It's all looking very worrying, I can't help but wonder how long before a war starts.
How do you think it will turn out?
i cant believe theyre going on about Iran when North Korea are making these tests and pronouncements and threats on America as well as their other neighbours. its not just sabre rattling anymore is it?
The Americans are doing "training flights" near North Korea in Stealth bombers. yep looks like the Americans are trying to stoke it up again.
I guess the Americans would say the training flights are justified because North Korea has been so hostile to the South just recently with repeated threats to invade.
Either way, it is creating a tit-for-tat situation that looks worryingly like it could slip into something more serious with little provocation at this rate. Let's hope China or one of the North Korean allies can reign in their side and the West can calm down the US.
Are North Korea marching into the south, no??? The American's have a history of imperialist capitalist agitation against any socialists states so I am inclined to think that what we hear in the Western corporate press should be questioned.
north korea has a huge arsenal of nuclear weapons doesn't it?
so I would imagine that any 'war' would be over with pretty quickly...
I do wonder how much of what we read in the media is there to justify what America may well do.
Well Western spin or not, I'd be pretty worried if I lived in South Korea right now.
If you disregard media reports, it is impossible to judge whose 'fault' the current escalation is but, from a less Western perspective, the fact that China and Russia are speaking out against North Korea and urging calm on all sides seems to imply they think a line has been crossed on both sides.
Its interesting really the other two nations were socialist (state capitalist now because of American agitation) have never had expansionist plans themselves and are always calling for diplomacy. I hope America listens. As regards Nuclear, America won't get rid of theirs.
I'm really worried about this actually.
I read somewhere online that war is a matter of hours away. Scary stuff
I think we're probably as close to nuclear war now as we were during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962.
On that cheery note, I'm off for an early night - sweets dreams folks!
North Korea has always relied on bluff to some extent. It can bank on its neighbours to respond to its tantrums by easing a few sanctions or granting a few concessions to cool things down a bit.
The trouble with playing these games with the US is that America is probably not the kind of country to react as expected. They like to be seen to fight fire with fire.
To be honest, right now I think the Americans are going to stoke this one up beyond what is sensible for whatever reasons they have and we're going to get dragged into it on account of the "special relationship".
North Korea presumably know that, I wonder what they are trying to achieve?
It's fairly typical NK rhetoric. They're looking to boost their bargaining position before the next round of talks. They always do this so that they can get some more free food from their evil Capitalist neighbours. Not that communism has any shortcomings, of course.
Watch to see how China reacts. Do they really want a hot war on their doorstep?
Oh, and ignore Mini because she lives in the wrong decade and the wrong country. 1950s Stalinist Russia is <- THAT WAY. 'Western capitalist media', seriously what?
NK knows that any pre-emptive strike on the US would be suicide.
I'm sure they do, which is why I wonder what they are playing at because the way it's going they are going to end up with another Iraq/Afghanistan situation on their hands.
The rhetoric has ramped up again as North Korea says it is entering a "state of war".
what do they want specifically?
Forgive me asking a blindingly stupid question . We know how awful life is for people in NK, lack of food etc. Are we sure they have nuclear weapons or it's just them bullshitting? Can't the rest of the world invade and free everyone? Surely we have more knowledge about them than they do about us so could get in easily.
Or are SK just too much at risk if anyone starts a war first?
(I'm not well today so be nice).
Yes, there is certainty about Nk's nuclear weapons programme, because they have carried out tests.
And we can't just go in (no one has the troops nearby except China, who wouldn't, both politically and as it may well be their cities that were hit if if a missile were launched and not successfully intercepted).
Forgive me asking a blindingly stupid question blush. We know how awful life is for people in NK, lack of food etc. Are we sure they have nuclear weapons or it's just them bullshitting?
We can tell when they set off a nuclear weapon because they do it underground and seismographs pick up the shockwave. A nuke detonation has a very specific shockwave.
Can't the rest of the world invade and free everyone?
What? Why? Assuming we did 'invade and free everyone', who would we install as replacement? There's no government-in-waiting, it's a Stalinist state where anyone who says "That Kim bloke's a bit of a wrong-un" gets shipped off to the Gulag, from which they do not return.
Surely we have more knowledge about them than they do about us so could get in easily.
The 38th Parallel - the border between NK and SK - is the most heavily defended in the world. The casualties from a land-borne invasion would be catastrophic.
Or are SK just too much at risk if anyone starts a war first?
How many casualties do you think the US or British public are prepared to sustain to enforce regime change? The last time they went at it in Korea 36,000 Americans died. This time casualties would be far worse because NK, being a Barking Mad Barry country, would use its nukes. My guess would be at least 10 million dead on both sides.
Apparently they have missiles but not long range enough to get to US mainland.
And no capability to attach nuclear warheads to them
Not that this is any great comfort to South Korea or the US military bases stationed close by in the East China Sea.
NK declared a state of war on SK this morning.
Technically, they've been at war since 1953 because the war then ended with an armistice not a peace treaty but now NK has said it is ripping up any agreements between them and generally upping the ante.
The main worry it seems is that NK has been allowed to get away with provocations on SK in the past (sinking a ship and bombing an island there quite recently) so the South may not be so restrained this time if NK do anything else this time round.
I've been to South Korea and was taken in for a couple of days by a lovely family there. So am thinking of them, and praying for peace in the world.
my father has good friends in South Korea and he is worried about them and whether he can try and get them out.
I don't think NK can seriously be planning to invade and take over SK. It must be clear to them that this would mean all out war surely and they do not have the finances IMO to support it.
We are due to move to South Korea (koje island) in a little over 8 weeks.
Dh returned from a visit there last night. I have been Hounding him for information as I'm not entirely convinced its safe enough.
He tells me that he heard nothing about the threat of war and the expat community there are taking it as empty threats as it always has been in the past. I'm not so sure.
I've never much been into history or politic however I am now finding myself sourcing as much information as possible.
Are we crazy to be considering relocating?
It seems those who think NK is acting in a tactical way to increase its bargaining power believe this is all bluff to get sanctions eased (sanctions imposed after NK's nuclear tests). Nothing more will happen except more and more aggressive statements and press releases.
Some however believe NK's leaders aren't totally tactical and are in fact a bit deluded in which case the fear is localised attacks on SK.
So far nobody is saying they believe full scale invasion is likely because nobody can believe that NK is so deluded as to believe it could win. Most people are working on the assumption that NK knows it would be defeated albeit with heavy losses on both sides (at a 'high price' was the expression I saw used for it)
Thank you flatpack . My brain is up to speed now.
Mum does lots of voluntary work for Amnesty, I get so angry about NK knowing how bad they have it over there.
We are due to move to South Korea (koje island) in a little over 8 weeks.
Dh returned from a visit there last night. I have been Hounding him for information as I'm not entirely convinced its safe enough.
He tells me that he heard nothing about the threat of war and the expat community there are taking it as empty threats as it always has been in the past. I'm not so sure. hmm
I've never much been into history or politic blush however I am now finding myself sourcing as much information as possible.
Are we crazy to be considering relocating?
Would NK fire its nukes first, knowing the price would be utter immolation? I just don't see it happening. Remember NK is essentially just China's insane yappy-type dog. If NK started flinging around its nukes - and has just a few and while it has tools for launching them getting them to detonate at the right place and time is complicated - the whole place would be turned to glass, and China would be launching against NK too.
Should you put your life on hold because some screaming nutter is busy being crazy a thousand miles away? By that metric you might as well discount working in Dubai because of the lunatics in Iran, or any one of a couple of dozen other places just because of the occasional looney.
tiggytape - those that brain wash others become brainwashed themselves in the end by their own lies - so they delude themselves into believing their own great power....
The attitude in SK is very much that they've heard it all before. NK has a tantrum every year because of the annual US-South Korean drills that take place and then things settle down again.
The only bargaining tool NK has is to stamp its feet and threaten all sorts in return for having sanctions eased. It has been doing this for years and the people in SK seem almost immune to it now.
We have just moved from Dubai I liked it there..
ivykaty4 - yes that is true. But the people in NK really have very little sway. They turn up for rallies when they are told, clap and cheer at press releases and fully believe they could take on the world if their leader says they can. They don't push for anything though - just support whatever happens.
So assuming the leaders aren't totally deluded and are only doing this for tactical reasons (as they always have in the past) nothing much will happen and they will tell the people that it is a massive victory over the US. I suppose the only danger is if they start believeing their own bluff - but this has happened for decades and so far they haven't got beyond bluff.
Barbie1 I lived in SK for 3yrs, loved it so much. We got use to the odd war drill - like fire drill but city wide with tanks and the various threats from NK. For those who want to understand more about life in NK, two books which are interesting (although by refugees so obviously biased) Nothing to Envy and Escape fom Camp 14. But SK is one of the most fascinating countries I've ever visited never mind lived in.
In my experience people in SK tend to be blasé about the threats, probably because economically and selfishly they don't want war or indeed to have to fund the rebuild of NK and its people if NK was defeated. There is a minority that are furious at their "weak" government and want to finish the job!
As for the current threat DH came hi e today from a work trip there, feeling is very much the bad harvest last year and long winter makes this all about the new leader showing his muscles to the old guard and about food/supplies. The big question is how to arrange it so he can back down without losing face.
'NK knows that any pre-emptive strike on the US would be suicide. '
Yes, I agree with this. They will want to save their own skins. If they do anything to threaten the US they know retaliation will be fierce.
It is interesting that for the second time this year China voted in favour of UN sanctions against N. Korea. Clearly even they are getting fed up with their basket-case neighbour.
Exactly, Grimbletart. They have to tread very carefully with their crazy neighbour. Not only do they have to worry about a war kicking off, they also have to consider what might happen if the regime fell or there was a civil war. Ten million North Korean refugees all fleeing in to China would cause them no end of problems.
will he be able to back down without losing face? Or will he just lie
Strangely, I agree (for the first time ever) with something flatpackhamster said, which is about the likely casualties that might ensue.
Another US 'skirmish' in the far east would need to be a lot better planned than the last fuck up. The Vietnam War of the 1960/1970s resulted in an estimated 6 million dead - mostly the people of Vietnam and the neighbouring countries. And the soldiers who came home were treated as pariahs.
With North Korea, by the time aid and reconstruction could reach them, millions would die, unless someone actually knows what they are doing, why, and how.
I imagine the US and China both want one of Jong's more sentient generals to push him down the stairs. He's a joke. But a dangerous joke.
I think it's all empty rhetoric. One thing which repressive regimes put above everything else. And that is their own survival. And the top brass must know that any war with S. Korea and by extension the US would be simply suicide.
The US army has moved on leaps and bounds technologically and much of the kit has been sold to S. Korea. The army is modern and advanced. In contrast, the N. Korea army have barely moved on at all. They can't feed their own population let alone mount the logistical support which would be required for a sustained war effort.
That's why they are relying on nuclear missiles to try to level the playing field with the US. The idea being that if they are a full nuclear power that the US would not dare invade them and they'd be taken seriously as a world power.
And unlike in the Korean war, China is now much more dependant upon the US (and vice versa) than before. Meaning that China would think twice before upsetting the US and killing their own economy by supporting N. Korea who economically is insignificant and a tiresome neighbour. The language coming out of China has been much firmer against N. Korea over the last few years. I don't think they could rely upon China to back them up in the event of a shooting war and without China they'd not last a week.
Kaesong is closed for the first time since 2009, another bad indicator.
I don't see China as particularly dependent on US. It has never acted as such in UN, and it's business interests are diverse.
Just spotted a thread in AIBU about this too, and linking here as it might get buried in a general forum.
it is about to be crunch time, the major factor is down to NK inability to produce food,
a bunch of scientists were invited over to NK, in desperation last year, a major problem is that they have so severely deforested, that all the top soil has washed away,
the NK realised quite some time ago, they had to act, they set up quite a few government tree nurseries, as a mass emergency replanting scheme was needed,
Unfortunately the machines they did manage to get, seed and plug machines (that should help produce saplings at rate needed), which would of solved the problem, unfortunately also require electricity, which the NK could not produce to supply the scheme.
Every moment(far far too long) they failed to address this simple problem the top soil blew and washed away, NK is now a massive dust ball, also with quite a difficult climate for growing, the rivers are toxic.
not very long ago they were trading children to eat, this time is going to be far worse.
the scientists that went over to advice and try to help came back and summarised that even with mass cooperation and intervention, there was almost no chance of turning the land around for many decades.
the NK leaders have very little to lose, if they don't get a mass input they are screwed, as an unfed army tend not to do the job they were intended to.
so if the world decided to feed NK, the crises would subside, but it would still be under the leadership.
Amazing Quote, whatever happens if north korea does change, go to war become defeated or whatever, amazing their downfall could be due to top soil.
The US is China's largest trading partner. So if China sided with NK that would have a huge impact on their own economy. Far more so than 50 years ago. That's my point. Meanwhile NK no longer really has an economy to speak of. In fact I remember reading that one of the main reasons China props up NK is because they don't want all their population to pour over their border as refugee's.
Interesting point from quote though. Not an angle I'd thought of. I do think though that this is something where distrust and misunderstanding of cultures come into play. The US would be much more likely to help if they were asked to and news was played 24x7 on the likes of CNN/MSNBC about starving children in NK. America loves nothing more than being the good guy, the all american hero. What it doesn't like is someone threatening them. But at the same time I think the leaders of NK would see explicitly asking for help as weakness and a total loss of face.
If all the "leaders" could be removed, the south who are the most officiant country could turn the north around, but China will never allow that, so in the case of a vacuum, China will enter, SK will have no more ability to prevent that than Taiwan did, when China declared it's plans for Taiwan.
but when people( NK leaders) have nothing to lose, they will do drastic things, it's called going out with a bang.
the army are not being fully fed, and despite efforts to keep them out of contact with their families they are aware of the wider problems, everyone back home are starving,
the NK leaders are starting to grasp at straws, by far the most dangerous point so far.
yep, poor environmental management, and everyone screwed, if they had had a few working generators, and followed the advice when the problem first started, they wouldn't have their backs against the wall,
If people have to find fuel for cooking, deforestation happens extremely quickly, India (and others)has this as a major issue. this could be easily solved with investment in solar cookers and other green cooking solutions, there are lots of solutions being developed, we just need governments to provide them, so as to prevent deforestation, loss of soil, toxic rivers and then famine, it is essential this happens soon, quite a few places are stuffed unless this happens.
the scientists that went into NK, last year reported there was no wildlife, animals of any kind, no birds, and the fish stocks were gone.
When they handed over manuals, books, papers and instructions on how to start addressing the problem for the NK scientists, the books were taken away by government officials, the "leaders" are so paranoid, that the books will of never of been given to the NK scientists, they are very scared of any communication getting through.
Many places that have been deforested by humans never recover, even small places like the once lush heavily wooded Greek island of Symi, deforested for the boat building industry centuries ago, now a pile of dry, dusty rocks to which all water needs to be imported.
It's amazing that tree huggers are viewed with such suspicion, but then people rarely question the motives of those who stand to gain by destruction.
quoteunquote I'm in awe of your knowledge!
Dh has just emailed his boss in S Korea to ask what will happen in event of N Korea attacking and other such scenarios.
I'm meant to be packing for the move, instead I'm watching bbc news for any development.
wouldn't it just be enabling the leaders though to help them get food.
I agree they are clutching at straws, conditions inside must be catastrophic even for them, but maybe its a good thing.
Things shouldnt continue in that country as they are.
I check this out from time to time
well it's all about China's tweek,
China is the supply route for NK's food, the rice comes in at the rate that controls certain behaviour, China needs to have NK keeping everyone on it's toes,
the rice line is has for quite sometime not been covering the army and government personnel allowance, let alone their families.
China is withholding for a reason.
Quote - the environmental issues are shocking to hear. The (very few) pictures you ever see of NK's landscape on the news do always looks a strange combination of snowy and dusty. Is that why?
Russia has spoken out against NK today and both NK and the US seem to be moving missiles and shields around and staging photo opportunities of their military power.
I guess the worry is that whilst China, Russia and SK can be relied upon to stay calm and largely ignore NK's tantrums and bluff, the US is a bit more unpredictable on that score. They don't do tolerance in the face of provocation very well or cope with being goaded and challenged. NK is used to enemies that roll their eyes and back down just enough to ease tensions. However, their new leader doesnt seem to have mastered the art of a controlled escalation very well and in addition has decided to pick on a country that, like NK, often lets considerations of national pride drive its decisions.
no gas very little electricity, there has been little choice but to burn everything.
a hungry unhappy army is hard to keep under control,
It's all up to China really, and how they wish to play out their expansion plans.
America has been backing up south korea for years and has managed to keep its cool. This isnt the first time they have done this.
America are going to f it all up and at the moment I'm scared about what our relationship with America means for us. . It's very very worrying and I think we should be praying for it to not escalate.
Some people seem to think this is being talked up on the news a lot to distract us from what the government are up to. Who knows?
It's true the US tend to react fiercely when threatened. But they aren't stupid imo, plus I've heard from experts talking about NK that above all they will want to save their own skins.
Fascinating stuff, especially quote's knowledge on the subject
If Japan relent over the Senkaku / Diaoyu islands , then the food supply into NK will increase, which will release a lot of pressure on the NK leaders.
the USA (HC) came out in support of Japan,
it up to China how far they want to play it.
China recently announced it's intentions, via it's passports, the new maps in which now claim for China the entire China sea,
Taiwan, Brunei,Malaysia, Philippines,Vietnam are really pissed off, as it is all their territories that have been taken, and are all trying to reason with China, who have laughed in their faces and basically said what are you going to do about it?, the answer of course is nothing,
the NK situation is just, why have a dog and bark bite yourself,
China will decide just how far they want NK to go with Japan.
would NK nuke the UK to provoke the US?
They don't have the technology. And, no.
No, if they had the technology they'd be more likely to nuke the US than the UK.
But knowing us, we'd follow the US into a war with NK though.
arn't they working on getting the technology to nuke America though?
The foreign office have advised the families that are due to travel to Seoul tomorrow are ok to do so.
Our visas have been approved and at no point in the application process has anyone raised any concerns.
My concern is the 'project' that dh is going to be working on is a worlds first, a huge project which see's some of the biggest American and British companies coming together. The dry dock in which the build is taking place is a sitting duck!
We would be well within range.
I really don't understand why nobody on the project is showin any concern.
these are some of the targets, those and the SK usa bases.
the islands, that are part of the problem.
they have plenty to be getting on with considering they mine their own uranium, and produce plutonium, and it keeps very well.
According to our (the US, I'm originally from the US) post-war treaty with Japan, we are obliged to defend them should they be attacked. Which is why that island issue is worrying to me. China's games with those islands had me more worried than NK for a while there, if I'm honest.
The US can't manage another war on foreign soil right now, despite what some people seem to think- they aren't actively looking to start a new one. We simply don't have the manpower. Soldiers in Iraq were doing 3rd and 4th tours of duty with almost no break between. They even sent National Guard troops, which aren't technically meant to leave their home states, much less go overseas. We don't have a hawkish president in office anymore. There's no supply of oil I'm aware of. etc. There is no agenda there I can see, even reading between the lines of what the media says.
Whether or not those B-2 exercises were a smart move remains to be seen. They were meant as a show of support for the South Koreans, as our allies.
What scares me about this is we don't know what to expect from KJU. He's very young and not much is known about him. When his father would ratchet up the rhetoric, it was usually obvious that he wanted something: aid/ more oil/ loosened sanctions/ whatever. KJU has already said he won't negotiate their right to nuclear arms, so what is it he's going to offer?
I don't feel so sure that we (UK) can feel safe right now. This guy is a nutter, there is no way we can predict what he is up to and could be capable of.
The US can't manage another war on foreign soil right now
hence the timing,
that island issue is worrying to me
China's intentions are very worrying, in the build up even before Japan bought the islands, they were clear about their plans.
it's interesting that people think that Kim Jong-un is anything but a puppet. the whole NK "leadership" is totally reliant on China,
China has to accommodate it's expansion, the question is when it crosses the line will anyone be able to stop it, so far none have(Tibet, Taiwan), the islands are key, which is why HC went on record to declare disapproval.
Unless Europeans can recognise that they have more in common than they have differences, and work together as a USE,(united states of europe) and form a good working relationship with Russia and the USA, we are all going to be pondering Niemöller most famous quote.
we are unable to compete economically alone, but together we have a chance.
GardenTreeHouse - the west will have more intelligence than they make public so we only get a basic version of what is happening. I'm not too worried, in part because the US is being quite restrained - luckily they do not currently have a republican government.
Thanks for your informative posts quoteunquote very interesting.
Thank you Quote I only had a very vauge idea of the environmental issues in NK I found your posts very informative.
This article about a defector gives some insight into life there Its only for the strong stomached though as it has some very grim details
They re saying hes going to test or launch something tomorrow.
I'm reading 'Nothing To Envy' - very interesting indeed.
The last thing I heard was China saying they won't put up with N Korea war mongering on their doorstep.
The latest news seems to suggest the US feel they could intercept any NK missiles.
Without Chinese support the regime would collapse, it's not so much the potential 25 million refugees that worries them, it's a united Korea which would be ruled from Seoul and a military ally of the US with ground troops and nuclear weapons bordering them.
Nobody really knows what's going on, it could be puppeteering from China (buy why?), it could be more empty rhetoric (although with no chance of concessions that could backfire and force the regime to do something so they look serious), it could be an attempt to make the young leader seem like an important military hero to his people (that's at least part of it), it could be that the rulers have become drunk on their own propaganda and genuinely believe they can win a nuclear war It could even be an attempt from within to collapse the regime or encourage outside sources to. Maybe it's a combination of elements of all of the above.
We'll see. Hopefully it won't be ww3 because if Albert Einstein is right, the fourth world war will be fought with sticks and stones, I don't want to live in a post nuclear apocalyptic dark age
From the BBC:
yesterday, UN's warnings sounding more grave as NK rhetoric continues
SK raises alert level
Think piece on whether China is urging restraint on NK
There is the capability to intercept the NK arsenal. But whether it would happen with 100% accuracy on the day, when the devastation from even one getting through verges on the unthinkable, means it's something that no leader wants to rely on even when the military is well-prepared.
Apparently, NK will be launching a missile today - and NKs are performing "war dance of death"
Our move has been postponed until July 1st, it seems that South Korea is taking some notice of these latest threats.
It's nearing the end of the day in Korea, so he hasn't got long to carry out his latest threat
Many in South Korea are worried that nothing will happen today and the nation will breathe a sign of relief and say we told you so...only for an unannounced attack to happen in the not so distant future?
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Monday is a likely bet for the missile attack apparently. I think they'll do it on a different day when it's not expecting if they do it at all.
Barbie1, glad to hear that your move has been postponed
Do you mean missile test?
Blimey, I don't want to make anything worse by anything I say (delusions of grandeur ?!) but it does all sound quite worrying, especially as I'm thinking of a family I stayed with in South Korea when I visited a few years ago
The BBC were saying something about a missile launch from the north to the south, though I only caught a snippet of it when I was driving. I hope I was mistaken.
Well obviously any attack on S Korea would compel the US to get involved. N Korea will surely know that they have little to gain from such a thing? It will mean the end of the regime at least.
Let's hope it all calms down soon.
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