I don't full understand this whole North/South Korea thing - can someone explain it to me?

(210 Posts)
KenAdams Wed 03-Apr-13 19:30:09

And why have America got involved. And what is the big deal about Chinas position?

I feel very thick blush

FairPhyllis Wed 03-Apr-13 20:47:14

China basically props up NK - it uses NK as a buffer zone and there's some sort of communist solidarity thing going on too. The Chinese do not want to see NK getting involved in anything that could destabilise it as they would end up with millions of refugees from the resulting crisis.

A really interesting article by the former British Ambassador

MarmaladeTwatkins Wed 03-Apr-13 20:47:19

Cocky, it is South Korea that I worry for. They are truly the ones in the firing line. sad

Iamsparklyknickers Wed 03-Apr-13 20:49:57

Spot on Ishallwearatmidnight, it's worth having a surf through Youtube, some of the translations (mostly in the descriptions) are mind boggling. It makes you hyper aware of the (more transparent if you're looking at it objectively) stuff we're shown in the media.

There are some great travel blogs online by people who've visited NK, think the Chinese Olympic ceremonies for some of the displays put on. There's a common theme of regretting never seeing past the orchastrated side of the tour though.

AnneEyhtMeyer Wed 03-Apr-13 20:52:12

I was just talking to someone about this today and saying I wanted to know more about it, so thanks for the book recommendation - I've just ordered it from Amazon.

MarmaladeTwatkins Wed 03-Apr-13 20:52:35

They have nuclear weapons but only ones that can reach relatively 'local' targets i.e S.Korea, US bases in the West Pacific etc. They don't have any that can reach mainland America yet but I believe they are trying to work on that.

HumphreyCobbler Wed 03-Apr-13 20:52:43

have ordered that book, thanks for the recommendation.

nocake Wed 03-Apr-13 20:59:33

They don't yet have the technology to put their nuclear weapons on a missile so they couldn't even get one to South Korea, unless they drove it in on a truck.

MarmaladeTwatkins Wed 03-Apr-13 21:00:36

That makes for interesting imagery, nocake grin

Didn't realise that. I thought that they could reach nearby targets...

KenAdams Wed 03-Apr-13 21:03:34

marmalade seriously?! grin That's hilarious!

HazeltheMcWitch Wed 03-Apr-13 21:04:51

They've just announced they're re-starting up a previously decommissioned nuclear reactor. John kerry was quoted yesterday as saying that the US will 'not accept' NK as a nuclear state. China also expressed regret over the start-up of the reactor.

NK have done 3 nuclear weapons tests (that the world knows of). As a comparison, UK have done 45 and the US 1054. The belief (as I understand it) s that NK does have some nuclear weapon capability, but that they're exaggerating what they have.

ithaka Wed 03-Apr-13 21:05:54

Remember Kim Jong ll claiming that he could walk from age 3 weeks and invented the hamburger?

That made me think of Despicable Me's father who would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark.

ithaka Wed 03-Apr-13 21:07:00

Or maybe that was Dr Evil...A Kim Il Jong alike character anyway..

nocake Wed 03-Apr-13 21:08:30

They're working on making them small enough to put on a missle but they haven't achieved it yet. Also their missile technology isn't very accurate so they have almost no chance of hitting a specific target. However, they have a whopping great big conventional army that could cause major problems to South Korea.

HazeltheMcWitch Wed 03-Apr-13 21:10:27

nocake - I thought the december tests were a big step forward - as in - a long range missile that with a tweak or 2 could carry WMD?

ScrambledSmegs Wed 03-Apr-13 21:13:34

That book is fantastic. I read it in about three days, despite some of the subject matter being harrowing.

I think Kim Jong-un knows that his grip on N Korea is shaky due to the constant famines and quite a lot of modern things/knowledge slipping past the borders before the most recent lockdown, so he's upping the bombast. Sadly as Twatters says, at some point he's probably going to need to match the words with actions.

KatyTheCleaningLady Wed 03-Apr-13 21:15:27

They do have a huge army, but they're as malnourished and ill equipped as the rest of the country.

nocake Wed 03-Apr-13 21:21:11

It's thought that they're still a way off making their nuclear bombs small enough but you never know how quickly they're going to get there. Their technology used to come from Russia and China but I doubt either country is providing that sort of technology at the moment. Neither country wants the Korean penninsula to go up in flames.

ZZZenagain Wed 03-Apr-13 21:24:08

from that video: "There are no birds in the trees except these, and these will be eaten on Tuesday".

nice detail

DisorganisednotDysfunctional Wed 03-Apr-13 21:30:45

What alarms me is that, regardless of China, regardless of global checks & balances, from what I read the NK government is quite bonkers and megalomaniac enough to kick off a nuclear war all on its own. Look at what it does to its own population: the suffering of those poor, poor people is almost beyond belief. Their life is the stuff of nightmares. This is a tyranny that sees no limits, and has no limits. A rogue state which might start a nuclear war regardless of the effects on itself.

I am deliberately trying not to follow the story hour by hour because it frightens me so much and there is absolutely nothing I - or any of us - can do about it. sad

QueenOfCats Wed 03-Apr-13 21:39:43

I'm getting increasingly worried, and have just seen the following on twitter from BBC news:

North Korea Army statement to state news agency says it has approval for military strikes on US, including using nuclear weapons

sad Bloody hell

CheerfulYank Wed 03-Apr-13 21:39:46

I used to work in a daycare and we had a family that had recently come over from NK. They didn't speak English (though the kids picked it up astonishingly quickly) but I got the feeling something had been very, very bad for them.

That was a decade ago...wonder how they're doing now.

I'll have to check out that book. I don't know much about the situation either but I'm sure whatever it us we (the US) will involve ourselves heavily.

CheerfulYank Wed 03-Apr-13 21:41:12

Jesus. Feel sick at the thought of nuclear weapons. I'm pretty out of the way of anything major in the US, but how terrifying. sad

NicholasTeakozy Wed 03-Apr-13 21:43:56

Everything that has happened so far, the taking down of the peace talk phone line, the declaration of war and the closing of the cheap labour industrial zone has been done to a schedule proscripted by Kim Jong-Un. This is all in retaliation to the UN (read US) applying sanctions to NK because of their nuclear ambitions.

Why is it only US sanctioned nations are allowed nuclear weapons, seeing as the currently nuclear enabled are the war mongers?

If a war was to start in Korea I fear it would end badly for the US, unless they use nukes. I hope we don't get involved.

grimbletart Wed 03-Apr-13 21:51:24

Interesting that China has twice this year backed the UN vote to increase sanctions on N. Korea. They are clearly getting concerned that Kim junior is even more of a basket case than his father.

CerealMom Wed 03-Apr-13 21:56:34

Reports suggest that KJU was partly schooled in Switzerland. I just don't understand - if you (KJI etc...) think we in 'the west' are evil capitalists then why send your kids to us to be educated? And why didn't some good sense rub off on the boy?

What is in their interest to hang on in the middle ages? Apart from keeping the KJ...s in power?

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