Is N. Korea Just Stupid?

North Korea must be simply stupid and asleep since 1945. What’s the point of them building nuclear weapons now??? Do they think they’re ahead of the US? Do they think their threat will go unanswered?

At least, the Russians (supposedly) loved their children, too. But, what does N. Korea hope to gain in trying to claim back the Korean peninsula for ONLY about one minute prior to our nuclear bombardment??? Don’t they see they have a HECK of a lot more to lose than we do??? What is this…the mouse that roared?

  • Jinx

North Korea feels that if they possess nuclear weapons they will immediately become invulnerable to an attack from the United States. They also immediately become a country that must be reckoned with rather than ignored.

They’re probably right.

Well, they were certainly alert and active in 1950-1953.

The NK goal, if I may speculate, isn’t necessarily to reclaim the continent but just to threaten to reclaim the continent. Thier goal isn’t to nuke Japan, but to threaten to nuke Japan. In exchange for for not acting on these threats, they can (or at least believe they can) get foreign aid, concessions, whatnot from the Americans and anyone else who needs South Korea and Japan to remain economically intact.

Kim Jong Il, though, has near-absolute power over his people and has been corrupted accordingly. If a tenth, fifth or even a third of his people starve, so be it. It won’t affect him or his grip on power, so he can sacrifice them as he wishes.

err, not reclaim the continent but reclaim the pennisula.

If you look at what’s happening in the world and what has happened in the past it makes sense.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union North Korea had no real allies, they were left to fend for themselves, they had to procure food and power. North Korea began to build a nuclear complex at Yongbyon for power. It seemded to us that the Koreans might be hiding something, and the fear was that they might be attempting to refine weapons-grade material to make a nuclear weapon. Bill Clinton, with satellite photos in hand, confronted North Korea in 1993.

They negotiated, had a standoff, blah blah, and eventually reached an agreement. North Korea allowed in UN inspectors, and they ceased work on a plant that could make nuclear grade material. In return, the U.S. and Japan promised they would provide food, oil to run its power plants, and would help build two commercial-grade nuclear power plants, which would generate electricity, but not be capable of producing weapons-grade nuclear material.

North Korea held up its end of the deal, and so did Japan. But, the USA would not approve the plants. It’s very likely that Clinton knew that the United States congress would not approve it, and made the deal simply to make himself look good in the short term leaving the future problems for a future government.

In 99 after getting tired of waiting for the plants, North Korea decided to remind us that they could still be a threat. They fired a missle over Japan. This worked, and we had a new round of diplomatic talks.

Then Bush was elected. The Bush administration has isolated them, refused to talk, and is on a crusade against perceived enemies. To North Korea, the U.S. appears to be a rogue nation, governed by madmen. North Korea sees themselves as next on the Bush agenda. After all, they are part of the “Axis of Evil”. So, like it or not, they decided to develop a deterrent to U.S. aggression: a nuclear weapon

U.S. policy has always viewed nuclear weapons as a deterrent against aggression, first in relation to the Soviet Union, and now in regards to so-called “rogue” or “terrorist” nations. When Cold War politicians like Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney discuss this deterrent philosophy, they always mention North Korea. Always.

Donny has also been pushing a new version of “Star Wars” When discussing this program, healways mentions North Korea. Always. Rumsfeld has been successful in gaining funding. By 2005, if plans go right, 20 interceptor missiles will be deployed in Alaska, just a few hundred miles from North Korea. Meanwhile, testing of the interceptor missiles has been conducted in the Pacific as a warning to North Korea.

Naturally, North Korea doesn’t view these missiles as strictly for defensive purposes. They view them as an offensive weapon aimed directly at their heartland. They also take to heart Donald Rumsfeld’s assertion that the U.S. can fight two wars at once: against Iraq and North Korea, if necessary.

With this information North Korea’s actions make sense. It’s the Bush administration that appears irrational, particularly in its refusal to negotiate directly with North Korea. North Korea is right to condemn U.S. attempts to take this issue to the UN Security Council as a stalling tactic to buy time so Bush can deal with Iraq first. Notably, South Korea, China, and Japan all support negotiations; they are particularly fearful of the prospect of sanctions against North Korea, which could cause the downfall of Kim Jong Il’s government and the exodus of millions of refugees. South Korea, in particular, would rather have a slow, economically easy reunification, instead of a major economic collapse in North Korea."

So is it any wonder at all?

The word for this is: Extortion.

And it could turn out really bad for NK, because if Japan get scared, I have to wonder how long it is before Japan starts asking for a few Peacekeeper or Minutemen missles (Or just to have an Ohio sub hanging around the Western Pacifiic in case Korea gets clever).

We’d have to pull out of the NPT first:


Common sense would dictate there is always at least one there already. Waiting, somewhere, silent and invisible, with 24 Trident missiles.

I can’t see Japan or SK bothering to ask, given that the U.S. can cover NK with one SSBN, and has at least a dozen or so others to play with.

Yes, North Korea firmly believes that it can get away with it. It can, and it will: no one can really make a military threat they’ll take seriously, and no one can stomach an invasion.


So it is either sanctions or kowtowing. But there is already another thread on that Sanction Means War bidness.

And what is it going to do, launch SLBMs at DPRK? ::LAMO::

Actually, for power, and to make weapons-grade fissile materials.

Nope. They began to violate it almost immediately.

The goal all along was to get nukes. If they could cozen the West into funding their economic disaster while they continued to try to get nukes, so much the better, but as has been pointed out, Kim cares nothing for the deaths of his people. If North Koreans starve while he fiddles with uranium, tough kim-chee. What he is after is power. He believes possession of nukes means power.

Now he is attempting to get the US to guarantee that we will not attack him. Next step is to demand that the US withdraw the 37,000 troops in South Korea, since they are “threatening” North Korea.

Then he will feel he has a free hand to threaten South Korea. Any military action by the US to prevent this will be presented as a violation of the agreement.


There’s also the option of planning a quick-and-dirty air raid, a la the Israelis taking out Iraq’s Osirak reactor in 1981.

I think the “quick and dirty air raid” notion has been discounted. The potential fallout from the destruction of the reactor would poison the Korean peninsula (including our troops) and, given the prevailing winds, potential send a radioactive cloud over Japan.

The United States has no qualms about destroying governments they don’t agree with. The United States does not agree with North Korea.

What would you do?

Well, I’d call you on your pointless and inaccurate generalization. Had they no qualms, they would have crushed North Korea, and possibly china, in 1953, as well as nuked North Vietnam in 1969. There are any number of examples where the U.S. had plenty of “qualms” and decided not to use extraordinary force to clobber foreign governments.

But that’s just me.

Not only that, but such an attack on their territory would probably be enough of an excuse for North Korea to unleash that vaunted milllion man army of theirs on South Korea. In no way would a targeted air strike be quick, though much of Seoul would probably be quickly reduced to rubble after a couple hours of heavy artillery rounds from across the DMZ.

Even if the ensuing war remained strictly “conventional” it would be pretty safe to say that South Korea would cease to be a First World nation for at least a decade.

Could they have crushed China in 1953? How powerful was China then?

In addition to what has been said, remember that beating the drums of war is a great way to distract the masses from domestic problems, such as, in this case, famine, etc., etc. What would happen if N Koreans collectively decided that their biggest threat is not US missles, but their own leader?

Back on the Subs lurking around the Korean Penninsula…They are most certainly already there. And now that the Trident Class subs - the largest class - are being fitted with more nukes instead of being decommissioned, the threat minimizes every day for the US.