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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.

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

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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.

ExitPursuedByABear Thu 04-Apr-13 16:02:11

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>

ExitPursuedByABear Thu 04-Apr-13 20:13:08

Isn't the worry though that KJI will

ExitPursuedByABear Thu 04-Apr-13 20:15:22


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?

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