North Korea ramping up nukes & hostilities again - What's in it for them?

I mean seriously, they can barely feed themselves what’s the real strategy and end game they have in mind with all this nuclear sabre rattling and spending a big chunk of their limited resources on going nuclear?

For one there are a LOT of people that want to buy a nuke.

North Korea can’t be invaded by anyone except China. China has nukes. As long as China doesn’t bother it, North Korea can sell it’s nukes.

OR

North Korea can say “Hey look all we have is our nukes, maybe if you don’t want us selling the ONLY thing we have to feed our people, you could give us things and we WON’T sell it.”

So the USA and South Korea etc, give North Korea food and such as long as North Korea agrees to NOT sell it’s nukes.

And then there is the lessor sale not of nukes but of the knowledge to make such weapons and more importantly the fissionable material. (The knowledge isn’t the hard part, it’s getting the uranium or plutonium)

Little Kimmy was feeling like he was being ignored…so he decided to make sure people would take him seriously again (and remember he was there). What’s in it for North Korea? They get to play on the worlds stage, and get to feel like they are important. Those in power seem to feel that this is worth a couple of folks having to eat tree bark or make stone soup.

-XT

Hmm, yes well they are important now, aren’t they.

At least important enough to ward off agressive nations.
Hey, you know, that just might actually be the reason they wanted nukes in the first place. There isn’t much love between N-korea and a certain nation that has recently waged a war of agression.

Or he had another stroke, and the generals want to be sure nobody sees them as weakened or vulnerable.

Sort of like the anti-polar bear wards I use in my front yard. And they work too…I haven’t seen a polar bear in my front yard and there have been zero attacks since I put the wards in.

The eagle eyed may note that there wasn’t much love between the NK’s and a ‘certain nation’ BEFORE they ever got nukes. Of course, like my polar bear wards, nukes have prevented the evil US from invading since they got them…

…or something.

-XT

There are probably serious internal strains in North Korea, now that the Dear Leader has been weakened by illness. The saber rattling has a domestic as well as the usual international audience. Expect to see continued commotion until he’s dead, and for a couple years afterward as his successor builds his America-baiting street-cred.

Kind of open a window of opportunity – nuke him with an itty bitty one and claim the idiots misfired their own weapon. Not that I would endorse that of course.

It would be pointless (even if we set aside the moral issues), since they would blame us regardless…even if they thought it was their own fault they would still blame the US in public anyway.

Besides…they have to be on the verge of collapse at this point. It’s only a matter of time before the country goes tits up. At a guess, when Little Kimmy finally shuffles off this mortal coil there is going to be a pretty big scramble for power. Given the current state of affairs in NK that could very well push them over the edge.

-XT

North Korea is like a crazy person on the bus at rush hour who sticks a hand grenade in his mouth and threatens to pull the pin unless you all give him money. Right now he’s showing he is serious by tossing another grenade out the window so all of the passengers can see his grenades are real.

The four year old has thrown his plate of spagetti on the floor.

How exciting.

With North Korea, you can’t ask “What’s in it for them?”. You have to ask “What’s in it for him?”. The country is run by an autocratic dictator, who pretty clearly doesn’t have the best wishes of his country at large at heart. So they have nukes because Lil’ Kim wants them to have nukes.

This whole ruckus is being perpetuated by an inability to verify the DPRK’s side of any energy or food deals they make with other nations wrt to their nuclear programme.

They’re pissed because they are suspected of possibly selling/transporting materiel/know how (how to make a nuclear missle fail?) to other crazy nations. I hope their ships are searched and they are found with something. They cannot be trusted. The DPRK is led by an insane person.

The international outcry is deserved. We aren’t talking about a nuclear armed stable government like Pakistan here. Oh wait…

China has it’s own problems with terrorists and isn’t likely to be keen on Chairman Kim selling atomic bombs to the highest bidder.

This is pretty much true. However, to give North Korea (if not the Illmatic himself) its due, the more actual saber rattling they do, the more attention and concessions they get once they agree (temporarily) to refrain. So, like a three year old that has been bribed with candy to act good, they’ve been conditioned to be bratty, and will do so as long as the behavior is reinforced.

Let’s turn this issue on the head though; the United States, the Russia, Great Britain, France, and China all maintain substantial nuclear arsenals and delivery systems as “deterrence” even though they currently have no direct conflict with other nuclear armed parties. (We’ll exclude nations like India, Pakistan, and Israel for the purposes of this discussion as they do face direct threats and attendant perceived need.) Why should any of these above nations spend the considerable money and risk to maintain and upgrade their strategic nuclear arsenals rather than dismantle the bulk of their weapons, convert the weapon material into suitable fissile fuel, and instead spend the resultant windfall on conventional weapons, surveillance capability, and technological development?

Ever since (at least) France elected to independently enter the nuclear club, nuclear weapons have been as much about status as any real deterrent value, and as long as the major nations maintain strategic arsenals, other nations will aspire to enter the club by fabricating or procuring nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them. This is certainly the motivation of the Iranian leadership as well as North Korea, while the only nations which have voluntarily given up nuclear weapons are South Africa (developed under the previous regime) and the Ukraine (inherited after the fall of the Soviet Union but no internal capability to maintain or develop). The deterrence value of strategic nuclear weapons was always a questionable game even with two players; in a Mexican standoff world having an arsenal actually just makes you more of a target. Before shouting too loud about the insanity of North Korea developing nuclear weapons, the major players need to take some serious introspection time to consider their own motivations for maintaining nuclear arsenals.

Stranger

This bomb test and the associated rocket tests were nothing more than demonstrations to attract the highest bidder. Little Kimmie’s A-Bombs-R-Us. Soon to be sitting in the belly of ship or back of a truck near you. (take your pick as to whether it will be the US or Israel as the initial target).

Potential buyers…I would wager there are a long list of fanatical groups with enough ties to serious money to make it happen.

It’s only a matter of when, and who the highest bidder will be. Little Kimmie couldn’t care less.

That’s it right there. Free food and other goodies is what it’s all about.

You vastly overestimate both the capability of the almost certainly crude and bulky weapons that could be produced by North Korea and the pocketbooks and wherewithal of terrorist “cells” to procure and use them. The most effective terrorist attack in the last decade involved a bunch of marginally trained young men with 59 cent box cutters, and any effective intelligence apparatus should have foreseen and forestalled the attack given how blatant the attackers were and the information provided by the flight school to the FBI. “Al-Qaeda” is the boogeyman of the decade, but the actual effective attacks that have been levied by any persons even remotely associated with this organization can be numbered on the fingers of one hand…even a bomber’s hand. For all the publicized training camps and vast array of international funding, these guys have been less effective than Pinky and the Brain at actually doing any permanent damage or disruption to a national economy or political structure.

Nuclear terrorism may very likely occur one day, but more likely using weapons stolen from a mature nuclear power rather than acquired from a primitive one such as North Korea. The best thing to do to Kim Jong-Il would be to publicly ignore him while saturating the nation with Western popular culture and news.

Stranger

And he/she also overestimates the willingness of any government to hand out such weapons to loose cannons like terrorist groups. No one hands nukes to people they can’t trust to refrain from using them, especially on the giver. And no leader is dumb enough to think that the result wouldn’t be their own death if they used it on America, no matter how much plausible deniability they had.

In decades of Cold War, neither we nor the Soviet Union gave nukes to terrorists. Israel hasn’t, China hasn’t, Pakistan hasn’t, India hasn’t; it’s not something countries DO. It’s fearmongering by the Right.

I’ve read a few political commentators (although I can’t find a cite now) who think that there may be some sort of succession struggle underway in NK, and the latest saber rattling is an outgrowth of that.