Game on - North Korea

So, at the same time as the Space Shuttle launches, North Korea fires off not one, but three or possibly four missles in an apparant test of their nuclear capabilities.

There had been some serious diplomatic rhetoric from the U.S., Japan, China and South Korea. What will be the immediate fallout from this? What does the U.S. do, if anything? Do we work through our allies in the area? What do they do?

It seems to me that we are as close to a nuclear conflict right now as we have been since India-Pakistan, if not the Cuban Missle Crisis.

From reading your op, I say the best thing is to send the Space Shuttle over there and drop bombs from it.

I’m kidding, obviously, but I think we should do nothing. Heck, if I knew what exactly to do, i believe I’d be employed by the government by now.

Why should we do anything?

Because it’s in our interest that NK does not develop a nulcear arsenal and long-range missile technology. Nor is it in the interest of any other country in the region.

And, indeed we (“we” in a general sense) are doing something- vigorously pursuing a diplomatic solution, which seems to have succeeded in at least cutting down the scale of NK’s nuclear weapons program (IIRC).

But - but - the US has nuclear missiles! Why shouldn’t a gangster regime headed up by a homicidal maniac who starves his people, peddles terrorism, invades its neighbors and kidnaps foreigners not have the same?

Well, why shouldn’t he? I didn’t say that we had any right to prevent him from acquiring certain technological capabilities, I just said that it wasn’t in our interest that he does. Those are two separate things.

Frankly, if were running things in Japan, I’d tell our friends the Chinese to step on that little dictator next door, get him in line, or I’d start developing nuclear weapons in Japan. My guess is that the Chinese would act quickly to avert that possibility.

Now, now, George Bush isn’t that bad! :smiley:

Point taken, the comparisons of Kim Jong Il to Bush are ridiculous (although I still think that American nuclear policy both at home and abroad is wrongheaded and guarenteed to bring about instability)- of course, in a perfect world, no-one would have nukes, but what more could be done to try and limit NK’s access to them? Threaten NK with military action, and they’ll laugh- America doesn’t have the troops in South Korea to stop a NKean invasion. Attempt it, and the NKeans will win, probably forcing America to threaten nuclear involvement to protect SK. And, of course, the best way to get NK to use its nukes is through brining military force.

Near as I can tell, they were all… oh, I’m sorry. Four of them were short rangers.

One was the long-range. It failed in midair.

I suspect several significant North Korean scientists are now quite dead.

The Chinese wouldn’t have to act. The Japanese people would have you out of office incredibly quickly. I doubt you’d be in office at the end of the day if you made those comments. And China wouldn’t be too happy with a Japanese Prime Minister giving them orders. That would be the worst diplomatic tussle Japan has ever seen since WWII.

How “long-range”? Could these missiles actually hit the U.S.? Or even Japan? (If I were a South Korean I might be browning my trousers right now, but otherwise . . .)

Of course they could hit Japan. North Korea has already fired a missile over Japan a few years ago.

Why bring up Iraq? :slight_smile:

From here.

The westmost portion of Alaska is supposedly 3220 miles (5182 km) from Pyongyang. So it’s in the ballpark. But I think we’re currently out of range.

We need to take these fuckers OUT.

How, exactly?

My immediate reaction is that I think we should station intercept units in or around Japan and attempt to shoot down every single long range missile the North Koreans test-fire. I think it would be hilarious.

But that may not be the best thing to do, politically speaking.

Use diplomatic channels through China to attempt to supress these launches, maintain a military presence in the area, and hopefully let the North Koreans figure out that their nuclear program, as it stands, is currently no deterrent whatsoever. If ever the North Koreans even refer to their missile program as anything but some kind of shoddy deterrent, I’ll start thinking military action is a good idea.

By VIGOROUSLY capitalising WORDS in our sentences AND adopting A generally OVER-aggresive attitude!

I’ve got a better idea.

I’m not that worried about NK. We still have a policy of mutually assured destruction, don’t we? I haven’t read anything leading me to believe NK thinks MAD would be fun.

Now Iran OTOH, I’d be a little worried.