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North Korea Accused of Testing an ICBM With Missile Launch Into Space (examiner.com) 287

MarkWhittington writes: Reuters reported that North Korea launched a long-range missile that is said to have placed a satellite into space. The launch happened much to the consternation of North Korea's neighbors, South Korea and Japan, as well as the United States. Pyongyang claimed that the missile launch was part of that country's peaceful space program. But, other countries are pretty sure that the launch was a test of an ICBM capable of placing a nuclear weapon on any target in the world, particularly the United States.
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North Korea Accused of Testing an ICBM With Missile Launch Into Space

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  • Of course it is. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Crashmarik ( 635988 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @07:29PM (#51459243)

    The only difference is the payload.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      In my opinion the most iconic example of that is the Soviet R-7.
      World's first ICBM.
      Launched Sputnik.
      Launches Soyuz and Progress to this day.

      • by NoNonAlphaCharsHere ( 2201864 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @08:01PM (#51459399)
        Refresh my memory, how many US launches were atop "U.S. Army" boosters again?
        • Re:Of course it is. (Score:5, Informative)

          by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @08:03PM (#51459409) Homepage

          Most of them.

        • Re:Of course it is. (Score:5, Informative)

          by james_shoemaker ( 12459 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @09:20PM (#51459679)

          All except Vanguard were atop converted ICBMs until the Saturn boosters came along, and the first Saturn was basically cobbled together from ICBM parts so it could also call it ICBM based, The Saturn V was mostly not ICBM based.

        • Re:Of course it is. (Score:5, Informative)

          by Brett Buck ( 811747 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @10:33PM (#51459977)

          Which is of course irrelevant. The US (nor USSR) were not under international sanctions with agreements not to do it at the time, unlike North Korea.

          • by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 08, 2016 @04:22AM (#51460895)

            North Korea is possibly the worst country on the planet, but arguing international law is a bit rich considering the US and USSR ignore international law any time it's inconvenient. If you want international law to have any weight behind it, the big boys have to play along too.

        • Of course, according to space age legends, the attempt to avoid using military boosters is what held us back long enough to let the Soviets get Sputnik up first.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    How about a nice game of chess?

  • by ITRambo ( 1467509 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @07:31PM (#51459251)
    It's amazing that NK still has the means to play serious games with the rest of the world. Of course, this test was intended to scare the rest of the world into throwing more money at the madman in charge hoping he stays quite again, for a little while at least. Instead, new ways to provoke an eventual land war will be dreamed up. They won't just go away. China needs to do more to keep NK under control, unless NK's games are tolerated by China for reasons unknown.
    • by Great Big Bird ( 1751616 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @07:34PM (#51459259)

      They will be tolerated in so much as they keep a buffer between them and South Korea. They do not want another democratic neighbour to stir up trouble.

      The limits to this arrangement are of course in question.

    • by meerling ( 1487879 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @07:42PM (#51459303)
      From what I've seen, even China is getting sick of North Korean antics and have started applying political pressure behind the scenes for them to chill out. Unfortunately, it seems as though NK is ignoring it and going rogue, which is a really bad idea as it's really only the influence that China wields that keeps them from getting steamrolled by any of several other countries or groups.
      • by arbiter1 ( 1204146 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @08:01PM (#51459395)
        Reason China is getting sick is they see the writing on the wall with what NK is doing. NK is playing with fire and its not a game they can win.
      • Exactly. It's like NK wants to get stomped into the ground or something, which is what's going to happen if they keep this shit up.
        • by Lotana ( 842533 )

          Looking at the NK's current state, I don't think they have much to lose. Really, becoming part of China is the best case scenario for their population. So much hatred between them and South Korea due to both side's propaganda, that reunification seems practically impossible. Whole generation been raised on hatred.

          Sadly, the longer this stalemate takes the more damage eventual conflict will inflict on both parts of the Korean peninsula.

      • by Zontar_Thing_From_Ve ( 949321 ) on Monday February 08, 2016 @10:58AM (#51462237)

        From what I've seen, even China is getting sick of North Korean antics and have started applying political pressure behind the scenes for them to chill out. Unfortunately, it seems as though NK is ignoring it and going rogue, which is a really bad idea as it's really only the influence that China wields that keeps them from getting steamrolled by any of several other countries or groups.

        If anybody here would like to understand the situation in North Korea better, I highly recommend reading Victor Cha's book _The Impossible State: North Korea, Past and Future_. Cha worked for the George W. Bush administration and he's an expert on North Korea. Not to digress, but it would really be helpful is President Obama would make somebody in his staff who pays attention to North Korea read this too. Secretary of State Kerry keeps demanding that China do more. If he'd just read the book or have a staffer summarize it for him, he'd understand why they won't.

        Here's the deal. North Korea started the Korean War on their own and Mao and Stalin weren't really happy about it. Stalin refused to get involved although he was willing to for Soviet pilots to serve as the de facto North Korean Air Force during the war. China committed troops only when it looked like MacArthur might actually get up to the border with China and possibly invade China. China paid a real price in blood to save North Korea. Mao's own son was killed in the fighting. So while the old line of North Korea and China being "closer than lips and teeth" is no longer really true, China does feel involved because a lot of her soldiers died in that war and they don't want it to be for nothing.

        What Kerry, Obama and others in the US need to understand is what Cha points out in his book. Namely, that China really doesn't like North Korea causing problems but it views all possible outcomes of a post-North Korea version of Korea as really bad for China. China feels stuck in that it knows that North Korea's regime can't last forever, but if it puts too much pressure on them, they may collapse soon and remember, they view all post-DPRNK outcomes as very very bad for China. China fears that a unified Korea will have US soldiers stationed in what is now North Korea, so that means right on its borders. China also fears that once North Korea falls, the border will be overrun with North Koreans (there is an area of China near the border that is majority ethnic Korean, so refugees would likely go there) and China will have a humanitarian disaster on its hands that it will have to spend time and resources to deal with. Additionally, in exchange for their financial support, North Korea is basically selling its rare earths to China at below market prices, so China is financially very vested in maintaining this. A unified Korea is not likely to let China continue to destroy the North Korean countryside to get rare earths at a discount. China doesn't see any possible outcome of a post-North Korea world where things aren't a lot worse for China, so they are caught in rarely using the influence they have. However, outsiders, especially the Obama administration, seem to greatly overestimate what influence China actually has. The reality is that China has more influence than they are willing to use, but not as much as everybody else thinks. The Kim regime will do what it can to survive and if that means going against China, no problem there. China is simply never going to stop providing money and assistance as long as the regime exists, so expecting China to do anything but maintain the status quo is not very likely to happen.

    • I dunno . . . take a look at the fearless leader's latest invention: http://edition.cnn.com/2016/01... [cnn.com]

      I think North Korea created this, because the fearless drinks so much.

      Or they used this hangover free alcohol as rocket fuel for their new ICBM . . .

      • Yeah, I'm pretty sure NK is just like my ex-wife: they just make shit up whenever they feel like it.
        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          Actually it's more like the west does. Remember the infamous "unicorn cave"? That was pretty much entirely fabricated by the west. They made a genuine archaeological discovery relating to their mythology (note the "myth" part), but the west was more interested in painting them as crazy.

          It's the same with TV broadcasts. North Korea's state broadcaster transmits a 1080p signal on satellite, which can be received easily in many neighbouring countries. Yet when you see it on western TV, it's usually a low quali

    • by Anonymous Coward

      For what bizarre reason shouldn't North Korea be "allowed" (by whom?!) to have ICBMs when the US - its biggest enemy - also has has them? And why would China "need" to prevent one of its closest allies from protecting itself from a possible american aggression?

      North Korea is a sovereign nation and it has the right to have nuclear weapons and ICBMs, so that it will be safe from any possible Iraqi-style american invasion.

      • [pirate]The Code is more what you call guidelines, than actual rules...[/pirate] and as goes Pirates of the Caribbean, so goes "international law." There are no sovereign rights. There are only guidelines on what is normally allowed to let slide by interested powers. North Korea is allowed to develop nuclear weapons and ICBMs solely due to the crack they fall through in the current balance of power.
      • by Nemyst ( 1383049 ) on Monday February 08, 2016 @12:49AM (#51460361) Homepage
        North Korea is currently under international sanctions for violating several UN Security Council resolutions. That means that the majority of the UN considers North Korea's missile/nuclear program to be a problem, specifically destabilizing the region and undermining the global nonproliferation regime. In case you forgot, the nonproliferation treaty states that aside from the "nuclear weapon states" (China, France, Russia, the US and the UK), no other nation state should receive, manufacture or acquire nuclear weaponry. The NWS are also the five permanent members of the Security Council.

        So within the bounds of international law and politics, North Korea is indeed disallowed to have ICBMs. Who's disallowing them? Everyone. As of the last few resolutions, even China has decided to withdraw their support, making the resolutions passed unanimously. Nuclear weapons aren't something you get to unilaterally decide you'll develop and own, and if you do, other countries will be extremely suspicious of you and for good reason.

        Let's not kid ourselves here: North Korea is a farce. Its people is continuously under threat of famine, is being brainwashed, held back on just about every level, because the leadership of the country wants to conserve an iron grip on their small patch of land. As such, it's one of the poorest and most isolated places on the planet, and politically is extremely unstable and dangerous. You can't consider them on a rational level because they are not a rational actor. They have severe delusions of grandeur, regularly threaten just about every neighbor of armed conflict, often for no apparent reason, etc. The best possible thing that could happen for NK and the rest of the world would be a slow transition towards democracy and a complete reconstruction of its political sphere (including eliminating all current military and political personnel, up to Un himself). Failing that, I hope that one day the rest of the world decides to act upon this retarded stepchild and cut the head off - the transition would be far more traumatic, but at least it'd happen.
        • In case you forgot, the nonproliferation treaty states that aside from the "nuclear weapon states" (China, France, Russia, the US and the UK), no other nation state should receive, manufacture or acquire nuclear weaponry. [...] Who's disallowing them? Everyone.

          Except for some countries who never signed that treaty: India, Pakistan, Israel. North Korea is also no longer a signatory (they withdrew in 2003). Shouldn't there be sanctions against the other three?

          Let's not kid ourselves here: North Korea is a farce.

          Agreed.

          The best possible thing that could happen for NK and the rest of the world would be a slow transition towards democracy and a complete reconstruction of its political sphere (including eliminating all current military and political personnel, up to Un himself).

          You're talking about eliminating ten million people (in the military alone). 40% of the population. Please specify which method of "elimination" you had in mind.

          • by Lotana ( 842533 )

            Except for some countries who never signed that treaty: India, Pakistan, Israel. North Korea is also no longer a signatory (they withdrew in 2003). Shouldn't there be sanctions against the other three?

            Touche!

            That is a very good point. I guess Israel is immune because US has such close relations with that state. No idea why the hypocrisy regarding India and Pakistan.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 ) <mojo@worl d 3 . net> on Monday February 08, 2016 @05:46AM (#51461101) Homepage

          North Korea is currently under international sanctions for violating several UN Security Council resolutions. That means that the majority of the UN considers North Korea's missile/nuclear program to be a problem, specifically destabilizing the region and undermining the global nonproliferation regime. In case you forgot, the nonproliferation treaty states that aside from the "nuclear weapon states" (China, France, Russia, the US and the UK), no other nation state should receive, manufacture or acquire nuclear weaponry. The NWS are also the five permanent members of the Security Council.

          Try to see it from NK's point of view. It's biggest enemy, the one that keeps playing war games off its coast and supplying SK with military hardware is part of a powerful club, and no-one screws with them. To get into the top ranks of this club and wield all this, you need nuclear tipped ICBMs. The goal of the club is to make sure no-one else ever gets them, although it's both ineffective (India, Pakistan, South Africa) and corrupt (the US tolerates Israel's nuclear weapons and won't allow sanctions or inspections).

          If the rest of the world really wants NK to abandon its nuclear programme then it first the US needs to stop antagonizing it, and then every effort has to be made to normalize relationships. Despite the impression you may have been given, NK isn't a closed state or unable to participate in world events. They hold international sporting events, you can do business with their technology companies.

          Yes, they have work camps and a lot of other horrible stuff. The US has Guantanamo and various other black sites, including one in New York where inmates are tortured. Various European countries violate human rights and ignore legally binding UN rulings. The way to address that stuff is to engage, not to stand off and pile on more and more sanctions.

          Finally, can we stop calling Un a mad man please? He isn't insane, he isn't stupid. None of them are. They know the game, they play it because it benefits them to do so. It's not unlike how many western politicians bemoan the fact that the political system is broken, but do little to fix it because its how they got there in the first place.

    • It's amazing that NK still has the means to play serious games with the rest of the world.

      Well, they only have the one card to play, and it's the same one they've been playing for the past several decades. What I can't believe is that western countries keep making agreements with them, giving them aid and apparently believing that this time - no really, honest to goodness, this time - the Norks are really going to away their only card.

      One has to ask what's better for the North Korean people over the long term... keep giving them enough food and goods so that the crazy family can continue to rule

      • by dbIII ( 701233 )

        or isolate them completely and give them nothing, and let revolution eventually happen?

        Long before revolution there will be a lot of explosions in South Korea and Japan.
        Remember that generations have been brainwashed into thinking that all their troubles are due to the outside world. I talked to a lady that got out in 1959 (it was that or be executed for marrying a Chinese man) - NK was a scary place with deliberate isolation and is now a lot worse.

    • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @08:22PM (#51459477)

      China needs to do more to keep NK under control, unless NK's games are tolerated by China for reasons unknown.

      The reasons are far from unknown. China is currently grabbing as much territory as they can, anywhere they can:

      Baekdu Mountain (North Korea)
      Bhutanese enclaves in Tibet (Bhutan)
      Demchok, Chumar, Kaurik, Shipki Pass, Jadh, and Lapthal (Taiwan, India)
      Hong Kong (Taiwan)
      Jiandao (North Korea, South Korea)
      Kula Kangri and points West, Haa District (Bhutan)
      Macclesfield Bank (Taiwan, Vietnam)
      Paracel Islands (Taiwan, Vietnam)
      Scarborough Shoal (Taiwan, Philippines)
      Senkaku Islands (Taiwan, Japan)
      Shaksgam Valley (India)
      Arunachal Pradesh (Taiwan, India)
      Spratly Islands (Taiwan, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei)
      Taiwan (Taiwan)
      Eastern Bhutan (Taiwan, Bhutan)
      Mainland China, Hainan (Taiwan -- but the PRC has a pretty good claim here 8^) ...)
      Western Heixiazi / Bolshoy Ussuriysky Island (Taiwan)
      Penghu, Jinmen,Matsu Islands, Pratas Islands (Taiwan)
      Songling District, Jiagedaqi District (Mongolia)
      Pamir Mountains (Tajikistan)
      Yalu River islands (North Korea, South Korea)
      Shaksgam Valley (India)

      Anything that keeps peoples attention focussed elsewhere is all to the good, as far as China is concerned. The territorial waters claims in the South China Sea, in particular, are important to them in terms of extending their range of control, in order to control fishing rights, since their population is still rising, despite sterilizations after the second child, and similar measures.

      • by swb ( 14022 )

        The most important reason PRC tolerates DPRK is stability. The idea of millions of Koreans flooding China is disturbing to the Chinese. They've served as a policy foil for the Chinese, but the previous fearless leader was more cooperative and malleable.

        • by jez9999 ( 618189 )

          The idea of millions of Koreans flooding China is disturbing to the Chinese.

          They should have a word with Angela Merkel and get advice.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        You know that they lifted the ban on second children last year, right? And that it never applied to everyone, just certain areas where there was overpopulation. Obviously many in the west would condemn their methods, but it isn't true to say that they have a problem with the rate that their population is expanding. They have it under control, at the rate they desire.

    • by dbIII ( 701233 )
      NK also hate the Chinese and blame them for an attempted coup over a decade back. They just hate the rest of the world more.
      China will trade with anyone, but have far less control over NK than people seem to imagine. That's not saying that China is sunshine and puppies but just pointing out that they don't have much of a handle on that rogue state either.
    • by gtall ( 79522 )

      The Norks provide much to the little weenies running China. Being a buffer between S. Korea and China is okay for starters. But what really causes the Chinese leaders to wet their pants would be nice prosperous S. Korea on their border showing China how its done. It might give Taiwan, I don't know, ideas that they can run their own country and not bow down to their future Chinese masters.

      In addition, nothing makes the Chinese leaders happier than irritating Japan. Japan only makes things worse by never apol

  • so what? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ILongForDarkness ( 1134931 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @07:37PM (#51459271)

    They aren't signatories to the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. They are parties to the outer space treaty but as long as the US and others have ICBMs I find it hard to argue that ICBMs are covered by that treaty. Makes sense since the weapons don't reside in space nor are designed to target space objects but just pass through space on the way to their targets.

    I don't get the US centric bias towards military policy. Basically anyone that becomes capable of attacking the US is automatically an aggressor that needs sanction. What about the US' ability to attack everyone? How about those pricks disarm and reduce their military to 1/10th the size, stop toppling governments because they don't like them etc?

    • I'll have to assume you didn't get the memo [imdb.com].

    • Re:so what? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Daemonik ( 171801 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @07:58PM (#51459383) Homepage

      The US and North Korea only have an armistice, not a peace treaty. Legally they're still at war with each other. Added to NK's disregard of pretty much everyone, their having ICBMs does make the US nervous for good reasons. The US respects the armistice, but NK will likely start the war up again if they ever think they can get away with it.

      No country is happy with any other country having the ability to attack it. Just very few countries are in the position that the US is in of having a military powerful enough that their displeasure makes people take notice.

      The US doesn't just use it's military as casually as most think, typically it waits for a large group of allies to urge it to take action. It's wars in the Middle East benefit Europe a lot more than they do the US.

      • The two Koreas have an armistice and are legally still at war. The United States was never in a declared war with North Korea.

        • The US hasn't declared war since 1942, hasn't really meant much. As a formal ally of South Korea with military bases there and active military troops on the border, if they're attacked the US retaliates, so really what's the difference other than a pedant's circle jerk.
          • Re:so what? (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Schmorgluck ( 1293264 ) on Sunday February 07, 2016 @11:16PM (#51460137)
            I agree it's a bit of a moot point in practice, but it doesn't speak highly of the state of constitutional workings within the USA themselves. If the USA can project whatever amount of armed force they want on the whim of the Executive power, what's the point of having constitutional provisions requiring the approval of Congress to declare war? That's a long running case of exploiting procedural loopholes if there was any.
          • "Legally they're still at war with each other."

            So if they are at war, who can be surprised that NK are arming themselves to the teeth?

            "The US respects the armistice, but NK will likely start the war up again if they ever think they can get away with it."

            As in "the US of A would never start a war if they ever think they can get away with it?" Not from Philippines to Irak, passing through Cuba, Mexico, Vietnam, Korea, Grenada, Panama... and that's not counting covert operations all through South America, Afr

      • It's wars in the Middle East benefit Europe a lot more than they do the US.

        Yes and the countries handling millions of immigrants and war refugees thank you dearly for your assistance.

      • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

        Actually, since Un took over NK has been making a lot more effort to normalize diplomatic relations and become part of an international community. For example, the long standing issue of Japanese citizens kidnapped by NK is finally making some progress. International events like the Pyongyang Marathon are becoming better known and attended.

        Also, I have to say that the "benefits" Europe gets from US lead wars in the Middle East are rather dubious. The current influx of refugees is the direct result of one.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Bomazi ( 1875554 )

      I agree. What is funny is the convoluted terminology used for propaganda purposes by the US and NATO and repeated by everyone: When South Korea launches a satellite, they used a launch vehicle, when North Korea does it, they tested a ballistic missile that incidentally put an object in orbit.

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        South Korea doesn't have a nuclear weapons program, nor is it belligerent with its neighbours. It also is not ruled by crazy people.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by phantomfive ( 622387 )

      I don't get the US centric bias towards military policy. Basically anyone that becomes capable of attacking the US is automatically an aggressor that needs sanction.

      North Korea produces a lot of propaganda showing them destroying the US [youtube.com], so it's understandable.

    • What about the US' ability to attack everyone? How about those pricks disarm and reduce their military to 1/10th the size, stop toppling governments because they don't like them etc?

      You're mixing up capability with likelihood. Total risk is the product of the two. The U.S. has had nuclear-capable ICBMs for over 50 years now, but has never used them. So while it has had the capability for a long time, the proven likelihood that it'll use them is very low, even when it's been provoked. The reason people

      • You're mixing up capability with likelihood. Total risk is the product of the two. The U.S. has had nuclear-capable ICBMs for over 50 years now, but has never used them. So while it has had the capability for a long time, the proven likelihood that it'll use them is very low, even when it's been provoked. The reason people (not just the U.S.) is concerned about North Korea's capability is because its leadership is extremely erratic and unpredictable, so the likelihood it would actually use ICBMs is a lot higher than existing nuclear powers'.

        On the contrary, NK has had nuclear weapons for quite a while and has never used them beyond testing. As with any mutual-assured destruction weapon, showing a capability for something does not indicate anything about willingness to use them at any time except a doomsday scenario.

        Depending on the success of this test, and certainly prior to this point, NK only had MAD capability against its immediate neighbors, China, South Korea, and Japan. The only deterrents they had against US invasion were indirect, t

      • Or as you put it... "only about 1.5x the world average of ~2.3% of GDP".

        Or... we could look at it like this... [wikipedia.org]
        USA spends ALONE as much as 9 (NINE) next biggest world military spenders COMBINED. And then some.
        USA = China + Saudi Arabia + Russia + UK + France + Japan + India + Germany + South Korea + 14.7 billion dollars (change).
        Or, you can take the other source - where USA spends more, but so does everyone else, thus USA spends "only" as much as the next top 7 spenders. And change.

        Also, do note that "% of G

    • It's not just the US.
      http://www.sanctionswiki.org/N... [sanctionswiki.org]

      Basically, North Korea is fucking crazytown, and NOBODY is happy with the idea of them being able to extend their military reach even a single meter.

  • Obviously, the United States should immediately also deploy a missile system capable of delivering a nuclear weapon to North Korea.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by igsmo ( 4313109 )
      Yeah, they should. They should also bring in more nukes into Japan and South Korea. Oh wait, they already did that. Maybe the US and South Korea and Japan could be launching more ICBM missiles and rockets on a regular basis. Oh wait, they're already doing that too. They should also bring in a few million DU bombs into South Korea, and use South Korea as a storage facility. Oh wait, they already did that. Maybe fly a few b52 and stealth bombers and bring a few nuclear submarines all over the Korean peninsula
      • Re: Weighed Response (Score:5, Informative)

        by bloodstar ( 866306 ) <blood_starNO@SPAMyahoo.com> on Sunday February 07, 2016 @08:26PM (#51459489) Journal
        NK with ICBMs is a big concern because there is doubt that the NK leaders are 'rational actors.' So normal considerations like self preservation of the country or people may not apply.
    • Um US already has them so no need to deploy anything.
  • Say what you will about Kim Jong Un and the North Koreans, but their generals have the coolest headgear ever.

    http://media.themalaysianinsid... [themalaysianinsider.com]

    I would totally wear any one of those hats.

    And now that I think about it, "Kim Jong Un & The North Koreans" would be a cool name for a thrash-punk band.

  • Space denial (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday February 08, 2016 @01:14AM (#51460439)

    All NK has to do to fuck the planet is loft some high explosive packed around a tonne of sand into a retrograde orbit and blow it up.

    Goodbye trillions of dollars of fancy hardware once the debris cascade starts. Asymmetric warfare is a bitch ain't it.

  • by bugs2squash ( 1132591 ) on Monday February 08, 2016 @02:47AM (#51460711)
    What scares me about NK is that their leadership seems not to care about the NK populace. I'd like to think that the US would consider civilian casualties before a launch against another nuclear power, at the very least the extent of US casualties from a successful retaliation. I'm not convinced that NK care about casualties on either side and since so few NK people will have been involved in any launch decision on the part of NK it's hard to think of the average NK guy in the street as the enemy.

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