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The Military Politics

North Korea Conducts Third Nuclear Test 270

Posted by timothy
from the practice-makes-perfect dept.
First time accepted submitter WolfeCanada writes "North Korea apparently conducted a widely anticipated nuclear test Tuesday, strongly indicated by an 'explosion-like' earthquake that monitoring agencies around the globe said appeared to be unnatural." North Korea has confirmed the test, according to the Washington Post, in an article that touches on its political context. Among other things, the Post notes that this "is the first under new North Korean leader Kim Jong Eun and the clearest sign that the third-generation leader, like his father and grandfather, prefers to confront the United States and its allies rather than make peace with them." Adds reader eldavojohn "KCNA news claims that the test was safe and cited the threat of the U.S. for conducting the test, saying 'The test was carried out as part of practical measure of counteraction to defend the country's security and sovereignty in the face of the ferocious hostile act of the U.S. which wantonly violated the DPRK's legitimate right to launch satellite for peaceful purposes.' RT is posting a feed of the many condemnations from governments and organizations."
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North Korea Conducts Third Nuclear Test

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  • Re:Making Peace? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:55AM (#42870527)

    By which you mean inviting in our economic hit men and accepting loans?

    OK, what possible harm can these "economic hit men" do? It is not like it is possible to make the economic situation in North Korea any worse than it already is.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @09:57AM (#42870559)

    They just demonstrated the intended payload of that "satellite".

  • Re:Making Peace? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MozeeToby (1163751) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:02AM (#42870607)

    They could dump a bunch of cheap consumer goods on the public, connect everyone to the internet, make sure everyone is fat and happy. Then, after that is the situation for... oh 2 years, they could make real demands from the NK government. A well fed, well informed population who is used to having what they want is not going to stand for going back to the way things were, not abruptly at least.

  • by jacknifetoaswan (2618987) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:03AM (#42870609)

    But China will never abandon North Korea, unless NK attacks China directly. They'll continue to support them in any way possible, within reason, to ensure the communist stronghold on the peninsula. Further, the entire world will continue to provide support to NK via humanitarian aid and appeasement, as long as the North signs a piece of paper that says they won't do anything. We've been through this for decades, with North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, etc.

  • Kinda scary... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by holiggan (522846) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:14AM (#42870721)

    ... to see some countries still stuck in the "cold war" mindset. Worse, to see some countries trapped in the "middle ages" mindset...

  • Re:Making Peace? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by theVarangian (1948970) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:17AM (#42870753)

    By which you mean inviting in our economic hit men and accepting loans?

    OK, what possible harm can these "economic hit men" do? It is not like it is possible to make the economic situation in North Korea any worse than it already is.

    North Korea will not be economically reformed unless the northern reigime collapses and the country is re-united wiht South Korea. That would create a united Korea in the same position as Germany after the curtainwent down, spending a huge amount of it's GDP rebuilding half the country from nothing. The 'economic hit-men' would probably mostly be South Korean industrialists and bankers who would migrate a lot of jobs up north to take advantage of the cheap labour creating social strife down south as a large number of southerners alluvasudden would find themselves unemployed and having to compete for jobs with northerners willing to accept a way lower standardof living. Judging from the German experience there would also be a feeding frenzy as anything of any value in the north is would be privatized with the resultant corruption and nepotism as the governing political parties try to ensure that anything of value ends up in the hands of party loyalists or it's cheif financial supporters. One thing is for sure, a re-unification would take the wind out of the sails of Korea's economy for at least two decedes.

  • by TheNinjaroach (878876) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:35AM (#42870927)

    the induced earthquake was only a 4.9 on the Richter Scale (the previous was 4.5), that means the new bomb has released four times the energy of the last bomb.

    No, it means the earthquake had four times the energy as the last artificial earthquake. As far as I know, there's not a 1:1 relationship between the power in the bomb and the power of the earthquake it creates.

  • by ShanghaiBill (739463) * on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:42AM (#42871011)

    We've been through this for decades, with North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Libya, etc.

    The leaders of two of these countries (Iraq and Libya) gave up their WMDs. They are both now dead. If we want the leaders of rogue nations to give up their nukes, maybe should stop killing them when they do.

  • Re:Making Peace? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:44AM (#42871027)

    Just like it ruined Germany.

    Oh wait....

  • Re:Making Peace? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by the gnat (153162) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:47AM (#42871071)

    One thing is for sure, a re-unification would take the wind out of the sails of Korea's economy for at least two decedes.

    Perhaps, but Germany's economy today is one of the strongest in Europe, and the East Germans aren't worse off then they were under Communist rule (and my guess is in purely economic terms they are significantly better off). Among other things, they're actually allowed to leave the country if they don't like it - surely that counts for something.

  • by X0563511 (793323) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @10:53AM (#42871141) Homepage Journal

    They are not getting killed because they had WMDs, they are getting killed because they were fuckheads. They had WMDs also because they were fuckheads.

    If they want to stop getting killed, perhaps they should stop being fuckheads?

  • Re:Making Peace? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @11:09AM (#42871341)

    They could dump a bunch of cheap consumer goods on the public, connect everyone to the internet, make sure everyone is fat and happy. Then, after that is the situation for... oh 2 years, they could make real demands from the NK government. A well fed, well informed population who is used to having what they want is not going to stand for going back to the way things were, not abruptly at least.

    By what definition would this be harm?

    By the conventional standard that condemns such actions as "Western imperialism" and insists that change must come from the people of Korea, and that the Juche monarchy is the sole legitimate form of such democratic change. In other words, by the standards of pretty much everybody.

    There is also an economic argument that product dumping would harm native NK industries. There aren't many other than food and guns, but dumping food could hamper food production unless people keep producing with guns to their heads.

    Finally, the plan could be harmful if backfires, which could happen if the government continues controlling speech and people come to credit the government for their newfound wealth, and blame the US etc when they threaten to take the benefits away. For precedent, consider the response to the US sanctions on Iraq in the 1990s, though in that case it was the Westerners who blamed the US for taking away their imports while the people of Iraq generally blamed Saddam.

  • by jacknifetoaswan (2618987) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @11:41AM (#42871709)

    There is still no evidence that Saddam gave up his chemical weapons. Just because they weren't found in Iraq, doesn't mean they were destroyed. It's very likely that they were transferred to another insane state. Iran comes to mind immediately. Besides, he had the opportunity, actually, many opportunities, in the lead-up to the invasion, to present evidence that his weapons had been destroyed, allow independent investigators to inspect his facilities, and make nice with the world at large. He, instead, chose to posture and puff his chest out in defiance.

    Anything that happened to Saddam was his own doing.

  • Re:Making Peace? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by tsj5j (1159013) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @11:50AM (#42871811)

    One thing is for sure, a re-unification would take the wind out of the sails of Korea's economy for at least two decedes.

    Perhaps, but Germany's economy today is one of the strongest in Europe, and the East Germans aren't worse off then they were under Communist rule (and my guess is in purely economic terms they are significantly better off). Among other things, they're actually allowed to leave the country if they don't like it - surely that counts for something.

    I would also like to remind that the gap between East and West Germany is not even remotely close to that of the gap between North and South Korea.
    Neither was the East as brainwashed, poor and so disconnected from the times as the North.

    The North lacks electricity, education, basic necessities, and is essentially frozen at the point of the split, aka 1960s-style living.
    Just think how different your town/city/country was 40 years ago, and how long it'd take (even on an accelerated path) to reach the present.

  • by BasilBrush (643681) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @01:07PM (#42872701)

    It's very likely that they were transferred to another insane state. Iran comes to mind immediately.

    Then you are ignorant of the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980s. That was the reason for Gadaffi developing chemical weapons in the first place. To use agaist Iran. If he still had them in the period before GWII, the very last place he'd have sent them would be Iran.

    The mostly likely thing he would have done is to bury them in the desert. That's what he did with his air force fighters after all. But given that they still haven't been found, the chance of them still existing at the time of GWII are negligible.

    For sure he gave a great big "Fuck you" to the US and their allies. But that is neither morally justified, nor a rational reason for a country to be invaded. Neither NK, Cuba, nor any of the countries of Africa that say "fuck you" to America get invaded. Iraq was invaded as a US power play in the oil states of the middle east. No more and no less.

  • Re:Making Peace? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sqrt(2) (786011) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @01:50PM (#42873189) Journal

    It counts for something, but not a whole lot. I'm "free" to leave the USA, but only insofar as I am not actively forbidden from leaving. In practice I don't have the freedom to leave any more than a NK citizen has the freedom to leave their country. I certainly enjoy more freedom and comfort while I'm hear, the borders I'm allowed to roam within are vaster, but actually leaving isn't an option even if I am technically "free" to do so. Almost all humans exist in this state. Freedom of movement is largely a matter of philosophical and academic concern since most people lack the material wealth necessary to exercise that freedom to any meaningful degree.

  • by ceoyoyo (59147) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @01:59PM (#42873293)

    Riiight. The US has been invading or otherwise compromising countries' sovereignty right and left for the last forty years. Iraq and Afghanistan are just two big, recent, ongoing examples.

    Regardless of whether you think it's justified or not (and some are pretty hard to justify, such as Iran in the 70s), the OP is spot on - if you're a country the US doesn't like your choice is pretty much between developing nukes and doing whatever the US tells you to.

  • Re:Making Peace? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by femtobyte (710429) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @02:10PM (#42873427)

    Keep in mind, German unification wasn't exactly an example of Helpless Commies rushing to the loving embrace of Unfettered Capitalism. The West German state already had strong worker protections, unionization, a fairly egalitarian public sector --- in other words, many of the "good parts" of Communism (without the authoritarian central planning bureaucracy), so East Germany wasn't thrown headfirst into the vortex of capitalist exploitation. Countries that follow the US "economic hit men" trajectory for economic development tend to end up quite differently from Germany's slow-but-steady absorption of the lagging East into a functional social-democratic society. The US prefers to mold countries more like Mexico --- a few mega-billionaires scattered between swathes of massive poverty in a privatized state, providing a pool of profitably cheap labor and extractable resources for Western investors. Korean unification guided by South Korean industrialists and Wall Street investors is likely to me much more "Mexico" than "Germany" twenty years down the road.

  • Re:Making Peace? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @02:37PM (#42873765)

    There's a difference between, "I can't just up and leave the USA and go to Canada, because the Canadian government won't let me stay," and "I can't just up and leave North Korea, because the North Korean government won't let me leave."

  • by Princeofcups (150855) <john@princeofcups.com> on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @02:37PM (#42873769) Homepage

    They are not getting killed because they had WMDs, they are getting killed because they were fuckheads. They had WMDs also because they were fuckheads.

    If they want to stop getting killed, perhaps they should stop being fuckheads?

    Actually, since we are usually responsible for putting them in power and selling them the weapons, I think the real fuckheads are closer to home.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @02:59PM (#42874093)

    Yes, Saddam was posturing and puffing his chest out. But you're missing something - he was posturing to IRAN. He was worried about appearing weak and vulnerable to IRAN. At the same time he was publicly posturing, he was attempting to use back channels to assuage the US. Where Saddam miscalculated was that Bush & Co. wasn't actually interested in whether Saddam had WMDs, but rather just wanted an excuse to invade and were willing to lie to themselves and the country in order to get that justification.

    The US wasn't Saddam's worst enemy. Iran was Saddam's worst enemy. The notion that Saddam was in bed with Iran is completely laughable.

  • Re:Making Peace? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by radtea (464814) on Tuesday February 12, 2013 @06:07PM (#42875861)

    Freedom of movement is largely a matter of philosophical and academic concern since most people lack the material wealth necessary to exercise that freedom to any meaningful degree.

    I was going to mod you "Funny" because this is so hilariously stupid, but thought I'd reply instead, and point out that fully 1/3 of the population of Canada was born elsewhere, and the US isn't that far behind in this regard.

    Want to tell me again how 30% of the population here isn't "really free" by some stupid definition of 'free' you just pulled out of your butt? Or that the greater part of the rest of us couldn't change nations just as easily? "Minor practical barriers" are in a different category from "illegal under the laws of the nation I am currently living in."

    "Free" does not mean "effortless", which seems to be the construction you are putting on the term.

"In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current." -- Thomas Jefferson

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