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It's Kicking Off - Korea

Discussion in 'Alley of Dangerous Angles' started by Barmy Army, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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  2. Master of Nuhn

    Master of Nuhn Wear it like a crown Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Tension has been building up for a while now. I wonder how it turns out this time. Hopefully it will fizzle out, but it seems a bit worse each time it starts again.

    I know little about foreign politics, the international press and general warfare, so perhaps someone can fill me in on two things:

    1) Why do they always seem to take military tests/rocket launches etc near each others borders? Showing off? Taunting? Trying to get the attention to the border i.s.o. lets say, uranium enrichment facilities?

    2) Is North Korea really that "evil" or is that what our governments / media wants us to believe (Propaganda)? I don't believe everything I hear on the news, you see, but it's kinda clear that there is something really wrong.
     
  3. Iku-Turso Gems: 26/31
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    North Korea is a communist dictatorship and fascist in practice. What would there be right?
     
  4. Master of Nuhn

    Master of Nuhn Wear it like a crown Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Very little. But It's kinda influencing my view on South Korea. I automatically see it as a "nice and kind" country, solely based on the acts of its evil twin brother. I sometimes get the feeling that what I read in the papers about SK (which is little, I must admit), is all pretty so I might think even worse of NK. And I don't know if that's correct. NM, though. Just asking and testing my knowledge of foreign affairs.
     
  5. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    NK is an oppressive, isolationist tyranny that holds it's own people hostage. If it isn't given enough aid every year, it will refuse to allow families separated by the Korean War to see each other. Many of it's people starve while the leaders feast. I have no idea how good SK actually is, just that they're better compared to NK, which isn't hard. Add to that the fact that NK and SK actively and acutely hate each other. The kind of hatred that you only see with close family.

    As for the testing, I do believe it's all about showing off/threatening/provoking the neighbor. I also think it's telling that China, the closest think NK has to an ally, hasn't come in to defend NK in any of it's recent stunts. It's refused to condemn NK, but it hasn't actually defended them. When your only friend's best argument in your defense is, "Well, I mean, he may have had a reason... maybe", you know things are bad.

    *All talk about NK and SK in this post is about the government. As far as I can tell, the bulk of NK's population are essentially prisoners of their government. I have no idea how much they buy the propaganda or how they feel about SK, and I know many in SK feel bad for the people in NK (who may be old family or friends).
     
  6. joacqin

    joacqin Confused Jerk Adored Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    NOG summed up my understanding of the situation pretty well. The entire place is utterly bizarre, have an old co-worker who managed to visit a few years back and the stories he told confirmed every single bit of anti-NK propaganda you might have heard.

    NK has learnt through the years that enough sabrerattling will give them whatever they want because they are convinced (and hopefully with good cause) that no one will start a full scale war with them. Whenever they need something they act like jerks and then ask for whatever they need to stop. If the rest of the world would actually go hardline on NK we could have a horrible war on our hands which NK would without a doubt lose but they would make sure to wreak untold havoc upon Japan and SK.

    The only option is sadly to grin and bear it and hope that things will change, new leadership, something to open up the world's biggest prison.
     
  7. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    Outside of the attack itself, NK has also announced that they are building another uranium enrichment facility. It isn't really news in that everyone knows they already have them - the odd thing is that they are openly announcing for the first time that they have them, and plan to build more.

    And I think that is the biggest problem. joa is completely right about saber-rattling. Those threats may carry much more weight when NK is a nuclear power. They certainly already have nuclear weapons - it just isn't clear how many, nor if they have intercontinental missiles yet. The conventional thinking right now is that they kind of do. They certainly have missiles that can travel thousands of miles. While they couldn't reach Europe, they can certainly get to just about anywhere in Asia, and possibly the western coast of the US.
     
  8. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    They don't need to reach the US, really - there are thousands of US citizens and soldiers in Korea and Japan anyway.

    Personally, I believe North Korea is trying to preempt any conclusions that it is weakened by the transfer in power between Kim Jong Il and his son by a show of force. Now, there have been US/South Korean military exercises in the region that NK objected to, maybe they wanted to show a more excessive reaction to assert their power. I actually don't think they consider South Korea as a threat - I would not be surprised if the whole thing was done to impress some overly paranoid generals or party apparatchiks who were ranting about the danger the southern devils represented and could go rogue, opposing the designated heir and possibly causing a splintering in the system.

    Hopefully this will come to no more than the incident with the south korean ship that was sunk this spring. I'd much rather not see a new Korean war, especially if nukes are put into the bargain.
     
  9. Harbourboy

    Harbourboy Take thy form from off my door! Veteran Pillars of Eternity SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Is North Korea simply one of the most bizarre places on Earth?
     
  10. The Shaman Gems: 28/31
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    Not "simply," no.
     
  11. pplr Gems: 18/31
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    This is probably N. Korean politics at the expense of people's lives (not that, sadly, this is unheard of).

    That said.... if N. Korea was going to have another war would now be a good time to try it?

    The US, S. Korea's main ally, is busy with winding down one war and getting dealing with another.

    N. Korea has a sizable army and may think of nukes as a fallback option if a ground war goes badly.

    Granted maybe the N. Korean monarchy may just be trying to stabilize itself but these are some thoughts.
     
  12. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    True enough - in fact, if NK nuked anybody the US would get involved.
     
  13. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    Well, I heard North Korea apparently have weapons set up to flatten Seoul. If that happened, then **** would really go down...
     
  14. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    I am not keen on another Korean war, though if the Chinese worked to rein in the North Koreans it might go differently this time. But my question is, how much <snip> do we expect the South Koreans to eat? The NKs sank one of their ships, now they've had soldiers killed, would any Western democracy just sit still and take that without doing something about it? I think not. So the question is, what are they going to do?
     
  15. Barmy Army

    Barmy Army Simple mind, simple pleasures... Adored Veteran

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    I don't think the Chinese would back North Korea up this time. China is established as a major global player, why risk that by standing in the corner with a loose cannon like North Korea?
     
  16. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    Why is anyone surprised by this? This will turn out to be another "shakedown" by NK to get food, money, technology, etc. from the U.S. and the west in order to keep the peace.
     
  17. Shoshino

    Shoshino Irritant Veteran

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    Isnt it funny how this happens just as the UK removes all of its war planes from its aircraft carriers to save money before they get replaced over the next 3 years
     
  18. NOG (No Other Gods)

    NOG (No Other Gods) Going to church doesn't make you a Christian

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    I doubt the North sees this as any more than standard sabre rattling. The question is whether the South sees this as Enough. As in, "Enough is enough". One thing to worry about, considering that China probably won't back NK unless there's an excellent excuse, is that, if real war did break out, someone may hit NK with nukes before they can hit anyone else. I mean, I don't see NK using their nukes in any way unless they're loosing a war, and then I definitely see them using them, so any real war with NK (which they would loose) would raise the strong possibility that they may nuke someone, thus that someone may nuke them first. And, in this case, I'm not even going to guess who. There are plenty of players with nukes (or friends with nukes) who would be 'reasonable' targets.
     
  19. Déise

    Déise Both happy and miserable, without the happy part!

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    I can't really see how the South would view this as a trigger though. The North's army might not be modern but it is massive. Their artillery would devastate much of Seoul within the first few hours. It's really a situation which has no winners if a war did start so I can't see who would start it. The North might get another few scraps to continue on for a while and the rest of the world will go back to ignoring it.

    The North might have one little piece of propaganda for its news, as the Irish parliament decided to give an applause to a visiting North Korean official today a few hours after the incident. I understand diplomatic niceties but that was flipping stupid. It just brings back images of us sending condolences for the death of Hitler.
     
  20. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    The Koreans didn't need to go through the trouble - they just needed to grow beards and throw on some cleric robes:

    It seems that as long as you are not a poor person living in the US, our government will give money to anyone....

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/11/23/world/asia/23kabul.html
     
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