On the Brink of WAR

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    May 27, 2009 4:51 PM GMT
    N. Korea threatens to attack US, S. Korea warships
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    Slideshow:North Korea Play Video Video:North Korea Defies U.S., Launches Another Missile CBS 2 New York Play Video North Korea Video:N. Korea threatens South Reuters AP – A couple stands by North Korea's Scud-B missile, center green, and other South Korea's missiles at the … By HYUNG-JIN KIM, Associated Press Writer Hyung-jin Kim, Associated Press Writer – 13 mins ago
    SEOUL, South Korea – North Korea threatened military action Wednesday against U.S. and South Korean warships plying the waters near the Koreas' disputed maritime border, raising the specter of a naval clash just days after the regime's underground nuclear test.

    Pyongyang, reacting angrily to Seoul's decision to join an international program to intercept ships suspected of aiding nuclear proliferation, called the move tantamount to a declaration of war.

    "Now that the South Korean puppets were so ridiculous as to join in the said racket and dare declare a war against compatriots," North Korea is "compelled to take a decisive measure," the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of Korea said in a statement carried by state media.

    The North Korean army called it a violation of the armistice the two Koreas signed in 1953 to end their three-year war, and said it would no longer honor the treaty.

    South Korea's military said Wednesday it was prepared to "respond sternly" to any North Korean provocation.

    North Korea's latest belligerence comes as the U.N. Security Council debates how to punish the regime for testing a nuclear bomb Monday in what President Barack Obama called a "blatant violation" of international law.

    Ambassadors from the five permanent veto-wielding council members — the United States, Russia, China, Britain and France — as well as Japan and South Korea were working out the details of a new resolution.

    The success of any new sanctions would depend on how aggressively China, one of North Korea's only allies, implements them.

    "It's not going too far to say that China holds the keys on sanctions," said Kim Sung-han, an international relations professor at Seoul's Korea University.

    South Korea, divided from the North by a heavily fortified border, had responded to the nuclear test by joining the Proliferation Security Initiative, a U.S.-led network of nations seeking to stop ships from transporting the materials used in nuclear bombs.

    Seoul previously resisted joining the PSI in favor of seeking reconciliation with Pyongyang, but pushed those efforts aside Monday after the nuclear test in the northeast.

    North Korea warned Wednesday that any attempt to stop, board or inspect its ships would constitute a "grave violation."

    The regime also said it could no longer promise the safety of U.S. and South Korean warships and civilian vessels in the waters near the Korea's western maritime border.

    "They should bear in mind that the (North) has tremendous military muscle and its own method of strike able to conquer any targets in its vicinity at one stroke or hit the U.S. on the raw, if necessary," the army said in a statement carried by state media.

    The maritime border has long been a flashpoint between the two Koreas. North Korea disputes the line unilaterally drawn by the United Nations at the end of the Koreas' three-year war in 1953, and has demanded it be redrawn further south.

    The truce signed in 1953 and subsequent military agreements call for both sides to refrain from warfare, but doesn't cover the waters off the west coast.

    North Korea has used the maritime border dispute to provoke two deadly naval skirmishes — in 1999 and 2002.

    On Wednesday, the regime promised "unimaginable and merciless punishment" for anyone daring to challenge its ships.

    Pyongyang also reportedly restarted its weapons-grade nuclear plant, South Korean media said.

    The Chosun Ilbo newspaper said U.S. spy satellites detected signs of steam at the North's Yongbyon nuclear complex, an indication it may have started reprocessing nuclear fuel. The report, which could not be confirmed, quoted an unidentified government official. South Korea's Yonhap news agency also carried a similar report.

    The move would be a major setback for efforts aimed at getting North Korea to disarm.

    North Korea had stopped reprocessing fuel rods as part of an international deal. In 2007, it agreed to disable the Yongbyon reactor in exchange for aid and demolished a cooling tower at the complex.

    The North has about 8,000 spent fuel rods which, if reprocessed, could allow it to harvest 13 to 18 pounds (six to eight kilograms) of plutonium — enough to make at least one nuclear bomb, experts said. North Korea is believed to have enough plutonium for at least a half dozen atomic
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    May 27, 2009 5:06 PM GMT
    There is no brink of war. No matter what North Korea does, the US will not attack it. In Asia we are the Paper Tiger the Chinese labeled us over 4 decades ago. We were defeated in Vietnam, and will not attempt that folly again.

    We may attack a hollow country like Iraq, but we will never attack North Korea and it's ally China. North Korea can do as it wishes, the US can do nothing substantial to resist it. Our limited forces are committed to Iraq & Afghanistan, we cannot support another engagement on the Korean peninsula. There simply aren't any forces available to deploy. Bush put everything into Iraq, with nothing in reserve.

    If the North Koreans attack South Korea this is little we can do. Our Navy ship the USS Pueblo is still held by them, seized in the 1960s, and any new US Navy ship they capture would suffer the same fate.

    The US has no leverage or influence with North Korea, or we would have stopped this long ago.
  • Fiveldsp

    Posts: 99

    May 27, 2009 7:45 PM GMT
    I agree entirely, which is exactly why our response to every single one of North Korea's actions is... words...

    Kind of the whole... "HEY, stop that or i'll have to ask you again..."

    No matter what they do, we will never take an initiative against them because the risk is too high. Kim is a smart man and will sacrifice many to defeat whatever invasion occurs. He'd destroy the entire Korean Peninsula with his atomic arsenal before he would ever let any military force get close to him.

    Also, regardless of tensions, China is an ally to N.K. and we certainly are in no economic situation to risk losing our trade routes with China. We will continue to use big and harsh words while the U.N. issues another empty threated resolution and the end result will be no different than before.

    It is a little exciting to read about though icon_smile.gif
  • UncleverName

    Posts: 741

    May 27, 2009 7:49 PM GMT
    Red_Vespa saidThere is no brink of war. No matter what North Korea does, the US will not attack it. In Asia we are the Paper Tiger the Chinese labeled us over 4 decades ago. We were defeated in Vietnam, and will not attempt that folly again.

    We may attack a hollow country like Iraq, but we will never attack North Korea and it's ally China. North Korea can do as it wishes, the US can do nothing substantial to resist it. Our limited forces are committed to Iraq & Afghanistan, we cannot support another engagement on the Korean peninsula. There simply aren't any forces available to deploy. Bush put everything into Iraq, with nothing in reserve.

    If the North Koreans attack South Korea this is little we can do. Our Navy ship the USS Pueblo is still held by them, seized in the 1960s, and any new US Navy ship they capture would suffer the same fate.

    The US has no leverage or influence with North Korea, or we would have stopped this long ago.


    Sounds about right to me.

    Anyone doubting this should recall that the US acted unilaterally when it came to Iraq, but has always talked about a multi-lateral resolution when it comes North Korea. And Iran, for that matter.
  • UncleverName

    Posts: 741

    May 27, 2009 7:50 PM GMT
    Fiveldsp saidKind of the whole... "HEY, stop that or i'll have to ask you again..."


    Yeah, it seems like the US is following Canada's lead on this. Except with talking instead of strongly worded letters icon_smile.gif
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    May 27, 2009 7:51 PM GMT
    I´m reminded of the Boy who called Wolf. When you start going to war without a reason then you are buggered when it comes to actually going to war when you need to.

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    May 27, 2009 8:12 PM GMT
    Eh, North Korea has the weirdest foreign policy in the world. They should change their name to Bizzaro Korea. Whenever there is a new US President or Secretary of the UN, North Korea does something jaw droppingly stupid, like a child desperate for attention. They launch a rocket into the Pacific (aim for the stars, settle for the Sea of Japan) and Nuclear talks start all over again and North Korea walks away with concessions.

    And I wouldn't count on China backing North Korea. They may be allies, but China's leaders are not stupid. They wont stand for this sort of shit because it endangers their exporting empire to the markets of South Korea, Japan, and especially the US.

    You can ignore a child, you can give in to a child, or you can scold a child. The US tends to ignore, the UN gives in, and China tends to scold, though never in public.
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    May 27, 2009 8:15 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie saidChina tends to scold, though never in public.


    You just created a wonderful stereotyped image of some overly thin Chinese diplomat screaming at the North Koreans in Mandarin.

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    May 27, 2009 8:17 PM GMT
    Lostboy said
    MunchingZombie saidChina tends to scold, though never in public.


    You just created a wonderful stereotyped image of some overly thin Chinese diplomat screaming at the North Koreans in Mandarin.



    And here I had images of Hu Jintao spanking Kim Jong Il.
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    May 27, 2009 8:25 PM GMT
    It's not going to happen because it would not be in China's best interests to allow it to escalate that far. The disruption of US trade would not sit well, and China would no doubt quietly exert just enough leverage to quiet things down while allowing Kim Jong Il the room to posture just enough to feel like he's being taken seriously.
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    May 27, 2009 8:27 PM GMT
    MunchingZombie saidEh, North Korea has the weirdest foreign policy in the world. They should change their name to Bizzaro Korea. Whenever there is a new US President or Secretary of the UN, North Korea does something jaw droppingly stupid, like a child desperate for attention. They launch a rocket into the Pacific (aim for the stars, settle for the Sea of Japan) and Nuclear talks start all over again and North Korea walks away with concessions.

    And I wouldn't count on China backing North Korea. They may be allies, but China's leaders are not stupid. They wont stand for this sort of shit because it endangers their exporting empire to the markets of South Korea, Japan, and especially the US.

    You can ignore a child, you can give in to a child, or you can scold a child. The US tends to ignore, the UN gives in, and China tends to scold, though never in public.


    You beat me to it!icon_lol.gif
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    May 27, 2009 8:35 PM GMT
    I would tend to agree. North Korea is like a little kid in desperate need of attention, then throws a tantrum occasionally. Do we react unnecessarily?

    The problem is... we might end up in a "Columbine scene" with the kids becoming antisocial and isolated... and then lash out.......
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    May 27, 2009 8:57 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidI would tend to agree. North Korea is like a little kid in desperate need of attention, then throws a tantrum occasionally. Do we react unnecessarily?

    The problem is... we might end up in a "Columbine scene" with the kids becoming antisocial and isolated... and then lash out.......


    ...except in this case the psychotic kids won't have the only guns. North Korea is essentially powerless. Their economy is in shambles. Their people are poor and starving. They pose no real threat to anyone. They have tested nuclear devices but lack the technical expertise to weaponize them and the miniaturization techniques to put them into missiles. Whenever a new president comes in they flex what little military muscle they have and wait to be showered with international attention and concessions. They know it's fairly safe right now with US public opinion shifted away from military interventionism. We will complain an threaten, they will refuse like they actually have the power to oppose us, the leaders will look strong in the eyes of the people, and they will probably end up with some consolation prize for stopping their nuclear program again.
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    May 27, 2009 9:01 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidI would tend to agree. North Korea is like a little kid in desperate need of attention, then throws a tantrum occasionally. Do we react unnecessarily?

    The problem is... we might end up in a "Columbine scene" with the kids becoming antisocial and isolated... and then lash out.......


    But I would suspect that were this to happen, N. Korea's alleged best friend would reduce the current regime to a greasy smear on the map rather than allow their own economic stability to be threatened.
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    May 27, 2009 9:08 PM GMT
    Many of you assume those in power (in Korea, north and south, and the US) think rationally, think logically. I too think it's beyond the US' power at the moment to wage four wars at once (we're already in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan) but perhaps not North Korea's to begin/finish one now...that said, I STRONGLY suspect China is the final say in this conflict which for all intents and purposes, I doubt wants a war so close to its soil.

    That said, its inconceiveable that China didn't know/allow the DPRK to test that nuke. Perhaps China is playing at something here as well?

    I doubt we're on the brink of war, at least not in that part of the world. The middle east (specifically Israel), well, that's another story.
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    May 27, 2009 9:22 PM GMT
    Jackal69 saidMany of you assume those in power (in Korea, north and south, and the US) think rationally, think logically. I too think it's beyond the US' power at the moment to wage four wars at once (we're already in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan) but perhaps not North Korea's to begin/finish one now...that said, I STRONGLY suspect China is the final say in this conflict which for all intents and purposes, I doubt wants a war so close to its soil.

    That said, its inconceiveable that China didn't know/allow the DPRK to test that nuke. Perhaps China is playing at something here as well?


    I doubt we're on the brink of war, at least not in that part of the world. The middle east (specifically Israel), well, that's another story.


    That's an interesting angle. Were I a conspiracy theorist, I might say that China is purposely giving N. Korea just enough rope to hang itself with. Knowing that no other country is in a position to exert military force against them, China would get a green light across the board to take action. They might wipe out the current government to install their own puppet regime thereby easing tensions in the region and potentially increasing their own political and economic influence throughout the world.

    I'm not that cynical, but it sure sounds good doesn't it? It's actually pretty much the way I deal with annoying co-workers.icon_lol.gif
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    May 28, 2009 4:39 PM GMT
    GuerrillaSodomite said
    Jackal69 saidMany of you assume those in power (in Korea, north and south, and the US) think rationally, think logically. I too think it's beyond the US' power at the moment to wage four wars at once (we're already in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan) but perhaps not North Korea's to begin/finish one now...that said, I STRONGLY suspect China is the final say in this conflict which for all intents and purposes, I doubt wants a war so close to its soil.

    That said, its inconceiveable that China didn't know/allow the DPRK to test that nuke. Perhaps China is playing at something here as well?


    I doubt we're on the brink of war, at least not in that part of the world. The middle east (specifically Israel), well, that's another story.


    That's an interesting angle. Were I a conspiracy theorist, I might say that China is purposely giving N. Korea just enough rope to hang itself with. Knowing that no other country is in a position to exert military force against them, China would get a green light across the board to take action. They might wipe out the current government to install their own puppet regime thereby easing tensions in the region and potentially increasing their own political and economic influence throughout the world.

    I'm not that cynical, but it sure sounds good doesn't it? It's actually pretty much the way I deal with annoying co-workers.icon_lol.gif


    Interesting indeed. And if China actually does that, it kills a lot of birds with one stone. Solidifying control over another territory, easing tensions in the far east, and winning the accolades of the west.

    And I agree with MunchingZombie. China is definitely not stupid. Siding with DPRK over any war they would start would only assure annihilation of human civilization, and no one wants that, least of all the Chinese with the recent massive rise in the Chinese economy and standards of living. No matter how all the old US propaganda is of the Chinese being a hive-mind of communist monsters whose minds are soo foreign the Americans wouldn't begin to understand them and all that bullshit. People are people, and they think the same thoughts as you, if not of the same language.

    DPRK however, has indeed spoiled brats for rulers. Waving the big stick and wanting to play along with the big boys. "Hey look! I can haz nukes now! TREMBLE BEFORE THE MIGHT OF OUR BELOVED SUPREME RULER KIM JONG IL, FOREIGN DEVILS!" Has to do with the image the DPRK government has to preserve of being a glorious nation, especially given how the evil capitalist pigs, the South Koreans are actually flourishing under a supposedly unequal form of government.

    The true worry really is if DPRK is insane enough to do a first strike. But then everyone (including China) would literally turn to it and rip it to shreds. Right now, it functions as a sort of a pressure gauge for China. It steers focus from the Chinese, who themselves were victims of demonization back during the communist scare. It gives the west a villain figure in the far east and thus still serves China, albeit indirectly. The leash will be tightened, undoubtedly, and perhaps a spanking, if DPRK actually bites rather than just bark madly like the good doggie was supposed to do.