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North Korea paradox

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I saw this headline (North Korea Paradox) on the NYT this morning and was reminded of a cartoon about Iran's nuclear program that ran about 10yrs ago. The cartoon was a picture of Uncle Sam wearing a king's crown sitting on a throne made of missiles telling former Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was on his knees before the throne, with Uncle Sam saying "don't make the same mistake I made".

 

If not for the military capability North Korea has built up there is a chance the U.S. would have removed their leadership long ago. Yet, if not for the military build up the U.S. may not have paid North Korea any mind. The pardox is that the very activities which are drawing threats from the U.S. are the same activities which protect them from those threats. From Kim Jong Un's point a view a quick look around the world at places like Iraq, Yemen, and Syria the U.S. doesn't hesitate sending in special forces, drones, and jet fighters when a countries defense are weak. We (USA) just casually dropped a 22,000lbs on Afghanistan. One of the things which has kept us out of Iran and is keeping us out of North Korea is that they have WMDs. Obviously there are other factors. Iran is supported by Russia and North Korea is supported by China.

 

If the goal, USA's goal, is to keep WMDs out of the hands of dictators and stymie the proliferation of nuclear weapons is the threat of force the way to do it? If military strength is the asset that allows the U.S. to lead on these matters than isn't military strength the asset others will attempt to emulate? It does seem that once a country succeeds in arming themselves substantially enough, think China & Russia, the threat of preemptive attack is removed. Are we (USA) pushing North Krea is the very direction we insist they don't go?

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Are we (USA) pushing North Krea is the very direction we insist they don't go?

Seems like it.

But even I think Kin Jung is mad, and his harsh dictatorship over his people is cruel. I wouldn't want them having access to nuclear weapons.

Mutually Assured Destruction.

MAD.

I do not hesitate to think that they would be willing to initiate MAD if they could destroy the United States, and save themselves in some bunker.

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Not that I necessarily agree with US military policy, but we generally engage in military action where a military conflict already exists. So one thing that has kept us out of NK is that there is not an active military conflict in existence.

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Seems like it.

But even I think Kin Jung is mad, and his harsh dictatorship over his people is cruel. I wouldn't want them having access to nuclear weapons.

Mutually Assured Destruction.

MAD.

I do not hesitate to think that they would be willing to initiate MAD if they could destroy the United States, and save themselves in some bunker.

Isn't this true in numerous countries around the world? There are many terrible leaders out there we (USA) could whip of justification for removing. Ultimately what Kim is doing is contained within North Korea's own borders and that I am aware no genocide is taking place. Just a very economically depressed country limping along under a flamboyant dictator/monarch.

Not that I necessarily agree with US military policy, but we generally engage in military action where a military conflict already exists. So one thing that has kept us out of NK is that there is not an active military conflict in existence.

This is true of Yemen and Syria but I think an argument could be made that such wasn't the case in Afghanistan and Iraq.

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This is true of Yemen and Syria but I think an argument could be made that such wasn't the case in Afghanistan and Iraq.

 

 

The attacks were in the US, but there were attacks. Even if the rationale for Iraq was completely fabricated in that regard.

 

OTOH, the rationale for Iraq was that they had WMDs (again, fabricated/never substantiated allegations), which is contrary to the claim that we don't invade such countries. However, one could argue that we went in probably knowing they didn't actually have them, I would have no disagreement with that.

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Ultimately what Kim is doing is contained within North Korea's own borders and that I am aware no genocide is taking place. Just a very economically depressed country limping along under a flamboyant dictator/monarch.

 

It seems apparent that NK is being used to support the Kim dynasty. There are other countries where dictators rule depressed economies while supporting lavish lifestyles. But is it right to remove them? I feel like the people of NK would welcome the kind of economy and society enjoyed in the south, but that's coming from a first world perspective with lots of advantage.

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The attacks were in the US, but there were attacks. Even if the rationale for Iraq was completely fabricated in that regard.

 

OTOH, the rationale for Iraq was that they had WMDs (again, fabricated/never substantiated allegations), which is contrary to the claim that we don't invade such countries. However, one could argue that we went in probably knowing they didn't actually have them, I would have no disagreement with that.

Having WMDs (they didn't) isn't equal military conflict already existing. The issue of Saddam using gas happened before the first Iraq war. As for Afghanistan it was a Al Queda which executed the attacks on 9/11 and the Afghanistan gov't. Most of the attackers on 9/11 were Saidi. Of course OBL was known to be in Afghanistan and the gov't did appear to be protecting him. I think for the most part we agree in any event.

 

"Peace through Strength" is what VP Pence was saying during his recent trip to Asia. Which is exactly the paradox I'm asking about. We (USA) are saying "peace through strength" but if North Korea takes the same position (peace through strength) isn't war inevitable? Seems to me that peace through strength is a very selfish and small way of view international relations because in almost all cases the hope is others won't take the same position.

 

It seems apparent that NK is being used to support the Kim dynasty. There are other countries where dictators rule depressed economies while supporting lavish lifestyles. But is it right to remove them? I feel like the people of NK would welcome the kind of economy and society enjoyed in the south, but that's coming from a first world perspective with lots of advantage.

How many of their fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, mothers, daughters, and sisters would they lose if we decided to force that transition?

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How many of their fathers, brothers, uncles, cousins, mothers, daughters, and sisters would they lose if we decided to force that transition?

 

I have to admit, in my mind it's always seemed as simple as removing the Kims, or finding a group in NK that favors democracy and get them to do it. It's probably horribly naive of me, but I've always pictured the NK people as ignorant folks who love their country but just don't know any better than to support a dictator who keeps them stuck in the Iron Age. If they could only see what life is like without an oppressive regime....

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I have to admit, in my mind it's always seemed as simple as removing the Kims, or finding a group in NK that favors democracy and get them to do it. It's probably horribly naive of me, but I've always pictured the NK people as ignorant folks who love their country but just don't know any better than to support a dictator who keeps them stuck in the Iron Age. If they could only see what life is like without an oppressive regime....

Basically, it's the every-man-for-himself motif. I don't think most NK's like Kim, but none of them want to go to jail, so none of them want to risk their necks and be a matyr for a cause.

Matyrdom gets old, it seems after centuries and centuries humans never learn, and nothing really changes.

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I have to admit, in my mind it's always seemed as simple as removing the Kims, or finding a group in NK that favors democracy and get them to do it. It's probably horribly naive of me, but I've always pictured the NK people as ignorant folks who love their country but just don't know any better than to support a dictator who keeps them stuck in the Iron Age. If they could only see what life is like without an oppressive regime....

North Korea has a population of 25 million people and 6.5 million of those people are in the military. With over a quater of the population serving in the military I doubt any grass roots democracy movement would work. Ensuring the regime is the leading industry in the country and the majority of able bodied people are part of the gears that keep the machine turning. I think we are best off focusing on our relationship with China. The better relations we have with China the more willing China will be to check North Korea. I don't think any direct intervention from us (USA) will be successful.

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Posted (edited)

North Korea has a population of 25 million people and 6.5 million of those people are in the military. With over a quater of the population serving in the military I doubt any grass roots democracy movement would work. Ensuring the regime is the leading industry in the country and the majority of able bodied people are part of the gears that keep the machine turning. I think we are best off focusing on our relationship with China. The better relations we have with China the more willing China will be to check North Korea. I don't think any direct intervention from us (USA) will be successful.

China is a backwards dictatorship. Supporting such a nation is ignoble. Not to mention, if you are fine with being amoral, you are asking for a larger, backwards dictatorship, to help you with a smaller backwards dictatorship, which is inherently a ridiculous concept.

Edited by quickquestion

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Basically, it's the every-man-for-himself motif. I don't think most NK's like Kim, but none of them want to go to jail, so none of them want to risk their necks and be a matyr for a cause.

Matyrdom gets old, it seems after centuries and centuries humans never learn, and nothing really changes.

I don't know if that's true or not. The military is 6.5 million people deep. If Kim was wildly unpopular it seems a coup would be possible/inevitable. All it would take is a group of Generals to unite and oust him. At least that is my assumption.

China is a backwards dictatorship. Supporting such a nation is ignoble. Not to mention, if you are fine with being amoral, you are asking for a larger, backwards dictatorship, to help you with a smaller backwards dictatorship, which is inherently a ridiculous concept.

China is 1.4 billion people with the fastest growing middle class in the world, 800 million and counting. Simplying labeling them evil, while subsidizing our own (western world) economies with there labor, isn't going to fly. The best way to positively change China for the better is through having a healthy relationship with them.

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I don't think any direct intervention from us (USA) will be successful.

 

I think you're right, because any intervention from us will be with the military, and NK has been preparing for that eventuality for some time.

 

Perhaps we could persuade South Korea to smuggle some products from their thriving beauty industry to the North. They make these enriched facial masks for about a $1, and if you've ever tried them you'd probably be willing to defect just to get more. Democracy needs to be more attractive. :embarass:

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Posted (edited)

I don't know if that's true or not. The military is 6.5 million people deep. If Kim was wildly unpopular it seems a coup would be possible/inevitable. All it would take is a group of Generals to unite and oust him. At least that is my assumption.

China is 1.4 billion people with the fastest growing middle class in the world, 800 million and counting. Simplying labeling them evil, while subsidizing our own (western world) economies with there labor, isn't going to fly. The best way to positively change China for the better is through having a healthy relationship with them.

So you still want to support this fascist nation? Ok.

http://www.dogingtonpost.com/10000-dogs-tortured-annual-yulin-dog-eating-festival/ - Please click this link.

 

How long until you keep feeding and boosting up the largest populated country in the world and it suddenly realizes America isn't a threat to it anymore?

Edited by quickquestion

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So you still want to support this fascist nation? Ok.

http://www.dogingtonpost.com/10000-dogs-tortured-annual-yulin-dog-eating-festival/ - Please click this link.

 

How long until you keep feeding and boosting up the largest populated country in the world and it suddenly realizes America isn't a threat to it anymore?

I don't understand your point about U.S. not being a threat to China anymore?

 

Chinese manufactured products are if your smart phone, computer, car, home, etc, etc I promise you. Where shall we start the purge?

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As far as the Major Players on the Global Stage are concerned, that is, that handful of true Powers that comprise the global oligarchy that really runs things and calls the shots on the planet, North Korea has always been and will always be an also-ran. A wannabe.

 

So, like the petulant little kid who feels ignored by his parents, or thinks Mommie and Daddie pay to mauch attention to his brothers and not him, he sometimes "acts out" for attention. This is a perfect metaphor for NK and the cartoonish Kim Jong Un. In global politics and military affairs parlance, what he does is called "sabre rattling." And he does it when he thinks he and his also-cartoonish country are somehow being slighted, or not given sufficient respect. (Which, btw, of the latter, NK deserves zero.)

 

So KJU will rattle his sabre, make some empty threats of using nukes, when he wants attention. Make no mistake, however. We (the USA) are not in any way intimidated by them. Let alone afraid. Let alone afraid to use military action if it is ever warranted. The only aspect of this that would give us pause is the idea of China stepping in on behalf of NK. Again, olong these lines, please make no mistake. NK is like that little bratty kid that everybody hates and would love to punch in the face ot throw through a window. BUT! The little kid has a big ass very mean and very potentiallly-violent BFF. So, we think twice before punching that brat in the face.

NOt because of him and what he is capable of, but because of his Big Friend who lives down the street.

 

As far as your idea of "might makes right" or "Peace through Strength" I reluctantly admit it seems to be the most effective method for ensuring that you and your country are left alone. But history has also shown us that, no matter how strong you are, if you abuse your power to a sufficiently egregious level, you WILL be dealt with, usually via more than one other Power ganging up on you. (see Nai Germany and the vaunted Wehrmacht of the 1930s).

 

I predict the events of this past week have been just another sabre rattle by the spoiled brat. And that, as Trump just yesterday admonished him to do, He will soon "settle down" as he realizes that, at the end of the day, he is just a Wannabe.

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I don't understand your point about U.S. not being a threat to China anymore?

 

Chinese manufactured products are if your smart phone, computer, car, home, etc, etc I promise you. Where shall we start the purge?

Im saying if you keep feeding and boosting China's economy, its only a matter of time before they become as Powerful as Russia or America. Then what's stopping them?

 

Also, I would rather Made in America than Made in China, more jobs that way.

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@Velocity_Boy, North Korea hasn't done anything recently which they having done many times over the past couple decade. The sabre rattling here is unfortunately on our (USA) said. Launching a Naval armada to a countries coast while stating we're prepared to act alone and etc has heightened the situation further and faster than neccessary.

 

Kim is bad, I get that. There are many bad leaders in the world. Why this fight and why now? Why not focus on all the indentured servitude or mistreatment of women & homosexuals in Saudi Arabia? I am not saying Kim isn't terrible, I just don't see what makes this the war of choice that must be fought.


Im saying if you keep feeding and boosting China's economy, its only a matter of time before they become as Powerful as Russia or America. Then what's stopping them?

 

Also, I would rather Made in America than Made in China, more jobs that way.

Countries having mutual financial interests with each other is a positive. We buy Chinese products which means they have a interest in us and vice versa. That goes further towards warding off conflict than carrying a gaint stick everywhere in my opinion.

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@Velocity_Boy, North Korea hasn't done anything recently which they having done many times over the past couple decade. The sabre rattling here is unfortunately on our (USA) said. Launching a Naval armada to a countries coast while stating we're prepared to act alone and etc has heightened the situation further and faster than neccessary.

 

Kim is bad, I get that. There are many bad leaders in the world. Why this fight and why now? Why not focus on all the indentured servitude or mistreatment of women & homosexuals in Saudi Arabia? I am not saying Kim isn't terrible, I just don't see what makes this the war of choice that must be fought.

Countries having mutual financial interests with each other is a positive. We buy Chinese products which means they have a interest in us and vice versa. That goes further towards warding off conflict than carrying a gaint stick everywhere in my opinion.

It is an injustice not to wage conflict with those who torture dogs.

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It is an injustice not to wage conflict with those who torture dogs.

70 million Hindu's in the world might say the same about those who kill cows......ultimately the question here is directed at how to deal with North Korea.

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70 million Hindu's in the world might say the same about those who kill cows......ultimately the question here is directed at how to deal with North Korea.

NK's nukes barely function, thus I think we should actually invade NK.

If China oppresses it's own people, I doubt it will help to ask China to provide human-rights sanctions against NK.

So if your goal is to promote human-rights, invade.

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NK's nukes barely function, thus I think we should actually invade NK.

If China oppresses it's own people, I doubt it will help to ask China to provide human-rights sanctions against NK.

So if your goal is to promote human-rights, invade.

How many people are you prepared to see die before you'd change that opinion? It regime change is/were possible without loss of life I would be 100% for it. However, North Korea have a military of 6.5 million and have been preparing for the eventuality you are in favor of for decades. I don't think we'd be doing idea human rights any good in North Korea by killing several hundred thousand North Koreans.

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Posted (edited)

How many people are you prepared to see die before you'd change that opinion? It regime change is/were possible without loss of life I would be 100% for it. However, North Korea have a military of 6.5 million and have been preparing for the eventuality you are in favor of for decades. I don't think we'd be doing idea human rights any good in North Korea by killing several hundred thousand North Koreans.

Killing a smaller proportion to save the majority is the only noble thing. It is better to kill a few than let the majority rot in injustice and tyranny for the rest of their lives. NK is so decrupt that they even throw babies and children in jail for their Grandfather's crime.

Edited by quickquestion

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How many people are you prepared to see die before you'd change that opinion? It regime change is/were possible without loss of life I would be 100% for it. However, North Korea have a military of 6.5 million and have been preparing for the eventuality you are in favor of for decades. I don't think we'd be doing idea human rights any good in North Korea by killing several hundred thousand North Koreans.

Not just North Koreans. South Korea would get hammered. Seoul is not far at all from the DMZ and even without nukes, conventional North Korean artillery should be able to reach it from across the border.

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