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North Korea Testing: World Response



 
 
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  #41  
Old May 28th, 2009, 2:33 pm
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Re: North Korea Testing: World Response

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Originally Posted by Morgoth View Post
But if the economic meltdown takes a massive toll on Chinese interests, you can expect a more militant attitude to take shape where its territorial claims are concerned. That would spell bad news for the region because any aggressive posturing by China will embolden North Korea.
That wouldn't surprise me. On the other hand, I think the Chinese leaders are generally rational (unlike North Korea), and I don't think they're all that comfortable with a nuclear, bellicose North Korea since it's right next to them. Currently, they are somewhat-useful idiots to the Chinese as they can keep China's democratic neighbors nervous and the U.S. distracted, and gives China more leverage to control the situation of the day.

But, it's a risky game to play, because North Korea is so unstable. I may be making China out to be more rational than it is, but encouraging more bellicosity from North Korea than it already does could quickly get out of China's control and they don't want that.

It's really in everybody's best interest (including North Korea's) for the status quo to continue.


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  #42  
Old May 28th, 2009, 3:51 pm
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Re: North Korea Testing: World Response

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Originally Posted by Wab View Post
Despite western hysteria about the acquisition of nuclear weapons by the USSR, China, India and Pakistan, there has never been a head to head hot war (excluding proxy wars) between two declared nuclear nations.
Weren't there significant border fights between Pakistan and India over Eastern Pakistan (Bangladesh) in the '70's? And I think China and USSR had a reasonably HOT engagement on the Manchurian border as well.

Sorry for the source (Wikipedia)...but reflects a "hot" conflict, with significant fighting and losses on both sides.

Indo-Pakistan War 1971

Sino-Soviet Border conflict of 1969


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  #43  
Old May 28th, 2009, 4:27 pm
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Re: North Korea Testing: World Response

The first of the two nations to go nuclear (India) did not test its first A-bomb until three years later.

A series of border skirmishes does not equal full-scale war.


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  #44  
Old May 28th, 2009, 4:31 pm
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Re: North Korea Testing: World Response

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Originally Posted by monster_mom View Post
China could care less about Tibet or any of the bothersome nations it controls, and it could care less about international condemnation of their actions in those nations. They dealt with Tianamen square just li8ke they'll deal with those people should they stand up against China.

China does, however, care about Japan. A nuclear armed Japan wouldn't be about deterring NK - it'd be about getting China to step up to the plate and calm Kim down.
I think this is a very risky strategy - too many factors involved. This sort of policy includes too many unknowns to be advisable.


And I am assuming that your comment re. Tibet responds to what I said earlier. If so, you misunderstood me.

I don't think China cares about the Tibetans and other peoples, and yes, CHina is clearly willing to quash any opposition.

But I think you'd easily underestimate CHina's worries about the international debate concerning these places. There is more than direct action in the places where the CHinese have their own interior issues.

I don't think China has much reason to fear direct outside interference - but I think it does fear the rhetoric over Tibet and Tien-an-men, and all that goes with it. Otherwise it wouldn't be so twitchy about it (note the whole kerfuffle over the Olympic games).... This worry actually dictates some of China's behaviour on the world stage, IMHO. And it isn't direct action in these places - it is that wherever it can, China will stand up for a sovereign state's right to supress what it sees as internal resistance. And CHina will also stand up (as far as it can) to any attempts by any state to change the regime of another state on 'humanitarian' grounds. Because those principles are a worry to China.

CHina's attitude to world politics is affected by this - and with CHina as a major player on the world stage, THAT's what makes the difference. And simple cold war type analyses just don't cut it under those circumstances. China's stance on Tibet affects not just its own backyard in east Asia - it might affect China's stance on African politics as well as stuff that happens in the Balkans, for example (e.g. the Kosovo question). This stuff is global - and it's worth considering this, even if we then apply these observations to China's neighbour, North Korea.


All in all, it is in China's interest to maintain a status quo in North Korea both for the political reasons set out above, and for fear of what might follow if NK does collapse. China isn't all that stabile.... even less so if it can't maintain its economic growth. It can't afford major instability in its vicinity.



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Originally Posted by Sherlock Holmes View Post
... I think the Chinese leaders are generally rational (unlike North Korea), and I don't think they're all that comfortable with a nuclear, bellicose North Korea since it's right next to them. Currently, they are somewhat-useful idiots to the Chinese as they can keep China's democratic neighbors nervous and the U.S. distracted, and gives China more leverage to control the situation of the day.

But, it's a risky game to play, because North Korea is so unstable. I may be making China out to be more rational than it is, but encouraging more bellicosity from North Korea than it already does could quickly get out of China's control and they don't want that.

It's really in everybody's best interest (including North Korea's) for the status quo to continue.

I totally agree with this.

I agree - China didn't have very rational leaders even in the early 90's (as it turns out now that we got those memoirs of the man who tried to prevent the Tien-an-men massacre)..... but I think they have a rational bunch of people there now - as rational as they can be in that position.

China is a very tricky place to run at the best of times. Just to make sure that everyone is fed, that corruption doesn't get too much out of hand, and that any natural catastrophes can be dealth with with minimum loss of life is enough to be getting on with.

On top of that they have to deal with massive social change, massive internal migration, environmental degradation that's so severe it actually does visible damage.

And that's before even worrying about Uigurs and Tibetans - let alone territorial ambitions!

And I think that the Chinese government is aware of these burdens. It won't want the boat rocked at all - and in spite of some saber-rasslin, which is partly simply so traditional it would raise a huge stir if they didn't, they'll be very careful not to get into any actual major conflict. That's why I think, for example, that the uneasy peace with Taiwan is safe.


And that's why I think that the nasty regime of NK isn't going to go anywhere for some time - but that they also won't be allowed to do anything too drastic.


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  #45  
Old May 28th, 2009, 4:40 pm
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Re: North Korea Testing: World Response

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Originally Posted by Klio View Post
All in all, it is in China's interest to maintain a status quo in North Korea both for the political reasons set out above, and for fear of what might follow if NK does collapse. China isn't all that stabile.... even less so if it can't maintain its economic growth. It can't afford major instability in its vicinity.
Particularly if that means millions of Korean refugees streaming across the Yalu in the event of a complete collapse.


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  #46  
Old May 29th, 2009, 1:49 am
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Re: North Korea Testing: World Response

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Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
A nuclear Japan would cause a whole host of other problems i.e. the Chinese may decide to point it's own weapons at Japan rather than keeping North Korea in check.

Also even if a nuclear Japan had the desired effect in terms of China stepping upto the plate, you cannot discount Kim Jong rolling the dice and attacking South Korea and Japan anyway. He has nothing left to lose at this point.
Given the centuries of bad blood between Japan and China I tend to agree with this. Parking nukes in Japan is no different than the Soviet Union parking nukes in Cuba. We didn't put up with that, and I am sure China won't put up with us doing the same. Who could blame them?

If you want to park anything over there it should be a US flagged SSBN with a couple hundred warheads 100 miles off their coast.


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  #47  
Old May 31st, 2009, 6:44 am
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Re: North Korea Testing: World Response

I haven't read this whole thread, but I'm just going to post my reactions to the whole situation without exactly jumping in on the conversation...

This whole deal with North Korea scares me a ton. What scares me even more is that it doesn't scare everyone else. I feel like Obama's "strong reprimand" or whatever he's issuing isn't good enough. The world community doesn't feel like it's a big deal that North Korea is basically developing weapons they could attack us with; they're renouncing treaties left and right; and we could basically have nuclear war here.

I feel like Dick Cheney is right when he says that fear does need to be mongered. We're naive to think that world politics are going our way at this point and I see some sort of major attack as possible, if not even probable. I don't know what we can do to fix these problems, but the fact that it's being dealt with with so little concern really troubles me.

Does that make any sense? I'm not sure how coherent I was.


  #48  
Old May 31st, 2009, 12:34 pm
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Re: North Korea Testing: World Response

Nk isn't the problem. China is.

I don't think China would allow NK nukes no matter how NK postures.
Far too many problems would arise if that should ever happen.

.


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  #49  
Old May 31st, 2009, 4:28 pm
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Re: North Korea Testing: World Response

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Originally Posted by adam_12 View Post
I feel like Dick Cheney is right when he says that fear does need to be mongered. We're naive to think that world politics are going our way at this point and I see some sort of major attack as possible, if not even probable. I don't know what we can do to fix these problems, but the fact that it's being dealt with with so little concern really troubles me.

Does that make any sense? I'm not sure how coherent I was.


It's coherent, no question about that!... but I don't agree with you.

Fear is *never* a good response. Sometimes we can't help it, in a situation that evokes panic - but even in such a situation keeping a cool head is better.

Fear in world politics, IMHO, is entirely the wrong response in any situation which I can currently imaghine (or any situation in history I can think of, and there are a few ). Fear is merely likely to lead to actions that make a situation worse rather than better.
Essentially (to put it in very crude comparative terms), we don't want another Cuban Missile Crisis, but another 1989 - the first was inspiured by utual fear, the second by a realisation that one can talk to the other side after all. I don't think there is a question what's preferable.


Fear mongering is, alas, a great way of gaining votes - but that makes it even more cynical.

But one thing is worth bearing in mind: fear mongering and macho posturing is easy, and I at least have no respect for it. The level-headed approach takes a lot more courage - but it is ultimately what we need.



So, all in all, I disagree with you. I am VERY relieved to see that most people seem to be taking this with the required calm, measured attitude that an effective response will require.


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Last edited by Klio; May 31st, 2009 at 4:32 pm.
  #50  
Old May 31st, 2009, 4:38 pm
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Re: North Korea Testing: World Response

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Originally Posted by Wab View Post
Despite western hysteria about the acquisition of nuclear weapons by the USSR, China, India and Pakistan, there has never been a head to head hot war (excluding proxy wars) between two declared nuclear nations.
The Korean War itself?


  #51  
Old May 31st, 2009, 7:45 pm
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Re: North Korea Testing: World Response

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Originally Posted by adam_12 View Post
I feel like Dick Cheney is right when he says that fear does need to be mongered. We're naive to think that world politics are going our way at this point and I see some sort of major attack as possible, if not even probable. I don't know what we can do to fix these problems, but the fact that it's being dealt with with so little concern really troubles me.
It does not. This is the United States of America. We are not a nation of scaredy-cats. I emphatically reject any politician who would lead by scaring people into submission. History is full of stories about people who allowed themselves to be misled this way.

We're in greater danger from inside, what with the arms race the NRA is fostering, than from North Korea, Iran, or even al Qaeda.


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  #52  
Old June 1st, 2009, 4:47 am
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Re: North Korea Testing: World Response

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Originally Posted by unconvinced View Post
The Korean War itself?
That was a proxy war.


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  #53  
Old June 1st, 2009, 5:38 am
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Re: North Korea Testing: World Response

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Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
It does not. This is the United States of America. We are not a nation of scaredy-cats. I emphatically reject any politician who would lead by scaring people into submission. History is full of stories about people who allowed themselves to be misled this way.
I didn't say anything about scaring people into submission--I just think that the situation needs to be treated with a little bit more urgency. I don't think assuming that North Korea is bluffing here is safe. While it's entirely possible that nothing will come of their testing, I don't want America to assume that that's the case.


  #54  
Old June 2nd, 2009, 10:02 am
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Re: North Korea Testing: World Response

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Originally Posted by Midnightsfire View Post
Nk isn't the problem. China is.

I don't think China would allow NK nukes no matter how NK postures.
Far too many problems would arise if that should ever happen.

.
That doesn't make them part of the problem; it makes China part of the solution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by purplehawk View Post
It does not. This is the United States of America. We are not a nation of scaredy-cats. I emphatically reject any politician who would lead by scaring people into submission. History is full of stories about people who allowed themselves to be misled this way.

We're in greater danger from inside, what with the arms race the NRA is fostering, than from North Korea, Iran, or even al Qaeda.
No...we are in greater danger of being attacked from within, that is true. But, we are in greater danger of an effective, devastating attack from renegade nations and powerful political junkets like North Korea, Iran, or Al Qaeda. The NRA doesn't have nukes, and I doubt they take keeping and bearing arms to the extreme of owning your own personal nuke.


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  #55  
Old June 3rd, 2009, 8:59 am
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Re: North Korea Testing: World Response

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Originally Posted by adam_12 View Post
I didn't say anything about scaring people into submission--I just think that the situation needs to be treated with a little bit more urgency. I don't think assuming that North Korea is bluffing here is safe. While it's entirely possible that nothing will come of their testing, I don't want America to assume that that's the case.
I'm pretty it is going to blow over to be honest. Ever so often NK gets beligerant and starts poking around with weapons test etc but the reality is that China will not let NK destabilize the region to any great extent. China is relient on Economic Trade with the US and Europe and communists ideology is now to watered down to risk loosing an economic advantage to protect a fellow socialist.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wab View Post
That was a proxy war.
Sorry, didn't read the word excluding


  #56  
Old June 3rd, 2009, 9:04 am
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Re: North Korea Testing: World Response

Unconvinced, North Korea has been a pebble in the World's shoe for half a century. They have been posturing about nukes off and on for the last two decades. Eventually, someone is going to have to do something about them, or they are going to finally make good on their threats. Should we wait for them to develope a nuclear, chemical, or biological weapon and use it before we act?


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  #57  
Old June 3rd, 2009, 9:18 am
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Re: North Korea Testing: World Response

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Originally Posted by rigdoctorbri View Post
Unconvinced, North Korea has been a pebble in the World's shoe for half a century. They have been posturing about nukes off and on for the last two decades. Eventually, someone is going to have to do something about them, or they are going to finally make good on their threats. Should we wait for them to develope a nuclear, chemical, or biological weapon and use it before we act?
Well like I said above, China, the major power in the region and soon to be the world, have power of life or death over the Korean regeme. Their main reason for supporting them has been the fear of millions of refugees crossing the border, however even that will not be enough of a deterent to support the North if it built up a full nuclear arsenal. If China were to withdraw its support (which would be a move quickly followed by Russia) NK be totally isolated but it would loose any voice within the UN so the sactions already imposed could actually be properly enforced. Also, while the west knows little of internal politics of NK, there has been some thought BBC Link, that much of the recent activity could be to strengthen Kim Jong-il's choice of successor.

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Originally Posted by rigdoctorbri View Post
Eventually, someone is going to have to do something about them,
Who do you think should act and what should they do?


 
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