Go on the offensive [against North Korea]... agree or disagree and why?

From CNN cite

North Korea said Thursday that it plans to carry out a new nuclear test and more long-range rocket launches, all of which it said are a part of a new phase of confrontation with the United States.

The North’s National Defense Commission said the moves would feed into an “upcoming all-out action” that would target the United States, "the sworn enemy of the Korean people."

I understand our nation is war weary and political pressure and lack of political capital are working against any action but if North Korea are sworn to hate us and are clearly threatening nuclear action, what is stopping us from a preemptive strike?

I know nuclear action is not on the table, but what about air strikes on war-industry targets?

To my way of thinking this is clearly a more sensible use of our military forces than the ongoing middle east saga.

Does anyone think if they ever have the capability that they WONT launch an attack on U.S. soil immediately?

I vote “No” to starting another war. If we are attacked, then we should commit everything to our attackers’ defeat. But if we are not attacked first, then watch carefully and prepare, but do not strike first.

The total lack of any credible threat and the fact that the aftermath would be a huge humanitarian mess - although that mess is inevitably coming at some point. The fact that one country says it hates another isn’t cause for war. That’s especially true for North Korea, which says so many insane things on such a regular basis.

I would agree in most instances and am certain your view/feeling on it is the prevailing sentiment.

However by the time “We are attacked” we might have had a nuclear strike on American soil and being attacked by a nuclear strike would be on an entirely different level and thousands of times more deadly than even something like Pearl Harbor.

I should caveat that I would expect South Korea to get the first nuke, so I guess we would have some level of advanced warning… :eek:

Good points but I have to ask, at what point would the threat be credible?

  1. When PRK has a successful long range test and confirmed nuclear weapons technology?

  2. When South Korea gets hit?

  3. After a U.S. city has been hit?

North Korea has no oil, or opium, or any other valuable commodities. So there’s no profit in going to war with them, and no incentive to manufacture “evidence” of WMD’s like we did with Middle Eastern countries.

Now, if they start lobbing nukes at the Western U.S., or strike one of our allies, we’d be motivated to exterminate them. But unfortunately, not before then. It’s like how the cops deal with domestic violence – they can’t make an arrest until somebody draws blood.

That’d be a start, yes, along with credible evidence to think they might actually use them. Right now you’re talking about a country with shaky nuclear weapons capability and no ability to put a weapon anywhere near the U.S. as if it might fire a missile at California (or Seoul). It won’t because the government understands it would be wiped out if that happened. If they attack anybody, the calculus instantly changes from ‘let’s keep North Korea from becoming a bigger headache’ to ‘let’s destroy them before they attack anyone else.’ This crap about the U.S. being North Korea’s enemy is intended for DPRK consumption, whether it’s a message to military leadership or supposed to excite/distract the peasants.

We definitely should attack right away. After all, we don’t want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud.

Again good points with one exception. You are arguing from a position that the PRK are actually grounded with the proper (and accurate) logic and understanding (and caring) of the the consequences.

You are in fact assuming that the PRK is more akin to our way of thinking as opposed to that of Al-Qaeda. If we learned anything from 9/11 it should be that to some people the consequences are dwarfed by the (believed) outcome of their actions.

ISTM the thing to do now is pull all troops, U.S. and SK, back from the DMZ and tear up the fencing on the SK side of it. Say to Kim Jong Un, “We’re not even going to bother to defend this border any more. Of course, if you send your troops across, it’s still war – do you believe for a moment that you, personally, could survive that war? Can you even risk letting your troops see how South Koreans live? yawn

Long-range missiles (that could reach Hawaii or the US West Coast) are hard to make. We would detect any long-range missile tests that North Korea might perform, and they would have many, many failed tests before they succeeded (if they ever did). They would not be able to surprise us in this way. This is all just geopolitical posturing.

Forgetting nuclear weapons tech for the moment, I have a few questions:

  1. How close is PRK to having missile tech that could reach U.S. Soil? I assumed if they could limp a satellite to geo-orbit that they cannot be THAT far off?

  2. Is it correct to assume they already have basic missile tech that could reach Seoul?

  3. Could the Russians provide (or have already provided) the missile tech needed on fairly short order?


Besides, none of us will ever know what covert activities are already occurring with North Korea, bet it by us directly, the South Koreans, or others.

These people aren’t religious fanatics. They say a lot of crazy things, but they have a good understanding of what they are doing. They have been playing this game for decades: act out, quiet down in return for some form of international aid (which is presented to the public with some self-serving lie), and then act out again after a suitable pause. They understand very well that they can get away with it only as long as it’s easier to pacify them than to eliminate them.

They are nothing like Al Qaeda. They’re a government that has been running North Korea for 60-odd years, and they would like to keep it that way.

According to CNN North Korea already has missile tech to reach 6000 miles. :eek:


They also think some components of the rocket were made by hand. This is what you’re suggesting might be a threat to the U.S. What is North Korea going to accomplish by shooting one rocket or one nuke at the U.S.? They would be invaded and destroyed in extremely short order. Not only would the U.S. and South Korea have a problem with this, so would every other country around North Korea (including China). There’s no evidence to suggest these people have a death wish.

There is a marked difference between what the South Korean politicians are publicly stating vs. the reality which we may never know. South Korea has its own reasons to keep the American military (and our tax dollars) within their country. Geopolitical posturing occurs on both sides of the DMZ.

Defense is going to be #1 - #10 on that list.

Also, it’s not really geopolitical posturing from the South. The article is poorly written. A South Korean intelligence assessment from a previous launch indicated evidence of a test missile was capable of traveling up to 10,000km with a payload of 100 kg.

It’s the writer who put that report into context - noting 10000 km is the distance to the western edge of the US from North Korea, even though South Korea has made no statement linking that test to North Korea’s recent announcement.

US military bases in Seoul occupy prime real estate and anything that replaces them will be worth more economically than the pittance from the US military. Also, any announcement that the US pulls out from those bases (assuming no reduction in defense capability) is going to be celebrated throughout Seoul and much of South Korea, giving an instant popularity boost to whoever is currently in power.

Two things are stopping us.

First, why bother? It’s probably just sabre-rattling. We need to have them make the first move, especially after the way the Iraq war started.

Second, China. Remember whose side China took the last time North Korea was at war, and considering that China boycotted the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul (after attending in 1984, showing Moscow whose side they were really on). I wouldn’t be surprised if a preemptive USA strike resulted in China “increasing its defensive posture” by putting sizable troops in Taiwan and Tibet.

Besides - if North Korea ever does develop nuclear bomb capability, I don’t think they would put it on a long-range missile; it would be more to their benefit to keep it as a guarantee against being attacked (if the USA invades or bombs North Korea, then they drop it on Seoul, and there’s not much left of South Korea either).

There’s also the problem that we can’t stop NK from destroying Seoul with its massed artillery, which would result in a huge death toll, badly damage SK, and make us look like we sacrificed them over empty posturing by NK.