Author Topic: What does North Korea REALLY want?  (Read 5721 times)

FinallyAwake

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What does North Korea REALLY want?
« on: July 31, 2017, 07:13:17 PM »
Searched the forum, and couldn't find my answer.

What is North Korea doing?  What is their real motive?

If they attack the US, they'll get swatted like a fly.  Kim Jong Un loses.
If they don't attack, he'll look like a pansy to his people.  Kim Jong Un loses.

So what's the real motivation?  Are they hoping to get WW3 started, and then run hiding behind Russia's or China's backs to watch the melee?

Or is KJU really so mental that he thinks he actually can dominate the world with his military? 

I just don't get it.

aceyou

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2017, 07:19:51 PM »
My guess is

a) deterrence - show that you are capable of leveling Seoul, as well as an increasingly large range of cities if anyone tries to invade, and

b) unpredictability - having deterrence is only valuable if the opposition (ie, everyone else in the world) things they are crazy/stupid enough to actually use the weapons, despite the fact that it would be game over for them. 

They already have the deterrence, they do stupid shit in my opinion to continually show that they are unpredictible/crazy enough to actually use it. 

lost_in_the_endless_aisle

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #2 on: July 31, 2017, 07:25:12 PM »
aceyou is right, it's the simple and rational explanation: regimes want to preserve themselves an KJU has calculated well so far on his strategy

Paul der Krake

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2017, 09:57:14 PM »
NK can kill hundreds of thousands by attacking Seoul. This is why nobody has dared attacking them.

FinallyAwake

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #4 on: August 01, 2017, 07:10:41 AM »
NK can kill hundreds of thousands by attacking Seoul. This is why nobody has dared attacking them.

Yes, but that action is still a death sentence for KJU.  Does he want to die?  Will he be seen as a "martyr" or something for simply attacking Seoul or anyone else? 

Milkshake

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #5 on: August 01, 2017, 07:43:08 AM »
I read that it is a way for KJU to bring the US to the table for negotiations without the US's air of "you can't touch us". Assuming he is being somewhat rational of course.

To be fair, it seems odd to me that just because we are a big nation, we can say "Hey, you don't get any nukes even if you can build them yourself. But we get as many as we decide is reasonable. Sucks to suck."

Then again KJU also acts like a lunatic, so sanctions for bad behavior seems reasonable to me.

BNgarden

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2017, 07:57:19 AM »
I know very little about the history of the region, and defer to those w varying perspectives and in-depth knowledge of history, strategy, etc.  DH read an article (can't find now to link) noting it may be an attempt to have US recognize NK as a nation, a la US recognition of China some decades ago.

Another couple of perspectives about what's driving the behaviour (and what route to take) are found here:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/31/fear-north-korea-us-diplomatic-ballistic-tests

http://gwynnedyer.com/2017/north-koreas-icbm/

Latter Dyer article excerpt (TL;DR):
But even full-range nuclear-tipped ICBMs would not give the North Korean regime the ability to launch a nuclear attack on America (or Japan, or South Korea) without being exterminated in an immediate, massive nuclear counter-strike. So you can probably trust the North Korean regime not to do anything so terminally stupid Ė unless people like Kim Jung-un are literally crazy.

Thatís why American diplomats work so hard to convince everybody else that the North Koreans really are frothing mad, impervious to logic, and not even interested in self-preservation. Only then can they argue that the North Koreans should be denied nuclear weapons, although Americans, Russians, Chinese, British, French, Israelis, Indians and Pakistanis can be trusted with them.

There is no evidence that the North Koreans really are crazy. In the 64 years since the end of the Korean War they have never risked a war, and they are extremely unlikely to do so now. And while there is a rather erratic leader in Washington at the moment, there are probably enough grown-ups around him to avoid any fatal mistakes on the American side either.
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 08:06:12 AM by BNgarden »

Michael in ABQ

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2017, 08:26:17 AM »
North Korea follows a multi-pronged strategy with the primary goal of maintaining the regime.

They appear to be crazy and irrational as a deterrence strategy. Don't push too hard or they may do something crazy like sink a South Korean ship or level Seoul with a massive artillery attack. The latest version of this is the nuclear strategy.

They also act weak and ineffective so that pressing them too hard appears cruel. How much food and oil have we and other countries sent NK over the decades due to their frequent famines, etc.

Nuclear weapons are the ultimate deterrence. Once you obtain nukes you basically become untouchable. However, you can't actually use them because anyone calling your bluff will kill millions.

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2017, 10:09:04 AM »
I know very little about the history of the region, and defer to those w varying perspectives and in-depth knowledge of history, strategy, etc.  DH read an article (can't find now to link) noting it may be an attempt to have US recognize NK as a nation, a la US recognition of China some decades ago.

Another couple of perspectives about what's driving the behaviour (and what route to take) are found here:
https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/jul/31/fear-north-korea-us-diplomatic-ballistic-tests

http://gwynnedyer.com/2017/north-koreas-icbm/

Latter Dyer article excerpt (TL;DR):
But even full-range nuclear-tipped ICBMs would not give the North Korean regime the ability to launch a nuclear attack on America (or Japan, or South Korea) without being exterminated in an immediate, massive nuclear counter-strike. So you can probably trust the North Korean regime not to do anything so terminally stupid Ė unless people like Kim Jung-un are literally crazy.

Thatís why American diplomats work so hard to convince everybody else that the North Koreans really are frothing mad, impervious to logic, and not even interested in self-preservation. Only then can they argue that the North Koreans should be denied nuclear weapons, although Americans, Russians, Chinese, British, French, Israelis, Indians and Pakistanis can be trusted with them.

There is no evidence that the North Koreans really are crazy. In the 64 years since the end of the Korean War they have never risked a war, and they are extremely unlikely to do so now. And while there is a rather erratic leader in Washington at the moment, there are probably enough grown-ups around him to avoid any fatal mistakes on the American side either.

I don't buy this. The US doesn't need to convince anyone that NK is insane for it not to be allowed nuclear weapons. No one thinks nuclear weapons should expand further. NPT has been formal policy since the 60s.

NK is a bigger immediate threat to our allies, so we're much more interested in controlling their proliferation than India, Pakistan, or Israel. But the US isn't thrilled about any of those states having nukes either. But they've also been much less jackasses about it. India can definitely create an armada of nuclear-tipped ICBMs, but they haven't done so, and they haven't even carried out any nuclear tests or design work in quite sometime.

NK has been pushing hard for nukes and ICBMs under Kim Jong Un, even moreso than Kim Jong Il. Lil' Kim probably thinks it'll make him safer, but he's playing a dangerous game.

GuitarStv

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2017, 10:36:07 AM »
If they don't attack, he'll look like a pansy to his people.  Kim Jong Un loses.

Why would Kim Jong Un lose in this case?  He has near total control of the information his people receive.  Very, very few will ever know what kind of fool their leader looks like to the rest of the world, and those that do will be pretty reluctant to tell others.  I'd say this a very minimal down side for him.

Travis

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #10 on: August 01, 2017, 10:36:52 AM »
North Korea has never been interested in crossing the line and starting a full-scale war. They're small, geographically and politically isolated, and poor in resources. Much of Seoul would be destroyed in the first week, but beyond that the North has little to offer in a war. On the other hand, over the last 50 years or so they've been great at seeing how far they can nudge that line to get what they want.  They won't do something drastic, but they'll threaten or kill just a few South Koreans or Americans to remind us they are a dangerous neighbor.  They've managed to convince several US presidents that if we just give them some food or fuel they'll lay off the crazy pills for a little while lest we "force their hand" and they do something more drastic to get what they need.  Seoul being within range of most of the North's artillery makes for a good deterrent.  China supports them just enough to keep the country from collapsing and as a buffer to an economically and militarily powerful next door neighbor.  They don't want a war either, but they also don't want US troops stationed on their border.

As much as South Korea and the rest of the world would love to see the Kim regime disappear and be integrated with the South, it would bankrupt the South if all the sudden they had to feed and rebuild the North without substantial worldwide help in both manpower and money.

Cache Stash

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2017, 12:09:42 PM »
The "kid" in charge is a psychotic paranoid dipshit that wants attention and be on the world stage.



Bicycle_B

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2017, 02:32:57 PM »
Most leaders' primary focus is on retaining control within their own society.  Presumably Kim Jong Un is the same.

I think that the premise "he said he will attack, he will look like a pansy at home for not attacking" is flawed on several levels:
1. North Korea's top leader has made such threats for decades, it didn't hurt them before.
2. He's threatening the biggest kid on the block, that looks strong even if he doesn't do it.
3. He says anything to Uncle Sam, Uncle Sam is too chicken to respond.  Big Daddy Kim must be Big Man!
4. As his weaponry increases while threats remain similar to the past, he overall appears stronger than before rather than weaker.
5. He can always offer an excuse for not attacking at this moment.  Tomorrow's another day.

His threats against the US unite his people against an enemy, create an atmosphere of crisis requiring obedience, and fulfill the Kim family's strategy of sounding like strong leaders.  All of these support the agenda of controlling his own people and subordinates.

What's new isn't the threats, it's the missile range.  Threats and such, including the possibility of attacking US allies/interests, have been constant for decades from North Korea, with periodic variance in the wild words.  Nothing changed since I read a book chapter on topic 10 years ago when his Dad was in power.  The book's topic was basically "flash points of Asia, and how Asian conflicts will drive history in the next 10 years."  (Title was "Rivals: How the Power Struggle Between China, India and Japan Will Shape Our Next Decade", copyright 2008.)  All regional news developments since then (Asian space race, Chinese islands, Japan vs China re Yasukuni shrine, Kim Jong Un takes over for his Dad) were discussed as likely or possible then, excepting Duterte.  Fwiw, events have been calmer than predictions if anything.  The only slight surprise was Kim Jong Un himself - the author believed that it was unclear which child would rule. 

TL;DR - This has been simmering for ages.  It probably won't boil over now either. 
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 02:37:39 PM by Bicycle_B »

ysette9

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #13 on: August 01, 2017, 03:06:43 PM »
I am completely unqualified to give an answer given my limited knowledge, but I do find North Korea fascinating and have read a few books on the subject. All of the experts I have either read or heard (news, podcasts, etc.) all seem to agree that there is nothing irrational about the NK actions. If anything, as others have said, they have been very rational. They bring things to a brink, make threats, then get bigger countries to the negotiating table to extract concessions like a new nuclear power plant, heating oil, or food. Just put that on repeat and in the background they have been advancing their technology of weapons.

Personally I feel like the actual unpredictable part in this whole thing is how the US president will act and how that might play out if he is not properly insulated by knowledgeable experts with patience, experience, and attention spans.

On the technology front, it is good to remember that while NK has been working on their strategic weapons, the US has simultaneously been working on our weapons defense systems such as THAAD that recently got deployed in South Korea. I hope to goodness that the game never gets played out, but you can ponder what the result of that particular arms race might be.
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dougules

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2017, 03:35:00 PM »
This all makes me think of Dr. Strangelove.

If I had to guess I would say he wants to have deterrence, but also he wants the rest of the world to see him as important, even if it's in a bad way.  We've dedicated a thread to him here, so I'd say he's actually accomplishing that goal pretty well. 

Information isn't 100% controlled in North Korea any more.  It probably used to be until a few years ago, but a lot of Chinese phones and South Korean media have been smuggled across the border in recent years.  The regime is having to clamp down more and more as technology makes it easier and easier to spread information. 

FinallyAwake

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #15 on: August 01, 2017, 03:49:35 PM »
Thanks for adding your insights, everyone!  Guess I'll remove the gas masks from my Amazon cart!!  :) 

jmecklenborg

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2017, 03:52:37 PM »
Time for an Operation Nifty Package reprise:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Nifty_Package

The U.S. Army turned to psychological warfare, blaring rock music at "deafening levels," gunning the engines of armored vehicles against the Nunciature's fence, and setting fire to a neighboring field and bulldozing it to create a "helicopter landing zone."[8][9] Reportedly the song "I Fought The Law" by The Clash was played repeatedly along with "You Shook Me All Night Long" by AC/DC; [10], "Welcome to the Jungle" by Guns N' Roses;[11] another song in the line-up was "Too Old To Rock 'n' Roll: Too Young to Die" by Jethro Tull.[12]

maizeman

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #17 on: August 01, 2017, 04:06:34 PM »
I agree with Bicycle_B and Michael in ABQ that North Korea's action makes a lot more sense if you realize most of their international actions are really motivated by trying to stay in power in their own country, not international strategic objectives.

KJU wants to look powerful to his own people and also keep fear/hatred of the USA in the front of every North Korean's mind, so they won't start thinking about how much worse off they are than South Koreans (and who might be to blame for that).
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surfhb

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #18 on: August 01, 2017, 04:50:08 PM »
My best guess would be leverage.    You can sure as hell play a better game when you have a bigger club.   

Once NK has a functional nuclear weapon (something I don't believe they have) then they become legit on the world stage. 

For me,  a nuclear NK keeps me up at night.     We're dealing with a man who killed his exiled brother and executed his uncle with an anti aircraft gun.  Almost something that deserves a preemptive response from us at some point if things escalate. 

If President Shitbag wants to make a difference he should talk with them and normalize the relationship.   Ya know, presidential type, kind of leadership stuff. 
« Last Edit: August 01, 2017, 05:02:23 PM by surfhb »

GuitarStv

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #19 on: August 01, 2017, 05:25:37 PM »
The "kid" in charge is a psychotic paranoid dipshit that wants attention and be on the world stage.

Jeeze, can't we have one thread where we don't bring up Donald Trump?

ysette9

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #20 on: August 01, 2017, 09:21:45 PM »
Quote
Jeeze, can't we have one thread where we don't bring up Donald Trump?
Hahha
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RangerOne

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #21 on: August 02, 2017, 11:46:32 AM »
I would agree that based on expert opinions the narrative that NK has mostly been a rational actor, using bombast and threat of war to keep nations like America on their heels.

And frankly it has worked and will continue to work perfectly. The cost of life to us and our allies is simply too high to strongly consider any kind war or action risking war. NK essentially can hold SK hostage just to be allowed to continue doing whatever they want within their country with zero Western interference.

They have shown no interest in actually intentionally starting a war that would risk losing the Kim regimes death grip over NK.

In reality we made the choice long ago to accept a nuclear NK and everything that entails. The only gap they have been closing is having ICBMs that can reliably reach the US mainland. But any action that would prevent that from happening is far too costly for us to really consider. The cost at a minimum of attempting to act against NK would be essentially to turn the whole peninsula into the largest refugee crises of our lifetimes along with a potential nuclear attack on a major city in Japan or SK.

As long as Kim feels like they have something to lose they will likely never act against a neighbor, they have shown no desire for expansion or conquest I am aware of. But faced with losing their entire country they would likely attempt to eradicate SK and lash out at Japan on the way out.

The other side to mitigating this is risk is missile defense. To my understanding this technology is still largely ineffective against ICBMs simply because it is near impossible to intercept a missile launched at an unknown time from an unknown location, not even considering all the decoy measures that can be taken in a perfect scenario. This technology seems mostly to be for posturing. Though I would imagine at some point effective missile defense should be possible.

ysette9

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #22 on: August 02, 2017, 12:39:42 PM »
Quote
The other side to mitigating this is risk is missile defense. To my understanding this technology is still largely ineffective against ICBMs simply because it is near impossible to intercept a missile launched at an unknown time from an unknown location, not even considering all the decoy measures that can be taken in a perfect scenario. This technology seems mostly to be for posturing. Though I would imagine at some point effective missile defense should be possible.

Having worked on a missile defense program, I don't know everything, but my opinion is not nearly as pessimistic as you. THAAD has been making good progress on a damn hard engineering problem. The test are done without letting the interceptor folks on the ground know what they are going to intercept, where it will come from, or when (in a couple week window) it will happen. That said, we haven't had a real test and I think that all of us would prefer that we never actually test the system for real.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal_High_Altitude_Area_Defense
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FinallyAwake

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #23 on: August 02, 2017, 01:54:09 PM »
Quote
The other side to mitigating this is risk is missile defense. To my understanding this technology is still largely ineffective against ICBMs simply because it is near impossible to intercept a missile launched at an unknown time from an unknown location, not even considering all the decoy measures that can be taken in a perfect scenario. This technology seems mostly to be for posturing. Though I would imagine at some point effective missile defense should be possible.

Having worked on a missile defense program, I don't know everything, but my opinion is not nearly as pessimistic as you. THAAD has been making good progress on a damn hard engineering problem. The test are done without letting the interceptor folks on the ground know what they are going to intercept, where it will come from, or when (in a couple week window) it will happen. That said, we haven't had a real test and I think that all of us would prefer that we never actually test the system for real.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal_High_Altitude_Area_Defense

What does a missile intercept of a nuclear warhead entail?  Will the bomb still go off, but not at it's intended target?  So, say, if a nuclear bomb was headed toward Chicago (I know, it's more likely that it would be a west coast or off the mainland target, but bear with me), would the goal be to intercept it over a less populated area in the upper midwest/plains area because it will still detonate? 

dougules

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #24 on: August 02, 2017, 03:52:52 PM »
Quote
The other side to mitigating this is risk is missile defense. To my understanding this technology is still largely ineffective against ICBMs simply because it is near impossible to intercept a missile launched at an unknown time from an unknown location, not even considering all the decoy measures that can be taken in a perfect scenario. This technology seems mostly to be for posturing. Though I would imagine at some point effective missile defense should be possible.

Having worked on a missile defense program, I don't know everything, but my opinion is not nearly as pessimistic as you. THAAD has been making good progress on a damn hard engineering problem. The test are done without letting the interceptor folks on the ground know what they are going to intercept, where it will come from, or when (in a couple week window) it will happen. That said, we haven't had a real test and I think that all of us would prefer that we never actually test the system for real.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal_High_Altitude_Area_Defense

What does a missile intercept of a nuclear warhead entail?  Will the bomb still go off, but not at it's intended target?  So, say, if a nuclear bomb was headed toward Chicago (I know, it's more likely that it would be a west coast or off the mainland target, but bear with me), would the goal be to intercept it over a less populated area in the upper midwest/plains area because it will still detonate?

Great circle route to anywhere in the continental US from Asia is from the north over Canada.  Would anybody really notice if Canada got nuked?

GuitarStv

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #25 on: August 02, 2017, 06:30:33 PM »
Quote
The other side to mitigating this is risk is missile defense. To my understanding this technology is still largely ineffective against ICBMs simply because it is near impossible to intercept a missile launched at an unknown time from an unknown location, not even considering all the decoy measures that can be taken in a perfect scenario. This technology seems mostly to be for posturing. Though I would imagine at some point effective missile defense should be possible.

Having worked on a missile defense program, I don't know everything, but my opinion is not nearly as pessimistic as you. THAAD has been making good progress on a damn hard engineering problem. The test are done without letting the interceptor folks on the ground know what they are going to intercept, where it will come from, or when (in a couple week window) it will happen. That said, we haven't had a real test and I think that all of us would prefer that we never actually test the system for real.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal_High_Altitude_Area_Defense

What does a missile intercept of a nuclear warhead entail?  Will the bomb still go off, but not at it's intended target?  So, say, if a nuclear bomb was headed toward Chicago (I know, it's more likely that it would be a west coast or off the mainland target, but bear with me), would the goal be to intercept it over a less populated area in the upper midwest/plains area because it will still detonate?

Great circle route to anywhere in the continental US from Asia is from the north over Canada.  Would anybody really notice if Canada got nuked?

The majority of Northern Canada would go pretty much unnoticed.

Travis

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #26 on: August 02, 2017, 11:29:45 PM »
A nuclear bomb properly exploding is a fairly precise bit of physics and engineering. I cant speak to North Korean tech, but with most modern devices blowing it up from the outside won't make it go boom. The trade off with hitting one in mid air is the nuclear materials being spread around in a dust cloud over a large area with a lot of people getting sick rather than them being blown to bits. The goal in missile defense is to hit the missile at or before it starts it's downward plunge so that if the above scenario happens it explodes or becomes an environmental mess over or near the country that launched it. Fallout sucks, but it's a lot better than an entire city just disappearing.

applegrapepie

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #27 on: August 03, 2017, 12:26:53 AM »
They want money and want to show how powerful and dangerous they are.

FinallyAwake

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2017, 06:35:43 AM »
A nuclear bomb properly exploding is a fairly precise bit of physics and engineering. I cant speak to North Korean tech, but with most modern devices blowing it up from the outside won't make it go boom. The trade off with hitting one in mid air is the nuclear materials being spread around in a dust cloud over a large area with a lot of people getting sick rather than them being blown to bits. The goal in missile defense is to hit the missile at or before it starts it's downward plunge so that if the above scenario happens it explodes or becomes an environmental mess over or near the country that launched it. Fallout sucks, but it's a lot better than an entire city just disappearing.

Thank you for the great explanation!

jmecklenborg

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #29 on: August 03, 2017, 10:03:35 AM »
It's unlikely that NK possesses a bomb powerful enough to do a huge amount of damage to a U.S. city.  The Hiroshema and Nagasaki bombs were very small compared to what existed just 10 years later, and a similar strike would kill far fewer in a U.S. city today because all of them, sans Manhattan, are much less densely-populated than were those premodern Japanese cities.  Sure, tons of people will suffer radiation poisoning and be hit by flying debris outside the immediate blast zone, but far fewer will be killed instantly. 

Milkshake

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #30 on: August 03, 2017, 10:06:44 AM »
A nuclear bomb properly exploding is a fairly precise bit of physics and engineering. I cant speak to North Korean tech, but with most modern devices blowing it up from the outside won't make it go boom. The trade off with hitting one in mid air is the nuclear materials being spread around in a dust cloud over a large area with a lot of people getting sick rather than them being blown to bits. The goal in missile defense is to hit the missile at or before it starts it's downward plunge so that if the above scenario happens it explodes or becomes an environmental mess over or near the country that launched it. Fallout sucks, but it's a lot better than an entire city just disappearing.

I would also like to add that in a basic fission weapon, the uranium is in two separate, solid chunks. It would be very likely that if we used a kinetic interceptor, it would just knock the missile out of the sky and not cause any kind of dust. It would just be a few pieces of radioactive U235. Also, it is very difficult to refine uranium, and even more difficult to refine plutonium.

Also, making the ultra-powerful thermonuclear fusion weapons that we have is much more complex, and highly unlikely that NK has the capabilities for this. Making an ICBM is tough, making a warhead is really tough, and putting the two together and ensuring it all detonates properly is really, really hard.

GuitarStv

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #31 on: August 03, 2017, 04:39:49 PM »
It doesn't just have to be nukes.  North Korea infiltrated Canada by way of Taekwondo instructors that were supposed to be assassins a while back.  Seriously:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7605935.stm   :P

Kris

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #32 on: August 04, 2017, 09:55:44 AM »
Did you know that we never officially ended the Korean war?  There was a cease-fire in 1953 but in the last 64 years no peace treaty was signed.  It's no wonder there have been decades of provocations.

Also, yes, we are hypocrites for saying they can't have nukes but we can.  And it is rational for them to want nukes as a deterrence from us attacking.  However, it's well within our rights to employ all means necessary to prevent them from getting nukes.  But I'm a pacifist so I would hate for us to go to war with them.  So I'd support us doing sanctions, diplomacy with China to have them do sanctions, counter-intelligence, etc.

Truth. I get that it stems from some "policemen of the world" notion that we in the US have (partly justified by the fact that many other governments seem more than willing to let us continue in this role) -- and the naive/complacent sense that western countries innately/inevitably have reasonable governments and leaders who would never do anything "crazy" and therefore can "handle" something as dangerous as nuclear weapons.

And then, we go and elect Kim Jong Cheeto.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

Kris

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #33 on: August 04, 2017, 10:27:52 AM »
Did you know that we never officially ended the Korean war?  There was a cease-fire in 1953 but in the last 64 years no peace treaty was signed.  It's no wonder there have been decades of provocations.

Also, yes, we are hypocrites for saying they can't have nukes but we can.  And it is rational for them to want nukes as a deterrence from us attacking.  However, it's well within our rights to employ all means necessary to prevent them from getting nukes.  But I'm a pacifist so I would hate for us to go to war with them.  So I'd support us doing sanctions, diplomacy with China to have them do sanctions, counter-intelligence, etc.

Truth. I get that it stems from some "policemen of the world" notion that we in the US have (partly justified by the fact that many other governments seem more than willing to let us continue in this role) -- and the naive/complacent sense that western countries innately/inevitably have reasonable governments and leaders who would never do anything "crazy" and therefore can "handle" something as dangerous as nuclear weapons.

And then, we go and elect Kim Jong Cheeto.

If Trump can't even stand up to Mexico, I doubt he would launch nukes.

He can't stand up to Mexico to their face. Just like he can't fire anyone to their faces. He's great at passive-aggressive jabs. Pushing a button from far away is much more his style.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

Kris

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #34 on: August 04, 2017, 10:31:55 AM »
Did you know that we never officially ended the Korean war?  There was a cease-fire in 1953 but in the last 64 years no peace treaty was signed.  It's no wonder there have been decades of provocations.

Also, yes, we are hypocrites for saying they can't have nukes but we can.  And it is rational for them to want nukes as a deterrence from us attacking.  However, it's well within our rights to employ all means necessary to prevent them from getting nukes.  But I'm a pacifist so I would hate for us to go to war with them.  So I'd support us doing sanctions, diplomacy with China to have them do sanctions, counter-intelligence, etc.

Truth. I get that it stems from some "policemen of the world" notion that we in the US have (partly justified by the fact that many other governments seem more than willing to let us continue in this role) -- and the naive/complacent sense that western countries innately/inevitably have reasonable governments and leaders who would never do anything "crazy" and therefore can "handle" something as dangerous as nuclear weapons.

And then, we go and elect Kim Jong Cheeto.

If Trump can't even stand up to Mexico, I doubt he would launch nukes.

He can't stand up to Mexico to their face. Just like he can't fire anyone to their faces. He's great at passive-aggressive jabs. Pushing a button from far away is much more his style.

I'm guessing you are referring to when he pushes the Twitter submit button.

Yup.

And I'm guessing to an extreme, delusional narcissist like Trump, one button is much the same as another.
Please note: Libertarian4321 did not vote for either Hillary or Trump. He voted for Gary Johnson, who was the Libertarian candidate.

dougules

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #35 on: August 04, 2017, 10:59:41 AM »
It doesn't just have to be nukes.  North Korea infiltrated Canada by way of Taekwondo instructors that were supposed to be assassins a while back.  Seriously:  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/7605935.stm   :P

The truth really is stranger than fiction.  I'm still not sure that's not fake news. 

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #36 on: August 04, 2017, 12:10:42 PM »
A nuclear bomb properly exploding is a fairly precise bit of physics and engineering. I cant speak to North Korean tech, but with most modern devices blowing it up from the outside won't make it go boom. The trade off with hitting one in mid air is the nuclear materials being spread around in a dust cloud over a large area with a lot of people getting sick rather than them being blown to bits. The goal in missile defense is to hit the missile at or before it starts it's downward plunge so that if the above scenario happens it explodes or becomes an environmental mess over or near the country that launched it. Fallout sucks, but it's a lot better than an entire city just disappearing.

I would also like to add that in a basic fission weapon, the uranium is in two separate, solid chunks. It would be very likely that if we used a kinetic interceptor, it would just knock the missile out of the sky and not cause any kind of dust. It would just be a few pieces of radioactive U235. Also, it is very difficult to refine uranium, and even more difficult to refine plutonium.

Also, making the ultra-powerful thermonuclear fusion weapons that we have is much more complex, and highly unlikely that NK has the capabilities for this. Making an ICBM is tough, making a warhead is really tough, and putting the two together and ensuring it all detonates properly is really, really hard.
I agree with you that North Korea probably doesn't have the kind of multi-stage warheads we have, given that they are having a hard enough time just crossing the 20kt threshold. But, both multi-stage weapons and ICBMs are 1950s-era technologies.  My impression is that this is a threshold that North Korea can eventually cross, if they don't starve to death first.

Not that it's going to be an accurate missile and I highly doubt it's going to survive modern ABM systems, but it's a worrying thought.


Milkshake

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #37 on: August 04, 2017, 12:29:15 PM »
TBH, if I was them I would target satellites. They've already proven they can get a missile well above the ISS. Yeah you would be breaking loads of treaties and destroying our low earth orbit with space debris, but you're KJU, so who gives a f*ck?

GuitarStv

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #38 on: August 04, 2017, 01:24:22 PM »
TBH, if I was them I would target satellites. They've already proven they can get a missile well above the ISS. Yeah you would be breaking loads of treaties and destroying our low earth orbit with space debris, but you're KJU, so who gives a f*ck?

That's actually a pretty terrifying idea.  Get enough bits of broken shit floating around up there, and you would be able to seriously damage communications forever.

thesvenster

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #39 on: August 04, 2017, 01:30:40 PM »
A couple of thoughts neither here nor there:

KJU probably doesn't have a great grasp of what's going on in the world, I guess he might have full internet access and read South Korean news. But he is surrounded by people who are afraid he will kill them, so he's insulated. The internal dynamics of Nork politics are completely opaque.

The ICBM is great for propaganda, but really all he'd have to do is drive a diesel sub up to the US coast and use some sort of retrofitted artillery to lob the device, or just full on kamikaze the sub.

It wouldn't matter if "only" a thousand Americans died in a Nork attack, most Americans would still see that as losing no matter how we retaliated.

In all the talk about nukes its easy to forget how powerful conventional weapons are. Regular old WW1 style artillery could decimate Seoul from the Nork side.

« Last Edit: August 04, 2017, 01:33:36 PM by thesvenster »

Milkshake

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #40 on: August 07, 2017, 09:36:57 AM »
TBH, if I was them I would target satellites. They've already proven they can get a missile well above the ISS. Yeah you would be breaking loads of treaties and destroying our low earth orbit with space debris, but you're KJU, so who gives a f*ck?

That's actually a pretty terrifying idea.  Get enough bits of broken shit floating around up there, and you would be able to seriously damage communications forever.

But once we build the space elevator we can just attach what amounts to an asteroid sized catchers mitt and remove all of the space debris in a few days!

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_elevator

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #41 on: August 07, 2017, 12:14:17 PM »
So, the artillery threat to Seoul is slightly overblown. Most of Seoul is more than 30 miles south of the DMZ, which is farther than the range of almost any artillery piece.

NK has custom-created some artillery pieces (Koksan) to give them the range to hit Seoul. They have maybe 500-700. They definitely have the range to hit parts of Seoul, since Iran used them in the Iran-Iraq war.

There's also some rocket launching systems that have the range to hit Seoul, something like 200 in number?


As tensions mount up, the ROK would get into position and there'd be a lot more US presence in the region. So once the shooting starts, there'd be a lot of assets there devoted to hitting those weapons. They'd go down in number fast.

There'd be a lot of civilian casualties, but nothing like millions dead or destruction of the entire city.

Michael in ABQ

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #42 on: August 07, 2017, 12:40:57 PM »
So, the artillery threat to Seoul is slightly overblown. Most of Seoul is more than 30 miles south of the DMZ, which is farther than the range of almost any artillery piece.

NK has custom-created some artillery pieces (Koksan) to give them the range to hit Seoul. They have maybe 500-700. They definitely have the range to hit parts of Seoul, since Iran used them in the Iran-Iraq war.

There's also some rocket launching systems that have the range to hit Seoul, something like 200 in number?


As tensions mount up, the ROK would get into position and there'd be a lot more US presence in the region. So once the shooting starts, there'd be a lot of assets there devoted to hitting those weapons. They'd go down in number fast.

There'd be a lot of civilian casualties, but nothing like millions dead or destruction of the entire city.

Good points. However, NK has also had generations to dig hardened firing positions inside the mountains on their side of the border for those guns. US artillery is generally shorter ranged as the barrels are shorter to make them easier to transport. Russian doctrine (and others like China and NK) has been to make longer artillery pieces that have greater range. Fixed artillery can more easily be made with longer barrels to give that extra range. Same with guided or unguided rockets. If it doesn't need to be mobile it can be made larger and thus have greater range or more explosives.

While a sudden NK attack on Seoul wouldn't kill millions, tens of thousands is very realistic. Not to mention causing a huge crisis from displacing millions who would feel threatened. There's also suburbs of Seoul to the north of the city such as Goyang which is about 15 miles from the border and has a population of about 1 million.

thesvenster

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #43 on: August 07, 2017, 04:39:57 PM »
So, the artillery threat to Seoul is slightly overblown. Most of Seoul is more than 30 miles south of the DMZ, which is farther than the range of almost any artillery piece.

NK has custom-created some artillery pieces (Koksan) to give them the range to hit Seoul. They have maybe 500-700. They definitely have the range to hit parts of Seoul, since Iran used them in the Iran-Iraq war.

There's also some rocket launching systems that have the range to hit Seoul, something like 200 in number?


As tensions mount up, the ROK would get into position and there'd be a lot more US presence in the region. So once the shooting starts, there'd be a lot of assets there devoted to hitting those weapons. They'd go down in number fast.

There'd be a lot of civilian casualties, but nothing like millions dead or destruction of the entire city.

Good points. However, NK has also had generations to dig hardened firing positions inside the mountains on their side of the border for those guns. US artillery is generally shorter ranged as the barrels are shorter to make them easier to transport. Russian doctrine (and others like China and NK) has been to make longer artillery pieces that have greater range. Fixed artillery can more easily be made with longer barrels to give that extra range. Same with guided or unguided rockets. If it doesn't need to be mobile it can be made larger and thus have greater range or more explosives.

While a sudden NK attack on Seoul wouldn't kill millions, tens of thousands is very realistic. Not to mention causing a huge crisis from displacing millions who would feel threatened. There's also suburbs of Seoul to the north of the city such as Goyang which is about 15 miles from the border and has a population of about 1 million.

This. It's easy to think of artillery as relict weapons, but the Russkies have been developing some very advanced modern pieces. Doubtful that Nork has access to those of course.

Rimu05

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #44 on: August 08, 2017, 02:35:06 PM »
I don't know what their point is, but I know it won't stop unless there is a war or an internal coup. Chances are one or the other will inevitably happen.

People believe that countries that are isolated have a populace that is completely brainwashed and unaware. Like I constantly here the phrase "Africa must wake up." As though many Africans aren't aware of their situation.

Chances are the people in North Korea are aware. As with history, even with controlled media, extreme censorship, etc people have still thrown revolutions

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #45 on: August 08, 2017, 03:09:00 PM »
So, the artillery threat to Seoul is slightly overblown. Most of Seoul is more than 30 miles south of the DMZ, which is farther than the range of almost any artillery piece.

NK has custom-created some artillery pieces (Koksan) to give them the range to hit Seoul. They have maybe 500-700. They definitely have the range to hit parts of Seoul, since Iran used them in the Iran-Iraq war.

There's also some rocket launching systems that have the range to hit Seoul, something like 200 in number?


As tensions mount up, the ROK would get into position and there'd be a lot more US presence in the region. So once the shooting starts, there'd be a lot of assets there devoted to hitting those weapons. They'd go down in number fast.

There'd be a lot of civilian casualties, but nothing like millions dead or destruction of the entire city.

Good points. However, NK has also had generations to dig hardened firing positions inside the mountains on their side of the border for those guns. US artillery is generally shorter ranged as the barrels are shorter to make them easier to transport. Russian doctrine (and others like China and NK) has been to make longer artillery pieces that have greater range. Fixed artillery can more easily be made with longer barrels to give that extra range. Same with guided or unguided rockets. If it doesn't need to be mobile it can be made larger and thus have greater range or more explosives.

While a sudden NK attack on Seoul wouldn't kill millions, tens of thousands is very realistic. Not to mention causing a huge crisis from displacing millions who would feel threatened. There's also suburbs of Seoul to the north of the city such as Goyang which is about 15 miles from the border and has a population of about 1 million.
Yeah, I am seeing rather realistic estimates of deaths in the 100,000 to a million range. It'd be a human tragedy unlike anything we've seen in a short-intensity war for a long time.

In other news, North Korea apparently has a working warhead design:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/north-korea-now-making-missile-ready-nuclear-weapons-us-analysts-say/2017/08/08/e14b882a-7b6b-11e7-9d08-b79f191668ed_story.html?utm_term=.928a4328ddbb

So basically they are a nuclear power with ICBMs now. This makes the game a lot more dangerous. I wouldn't be surprised to see massive attacks on NK before the year is out. They definitely seem like they might try to mate a warhead with a missile, which I think the US might treat as the final red-line.

GuitarStv

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #46 on: August 08, 2017, 06:42:01 PM »
I wouldn't be surprised to see massive attacks on NK before the year is out. They definitely seem like they might try to mate a warhead with a missile, which I think the US might treat as the final red-line.

The US cannot attack North Korea without risking a serious conflict with China.  As stupid as the current leadership of the US has proven itself to be, I would be surprised to see America instigate an actual third world war over this.

A Definite Beta Guy

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #47 on: August 09, 2017, 07:03:47 AM »
I wouldn't be surprised to see massive attacks on NK before the year is out. They definitely seem like they might try to mate a warhead with a missile, which I think the US might treat as the final red-line.

The US cannot attack North Korea without risking a serious conflict with China.  As stupid as the current leadership of the US has proven itself to be, I would be surprised to see America instigate an actual third world war over this.
I think the US would risk an attack to knock out a nuclear missile that the North Koreans are fueling and arming. I don't think China would intervene in that situation, but it might escalate out of control, which might THEN cause a Chinese intervention.

The US has risked WWIII a few times in the past, it's not unthinkable.

ponyboy

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #48 on: August 09, 2017, 08:04:10 AM »
Its sickening that the obvious answer is right in front of everyones face yet no one can see it...thats how propaganda works...its always worked and will always continue to work.

NK does not want anything.  They arent going to attack anyone.  They've always ran their mouths...they're always testing missiles, they've always had nuclear capabilities.  NK will not attack a single country...get that through your heads.

Why are we seeing news story after news story about NK...why all the fear mongering?  The United States is planning to go with war against NK.  Before they can go to war they have to convince everyone that war is justified.  The US government needs public approval.  Thats why we keep seeing more NK stories...its desensitizing us.  Its propaganda at its finest yet no one knows it.  Its brilliant. 

Why do we want to go with war with NK?  Any guess??? MONEY!  The "war" on terror is ramping down.  The "war" on drugs is losing steam.  We need another excuse to engage. 


Cwadda

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Re: What does North Korea REALLY want?
« Reply #49 on: August 09, 2017, 08:09:34 AM »
My parents recently visited South Korea (last month), near the border and spoke to the locals about North Korea. They asked, "don't you worry constantly about the folks up north?"

The locals looked at them very quizzically, and said something to the effect of: "What do you mean? It's very peaceful here." They didn't have the faintest idea of what my parents were talking about.

I think a lot of the media BS is fear mongering.