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L. Spiro

War with North Korea

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North Korea Calls Hawaii and U.S. Mainland Targets

 

I asked before if anyone thought war with North Korea was possible and was met mostly with negative feedback (as in, answers of “No”).

 

My point of view back then was very simple.  Kim Jung Un Ill…Jong…whatever the fat kid’s name is (seriously if you want people to remember your name don’t make it 3 separate words, 1 or 2 of which are the same as other historical people whose names also take years to remember) is 30, which is already a problem as far as respect goes in his country, and he has to work hard to garner the respect of his people.

 

And to do that he employed exactly the same tactic as China: Start fights with other countries so that your people don’t realize how crappy their own country is (which is to say it has its perks, but then it has 10 times more problems for every perk).

 

The major miscalculation being that this is the soul basis of the respect he gets from his people, which means he has literally no choice but to keep escalating things until eventually war begins and his country is completely annihilated.  He really can’t back down or he loses faith with his people.  Not only that but he is trying to get out of his father’s shadow.

 

Basically, war can’t be avoided.  Backing down is obviously not possible.

Neither is maintaining his current position.  If all he is is threats, his people will soon realize this as well once the world just types “/ignore NorthKorea”.  it isn’t enough in the long run to even just maintain his current level of threats in order to placate his people.

 

He literally has no choice.  Backing down means losing the respect of his people which he will never be able to regain at his age.

Keeping the status quo of threats won’t be enough when his own people get tired of it and demand action.

 

 

He’s already stated he will make a pre-emptive strike, and frankly he has no choice.  So war will happen.

 

 

It was also stated by some that North Korea and South Korea would not be united, but instead North Korea would become part of China.

This won’t happen.  South Korea and North Korea will definitely become reunited to the chagrin of China (the article is long so to just explain its point, China does not want North Korea to start a war because then China would have one fewer ally and share one more border with an American ally (or rather the same number of borders, but a bigger one)).

 

 

 

My questions are:

#1: What do you think is going through Kim…Fat’s head?  Clearly he is under peer pressure, but do you really think he believes he can do any damage to anyone at all?  Does he really believe he could win a war?  Do his people really believe that?

#2: Where do you think he will strike first?  Hawaii, South Korea, Guam, and Japan have all been mentioned as possible targets.

#3: What will he strike?  Military bases only?  Or something like Tokyo, just to do as much damage possible before being wiped off the map?

#4: How will he strike?  Starting off with nuclear?  Or starting off with a large barrage of standard missiles?

#5: Do you think anyone would support him in a war in which he strikes first?  Do you think it’s possible that he secretly has agreements with other countries to back him in a war, which would explain why he thinks he could actually win a war?

#6:  How long do you think the war would last?  6 days?  6 hours?

#7: Same question as last time: How will North Koreans and South Koreans get along after being reunited?

#8: Japan, Australia to sanction N Korean bank as part of U.S.-led crackdown  America has been called the “World Police” for a long time.  Sometimes in a good way, sometimes in satire.  But in this case North Korea is specifically pointing at America.  Do you agree with America playing World Police in this instance?  Why or why not?

 

 

L. Spiro

Edited by L. Spiro
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1) I don't know, but I'm willing to bet he's pretty delusional about his own power. As far as I know N.Korea is kept in the dark about the outside world, so it's quite possible that a lot of people may believe that they can win a war.

2) No clue, and I won't even wager a guess. Crazy people are... crazy and often irrational about everything

3) He doesn't seem like the type of person who'd follow war rules. He'd probably have no quarrel about hitting civilian targets if he thinks it will help him.

4) Nuke, maybe. Conventional weapons are SO 20th century. He may use chemical weapons if he feels that nukes will bring him too much negative light.

5) No, don't think he can actually stand any outsiders, so I doubt he has other countries willing to ally with him.

6) There's not going to be a 'war'. Even if he launches any sort of strike, there's enough manpower keeping an eye on N.Korea that none of his attacks will work. Missiles can be intercepted and neutralized well before they reach any target, even if he targets Japan. But if that happens, there will be a swift surgical bombardment of his military installations, and the 'war' will basically end with the occupation of N.Korea shortly after.

7) Don't know anything about this (I wasn't around last time you've asked this apparently) I dont think they can be re-united properly in my opinion, and I think they're likely to remain separate autonomous states.

 

8 ) People who call the US 'world police' in a negative connotation are being hypocrites. (note here: I'm not American).

The fact is that the US is the most powerful nation on earth right now. Given the same power, other nations would at best act marginally more friendly that the US acts, and at worst they will misuse their power to a much worse degree than the US has. I'm not just talking military power - the greatest power IS economic power.

Basically, everyone complaints about the US, but no one would act much differently in their position. Why? Because people are people no matter where you go. Everyone wants power and control, and politicians are lying bastards no matter which country you go in. Whether it's some people who happened to be born in a certain part of the continent of North America that have the power, or some people who happen to be born in some other place, we'll all be at nearly the same situation.

 

No one politician really wants to change the system, they just want to be the ones on top.

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Personally I think it's all rhetoric. He can't be that delusional, even china is urging them to keep it low, Lil Kim has no allies.

Any attack would immediately be condemned by the UN and probably retaliated within a matter of hours rather than days.

 

Do they even have the (reliable) technology for long range attacks? If there were a minimal chance of an attack it would probably target something in the area.

SK or Japan?

 

The US has bases there and could respond immediately.

 

I would totally support America in that case. It's something completely different to defend an allied country than to take sides in a conflict between third parties.

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I'd be surprised if China let's him go to war with the US, Japan, or South Korea. Regardless of diplomatic and even military relations, their economic relationships would be greatly strained if such a thing happened. Also, it would severely hurt China's (and by extension Russia's) standing in the international community. It's one thing to defend someone who acts like a nutjob. It's another thing to be actually responsible for that nutjob and have to clean up his mess afterwards as well.

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I don't know what's going to happen. But I personally find it difficult to comprehend how the citizens of a country could intentionally condemn their leader because he doesn't want his country to be wiped off the map. let's assume everything you say(L. Spiro) is right, and he's doing this simply because backing down would make his people lose faith in his leadership, isn't that pretty telling of the populace if they are so ready for war that peace is apparently out of the question for the leader of the country?

On the other hand, I'd find it easier to assume that he as an individual fully believes that this is apparently the right action, and is why he does this, but I just can't comprehend him doing this because backing down means losing his people. Edited by slicer4ever
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My questions are:
#1: What do you think is going through Kim…Fat’s head?  Clearly he is under peer pressure, but do you really think he believes he can do any damage to anyone at all?  Does he really believe he could win a war?  Do his people really believe that?
#2: Where do you think he will strike first?  Hawaii, South Korea, Guam, and Japan have all been mentioned as possible targets.
#3: What will he strike?  Military bases only?  Or something like Tokyo, just to do as much damage possible before being wiped off the map?
#4: How will he strike?  Starting off with nuclear?  Or starting off with a large barrage of standard missiles?
#5: Do you think anyone would support him in a war in which he strikes first?  Do you think it’s possible that he secretly has agreements with other countries to back him in a war, which would explain why he thinks he could actually win a war?
#6:  How long do you think the war would last?  6 days?  6 hours?
#7: Same question as last time: How will North Koreans and South Koreans get along after being reunited?
#8: Japan, Australia to sanction N Korean bank as part of U.S.-led crackdown  America has been called the “World Police” for a long time.  Sometimes in a good way, sometimes in satire.  But in this case North Korea is specifically pointing at America.  Do you agree with America playing World Police in this instance?  Why or why not?

 

First off, I still disagree that there will be a shooting war with NK. War can absolutely be avoided, and the latest in a long string of threats from the country that perfected extortion-via-tantrum will not convince me otherwise. Also, I don't find your argument for why war is inevitable very compelling. NK is brutally repressive, which goes a long way towards preventing popular revolt and makes a revolt far more difficult. Plus, even if Kim Jong Un is at risk of being deposed from within, it's not like he'll be able to hold onto power after losing a war he initiated for no reason, with nothing to gain.

 

NK is already on the /ignore list for its threats. The previous two generations of leaders did exactly that-- threats, never quite enough action to provoke military retaliation, peppered with "Sea of Fire" and "We're coming for the US" rhetoric. I agree that Kim Jong Un seems far less adept at this game than his father or grandfather, but I don't think that he'll abandon it in favor of a suicidal war. Plus he may not be as in-charge as he predecessors. His whole cabinet served under his father, and whether Un is unbalanced or not I can't imagine his generals meekly going along with suicide-by-pointless-attack plan.

 

Anyhow, on to the list:

 

#1: I doubt it. He's not so much under peer pressure as pillar pressure. He has no peers-- he's the privileged son of a dictator supported by his (far more capable) father's junta. He could do some fairly intense damage, in his neighborhood, but he's not going to damage the US in any meaningful way. He certainly isn't going to win a war. What his people believe, who knows? They're inundated with propaganda, and we outside of NK don't have much of an idea what they think about anything.

 

#2: Of the choices you present, SK or Guam. But strategically they're all losers for NK, so it's hard to imagine a conflict targeting anyone at all.

 

#3: As above, he'll strike nothing. But if he were to stage an attack, I have to imagine it would aim to inflict maximum damage.

 

#4: NK won't last long in a war, and their missile technology is hard to move around and deploy. If they don't use the big guns straightaway, they won't have a chance to use them at all. EDIT: NK may be able to continue existing for a while during war, but their ability to project power into distant theaters of war will be difficult to hold onto. Once their best missiles are out of the picture, they're stuck moving a conventional army around with little supply-line defense, and not a whole lot of supplies.

 

#5: No. What could NK possibly deliver via war that other nations couldn't get on their own with less fuss? Particularly if the other nations would take a visible role in the war?

 

#6: This would depend on what is struck, and with what weapons, and when NK would feel beaten enough to accept the incredibly harsh surrender terms that would be forced on them. I doubt it would end by conquest, but NK is in rough shape with zero military force brought against them. How could they weather a siege for any period of time?

 

#7: No idea. Maybe never.

 

#8: NK is always pointing at the US with its threats. The sanctions against NK are overwhelmingly pushed through the U.N., not enacted externally by the US and friends. I'm not sure of the specific sanction you're describing, but I feel like the US approach to NK is very un-World Police.

Edited by Khaiy
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I'm mostly going to go with Khaiy on this one.

He is not supported by his people, only by the structure that is already in place. Based on his public pronouncements he doesn't seem to have the finesse to build and maintain the structure.

It is always possible that he does have the ability to keep it together, but I'm not willing to bet on it.

With that assumption the options in the long term are to let it fall gracefully and rebuild the structure --- either by re-inventing the current government or peacefully instituting another --- or to let it fall without grace --- by an internal or external conflict.

He doesn't strike me as the kind of person to take a graceful fall.

Given that assumption, I see the most likely course as a military coup. Mr Kim inherited his position as leader, and is surrounded by military leaders. To succeed in the military takes ambition and intelligence. Even if he were willing to launch weapons I strongly suspect the military machine would interpret a launch order as the green-light for a coup. The order itself could easily be leveraged for legitimacy to the coup.


I see it as far less likely that he would (successfully) launch weapons against a foreign target. If he did, and if the military carried it out rather than using it to fuel a coup, then the attack would likely be designed to inflict maximum damage. My guess is that he would wait until a joint South Korea - US event, cite that as evidence of how the South and the US are conspiring against him, and launch a massive attack against South Korean cities.
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With regard nukes and chemicals I don't really have a concern...if however they had a viable biological warfare program...then I might be duly concerned. As to war itself...it might be the only way left to save the country from its own leadership...or at least for the foreseeable future.

 

 

As to the morality and ethics of all of this...if you start a fight you wear the consequences. I personally wouldn't be averse to the idea of an extended border along China held in Allied control. A land grab being made by a country other than China in that region appeals to my sensibilities.

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My question in response to yours is that what would be the true motivations of NORTH KOREA? This is something on a much larger scale than the North Korean dictator's strive to escape the shadow of his predecessor. He would not start the largest conflict of the 21st century unless he had one of the best reasons of the 21st century. My guess is that if a war was ever started (very unlikely in my opinion) that it would be waged because of the vast industry and wealth in South Korea. If the two countries ever combined, with N. Korea's agriculture and huge space and S. Korea's economy and industries, it would be a powerhouse greater than even Japan, if it was not communist. In the past Hitler started WWII over gaining "lebensraum" or "living room" for the Germans. I see the same here, although the environment is different, and not very conducive to a tragedy on the scale of a war.

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he has literally no choice but to keep escalating things until eventually war begins and his country is completely annihilated

Choice (A) keep going down the "all talk" route, and occasionally kill me a south korean soldier.

Choice (B) start a war that annihilates my country and ends in my death.

 

I fail to see how there is no choice here, and how (B) is inevitable...

 

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...

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He’s already stated he will make a pre-emptive strike, and frankly he has no choice.  So war will happen.

Flawless logic.

 

Either there is a country filled with lunatics (yep, even the dog in that corner is crazy) and your logic is without a flaw... Or war won't happen (like you describe it).

Edited by TheChubu
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Is there a chance that he is played upon by someone (or a group of people) with an agenda to be in an unsustainable situation where he is forced to resign ? He doesn't look very bright to me after all ... 

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In the past Hitler started WWII over gaining "lebensraum" or "living room" for the Germans. I see the same here, although the environment is different, and not very conducive to a tragedy on the scale of a war.

Actually, Hitler started the war because of the Polish planned invasion to Germany and the secret superweapons that the Polish were developing. Which was pretty much the same "reason" as U.S. imperialist aggressor troops threatening North Korea.

 

 

#1: Does he really believe he could win a war?  Do his people really believe that?

Yes, no, maybe. What does it matter to a nutter? Besides, death in a war destroying the U.S. imperial aggressors is a death with honor... so... "winning" is not really all that important. Even if you "lose", you still win because you destroy the evil guys.

#2: Where do you think he will strike first?
 

A "first" strike would have to happen in several locations to be effective at all.

 

Japan and South Korea would be logical targets for nuclear missles. U.S. mainland, presumably with biological/chemical attack and saboteurs (destroying infrastructure, poisoning water) would be a logical move. A simple blackout that covers a dozen major cities probably causes more destruction than a nuclear missle, and it's practically impossible to counter.
A handful of "anti-imperialist warriors" with bazookas can probably take out a major city in minutes, no problem. All it really takes is destroying the 2-3 biggest relay stations in the region, overload will take care of the rest. For bonus points, fell a few pylons if you like, or break a dam. That's blackout for at least several days (or weeks), with people panicking, looting and killing each other in the street. The military will be busy shooting at their own civilians to keep up civil order, they won't have time to shoot at you.

Add to that whatever a few dozen skilled saboteurs/terrorists can do in their free time (put some explosive on the central pillar at the local hospital, cut phone cables, bring an airplane down into a building... you get it). There's absolutely nothing you can do against it, except shoot anyone who looks remotely Asian on sight -- and even then you can't be sure.

 

(On that note, consider how you're being scanned, screened, biometrized, stripped naked, and being nazi-treated in every possible way at every airport. At the same time, almost all the guys driving fuel trucks on the airfield and almost all guys loading/unloading suitcases have a rather Mullah-like appearance and in fact look just like they could be Bin Laden's younger brothers. Are you feeling much safer now? You're welcome.  Now consider how many Koreans work in that nearby nuclear power plant and in your local hospital, and in the fire department. Of course you can be 100% positive that they are all "good Koreans".)


Attacking Hawaii, on the other hand, would be a really stupid move, but mentioning it may lead to divert the enemy's forces and sustains fear, uncertainity, doubt.


There is nothing on Hawaii worth destroying, the U.S. have a lot more missles in submarines (or in other countries) than on Hawaii, the same goes for troops. And the few civilians living there are hardly worth the rockets that will take a long time to reach their target and will likely not hit on spot anyway at that distance.
Japan and SK are much better targets. Short range, missles likely to hit, high population density, not much of an advance warning. That is, low chance of antimeasures, maximum casualties. Plus, destroying a rich industry.

#3: What will he strike?  Military bases only?

Striking military bases is nonsense. The U.S. did not win World War II by striking Japanese military. They won by killing civilians. Never in history have wars been won by killing soldiers. You win by killing civilians, raping women, destroying houses, burning crops, and salting the earth.

Kill morale and supplies first, then worry about soldiers.

#4: How will he strike?

First, he will strike by talk and threats for years to go, until nobody takes him serious any more.

Then, assuming he hasn't been murdered by some even more insane competitor (or by the CIA) in the mean time, my guess is that he'll come up with a coordinated sabotage/terror strike on U.S. mainland, and nukes onto Japan and South Korea at the same time.

#5 and #6:

Impossible to say, even speculatively. The U.S. might just wipe out NK within 6 hours, or they might not as to not risk hitting nearby allied targets or provoke a counter-strike from China, who might just see missles launching and hit the red button, as a reaction.

It's not like you could fire missles at NK without directly and indirectly hitting two nearby allied countries, and without pointing a missle head into China's direction (which they surely won't appreciate).
Doing a "surgical" counterstrike is wishful thinking, there's no such thing. And doing a nuclear strike at all is something you don't do lightly if you're still a bit at your senses, regardless whether you've been attacked or not.
 

Edited by samoth
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People who call the US 'world police' in a negative connotation are being hypocrites.

"But other countries would do it" doesn't make it hypocritical. It's hypocritical if you'd do it yourself, and most people using that term aren't leaders of superpowers...

Yes true, other superpowers in history have behaved similarly (e.g., Britain in the 19th Century). But that isn't an argument against the criticism - one could criticise Britain's historical actions too. If Queen Victoria rose from the grave and criticised the US for being a superpower, I could see your point smile.png Edited by mdwh
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America has been called the “World Police” for a long time. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes in satire.

People who call the US 'world police' in a negative connotation are being hypocrites

Does anyone seriously use that phrase with a positive connotation? Really? I thought it was satire 100% of the time. Can I have a link? Edited by Hodgman
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"But other countries would do it" doesn't make it hypocritical. It's hypocritical if you'd do it yourself, and most people using that term aren't leaders of superpowers.

True, but most people, even if not leaders of superpowers try to impose their views on others just as much. In fact opposing your views that others should not impose their views on the rest of the world is exactly hypocriticism. 

 

But at the end the point that "just because others do it" is not a valid argument point still stands (meaning your 2nd point is still valid).

 

Does anyone seriously use that phrase with a positive connotation?

I don't know, I was trying to be as specific as possible as to avoid arguments over ambiguity. I've also met some pretty far out people who strongly believe that an all powerful government that controls everything is the best approach to governing. Those people may use "world police" in a positive connotation.

 

I think big governments that control everything in their own nation (let alone try to control other nations) are the worst thing that can happen, BUT sadly, the fact that they do means that people either support, or do not oppose the idea of that enough to make a difference. Basically people _want_ a world police, but they have a disagreement about who that world police should be. There just isn't enough opposition to that idea anyway.

Mind you, I don't think that a single nation giving up their large government is going to make a difference, this would only work best if people everywhere protested for this sort of thing.

 

But all this is a moot point - we're not talking about world policing here - N. Korea has made concrete threats against the US. Even if the US doesn't act like a world police, they would have to seriously consider those threats, as would any other nation. Though I seriously doubt there will be a war, on the off chance that there is, it's probably going to be really short and only hurt  people in N. Korea. 

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This is the same crap every damn year. Over and over.... and over again. Yeah blow up South Korea(basically your own people) and Hawaii(destroy a tropical paradise), GREAT IDEAS!

 

I think the idea is, if you say enough ignorant stuff, you become more famous.

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He’s already stated he will make a pre-emptive strike, and frankly he has no choice.  So war will happen.

No, it won't. It's only rhetoric.

America has been called the “World Police” for a long time. Sometimes in a good way, sometimes in satire. But in this case North Korea is specifically pointing at America. Do you agree with America playing World Police in this instance?

To quote someone from another forum

I don't like little yapping dogs, but I don't kick the little yapping dog to death just because it yaps at me. It is in the nature of a little yapping dog to yap. Occasionally, it may bite, but it's bite is a nuisance, not a life-threatening injury. So, in my position of superior size and strength, I exercise restraint.

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Maybe my opinion would be different if I lived closer to Korea, but:

1. I believe he simply wants to maintain his position. What dictator wouldn't? I suspect that he's going to make a big noise, put on a show, then claim to the people that the fear he struck into the world's hearts is a victory. That the world is too afraid of the mighty DPRK to attack. And now to ensure their safety they need to further develop their strength because the enemy is insidious and will not cease until destruction falls upon everyone (or something like that).

I'm sure he figures he could do some damage, and he could, but to what end? What is there to really gain? I don't think he believes he could win a war. But I wouldn't be at all surprised if his people believe they could win a war if for no other reason than holding on to that belief creates a sense of hope and a purpose to continue living. I think it might be fair to say that the average citizens of any country are happy to offer a simple, one sentence solution like to a complex problem.

2. He won't, an attack puts his position as leader at risk. There are other ways to secure his position.

3. No strike will ever be ordered by him. If anything occurs it will be a general or commander over-zealously 'defending' a position similar to the attack on that one island village not long ago. A similar incident to that will be met with a strong retaliation but offers the best risk to reward for Kim that includes an out. Therefore I suspect this is what we will see.

4. A situation like I described in 3 would be conventional weapons.

5. No secret alliances that would be of support. What would be dangerous though would be if he has means of exporting nuclear weapons to other enemies of the US.

6. No war, only continued tensions. They will continue until their is a coup of some sort or when one in the line of leaders decides he wants a way out.

7. I imagine it will be difficult but I would look to the reunification of East & West Germany for some insight in what to expect. The situation is certainly different but I would use it as a place to begin planning. I suspect after decades of tension, both sides of the border will be hoping more for a new sense of security than revenge.

8. I don't think this is a situation of the US being the "world police". This is the US dealing with consequences from a war that they were involved in from long ago when communism was seen as a serious enough threat to the American "way of life" that a war seemed important enough to start. No doubt there were other political and strategic advantages that were a factor in the decision.

As for whether or not the original war was justified... I'm not sure. No doubt there were a lot of really scared people at the time that were thankful something was being done.
 

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L. Spiro out of curiosity what is the news like in Japan about the North Korean threat?

I don’t know. The only time I even catch a glimpse of TV is at lunch, and what they are watching is definitely not news.


In a poll in 2012 it was found that all age groups of South Koreans felt war was more likely than not.

Most of the criticism I am getting is related to the idea that he has no choice but to keep escalating things in an effort to prove his worthiness to his people at such a young age.
Ironically, yesterday, after I started this topic, a new news release was released.
Analysis: What's Kim Jong Un up to?
It basically says exactly what I said about him trying to prove his worth to his country.
 

"I think there's a big element of domestic North Korean politics, if one can understand that concept, where clearly Kim Jong Un is not being well received," Hill told CNN.
"I think they are trying to kind of boost his status to some sort of wartime leader."

 

"Not only must the new 'supreme leader' see off challengers from within North Korea's perhaps skeptical military; he must also prove to his brutalized, often starving, people that threats from 'foreign imperialists' must take precedence over, say, early promises of improved living conditions.

 
I don’t really see how anyone can have faith that war will not happen.

Christopher Hill, a career U.S. diplomat, said the "prolonged, rather intense" flurry of tough talk out of Pyongyang shouldn't be ignored…

 
 

Kim Jong Il and Kim Il Sung "would make a threat, and wait for the enemy (the United States, South Korea, the U.N., or some combination of the above) to offer a bribe in exchange for their forbearance. They would take the bribe -- and they'd forbear," Kaplan writes.
"But this new Kim took the promise of a bribe -- then went ahead and carried out the threat anyway, even before the payment, in this case desperately needed food, came through. What the hell?"

 

 
I think what people aren’t realizing is just how delusional the citizens of North Korea are.  Kim Fat has unrestricted Internet access and knowledge of the outside world.  He does have a bit of perspective.
 
But the citizens know virtually nothing of the outside world.  I know.  I dated a North Korean.  That North Korean at least had knowledge of the outside world from living in Japan, but was still a bit lost when presenting me photos of an Apple II and proclaiming, “See?  We do have technology.”
 
The people of North Korea have almost no Internet, and restricted access at best, and have no idea what lies outside their borders.  All they know is what the government feeds them, which is basically hatred towards America and the west.
And if their government tells them they have the power to take down America, that is what they believe.
 
Firstly, it is already wrong to suggest that their citizens don’t want war  for fear of being wiped out, because they really don’t know they would be wiped out.
But not only that, even if they did know that and had a good understanding of the outside world, they would want war anyway.  They don’t like Kim Fat, they are starving, they are impoverished, etc.  War would be the best possible thing for them.  Kim Fat is killed off, they are set free, they suddenly have Internet and food (the 2 essentials for life, plus maybe water and air), etc.
 
It is really simple.  Those who don’t know any better want war out of hatred for America.  Those who do want war as a means of being set free.
So it doesn’t hold up to say the citizens wouldn’t back him in a war.
 
Kim Fat on the other hand knows in the back of his head that he would get crushed and probably does want to avoid war, but:
#1: There is so much propaganda that even he is a bit delusional.
#2: He doesn’t see backing down as an option.  Which is fairly clear since he threatened nuclear tests, the UN gave him food not to do it, he agreed, and then he did it anyway while the food was en-route.
 
 
 
Yes, it makes sense to a normal person that he should avoid war at all costs to avoid being crushed.
But how is that related to Kim Fat?  I don’t see the connection.
 
 
L. Spiro
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Hmm, a US media company pushing the idea that a poorly understood (by US citizens, at least) foreign power not only really wants to hurt the US, but is actively working to do so, and that war is inevitable. They wouldn't be [i]dishonest[/i] about something like that, would they? I mean, it's not like we have any historical analogues of news media warmongering based on thin information, ultimately incorrect, that wasn't critically reviewed before being passed on as hard facts. Certainly nothing that recently had its 10 year anniversary...

 

Besides, that CNN article is about as fluffy as they get. Take this, for example:

 

This month, a senior administration official told CNN that Kim Jong Un was "acting in ways a bit more extreme than his father, who was colder and more calculated."

 

"I don't recall he ever went this far in terms of the pace and scope of the rhetoric. Threatening to launch nukes directly against the United States and South Korea confirms what a lot of people have been saying, which is we are dealing with someone new," the official added.

 

followed immediately by:

 

"Unfortunately, he is following the example of his father and grandfather pretty closely," the official said. "It's hard to be optimistic."

 

So he's a meaningful departure from his father and grandfather, except when he's following their example pretty closely. 

 

"What better than to conduct a nuclear test, and then use the resulting slap on the wrist from the international community as an excuse to ready the troops, tear up the non-aggression pact with Seoul and release incendiary propaganda about, for example, Barack Obama perishing in a nuclear onslaught?"

 

That is the [i]exact pattern[/i] followed by NK for the last several decades. Kim Jong Il conducted nuclear tests too-- that's where their current nuclear capabilities came from.

 

 

I think what people aren’t realizing is just how delusional the citizens of North Korea are.  Kim Fat has unrestricted Internet access and knowledge of the outside world.  He does have a bit of perspective.

 

That's only a factor if the people of North Korea have any say in any aspect of government or national affairs. They don't. Even if they were desperate to avoid war, if that's what the ruling few want, that's what would happen. And not to nitpick, but if they're so delusional that they can't be expected to think rationally, why are you expecting that of them in terms of their support for Kim Il Sung? And never forget that it's not just the leader who has access to outside information, it's also the wealthiest and most powerful people in NK. People like the military leaders.

 

The people of North Korea have almost no Internet, and restricted access at best, and have no idea what lies outside their borders.  All they know is what the government feeds them, which is basically hatred towards America and the west.

And if their government tells them they have the power to take down America, that is what they believe.

 

If so, if the populace is so malleable to propoganda, so unquestioning of the government, what is the need of an actual war?

 

Kim Fat on the other hand knows in the back of his head that he would get crushed and probably does want to avoid war, but:
#1: There is so much propaganda that even he is a bit delusional.
#2: He doesn’t see backing down as an option.  Which is fairly clear since he threatened nuclear tests, the UN gave him food not to do it, he agreed, and then he did it anyway while the food was en-route.

 

I agree that he seems erratic. But he still hasn't broken much with the pattern of his predecessors. They did the whole bluster-bribe-back down dance, it's true, but even under Kim Jong Il they blatantly defied the will of the US and the international community doing things like... nuclear tests and missile tests. They didn't just back down after a bribe, they actively developed the technologies they used to extract those bribes.

 

I'm not saying that war is impossible, just that the evidence is light that it's much more likely than in the past, let alone a certainty. The dynamics you're describing are mostly the same ones that have existed for 60 years and have not resulted in war yet. The ones that are new are based on completely accepting that your assertions about the people of NK and the mind of Kim Il Sung are correct, even though NK is notoriously opaque and intelligence of internal conditions is very poor.

 

 

You are starting with the conclusion that there must be war, and then ginning up whatever arguments support that conclusion, internal consistency be damned. And to top it all off, I get the impression that you think that war is inevitable because you can observe yourself believing that war is inevitable. And maybe you're right, I can't conclusively demonstrate that you're wrong. But I am still not impressed with the arguments you are presenting, CNN link notwithstanding.

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But all this is a moot point - we're not talking about world policing here - N. Korea has made concrete threats against the US. Even if the US doesn't act like a world police, they would have to seriously consider those threats, as would any other nation. Though I seriously doubt there will be a war, on the off chance that there is, it's probably going to be really short and only hurt people in N. Korea.


To be fair, we're talking about North Korea making counter threats, after being threatened with anhilliation by the south and the US... But whatever, our threats don't count.
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But all this is a moot point - we're not talking about world policing here - N. Korea has made concrete threats against the US. Even if the US doesn't act like a world police, they would have to seriously consider those threats, as would any other nation. Though I seriously doubt there will be a war, on the off chance that there is, it's probably going to be really short and only hurt people in N. Korea.


To be fair, we're talking about North Korea making counter threats, after being threatened with anhilliation by the south and the US... But whatever, our threats don't count.

 

Citation Needed

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