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(85 Posts)
DizzyHoneyBee Fri 29-Mar-13 09:05:08

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?

tiggytape Sat 30-Mar-13 13:52:22

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)

Meglet Sat 30-Mar-13 13:52:59

Thank you flatpack smile. 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.

flatpackhamster Sat 30-Mar-13 13:59:04


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.

ivykaty44 Sat 30-Mar-13 13:59:39

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....

tiggytape Sat 30-Mar-13 14:04:06

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.

Barbie1 Sat 30-Mar-13 14:06:18

We have just moved from Dubai smile I liked it there..

tiggytape Sat 30-Mar-13 14:08:53

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.

deXavia Sat 30-Mar-13 14:21:58

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 grin 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.

CamillaMacaulay1 Sat 30-Mar-13 14:24:57

'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.

grimbletart Sat 30-Mar-13 14:39:15

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.

flatpackhamster Sat 30-Mar-13 14:58:42

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.

ivykaty44 Sat 30-Mar-13 15:44:09

will he be able to back down without losing face? Or will he just lie

LineRunner Sat 30-Mar-13 21:02:22

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.

niceguy2 Sun 31-Mar-13 12:25:01

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.

meditrina Thu 04-Apr-13 06:27:43

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.

meditrina Thu 04-Apr-13 06:35:45

Just spotted a thread in AIBU about this too, and linking here as it might get buried in a general forum.

quoteunquote Thu 04-Apr-13 10:47:20

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.

MyDarlingClementine Thu 04-Apr-13 11:19:26

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.

niceguy2 Thu 04-Apr-13 11:42:56

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.

quoteunquote Thu 04-Apr-13 12:04:19

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.

Barbie1 Thu 04-Apr-13 12:18:55

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.

MyDarlingClementine Thu 04-Apr-13 13:32:02


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.

MyDarlingClementine Thu 04-Apr-13 13:32:56


I check this out from time to time

quoteunquote Thu 04-Apr-13 13:48:27

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.

tiggytape Thu 04-Apr-13 13:52:10

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 doesn’t 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.

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