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War with North Korea


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#61 megabaki   Members   -  Reputation: 126

Posted 07 April 2013 - 08:00 PM

I also feel the need to point out that the division of Korea wasn't just the US's doing, it was equally the fault of the USSR and the PRC who supported the government in the North and rejected that of the South... it wasn't a one sided game.

 

What faults are you referring to?

 

The nation of Korea was already divided before WWII.  Splitting it in two insured that neither party would have control over the entire country.  if it wasn't for the U.S., the entire nation would be under communist control right now.



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#62 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 27643

Posted 07 April 2013 - 09:19 PM

You are trying to hard to find exact equivalency.

I'm not trying to do that at all. I did call them despicable...
I'm just trying to look at things from their point of view, and I'm citing their original statements as well as the ways in which we distort their statements. Why can't I look at things objectively without being a sympathiser of the North? I'd rather understand their way of thinking, than just jump on the let's-make-personal-attacks-against-their-figureheads-and-all-be-afraid bandwagon.

Again, what we're calling a direct threat of a nuclear attack against the US, is not worded as such in the original statement (please, go read the source). They write about the US nuclear bombing rehearsal in the past tense, and then use this "provocation" in order to justify their current increase in defensive rigour (which we call "provocation") and in the section that promises (to their own people) that counter attacks are guaranteed, they also remind their people that they have the capability of a pre-emptive strike (just like the US does). If you read the original article (it's basically a 3 piece essay), it's in no way "out of the blue".

It is a huge distortion for us to twist this into a direct nuclear threat -- just as when an American news station reminds US viewers that they've got nuclear pre-emptive strike capabilities and reserve the right to use them defensively, it's a huge distortion to print the headlines "OBAMA THREATENS NUKES".

 

Then there are the basic differences between North and South.

Yeah, they're baddies and we're goodies. I don't care. That's not the point. We're all baddies on the other side of the fence. It doesn't make it ok to play dirty just because the other guy is a jerk. We're supposed to be the honourable free world, but unfair cheap propaganda and obvious double standards still aren't below us...

 

that one time in the 60's someone sent a group of commandos to assasinate the President of South Korea in his home. And I almost forgot about Korea Air Flight 858.

Really? You're going to use cases of state-sponsored terrorism and secret assassinations of elected leaders to try and differentiate the US from the bad guys? Surely you're joking?

you have the fact of the Yeonpyeong island bombardment and the sinking of the Cheonean, as well as things like tunnels under the DMZ sized for tanks coming from the north

Like I said, I'm not making excuses for any of these or taking their side... but they deny that they were responsible for Cheonean at all (which leaves the implication that someone's framed them for it), and they claim that Yeonpyeong island attack them, and they fired back.
It's extremely unlikely, but there is always the slim possibility that their accounts are true. Some of the Cheonean investigators claimed that it was more likely to be an accidentally fired US torpedo, and the US has deliberately sunk it's own ships or made up stories of ship attacks before in order to do damage to their enemies, so as much as we'd like to, we can't blame the North with 100% confidence.

plus which side announced the cancellation of the Armistice?

As I mentioned earlier, every time the US brings weapons into the south, such as for these annual exercises, they're breaking the rules that they themselves set out in the Armistice. Why wouldn't you rip it up if your enemies were routinely breaking it without punishment, but you get punished every time you break it yourself? Their opinion is that it's being used against them aggressively, and the 3-part article I mentioned above has a long explanation for why they think they should rip it up (which of course, we don't print -- we just print the bit about hypothetical defensive strikes, and counter-attacks)...

 

The nation of Korea was already divided before WWII.  Splitting it in two insured that neither party would have control over the entire country.  if it wasn't for the U.S., the entire nation would be under communist control right now.

According to my history books, the Japanese controlled the whole area before WW2, and Allied (soviet) forces took the north, with the plan being that Allied (USA) forces would take the south. During the cold war, the US and the communists pushed back and forth ended up with about the same border as the post-WW2 one.

Maybe it would've been better if the USSR had taken over the whole country -- maybe when they collapsed, all of korea would've been liberated like east Germany was ;-)

If it wasn't for the Allies, it would still be under Japanese control, and would probably be free of dictatorships and starvation.

Also, being afraid of communists went out of fashion a few decades ago. There aren't any real communist countries. Even when the US lost the war to stop Communism in Vietnam, they retreated and achieved their goal by forcing capitalism onto the country...


Edited by Hodgman, 07 April 2013 - 09:53 PM.


#63 Prinz Eugn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3517

Posted 08 April 2013 - 02:08 AM

There aren't bad guys and good guys, but in this situation the North has been the insigator of tensions for whatever reason, and has been upping the ante much more than the South or the US.

 

Going back to the original documents... The North launched a satellite on December 12, which even China and Russia essentially told them not to do, and the UN Security Council approved Resolution 2087 unanimously. It basically condemns the launch, which violates previous resolutions, and calls for the North to halt missile and nuclear development and to give up on nuclear weapons:


 

1. Condemns the DPRK's launch of 12 December 2012, which used ballistic missile technology and was in violation of resolutions 1718 (2006) and 1874 (2009);

2. Demands that the DPRK not proceed with any further launches using ballistic missile technology, and comply with resolutions 1718 (2006) and 1874 (2009) by suspending all activities related to its ballistic missile program and in this context re-establish its pre-existing commitments to a moratorium on missile launches;

3. Demands that the DPRK immediately comply fully with its obligations under resolutions 1718 (2006) and 1874 (2009), including that it: abandon all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs in a complete, verifiable and irreversible manner; immediately cease all related activities; and not conduct any further launches that use ballistic missile technology, nuclear test or any further provocation;

 

And then reaffirms and increases sanctions. So basically 1) What You Did Was Bad 2) Don't Do it Again, 3) Give Up Nuclear Weapons, and 4) Sanctions, Sanctions, Sanctions

 

Two days later, the North issues an official response, which is where all the nuclear attack talk came from. But Hodgman, like you say, there's other stuff too:

 

First, a completely understandable claim that the launch was for peaceful purposes, and hinting that lots of countries that launch satellites aren't immediately accused of developing ballistic missiles:

 

"Even space institutions of a hostile country accustomed to have repugnancy towards others could not but recognize the DPRK's successful satellite launch for peaceful purposes, from a low-profile stance."

 

But then from there statement goes out of it's way to dismiss the fact that there are UN Security Council members other than the US, saying that:

 

"Moreover, this also indicates that the UNSC[United Nations Security Council], which should regard it as its mission to guarantee sovereign rights and security of its member nations, has turned into a defunct marionette international body on which no hope can be pinned."

 

Which I'm sure Russia, China, France, and the UK, as well as the rotating members, were delighted to hear. This statement is especially absurd given the recent ratio of vetoes per permanent member, not to mention the general reluctance of China and Russia in particular to jump on the US Foreign Policy Express.

 

Once the statment establishes that the UNSC is just a bunch of puppets, it's almost all about the US.

 

"2. As the U.S. hostile policy toward the DPRK has entered more dangerous phase, overall efforts should be directed to denuclearizing big powers including the U.S. rather than the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula

 

The biggest threat to the peace and security on the Korean Peninsula is the hostile policy toward the DPRK being pursued by all kinds of dishonest forces including the U.S. as well as the U.S. huge nuclear armed forces that back the policy."

 

Rather than simply saying that they have just as much a right to nuclear weapons as the US and other nuclear powers, it starts talking about US hostile policies, basically saying that the UNSC resolutions are backed by US nuclear power with disregard, again, for the other members. It's not like this part of the UN resolution is new, either, so why address it so explicitly at all, much less in terms of US huge nuclear armed forces?

 

Section 3 is where it really gets started:

 

"3. We will launch an all-out action to foil the hostile policy toward the DPRK being pursued by the U.S. and those dishonest forces following the U.S., and safeguard the sovereignty of the country and the nation.

 

The UN Security Council resolution on expanding sanctions against the DPRK, which was adopted on the initiative of the U.S., represents the most dangerous phase of the hostile policy toward the DPRK.

 

The army and people of the DPRK will never remain an on-looker to such happenings in which the sovereignty of the nation is encroached upon and the supreme interests of the country are violated.

 

Under the prevailing situation, the army and people of the DPRK will turn out in an all-out action to defend its sovereignty which is more precious than their own lives and frustrate the moves of the U.S. and its allies to isolate and stifle the DPRK."

 

How this can be construed as a reasonable protest to UN sanctions to rocket launch that was obviously going to be condemned by everybody, I don't know. We go from hostile policy, which in economic terms the sanctions are certainly meant to be, to the "army and people of the DPRK will turn out in an all-out action to defend its sovereignty which is more precious than their own lives".  I'm not sure what all out action by an army to defend sovereignty more precious than the lives of citizens could imply other than military conflict. In response to a UN resolution calling for the North to stop specific military programs. To make that prospect even clearer:

 

[Near the End] "We do not hide that a variety of satellites and long-range rockets which will be launched by the DPRK one after another and a nuclear test of higher level which will be carried out by it in the upcoming all-out action, a new phase of the anti-U.S. struggle that has lasted century after century, will target against the U.S., the sworn enemy of the Korean people.

 

Settling accounts with the U.S. needs to be done with force, not with words as it regards jungle law as the rule of its survival."

 

I'm sure it flowed better in Korean, but mentioning long range missiles, nuclear tests, and targetting the US, is in response to UN sanctions. Assuming the North crafts it's public statements half as carefully as every other government, this is not a mistake. They also deliberately seperate satellites and long-range rockets. The icing on the cake is the last sentence explicitly stating settling accounts needs to be done with force.

 

As opposed to just saying that they have a right to launch satellites (like other countries), have nuclear weapons to defend themselves (like other countries), and that the UN is corrupt or whatever, and denounce the sanctions. This statement, however, goes out of it's way to declare the UNSC to be US puppets, that they're surrounded by enemies, their army and people (in that order) are preparing for "all-action," that they're going to launch some rockets and test some nukes "targetting the US," saying in the next sentence that that the US apparently only understands force, so they'll use force.

 

Not only did they launch a rocket, but then responded to the entirely predictable international response by declaring that they'll settle accounts with the US by force, implying nuclear weapons and long-range missiles are part of that force. That's where this current "crisis" started, which then went on to have some tit-for-tat, with the North declaring the situation closer and closer to war.


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#64 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 27643

Posted 08 April 2013 - 07:16 AM

There aren't bad guys and good guys, but in this situation the North has been the insigator of tensions for whatever reason, and has been upping the ante much more than the South or the US.

Not from their point of view. If they ask the US to disarm their nukes, and to stop routinely violating the armistice, is it provocation when the US ignores these demands? No - the US doesn't value these demands.
Why would it be any different the other way around? They're in a war (remember, the US and NK are technically still at war) against people with satellites and nukes, so of course they're going to want their own. When your enemy makes some weak demand that you stop following the logical course of action, of course you're not going to listen, just as the US ignores demands to disarm. Saying that their satellite launch is "instigation" is not at all objective.

Giving in to demands and being told what to do by the US, to them means defeat in the war. It means being a servant instead of an equal - after all, the US doesn't give in to anyone's demands (which includes defying the UN too - remember how incredibly insulting of the UN every American news outlet was in 2003?). That's obviously not going to happen while they're still at war.
Many other countries have satellites and nukes, so it is a double standard and an infringement of sovereignty to try and stop others taking this same path. The reason we accept this double standard is because we obviously don't want people that we're at war with to be able to catch up, that's bad strategy. Other powers also don't want a US war to break out in their own spheres, and they certainly don't want to let any more members into their exclusive MAD club.

Two days later, the North issues an official response, which is where all the nuclear attack talk came from.

no, that's not the article that's gotten the western press up in arms about perceived threats of NK on US nuke action.

But then from there statement goes out of it's way to dismiss the fact that there are UN Security Council members other than the US,

yes they point out that the US instigated these UN actions, and the other members went along with it. They blame US influence for turning the others to puppets. A gross simplification, yes, but what's really the relevance of their little UN conspiracy propaganda? We know they've got a strong anti-US spin on their propaganda -- keep in mind these are primarily internal documents aimed at their own people.
Also, as above, I've seen worse insults aimed at he UN from US news ;-P

The biggest threat to the peace and security on the Korean Peninsula is the hostile policy toward the DPRK being pursued by all kinds of dishonest forces including the U.S. as well as the U.S. huge nuclear armed forces that back the policy."

Rather than simply saying that they have just as much a right to nuclear weapons as the US and other nuclear powers, it starts talking about US hostile policies, basically saying that the UNSC resolutions are backed by US nuclear power with disregard, again, for the other members. It's not like this part of the UN resolution is new, either, so why address it so explicitly at all, much less in terms of US huge nuclear armed forces?

The UN sanctions are initiated by the US (yes, with no vetos), so they're using that to frame these UN warnings as a manifestation of American containment and American attempts to control/contain them. The whole article is about the fact that they're going to continue these condemned projects (space and nukes) despite the fact that "the US" is trying to stop them. Yes, they say how others can do these things, but they can't due to being at war with America, but damn the man, they're doing it anyway because they're not scared, Nyah Nyah.

Section 3 is where it really gets started:

"3. We will launch an all-out action to foil the hostile policy toward the DPRK being pursued by the U.S. and those dishonest forces following the U.S., and safeguard the sovereignty of the country and the nation.

The UN Security Council resolution on expanding sanctions against the DPRK, which was adopted on the initiative of the U.S., represents the most dangerous phase of the hostile policy toward the DPRK.

The army and people of the DPRK will never remain an on-looker to such happenings in which the sovereignty of the nation is encroached upon and the supreme interests of the country are violated.

Under the prevailing situation, the army and people of the DPRK will turn out in an all-out action to defend its sovereignty which is more precious than their own lives and frustrate the moves of the U.S. and its allies to isolate and stifle the DPRK."

How this can be construed as a reasonable protest to UN sanctions to rocket launch that was obviously going to be condemned by everybody, I don't know. We go from hostile policy, which in economic terms the sanctions are certainly meant to be, to the "army and people of the DPRK will turn out in an all-out action to defend its sovereignty which is more precious than their own lives". I'm not sure what all out action by an army to defend sovereignty more precious than the lives of citizens could imply other than military conflict.

No, that doesn't imply military conflict at all. They're saying that they're going to defy all US demands and attempt to control them.
They use the phrase "the army and people" the same way you'd use "our administration", or "the American people". Just because their propaganda identity is that of a unified warrior tribe, that doesn't make every single statement automatically about attacks.
The article says that their actions are to continue launching satellites, and continue testing nukes. They imply that America won't respect them until they're of equal force (possessing a nuke) -- that simply talking to them via the UN/etc is of no use at all. The policies they're 'foiling' are the ones to influence their sovereign decisions - they'll foil them by continuing their programmes, at an increased pace (one satallite and rocket after another, and testing bigger nukes than before). They're saying they won't just sit there and give in to demands, they'll ignore any demands.

That's where this current "crisis" started, which then went on to have some tit-for-tat, with the North declaring the situation closer and closer to war.

you can't point to any one thing and say "that's the start of this" because that precludes all background. It's perfectly acceptible for anyone else to have satellites, so the background behind the very strange occurance of the UNSC attempting to punish a (failed) satellite launch is important context. If these conditions didn't exist, you would have threats being made over the launch, and then you wouldn't have got this inflammatory response saying "UN, you're not my real mom! I do what I want!", and you wouldn't have Americans twisting it into being a direct threat of nuking, and the South issuing counter-counter-threats about the how the North won't survive if they test another nuke, and the counter-counter-counter-threat of a souther sea of fire if anyone directly tries to stop another test, etc, etc.
Again, it's not very objective to slice the timeline like that, and point something out as unprovoked instigation, when everything is so completely intertwined.

#65 BladeOfWraith   Members   -  Reputation: 245

Posted 08 April 2013 - 06:26 PM

I was pretty scared when I saw this. I mean look at us :(

We're so gonna get owned.


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#66 Prinz Eugn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3517

Posted 10 April 2013 - 10:34 PM

The statement I quoted is the beginning of the "aimed at the US" rhetoric, and is important because, again, it's singling out the US in response to very multilateral new UN sanctions which were put into effect after the North violated a similarly multilateral series of resolutions. And it while it wasn't quite as clear as later North Korean statements, it was taken as a threat of nuclear attack, though not super widely.

 

 

Not from their point of view. If they ask the US to disarm their nukes, and to stop routinely violating the armistice, is it provocation when the US ignores these demands? No - the US doesn't value these demands.


Why would it be any different the other way around? They're in a war (remember, the US and NK are technically still at war) against people with satellites and nukes, so of course they're going to want their own. When your enemy makes some weak demand that you stop following the logical course of action, of course you're not going to listen, just as the US ignores demands to disarm. Saying that their satellite launch is "instigation" is not at all objective.

Giving in to demands and being told what to do by the US, to them means defeat in the war. It means being a servant instead of an equal - after all, the US doesn't give in to anyone's demands (which includes defying the UN too - remember how incredibly insulting of the UN every American news outlet was in 2003?). That's obviously not going to happen while they're still at war.
Many other countries have satellites and nukes, so it is a double standard and an infringement of sovereignty to try and stop others taking this same path. The reason we accept this double standard is because we obviously don't want people that we're at war with to be able to catch up, that's bad strategy. Other powers also don't want a US war to break out in their own spheres, and they certainly don't want to let any more members into their exclusive MAD club.

 

Once again, this is not the United States and North Korea, this is the broader international community... and North Korea. If the US can get China and Russia to agree on something involving a country they share a border with, it's kind of a big deal. And it's not just the "MAD club" that approved multiple resolutions calling for the North to give up those programs, we have all the rotating members of the UNSC, plus countries that weren't on the UNSC openly calling on the North to abide by them. This goes both for the rocket launches and the nuclear test. This is the majority of the international community acknowledging the North's actions are a threat to stability to a much greater degree than the US or South Korea's. Even the Venezuelan government has called for a relaxation on both sides, rather than blaming the US, and their President accuses the US of plotting to frame him for the assassination of his main opponent. If Nicolas Maduro can't bring himself to call on the US by name to reduce its threats (implicitly blaming the US), then the US probably isn't the belligerent party.

 

And, as I said in my last post, the North did not stop short of decrying the perceived hypocrisy of the UN member states who have both Nuclear weapons and launch vehicles, they singled out the United States (declaring all UNSC members are puppets), and then say that were going to launch some rockets and explode nuclear weapons "aimed at the United States", that the time for talk was over, and declare that "Settling accounts with the U.S. needs to be done with force, not with words as it regards jungle law as the rule of its survival."

 

To assume these statements reflect their actual point of view and are not mostly political maneuvering aimed at raising tensions, you have to assume they're either crazy, have zero understanding of how the international community works, or that their accusations that some sort of US-led globe-spanning cabal (that somehow includes all UNSC members) exists is actually true. All signs point to these statements, which have fueled the crisis, are intentionally provocative.

 

 

 

keep in mind these are primarily internal documents aimed at their own people.

 

They are not. These statements are published in English on the internet, by the official state mouthpiece. This is the state media translating their own provocative propaganda into the native tongue of their ostensible enemies and making it available on a medium that their own people don't have access to. If they wanted to keep it on the down-low, they wouldn't do that. They are doubtlessly aware not only western media but other governments take these KCNA statements as official positions of the North Korean government, which according to KCNA, they totally are. KCNA is the primary way the North Korean government publically communicates to the outside world, and nearly the only way. 

 

Going back to some of your original assertions and why I responded to this topic in the first place:

 

 

Keep in mind that for every bit of crazy internal propaganda that they have (a lot of which is actually justified, seeing as they actually are under seige and constant threat from us), there is just as much external propaganda coming from us that's designed to make them look even more crazy than they really are. The amount of propaganda in our media aimed against the enemies (or exploited allies, whatever) of the west is pretty ridiculous TBH...

 

Western media mostly quotes KCNA directly, and sometimes jumps to conclusions about what it says, but far less often than "just as much". Looking at whitehouse.gov and what Jay Carney says vs the KCNA statements, I have to say the North Korean government does an excellent job of making themselves seem crazy. The idea that there are equal amounts of propaganda is absurd.

 

 

The US rehearsed the nuclear bombing of the North, while the South threatened the survival of the North. In response, the North is making all sorts of counter threats and promising to defend themselves...
The idea that they're being the aggressor here is totally down to how you spin the story.

 

The US sent bombers after the North exploded an honest-to-God nuclear bomb, and launched a satellite which the international community, not just the US, associates with ICBM development. The idea that they're being the aggressor here is supported by repeated UNSC resolutions, and the almost complete lack of condemnation for the US actions balanced against substantial global condemnation for North Korean actions, not just what Western media has been saying. They're not the belligerent party only if you believe "'Sanctions' mean a war and a declaration of war against us."  is true.


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#67 Prinz Eugn   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 3517

Posted 10 April 2013 - 10:42 PM

Double Post


Edited by Prinz Eugn, 10 April 2013 - 10:45 PM.

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#68 Dwarf King   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1694

Posted 11 April 2013 - 12:53 PM

I was pretty scared when I saw this. I mean look at us sad.png

We're so gonna get owned.

You do know that these rabbits are top trained killer rabbits from the elite special forces right? They were used as far back as during the crusades to attack in masses. Haven't you seen this? I say poor any nation who dare nuke one single carrot or rabbit for by God they will have some pure rabbit but kicking for real in waiting...

 

Sorry guys kind of lost it here but the post above was just too tempting and the topic in this thread here really needs some humor tongue.png


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#69 ysg   Members   -  Reputation: 192

Posted 11 April 2013 - 04:28 PM

I was pretty scared when I saw this. I mean look at us sad.png
We're so gonna get owned.

Heh, @ 1:23, he points the gun at the reporter while ranting. Generally a dumb move when it comes to gun-safety.

#70 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 27643

Posted 11 April 2013 - 07:24 PM

again, it's singling out the US in response to very multilateral new UN sanctions.

Of course they're going to single out the US -- they're at war with the US. The US initiated the sactions (so they take the role of the complainant, and the other nations he jury), and the only reason the sanctions are allowable is because NK is at war with the South and the US. It's not really that whacky for them to be singling out their wartime enemies, without whom there would by definition be no conflict.

Once again, this is not the United States and North Korea, this is the broader international community... and North Korea. If the US can get China and Russia to agree on something involving a country they share a border with, it's kind of a big deal.

Yes it's a big deal, but it's a complete fallacy to try and derive further meaning from it, such as that this means that one side or another is the sole belligerent.
This just means that it's likely in China/Russia's best interests to go along with the containment efforts for whatever reason. You can't extend that to any kind of moral truth. Maybe they make more money from NK being contained? Maybe it's bad for politics to be seen as 'backing' NK? Maybe they wanted NK to win, but know they can't, and just don't want hem to get hurt?

I've had a friend beaten up by thugs robbing his home, who told him to shut up and stay down. Everyone else in the room did shut up and werent harmed. Even though it's unjust, I'd tell him to cooperate, but instead he sat there insulting the guy, and getting more beaten, in a repeating loop, until he was almost killed. Apparently his warped idea of honor was more valuable than his own safety... It's obvious that his insults were provocation, and I'm seemingly sided with the thugs in encouraging cooperation, but you can't make moral judgement from those facts. I'm siding with the devil for the greater good, and his provocations were in response to the greater provocation of a home invasion.

Sorry, but saying someone is the belligerent party because the UN passed sanctions against them is just silly...

As mentioned before, the US defies the UN when they feel like it (and no one can challenge them, due to veto power) and in their self-aggrandizing monologue this is seen as right and just. So this is even contradictory from a US point of view.

Even the Venezuelan government has called for a relaxation on both sides, rather than blaming the US, and their President accuses the US of plotting to frame him for the assassination of his main opponent. If Nicolas Maduro can't bring himself to call on the US by name to reduce its threats (implicitly blaming the US), then the US probably isn't the belligerent party.

whoa, wait... Who said they're the belligerent party? I said there's a war going on where both sides are using previous threats to justify new threats, and that each side is twisting counter-threats into wild direct-threats.
Quit with the "if you question America then you hate America" stuff. It's worse than Hitler comparisons....

)and then say that were going to launch some rockets and explode nuclear weapons "aimed at the United States", that the time for talk was over, and declare that "Settling accounts with the U.S. needs to be done with force, not with words as it regards jungle law as the rule of its survival."

*Sigh* No. They said there were going to test rockets, satellites and nukes. And that these displays of force are their response to useless and harmful US dialog.

All signs point to these statements, which have fueled the crisis, are intentionally provocative.

yes they're provocative, just as many Southern or US actions are provocative. They're both provoking each other into provoking each other. From their own points of view, their own provokations are justified and their enemy's are wild, destabilizing and careless.
The second paragraph in the OP's news story basically says "NK threatened SK, in response to threats that SK made against NK, which referenced previous threats".
It's ridiculous to say one side or another is the provocative one, when the instances being cited here are all counter threats.

SK says that NK won't survive. NK says if SK attacks, they'll bath in a sea of fire. Even though this is unarguably a counter-threat, warning against SK aggression, you're saying that it can only be viewed as NK provocation. Even if locally, we see that it's in repose to some absolutely crazy SK provocation, you just take a few steps back on the timeline (which again, is more intertwined counter counter threats)... If you can't put yourself in NK's shoes, that's fine, but don't pretend you're being objective in that case.

KCNA is the primary way the North Korean government publically communicates to the outside world, and nearly the only way.

theyre still translations of internal propaganda, so an interested reader should still take into account that they're going to reflect that style. They also don't count on their statements being mis-quoted or selectively edited by the western press to change their meaning... One thing that the English site allows us citizens to do is check the original sources so that we can spot our own propaganda.

Western media mostly quotes KCNA directly, and sometimes jumps to conclusions about what it says, but far less often than "just as much". Looking at whitehouse.gov and what Jay Carney says vs the KCNA statements, I have to say the North Korean government does an excellent job of making themselves seem crazy. The idea that there are equal amounts of propaganda is absurd.

Take any of the articles that talk about the NK having made threats to Nuke the US. Note that there is no context -- threats need context and demands, you don't just say "I'll shoot", you say "gimmie your money or I'll shoot" -- the article will not explain why NK would've made nuclear threats or what they were supposedly demanding, nor will it explain that it was presented only as a reminder that it is a hypothetical military option, as part of a threat that demanded that the South not stop making threats about invading the North, or conducting rocket attacks...
Now copy any sentence from the article and paste it into google. Notice there are often dozens to hundreds of syndicated clones of these stories.
That's widespread propaganda, which absolutely dwarfs the output of KNCA...

The reason I posted here originally is because I could not find a source for the alleged direct nuclear threats -- which are now so widespread and hyped up that I know people canceling their holidays to Thailand in case WW3 breaks out...

The US sent bombers after the North exploded an honest-to-God nuclear bomb, and launched a satellite which the international community, not just the US, associates with ICBM development. The idea that they're being the aggressor here is supported by repeated UNSC resolutions, and the almost complete lack of condemnation for the US actions balanced against substantial global condemnation for North Korean actions, not just what Western media has been saying. They're not the belligerent party only if you believe "'Sanctions' mean a war and a declaration of war against us." is true.

Again, that's just being completely one sided and failing to put yourself in their shoes. Regardless of why the US sent bombers, their so-called "nuclear threat" did reference said bombers as provocation.
Again, them developing this technology is only so damn bad because they're in a war with the US. If Indonesia was testing nukes, they'd be copping all the usual environmental flak, and the usual condemnation that it's not a nice thing to do, but they would not be blockaded for it. Developing a nuke when you're at war with the US is very different - everyone just wants them to stay down, but they're intent on getting back up, and we're all worried it'll turn into another fight. Assigning blame for this require going back though Korea's entire history and stopping at some arbitrary point. You may as well blame Germany for causing Russia to be so strong that they were able to help in the war against Japan. Without that, Korea wouldn't have been divided and there'd be no war.
There is a war between NK and the US. It's a relic of the cold war that just won't go away. The US has nukes (and did test conduct tests and ICBM development during the war) and the other side is very slow to catch up. Again, if you shoot someone in the leg and watch them pick up a gun... You could blame them picking up he gun for why you had to shoot the chest, or their side will probably blame you for shooting them in the leg in the first place... Internally, they've got a very good reason for developing military technology - they're at war with two very technologically advanced countries, that's just hte logical strategy, not provocation as far as they're concerned. From their point of view, living under nuclear threat with no countermeasure for 50 years is provocation, and their research is just an obvious reaction to it.

#71 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 12232

Posted 13 April 2013 - 05:25 AM

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/n-korea-threatens-nuclear-retaliation-against-japan
By this point it is fairly obvious.
 
Firstly, their moves are very calculated.  They announce what they want to draw our attention.  Unfortunately, that is a fairly weak tactic because even I who made all these topics can easily realize that if they were planning anything seriously they would not be announcing their attacks.  I almost replied here to say that I no longer believe war was coming, because it is fairly obvious that if you actually plan to win a war you don’t tell everyone about it and you don’t tell everyone your missiles are fueled and aimed.
 
But it’s not that they want to feign threats.  They do want war (I honestly can’t understand why, as a psychologist myself, but they do), but this part is just a diversion.  Misguidedly they are hoping that with our attention drawn to the 2 east missiles they have gassed up we will miss the X missiles they have moved to the west and near the border.
 
It was a nice idea, but the world is not so stupid.
 
Next they say that any shooting-down of missiles by Japan will result in war.
Their next plan is to launch a missile over Japan, which will of course be shot down.
 
In this way they can declare themselves as victims or otherwise try to justify their offensive.  They know at least enough to realize that they can’t take a pre-emptive approach, even though they have threatened one.  They will have no backers in that scenario, not even from their secret backers in the middle east.  War has to be justified.

From their point of view, living under nuclear threat with no countermeasure for 50 years is provocation, and their research is just an obvious reaction to it.

Who ever threatened them with nukes?
This is where I just stop following your arguments.
#1: America has no interest in North Korea. Not even as a villain. Except now when they start to make these kinds of threats.
#2: What nuclear threat? When has America ever threatened anyone with nuclear weapons besides Japan? Isn’t it fairly clear to the world that America has resolved to never use nuclear weapons again? In fact if all-out war did break out, America still would not use nuclear devices against North Korea. Not even if North Korea used them against America. I can guarantee that.


Under certain leadership America may have targeted a country without provocation, but no other leadership has been so bad, especially including the current one.
A new leader every 4 years. You take the good with the bad. Imagine if we had a system such as North Korea’s and Bush was a long-term leader.
Each new leader learns from the previous’ mistakes, and that is the whole point.

There is absolutely no chance of America provoking North Korea in any way should North Korea by itself not invoke such provokation.

Looking at their viewpoint? What is the purpose?
I am not saying this as a narrow-minded person, obviously, since I have worked in so many countries and get along so easily with everyone (the person making the tools for my engine is from Afghanistan and has even e-mailed me quotes such as “Allahu Akbar”, and if I saw anyone giving him any level of racism I would kick that person’s ass).

The plain and simple facts are that America broke them free from Japan many years ago and since some family thinks it needs more power they are upset about it. Meanwhile America doesn’t give a shit about Asia, much less specific countries such as Korea. America is only focused on the Middle East.
A few wars waged, a delusional dictator brought down (since he executed anyone who gave him bad news people never gave him bad news, and by the end of his time he really believed he could conquer the world), and nothing related to Asia at all.

And the dictators of North Korea want to somehow turn this into aggression towards them.


If they didn’t speak so many words of terror against the world’s 15th economic power, how has never made a provocative move towards North Korea (cite me on this}), they wouldn’t have to fear anything from America.
How does that not make sense?

And don’t give me any of that “seeing it from their viewpoint” bullshit.
Because the only thing I can see as a nation’s leader is an import/export trade as a start to economic growth.

His people starve while he gets fat.

Don’t even question why I dislike him and his family. There is no justification for his existence except that his father used his power to rape a woman without being jailed for it.
As a dictator, my policy would be to get revenge on America by creating a stronger economy than theirs.

Their strategy instead is to just threaten the world into giving them food and aid. Such an existence, a burden to the world, is unnecessary.


If you want to see their side so much, now you can imagine being the person who gets his way only by threatening others.
At the school dance you got to dance with the cute girl just because you threatened to beat up her boyfriend.

Of course with Kim Fat in charge, it’s more like you threatened to beat up her boyfriend, so she danced with you, and then you beat up her boyfriend anyway.

It seems as though you are very willing to see their side of it.
Which is great! Me too!
I even dated one of them!

But, um…

Why are you so open-minded and yet so close-minded?
Or, why are you so selectively open-minded?
Threats against North Korea aside from those they bring on themselves? Seriously?
If they did not mention nuclear threats, who would have? Seriously? No one ever thought about North Korea and nukes until they themselves made such a connection in the publics’ minds.

But all of that aside, my main beef with North Korea is its policy towards its people.
You have to keep his picture in your home. His picture is on every train.
Give me a frigging break.

A person I respect for his technical expertise is Hodgman. Would it not make more sense to have his picture in their homes and on their trains? What the fuck did Kim Fat do to deserve respect from anyone?
You don’t just go around telling people they need to have your picture in their homes and in their trains unless you are a world champion in something.

Ironically, I have been a world champion 4 times and have never requested my picture to be in anyone’s home!


L. Spiro

Edited by L. Spiro, 13 April 2013 - 05:34 AM.

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#72 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 27643

Posted 13 April 2013 - 08:06 AM


From their point of view, living under nuclear threat with no countermeasure for 50 years is provocation, and their research is just an obvious reaction to it.

Who ever threatened them with nukes?
This is where I just stop following your arguments.
You still think I'm trying to make some kind of argument about NK being an okay guy? Maybe if you remove the bold part of the quote, but that's the key part you keep skipping over in every post. I'm explaining their worldview to explain their actions, not agreeing with their worldview to justify their actions! There's a huge difference between the two!

There is absolutely no chance of America provoking North Korea in any way should North Korea by itself not invoke such

This is the point - from the US's view, NK developing nukes counts as provocation, but them possessing their own nukes in SK is completely reasonable.
From NK's view, developing their own nukes is a completely reasonable sovereign right, and the US importing weapons into SK counts as provocation.
Notice the two worldviews don't agree on what is reasonable and what is provocation? In order to not be accused of provokation by the other (which in turn surely generates deliberate provocation), each side needs to understand and accept the others worldview. This isn't the case - we reject theirs, and they reject ours, therefore, both sides keep doing self-justified but externally provocative things.

Looking at their viewpoint? What is the purpose?

As above, they don't respect our viewpoint, which is one reason they step on our toes (e.g. Testing nukes). We also don't respect theirs, which is why we step on their toes.

Any form of communication relies on a shared worldview, or at least mutual understanding of each others. If a new friend doesn't understand your sense of humor, or is from a state with a different dialect/slang, or has simply had different experiences with certain social customs, then that will harm your ability to communicate. If you have a foreign girlfriend with strong traditions, and you ignore hose customs and belittle them, then the relationship probable won't last long.

Without being able to adopt someone else's worldview completely, then you'll never be able to communicate with them completely.

Meanwhile America doesn’t give a shit about Asia, much less specific countries such as Korea. America is only focused on the Middle East.

its a global superpower interested in maintaining influence everywhere. Of course they care about Asia. Look at world bank links to Asia, or the number of diplomatic cables (seeing they're public these days). The "empire" is not so fickle to let whole spheres of influence decay because of one focus... Come on. Asia is a hugely important battleground between Chinese, Russian and western spheres of influence!

SK has never made a provocative move towards North Korea (cite me on this}), NK wouldn’t have to fear anything from America.

SK has done plenty to offend the north, within the North's worldview. Your original link in this thread quotes them as saying "you will not survive unless you meet our demands", which sparked the sea of fire response (from NK's POV, that's completely justified).

And don’t give me any of that “seeing it from their viewpoint” bullshit.

ok. I'll just walk into this lion's cage, and blame the lion when it attacks me. I won't bother thinking about its behaviors.

Don’t even question why I dislike him and his family.

you think I like the lion, simply because i dont want to be eaten by it?

Again, simply because I wish for people to be able to communicate, which requires understanding different and often uncomfortable worldviews (like what it's like the lead the worlds largest and most extreme personality cult), that doesn't mean that I love North Korea and hate America.
Ironically, the way this thread is going, I almost expect that to be quoted as "...I love North Korea and hate America".......

#73 kryotech   Members   -  Reputation: 815

Posted 13 April 2013 - 03:06 PM

I get what you are saying Hodgman, it's just that it's really hard to see any rationality in North Korea justifications of their nuclear threats...we can point out as many faults, but in the end, we still have a leader who is unable to accept the fact that South Korea exists and will continue to exist whether he likes it or not. Ultimately, this is all about South Korea in the end anyways. It's not about the US (directly), nor is it about Japan. It's about the fact that any North Korean leader craves taking South Korea but knows that he can't because of the powerful allies (the US) that it has. So the leader gets angry at the US helping them militarily. He makes threats. The American response is to help the South Koreans more. It is an endless cycle.

 

It is true though that this all begins with the Cold War. The US supported South Korea initially as a bulwark against Communism. In that sense, we can say that this all started with the Cold War. However, that is now over. The North is unable to move on from that time. So, since they believe that the South has no right to be an independent country, they hate it when the Americans come through and give military aid. It's the same issue China had with Taiwan at one point (may still have). Hodgman is correct in stating that the North has plenty of justification as per their beliefs. It's just that the basis for their beliefs are a little irrational. South Korea is here to stay, just as North Korea is here to stay. Reunification is not going to happen anytime soon. 


Kryotech

#74 Alpha_ProgDes   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 4680

Posted 13 April 2013 - 07:40 PM

I don't see why people get all up and arms about what is happening in/with the NK. China will not let NK shoot a nuke at the US. Because they know it will bring the full brunt of the US to Chinese territory. And it will turn into a proxy war, which will turn into a full war. It's not gonna happen. You all need to relax.

 

And as far as pulling out of SK, why? We have there a regional partner, economic partner, military partner. Why would we mess any of that up?


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#75 L. Spiro   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 12232

Posted 13 April 2013 - 08:09 PM

I don't see why people get all up and arms about what is happening in/with the NK. China will not let NK shoot a nuke at the US. Because they know it will bring the full brunt of the US to Chinese territory. And it will turn into a proxy war, which will turn into a full war. It's not gonna happen. You all need to relax.

I am not worried about nukes at all. I live in a city that has placed PAC-3 missiles around itself to ward off threats from North Korea, and yet I continue to stay because I see no threat at all.
Of course, no threat of nukes, absolutely, but also no threats from smaller missiles. North Korea just has no power. If I did not fully believe that, I would not be living in a city it has threatened and which has surrounded itself with PAC-3 defense missiles.

And as far as pulling out of SK, why? We have there a regional partner, economic partner, military partner. Why would we mess any of that up?

Wrong topic.

Again, simply because I wish for people to be able to communicate, which requires understanding different and often uncomfortable worldviews (like what it's like the lead the worlds largest and most extreme personality cult), that doesn't mean that I love North Korea and hate America.
Ironically, the way this thread is going, I almost expect that to be quoted as "...I love North Korea and hate America".......

I guess I have tried not to touch on your point about seeing their viewpoint as a courtesy. Frankly, I don’t believe your idea of their viewpoint. I don’t believe they really see things that way. Their words and actions are contradictory. They don’t like America or South Korea, but they don’t dislike them as much as you say. Those are past events and 3 generations of forgotten hatred.

Rather than true hatred, all it is is custom to them now. They just keep playing it up because that is what they have always done, and it masks/justifies their selfish intentions. Kim Fat wants to rule more land. It’s just simple.

Consider various factors.
#1: I was bullied as a kid in school. I grew up to make people laugh with my comedy, completely letting go of the past torture I endured.
#2: If I am a ruler of a country, and if I hold that country’s best interest truly at heart, I would do the same thing. Forget the past, open our borders to a trade business, and promote economic growth.
#3: I would furthermore open the country to a democracy in which they can elect their leaders. I would give up my power, knowing that in any case I would still be wealthy, famous, and influential, and let the people serve themselves.
#4: Why was South Korea able to do this when North Korea could not?


But let’s say your idea of their viewpoint is correct because, frankly, no one knows what they are thinking.
It’s still irresponsible. A dictator has a responsibility to his or her people and the economy of the country.
You can’t acknowledge in any way a viewpoint whose economic status rivals the Sahara Desert. The dictator has a choice to either hold onto grudges and put all of its money into military or to let it go, acknowledge that the past is the past, we weren’t alive then, we had no control, and that is just how it turned out, and do the grown-up thing by moving on with life and promote economic growth.

His point of view simply doesn’t matter if it is causing him to behave so childishly while his people starve.
It’s just simple. It isn’t even a matter of my own views or the views of the west or the views of America. It’s a simple fact that he has a responsibility to his people which he is ignoring in favor of spreading hatred and spite.
When you ignore your people, for whom you are responsible, it no longer matters what your point of view is. You are wrong. Irresponsible. Period.


L. Spiro
It is amazing how often people try to be unique, and yet they are always trying to make others be like them. - L. Spiro 2011
I spent most of my life learning the courage it takes to go out and get what I want. Now that I have it, I am not sure exactly what it is that I want. - L. Spiro 2013
I went to my local Subway once to find some guy yelling at the staff. When someone finally came to take my order and asked, “May I help you?”, I replied, “Yeah, I’ll have one asshole to go.”
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#76 Vortez   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 2688

Posted 14 April 2013 - 06:34 AM

Here's a nice video asking a very good question, "Why Do We See North Korea as a Joke & Iran as a Threat? "



#77 Servant of the Lord   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 17139

Posted 14 April 2013 - 05:11 PM

Here's a nice video asking a very good question, "Why Do We See North Korea as a Joke & Iran as a Threat? "

 

The video made a few good points (like MAD not fully applying to Iran and other Muslim countries).

Another reason is because Iran can mobilize the rest of the middle east against Israel and other US-friendly nations, and try to form a new Ottoman empire. Not because Iran might individually attack Israel. But North Korea can't mobilize anyone around them. The worst they can do (and it's still a pretty big 'worst') is sell nuclear weapons to other nations who might use them - they aren't stupid enough to actually use them themselves against another nation.


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#78 kseh   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1833

Posted 15 April 2013 - 02:00 AM

It’s still irresponsible. A dictator has a responsibility to his or her people and the economy of the country.
...
When you ignore your people, for whom you are responsible, it no longer matters what your point of view is. You are wrong.



This seems to be a romantic notion to me. We like to think any leader's responsibility is to his people but in truth he will believe his responsibility is to the mechanisms and ideals that keep him in power. Whether that means winning ballots, paying off corporations, maintaining in the people a fear of god, or by maintaining in a fear of being killed.

I don't think there's any need to question your hatred of Kim. But I do question your assessment of the situation. The only thing that you've said that holds any water for me is how the missile situation is likely to play out and that's because I was already thinking that. Over all I would like to see a few more arguments backed up with external sources. That is hypocritical of me as I know I can't back up my viewpoints with external sources but it would strengthen your position if you did and I would  like to consider such points.
 




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