North Korea

North Korea, U.S., Not Actually Looking For War

Leave room for misinterpretation.

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driver Photographer

The greatest threat of the North Korea crisis could be the threat inflation itself. Despite the rhetoric on both sides, North Korea decidedly does not pose an existential threat to the United States.

For all his bluster, President Trump's provocational comments on North Korea mostly re-iterate that in a confrontation with a nuclear-aspiring power, the U.S. can hold up its end of the "Mutually Assured Destruction" (MAD) doctrine that kept the Cold War nuclear weapons use free.

North Korea has expended a lot of effort on its nuclear weapons program, but even in the worst-case scenario, a nuclear first strike on the U.S. or one of its allies, there would be no second strike.

A New York Times report today noted that "behind the North's belligerent rhetoric, some analysts see a leadership anxious to avoid a war it can't win, and careful to leave itself a rhetorical way out even as it makes threats."

The North Korean regime did not react to a U.S. bomber escorted by jet fighters flying close to its eastern shore over the weekend, The Times noted. When North Korea's foreign minister insisted recently at the U.N. that North Korea could shoot down U.S. planes, even outside its territory, he carefully couched it by reserving that right.

"When he (Trump) speaks, I have to figure out what he means, and what his next move will be. This is very difficult," Pak Song Il, who is in charge of interpreting U.S. politics and actions for the North Korean regime, told The New Yorker earlier this month. "He might be irrational—or too smart. We don't know."

Actions like the invasion of Iraq are a lot more destabilizing than any of this kind of bluster. They create dangerous power vacuums, in which terror groups like ISIS thrive, and their unpredictability leads other countries to be more likely to act unpredictably themselves.

In 2002, President George W. Bush lumped Iraq, Iran, and North Korea into an "axis of evil" that he argued posed an acute threat to U.S. national security.

Not long after, the U.S. invaded Iraq. In response, Libya's Col. Moammar Qaddafi announced his regime would unilaterally relinquish its weapons of mass destruction, the supposed raison d'etre for the Iraq War.

Qaddafi was hoping to avoid the fate of Iraq's Saddam Hussein, but a few years later the U.S. backed an intervention that saw the overthrow of Qaddafi.

The U.S., Iran, and a number of other major powers were able to come to an agreement over Iran's nuclear program, avoiding war, which the U.S. insisted throughout remained on the table as an option.

But Iran has always denied it had an interest in developing nuclear technology for weapons use. North Korea, on the other hand, has embraced its pursuit of nuclear weapons technology.

This and the lack of any kind of democratic process (Iran has highly controlled but democratic elections for president which saw a relative moderate replace a firebrand, opening the possibility of dialogue) makes it hard to imagine North Korea taking much stock in Iran as a path forward for itself. Trump's negative posture toward the Iran deal also makes that more difficult.

Multi-party talks with North Korea and five global powers including the U.S. collapsed in 2009.

The Iraq error has been compounded since then. The war, and the 2011 decision to intervene in Libya, have not only offered a warning against careless interventions, but helped to inform North Korea's decision-making.

The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Admiral Scott Swift has said that U.S. policy toward North Korea has been successful so far because there hasn't been a war yet. But the U.S. should work toward more.

Whether the goal is to extricate the U.S. from a fundamentally regional crisis or to aid in a diplomatic solution, deflating the perception of the threat is an important first step.

NEXT: Mom's Run-In with Alleged Sex Traffickers Goes Viral. But Nothing Happened.

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  1. OT: It’s not landing under sniper fire, but it’s something:

    The Taliban claimed responsibility for an attack on Kabul International Airport Wednesday morning targeting Defense Secretary Jim Mattis who was making an unscheduled visit to Afghanistan.

    Mattis had left the airport by the time the attack started, NBC News reports, and no casualties have been reported…

    “We fired six rockets and planned to hit the plane of U.S. secretary of defense and other U.S. and NATO military officials,” one Taliban commander told NBC News. “We were told by our insiders that some losses were caused to their installations but we are not sure about James Mattis.”

    Even if he’d still been there, James Mattis cannot be killed with conventional weapons.

    1. He can only be killed by briniging together the 6 Gems of Friendship and combining them with the most powerful element in the universe: Love.

    2. Following Ed’s logic. The Taliban posses zero threat to the USA if they obtained nukes and ICBMs. Plus, its silly to even discuss it.

      1. Sure. That is in fact what he’s saying.

        1. He’s saying that people who want to destroy the USA are zero threat.

          1. He’s saying that people who pose zero threat of destroying the USA pose zero threat of destroying the USA.

            1. We only need to be worried about people who could potentially annihilate the entire continent. Everything else is not worth our time.

            2. Hugh Akston|9.27.17 @ 1:11PM|#
              He’s saying that people who pose zero threat of destroying the USA pose zero threat of destroying the USA.

              And ICBMs and nukes equal zero threat.

              Good thing you two don’t decide foreign policy.

          2. I think it would be very difficult to do something to get the US to go to total war again. I think setting off a nuke would do it, and I think the entire world, at some level, probably knows that.

          3. He’s saying that people who want to destroy the USA are zero threat.

            Your average Afghan has never heard of the USA and could not find it on a map.

            1. Your years of living with them and speaking in Pashto, Dari, and Farsi must be your source for that?

              1. I am, of course, exaggerating somewhat, but plenty of studies have found that few Afghans make any distinction between Russians and Americans. To them it’s all “foreigners we don’t want here.”

                If you think any significant number of Afghans have any serious designs on the US, I just don’t know what to tell you.

                1. Not, by the way, that I’m unimpressed by your ability to name three different dialects of Farsi spoken in the region.

                2. Thinking all invaders are the same- I get that.

                  Afghanis know the difference. Americans are not brutalizing Afghanis just to conquer them. As misplaced and stupid our American continued intervention in Afghanistan is, it is nothing like the Russians being there. The British were probably even nicer than Americans but they only fought in very few areas compared to all the battle sites American vs Taliban/Al Qaeda/? have fought. Helicopters make that difference.

                  There are not just Afghanis in Afghanistan. I said Taliban attacking the USA and they would if they could. Technically they joined forces with Al Qaeda and successfully attacked the USA- twice. Both times at the trade towers.

                  I don’t really know what else to tell you to convince you that the USA has threats. Some more serious than others. I would argue that North Korea is our biggest threat even above terrorism.

          4. Wanting to do something and having the ability are two different things. They can want all they want, but that’s not enough to make them a threat.

            1. And you can want all you want to have them not a threat, they are a threat. If anything because they literally have threatened to nuke us with the nukes that they now have.

              Luckily, you and Ed don’t get to make foreign policy decisions so there hopefully professionals on it.

  2. He might be irrational?or too smart. We don’t know

    Sounds like those damn Jucheists haven’t heard of 8-Dimensional Chess yet. MAGA!!!

  3. Despite the rhetoric on both sides, North Korea decidedly does not pose an existential threat to the United States.
    Yeah, because a militaristic dictatorship that threatens to nuke the USA, has ICBMs, and nukes is zero threat- Ed.

    This is a BS claim and you know it. Make the argument why North Korea won’t actually attack the USA- fine. Others make an argument why N. Korea will actually attack the USA. It is unbelievable to say that North Korea posses zero threat to the USA.

    1. You either don’t know what ‘existential threat’ means, or you don’t care what words other people actually use because you’d rather argue the point you want them to be making.

      1. Roger Moore was the best Bond, and anyone who thinks otherwise is garbage.

          1. Exactly the reaction a socialist would have.

            1. Finally, we unequivocally agree on something Crusty.

              1. Not only was the late, great Roger Moore the best Bond, For Your Eyes Only was the absolute best Bond movie.

                Best Theme Song (plus I play it very well on the piano – in fact, I was playing it this morning on my office Yamaha)

                Most Realistic (for Bond) Plot

                Best Opening Scene

                Most Romantic Scene (Moore with Carole Bosquet and the Italian sleigh driver saying “amore”) (but not most realistic romance – that belonged to Timothy Dalton and Maryam D’abo)

                Best Denouement (Moore throwing the ATAX off the mountain and telling Walter Gotell “that’s d?tente comrade, you don’t have and I don’t have it”)

                Best ending Scene (Maggie Thatcher spanking Dennis while conversing with the parrot)

        1. Pussy Galore.

      2. This coming from a socialist who changes meanings of words daily to hide lefty atrocities.

        existential
        adjective (ex?is?ten?tial )
        1 :of, relating to, or affirming existence
        2 a :grounded in existence or the experience of existence :empirical

        Yeah, thanks for playing. You lose.

        1. This coming from a socialist who changes meanings of words daily to hide lefty atrocities.

          Wins the argument every time.

          1. Peanut leghorn monitor toothbrush.

            1. Could you please sing Happy Birthday for me, sir

          2. No, you win Crusty with your little wit.

            You win, you always do.
            -Robert Goulet.

        2. Not bad. Since the word is ‘existential’ is half of the phrase ‘existential threat’, you’re half way to understanding what Ed’s actually talking about. But be careful, because phrases consisting of two or more words can sometimes affect the meaning of the individual words in context. Let me know if you need help putting this one together.

          1. The problem is that this steals a base.

            It assumes that the only care the US should have is whether it can be obliterated by another country. But that is not the metric employed by the various hawks. They consider the ability to drop a warhead on Honolulu or San Francisco or to pop an EMP over the western seaboard to be enough of a threat.

            So Ed’s whole article is about bashing a strawman. No one is arguing that the Norks could destroy the country. So why is he arguing that point? Shouldn’t he stop for a minute and explain why “Existential Threat” should be the minimum threshold for dealing with them?

          2. I know and adding two words together that does not fit your narrative is just so darn frustrating for you.

            You can do it…. add existential and threat together. The definition above and the definition of threat.

            Let me know if you still need help.

  4. “He might be irrational?or too smart. We don’t know.”

    I laughed upon reading this.

    But Iran has always denied it had an interest in developing nuclear technology for weapons use.

    This is, of course, bs of the highest order.

    Whether the goal is to extricate the U.S. from a fundamentally regional crisis or to aid in a diplomatic solution, deflating the perception of the threat is an important first step.

    There is always the option of turning North Korea into the Korean Sea. ///i-keed-i-keed…

  5. Ed, Iran is testing ICBMs. I guess when they acquire nukes and have long range ICBMs they are not threat to the USA either.

    See, the time to intervene with these authoritarian countries that want to control parts of the World is when they don’t have nuclear weapons and military assets that can reach the USA.

    Sometimes, I think certain people actually want the USA to fail in defending itself and having peaceful trade with other countries. Then I think, who could be such a hidden enemy of the USA that could do that?

    1. So clearly you do not support withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal, as doing so, as the president of Iran said himself, would motivate them to restart their nuclear program.

      Or do you just want to bomb the whole country into oblivion?

      1. Obama’s Iran nuke deal is a joke and the USA should withdraw from it. Obama should be harassed until he dies for giving those Iranian terrorists all that cash.

        War should be a last resort, but something should be done now before Iran acquires long range ICBMs and nuclear weapons. It is not okay to threaten the USA and try and block our right to trade with other countries.

        We can also pull back all military forces and develop top notch ABMs. Then just wait for Iran to nuke Israel and Europe and then North Korea to nuke South Korea and Japan. Then after the dust clears just keep trading with China, who supports North Korea, and the Caliphate.

        1. “Obama’s Iran nuke deal is a joke and the USA should withdraw from it. ”

          No, the US should continue to drag its feet and try to provoke an Iranian withdrawal. A US withdrawal would put the nation in a belligerent light in the eyes of the rest of the planet.

          1. Who cares of the rest of world considers the USA a belligerent. Even the USA attacking other nations was not completely out of the blue.

            The USA does not conquer territory like other nations and that is one good thing that separates us.

            Time is on the side of Iran.

            1. “Who cares of the rest of world considers the USA a belligerent. ”

              Trump cares. His background in showbiz surely taught him that appearances matter.

        2. It is not okay to threaten the USA and try and block our right to trade with other countries.

          Is it okay for the US to threaten Iran and block their right to trade with other countries?

          1. A question few seem to ask Square. You truly are a…person?…after my own heart with all your contrarian points.

            1. You truly are a…person?

              What are you trying to say?

              1. I figured I would make an attempt to use a non-gender specific pronoun in honor of your state of residence, but predictably it just got weird.

          2. After they have done that to the USA and tried to impede our trade? Yes.

            Notice Sweden is not threatening the USA with nuclear attack and then we block their trade, etc. Sweden and the USA are on good terms to trade and deal with generally.

            Iran sends small craft to attack our navy ships sailing in international waters. Iran threatens to sink our ships. Iran holds our sailors hostage that go off course in two small boats and end up in their waters.

            See the difference? Only because the USA is so forgiving do we allow such blatant aggressive action. The USSR shot down a Korean civilian airplane for flying into its airspace. These tyrannical regimes are a clear and present danger to American freedom.

            1. How far back do we have to go in order to assert that Iran started it?

              1. Ah, the “we cannot do anything because discussing history makes my argument fall to shit” argument. Nice link to CIA coup in Iran. I am also talking about very current actions by Iranians against the USA but whatever.

                I wonder why Iran is teaming up with Russia even though the USSR invaded Persia in 1941. Then you have British intervening in Persian politics before and after that little invasion.

                The CIA coup that you link was actually a British coup that the Americans did because Iran and the USA were close and the Iranians didn’t trust the British. The CIA should not have done it.

                Iran could have fixed it by going Democratic after the fall of the Shah but they didn’t. They chose theocracy.

                We have never attacked Iran nor do we currently want to mess with them. We do want free trade and not have our stuff attacked.

    2. Are you actually incapable of distinguishing the terms “threat” and “existential threat”? I don’t believe Ed or anyone has claimed that Iran or North Korea poses no threat whatsoever to the US.

      1. But is ANYONE saying “existential threat” other than Ed? If not, then why exactly is he saying it?

        Let’s say the Norks develop the ability to nuke Hawaii, Los Angeles and San Francisco, as well as the ability to EMP everything west of the rockies. Is that enough to justify intervention? Because that was the most recent analysis of their 3-stage TP2 that they are developing.

        By sneering that North Korea isn’t an “existential threat” Ed is trying to imply that we should only respond to such threats, rather than the rather serious threat they do pose.

        1. Notably, the 9/11 disaster was not even close to the ballpark of an existential threat and it’s directly responsible for almost two decades of unabashed warfare in 3rd world hellholes.

          Does not compute.

      2. Possessing threatening weapons and are a threat can still mean a threat. That is why Ed’s article is just evidence of him living in fantasyland.

        North Korea is both capable and has threatened nuclear attack on the USA.

  6. OT: Leftists At University Of Utah Announce Intention To ‘Shut Down’ Shapiro Speech

    We have no shame in saying that we intend to shut down Ben Shapiro. This is not a decision we came to based on youthful emotions, or out of some desire for the world to be “one big safe space.” This decision was arrived at based on a real, material understanding of the political environment of Utah, and the material effects of an emboldened far right.

    Lol! You can’t parody these people. It’s like The Onion is now real life.

    1. “We intend on shutting down Ben Shapiro precisely because we don’t live in a fantasy world where hate speech has no consequences. We believe his hate speech can and will have material consequences for vulnerable people.

      “Your words are violent assault so I can be violent to you.”

      This will not be a violent protest,

      It’s likely that the opposite is true.

      but we intend to exercise our free speech scream, chant, interrupt, and shut down opposition speech in the boldest and most unapologetic way we can , even if Shapiro, his fans, and the University police would have it otherwise.”

    2. How small the politics of the right has become. Obsessed to the exclusion of all else with the political habits of teenagers and getting bent out of shape by pronouns.

      1. Perhaps if that was where those politcal habits remained, your point would have more merit.

      2. By pronouns, do you mean sticks and other home made weapons?

        If you think the protesters are just about pronouns, you clearly are not paying attention.

    3. “It’s like The Onion is real life>’

      That is exactly what I thought this morning when I read about the French Minister of Equality proposing a 5000 Eruro fine on men who talk to women they don’t know. And hiring another 10,000 gendarmes to enforce it.

  7. The commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet, Admiral Scott Swift has said that U.S. policy toward North Korea has been successful so far because there hasn’t been a war yet.

    That should be *former* commander, because Swift just retired.

    1. He is ultimately responsible for the numerous Navy ship accidents. Fuck that former admiral and his stupid opinions.

  8. No, North Lorea does not an exidtentizl threat to the US. To the the US troops on the DMZ and a few million South Koreans and Japanese, yes, but I guess those are acceptable losses.

    Not endording any particular course of action, but the idea that national existence is tje only level tjreat to be concerned about is rather cavalier towards a lot of people’s lives.

    1. “but the idea that national existence is tje only level tjreat to be concerned about is rather cavalier towards a lot of people’s lives.”

      Perhaps our cavalier attitude towards the lives of others may prevent unnecessary wars and motivate the nations in the region to sort out their problems themselves.

      1. And removing our presence may cause a war because the NK regime is not as intimidated by the ROK and Japan as they are by the US. War has historically been a popular method of sorting regionsl differences out.

        Your notion of what is destablizing may be based on questionable assumptions.

        1. the NK regime is not as intimidated by the ROK and Japan as they are by the US

          I may be time to reconsider some of those restrictions on Japanese military development.

          1. Last time I saw the Japanese are quite against that, unfortunately. I can see why though. I’d prefer not to have to pay for a military too.

            1. Yeah – for whatever reason neither Japan nor Europe seem all that eager to reassume the cost of their own defense.

              1. Unfortunately this suddenly having to defend themselves comes when North Korea has nukes and now has ICBMs with 4,200-6,500 mi range.

            2. Last I saw Japan was in fact attempting to regain their lost military power.

              Japanese Constitutional Changes

              Well, sort of.

        2. “War has historically been a popular method of sorting regionsl differences out.”

          The Korean war has never ended. War hasn’t been successful in sorting out regional differences. Maybe the nations of the region might want to give peace a chance.

          “Your notion of what is destablizing may be based on questionable assumptions.”

          I don’t think we should cling to the status quo of constant escalation of threats out of some allegiance to a non-existent stability.

          1. War would have sorted it out at the time if not for Russian, Chinese, Japanese and American intervention. Probably not in favor of the South Koreans, but it would have been resolved for sure.

            1. True statement.

            2. “War would have sorted it out at the time if not for Russian, Chinese, Japanese and American intervention.”

              Inter Korean conflict has always involved foreign intervention. That goes back some 5,000 years.

      2. ‘Sorting their issues out for themselves’ will involve thermonuclear war, just as a friendly reminder.

  9. “It is unbelievable to say that North Korea posses zero threat to the USA.”

    Would you believe zero existential threat?

    1. I find it difficult to believe that NK would actually provoke the US in any real way. I know that some think they are legitimately insane, but I don’t. And they would have to be to use a nuke, or sell one that could be traced. And the way I understand it, if you set it off, we can tell pretty well where the materials were mined from.

      I don’t see them as a real threat, no.

      1. For a nuclear deterrent to work, the threat to use them must be seen as real and credible. A nuclear capability that nobody believes is real or that nobody believes will ever be used is not a deterrent. Letting the enemy believe, as many here apparently do, that the North Korean is insane makes perfect sense in the world of nuclear brinkmanship. Nixon used this and called it the mad-man theory.

        1. “Letting the enemy believe, as many here apparently do, that the North Korean is insane”

          Could you clarify this please? I don’t understand what you’re saying.

          1. I should have said North Korean leader. Name is Kim Jong Un. People associate insanity with a willingness to precipitate nuclear war. A nuclear arsenal in the hands of a madman (or madwoman) is more frightening than one in the hands of a sane and sober person of peace.

            1. Just remember, even Hitler only used chemical weapons on the Russian at Sevastapol to lodge Russian defenders from underground forts and against those at death camps. Even when Hitler was losing and wanted everything destroyed, he still never ordered biological/chemical attacks on the Allies.

              Germany had huge stockpiles of the stuff and for anyone familiar with German nebelwerfer rocket teams (nebeltruppen), their purpose was to use chemical/ biological weapons but instead laid smoke and later launched rocket attacks.

      2. North Korea leader Fat Boy-Un is not insane and we tend to call him insane because what is does is so inexplicable to Americans. Why would he want to cause trouble?

        He is a sociopath, psychopath, narcissist and probably many more mental disorders all wrapped into one leader. Many World leaders have the same or more mental disorders.

        As a historian, I always crack up when people commit the same mistakes. People thought Imperial Japan was no threat either, even after invading Manchuria and China. The Japanese Zero was the best long range fighter in the World until 1943.

        Germany is another example. After the Great Depression hit, suddenly the Nazi Party became a major contender for power. Yet you had Americans meeting Hitler and saying, “This guy is a clown. He’s like a caricature of himself.” And a lot of them went through this whole litany about how even if Hitler got into a position of power, other German politicians would somehow be able to control him. A lot of German politicians believed this themselves.
        Hitler’s a clown

        1. I don’t see how your examples analogize. NK has done nothing imperial. I suppose the idea that we don’t see it coming until it happens is true, but I also don’t see how that applies to NK.

          1. Are you serious? The Japanese were called Imperial Japan before they had an Empire.

            There was already a Korean Empire that only included the Korean peninsula.

            Since you need similar sized countries to be similar sized threats to fit your narrative, then there has never been as small a nation before that threatened to hurt the USA before.

        2. “”He is a sociopath, psychopath, narcissist and probably many more mental disorders all wrapped into one leader. “‘

          Sure. If he’s been paying attention, and maybe not, he has seen us knock a couple of countries back to the stone age. We can devastate his military apparatus, infrastructure, and economy in a matter of hours without using nukes. He probably wants to stay in power because he is all the above. The fastest way to lose that power is to provoke us into taking action.

          I see a bunch of sabre rattling at the moment. But that does come with risks.

          1. The USA cannot intervene with war on the Korean peninsula without possible nuclear attack once North Korea gets the ICBM range sufficient to hit the USA.

            Do you want to be held hostage by a tinpot dictator to give up your right to trade with South Korea? I don’t.

  10. North Korea is not a direct threat but if they bomb one of our allies we will be required to react. and react not just because of a treaty between nations but because a nuclear attack can not be allowed to go without consequences just like we can’t ignore chemical attacks.

    Reason here is taking the point that some of this is Trumps bluster but two points before the election Hillary was talking pre-emptive strike on NK and secondly this has nothing to do with Trump since NK had stock piled these nuclear weapons to test any new president and while he was stockpiling them it was always assumed by everyone in the world that it would have been President Hillary

    1. I knew this had to be Hillary’s fault somehow. Thanks for clarifying dude.

      1. It’s Hillary all the way down.

      2. I’m not blaming Hillary I’m pointing out that no matter who was president North Korea was going to do what they are doing now as a test to the U.S. president be it man or woman or democrat or republican or even a Libertarian

        1. Yeah, I’m blaming H-Dogg though.

          1. If H-Dogg can blame everyone, then everyone can blame H-Dogg. It’s only fair.

  11. Look, this is how it’s going to go.

    We’re going to trade insults back and forth over twitter with North Korea. Nothing will happen as a result of that in particular.

    After North Korea has perfected ballistic missiles and can perch a nuke atop those missiles, they’re going to do two things (eventually.)

    First, they will attempt to reunify Korea. I obviously can’t say if they’ll do this first out of the two options, but it is something they will absolutely do. For sure.

    Second, they will attempt to invade Japan and/or nuke it. Again, I can’t say which thing they will attempt to do first but it’s on their agenda. Why do you think they keep launching ballistic missiles over Japan? It’s not because they’re ‘aiming’ for California, although certainly that is an option should we attempt to intervene in those two absolutely certain events.

    Can those things be avoided, or can something happen internally to Fat Boy Un that changes the equation? Maybe, but probably not internally. North Korea believes, with religious fervor, that South Korea belongs to them and they’ve spent 50 years preparing.

    The only question in my mind is what the United States will do when North Korea goes on the offensive again. Will we nuke them, or will we invade? Or both?

    1. So, Japan is just going to wait? What are they doing while this is happening?

      1. Praying that we’ll do something?

        1. That seems terribly unrealistic.

      2. Building up their own military, if you’ve been paying any attention whatsoever. They’re working on, or have already, updating their constitution to allow a big military again.

        No surprise there. North Korea (perhaps rightly) blames Japan for a lot.

        1. I was paying attention, actually, that’s why I asked. Your scenario doesn’t really take that into account at all, isn’t very well tethered to what is actually happening.

          1. So you think Japan is just being silly, then? Or that a stronger Japanese military will be enough of a deterrent?

          2. To be clear, Japan can have nukes in a few months. Their nuclear infrastructure has the fuel already, and probably the missiles ready to be equipped, but disassembled. So, you’re essentially saying NK would be willing to be nuked in return for nuking Japan, or you think Japan would allow NK to ramp up enough to totally destroy their entire country, if such a thing were possible.

            Lastly, you can save the veiled insults, thanks.

            1. You would know that about Japan’s nuclear industry if you were paying attention.

            2. It wasn’t a ‘thinly veiled insult’, you literally asked a question and I gave you the answer. You were the one feigning ignorance to make a point. Don’t do that if you don’t want to be treated as ignorant. Simple.

              As for Japan and nukes, having them ‘in a few months’ would be too late to stop the one’s Kim already has, presumably, although I don’t pretend to know how such a conflict will go.

              I simply know that’s the path that North Korea is on because history demands it. Perhaps Kim will go after South Korea first because Japan is too strong or too far way.

              1. “As for Japan and nukes, having them ‘in a few months’ would be too late to stop the one’s Kim already has”

                He has no delivery system. They know he is developing one. The idea that they are sitting aroind doing nothing, as you seem to think, is beyond laughable, not to mention naive in the extreme. You would know that if you were paying attention.

                And, it was a thinly veiled insult, the question I asked was not answered by the section which said “if you’ve been paying any attention whatsoever”. It was superfluous, and clearly intended to deride.

                You’re rude and I’m done educating you.

                1. If he has no delivery system, than what is he launching over Japan one might ask.

                  I suppose if my tone is offensive to you than perhaps walking away would be the most civil endpoint here.

                  It is bizarre that it seems like replies are disappearing from this thread though. That’s a new problem.

                  1. “If he has no delivery system, than what is he launching over Japan one might ask.”

                    Missiles that cant carry nukes. Fireworks.

                    Which you would know if you were paying attention.

                    1. “I suppose if my tone is offensive to you than perhaps walking away would be the most civil endpoint here”

                      I agree. Enjoy your day.

                    2. You say you’re going to walk away but just can’t help yourself. Even though I did point out that my tone was the result of your clearly feigned ignorance of the subject. I can not be blamed for your own disingenuous rhetorical devices, sorry.

                      Ok, so your view is that one needs an ICBM to hit Japan from North Korea. Fine. I honestly don’t care about that debate, North Korea may or may not do many things that are unknowable. Both of us are just as likely to be correct as the other since neither of us work in Military Intelligence, I would assume.

                      I do note that you purely want to focus on option 2 involving Japan, but appear to have no comment on the fact that the North 100% definitely is of the opinion that South Korea must go. Also being ignored is that South Korea is 100% definitely of the opinion that North Korea must go.

                      How does that end, if not with war, in your view? Keep in mind, they are still at war.

                    3. “You say you’re going to walk away but just can’t help yourself”

                      No actually I said I was done educating you.

                      Which you would know if you were paying attention.

                    4. How did so many of your replies get deleted off the page, I wonder. That’s going to bug me.

                    5. What should bug you is why you had to mischaracterize what I said. A person of integrity wouldn’t have to do that.

                    6. Well, lucky for you all proof of what you said has been deleted off the page somehow. Convenient.

              2. South Koreans probably wont like Japanese on Korean soil even to defend them.

                South Koreans hope the USA will defend them. South Koreans are more prepared to defend themselves than most countries. Anywhere in South Korea within artillery range of cave hideouts will be a wasteland. This includes Seoul. The South Koreans will put up most of the fight past that range because NK artillery has to be moved and that makes it vulnerable to air power and counter-battery fire.

                All Americans at the DMZ will be wiped out. This will give the USA casus belli to attack NK, since Americans were killed.


                1. All Americans at the DMZ will be wiped out. This will give the USA casus belli to attack NK, since Americans were killed.

                  If that happened, any and all gloves would be instantly removed. That much I think everyone can agree on. I hope it doesn’t though, since I know more than a few guys that are stationed at the DMZ.

                  1. Of course, NK killing US troops stationed there would be reason to attack NK but I don’t think that will the cause of war with NK but a consequence of the war.

        2. Koreans have big beef with the Japanese and never really got revenge on Japan for what was done to Korea in the 20th Century.

          On that note, South Koreans don’t want to get revenge on Japan. Its North Koreans who are like petulant children. If they cannot have good trade, then nobody else can either. Authoritarians tend to steal resources rather than trade for them.

          North Korea is like a band-aid. We have been pulling on it for decades. Pulling it off quick gets the pain over quicker. Sooner of later the infected sore that is Truman’s folly will spread.

          1. All I know is that if you build a fascist dictatorship based on demonizing some ‘other’ for all your problems, eventually you need to ‘do something about it’ or you won’t be in power any longer one way or another. North Korea has made it absolutely crystal clear that they intend to do something about it, but they seem less sure of when the right time to strike is.

            But, strike they will. If they don’t, eventually they will lose power and that is the one thing they value above all else.

            1. Maybe. 65 years is a long time to demonize other countries and never do anything about it.

              The time is right for NK because North Korea now has nukes and ICBMs that reach within 1500 miles. China has also publicly said that they support NK. Plus, I think Fat Boy-Un knows that he will be dying in a few decades and is probably cannot trust anyone to take over.

              I also think that even the Commies realize that their economy is shit. Once supporting nations like China cut off major resources, NK is screwed and the people will only starve for so long.

              Fat Boy-Un knows that Trump will not send them food and that have been one of the goals for some of the saber rattling.


              1. Maybe. 65 years is a long time to demonize other countries and never do anything about it.

                Say, long enough for a new generation of military who have forgotten the truths of how the last time around went?

              2. “Boy-Un knows that he will be dying in a few decades and is probably cannot trust anyone to take over.”

                Hate to break it to you but North Korea is a communist country. They have collective leadership in the form of a politburo or presidium or whatever it’s called. This is not a new thing either.

            2. Hence, they recognize that they have a far better chance of surviving US engineered regime change by obtaining nukes. See, e.g., Iraq, Libya, etc.

        3. Looks like someone got banned. I’ll bet it was that Reality guy. Am I right?

          1. I don’t think so, some posts remain and others not so much which is pretty strange. He was asking leading questions trying to expose something that he could latch onto for an argument, failed, then got pissed off at my tone when I pointed that out.

            I could always be nicer, I’ve never been accused of having a soft touch in debate. =/

            1. I figured that out eventually – the guy responding to you referenced posts that were gone but that were clearly his. Which is weird – usually the ghosted parts of conversations are someone who’s been removed, and given that Reality/huzzah/stupid people think I’m ___ has been rather exuberant this week, the timing seemed about right.

              1. Well, you know what they say when you assume…

                You look like a fucking idiot.

                1. You look like a fucking idiot.

                  Oh well. I suppose I’ll just have to live with my curse.

              2. Welp, that seems like theory confirmed. Middle children really are the worst; they never grow out of the ‘look at me’ phase, it seems.

    2. So you’re saying Kim has decided that 70 years of communist rule of North Korea is enough?

      1. No, I’m saying that Kim has decided that 70 years of Democratic rule in South Korea is enough.

        1. Right but he, like everyone, is well aware that any attack on Japan or the South will be the end of the Kim regime in North Korea.

          1. Right, just like Hitler ‘knew’ that if he attacked all of Europe at once he would certainly lose.

            That would be the rational conventional wisdom, correct?

            1. Because 1938 US had nukes.

              1. *facepalm*

                You miss the point, in that facists don’t always make the smart move when they are essentially burning the candle at both ends. (Note: Hitler DID lose.)

                They piss off the international community with their human rights violations, and they piss off their own people with the same. If their lie collapses, their regime collapses. Expecting rational results from an irrational regime is the height of American foolishness.

                1. And you miss the point that despite the words, there was no legitimate deterrent to Hitler.

                  1. And yet, all of Europe ‘knew’ they could beat Hitler if it came to war. There were plenty of legitimate deterrents to Hitler, none of them turned out to work the way they were expected to when bullets started to fly.

                  2. Yes there was. Hitler incorrectly assumed that the USA would not fight. The USA was a huge deterrent to Hitler. The USA’s involvement meant defeat for Germany in WWI, no matter that Hitler publicly said back stabbers were the cause of defeat. Hitler tried to capture all of Europe before the USA entered the war because that was his only chance.

                    Understand that? Hitler’s only chance at winning was to grab all of Europe and all the resources needed to hold the USA until Americans lost the will to fight. Texas used to produce much of the World’s oil needs. Hitler need Russian or Middle Eastern oil.

                    Japan’s strategy was also to grab as much land and resources as possible before the USA joined the war.

                    See the pattern here? The USA was the ultimate threat to World domination for Germany and Japan. The USA always is because we want peace and freedom with free trade. Tyrannies do not want those things. So the USA is in the way. Just so happens that the USA is the sleeping giant that crush all tyrannies before it.

                    1783: Britain- beaten
                    1805: Barbary states- beaten
                    Indian Nations- beaten
                    1848: Mexic0- beaten
                    1898: Spain- beaten
                    1901: Chinese- beaten
                    1913: Moros- beaten
                    South American Countries- beaten
                    1918: Central Powers- beaten
                    1945: Axis- beaten
                    1953: North Korea hordes- beaten back
                    1973: Communist hordes- beaten back
                    1991: Iraq- beaten
                    1995: Serbians- beaten back
                    etc etc.

                    1. I’m not sure I would include everyone on that list in the category “Major Military Powers Seeking Global Domination.”

                    2. “The USA was a huge deterrent to Hitler”

                      That the USA when Hitler was rolling was a deterrent on par with the instantaneous retaliation that NK faces now is ridiculous beyond parody.

                      As usual, you ignore the actual context to make a hamhanded analogy that doesn’t apply in any realistic way.


                    3. As usual, you ignore the actual context to make a hamhanded analogy that doesn’t apply in any realistic way.

                      Why not? Your reason of ‘because nukes’ doesn’t address anything in particular other than your belief that North Korea won’t use them on South Korea or Japan because somehow then we would be free to glass them? It’s hard not to read into your comments when what you say has so little substance.

                    4. Yes there was. Hitler incorrectly assumed that the USA would not fight.

                      Sorry but this is waaaay too simplistic of an argument. If the USSR was not a deterrent to Hitler, then nothing- and most especially not a major power half a world away- was going to deter him.

                      Hitler lost Europe because he picked a fight with the USSR. It was a strategically (war on two fronts) and historically (Napoleon) stupid decision, and the end of Germany was a foregone conclusion the instant Hitler gave the order. The USA joining the war merely ensured that we would have a Western Europe post WWII, rather than one big Soviet bloc.

                      This sort of makes the Hawks’ point, though. Megalomaniac Dictators often look at strategic blunders as their grand moment of triumph, and there is a chance that Un will do the same. I don’t think it is a big chance, seeing as how Korea does not have the historical record of conquerer that Hitler was trying to tap into, but there is a chance.

                      I think it is more likely that once Un get’s nukes capable of hitting the US, he will escalate his agitating. Every dick move he makes today is under the calculus that the US must weigh its response against him burning Seoul. He wants that calculus altered such that we contemplate our response vs him burning San Fran.

        2. And he now has the weapons (nukes) to back it up.

          The biggest mistake any US leader can make is to relay that the USA will not defend South Korea or Japan. If North Korea knows that the USA will go to war with even China to protect South Korea and Japan, Fat Boy-Un will not attack South Korea.

          Fat Boy-Un really believes that he will become the greatest Korean leader of all time by uniting North and South Korea. His father and grandfather failed at this, BTW. There is a reason that no peace talks have happened. North Korea is prepared for total war.

          The USA better be or South Korea and Japan are fucked.

          1. Fat Boy-Un may be not as dumb as he looks. He’d love to forcibly re-unite the south, but he can’t do it with nukes. Look at a map of the peninsula. It would be like you living in a duplex home and deciding you hate your neighbor so much you’re going to burn his place to the ground. Except chances are there is at least some kind of fire protection between your place and the other half of the duplex. The DMZ, so far as I know, doesn’t have some magical ability to deflect nuclear blast waves and fallout.

            As for Fat Boy using an ICBM to hit a US target, he might as well just shoot himself in the head. Regardless of who’s president at the time — even if it was Jimmy Carter — there is no way the US wouldn’t respond. That single strike would end Fat Boy’s life and the Nork regime. I’m sure he doesn’t give a shit about his countrymen, but I bet he enjoys ruling. The moment he attacks the US, it’s over.

            And he has zero hope of mutually assured destruction. During the Cold War, Russia had the capability to nuke pretty much every major population area in the continental US. They, like us, also maintained bombers and subs that could not be preemptively taken out the way land-based silos could. NK doesn’t have that. How many missiles could they lob at once? 3? Assuming they were successfully targeted and they wouldn’t be knocked down mid-flight by anti-missile tech, do you think that would be the end of the US?

            1. I mostly agree, although the type of ‘anti-missile tech’ needed would be things that, if we have them, we wouldn’t want to reveal considering they massively disrupt the MAD theory and as such we either do not have them, or we have them and have kept them fairly secret. My personal money is on option #2, with the assumption that every other major nuclear power also has them and everyone has basically agreed to not talk about it.

        3. “No, I’m saying that Kim has decided that 70 years of Democratic rule in South Korea is enough.”

          The South Koreans just elected themselves their very own commie president. The North Koreans can now sit back and watch South Korea go commie without lifting a finger.

          1. Maybe, they are the same people more or less. It’s hard to wipe out hundreds of years of collective tribalism in just a hundred years. We shall see.

            1. “Maybe, they are the same people more or less.”

              How can you be serious? Didn’t you know that they were separated by a line on a map which is sanctioned by the United Nations?

        4. Un couldn’t give 2 shits about SK other than to keep information about what’s going on south of the DMZ out of the north. An invasion is going to making stopping that flow of information… difficult.

          1. http://www.dailynk.com/english…..Id=nk01500

            “Recently, the authorities have even confiscated mobile phones from some of the border guard soldiers to block communication with the outside world. The current incident seems to have arisen because of these circumstances.”

          2. Just like the sympathizers used to say. The Commies don’t care about “x” land.

            How great would Fat Boy-Un be by uniting the Koreas, even if they are smoldering rubble?

            1. “I destroyed my grandfather’s billion $ dynasty and am now dead or in prison, but hey, at least I united Korea.”

              Un also spent much of his life outside of Korea. I doubt he’s as nationalistic as you’d like to believe.

              1. His dynasty is dying anyway. It has been dying ever since his grandfather started the Commie regime.

                Why not try and unite the Koreas. Continuing the status quo is no guarantee that the regime will survive. Plus, militaristic regimes have a quandary that they must fight and win or they lose support.

                1. And by win, NK idea of winning is different than American’s idea of winning.

                  North Vietnam “won” and lost millions of people. The USSR won WWII but not after massive help from the USA and losing ~20 million people.

                2. His dynasty is actually doing pretty well, recent targeted sanctions notwithstanding. He’s got money and business interests all over Asia.

                  Check out “Money & Power in North Korea”. The ONLY purpose of the NK at this point is to survive.


                  1. Check out “Money & Power in North Korea”. The ONLY purpose of the NK at this point is to survive.

                    I appreciate the referral, I’ll check it out.

                  2. The why develop nukes and ICBMs?

                    If you are correct and the only purpose of the NK leadership is survive, then why spend so much money, resources, and manpower on nukes and ICBMs?

                    Some say that the USA will not mess with a country with nukes. Lets say that is true and USA would never attack a nuclear nation in the future. Why develop ICBMs?

                    Israel didn’t have ICBMs until recently and had short range nuke missiles or nuke bombs.

                    I believe North Koreans know that all their planes carrying nukes would be shot down. ICBMs are very hard to shoot down. Having nukes for defensive purposes does not require ICBMs but offensive action requires the ability to attack the USA. North Koreans also want SLBMs, which is the ultimate goal. This would allow North Korea to attack anywhere in the USA.

                    Fuck that! I would suit up in uniform myself before I would let those North Korean fuckers have that kind of power over our freedom.

              2. I dus pect that his current bellicosity has more to with trying to extort aid cash out of the US, ROK and Japan than any real thought of a military success. The problem.is jow far he us willing to go to get a payday and how many people he might kill doing it

                1. There lies the misinterpretation by Kim Not So Slim – Ton Un. Trump is ran on a take no shit platform and the majority of Americans would probably support war with North Korea if there was casus belli.

    3. As someone who has taken a bizarre interest in North Korea over the last 10 years or so I can say, without a doubt, that neither of your two theories make any sense either theoretically or practically.

      Theoretically because the NK regime cares about one thing only: regime perpetuation. Spend some time on dailynk.com. The idea that the regime even BELIEVES they could motivate their soldiers to march against SK is laughable.

      Practically because, despite what Chris Matthews thinks about their amazing infrastructure, NK is dirt fucking poor. An invasion of SK would come to a screeching halt the moment NK soldiers made it to the first gas station convenience store. Have you seen the military equipment they parade around? It’s 1960s Soviet shit.

      Their internal political system is so collapsed and corrupted at this point that even the shear terror imposed on the average NK is barely enough to keep the regime alive. People need special travel permits to move WITHIN the country.

      There is absolutely ZERO possibility of the NKs doing anything you predicted.


      1. There is absolutely ZERO possibility of the NKs doing anything you predicted.

        Perhaps, although it will be interesting to see what a dirt poor dictatorship that’s too broke to make war does with nuclear weapons. After all, there are no historical parallels to a poor nation focusing solely on it’s military doing something brazen and crazy.

        The very fact a people are dirt poor and have any guns whatsoever is enough reason for them to go to war, generally speaking.

        1. So NK launches a few missiles at SK. Then what? They can’t even keep the lights on in the capital. You think their peasant, disgruntled and corrupt military is going to march to Daegu?

          Who do you think Un fears more? The US/SK/Japan or his own people?

          1. All I’m saying is that historically wars are virtually always fought over resources, and North Korea being poor as shit is a great reason to invade someplace else and try to take theirs even if it’s a self-inflicted shortage by the North Korean regime.

            Rational interests matter less when your situation is dire, which is why I bring up 1920’s to 1930’s Germany. It isn’t ‘because nazi’s’ it’s actually because there are some parallels there, only replace mechanization with nuclear armament. The results almost certainly won’t be the same but they aren’t completely unpredictable either.

            War never changes? Or, at least, the causes don’t seem to even while the mechanics get more evolved.

          2. Japan could not keep the lights on in Tokyo yet they kept on fighting in August 1945.

            What you consider rational is not necessarily what North Korea considers rational.

            Fat Boy-Un is launching missiles and threatening the USA because he thinks he can get away with it. Just like his grandfather thought he could get away with invading South Korea.

            History is full of mistakes after mistakes after mistakes. You can forgive the first who tries and maybe the second. The third and beyond are just fools.

      2. Britain clearly understand World politics and has never underestimated strength nor determination.

        Hitler could not win but tried anyway. Imperial Japan could not win but tried anyway. The USSR could not conquer Afghanistan but tried anyway. The USA could not conquer Afghanistan but tried anyway.

        North Korea could not win a war in 1950 but tried anyway.

        These people do not think like most Americans. They think domination and war are good uses of resources.

        1. Britain lost its empire and gained a whole lot of poverty and socialism for making war upon Germany.

          To what end?

          1. They are not speaking German is one reason.

            1. love, der fuehrer couldn’t cross the channel when he was the undisputed boss-man of Europe. You know that Hitler did not want to make war against volk whom he considered his racial kin.

              1. So…he just wasted tons of lives, munitions, time, and effort to…what? Knock down some houses for a lark?

                Yeah, I don’t think so.

                1. It was the British Empire which declared war on Germany due to its ill conceived mutual defense pact with the Poles.

                  As for Hitler not wanting to engage in war with Britain, it is not in dispute.

                  1. Question: If you know that a good friend of mine is a good friend of mine, and that if you punch them in the face there’s a more-than-likely chance I’ll punch you in the face for trying it, and you punch my friend in the face anyway is it a surprise when it happens? Can one say you didn’t expect it when I punch you? Can one even say you didn’t want it happen? I’d say sure on the last question, but to the other two certainly not.

  12. Some people just want to watch the world burn.

    [grabs popcorn]

    1. ^This guys gets it.

      Kim II-Sung lived 82 years
      Kim Jong-il was 70
      Fat Boy-Un is currently 33 or so since his age is a state secret. A fucking state secret!

      1. You like Fat Boy-Un.

        I prefer Kim Not So Slim – Ton Un.

        1. That one’s good too.

          1. Well, thank you.

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