25 and has fired five short-range missiles in two days, drawing international condemnation.

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285 comments

1 Occasional Reader  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:44:14pm

I do hope this is just a new level of Nork bluster.

Good night.

2 WindHorse  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:44:21pm

Hey Kim..... smell my finger....

3 Timbre  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:44:54pm

Their combined threats and "muscle-flexing" seem worse than in many years. I so hope I am wrong!

4 itellu3times  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:45:26pm

paging Hillary, Hillary Crinton, call for you on the pink phone

5 Dark_Falcon  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:45:38pm

Oh, Hell! With CBBHO at the helm, we're in it deep if the Norks make a play.

6 itellu3times  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:46:44pm

Way to go ggooooglle ads, Korean dating site pops up on the right side of this LGF page!

7 Dark_Falcon  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:46:45pm

re: #4 itellu3times

paging Hillary, Hillary Crinton, call for you on the pink phone

"It's 3AM, do you know where your SecState is?"

8 solomonpanting  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:47:17pm

Is Kim Jong Il on his deathbed?

9 Wendya  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:47:23pm

So, they want us to pay them off again.

I wonder what the price will be this time.

10 itellu3times  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:47:28pm

re: #6 itellu3times

Way to go ggooooglle ads, Korean dating site pops up on the right side of this LGF page!

"I'm no longer bound by convention, let's start something, you big American you!"

11 Desert Dog  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:47:34pm

re: #6 itellu3times

Way to go ggooooglle ads, Korean dating site pops up on the right side of this LGF page!

Hurry, act now, while you still can!

12 Claire  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:47:50pm

What do they want this time? Food or something?

13 avanti  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:48:00pm

re: #3 Timbre

Their combined threats and "muscle-flexing" seem worse than in many years. I so hope I am wrong!

They are desperate for attention, there must be some serious internal troubles.

14 NJDhockeyfan  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:48:01pm

re: #5 Dark_Falcon

Oh, Hell! With CBBHO at the helm, we're in it deep if the Norks make a play.

Do you think he has the testicles to defend South Korea militarily or will he run the the UN for strongly written letters?

15 gmsc  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:48:16pm

"How can we solve this diplomatically?"
-0bama

16 itellu3times  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:48:37pm

re: #8 solomonpanting

Is Kim Jong Il on his deathbed?

Is he ever.

17 Bobblehead  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:48:53pm

Time for Japan to nuke up.

18 WindHorse  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:49:07pm

sniff....sniff....

/jon carreee off

19 gmsc  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:49:09pm

re: #8 solomonpanting

Is Kim Jong Il on his deathbed?

If he wasn't before, he is now.

20 gmsc  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:50:10pm

...and, yep, Biden was right – within the first 6 months!

21 Wm T Sherman  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:50:16pm

The word is that L'il Kim is on the way out. Succession struggle time. The Pompadour has a son - it's not clear if the son will be able to take over without a fight.

Provocations against external players should be viewed in this context.

22 Desert Dog  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:50:21pm

Where's Hans Brix when you really need him?

23 VioletTiger  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:50:30pm

The world is playing chess, and I'm afraid our president is just learning checkers.

24 Randall Gross  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:50:41pm

The North Koreans test every new president we get, they feel gutsier against Obama than they did Bush.

25 [deleted]  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:50:47pm
26 Wendya  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:50:49pm

re: #14 NJDhockeyfan

Do you think he has the testicles to defend South Korea militarily or will he run the the UN for strongly written letters?

His job will be to hold South Korea back. I'm sure they, like Israel, have learned he will throw them under the bus in a heartbeat.

27 Macker  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:50:55pm

re: #1 Occasional Reader

I do hope this is just a new level of Nork bluster.

If not, then North Korea Delenda Est.

28 capitalist piglet  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:50:57pm

"And here's the point I want to make. Mark my words. Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy. And he's gonna have to make some really tough - I don't know what the decision's gonna be, but I promise you it will occur. As a student of history and having served with seven presidents, I guarantee you it's gonna happen. I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate. And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you, not financially to help him, we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."

29 NJDhockeyfan  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:51:08pm

re: #13 avanti

They are desperate for attention, there must be some serious internal troubles.

The NYT has something on this...

Leadership Mystery Amid N. Korea’s Nuclear Work

...And as President Obama tries to find a way to punish North Korea for its latest nuclear test and missile launchings, his senior aides acknowledge that every policy option employed by previous presidents over the past dozen years — whether hard or soft, political or economic — has been fruitless in stopping North Korea from building a nuclear weapon.

“As much as they understood this was going to be an issue, they weren’t ready for a nuclear test in May,” Marcus Noland, an expert on North Korea at the Peterson Institute for International Economics, said of Mr. Obama and his advisers. “They’re in a situation now where they have to contain and manage a crisis.”

That crisis, officials and independent experts said, is all the more treacherous because of the deep political uncertainty in North Korea. American officials say they believe that Mr. Kim, in rapidly declining health, is maneuvering to make his youngest son, Kim Jong-un, his successor, perhaps after a period in which his brother-in-law, Jang Seong-taek, would serve as a regent.

The nuclear test and the test-firing of six short-range missiles, the American officials said, must be understood within the context of this internal struggle to extend the Kim dynasty’s rule for another generation.

30 Bobblehead  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:51:18pm

re: #23 VioletTiger

The world is playing chess, and I'm afraid our president is just learning checkers.

Rotating title nominee. LOL

31 Dark_Falcon  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:51:30pm

re: #14 NJDhockeyfan

Do you think he has the testicles to defend South Korea militarily or will he run the the UN for strongly written letters?

I don't know. If I had to bet, however, I would say: Yes, if the North attacks, Obama will fight. He will do this because to fail to fight would mean the loss of all US diplomatic leverage anywhere in the world. He does understand that enough that he'll most likely fight.

32 Fenway_Nation  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:51:48pm

And S. Korea's former president jumped off a cliff last week. Kinda makes you wonder if he knows something the rest of us don't.

33 irongrampa  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:51:55pm

Almost predictable. Seems everyone's taken Obama's measure and this is the result. Doubt that this would've happened on W's watch.

34 Dark_Falcon  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:52:23pm

re: #27 Macker

If not, then North Korea Delenda Est.

Concur.

35 BigFire  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:52:29pm

Obama will try once again to drag China back to negotiation table. Not sure what to negotiate, but try he will again. He can always give peace a chance...

Or not.

36 NJDhockeyfan  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:52:51pm

re: #31 Dark_Falcon

I don't know. If I had to bet, however, I would say: Yes, if the North attacks, Obama will fight. He will do this because to fail to fight would mean the loss of all US diplomatic leverage anywhere in the world. He does understand that enough that he'll most likely fight.

I hope you are right. We need a strong leader right now.

37 NJDhockeyfan  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:53:27pm

This story sent a chill down my spine when I read it.

38 gmsc  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:54:14pm

re: #33 irongrampa

Almost predictable. Seems everyone's taken Obama's measure and this is the result. Doubt that this would've happened on W's watch.

W was tested 9 months into his presidency – remember September 11, 2001?

39 Gus  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:54:15pm

Let's see.

A. Belligerent nation - check
B. Nuclear capable nation - check
C. Missile capable nation - check
D. Nation opposing 1953 Armistice - check
E. Nation threatening maritime shipping - check

Conclusion: preemptive strike.

40 Randall Gross  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:54:16pm

re: #31 Dark_Falcon

I don't know. If I had to bet, however, I would say: Yes, if the North attacks, Obama will fight. He will do this because to fail to fight would mean the loss of all US diplomatic leverage anywhere in the world. He does understand that enough that he'll most likely fight.

If the North Koreans attack, our troops there will be among the first hit. Congress won't let him not fight if that happens.

41 Desert Dog  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:54:33pm

re: #35 BigFire

Obama will try once again to drag China back to negotiation table. Not sure what to negotiate, but try he will again. He can always give peace a chance...

Or not.

The Chinese will play Obama like a fiddle....whatever they want, he will give...and then afterwards, North Korea will still be a pain in the ass.

42 Cato the Elder  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:54:52pm

re: #32 Fenway_Nation

And S. Korea's former president jumped off a cliff last week. Kinda makes you wonder if he knows something the rest of us don't.

The new president and his cronies hounded him to death. It's become a South Korean tradition to harass the previous guy as much as possible.

One of the reasons Caesar marched on Rome was because his enemies were planning to prosecute him as soon as he laid down his office and with it his immunity.

Makes Obama seem pretty rational, now, doesn't it?

43 irongrampa  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:55:04pm

re: #38 gmsc
Very much--and he passed with flying colors.

44 avanti  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:55:31pm

re: #31 Dark_Falcon

I don't know. If I had to bet, however, I would say: Yes, if the North attacks, Obama will fight. He will do this because to fail to fight would mean the loss of all US diplomatic leverage anywhere in the world. He does understand that enough that he'll most likely fight.

It's possible the Norks are getting pressure from China, and thrashing around a bit. If the Norks government collapses, how will China react ?

45 Desert Dog  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:55:34pm

re: #39 Gus 802

Let's see.

A. Belligerent nation - check
B. Nuclear capable nation - check
C. Missile capable nation - check
D. Nation opposing 1953 Armistice - check
E. Nation threatening maritime shipping - check

Conclusion: preemptive strike.

Better check with the South Koreans, see if it's ok with them if Seoul is reduced to rubble first.

46 capitalist piglet  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:55:37pm
47 Macker  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:56:05pm

re: #25 Iron Fist

If Оба́ма decides to become a Dick to Fuck That Asshole, then my opinion of the man might indeed go up!

48 Bobblehead  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:56:26pm

re: #39 Gus 802

Let's see.

A. Belligerent nation - check
B. Nuclear capable nation - check
C. Missile capable nation - check
D. Nation opposing 1953 Armistice - check
E. Nation threatening maritime shipping - check

Conclusion: preemptive strike.

I'm not so sure 0 has the guts. Bush and McCain(as much as I dislike the man)..plenty of guts. Obama..no guts.

49 Desert Dog  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:56:28pm

re: #42 Cato the Elder

The new president and his cronies hounded him to death. It's become a South Korean tradition to harass the previous guy as much as possible.

One of the reasons Caesar marched on Rome was because his enemies were planning to prosecute him as soon as he laid down his office and with it his immunity.

Makes Obama seem pretty rational, now, doesn't it?

They keep sharp objects away from Joe Biden though....but, for different reasons.

50 Timbre  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:57:11pm

Not counting starvation, I've always wondered how many North Korean citizens were executed by the security police since 1953? Is there any ballpark estimate from a reliable think tank?

51 Gus  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:57:21pm

re: #45 Desert Dog

Better check with the South Koreans, see if it's ok with them if Seoul is reduced to rubble first.

Oh, right, I forgot about the neighboring countries. Now are we going to sacrifice South Korea or even Japan to "play nice" with China?

52 Guanxi88  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:57:32pm

re: #32 Fenway_Nation

And S. Korea's former president jumped off a cliff last week. Kinda makes you wonder if he knows something the rest of us don't.

He knew an indictment was forthcoming; probably that was enough for him.

As for this mess - just when you thought it couldn't get worse....

Probably typical bluster; I hope. Wouldn't wanna be living in Seoul right now, what with the thousands of NorK arty tubes all pointed that way, and zeroed in.

If Dear Leader's on the way out - assuming he hasn't died already, it's a real problem. I understand his heir's just a kid (less than 30 yrs old, about 26 or 27), and one of the recurring problems with dictatorial dynasties (NorK's seem to have the only known example) is that they combine the instability of dictatorship with the succession problems of a monarchy. They offer the weaknesses of two of the worst possible means of government out there.

Factor in generals pulling the strings, ongoing famine, and 50 plus years of juche, and it's a recipe for disaster on the peninsula, with repercussions throughout Asia, already reeling from a global recession.

Re-arm Japan? Might be the best of a range of bad options, but could fuel Chinese nationalism, hardening the PRC's Party and its grip on society; might make ROC on Taiwan very nervous indeed.

53 realwest  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:57:38pm

Well I said this on the prior thread, but here it is again:
Are Pelosi and Kerry still in China - does anyone know - and if so will Obama have them take this up with the Chinese?
As far as I'm concerned, UNLESS China does something here, I believe the NORKS this time - too many people are starving to death over there and you can't keep your military on high alert for such an endless time period without something going BOOM.

54 AMER1CAN  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:57:40pm

No worries folks. I'm sure a strongly worded letter from the UN is in the works.
/

55 Dark_Falcon  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:57:55pm

re: #47 Macker

If Оба́ма decides to become a Dick to Fuck That Asshole, then my opinion of the man might indeed go up!

[Video]

Fuck, Yeah!

56 Gus  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:58:30pm

re: #48 Bobblehead

I'm not so sure 0 has the guts. Bush and McCain(as much as I dislike the man)..plenty of guts. Obama..no guts.

Obama? Probably not. He's probably getting consultation from a former writer for the LA Times.

57 irongrampa  Tue, May 26, 2009 9:59:35pm

re: #53 realwest

Upside (I guess) is that the Norks can't sustain any kind of military operations for an extended period.

58 Bobblehead  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:00:42pm

re: #57 irongrampa

Upside (I guess) is that the Norks can't sustain any kind of military operations for an extended period.

Downside..They can do a shitload of damage to the region in the short time they do have.

59 Macker  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:01:03pm

HEY ASSHOLE! PUT UP OR SHUT UP!

/toward North Korea

60 flyers1974  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:01:21pm

re: #48 Bobblehead

I'm not so sure 0 has the guts. Bush and McCain(as much as I dislike the man)..plenty of guts. Obama..no guts.

Why do you think Obama has no guts? What do "guts" have to do with anything? Its not like a US President is expected to personally lead a military attack. I'm not sure guts is the right word.

61 avanti  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:01:33pm

re: #48 Bobblehead

I'm not so sure 0 has the guts. Bush and McCain(as much as I dislike the man)..plenty of guts. Obama..no guts.

It's a bit early to speculate on how BHO will respond, but with Gates (Secretary of war as he likes to be called) at his side, he'll get good advice.

62 Desert Dog  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:01:51pm

re: #51 Gus 802

Oh, right, I forgot about the neighboring countries. Now are we going to sacrifice South Korea or even Japan to "play nice" with China?

No, if it's clear S. Korea or Japan is going to get hit, we have no other choice but to strike. It's hard to tell what is going on in N. Korea. Even the South has trouble telling what is what there. I can tell you that there are over 20,000 artillery pieces trained on Seoul right now. All manned by psycho South and American hating Norks. Even if we hit them hard with one massive hit, they will still get through enough shots to blow the crap out of everything with in gun range. It's a rock and a hard place for sure

63 Bobblehead  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:02:28pm

re: #61 avanti

It's a bit early to speculate on how BHO will respond, but with Gates (Secretary of war as he likes to be called) at his side, he'll get good advice.

Will he take it? Remains to be seen.

64 gmsc  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:02:37pm

re: #58 Bobblehead

Downside..They can do a shitload of damage to the region in the short time they do have.

True. Too much of Japan could be attacked in the small time they do have.

65 Macker  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:02:52pm

re: #60 flyers1974

What, you expect him to tell Kim Jong Il to Unclench his Fists? A lot of good that'll do!
Oh wait a minute, he already has....

66 NJDhockeyfan  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:03:03pm

I think the Norks might have pushed their luck with China...

China debates its bond with North Korea

Reporting from Beijing -- When is it time to dump an old friend who insists on behaving badly? The debate is raging in China.

North Korea's latest nuclear test raises the question of just how long the bonds forged between old communist allies will endure.

The test was conducted barely 50 miles from the Chinese border. The ground rumbled in northeast China, and some schools were evacuated because of fears of an earthquake.

"It was quite shocking. The location where they did this test was a lot closer to China than to where [North Korean leader] Kim Jong Il is living in Pyongyang," said Zhang Liangui, a Korea expert with Beijing's Central Party School, where Communist Party officials are trained.

..."Traditionally, China has been very friendly to North Korea, but now there is a feeling that the North Koreans are causing us too much trouble," Zhang said.

67 AMER1CAN  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:03:08pm

re: #60 flyers1974

I think 'convictions' might be a better word. Does Obama have the convictions to stand against this, or will he blow with the wind.

68 VioletTiger  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:03:36pm

re: #60 flyers1974

Why do you think Obama has no guts? What do "guts" have to do with anything? Its not like a US President is expected to personally lead a military attack. I'm not sure guts is the right word.

It's the tough decision thing. Deciding a course of action here is not for pambies. The easy way out will be to make a speech or write a strongly worded letter.

69 Guanxi88  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:03:44pm

We've got to get the NorK's, the Russkies, and the PRC into a three-way pissing match. Best way possible would be to drop hints about China's trade status during discussions of the NorK mess, and then make public noises, through unofficial and unnamed channels, about the great help the Russkies and the ChiComs have provided in containing NorK lunacy.

If we can stir the NorK's against Russia or China, then we're golden, because either one of these two wouldn't bat an eye at crushing those lunatics. they would do so gladly, provided they had something to gain, and status as protector of Asia is worth the trouble.

Then, we get PRC and Russia to square off against each other, instead of against the West.

70 flyers1974  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:03:45pm

re: #51 Gus 802

Oh, right, I forgot about the neighboring countries. Now are we going to sacrifice South Korea or even Japan to "play nice" with China?

Would China want South Korea or Japan to be sacrificed? What would that do to South Korea's economy? The US economy? And as a result to China's economy.

71 irongrampa  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:04:02pm

re: #58 Bobblehead

Yep. Can't deny that. Have to think the SK's and our forces are deploying right now. Feel bad for those guys.

72 Fenway_Nation  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:04:16pm

re: #46 capitalist piglet

My my....if the gears in the little consipracy theorist corner of my brain weren't already turning when I first heard about his death, then they are now.

Current theory I'm contemplating right now- there was some sort of internal strife in Pyongyang that Roh Moo Hyun found out about, and with the ensuing saber-rattling as a distraction, the Norks (at least some of them) would release evidence to the West about Hyun's complicity with Pyongyang during his administration....or already have released information to a 3rd party and either the Norks or that 3rd party was blackmailing him.


/Sounds farfetched, but I bet even with the Norks the closer one got to Kim Jong Il these days, the more obvious it would be that the man is not a God among mortals.

73 Macker  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:04:24pm

re: #64 gmsc

True. Too much of Japan could be attacked in the small time they do have.

Including two particular cities: Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I wouldn't put it past The Asshole™ to lob a nuke at those two cities.

74 realwest  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:05:05pm

re: #35 BigFire

Obama will try once again to drag China back to negotiation table. Not sure what to negotiate, but try he will again. He can always give peace a chance...

Or not.

I think you're correct, but if he can't get China to intervene, I don't think Obama has a lot of choices at his disposal. Forget all the legalistics about casus belli - no one in their right mind would start a war with North Korea right now, but may have to "respond in kind" IF the Norks do that.

75 avanti  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:05:44pm

re: #60 flyers1974

Why do you think Obama has no guts? What do "guts" have to do with anything? Its not like a US President is expected to personally lead a military attack. I'm not sure guts is the right word.

It takes more then guts to be a good POTUS, since the guts that will be spilled belong to our warriors. Before any POTUS goes John Wayne, I'd hope he'd think about the kids he's sending into battle and make damn sure that was his best choice.

76 flyers1974  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:05:45pm

re: #68 VioletTiger

It's the tough decision thing. Deciding a course of action here is not for pambies. The easy way out will be to make a speech or write a strongly worded letter.

Is it possible for anyone to win a modern US presidential election and be a pambie?

77 Dark_Falcon  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:05:47pm

re: #60 flyers1974

Why do you think Obama has no guts? What do "guts" have to do with anything? Its not like a US President is expected to personally lead a military attack. I'm not sure guts is the right word.

Guts is the right word. He needs the guts to tell his base that the US is right to fight here, and that to refuse would be a catastrophe.

One other argument we could use would be to tell Obama that after he wins he'll get to blow Billions rebuilding North Korea and he'll get to go over there and make hopeychange speeches before adoring crowds.

/semi sarc on that last one

78 Gus  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:05:59pm

re: #62 Desert Dog

No, if it's clear S. Korea or Japan is going to get hit, we have no other choice but to strike. It's hard to tell what is going on in N. Korea. Even the South has trouble telling what is what there. I can tell you that there are over 20,000 artillery pieces trained on Seoul right now. All manned by psycho South and American hating Norks. Even if we hit them hard with one massive hit, they will still get through enough shots to blow the crap out of everything with in gun range. It's a rock and a hard place for sure

It's tough. As it stands now they are threatening South Korea and Japan. It doesn't have to be a massive strike but a it could be a concentrated massive strike. The longer we wait the harder it will be. Once they are capable of having nukes on their missiles it will become a stalemate. Then Japan and South Korea will have no choice but to counter that with an equal or greater nuclear strike capability.

79 Bobblehead  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:06:26pm

re: #64 gmsc

True. Too much of Japan could be attacked in the small time they do have.

Will Obama stand up for our allies in the Pacific? What about Taiwan?

80 irongrampa  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:06:30pm

Probably the best course WOULD be a preemptive strike, as massive as could be done. I'm sure that's been wargamed numerous times.

81 NJDhockeyfan  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:07:00pm

re: #75 avanti

It takes more then guts to be a good POTUS, since the guts that will be spilled belong to our warriors. Before any POTUS goes John Wayne, I'd hope he'd think about the kids he's sending into battle and make damn sure that was his best choice.

If the shit hits the fan the battle will come to our troops. The question is will O fight back?

82 JHW  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:07:58pm

From the Korea Herald;

The North is desperate to gain the capability to deliver a nuclear warhead to the continental United States by 2012, the 100th birth anniversary of Kim Il-sung, Kim Jong-il's father. This is the ultimate goal of the "military-first" policy, the younger Kim's tribute to the 1 million-member People's Army when he was consolidating his power after suddenly succeeding his father in 1994. Kim, now 67, finds himself physically undermined after a stroke last August and passing his power to a trusted heir is his biggest problem.


"Useless Exploit"

83 ladycatnip  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:08:00pm

#60 flyers1974

Why do you think Obama has no guts? What do "guts" have to do with anything? Its not like a US President is expected to personally lead a military attack. I'm not sure guts is the right word.

Mmm, intestinal fortitude, courage, principles, values, moral compass, conviction...all necessary for leading in troubled times, but all found wanting in a narcissist.

84 Gus  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:08:12pm

re: #70 flyers1974

Would China want South Korea or Japan to be sacrificed? What would that do to South Korea's economy? The US economy? And as a result to China's economy.

China can prove themselves more worthy at this point if they played a more proactive role. Otherwise, I hate to use this cliche but, I still don't trust China.

85 Bobblehead  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:08:41pm

re: #76 flyers1974

Is it possible for anyone to win a modern US presidential election and be a pambie?

We just saw it happen last November.

86 gmsc  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:08:49pm

re: #73 Macker

Including two particular cities: Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I wouldn't put it past The Asshole™ to lob a nuke at those two cities.

That's what I was thinking as I typed that.

Geez, even America dropped leaflets on Japan about a week ahead of time, warning that some cities would be suffering severe bombing and that it is recommended that they evacuate.

87 Macker  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:08:51pm

re: #83 ladycatnip

You forgot "balls."

88 Macker  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:09:57pm

re: #86 gmsc

GMTA!

89 realwest  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:09:57pm

re: #78 Gus 802
"Once they are capable of having nuke artillery shells...

90 Bobblehead  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:10:12pm

re: #83 ladycatnip

#60 flyers1974

Mmm, intestinal fortitude, courage, principles, values, moral compass, conviction...all necessary for leading in troubled times, but all found wanting in a narcissist.

=guts

91 Guanxi88  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:10:16pm

re: #81 NJDhockeyfan

If the shit hits the fan the battle will come to our troops. The question is will O fight back?

I've got no confidence in BHO's foreign policy credentials, but I do not doubt that he would fight back if our forces in the peninsula were attacked. Whether he'd have the fight taken to the enemy aferward, I don't know. But he;ll have no choice in the opening sequence.

This is why you attack first, or cause the enemy to act, only at the time and place of your choosing. Set-piece warfare, and a publicly expressed and ideological commitment never to strike first, means the opening battle is fought on terms and in places decided by the enemy.

92 Gus  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:10:43pm

re: #89 realwest

"Once they are capable of having nuke artillery shells...

That too. Or even bomb delivery.

93 ladycatnip  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:11:01pm

#87 Macker

*smack upside the head* How could I forget that? I'd call them cashews. And no, I doubt he has those either. ;-)

94 Desert Dog  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:11:38pm

re: #78 Gus 802

It's tough. As it stands now they are threatening South Korea and Japan. It doesn't have to be a massive strike but a it could be a concentrated massive strike. The longer we wait the harder it will be. Once they are capable of having nukes on their missiles it will become a stalemate. Then Japan and South Korea will have no choice but to counter that with an equal or greater nuclear strike capability.

I know the Japanese are not going to accept many more missiles flying over their country. The fact that the Norks have "the bomb" and a system to deliver it, things have changed. I am hoping the North Koreans collapse under the weight of their own system. The Chinese need to step in and do something. They are the big player here.....the US, S. Korea and Japan have no power to alter things in the North except blow the living crap out of them.

95 Cicero05  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:12:05pm

Doesn't Kim know that Bush is gone and The Zero has been apologizing for American crimes all over the world?

96 Cato the Elder  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:12:11pm

re: #39 Gus 802

Let's see.

A. Belligerent nation - check
B. Nuclear capable nation - check
C. Missile capable nation - check
D. Nation opposing 1953 Armistice - check
E. Nation threatening maritime shipping - check

Conclusion: preemptive strike.

That would be fine and dandy - if the Norks didn't have something like 10k conventional medium- and short-range missiles pointed at every elementary school and bowling alley in South Korea, primed, prepped and ready to launch in a matter of minutes. With or without command and control from Pyongyang. All along and behind the border.

This has been the case for years and years.

So - preemptive strike = our allies flattened.

If you can find an easy way out of this bind, please call the Pentagon right now. They've been waiting for it longer than the Dear Leader has been in power.

Regardless of who's president.

97 avanti  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:12:14pm

re: #81 NJDhockeyfan

If the shit hits the fan the battle will come to our troops. The question is will O fight back?

No question what so ever, if attacked, we'll reply disproportionately. The Chinese have to much to lose in the new world economy to want to see that happen. They are carrying to much American paper and rely on our trade to watch the little sawed off turd tank the worlds economy further.

98 pat  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:12:42pm

I have written about this several times on my old blog. The NorKors have attempted to reach out to the Americans for the last 9 months. Both Bush and Obama have been deaf to the overtures, some of which have been extraordinarily peaceful. It is hard to understand the unwillingness of the USA to take up the NorKors on their previous offer to sell all refined Uranium to either the USA or South Korea. Now we have angered the mad man. I believe that after the last failed nuclear test , the USA felt Kim was on the ropes. Clearly this is untrue. He has perfected the triggers that bedeviled him last time (and that is suspicious in and of itself, these are not easy to manufacture) and has significantly improved his multistage missiles.
This is no longer a joke.

99 Macker  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:13:00pm

re: #93 ladycatnip

Michelle has those locked up.

100 realwest  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:13:37pm

And hey y'all - you know by now that I don't like President Obama, don't think he much likes or respects the US, but he IS OUR PRESIDENT and I'd like us to cut him some slack here. I don't see anyway in which a "pre-emptive" strike will save either a) our troops over in SK, or b) South Korea itself.
How hard it is to get a nuke armed missile to fire accurately at Japan, is a far more difficult question than is the one of making nuke artillery shells.

101 NY Nana  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:13:45pm

I am afraid that if NK looks like it is going to nuke any country, Israel will have to go after Iran.

There is just no way that Hussein will have the guts to do what has to be done.

This is a potential nightmare.

102 Dark_Falcon  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:13:45pm

re: #92 Gus 802

That too. Or even bomb delivery.

The Norks almost certainly have nuclear gravity bombs. However, given how much better the South's and our Air Forces are, delivering said bombs would be quite hard for the Norks.

103 Gus  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:14:01pm

re: #94 Desert Dog

I know the Japanese are not going to accept many more missiles flying over their country. The fact that the Norks have "the bomb" and a system to deliver it, things have changed. I am hoping the North Koreans collapse under the weight of their own system. The Chinese need to step in and do something. They are the big player here.....the US, S. Korea and Japan have no power to alter things in the North except blow the living crap out of them.

Agreed. We should expect more from China then. Otherwise we're now waiting for another resolution from the United Nations Security Council with the USA being represented by Susan Rice. I'm not optimistic.

104 VioletTiger  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:14:17pm

re: #76 flyers1974

Is it possible for anyone to win a modern US presidential election and be a pambie?


Yes, it is. There are different kinds of guts. Obama has one kind. We'll see if he also has the other.

105 Bobblehead  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:14:21pm

I'd be looking to see what Iran is getting up to right now. Distractions, distractions. N.Korea on one front, Iran on another. Not a good scenario.

106 Fenway_Nation  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:14:34pm

re: #94 Desert Dog

Don't the Japanese (at least theoretically) have the capability to shoot down incoming missiles from the Korean peninsula?

I can't remember the source, but I think they announced that they planned on doing exactly that during the last round of Nork sabre-rattling and told to stand down by the USA?

107 Desert Dog  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:15:23pm

re: #96 Cato the Elder

That would be fine and dandy - if the Norks didn't have something like 10k conventional medium- and short-range missiles pointed at every elementary school and bowling alley in South Korea, primed, prepped and ready to launch in a matter of minutes. With or without command and control from Pyongyang. All along and behind the border.

This has been the case for years and years.

So - preemptive strike = our allies flattened.

If you can find an easy way out of this bind, please call the Pentagon right now. They've been waiting for it longer than the Dear Leader has been in power.

Regardless of who's president.

The only way is to flatten them first and that would mean testing some of our own "tacticals". That would not be good as there is usually a large amount of radiation afterwards.

108 avanti  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:15:31pm

re: #100 realwest

And hey y'all - you know by now that I don't like President Obama, don't think he much likes or respects the US, but he IS OUR PRESIDENT and I'd like us to cut him some slack here. I don't see anyway in which a "pre-emptive" strike will save either a) our troops over in SK, or b) South Korea itself.
How hard it is to get a nuke armed missile to fire accurately at Japan, is a far more difficult question than is the one of making nuke artillery shells.

Thanks, you are the friggin voice of reason.

109 Dark_Falcon  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:15:50pm

re: #98 pat

You're making excuses for the Norks?! What the Hell is wrong with you?!

110 gmsc  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:16:25pm

I saw them tearing a building down
-a gang of men, in my hometown
With a heave and a 'ho' and a "Yes! Yes!" yell -
they swung a beam, and a sidewall fell

I said to the foreman "Are these men skilled?
Like the ones you'd use if you had to build?"
He laughed and said "Oh no! Indeed!
The most common labor is all I need.
Because I can destroy in a day or two,
what it takes a builder ten years to do."

I thought to myself, as I went my way:
"Which of these roles am I willing to play?
Am I one who's tearing down,
as I carelessly make my way around?

Or am I one who builds with care.
So my craft-my community,
are just a little better,
because I was there?"
–Author unknown

111 Macker  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:16:49pm

re: #94 Desert Dog

I know the Japanese are not going to accept many more missiles flying over their country. The fact that the Norks have "the bomb" and a system to deliver it, things have changed. I am hoping the North Koreans collapse under the weight of their own system. The Chinese need to step in and do something. They are the big player here.....the US, S. Korea and Japan have no power to alter things in the North except blow the living crap out of them.

I don't think the Chinese even figured The Asshole™ would go this far. Kim could even lob some over at his masters.
Which leave us. I HATE WAR! ANY SANE PERSON SHOULD HATE WAR! But Dammit, sometimes they MUST be fought and the enemy which brings us to this must be EXTERMINATED!

112 Desert Dog  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:17:00pm

re: #106 Fenway_Nation

Don't the Japanese (at least theoretically) have the capability to shoot down incoming missiles from the Korean peninsula?

I can't remember the source, but I think they announced that they planned on doing exactly that during the last round of Nork sabre-rattling and told to stand down by the USA?

It flew right over Japan.....no shoot down. I think the technology is still not ready to use. If the Japanese had the capability, I think they would have shot it down to show the Norks their missiles are useless...

113 Guanxi88  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:17:22pm

re: #107 Desert Dog

The only way is to flatten them first and that would mean testing some of our own "tacticals". That would not be good as there is usually a large amount of radiation afterwards.

My understanding was that our warheads were exceptionally efficient, and therefore exceptionally clean, from a radiation standpoint. The whole "blast-enhanced, radiation-diminished" benefit of H-bombs.

114 Dark_Falcon  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:17:53pm

re: #111 Macker

I don't think the Chinese even figured The Asshole™ would go this far. Kim could even lob some over at his masters.
Which leave us. I HATE WAR! ANY SANE PERSON SHOULD HATE WAR! But Dammit, sometimes they MUST be fought and the enemy which brings us to this must be EXTERMINATED!

Hear, hear! Upding!

115 avanti  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:18:05pm

re: #98 pat

I have written about this several times on my old blog. The NorKors have attempted to reach out to the Americans for the last 9 months. Both Bush and Obama have been deaf to the overtures, some of which have been extraordinarily peaceful. It is hard to understand the unwillingness of the USA to take up the NorKors on their previous offer to sell all refined Uranium to either the USA or South Korea. Now we have angered the mad man. I believe that after the last failed nuclear test , the USA felt Kim was on the ropes. Clearly this is untrue. He has perfected the triggers that bedeviled him last time (and that is suspicious in and of itself, these are not easy to manufacture) and has significantly improved his multistage missiles.
This is no longer a joke.

Even if I agreed, now is not the time to make nice under the threat of a bully, or he'll just repeat the cycle as he's done for decades.

116 flyers1974  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:18:28pm

re: #83 ladycatnip

#60 flyers1974


Mmm, intestinal fortitude, courage, principles, values, moral compass, conviction...all necessary for leading in troubled times, but all found wanting in a narcissist.

What I've heard of Kim Il Jong sounds an awful lot like a narcissist personality to me. Have you heard of his personal quirks and habits? If so, then according to your view that narcissism and courage, etc... are mutually exclusive, then we have nothing to worry about. We'll just threaten him and he'll go away. Personally, I don't think that narcissism and courage, etc... are incompatible. I'm sure there have been many tough guys over history who were narcissistic. But aside from that, isn't the whole narcissist labeling of Obama Rhetoric?

117 Macker  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:19:13pm

re: #106 Fenway_Nation

Don't the Japanese (at least theoretically) have the capability to shoot down incoming missiles from the Korean peninsula?

I can't remember the source, but I think they announced that they planned on doing exactly that during the last round of Nork sabre-rattling and told to stand down by the USA?

YES!

118 Gus  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:19:23pm

re: #96 Cato the Elder

True. Of course I wrote that in jest to a certain extent. If it comes to that then we might be talking other more severe military alternatives. Then I guess it looks like we'll be looking at the UNSC resolution to do something. However, we've been trying sanctions against the NORKS for many years now and so far all I am seeing is their advancement in military power which now includes nuclear weapons.

119 Fenway_Nation  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:19:52pm

re: #115 avanti

Wow....avanti gets an upding for me for saying something besides "I'll shut up now".

/checks sky for low-flying pigs

120 Desert Dog  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:20:02pm

re: #113 Guanxi88

My understanding was that our warheads were exceptionally efficient, and therefore exceptionally clean, from a radiation standpoint. The whole "blast-enhanced, radiation-diminished" benefit of H-bombs.

With our precision delivery capability, we need smaller and smaller warheads. But, the specter of a nuclear war in Asia is terrifying. We have the weapons to do the job if it should arise though. I wonder if the Norks know that?

121 Guanxi88  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:21:01pm

re: #106 Fenway_Nation

Don't the Japanese (at least theoretically) have the capability to shoot down incoming missiles from the Korean peninsula?

I can't remember the source, but I think they announced that they planned on doing exactly that during the last round of Nork sabre-rattling and told to stand down by the USA?

There are asymmetric responses to these ABM systems. Flood the end-zone - fire doznes of missiles in rapid succession or as a volly;, send the warhead on a ship - NorK subs infiltrate all the time- load it onto a cargo plane with a civilian airline transponder; attack early-warning systems. There are ways around it, ways accessible and quite doable for the NorK's.

122 gmsc  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:21:04pm

re: #119 Fenway_Nation

Wow....avanti gets an upding for me for saying something besides "I'll shut up now".

/checks sky for low-flying pigs

What did you see? Swine flew?
*rimshot*

123 Sharmuta  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:21:06pm

Arm Japan.

124 JHW  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:21:55pm

From Japan Today:

‘‘Japan should have the ability to strike enemy bases within the scope of its defense-oriented policy, in order not to sit and wait for death,’’ the LDP [ruling Liberal Democratic Party] subcommittee said in the draft proposal.

The government takes a stance that Japan can strike an enemy military base even under the nation’s pacifist Constitution, if hostile attacks are certain.


Japan Should Have Ability to Strike Enemy Bases in Defense

125 Wendya  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:21:58pm

re: #98 pat


This is no longer a joke.

It's never been a joke.

The US will/would not sit down and talk to Kim without preconditions. They wanted two party talks to show the world we dance when they play the music. That's just not acceptable.

126 Fenway_Nation  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:22:00pm

re: #117 Macker

Where are the AAA batteries manned by teenage schoolgirls? This is Japan, after all.

//

127 avanti  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:22:08pm

re: #119 Fenway_Nation

Wow....avanti gets an upding for me for saying something besides "I'll shut up now".

/checks sky for low-flying pigs

Wow, I'm up to under minus 800 from my -2000, I'd better quit while I'm on a roll. It's late, nite all .

128 Macker  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:22:27pm

re: #123 Sharmuta

Arm Japan.

WITH BEARS!

/snicker

129 Dancing along the light of day  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:22:42pm

re: #101 NY Nana

I am afraid that if NK looks like it is going to nuke any country, Israel will have to go after Iran.

There is just no way that Hussein will have the guts to do what has to be done.

This is a potential nightmare.

More than a potential nightmare....

130 ladycatnip  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:23:14pm

#98 pat

I have written about this several times on my old blog. The NorKors have attempted to reach out to the Americans for the last 9 months. Both Bush and Obama have been deaf to the overtures, some of which have been extraordinarily peaceful. It is hard to understand the unwillingness of the USA to take up the NorKors on their previous offer to sell all refined Uranium to either the USA or South Korea. Now we have angered the mad man. I believe that after the last failed nuclear test , the USA felt Kim was on the ropes. Clearly this is untrue. He has perfected the triggers that bedeviled him last time (and that is suspicious in and of itself, these are not easy to manufacture) and has significantly improved his multistage missiles.
This is no longer a joke.

Puhleez. I'm so tired of the talking point that somehow this is our fault. "We have angered the mad man." Do you realize what you're saying? You just called him a mad man - are you aware that one can't reason with a mad man? Your post reminds me of the adult telling the poor battered and bullied child, "What did you do to provoke him?"

So you would propose we all make nice with the mad men of the world so as not to anger them. That's insane.

131 Guanxi88  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:23:16pm

re: #120 Desert Dog

With our precision delivery capability, we need smaller and smaller warheads. But, the specter of a nuclear war in Asia is terrifying. We have the weapons to do the job if it should arise though. I wonder if the Norks know that?

No reasonable person wants a nuke exchange, to be sure. We've got the weapons, and I don't doubt that our military pack the tackle to get the job done. NorK's know it, of course, but at a certain point, the risk of probable death in battle sounds better than certain starvation, and that's what they've been up against for a while now.

132 Bobblehead  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:23:19pm

re: #123 Sharmuta

Arm Japan.

I believe Japan will have to arm itself.

133 koedo  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:23:55pm

I think NK's are crazy enough to do anything.

The time is right from their perspective. After all, who is going to stop them? The US has it's hands full militarily. Let's face it, Obama is over his head (and that's not saying anyone else wouldn't be) with domestic issues and Iraq/Afghanistan/Iran.

The Europeans won't do anything and the SK's and Japanese can't fight at this weight. The UN is useless. Really, what's stopping them from doing anything they want? This drama has been playing out for a long time.

134 Koyaanistaaqa  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:24:11pm

re: #53 realwest

Well I said this on the prior thread, but here it is again:
Are Pelosi and Kerry still in China - does anyone know - and if so will Obama have them take this up with the Chinese?
As far as I'm concerned, UNLESS China does something here, I believe the NORKS this time - too many people are starving to death over there and you can't keep your military on high alert for such an endless time period without something going BOOM.

Nancy "I'm not on the Intelligence committee any more, it has to go through proper channels" Pelosi, and John "in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan" Kerry? AFAIK, they were there primarily to discuss AGW and 'a slew of issues' and are there until Thursday. But probably not a situation I'd think either would be - or want to be - involved in very deeply, convincingly or effectively.

/unless they consider localized AGW from thousands of detonating artillery shells a problem. Paging Hillary Clinton!


Pelosi did castigate North Korea after Pyongyang announced that it had successfully carried out an underground nuclear test, weeks after threatening to restart its rogue atomic program.
"If today's announcement is true, these tests would be a clear violation of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1718, which requires that North Korea not conduct any further nuclear tests. Such action by North Korea is unacceptable and cause for great alarm," Pelosi said in a written statement.
Pelosi said she and other members of her delegation planned to urge Chinese leaders to use their influence to get the North to return to six-nation talks aimed at ending its nuclear program.
The lawmaker arrived over the weekend accompanied by a delegation of four Democrats and one Republican, all members of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. The main focus of their visit is the shared goal of promoting clean energy and combatting climate change.
[Link: news.yahoo.com...]

Pelosi, who leaves Beijing on Thursday for Hong Kong, mentioned human rights glancingly, though she said in a speech in Shanghai on Monday that she would "continue to speak out for human rights in China and around the world.
[Link: news.yahoo.com...]

Kerry, speaking to reporters before giving a speech at a clean energy forum in Beijing, is in China on a trip focused on climate change as well as nuclear non-proliferation issues concerning North Korea and Iran.
[Link: news.yahoo.com...]

135 Steffan  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:24:27pm

re: #12 Claire

What do they want this time? Food or something?

Basically, yep.

North Korea says war is inevitable if South Korea and the rest of the world does not show more respect (deliver more free food and fuel). The war threats have been coming from the north for over half a century, and don't have much impact anymore. A much more confident South Korea believes that it could handle any North Korean military moves, from skirmishes up to a major invasion attempt (which the south wants to avoid, because it would do major damage to the southern capital.)

North Korea has increased its armed forces by 20,000 (to 1.19 million) over the past few years. This is one way to deal with growing unemployment, and keeping angry young men under control. The army has added 300 rocket launchers, but have kept many older (decades old) launchers and rockets in service. North Korea has increased its Special Forces (light infantry for sneaking through South Korean front lines and cause trouble) 180,000 troops.

There's also this to consider:

Trying to punish North Korea further serves no useful purpose, because North Korea is punishing itself so severely. Last month, North Korea tossed out the foreign aid groups that handled distribution of donated food. At the same time, the north said it would no longer accept food from the United States. This leaves nearly half the North Korean population malnourished, with several million in danger of starving to death. It's possible to monitor this, because of the increasing number of North Koreans escaping into China. South Korean and foreign aid groups can operate up there, and make contact with many of these refugees. Most of these people are malnourished and display stunted growth characteristic of lifelong poor diet. More importantly, the refugees describe conditions inside North Korea, and these confirm estimates of the extent of the famine that has lasted nearly two decades.

Most of those escaping lately have been older women, with their children. These women have made enough money in the markets (that have been legalized the last few years), and can afford the bribes demanded by North Korean and Chinese border guards. These women are also more likely to continue their journey, to Southeast Asia (usually Thailand) where they can get to South Korea. This has brought a lot of North Korean female teenagers to South Korea for the first time, and the culture shock is often severe. Going from the world's worst police state, to a real democracy hits kids really hard, and it takes several years to get used to. This makes South Koreans more uneasy about what they would face if, and when, the communist government up north collapses.

136 realwest  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:24:28pm

re: #92 Gus 802
Well with this latest pronouncement, and with me thinking we won't back down from the embargo and inspection of NORK ships (we really can't if we don't want NORK nukes going to terrorist or terrorist states) I think that once an interdiction is commenced, they'll be NO flights out of NORK - especially not bombers.
And yes, we do have the capability of doing that should we decide to do so.

137 NJDhockeyfan  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:24:48pm

More bad news...

Indications That North Korean Nuke Plant Running Again

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- News reports say there are signs North Korea has restarted its nuclear plant.

A mass-circulation newspaper in South Korea reports that U.S. spy satellites have detected steam coming from a reprocessing facility at its main Yongbyon nuclear plant. The paper cited an unnamed South Korean government source.

The report came two days after the North carried out an underground nuclear test.

138 Cato the Elder  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:24:50pm

re: #107 Desert Dog

The only way is to flatten them first and that would mean testing some of our own "tacticals". That would not be good as there is usually a large amount of radiation afterwards.

Not only that but enough of their conventional missile stock would survive the first strike to make downtown Seoul look like Detroit in ten minutes flat.

Not a whole lot of great options, from a military standpoint.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with how tough Obama's intestines are, and everything to do with playing for time.

Kim Jong-Il is dying. The son he favors to replace him is in his twenties. I'm betting 1) that he only believes he has control of the button, but it's really in the hands of his general staff, who probably want to keep breathing, and 2) once he goes, the succession will not stay in the family. We'll see a coup, and an immediate offer of new talks.

If we speak loudly and brandish the nuke stick instead of playing the backchannels and waiting it out, we'll see our allies dead, the Asian-Pacific economy in ruins, and, oh, yes, a mound of American bodies flying home that will make 9/11 look like a collision between a bike and a taxi.

Macho "Team America" dick-n-pussy posturing will not do the trick. That was a movie, in case no one noticed.

139 itellu3times  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:26:33pm

re: #98 pat

I have written about this several times on my old blog. The NorKors have attempted to reach out to the Americans for the last 9 months. Both Bush and Obama have been deaf to the overtures, some of which have been extraordinarily peaceful. It is hard to understand the unwillingness of the USA to take up the NorKors on their previous offer to sell all refined Uranium to either the USA or South Korea. Now we have angered the mad man. I believe that after the last failed nuclear test , the USA felt Kim was on the ropes. Clearly this is untrue. He has perfected the triggers that bedeviled him last time (and that is suspicious in and of itself, these are not easy to manufacture) and has significantly improved his multistage missiles.
This is no longer a joke.

I ask again, wassup with Hillary?

140 Desert Dog  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:27:23pm
141 Guanxi88  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:27:25pm

re: #138 Cato the Elder

Gotta agree, and suggest we stir them up against China, and stir up China against them, and then ask Russia why they're letting China become Asia's shot-caller. It could work.

142 wiffersnapper  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:27:42pm

fandamntastic

143 NY Nana  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:28:30pm

re: #129 Floral Giraffe

More than a potential nightmare....

I agree.....and here is Hussein's POV, against McCain, who was prescient:

144 koedo  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:28:31pm

Hillary said what about the situation?

145 realwest  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:28:57pm

re: #101 NY Nana
Candidly NY Nana - this is not a potential nightmare; it is a real one.
But I think you're right; NORK attacks SKOR and/or Japan, little shit will be emboldended - depending on our response, to attack Israel.

146 pat  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:29:02pm

re: #130 ladycatnip

This is the fault of a mad man who kills scientists and technicians that do not perform. Hence he has fairly active weapons development. He is not only crazed by his hubris, he has had a stoke and may be on his last (mental) legs. A wise State Department would have assessed the situation properly and attempted to deal with it. Instead, we are in the hands of ignorant fools.

147 gmsc  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:29:12pm

US: "Why are you firing more missiles? The UN just condemned you for the last round of missiles!"

North Korea: "You're right. They did."

148 Gus  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:29:19pm

re: #136 realwest

Well with this latest pronouncement, and with me thinking we won't back down from the embargo and inspection of NORK ships (we really can't if we don't want NORK nukes going to terrorist or terrorist states) I think that once an interdiction is commenced, they'll be NO flights out of NORK - especially not bombers.
And yes, we do have the capability of doing that should we decide to do so.

OK I'm not that optimistic. They'll do what they want to do regardless but I don't see any backing down from the North Korean pathology. They'll move ahead even if they get some setbacks from these latest rounds of resolutions and treaties. They've been this way since 1953.

149 Wendya  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:29:50pm

re: #135 Steffan


Last month, North Korea tossed out the foreign aid groups that handled distribution of donated food.

They don't give a shit about food, they want cash.

150 pat  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:30:01pm

re: #145 realwest

This is soooooo true.

151 NJDhockeyfan  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:30:25pm

North Korea may face blockade by US Navy

President Barack Obama is weighing a possible naval cordon sanitaire around North Korea as one means of ratcheting up sanctions amid the fierce global criticism of this week's nuclear and missile tests by the reclusive communist country.

After the shock of its second nuclear test in three years — with a bare 25 minutes notice to the US — the regime yesterday rubbed salt into that diplomatic wound by test firing two short-range missiles, leaving the White House scrambling to stitch together an effective international response.

152 Cato the Elder  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:30:39pm

Well, good night all. My sleep disorder awaits.

pax uobiscum

153 flyers1974  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:30:43pm

re: #138 Cato the Elder

Not only that but enough of their conventional missile stock would survive the first strike to make downtown Seoul look like Detroit in ten minutes flat.

Not a whole lot of great options, from a military standpoint.

This has nothing whatsoever to do with how tough Obama's intestines are, and everything to do with playing for time.

Kim Jong-Il is dying. The son he favors to replace him is in his twenties. I'm betting 1) that he only believes he has control of the button, but it's really in the hands of his general staff, who probably want to keep breathing, and 2) once he goes, the succession will not stay in the family. We'll see a coup, and an immediate offer of new talks.

If we speak loudly and brandish the nuke stick instead of playing the backchannels and waiting it out, we'll see our allies dead, the Asian-Pacific economy in ruins, and, oh, yes, a mound of American bodies flying home that will make 9/11 look like a collision between a bike and a taxi.

Macho "Team America" dick-n-pussy posturing will not do the trick. That was a movie, in case no one noticed.

The argument appears to be that Obama is a ruthless Chicago politician willing to do anything to win but at the same time, very weak. He is also a great cook, while at the same time a bad cook. Nothing wrong with being partisan, its America politics after all but do they really believe the campaign rhetoric, hook, line and sinker?

154 Karridine  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:30:45pm

re: #13 avanti

They are desperate for attention, there must be some serious internal troubles.

Avanti, the North Koreans have been starving for decades, the Party cadre and friends have been hoarding international food-aid for years, there are hideous gulags of political prison camps across North Korea; the people are braving landmines, armed guards and electrified fences to GET OUT to food, even if it means getting caught by the ChiComs and sent back to being beaten to death...

NorKor is a seriously deranged country, this one more fevered, demented, paranoid, Stalinist effort, thinking "We are Communist, they are running-dog imperialists, WE can WIN any conflict!"

155 Desert Dog  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:31:00pm

re: #149 Wendya

They don't give a shit about food, they want cash.

Send over some porno stars to infiltrate Kim's palace

156 Gus  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:31:21pm

re: #149 Wendya

They don't give a shit about food, they want cash.

Yep, and the payoff figure has now increased 10 fold. This is a game the NORKS have been playing. They'll get the cash, then pretend to back down and disarm. 5 years later they'll be back with more advanced weapons systems.

157 NJDhockeyfan  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:32:09pm

G'nite all.

158 gmsc  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:32:12pm

re: #151 NJDhockeyfan

North Korea may face blockade by US Navy

I can just see a "Barack-ade":

Ship captain: "Mr. President, the North Koreans have just broken through our blockade! What should we do?"

0bama: "Have everyone get to the decks immediately and shake their fists as violently as possible!"

159 Guanxi88  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:32:15pm

A lifetime of deprivation and slow starvation might not make the population as restive as we'd like to think. There are some studies that suggest a low-calorie diet is an excellent instrument of control, if used properly. Keep a man just this side of death by starvation, and he's quite compliant. Make him think, since he's a child, that the world is full of people who wish him ill, but that those who see he gets what little food he does have will protect him, and you've got yourself a fanatical fighter.

160 Wendya  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:33:14pm

re: #156 Gus 802

Yep, and the payoff figure has now increased 10 fold. This is a game the NORKS have been playing. They'll get the cash, then pretend to back down and disarm. 5 years later they'll be back with more advanced weapons systems.

They are confident because they're been so successful. All this talk about "not negotiating with terrorists" is bullshit. We've been paying off the NORKS for years.

161 koedo  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:33:16pm

US: "Why are you firing more missiles? The UN just condemned you for the last round of missiles!"

North Korea: "You're right. They did."

The UN 'strongly' condemned them this time. I think next time the UN will 'sternly' condemn them. Or was that the last time. Eventually, the UN will have to 'extra-super-special sternly' condemn them.

162 Dark_Falcon  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:33:54pm

re: #154 Karridine

Avanti, the North Koreans have been starving for decades, the Party cadre and friends have been hoarding international food-aid for years, there are hideous gulags of political prison camps across North Korea; the people are braving landmines, armed guards and electrified fences to GET OUT to food, even if it means getting caught by the ChiComs and sent back to being beaten to death...

NorKor is a seriously deranged country, this one more fevered, demented, paranoid, Stalinist effort, thinking "We are Communist, they are running-dog imperialists, WE can WIN any conflict!"

Well they've got another thing coming. If they start a war, they will lose.

163 Dancing along the light of day  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:34:22pm

I'd prefer not to wake up to a "Nukes gone wild" morning tomorrow.
If I'm given a choice......

164 Karridine  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:34:28pm

re: #159 Guanxi88

Agreed.

Now, however, they've gone too long and held back too much. The pain of seeing loved ones die and dying of starvation oneself may be overcoming their fear and groveling need for food, Guanxi

165 gmsc  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:34:43pm

re: #161 koedo

US: "Why are you firing more missiles? The UN just condemned you for the last round of missiles!"

North Korea: "You're right. They did."

The UN 'strongly' condemned them this time. I think next time the UN will 'sternly' condemn them. Or was that the last time. Eventually, the UN will have to 'extra-super-special sternly' condemn them.

No! Not the 'extra-super-special sternly' option! Does it really have to go that far?

//////

166 realwest  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:34:55pm

re: #112 Desert Dog
With respect my friend, they have the same ABM capabilities as we have - and yes, I do think they have the capability to shoot down those missles, as do we.
WE however, have the luxury of doing something differenent or nothing at all should the NORKS shoot ONLY at Japan; Japan has no options but to try. And then retaliate. This is indeed a crappy situation.

And I don't wish this on President Obama, the South Koreans (and our troops stationed there) or the Japanese. There are NO good answers here prior to the NORKS doing something.

167 Koyaanistaaqa  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:35:07pm

re: #144 koedo

Hillary said what about the situation?

Well, a little more than that. Hillary said: "What The Fu--?"

168 Gus  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:35:14pm

re: #160 Wendya

They are confident because they're been so successful. All this talk about "not negotiating with terrorists" is bullshit. We've been paying off the NORKS for years.

Yes. This time the payoff will be larger then back to the bunker for 5 years.

169 Dancing along the light of day  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:35:22pm

re: #161 koedo

BAH, the UN. Like they mean anything to anyone.

170 Desert Dog  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:35:45pm

re: #159 Guanxi88

A lifetime of deprivation and slow starvation might not make the population as restive as we'd like to think. There are some studies that suggest a low-calorie diet is an excellent instrument of control, if used properly. Keep a man just this side of death by starvation, and he's quite compliant. Make him think, since he's a child, that the world is full of people who wish him ill, but that those who see he gets what little food he does have will protect him, and you've got yourself a fanatical fighter.

Lisa Ling - Inside North Korea

These people are terrified of Dear Leader....it is scary to see it

171 Guanxi88  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:36:17pm

re: #153 flyers1974

The argument appears to be that Obama is a ruthless Chicago politician willing to do anything to win but at the same time, very weak. He is also a great cook, while at the same time a bad cook. Nothing wrong with being partisan, its America politics after all but do they really believe the campaign rhetoric, hook, line and sinker?

Ruthlessness in the face of unarmed domestic opposition is not a guarantee of strength abroad, anymore than strength abroad is a guarantee of effectiveness against domestic opposition (see GWB for an example of the last one). Building coalition groups around a common ideology in order to gain political advantage in a democratic republic requires a different set of aptitudes than those required to deal with an aggressor on the international scene.

And you know that perfectly well. You are correct, however, that BHO has become an object for projection by many in his opposition. Even as W was a bungling incompetent who managed to steal and election and deceive the whole world about Iraq and the war on terror.

172 Macker  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:36:45pm

re: #146 pat

This is the fault of a mad man who kills scientists and technicians that do not perform. Hence he has fairly active weapons development. He is not only crazed by his hubris, he has had a stoke and may be on his last (mental) legs. A wise State Department would have assessed the situation properly and attempted to deal with it. Instead, we are in the hands of ignorant fools.

Indeed.

173 Desert Dog  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:37:08pm

re: #162 Dark_Falcon

Well they've got another thing coming. If they start a war, they will lose.

And lose badly....The South could march through there on their own....once they dig out from the initial barrage. Both sides would get hit, but the North would lose and lose bigtime.

174 Karridine  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:37:17pm

re: #162 Dark_Falcon

You've got THAT straight, Falcon! They've got another think coming!

I spent 2 years of my life atop mountains on the south side of the DMZ, and was flown BACK to Korea to help cover the aftershocks of the USS Pueblo incident... they are foxy crazy, and bellicose, but now they're SERIOUSLY behind the food-supply eight-ball!

175 JHW  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:37:43pm
Within the Chinese intelligentsia there is a deep divide over how to handle North Korea. The Global Times, a newspaper with close party ties, Tuesday published a survey of 20 of the country's top foreign policy experts. It found them split down the middle -- 10 arguing for tough sanctions against North Korea, 10 opposed.

"Traditionally, China has been very friendly to North Korea, but now there is a feeling that the North Koreans are causing us too much trouble," Zhang said.


China Debates its Bond With North Korea

176 ladycatnip  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:37:59pm

#116 flyers 1974

What I've heard of Kim Il Jong sounds an awful lot like a narcissist personality to me. Have you heard of his personal quirks and habits? If so, then according to your view that narcissism and courage, etc... are mutually exclusive, then we have nothing to worry about. We'll just threaten him and he'll go away. Personally, I don't think that narcissism and courage, etc... are incompatible. I'm sure there have been many tough guys over history who were narcissistic. But aside from that, isn't the whole narcissist labeling of Obama Rhetoric?

There are degrees on the spectrum of narcissism. Obama's obsession with himself and the way he always turns any situation back to himself is narcissistic. Check YouTube for his comments during the campaign that were over-the-top - if he's elected the seas will cease to rise, the planet heal...that's scary narcissism. Further down the scale, despots, tyrants, dictators all share the trait of narcissism, but it's malignant and sociopathic. Obama is not in the latter category.

Your interpretation of what I said earlier is really silly. And no, the labeling of Obama is not rhetoric, it's been an observable behavior of his since running for prez. People who write TWO autobiographies of themselves before they've accomplished anything is narcissistic.

177 Steffan  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:38:35pm

re: #124 JHW

From Japan Today:


Japan Should Have Ability to Strike Enemy Bases in Defense

How fast would you think China would move to stifle the Norks if Japan announced that this danger is enough to justify transforming the JSDGF, JSDNF, and JSDAF into the IJA, IJN and IJAF?

Personally, I'd think such a move would make everyone in East Asia shit a little green worm, but that's just me.

:)

178 NY Nana  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:38:59pm

re: #163 Floral Giraffe

I'd prefer not to wake up to a "Nukes gone wild" morning tomorrow.
If I'm given a choice......

Pray G-d we all will. I am going to try to go to sleep.

Take care, and I hope we all will wake up in the AM to the same world we are in now. It is not perfect, especially under the Manchurian Candidate's regime, but it is far better than it will be if he and his band of thugs sit on their hands.

G'nite, all.

179 Guanxi88  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:39:22pm

re: #170 Desert Dog

Lisa Ling - Inside North Korea

These people are terrified of Dear Leader....it is scary to see it

He's scared of them, too. I recall reading a translation of an official NorK document, from Kim Il-Sung's time, to the effect that something like 30% of the population were deemed politically unreliable and/or actively opposed to Juche ideology.

The NorK people hate and fear their government; but what does that mean, if it has been the air they breatherd, the rice they ate, and the sum total of their entire existence to date? The experience of the few defectors out of that Hell is not encouraging - they all seem to have major mental problems.

180 Koyaanistaaqa  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:39:42pm

re: #167 Koyaanistaaqa
re: #144 koedo

Hillary said what about the situation?

Well, a little more than that. Hillary said: "What The Fu--?"

And she's really been working the phones: [Link: news.yahoo.com...]

/Man, those cold-calls sure are tiring, and I have yet to make a sale.

181 realwest  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:40:20pm

re: #137 NJDhockeyfan
Shit - you're just chock full of good news tonight, aren't you?!
:)

182 Fenway_Nation  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:40:35pm

re: #175 JHW

Sounds like the ChiComs are getting ready to cut bait w/ Lil' Kim.

183 Karridine  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:41:01pm

re: #175 JHW

I see that as further evidence (stopped sending fuel & heating oil last year, among other withdrawal signs) that the Chinese are AT LEAST considering NorK to be a pain in the gazyeetsa!

184 Guanxi88  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:41:06pm

re: #182 Fenway_Nation

Sounds like the ChiComs are getting ready to cut bait w/ Lil' Kim.

I'd rather they fished with Kim, their old chum.

185 JHW  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:41:10pm

re: #177 Steffan

Isn't Japan China's biggest trading partner next to the USA? I thought I saw that published somewhere recently.

186 Flyers1974  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:41:11pm

re: #171 Guanxi88

Ruthlessness in the face of unarmed domestic opposition is not a guarantee of strength abroad, anymore than strength abroad is a guarantee of effectiveness against domestic opposition (see GWB for an example of the last one). Building coalition groups around a common ideology in order to gain political advantage in a democratic republic requires a different set of aptitudes than those required to deal with an aggressor on the international scene.

And you know that perfectly well. You are correct, however, that BHO has become an object for projection by many in his opposition. Even as W was a bungling incompetent who managed to steal and election and deceive the whole world about Iraq and the war on terror.

Of course. My only point is, if I was one of those who called Bush stupid, I knew I was spouting political rhetoric. Some here seem to think they have really measured Obama's guts, etc...

187 Dark_Falcon  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:41:24pm

re: #173 Desert Dog

And lose badly....The South could march through there on their own....once they dig out from the initial barrage. Both sides would get hit, but the North would lose and lose bigtime.

That's my thinking as well.

188 Karridine  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:42:38pm

re: #182 Fenway_Nation

Sounds like the ChiComs are getting ready to cut bait w/ Lil' Kim.

Well I CERTAINLY HOPE SO, Fenway!

189 Desert Dog  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:43:52pm

Good night all...play nice

190 Gus  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:44:26pm

re: #189 Desert Dog

Good night all...play nice

OK I won't mention megatonnage.

191 realwest  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:44:46pm

re: #138 Cato the Elder
"This has nothing whatsoever to do with how tough Obama's intestines are, and everything to do with playing for time."
I agree with you 100% BUT suppose the NORKS are serious - do we play for time and NOT inspect their outgoing ships and then what? We lose face BIG TIME (not to mention the possiblity of NORK ships carryng nukes to someone or somewhere we can't afford them to be). And my biggest fear of all is that NORK will act regardless of whether or not we interdict their ships.

192 Karridine  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:44:47pm
And lose badly....The South could march through there on their own....once they dig out from the initial barrage. Both sides would get hit, but the North would lose and lose bigtime.

We have frequently been told that NorK could unleash a barrage that hits Seoul, but I don't put a lot of faith in that happening...

I believe such an event would play out MUCH differently... to the former North Korea's surprise!

193 Fenway_Nation  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:46:11pm

re: #141 Guanxi88

Gotta agree, and suggest we stir them up against China, and stir up China against them, and then ask Russia why they're letting China become Asia's shot-caller. It could work.

Also could have the added benefit of dilluting Russia's influence on affars in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

194 Flyers1974  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:46:49pm

re: #176 ladycatnip

#116 flyers 1974


There are degrees on the spectrum of narcissism. Obama's obsession with himself and the way he always turns any situation back to himself is narcissistic. Check YouTube for his comments during the campaign that were over-the-top - if he's elected the seas will cease to rise, the planet heal...that's scary narcissism. Further down the scale, despots, tyrants, dictators all share the trait of narcissism, but it's malignant and sociopathic. Obama is not in the latter category.

Your interpretation of what I said earlier is really silly. And no, the labeling of Obama is not rhetoric, it's been an observable behavior of his since running for prez. People who write TWO autobiographies of themselves before they've accomplished anything is narcissistic.

People who intend to run for president write (or have someone else write) meaningless autobiographies. This is nothing new. As far as the seas rising or whatever he said - that is political rhetoric. What would you say if you were to run for president? I'm an ok person, I'll do alright, but not the end of the world if you don't elect me. Allow me to suggest that you're reading too much into the book/speech thing.

195 Karridine  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:46:56pm

Realwest, you nail one of the central issues here: "We've got NUKES for sale, CHEAP! Free nations need not apply!"

196 Guanxi88  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:47:00pm

re: #164 Karridine

Agreed.

Now, however, they've gone too long and held back too much. The pain of seeing loved ones die and dying of starvation oneself may be overcoming their fear and groveling need for food, Guanxi

Machiavelli notes that a people facing starvation will fight more ruthlessly than a well-fed people. Sun Tzu notes that if faced with a choice of conquer or die, an army can do amazing things, because they know they have no option but to fight or be killed where they stand. Hobbes, too, notes that an army from a desperate people is far more terrible than one from a prosperous one.

They've starved off and on for 50 years or more, and have been in permanent war-footing for better than 2 generations now; they ones who allow them to eat are the ones who slay them, true, but they are also the ones who educated them, the subjects of every song, book, movie, radio play, opera, and, in short, ever cultural artifact or product to which theyve ever been exposed.

Remember in that movie, the Matrix, where Neo wakes up and realizes where he is and what's been done to them? Something very much like that would be the effect should they learn that EVERYTHING THEY EVER KNEW, HEARD, BELIEVED, OR IMAGINED was a lie. The human mind can't take that; this is why so many NorK defectors commit suicide, or fall into mental illness.

197 ladycatnip  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:47:01pm

#186 Flyers1974

Of course. My only point is, if I was one of those who called Bush stupid, I knew I was spouting political rhetoric. Some here seem to think they have really measured Obama's guts, etc...

A man can be measured by his actions and his speech. Obama goes to Europe apologizing for his country - THAT is weenie and sycophantic behavior. Obama has given his opposition volumes to work with; I haven't even scratched the surface.

198 Guanxi88  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:47:43pm

re: #186 Flyers1974

Of course. My only point is, if I was one of those who called Bush stupid, I knew I was spouting political rhetoric. Some here seem to think they have really measured Obama's guts, etc...

Absolutely dead-on. Dead-on.

199 revobob  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:47:57pm

re: #193 Fenway_Nation

Also could have the added benefit of dilluting Russia's influence on affars in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.


Shhhhh.. Ixnay on e-thay ategy-stray!

200 Steffan  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:49:00pm

re: #140 Desert Dog

John Bolton taking Hockenberry apart about North Korea

Heh. Bolton ate his lunch and drank his milkshake.

201 Guanxi88  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:50:09pm

re: #199 revobob

Shhhhh.. Ixnay on e-thay ategy-stray!

c'mon; if I could think of this, anybody could have. It's also obvious that if the scenario played out as I had sketched it, Russia and Japan would slug it out in the Pacific, for control of the seas after PRC took control of the land.

202 Dark_Falcon  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:50:51pm

re: #196 Guanxi88

Machiavelli notes that a people facing starvation will fight more ruthlessly than a well-fed people. Sun Tzu notes that if faced with a choice of conquer or die, an army can do amazing things, because they know they have no option but to fight or be killed where they stand. Hobbes, too, notes that an army from a desperate people is far more terrible than one from a prosperous one.

They've starved off and on for 50 years or more, and have been in permanent war-footing for better than 2 generations now; they ones who allow them to eat are the ones who slay them, true, but they are also the ones who educated them, the subjects of every song, book, movie, radio play, opera, and, in short, ever cultural artifact or product to which theyve ever been exposed.

Remember in that movie, the Matrix, where Neo wakes up and realizes where he is and what's been done to them? Something very much like that would be the effect should they learn that EVERYTHING THEY EVER KNEW, HEARD, BELIEVED, OR IMAGINED was a lie. The human mind can't take that; this is why so many NorK defectors commit suicide, or fall into mental illness.

That might also play to our advantage. The North army has been told for 50 years that it cannot fail. If they start getting hammered and see their victory fade, they may simply disintegrate, unable to keep going after their illusion is shattered.

203 revobob  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:50:52pm

re: #201 Guanxi88

c'mon; if I could think of this, anybody could have. It's also obvious that if the scenario played out as I had sketched it, Russia and Japan would slug it out in the Pacific, for control of the seas after PRC took control of the land.


OK- I forgot the /

204 Velvet Elvis  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:51:02pm

re: #123 Sharmuta

Arm Japan.

That's exactly what I've been saying. A heavily armed Japan would have the side effect of helping keep China in check as well.

Just the threat of it would be enough to make the Chinese get off their asses and handle the Norks the way they should have a long time ago.

205 Karridine  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:51:34pm

re: #196 Guanxi88

Remember in that movie, the Matrix, where Neo wakes up and realizes where he is and what's been done to them? Something very much like that would be the effect should they learn that EVERYTHING THEY EVER KNEW, HEARD, BELIEVED, OR IMAGINED was a lie. The human mind can't take that; this is why so many NorK defectors commit suicide, or fall into mental illness.

Not only do I agree with you, but I share that I've listened to many (not all) the Korean-language videos from escapees, and they corroborate what you're saying.

Matrix, lies? A more apt analogy might be to see the people of North Korea as crystallized TNT, unstable, subject to dissolving or exploding... hard to be 'rational' when your worldview has been made massively IRRATIONAL since birth...

206 Macker  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:51:40pm

re: #201 Guanxi88

c'mon; if I could think of this, anybody could have. It's also obvious that if the scenario played out as I had sketched it, Russia and Japan would slug it out in the Pacific, for control of the seas after PRC took control of the land.

And remember what happened to the Russians just over a century ago....

207 Gus  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:52:51pm

COMNAVAIRPAC
COMNAVSURFPAC

208 Steffan  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:53:14pm

re: #149 Wendya

They don't give a shit about food, they want cash.

A lot of the food they received ended up being sold across the Chinese border by Kim's cronies. I'm sure the Dear Leader got a cut of the take. Most of what's left goes to the military. The peons get to eat grass and tree bark.

209 Ringo the Gringo  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:53:41pm

Very little in the news about Laura Ling and Euna Lee, the two American journalists taken in to custody by North Korea over 10 weeks ago.

Has President Obama ever even mentioned them?

210 Sharmuta  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:53:49pm

re: #204 Conservative Moonbat

That's exactly what I've been saying. A heavily armed Japan would have the side effect of helping keep China in check as well.

Just the threat of it would be enough to make the Chinese get off their asses and handle the Norks the way they should have a long time ago.

A well armed Japan isn't in the Chinese or Russian interests.

211 revobob  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:54:16pm

Although, thinking further, I'm not so sure that the PRC would be 'limited' to the land- how much do we really know about the size and quality of their navy? I have never heard anything to counter the old stories about the Russian Navy's deterioration for lack of maintenance and funding, and I don't know much about Japan's navy.

212 realwest  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:54:50pm

re: #195 Karridine
My friend I think that is THE issue here; there'd be no need to blockade or interdict NORK ships if they weren't going to sell them to the highest bidder.
Of course,OTOH, as I said somewhere upthread, their people are starving to death, literally. Their military has been on high alert for what - over a year. This may not play out the way we'd like it to; the NORKS may honestly feel that they HAVE to sell nukes to get enough money to feed their people or go to war. Period.
Good Luck President Obama and may God help you make the right decisions.

213 ladycatnip  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:55:21pm

#194 Flyers1974

People who intend to run for president write (or have someone else write) meaningless autobiographies. This is nothing new. As far as the seas rising or whatever he said - that is political rhetoric. What would you say if you were to run for president? I'm an ok person, I'll do alright, but not the end of the world if you don't elect me. Allow me to suggest that you're reading too much into the book/speech thing.

I strongly disagree with you, and if I were running for office I certainly wouldn't assume the attributes of God.

214 Flyers1974  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:55:37pm

re: #197 ladycatnip

#186 Flyers1974


A man can be measured by his actions and his speech. Obama goes to Europe apologizing for his country - THAT is weenie and sycophantic behavior. Obama has given his opposition volumes to work with; I haven't even scratched the surface.

Is it possible there was a rational reason for apologizing? The days of conventional wars between states are over. The more likely threat is 4 pirates in a boat. In order to eliminate threats like pirates/terrorists, is it not helpful to have allies? Would the constituencies of the various European states be more or less likely to support cooperation with the US if they percieve a "different" US (whether perception is accurate or not.) I can't say for sure whether Obama's actions there were helpful. But I'm pretty sure they were well thought out and in the realm of rational.

215 revobob  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:56:17pm

re: #212 realwest

My friend I think that is THE issue here; there'd be no need to blockade or interdict NORK ships if they weren't going to sell them to the highest bidder.
Of course,OTOH, as I said somewhere upthread, their people are starving to death, literally. Their military has been on high alert for what - over a year. This may not play out the way we'd like it to; the NORKS may honestly feel that they HAVE to sell nukes to get enough money to feed their people or go to war. Period.
Good Luck President Obama and may God help you make the right decisions.


Can I have an "AMEN!"
(No /)

216 Guanxi88  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:56:42pm

re: #202 Dark_Falcon

That might also play to our advantage. The North army has been told for 50 years that it cannot fail. If they start getting hammered and see their victory fade, they may simply disintegrate, unable to keep going after their illusion is shattered.

They fight very differently than we do; a successful battle for them would be a failure for us. If they've gotten any help from the PRC's advisors - and we can bet they have - they'd opt for a post-modern way of war.

They've got ideology and basic weapons and training distributed widely through their population; this is a recipe for guerrilla warfare of the old school, with many lessons learned from the insurgency in Iraq and afghanistan. They can overcome our qualitative advantages in engagements by taking advantage of the terrain - lotta mountatins - staying embedded with civilians, and closing the engagement distance, to nullify the advantage of air-power. They could do a lot of damage that way.

Then there's asymmetric options. Hit Seoul's financial centers; disrupt power and communications on the peninsula. Activate a few sleeper cells in the South, and have them stage attacks in the uniforms of the police or atrocities acting as ROK. Meantime, you've got soft targets in Japan, ready for the striking. A few hits and rumbles in Asia could do more damage to the economy of the enemy than could ten million tons of TNT or conventional explosives.

217 Guanxi88  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:57:11pm

re: #205 Karridine

Not only do I agree with you, but I share that I've listened to many (not all) the Korean-language videos from escapees, and they corroborate what you're saying.

Matrix, lies? A more apt analogy might be to see the people of North Korea as crystallized TNT, unstable, subject to dissolving or exploding... hard to be 'rational' when your worldview has been made massively IRRATIONAL since birth...

That's even worse.

218 Ringo the Gringo  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:57:33pm

Highly recommended book - The Aquariums of Pyongyang: Ten Years in the North Korean Gulag

It's one of those books you never forget...absolutely chilling.

219 realwest  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:57:50pm

Well I've simply got to bed now. I hope you all have a good evening/early morning and that I get the chance to see you all down the road.

Goodnight, all.

220 Guanxi88  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:57:55pm

re: #206 Macker

And remember what happened to the Russians just over a century ago....

Exactly.

221 Sharmuta  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:58:12pm

We should sell Japan armaments. We need the money.

222 Ringo the Gringo  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:58:32pm

re: #219 realwest

Sleep well.

223 Flyers1974  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:58:35pm

re: #213 ladycatnip

#194 Flyers1974


I strongly disagree with you, and if I were running for office I certainly wouldn't assume the attributes of God.

I believe you personally would not, but speaking of actual politicians running for higher office, they often say things that have no basis in reality in order to get elected. And this is not unique to any political party.

224 revobob  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:59:00pm

re: #221 Sharmuta

We should sell Japan armaments. We need the money.


Especially stuff made in California!

225 freetoken  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:59:29pm

re: #221 Sharmuta

We do sell Japan lots of goodies... especially ships and aircraft.

However, Japan is limited by its own constitution on what it can do, and most Japanese still feel comfortable with that arrangement, so it would seem.

226 Karridine  Tue, May 26, 2009 10:59:31pm

re: #217 Guanxi88

That's even worse.

Sir, YESSIR! No way to out guess them, just deal with them in a rational MILITARY manner, and dodge the flying chips!

227 Fenway_Nation  Tue, May 26, 2009 11:01:10pm

re: #221 Sharmuta

We should sell Japan armaments. We need the money.

Ha ha....well...it's not exactly like our bonds have been flying off the shelves.

228 shortshrift  Tue, May 26, 2009 11:01:43pm

re: #140 Desert Dog

Thank you for the link. Bolton is a great man. But what leverage does America have with China and Russia to secure their vote for really tough sanctions on NK? Obama seems to think what he calls a "robust" proliferation treaty will do the trick - and he will no doubt be the first to stand down nukes, by way of being a role model. This is the foreign policy equivalent of investing in universal health care to solve our fiscal crisis. There is no problem that can't be fixed by replacing false choices with false logic.

229 Flyers1974  Tue, May 26, 2009 11:01:49pm

Good night.

230 Karridine  Tue, May 26, 2009 11:02:08pm

So, is THIS how the ship hits the sand? Starting in the East? NorK bites the green weenie?

Wow.

BBIAW, got chores to tackle here in rainy, jasmine-scented suburban Bangkok

231 Steffan  Tue, May 26, 2009 11:04:07pm

re: #179 Guanxi88

He's scared of them, too. I recall reading a translation of an official NorK document, from Kim Il-Sung's time, to the effect that something like 30% of the population were deemed politically unreliable and/or actively opposed to Juche ideology.

The NorK people hate and fear their government; but what does that mean, if it has been the air they breatherd, the rice they ate, and the sum total of their entire existence to date? The experience of the few defectors out of that Hell is not encouraging - they all seem to have major mental problems.

There was a story in the Wall Street Journal a few days ago that showed Google Earth screenshots of the very extensive prison camp system, including a number of mass graves. Also including a number of palaces belonging to Kim and his cronies.

If you have Google Earth, the website is North Korea Uncovered.

232 Gus  Tue, May 26, 2009 11:05:05pm

Well, I guess it's up to the Blue Helmets and singing Kumbaya.

//

233 Dancing along the light of day  Tue, May 26, 2009 11:05:43pm

Good night, all.
Thank you for the edumacation, today.
:)
Tomorrow WILL be a better day.
Hang in there!

234 Guanxi88  Tue, May 26, 2009 11:05:50pm

re: #226 Karridine

Bless those who stand between us and such horrors, and bless those trusted to make such difficult decisions.

235 ladycatnip  Tue, May 26, 2009 11:06:53pm

#214 Flyers 1974

...I can't say for sure whether Obama's actions there were helpful. But I'm pretty sure they were well thought out and in the realm of rational.

His actions telegraphed to all our enemies that we're a paper tiger and that he's weak. How on earth can you presume to know it was well thought out or rational? I see his actions as highly irrational. We are not dealing with people who think like we do in the ME or parts of Asia. We're dealing with countries that want to bring America to its knees and obliterate Israel. One doesn't go hat-in-hand to these people, saying "C-c-c-can't we all just get along?". You give them a huge punch in the nose, then they back off. That's how you deal with bullies, and NK is run by a psychopathic bully.

Over and out - it's early to rise and morning comes quickly.

236 Gus  Tue, May 26, 2009 11:09:30pm

re: #221 Sharmuta

We should sell Japan armaments. We need the money.

In case they're reading this in Japan here's a good start page for weapons purchases related to this matter.

237 Silvergirl  Tue, May 26, 2009 11:10:11pm

re: #28 capitalist piglet

"And here's the point I want to make. Mark my words. Mark my words. It will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We're about to elect a brilliant 47-year old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here if you don't remember anything else I said. Watch, we're gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy. And he's gonna have to make some really tough - I don't know what the decision's gonna be, but I promise you it will occur. As a student of history and having served with seven presidents, I guarantee you it's gonna happen. I can give you at least four or five scenarios from where it might originate. And he's gonna need help. And the kind of help he's gonna need is, he's gonna need you, not financially to help him, we're gonna need you to use your influence, your influence within the community, to stand with him. Because it's not gonna be apparent initially, it's not gonna be apparent that we're right."

"When a man’s an empty kettle, he should be on his mettle, and yet I’m torn apart."

238 ladycatnip  Tue, May 26, 2009 11:11:55pm

#223 Flyers1974

I believe you personally would not, but speaking of actual politicians running for higher office, they often say things that have no basis in reality in order to get elected. And this is not unique to any political party.

I disagree. If you minimize the things Obama has said (and continues to say) then perhaps you are in agreement with his close friend and mentor, Bill Ayers, who has no problem lying because according to him it's just forming a new construct of reality. That's a slippery slope we don't want to go down.

g'nite.

239 Velvet Elvis  Tue, May 26, 2009 11:12:59pm

re: #210 Sharmuta

Right, so the threat of an armed Japan should help motivate them to deal with the situation.

240 Sharmuta  Tue, May 26, 2009 11:22:26pm

re: #239 Conservative Moonbat

Exactly

241 holterbarbour  Tue, May 26, 2009 11:27:35pm

I live in South Korea. I swear, if it's not North Korean missiles raining down from the skies, it's South Korean ex-Presidents. I'm staying inside.

242 Bob Dillon  Tue, May 26, 2009 11:28:10pm

Just a FYI after all the talk in the MSM about the "surprise" ... NKorea gave the world a heads up last month.

englishnews@chosun.com / Apr. 30, 2009 08:34 KST

[Link: english.chosun.com...]

N.Korea Threatens Fresh Nuclear, Missile Test

North Korea on Thursday threatened to test a second nuclear bomb and an intercontinental ballistic missile unless the UN Security Council lifts sanctions and apologizes.

Experts speculate North Korea is capable of a nuclear test any time given its stockpile of about 30 to 40 kg of plutonium and possession of several nuclear warheads.

...

243 holterbarbour  Tue, May 26, 2009 11:40:22pm

re: #39 Gus 802

I'd say humanitarian concerns alone morally justify a strike.

However justified, the North Koreans are just as suicidal and fatalistic as Hamas bombers. Even if we made a decisive blow against NK, they would still be able to get in a few sucker punches against a soft target--and I'm thinking something very ugly, like chemical weapons in Seoul (where I live). Can we risk that? Well, we always CAN, I'm just not sure the US would like to.

See, that's the problem with all the pesky democracy running rampant in the South. It's turned into a wealthy, first-world nation that the rest of the world doesn't want to see destroyed.

244 SixDegrees  Tue, May 26, 2009 11:49:55pm

re: #52 Guanxi88

He knew an indictment was forthcoming; probably that was enough for him.

As for this mess - just when you thought it couldn't get worse....

Probably typical bluster; I hope. Wouldn't wanna be living in Seoul right now, what with the thousands of NorK arty tubes all pointed that way, and zeroed in.

If Dear Leader's on the way out - assuming he hasn't died already, it's a real problem. I understand his heir's just a kid (less than 30 yrs old, about 26 or 27), and one of the recurring problems with dictatorial dynasties (NorK's seem to have the only known example) is that they combine the instability of dictatorship with the succession problems of a monarchy. They offer the weaknesses of two of the worst possible means of government out there.

Factor in generals pulling the strings, ongoing famine, and 50 plus years of juche, and it's a recipe for disaster on the peninsula, with repercussions throughout Asia, already reeling from a global recession.

Re-arm Japan? Might be the best of a range of bad options, but could fuel Chinese nationalism, hardening the PRC's Party and its grip on society; might make ROC on Taiwan very nervous indeed.

The threat of a rearmed Japan might be enough to prod China into taking action against Kimmy. He's been a thorn in their side for years now, and the prospect of losing their standing as the only capable military power in Asia thanks to Pumpkin Boy could goad China into action against him.

They don't have to fire a shot. All they have to do is open their border, and tell Kimmy to shut the hell up or else, and his little dictatorship starts circling the drain.

245 tradewind  Wed, May 27, 2009 12:06:55am

re: #232 Gus 802

Or Obama could deploy our secret weapon and send Madeline Notallthatbright back for another round of SYTYCD with dear leader.
We're worried for nothing re South Korea, though. All the SK's would have to do is let the starving Nork brown shirts get one whiff of their pizza joints, and they'd all defect.

246 [deleted]  Wed, May 27, 2009 12:25:18am
247 tradewind  Wed, May 27, 2009 12:33:56am

re: #246 Iron Fist

Not sure how we fight this one with the Norks.... they already have the weapons. That horse is out of the barn, thanks to Jimmy Carter's poking his nose into the Clinton administration's foreign policy.
Which is why Iran must not be allowed to get to the same place.
I doubt Israel will let them, and I hope we don't screw it up for the IDF while they're about it. Bibi should tell BHO Lead, Follow, or GTF out of the way.

248 enoughalready  Wed, May 27, 2009 12:41:08am

Prediction and guesswork. The current Great Leader is dead or very close to dying. This is all posturing for a change of leadership.

249 [deleted]  Wed, May 27, 2009 1:10:54am
250 ArrowSmith  Wed, May 27, 2009 1:17:41am

It's ok I trust President Obama to guide us through this crisis.
/wishful thinking

251 ArrowSmith  Wed, May 27, 2009 1:18:54am

re: #208 Steffan

A lot of the food they received ended up being sold across the Chinese border by Kim's cronies. I'm sure the Dear Leader got a cut of the take. Most of what's left goes to the military. The peons get to eat grass and tree bark.

Actually I understood people were being executed for eating the grass.

252 RalphShort  Wed, May 27, 2009 3:44:04am

A long time ago a guy wrote a book called "while England slept". The premise, simply stated, was wishful thinking by politicians and citizens contributed significantly to WW2 and the resulting 57 million people who died. Ten to fifteen years from now when 20 or 30 more two bit countries have nuclear weapons, missiles, etc., someone will wake up and say 'how did we let this happen'.

While the world's focus is on "climate change" (laughable since it always is changing) and what is going to happen by the year 2100 thugs and whackos are garnering nuclear weapons faster than ever and are hell bent on destroying the country of their choice.

Oh, I forgot the U.N. has it under control.

253 gatorbait  Wed, May 27, 2009 4:19:35am

re: #23 VioletTiger

Checkers too sophisticated.

Try Tic Tac Toe, and the big O goes second.

254 Pupdawg  Wed, May 27, 2009 4:40:17am

re: #13 avanti

They are desperate for attention, there must be some serious internal troubles.

Yep, they need some more US bailout money in the billions, I'd guess...like they got from Bill. Their people are starving but their military industrial complex needs new Obama bucks, aka, western monetary maintenence.

255 Jack_ITA  Wed, May 27, 2009 5:29:57am

Poor Kim, he's just wanting some attention (international aids) for his little dictatorship, that's why he's making all this fuss.
It's all a bluff, but everyone knows that if they really try to do something against South Korea it would end up in tears for them.

256 enoughalready  Wed, May 27, 2009 5:44:28am

re: #246 Iron Fist

Sooner or later this war will be fought. Delay gives the Enemy time to marshall his forces, design, test, and manufacture his weapons, train his troops, and prepare for the crippling blows that we will land in the event of war. In otherwords, delay works in favor of the Enemy. What further provocation do we need? Bush named an Axis of Evil training and supplying terrorism against the West. Iraq and Iran were two of those enemies. We've taken down Iraq, and I find it hard to believe that Obama intends to wait forever (or at least until we get nuked) to deal with Iran's provocations. Likewise North Korea. No amount of negiotiating will bring about a peaceful resolution of the problem because L'il Kim doesn't want the problem solved.

Interesting. I remember similar arguments being made about the USSR in the mid-eighties. (Earlier as well)

257 Flyers1974  Wed, May 27, 2009 5:48:35am

re: #252 RalphShort

A long time ago a guy wrote a book called "while England slept". The premise, simply stated, was wishful thinking by politicians and citizens contributed significantly to WW2 and the resulting 57 million people who died. Ten to fifteen years from now when 20 or 30 more two bit countries have nuclear weapons, missiles, etc., someone will wake up and say 'how did we let this happen'.

While the world's focus is on "climate change" (laughable since it always is changing) and what is going to happen by the year 2100 thugs and whackos are garnering nuclear weapons faster than ever and are hell bent on destroying the country of their choice.

Oh, I forgot the U.N. has it under control.

There is no similiarity between the US today and France and England in the 1930's. As Winston Churchhill described in the beginning of his volumes on WWII, France was bled white by the previous war. They had lost something like 20% of their men. Anti-war feelings were extreme in relation to the facts. Both countries were willfully ignorant of the nazi threat. Today, we are the sole superpower. A majority of the US public will accept war if they believe the US is threatened. Afterall, we accepted war against sorry-assed Iraq. Perhaps the problem is different - which threats are the most serious and deserve priority.

258 Nim Chimpsky  Wed, May 27, 2009 5:53:14am

Hail, hail, Freedonia!

259 Our Precious Bodily Fluids  Wed, May 27, 2009 5:55:51am

re: #22 Desert Dog

Where's Hans Brix when you really need him?

Wherever he is, I hope he's not too ronery.

260 Pupdawg  Wed, May 27, 2009 6:02:29am

I can hear KJI now (spoken like Beavis with a little South Park in the mix), 'dammit Butthead, find me an excuse right now to attack 'em, dammit! All deeze nucrear bombs and no one to brow-up! I'm so ronery, so berry, berry ronery."

261 seagreenroom  Wed, May 27, 2009 6:06:43am

re: #25 Iron Fist

Do we have any reason to believe that Obama is up to this kind of challenge? He may be about to learn the hard way that it only takes one side to make a war. Sometimes the other guy decides not to give peace a chance. What are you going to do then?

A strongly worded letter isn't going to cut it.

Maybe well-crafted legal brief?

262 kaymad  Wed, May 27, 2009 6:10:45am

The few pictures I've seen of Kim Jung he looks like he is very sick. In fact isn't wasn't there speculation not long ago that he may be dead? We need some kind of intelligence service...we could call them the CIA, that would gather intelligence and assess the stability of an insane man who seems to be dying. What can we expect this man to do? Could he decide since he is dying he may as well go out in a blaze of glory?

263 Flyers1974  Wed, May 27, 2009 6:16:00am

re: #262 kaymad

The few pictures I've seen of Kim Jung he looks like he is very sick. In fact isn't wasn't there speculation not long ago that he may be dead? We need some kind of intelligence service...we could call them the CIA, that would gather intelligence and assess the stability of an insane man who seems to be dying. What can we expect this man to do? Could he decide since he is dying he may as well go out in a blaze of glory?

I may be quoting the wrong guy here, but last night, I think cato the elder was saying that he is indeed very ill.

264 truth stick  Wed, May 27, 2009 6:50:43am

The Chinese hold all the cards when it comes to NK, they have shielded them against any and all measures to stop them. This latest test and subsequent missile launches may have been too much for the Chicoms, and the very last thing China wants is for Japan to start arming itself nukes also.

265 Teh Flowah  Wed, May 27, 2009 6:57:14am

North Korea won't do anything. They know how much leeway China is going to give them and it's not enough to attack South Korea. Look at the history of North Korean actions in the international arena dating back to the 90's and you'll see this is a pattern that has never escalated. It just results in Kim Jong Il getting what he wants because Americans get so hyped up about "OMIGAW HES GOING TO NUKE SOMEONE".

266 RalphShort  Wed, May 27, 2009 7:16:49am

Re:Flyers1974 #257

I would agree some or even most of the details are different. However, the fact is it is quickly approaching an out of control situation. WW1 had different circumstances that started it but the end result was the same, millions of people dead. To me, the proliferation of nuclear weapons is the most serious problem on the planet, bar none. Rogue states like North Korea, Iran and others in possession of these weapons is an accident waiting to happen. Again, the details of how we got there may not be the same but the result is the same, a greater potential for a conflagration, accidental or deliberate.

I don't pretend to know what the answer is to stopping this but there are two things I believe can be eliminated 1) bribing these states and 2) counting on the U.N. to solve it.

Maybe we need a new "czar", I think that would make an even dozen in D.C. The idea here is the "non proliferation czar" can run around the world "empathizing" with KJ, the mullahs in Iran and other borderline states attempting to build or use nuclear weapons. Maybe a "pity party" will change their minds.

267 djranger  Wed, May 27, 2009 7:18:30am

re: #244 SixDegrees

They don't have to fire a shot. All they have to do is open their border, and tell Kimmy to shut the hell up or else, and his little dictatorship starts circling the drain.

I agree. China is a key player in resolving this situation with the least amount of bloodshed. Could you imagine the aftermath of a pre-emptive attack by US on the Norks? Their military is dangerous, but underneath lies a very large population of some of the most impoverished people on earth. The Norks (and probably our own) media would have a heyday showing the pain and suffering we've caused them. Also, putting Dear Leader in a situation where he has nothing to lose by hurling nukes at Japan and SoKorea is probably not a good idea.

268 Kenneth  Wed, May 27, 2009 7:23:26am

The US certainly needs to be working on this problem, but making a big deal about it will only draw more attention to Lil Kim's antics. I compare it to a disturbed teenager raging & acting out. The parent should never over-react in response, as that gives the teen the attention they want and rewards unacceptable behavior. A quiet firm response is best, one which punishes the acting out (nuke tests, missile launches) and never rewards it. Unfortunately, past US policy was to respond by bribing NoKo not to act out again. This mistake only served to re-enforce the bad behavior.

The US & South Korea are moving to set up a naval screening system in which all shipping to & from NoKo will be stopped & inspected for WMD. Note this is not a blockade, as legitimate shipping will be allowed to pass through. NoKo is responding by threatening war if the US & South Korea carry out this program. It is vitally important the US does not back down on this step. Call NoKo's bluff.

History's lesson is clear: confronted bullies back down, rewarded bullies keep going.

269 Kenneth  Wed, May 27, 2009 7:26:12am

re: #266 RalphShort

Good post. But we don't need a new "czar" in Washington appointed to this specific task. The president & the Secretaries of State and Defense need to get serious about it. If they can't, nobody in Washington will.

270 Liberal Classic  Wed, May 27, 2009 7:32:38am

re: #170 Desert Dog

Lisa Ling - Inside North Korea

These people are terrified of Dear Leader....it is scary to see it


The Vice Guide to North Korea - Episode 1 of 14

[Link: www.vbs.tv...]

Ep 1 is mostly about the south side of the DMZ. At the end of Ep 1, they find out they can get in by bribing the Chinese in Shenyang and things get curiouser and curiouser after that...

271 Yashmak  Wed, May 27, 2009 7:54:09am

re: #9 Wendya

So, they want us to pay them off again.

I wonder what the price will be this time.

That was my thought as well. It seems we hear this sort of saber rattling from NK almost every 6 months or so, every time they need an influx of aid to prop up their ruling party.

I'm almost certain I've heard the "abandoning the armistice" rhetoric from them before.

272 Mike McDaniel  Wed, May 27, 2009 8:06:37am

re: #106 Fenway_Nation

Don't the Japanese (at least theoretically) have the capability to shoot down incoming missiles from the Korean peninsula?

I can't remember the source, but I think they announced that they planned on doing exactly that during the last round of Nork sabre-rattling and told to stand down by the USA?

The Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force has four Aegis-equipped destroyers, with more under construction. These have ballistic missile defense capabilities.

273 brent  Wed, May 27, 2009 8:18:16am

My niece's husband just got back from a tour of the NK/SK border - his take on it was that it was much more worrisome than the tours of Afghanistan (ranger) he'd done over the last few years...

I hope it's all just bluster, but I would not glibly write it off as such...

274 kansas  Wed, May 27, 2009 8:32:13am

Good thing Obama has a spine of steel. According to Joe Gump, that is.

275 Rexatosis  Wed, May 27, 2009 8:37:16am

Fact: Kim Jong Il has been ill for some time.
Historical Reality: Succession in a dictatorship usually falls to the most ruthless, vicious, devious, unscrupulous, brutal, and swift (see Stalin succeeding Lenin for an example.)
Biological Reality: 1. A wounded animal is extremely dangerous. 2. Wounded/old/dying Alpha males are attacked by young males seeking to become the new Alpha and these males will eliminate any and all competition for that Alpha spot (see Lions, Wolves, etc.)
From this we may conclude that if KJI is still in power he is ruthlessly holding it and is extremely dangerous. If KJI loses power, whomever replaces him will be the most ruthless, vicious, and brutal, and swift (if not devious, unscrupulous) of KJI's potential successors.
In other words North Korea is and will be ruled by a brutal, vicious killer armed with nuclear weapons, missiles, and a very large army who does not live by or obey "international law" but by the basic "law of the jungle." President Obama must understand this if he is to have any success in managing the current crisis and in his long term dealings with North Korea.
The North Koreans are serious "Hard Men" and have no use for weakness.

276 charles_martel  Wed, May 27, 2009 8:37:18am

Interesting coincidence that NK is heating up right around the time that Iran needs a good spanking. Methinks it is a coordinated plan to distract us from Iran, forcing Israel to go it alone. This would serve the Arab League very well, they could call Israel an aggressor and punish her severely.

277 MTF  Wed, May 27, 2009 9:02:40am

Just recall the immortal words of our fine Vice President, who said "this young President will be tested". He will need his supporters to "rally 'round" when the world "tests him" and at first it may not be clear in his response to the crisis that he's "doing the right thing". In other words, we're going to sacrifice South Korea but this isn't about the Koreans, really folks, it's about the president and how he's going to need "support" in his hour of trial.

I'm barfing with disgust.

278 Yashmak  Wed, May 27, 2009 9:12:47am

re: #275 Rexatosis

None of what you said changes the simple fact that launching a nuke at any of their neighbors (or our allies) would be tantamount to suicide. By all reports, Kim Jong-Il loves himself WAY too much to make that kind of move. The same will likely be true of his successor (as it is with most of history's dictators).

279 Just_A_Grunt  Wed, May 27, 2009 9:22:55am

Having spent a little bit of time in that neck of the woods the important thing to watch is the N Korean troop movements. Do they start moving south towards the DMZ? Is there a massing anywhere in the country of conventional ground forces?
The rhetoric is one thing, but actions on the ground are another.
In the meantime my prayers go out to the US forces stationed there since I am sure the expression, "couldn't drive a straight pin up my ass with a jackhammer" adequately describes what they experiencing right now. Either side could kick it off.

280 Rexatosis  Wed, May 27, 2009 9:32:30am

RE: # 278 Yashmak

The same was true of Imperial Japan and its attack on Pearl Harbor, there was no way Japan could defeat the United States due to the huge advantage the United States had in population and industrial strength. However the Japanese viewed the United States as "soft" and "weak" and expected the United States to withdraw from the Pacific and Asia. North Korea could easily make the same miscalculation if given repeated signals of weakness by the United States (which has already done so with the seizure of US journalists and the testing of missiles this year). The likely area of miscalculation is shipping near North Korea. Given the tepid responses so far by the Obama Administration to NK aggression the NK leadership may well harass shipping or more likely try and sell nuclear technology and ship it via international waters. An American response (or that of our allies) to either show the flag in waters near NK or by seizing NK ships could (and likely) would lead to a showdown. If the NK leadership could not survive internally by backing down to the US and its allies in such a case (a remember there are no retirement programs for these guys, it is rule or die--law of the jungle) we have a huge problem because it will be in the interest of North Korean leadership to escalate the problem and then all bets are off. For two historical examples of threat escalation and miscalculation leading to war see: Barbara Tuchman, "The Guns of August." and A.J.P. Taylor, "Origins of the Second World War." This is a seriously bad situation that will probably get alot worse.

281 Sparmageddon  Wed, May 27, 2009 9:35:04am

re: #67 AMER1CAN

I think 'convictions' might be a better word. Does Obama have the convictions to stand against this, or will he blow with the wind.

or one might say "the audacity of hope" to do the right thing? But I believe the word is wherewithal.

282 Sparmageddon  Wed, May 27, 2009 9:40:10am

re: #70 flyers1974

Would China want South Korea or Japan to be sacrificed? What would that do to South Korea's economy? The US economy? And as a result to China's economy.

Wars are generally good for the economy, when they are over though. Maybe that is the reason Lil Kim is trying to start something all the time?

283 Yashmak  Wed, May 27, 2009 10:46:46am

re: #280 Rexatosis

Actually, I've read all those books. Military history is my favorite topic.

My point was not that a miscalculation leading to war isn't possible, my point was that it's doubtful that Kim

intends

to launch an attack on South Korea or their other neighbors.

There is also a substantial difference between the circumstances of Japan at the outset of WWII, and North Korea now. The NK leadership would have to be fools to believe that any sort of nuclear or WMD attack on the South wouldn't result in their own vaporization under a mushroom cloud as well. . .whereas it was very easy for the Japanese to believe that, if they could succeed in dealing our fleet an early blow, they could consolidate their gains and then negotiate for peace. Could I be wrong about NK's intentions? Certainly. But I suspect they're just engaged in the same old saber rattling they always engage in when we've ignored them for a while.

284 Yashmak  Wed, May 27, 2009 10:47:19am

Woah. Messed up that post. . ."intends" was meant to be italicized, not blockquoted.

285 RalphShort  Wed, May 27, 2009 5:20:18pm

Kenneth #269, I was being sarcastic about the czar. Frankly, I thought the last one was Nicholas the whatever in Russia. I agree with you someone like Gates, Clinton or even Obama has to get serious about it. Frankly, I don't see it.

It is the most chaotic situation I have ever seen with the no. of states having to trying to have nuclear weapons.


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