To be concerned about the North/South Korea situation?

(76 Posts)
wibblyjelly Thu 04-Apr-13 12:41:18

I don't understand the complete political background, but as I understand it, North Korea is on the brink of declaring war on South Korea. I believe that we would side with South Korea if such a situation arose.
AIBU to be worried about a conflict happening with a country that is testing nuclear weapons without permission, and don't seem concerned about the consequences of using such a weapon? Just to clarify, its the nuclear side of things that I'm worried about, not about getting involved in the first place.

BumpingFuglies Thu 04-Apr-13 13:03:25

YANBU I'm worried too - primarily by the lack of news coverage. Makes me smell a rat.

There's no news blackout, there's nothing to worry about. He's just willie waving to show his own people 'strength'

They've no weapons that would reach, they've no decent nuclear stuff.

wibblyjelly Thu 04-Apr-13 13:05:58

Bumping, totally agree. I know normally no news is good news, but in this situation, makes me more concerned

TheFallenNinja Thu 04-Apr-13 13:06:33

This seems to be a fairly cyclic thing and a lot of the noise is coming from the North.

On the one hand I like to think that it is just sabre rattling but on the other we cannot allow the proliferation of nuclear weapons, especially when they are in the hands of an essentially rogue state.

The silence of the news is deafening though. Hmmm

I suspect there's alot more going on behind the scenes with the US planning how best to bomb the shit out of them planning how to resolve this diplomatically. YANBU though and I should think no-one really wants it to go nuclear.

quoteunquote Thu 04-Apr-13 13:07:33
maddening Thu 04-Apr-13 13:29:12

They have never not been at war as far as I remember - apparently there is a place at the border where half the conference table is in the north and half in the south where they come to talk. I think they have had a cease fire/truce but are still effectively at war.

HollyBerryBush Thu 04-Apr-13 15:01:01

You'll be upset if we get to the stage of another Cuban Missile Crisis and WWIII does kick off.

PeneloPeePitstop Thu 04-Apr-13 15:03:01

They're not on the brink, they did it on 30th March.

VerySmallSqueak Thu 04-Apr-13 15:07:32

Its worrying me.


PeneloPeePitstop Thu 04-Apr-13 15:10:00

Just a shame someone can't go in and take the mad fucker out.

HollyBerryBush Thu 04-Apr-13 15:12:15

Can we say mad fucker???? grin surely that's mental health-ism at its very worst!

IsaacCox Thu 04-Apr-13 15:13:02

YANBU. I'm worried.

ariane5 Thu 04-Apr-13 15:14:34


It has been worrying me quite a lot for the last few days.

wibblyjelly Thu 04-Apr-13 15:15:45

Not sure if I feel better or worse to know that other people are worriedsmile . I know there is not much we can do if something does happens.

HollyBerryBush Thu 04-Apr-13 15:17:51

The only saving grace is, if he does decide to hit a little red button, the whole area will be bombed to oblivion .... that makes me sleep a whole lot better (not)

PeneloPeePitstop Thu 04-Apr-13 15:18:38

Nah. People with MH issues aren't power pissed despots. That's my definition of mad fucker.

I know why they can't just take him out, but oh it must be tempting.

thezebrawearspurple Thu 04-Apr-13 15:20:04

YANBU, hopefully this will be resolved but there's always a chance of the worst happening.

Mrsrobertduvall Thu 04-Apr-13 15:21:39

I live in an area known as Little Seoul as it has a huge number of South Koreans. I hope nothing drops on us sad

HollyBerryBush Thu 04-Apr-13 15:22:40

I've always said that about Robert Mugabwe - must be easy to sneak in there and get rid of him .... they could have done it at Rome Airport the other week without too much trouble

Mind you, who are "they"? we always think "they" can do this or that, but who are they? these people who can do anything we want them to!

SneakyNinja Thu 04-Apr-13 15:24:28

If I lived in North or South Korea I'd be a bit worried.

HollyBerryBush Thu 04-Apr-13 15:26:46

Every nuclear western submarine will be converging on the area.

AngryFeet Thu 04-Apr-13 15:41:32

The only reason to be worried about something like this is if China decided to side with North Korea - I can't see this happening as they seem to be getting pissed off with them and they can't afford to go to war with America. North Korea may try to launch a nuclear strike (god forbid) but the missile defence systems will stop anything hopefully and then they will be blown to kingdom come.

One of my best friends is in Seoul and I am worried about her.

Lets hope they manage to talk him down. I guess there must be a huge amount of negotiating going on right now.

GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 04-Apr-13 15:44:52

I visited Seoul when I was pregnant with DS, and I really loved it and the people there.

I'm worried. I'm not worried that they can reach us here, because they can't. The problem is the knock-on effect, will China help them? Even China (according to articles I've kept up with in the Economist over the last year or more) has been trying to distance themselves a little bit from some of the crazier declarations NK has made.

The US will help, they will have to help, Korea is our ally (sorry, am American hence the 'our'). We have bases there, we were integral to the rebuilding effort after the war and haven't really 'left'. We have very close relations with their government.

China has been one of the few countries to aid NK. What will they do? I don't know. China shouldn't want a war with the US. Economically, they are producers, and we are consumers. It would have a massive knock-on effect on everything they've achieved over the last 20 or more years. The two countries have a massive trade imbalance, in China's favour. They own a lot of American currency as well as stocks of ours.

But they could, if they wanted to. There's only one country in the world that spends more money on their military than the US, and that's China. And this particular Chinese government is very military-orientated.

The thing about nuclear weapons is they are a great deterrent. Everyone has one; no one wants someone crazy who doesn't care anymore going and using one. The problem with NK is (imo) they are getting close to having nothing to lose. The people are very, very poor, starving and beaten down. If he decides to take them all down in a blaze of glory by starting WW3, he could. NK doesn't have economic incentives not to do it (unlike the Chinese one I touched on above). They've had sanctions against them for ages and have no real trade outside of China and a few others.

I'm babbling. I could seriously go on about this for ages. smile

ParmaViolette Thu 04-Apr-13 15:47:00

No. Nothing is going to happen. The sooner we ignore Kim Jong Un's hur hur me strong dictator me crush the west the better.

He's probably drop one of his shitty nukes on an American territorial island with no one on it as despite his appearance of insanity, he knows Team America World Police would annihilate him if he attempted to do any worse.

If anything the US are looking for an excuse to start a full blown war- not NK.

bottleofbeer Thu 04-Apr-13 15:48:22

Oh please, Greeneggs, do go on. I'm grimly fascinated (and wish I'd never watched Threads).

PeneloPeePitstop Thu 04-Apr-13 15:49:44

Thanks, Parma. Have 'so ronery' stuck in my head now.

MintyyAeroEgg Thu 04-Apr-13 15:52:30

Yanbu, but why have you put such a serious question in a frivolous topic like Aibu?

AngryFeet Thu 04-Apr-13 15:55:42

China have a lot to lose. They should start laying down the law soon - although they are probably hoping it will calm itself down so won't react until something happens.

littletingoddess Thu 04-Apr-13 15:57:10

YANBU, and I agree with GreenEggs. I worry the most for the average citizens of North Korea, the ones who want to live their lives and be with their families and have no part in this international mess. They will be the ones who pay for this. sad

wibblyjelly Thu 04-Apr-13 15:57:23

Greeneggs, what you have said is really interesting, feel free to carry on!
Mintyy, wasnt sure where else to put it, and to be honest, I was hoping everyone was going to tell me I was BU. Out of curiosity, where would you have posted it? There's so many different sections on MN, if there is one it should have gone in, I'd be interested in reading it.

cantspel Thu 04-Apr-13 15:58:38

I dont believe for one moment china will let NK start a war with SK or anyone else for that matter.
China is the main power in the region and the ones with most to lose. They also have the manpower and weapons to wipe NK off the map with no one in the world who would care or stop them.

I hope that is true cantspel

TSSDNCOP Thu 04-Apr-13 16:05:45

So N.Korea doesn't offer anything by way if resources, and hardly anyone in China would notice a trade drop off with N Korea.

I'd say Kim Il Mad and his death defying Barnett are on v thin ice.

I conclude this is a despot with a very small willy.

<moves onto next international crisis>

MarmaladeTwatkins Thu 04-Apr-13 16:17:43

grin at death defying barnet.

drudgewithagrudge Thu 04-Apr-13 16:19:06

This reminds me of when I was at school during the Cuban Missile Crisis. We were all so frightened and our chemistry teacher didn't help when he said,"I'll see you lot next Tuesday.......if we're still all here".

Those of us who grew up in the 60's were really afraid that the world would end.

AngryFeet Thu 04-Apr-13 16:23:24

The difference now though drudge is that was 2 superpowers head to head. Far more scary. This is basically a third world country against the biggest country in the world.

blobandsnail Thu 04-Apr-13 16:26:14

"China is the main power in the region and the ones with most to lose. They also have the manpower and weapons to wipe NK off the map with no one in the world who would care or stop them."

There are some people who would care and would stop China doing just this, their own people! I've been chatting the current situation through with a few local people (in China where I am currently sitting) and this seems like one of the major reasons china supports NK. There are a lot of Chinese people with relatives in NK and businesses who trade with them. This is the primary reason china continues to help NK out providing fuel and other essentials. As much as they control their own people they could not hide wiping out NK from them and the general theory is taking such action would cause outrage in their own population. I do believe the majority of Chinese people and their government are getting a bit tired of the situation. But I can see the Chinese government sitting on the fence on this one until they are very much forced to take a side and I'm 50/50 on which side it will be.

Having been to South Korea and the DMZ there is a huge amount of history there and the tensions between north and south have never really not been there. It's just another flare up, which looking back at the past has happened a fair few times over the years. The only reason I'm worried is because in my mind you can't just have flare ups forever, eventually things have got to come to a head and maybe that time is now. Either way theres not much we can do about it and there is absolutely no use worrying over things you can't control, so yes YABU.

GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 04-Apr-13 16:48:10

hah thanks for the invitation to babble freely grin I read about this stuff like some others might read celebrity news, and it's so rare that I get to see a conversation on here about it.

As others have noticed, it does (again, my opinion) comes down to economics. We want to believe countries don't want to go to war because it's horrible and people die. The problem with NK is they have people dying, people are so desperate as to turn to cannibalism in many areas, it is a wretched and heartbreaking situation in that country. South Korea flourishes and it angers their government. The government has spent what very little money they have on developing missles and testing them. They don't have a lot to lose at this point.

KJI has spent his life having smoke blown up his ass; I don't know if he believes what he says or not. He's not out there with the people; he's fat and happy, and evidently, crazy. His father sabre-rattled a few years back and it did earn them some more money for food from international aid. The government could easily have trade restrictions lifted or eased simply by changing their policies on nuclear research or human rights.

More on the nuclear research: I realise some have disagreed or mentioned negatively the idea that only certain countries seem 'allowed' to have nuclear programs, however, NK is a very good example of why this happens. If we had free trade, free flow of information between nuclear nations and NK, they'd be capable of so much more already. The lack of trade keeps them from having the money to spend on these programs, which are expensive. Their government has proven time and again it is not capable of managing nuclear arms without flying off the handle every few years and threatening us with them. It is not an ideal situation because of the human rights abuses they subject their people to, however I am not sure the people wouldn't be suffering regardless of trade, as most of the money seems to go directly to a corrupt government and their military program.

I hope my opinion on the US aspect comes out as neutral, but obviously I am from the US originally so I'll put that out there in case you want that grain of salt to take it with. However, as warmongering as we come off in certain situations, say when oil is involved, the government doesn't want another theatre of war right now. We don't have the manpower to sustain yet another war, and we certainly don't have the popular support for it. There is no oil, no hidden reason (that I know of) for us to want to take on NK. We've been dancing around them diplomatically for years now. We keep bases in South Korea but mostly because of their proximity to what we might call real threats. We don't know what China is doing, and it's closer to (for example) Afganistan than the mainland US. We need bases to mobilise quickly if we're needed.

(I get it, Team America world police. I saw the film and I laughed, I promise. But at the end of the day, the American military is the one people assume will Do Something, and it's hard to Do Something from thousands of miles away. Hence the need for bases for gear and troops)

So for once, I can't agree that the US wants to go to war. Not for this one. There are only drawbacks: real potential for creating a foe in China, involving more troops we literally do not have as we still have them in Iraq, Afganistan, etc. These fears were articulated a year or two ago when we were afraid Iran was going to kick off; lack of troops.

China won't want to go to war, either. They're currently, as usual, pissed off at Japan, and are doing most of their posturing over some islands they're arguing over at the moment. I admit, that actually worries me, because Japan is a close ally of the US. I digress.

At the end of the day, their missiles are terrible and unable to reach very far. When I bring up bases, this is another reason for them: NK has no bases anywhere. If they were to launch an attack, it would have to be from NK soil. They simply don't have the range to reach anywhere near us (adding all of that for those who sounded worried!) Last I knew during their previous round of missile testing, they could reach Darwin, Australia in a pinch. That might have changed, but that's the sort of range in terms of our immediate allies. And I'm not sure if I've said it in this ramble, but their longest-range missiles were unable to carry nuclear warheads, last I knew.

Most important in all of this is the reactions from nations which are rather good at sabre-rattling, themselves. The US is trying to play it down. The Russians are actually criticising NK. This is very good. Russia and China both would be their most likely allies, and if we see both of them condemning these actions, that is the best we can hope for in terms of a diplomatic end to this.

GreenEggsAndNichts Thu 04-Apr-13 16:50:44

To keep it short: NK has nothing to lose and they could do whatever they want right now, with what little weaponry they have. However, it's entirely possible this is yet another ploy for more money from other nations (previous nuclear tests were clearly done with the planned effect of having other nations give in and give them money/ease trade restrictions in exchange for them to stop testing.)

No one else wants war. imo. Certainly not a nuclear one.

wibblyjelly Thu 04-Apr-13 16:54:05

Absolutely in favour of a diplomatic end. Reading some of these posts, its horrible what is happening to the people of NK, I didn't realise that side of it was happening at all. Thanks for the post greeneggs.

CheeseStrawWars Thu 04-Apr-13 17:10:55

Thanks Greeneggs, that's really interesting, and helpful to me in understanding the situation.

MarmaladeTwatkins Thu 04-Apr-13 17:13:45

Thank you for your great posts, GreenEggs! I didn't know a lot of the stuff that you've posted about. I didn't realise that America and Japan were close allies shock Amazing considering the relatively recent hisory between them. Am happy that Russia are not seemingly allying with NK.

RedToothBrush Thu 04-Apr-13 17:20:37

Are the foreign office advising against travel to the area?

The answer is no. And this includes travel to North Korea.

Whilst I am very concerned about the situation, until you get to that point, it hasn't got to the point where its really scary.

As my DH pointed out this morning, no one really knows what the North Korean leader is really like. The westerner who knows most about him is apparently Denis Rodman who was asked to hang out with him and play basketball!!!!!!

For all we know, the North Korean leader could be like a kid playing silly buggers about how far he can push things with his toys rather than actually being serious about it all.

We just don't know. But its not raised concerns enough for the travel advice to have changed so... whilst they are worried there looks to be time left in this for it to be nothing more than a Cuba situation rather than Armageddon.

MyDarlingClementine Thu 04-Apr-13 19:01:35

This always has interesting points and for those more interested some stories about life for the people in NK>

Isn't the worry though that KJI will


Will posture to the point where he cannot back down without losing face?

Cannibalism! Really? That is beyond horrendous.

Thanks for the knowledge Greeneggs. Very interesting.

Gossipmonster Thu 04-Apr-13 20:16:50

My OH is currently in a nuclear submarine sad

MyDarlingClementine Thu 04-Apr-13 20:51:28

oh no gossip, is he being deployed to the area?

MyDarlingClementine Thu 04-Apr-13 20:51:46

ooops I suppose you are not allowed to say"

Gossipmonster Thu 04-Apr-13 20:52:35

They don't often publicise that type of info grin.

He is currently at sea.

ShellyBoobs Thu 04-Apr-13 21:42:56

ooops I suppose you are not allowed to say

I believe it's quite likely that even much of the crew in the boat won't know where they are going, or where they are when they get there?

Gossipmonster Thu 04-Apr-13 21:44:31

Need to know basis.

OH knows because he needs to, most of the guys never know where they have been.

He would never tell me either smile

BoyMeetsWorld Thu 04-Apr-13 21:48:28

Was just about to start similar thread then found yours.

Personally I'm terrified - have just spent an hour googling everything about the situation and nuclear war in general. Even if it can be watered down for now what happens in 20 years when they CAN reach us with nukes??? & David Cameron being all gung ho jumping on the bandwagon is hardly going to pacify them, just antagonise.

That regime is irrational. How do you deal with an irrational threat?

To top it all just found my town is a prime target (or was in the Cold War). Feel a bit sick.

CruCru Thu 04-Apr-13 21:52:50

The situation in North Korea has gone on far too long. The local population are near starvation and have constant power shortages in the dead of winter. People who do anything the regime doesn't like get sent to gulags with no chance of survival (along with their children and partners who are also sent). I don't love the idea of war but getting these idiots out could do the poor souls in North Korea a lot of good.

ShellyBoobs Thu 04-Apr-13 21:52:57

I think China might be quietly crapping themselves in case NK do try to launch a nuclear missile.

Would you want to be sharing a border with a country whose nuclear ambitions far outweigh their ability to actually get a weapon safely off the ground and heading in the 'right' direction?

I have a picture in my mind of NK's nuclear missiles behaving similarly to out-of-control bonfire night rockets. We all know how predictable their flight paths are.

NK could very easily blow themselves, and their neighbours, of the face of the earth by accident!

Gossipmonster Thu 04-Apr-13 21:56:06

Apologies for Mail link - is old but still similar procedure AFAIK.

I think it's unlikely.

RedToothBrush Thu 04-Apr-13 22:06:46

BoyMeetsWorld, fwiw the longest range land based missiles in existence today wouldn't put the UK in danger from North Korea. Their range is 6200miles and only the USA, Russia, China and India have these. Bare in mind that North Korea's capabilities are more than 20 years behind these missiles.

Submarine based missiles are perhaps a different story - range is much less of an issue... and theoretically you wouldn't need to wait for 20 years for us to be in range simply because you could be a lot closer and still remain completely undetected...

...and then you could just plant a bomb on a timer somewhere in the UK and then disappear. Its much easier to do than develop a long range missile!

So, I think perhaps you are worrying about the wrong thing and what poses a greater or more likely threat.

MyDarlingClementine Thu 04-Apr-13 22:31:50

wow, he is at can other crew members not know where they are, I think you must have to be soo tough and resilient to be on such a sub - for long periods of time.

Gossipmonster Thu 04-Apr-13 22:39:36


And very horny when they come home grin.

It's not for the faint hearted.

Although I struggle with the Nuclear Weapons etc.

I just think of it as a detterant <buries head in sand>

I am proud of my OH.

MyDarlingClementine Thu 04-Apr-13 22:45:57

I bet Gossip! ( your proud).

Its amazing, skim read article, lots of trust in the chief man....what if he was a mole? what a strange strange world.

Gossipmonster Thu 04-Apr-13 22:50:52

What if someone kidnapped the Commanders wife and kids and was blackmailing him?

MyDarlingClementine Thu 04-Apr-13 23:05:24

so much power in one set of hands....amazing what they must see and what goes on, I believe they are v sensitive to sound and loud noises and like to have things precise at home - ultra precise, as n everything in its place! and v secretive too....

Gossipmonster Thu 04-Apr-13 23:11:15

No not at all.

They have to be careful how much noise is onboard as other Sonar can pick them up.

wibblyjelly Thu 04-Apr-13 23:11:43

How long does he go away for Gossip? You are right to be proud.

Gossipmonster Thu 04-Apr-13 23:13:01

It depends what type of sub.

hiddenhome Thu 04-Apr-13 23:31:01

It's not China we have to worry about, it's Russia hmm What the heck are they going to do if the US start 'defending' themselves/South Korea from the North Koreans?

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 05-Apr-13 00:13:03

(again, all my comments are my personal opinion, and now I've spent the night down the pub so they could be getting more interesting!)

hidden The US doesn't want to 'defend' (using quotes as you used them, I'm not sure why. I honestly don't believe the US is looking for a reason to be involved in this. Unlike Iraq etc, which I totally agree was a fabricated situation) South Korea right now. They will be looking to diffuse this. They don't have the men to deal with this right now, they're still trying to clean up two different wars in two different regions.

North Korea has been a Situation for a long time. They've been left to their crazy because they have larger powers behind them, most notably China. China is their ally in the sense that China would also like to be left alone to do with their population as they wish, and so they become unhappy when other countries try to dictate what NK does with their people. This is also the basic reason Russia would normally back NK. Both China and Russia become grumpy when human rights abuses start being questioned, as they don't like international groups such as the UN questioning their behaviour.

(The US also doesn't like the UN, I acknowledge that!)

Anyway, so if even Russia is coming out and saying 'hey perhaps this is something you should re-consider', then that will probably mean a lot more if say, the US said it.

Gossip my grandfather was a Captain in the Navy, a submarine captain in the Pacific in WW2. Submariners seem to have their own entire social system. grin It's a tough job, and I imagine a nuclear sub would be even tougher.

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 05-Apr-13 00:33:40

and because Exit mentioned it, and I'm sure others are wondering where I pulled the comment from, here is just one of the articles which comes up when you google North Korea and cannibalism. I first read about it in some first-hand accounts years ago. I have no doubts as to the authenticity of the claims. It's come up far too many times, from too many different people, for it to be fabricated, imo.

I honestly can't think too much about what the people must go through in that country, because I don't think I could sleep at night if I did.

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 05-Apr-13 00:40:39

Thank you to your oh gossipmonster

wibblyjelly Fri 05-Apr-13 12:19:19

Those articles are horrific, greeneggs. So sad that's its going on sad

wibblyjelly Fri 05-Apr-13 19:19:45

Greeneggs, any opinion on today's news about N Korea not guaranteeing safety of people in the embassies from next week?

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 05-Apr-13 22:31:25

It's just my opinion, but it sounds like another step in his campaign to give the impression that NK is on the brink of war. I.. don't think anything would actually happen to diplomats there, but he's a bit unhinged so I suppose anything could happen.

The more I read about him, the more I realise no one really knows what he's doing. His father was fairly predictable; he would threaten missile tests and threaten to do more nuclear testing, with the obvious end of wanting sanctions reduced/ more aid/ more oil allowed in to the country. He was more open to bartering and would offer to halt nuclear tests if xyz demands were met.

The son, KJU, has said he will not consider negotiating on NK's nuclear capabilities. So what does he want, then? His father's moves were almost predictable, if unhinged. KJU is very young, 20 years old or so. Is he just trying to impress his generals? The people? Not much is known about him.

The US has flown nuclear-capable B-2 bombers with the South Koreans, as a show of support to them. NK was behind the torpedoing of a South Korean ship a few years back which killed 42 men. They are not impotently blustering, they are practicing what they can get away with. Footage of the US planes has now been used in their propaganda to convince the NK people that they are under imminent attack by the US.

I know some on MN believe the US is keen for another war, but they really can't manage another front now. They've already got Iraq and Afganistan. As I mentioned earlier, when the potential problems with Iran came up a few years back, one of the very first things which came up was that the US military doesn't have the manpower for it. The Iraq war saw soldiers being sent back again for second, third tours of duty, with hardly any break between, more than would normally be expected of them. They also had to draft in National Guard troops which aren't even meant to leave their home state.

Babbling. I know you just asked about the embassies. I believe that is just part of the act. I'm just not sure what the end of the act is meant to bring. Literally no one wants this to escalate. Even Castro has warned KJU to 'consider the impact' of nuclear war. At this point, it's a waiting game. The US and South Koreans need to be very careful to not do.. anything, basically.

I still don't think anything is going to happen, but I'll be damned if I have any idea what he wants. He can't expect to get anything without giving in on the nuclear issue, and he's said he won't. I hope he isn't actually insane.

GreenEggsAndNichts Fri 05-Apr-13 23:03:53

sorry, 30 yrs old. I have no idea why I typed 20 shock

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