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North Korea Launches "Communication Satellite" Rocket

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the transmitting-a-message-of-sorts dept.

Space 492

Mad Ivan writes "The BBC has just reported that North Korea has launched a long-range rocket, which they say is a communications satellite, but that the US and Japan fear may actually be a ballistic missile. Details are still arriving; the rocket passed over northern Japan on its way up."

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First post! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463039)

First (and last) post!

Re:First post! (3, Funny)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463227)

First (and last) post!

Well, if we're all doomed anyways we should at least go out in style. First one to throw together a spacebat-esque [youtube.com] montage of Kim Jong-Il's antics wins.

Re:First post! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463521)

That was stupid. Just fucking stupid. Something a MacFag would throw together and call "art".

p.s. NIGGERS.

Re:First post! (4, Funny)

soren202 (1477905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463333)

Oh no, I for one trust North Korea to tell the truth and do what they sa-

Been nice knowing you all. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463047)

I've had fun reading Slashdot all these years. Too bad it had to end so soon.

Coverage has been slow (1)

m6ack (922653) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463051)

Any latest news about what is happening would be appreciated.

Re:Coverage has been slow (1, Funny)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463069)

What goes up must come down!

Summary is hopelessly wrong... (5, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463057)

The summary is just wrong...
Nobody is suggesting (except the person writing this summary) that the payload of this rocket was anything more than a communications satellite.

What the international community is concerned about is that this really isn't about the satellite and is instead just an excuse to test better ICBMs.

North Korea is banned from launching ICBMs but allowed to conduct space exploration.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463071)

Any ballistic activity by the north is banned research or otherwise.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (0, Troll)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463081)

Banned by who? The countries which already have them? Where do one sign up?

Whatever it's about environment, peoples rights, weapons or whatever the same rules apply: Clean up in your own backyard or shut the fuck up!

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (5, Insightful)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463119)

Multiple wrongs do not make a right, and you can't undo history. Putting effective ICBMs in the hands of someone like Kim Jong Il is insanely irresponsible.

The childish "you do it, so can I can too" approach you're taking is precisely that: indicative of a severely socially maladjusted person with no grasp of the severity of this situation. Let me take a quote from your post and modify it to suite this situation: until you've got better than a third grade education in these matters, shut the fuck up.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (-1, Troll)

tzjanii (1170411) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463263)

...modify it to suite this situation...

Sweet suitable response sent from your suite, you svelte suited sweetie.You suitably swatted that petite seated piece of meat. You're so cool, your sweet suite is probably off in far off Swetes! [wikipedia.org]

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (5, Funny)

cjfs (1253208) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463289)

Putting effective ICBMs in the hands of someone like Kim Jong Il is insanely irresponsible.

It's not as dangerous as it first appears. All you need to do is make a few hollywood blockbusters with the right theme and he'll disarm instantly.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463319)

Multiple wrongs do not make a right,

but 3 lefts do...

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (4, Insightful)

cong06 (1000177) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463327)

Except it would make sense for us to "destroy" ours before we enforce our own hypocritical policies.

If it was simply something we "did" in the past, then it's one thing, but our foreign policy requires us to basically tell everyone else what to do because somehow we're better then them.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (5, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463381)

We're better than North Korea.

It's both naive and dangerous of you to think otherwise.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (3, Insightful)

blankinthefill (665181) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463411)

No.... we're not "better," just much less likely to use them against others. I guess it may be a fine distinction, but I think its there.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (5, Insightful)

batkiwi (137781) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463485)

No, most of the western world is "better" than North Korea. That is not a criticism of their citizens, as they are just along for the ride.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463507)

So, in which ways are we not better?

Most nuclear powers don't let hundreds of thousands of people starve to death every year so that they can fund their military. For comparison purposes, the US spends around 4% of their GDP on their military. The DPRK? 30%.

Most nuclear powers don't brainwash their people and shut out the entire outside world to maintain an iron grip on the populace.

Most nuclear powers don't keep on the brink of war at all times and use threats to extract aid.

But yeah, sure, it's not PC to say that some countries are better than others. I guess you'd be happy to move to Sudan or the DRC. After all, France or India couldn't possibly be any better.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (4, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463549)

No.... we're not "better," just much less likely to use them against others.

Funny considering you're the only country who has actually used them in a war.

And I doubt you'd hesitate once vs russia or china if they attacked first.

Nothing say north korea will attack first either, but it will prevent them from getting attacked in the first place, as is the situation with all nuclear forces.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (2, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463537)

Yeah, I understand that it's much easier to decide what they should do before they have nuclear weapons and long distance missiles since they are so technically inferior to someone like the US so playing "clean" they would get owned immediately, but as soon as they have nukes it all fails since you don't want to play with nukes.

So solving it before then makes sense.

Anyway, lots of countries have nukes and eventually behave badly thanks to the extra insurance they give them. Imho you can't demand others should to..

But then I live in one of those countries with no nukes, with no plans to invade other countries and with a shrinking defence. Call us stupid.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (4, Insightful)

FiveDozenWhales (1360717) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463121)

The countries which already have them aren't ruled by a fascist megalomaniacal dictator, at odds with nearly every government in the world and keeping his own people in slavery. I'm not defending the possession of ICBMs, just suggesting that if there is one nation that should be kept from having them, North Korea is probably it.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (2, Interesting)

Schemat1c (464768) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463237)

I'm not defending the possession of ICBMs, just suggesting that if there is one nation that should be kept from having them, North Korea is probably it.

And since we already blew our wad in Iraq there is probably not much we can do about now.

Thank you Mr. Bush.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (1)

FiveDozenWhales (1360717) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463257)

Good point. I'm starting to wonder if this whole KwangmyÅngsÅng-2 launch isn't just more US Gov't propaganda, designed to justify incursions against North Korea...

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463317)

There was never anything we could do about North Korea. The amount of military might required to take down North Korea is much larger than the amount we used to take down Iraq.

We would have to have a draft.

Plus there are a few other little problems:
1. Seoul is within conventional artillery range of the DMZ. Think tens or hundreds of thousands of civilian casualties. Within the first hour.
2. What would China do? They view North Korea as an extension of China. That's why we didn't take North Korea in the Korean war when we had them on the run.
3. If North Korea does have nukes, Tokyo is in range. Millions of civilian casualties.

We don't want war with North Korea.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (1)

soren202 (1477905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463351)

Not to mention that any politician that so much as suggests another war at this point is never going to get elected to anything for the remainder of his or her life.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463519)

It's a little more complicated than all that. The US Military does have the capacity to defeat the military of North Korea (or nearly any military for that matter.) What they lack is the capacity, the capability, and the will to clean up the ensuing mess.

It was the turmoil in the aftermath of war that led to the creation of regimes like North Korea, the Taliban in Afghanistan, Iran, Saddam's Iraq, etc. There was US political influence (and military involvement, covert or otherwise) in every one of those circumstances.

The US could destroy a lot of infrastructure in North Korea (or anywhere) and make a big mess without much threat of the violence spilling over into North America. They can't solve the problem, though. Kim Jong Il by any other name is probably just as bad.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463515)

We still have plenty of nukes to launch at them, if necessary.

*ducks*

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (4, Insightful)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463307)

Banned by who? The countries which already have them?

The governments of the US and europe let me down more than they should, but they have a long way to go before they scare me as much as north Korea's government. I mean, I'd trust both Iran and Cuba with nukes before North Korea. Iran and Cuba seem to understand that building an atomic bomb is something you do so that you don't have to use it. North Korea on the other hand seems more likely to use it than not use it.

Whatever it's about environment, peoples rights, weapons or whatever the same rules apply: Clean up in your own backyard or shut the fuck up!

Rational thinking like that has very little use in real-world international politics, and none in dealings with north korea.

It seems like you're suggesting that it's unfair that we have nukes and they don't. I suggest you go downtown, give an angry crazy homeless man one loaded gun and you keep another. By your theory, everyone is equal and everything should work out great over multiple tests. You can tell me how it went on monday.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (1)

soren202 (1477905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463375)

By the way, it only counts if he's mumbling to himself about the government, twitching, coming down off a drug high, or a registered sex offender.

You think like a ReThuglican Jew (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463437)

You think like a ReThuglican Jew

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (2, Insightful)

carlzum (832868) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463339)

The parent's probably not trolling, this is a common sentiment among citizens of non-nuclear nations. Leaders in countries like Iran and North Korea simply exploit it for popular support. There's no strategic rationale for them to build a nuclear bomb, but the debate rallies their citizens around a nationalist issue.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463083)

What does a small, third world, militaristic dictatorship on an island need a communications satellite for? The idea that that is all it was is laughable.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (1)

shoemilk (1008173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463193)

Um, you're geography sucks. Korea is a peninsula.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463229)

They need one ever since they were blockaded by the west and had to develop their own.

Island? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463329)

Asia + Europe + Africa are all joined by land (not counting canals and rivers), so that would be one huge island. I think the word you're looking for is peninsula. There's a peninsula off Asia that includes North and South Korea. North Korea borders China and Russia. There's a Sea to the east of it that the North Koreans call the Korea East Sea, South Korea just calls the East Sea, and Japan and most of the rest of the world calls the Sea of Japan. On the east side of that sea is Japan.
As for them being a small, third world, militaristic dictatorship, you're definitely right on the militaristic dictatorship. As for small, I'm not so sure, they're about the size of New Mexico. Smaller than the mean average for a country, bigger than the median. As for third world, it depends on your definition of third world. The original definition was not being aligned with either the communists or "the west". North Korea had a pretty definite alignment in that respect. It's also at least semi-developed. It's people are generally pretty desperately poor though.
As for needing a communications satellite... Why does any country need a communications satellite? For that matter, what did the Soviet Union need Sputnik for? It's like saying, what do they need nuclear reactors for, except for producing nuclear warheads? It's one of a long list of things that have both valid civil uses and military uses.
Now, personally, I'm not very comfortable with North Korea having orbital delivery vehicles/ICBMs. But I can't help noticing that the countries strongly opposed to them obtaining these things have their own space programs and nuclear capacity (the US obviously has plenty of nuclear weapons, Japan doesn't have nuclear weapons but has plenty of nuclear tech and could probably manufacture nukes pretty easily). The reassurances that North Korea are the "bad guys" and the US are the "good guys" still don't make me feel happy about anyone having tons of nukes. Now that the cold war is over, the claims that they would never use them seem a little hollow in light of the way that both the UK and the US threatened to use them against Iraq.
The point is, I'm a little torn. On the one hand, I prefer to avoid nuclear proliferation. On the other, this is all obviously a little hypocritical.

Re:Island? (1)

soren202 (1477905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463397)

Even if it is hypocritical, would you ever REALLY want North Korea to have nukes?

We can deal with our side of the issue some other day. For now, lets ensure that there is a some other day.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463347)

Korea isn't an island. And North Korea isn't a third world nation, since they are nominally communists.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (5, Insightful)

shoemilk (1008173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463145)

Well, for the past two to three weeks, I've heard nothing but "this is a missile". Maybe it's because I'm in Japan and watching Japanese news. The biggest concern that Japan had (or atleast presented to the public) is that the North Koreans suck at making rockets and there was a big chance that it would fall and hit the northern part of Japan.

There were threats back and forth "If it comes near us we'll shoot it down"
"Shoot it down and next time we'll aim FOR you"
"We'll shoot it down no matter what"
"We're readying bombers to bomb you if you do"

To the person wanting coverage, what they've been saying on the news is that they're looking for where it fell so they can pull it up and make sure it was a communications satellite.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (1, Troll)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463199)

North Korean bombers, or as we call them "paper airplanes with vicious loogies on the tip."

Sorry, I just can't get worked up over this so-called threat. I grew up in the cold war and back then we had the soviets. After that, all this "terrorism" and "rogue state" shit is just yawn.

Wake me up when someone important starts launching real missiles.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (1)

BJH (11355) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463245)

Il-28/H-5: Having been developed in the late 1940s, the Il-28/H-5 represents an old generation of bomber aircraft. North Korea originally received 24 Il-28 Beagles in 1960, and after that deliveries of the Chinese H-5 copy continued. The H-5 is a simple, robust, jet-engined bomber, capable of carrying up to 3,000 kg of bombs, including conventional, biological, chemical or nuclear. Its range is about 2,400 km, capable of hitting targets in most of Japan and all of South Korea. The bomber is supplied with a special aiming radar for the bombardier for precise targetting during poor visibility. Despite these advantages, it has a few grave drawbacks - a low maximum speed (900 km/h) and a fairly low ceiling (about 13,000 m), which renders the aircraft very vulnerable even to older types of SAMs and jet fighters. Despite this, it provides North Korea with a fair medium-range weapons platform.

OK, it's not a B-2, but they've got Mig-29s to provide escort, so they're not exactly "paper airplanes" either.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (4, Insightful)

Antique Geekmeister (740220) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463471)

You know, it _doesn't matter_ if this launch was for a communications satellite. Just because this rocket contained a benign payload, doesn't mean the next one will. North Korea doesn't have the spare money to spend on building their own satellite launching systems when it's so much cheaper to buy a satellite launch from someone else. The next payload will be whatever North Korea decides to put in the rocket, and the expertise from peaceful rockets is amazingly useful for building missiles.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (3, Interesting)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463523)

Honestly what are the chances there is a communication sattelite on that thing?

Even the most ambitious estimates didn't put this rocket into orbit.

What good is a 'communications sattelite' that flys over Japan for 10 minutes?

Also what are the chances any sizeable chunks of wreckage would survive impact? What do we intend to drudge up? Lint?

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (1)

DrBuzzo (913503) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463259)

They amount to the same thing. Anything that can launch a satellite can also send a warhead to another continent. ICBM's can launch payloads into orbit. In either case there's no doubt it is a military project. This is because North Korea spends more than 90% of the little they have on military related projects.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (2, Insightful)

BJH (11355) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463265)

I don't know if you've realised, but communication satellites need to head into orbit, not a parabolic arc into the Pacific.

Re:Summary is hopelessly wrong... (1)

Bill Currie (487) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463361)

Except that in the news this morning (here in Japan) what they were saying is that there's no sign of supporting infrastructure for it to be a communications satellite.

Unfortunately, I didn't understand the conclusion (my Japanese isn't that good yet.

TFA disagrees (1)

Palshife (60519) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463499)

From TFA, North Korea's neighbours suspect the launch was a cover for a long-range missile test.

Outstanding. (4, Interesting)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463059)

As if this regime needed to be any more creative to continue their quest to piss off the world. Yeah, U.N. sanctions don't really mean a whole lot these days (did they ever?), but this is ridiculous.

Honestly, if I thought for one moment that North Korea actually had peaceful space exploration motives in mind, about 50% of my objection to this would vanish instantly. As it stands, the regime is run by a madman with serious nuclear ambitions, something people tend to forget about.

Personally, I wish we'd dealt wish North Korea a long, long time ago... perhaps in place of Iraq. I'm certainly no foreign policy expert, but I have served in the military, and I've always considered North Korea a much larger looming threat to regional and global security than Iraq ever was (with the exception of the Gulf War, that is).

Re:Outstanding. (4, Insightful)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463095)

Yeah, U.N. sanctions don't really mean a whole lot these days (did they ever?)

No, the countries with veto rights makes UN totally useless. North korea isn't one of those though.

Re:Outstanding. (1)

Corbets (169101) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463143)

Funny thing is that most of us "countries with veto rights" could very well ignore UN resolutions anyway, even if we didn't veto them.

So the organization is really rather pointless.

Re:Outstanding. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463305)

The point of the UN isn't to make and enforce international laws. It is only to provide a forum for discussion among nations. In that regard the UN has been quite successful.

Re:Outstanding. (4, Insightful)

Toonol (1057698) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463407)

That point is often forgot. The purpose of the UN is communication. I have little respect or tolerance for the UN as it exists today, because of their evident desire to overreach their purpose. Still, I would hate for the UN to go away. It should have no power, though, besides the ability to assist member nations to conduct diplomacy.

Re:Outstanding. (1)

ThinkTwicePostOnce (1001392) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463447)

Even if there were never any agreement on anything it would serve the incredibly valuable purpose of
making diplomats from different countries available to each other on a casual basis. And it's a place
where anger gets vented, allowing even the most laughable claims of "national wounded pride" to be
avenged verbally, rather than militarily.

Recall that there are numerous countries in the world where insulting words are the moral equivalent of
physical attack. Not every culture believes the remedy for words is words, and for actions is commensurate
actions.

If you don't think that verbal ego-soothing has ever prevented a military attack you'd be overestimating
the emotional maturity of many of the world's leaders.

Trouble is, such incidents aren't easy to document. If such numbers could be produced, IMHO they'd make
the UN's value easy to see. But then producing them would embarass tempermental leaders, putting us back
at square one.

Re:Outstanding. (5, Insightful)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463107)

The problem is there isn't a good way to deal with North Korea. They have a massive army, a very fearful and xenophobic populace, and tons of weapons trained on South Korea. So you have two scenarios, neither of which is really acceptable:

1) Conventional attack. You send in large numbers of conventional forces to destroy their army and occupy the country. This would work, but at the first sign of invasion, North Korea will fire their artillery trained on the south. This features lovely things like poison gas warheads and such and easily reaches major cities. There is going to be a large loss of civilian life and infrastructure in South Korea because of this. There is also likely to be fairly heavy casualties in the invading military force. While North Korea's military isn't technology advanced, it is very large.

2) Nuclear attack. You target nuclear tipped cruise missiles, bombs, and perhaps even some ICBMs at all military targets of any note. The idea is a single coordinated massive strike that simply eliminates all their counterforce capability. Perhaps large population centres are targeted as well. Ok well ignoring the whole problem with world opinion on WMDs, you have the problem that this will cause a massive loss of life in the north that is not limited to, or even primarily, military. There's then all the problems with fallout, lingering radiation and all that other nasty shit as seen in Japan in WWII and Russia when Chernobyl blew up. You could potentially (though no guarantee) eliminate the threat to the south in one swoop and crush the north's military, but at what cost?

Thus far there just isn't a good suggestion for how you'd deal with North Korea and not have it lead to massive loss of civilian life on one or both sides. Thus it isn't a situation anyone wants to get in to. There's also the question of how China would react. While they don't seem to be so happy with North Korea any more, they do still support them. Let's not forget that is where North Korea's military support came for in the Korean War.

All in all there doesn't seem to be a good answer, so it is just kind of left alone.

Re:Outstanding. (1, Interesting)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463155)

you have the problem that this will cause a massive loss of life in the north that is not limited to, or even primarily, military.

You're right, there's no good answer, and there hasn't been one for a long time (since my grandfather served as a Marine in Korea, in fact). That said, I see the North Korean people as faced with two choices:

  1. Depose their maniacal dictator and deal with the resulting upheaval in their society (considerable misery for their people).
  2. Accept a severe and devastating response from whatever nuclear-capable nation finally gets fed up with the threats and posturing from North Korean leadership.

If I were their citizens, I would elect to pursue #1, regardless of the interim pain involved. I assure you, if North Korea continues on their present path the response will eventually be severe and devastating. The citizens of North Korea have a responsibility to reign in the tyrannical government that presently rules over them, or face the consequences. Should this turn into an "us or them" situation, it most assuredly will be "them," albeit with mass casualties on the South Korean side as well (which will indeed be tragic).

Re:Outstanding. (2, Insightful)

Erie Ed (1254426) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463211)

All of that is easier said than done when you have a gun pointed at you 24/7.

Re:Outstanding. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463255)

And it is exactly this kind of stupid dichotomy ("we must fight or die!") thinking that pushes countries to war.

There are actually other, peaceful, solutions to this. E.g. NK was actually starting economical reforms much like China did in the early '80s, with special economic regions near the border, until the new president (the "CEO president") of South Korea took the hard-line approach to the North, which, unsurprisingly resulted in similar stance from the NK.

Had NK been allowed to continue their economic reforms, there could be hope that it will eventually be more open much like China did without any wars breaking out.

By forcing your opponent to either fight or curl up and die, don't be surprised when you got a fight in your hands. Although it may be a hopeless fight for your opponent, remember that you are the one taking all the hope from him in the first place.

Even the Art of War said always leave a way out for your opponents, you don't want to force him into a "fight or die" situation, because that's when he will fight most fiercely against you.

Re:Outstanding. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463469)

you are north korea.

Re:Outstanding. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463261)

You're completely ignoring the degree of brainwashing and how many DPRK citizens genuinely believe Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il are the greatest leaders in the world.

Re:Outstanding. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463293)

Too bad no North Koreans will actually read your message, seeing as how most citizens in the DPRK either don't know about the Internet, or are restricted to the official government intranet, which has all of seven websites (if I recall).

And we cry about all of our freedoms being taken away; be glad we know the concept of freedom itself.

Re:Outstanding. (1)

soren202 (1477905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463463)

And we cry about all of our freedoms being taken away; be glad we know the concept of freedom itself.

So because they're horrifically oppressed, our relatively small level of oppression is acceptable?

The situation in North Korea is horrible, but we still need to push for freedom wherever possible.

Re:Outstanding. (1)

soren202 (1477905) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463441)

So they should die because they're stuck with a shitty government?

Pretty lousy solution, IMO. The whole point here is to avoid a big loss of civilian live. If we didn't care how many of them die (and MANY of them will die in the attempt) then we'd just bomb the place to shit.

Re:Outstanding. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463233)

I for one cannot believe that the great powers, China in particular, continue to let this little pissant live.

Re:Outstanding. (4, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463355)

I for one cannot believe that the great powers, China in particular, continue to let this little pissant live.

It's all about perspective. Keep in mind that some of our foreign policy opponents say the same thing about the US and Israel. The two aren't similar in many ways, but they both do provoke in ways that serve some of the interests of the us/china.

In the case of North Korea, China gets a lot of leverage over Japan and the rest of the world. If you piss China off enough, they won't act like they're going to help your ongoing efforts to prevent North Korea from nuking japan. At least that's what I've heard from a few japanese scholars, take that with a grain of salt, but it does make some sense. Naturally, it's stupid if China is doing that, since China would be in a world of hurt if North Korea actually did start trouble.

I've also heard (although this sounds much more dubious to me) that south korea isn't really doing all they can to stop north korea from getting nukes, since both countries express an interest in eventually reuniting, there's some sense of "If they get nukes, when we reunite, we'll have nukes." Again, that sounds like complete conspiracy theory crap to me, but what do I know?

Re:Outstanding. (1)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463295)

Evacuate South Korea first! We have plenty of desert here in Australia for shanty towns, and I'm sure the indigenous folk won't mind taking another one for the team!

Joking, obviously...

Re:Outstanding. (4, Insightful)

Cbs228 (596164) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463313)

There is another option

3) Coup d'etat. Replace the paranoid, militaristic North Korean regime with a new government—possibly one backed by the United States or her allies. Since the North Korean population is unlikely to do this on their own initiative, they will need some assistance and logistical support from another world power. Another country could theoretically encourage a "friendly" general to seize power and then back him up militarily, politically, and economically when he does so. The U.S. has a long history of supporting anti-Communist coups via the Truman Doctrine [wikipedia.org] , and we have even backed totalitarian dictatorships—so long as they weren't Communist.

A successfully executed coup could be relatively bloodless, would leave North Korea's infrastructure and population centers (such as they are) intact, and would certainly cost less money and manpower than a full-scale invasion. However, the outcome is entirely dependent on luck: military leaders might succeed in launching a WMD attack on South Korea before they are deposed, the new government might not be sustainable, or the coup might be a complete and utter failure. Additionally, U.S. involvement would require our intelligence agencies to demonstrate actual competence, and a U.S.-backed coup could seriously impact our relations with China. Still, I think a coup would be a better option than a full-scale attack.

Re:Outstanding. (1, Flamebait)

Maelwryth (982896) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463545)

"There is another option" Mod parent funny.....or at least don't let America have anything to do with it.

Hans Blix (1)

asifyoucare (302582) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463433)

Where's Hans Blix when you need him? He should send a very cross letter immediately.

Re:Outstanding. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463131)

As it stands, the regime is run by a madman with serious nuclear ambitions, something people tend to forget about.

Who forgets about that? Isn't that the only reason anybody even gives a shit about North Korea?

Re:Outstanding. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463191)

With the fine example of India, Pakistan and Iraq*, anyone wonders why every country (particularly dictatorships) around the world are rushing headlong to get nuclear weapons?

Nuke is the only working deterrent against direct US invasion.

* - hint: out of the three, the one country that stopped developing nuclear weapons got invaded. Two others proceed with nuclear tests and remained safe.

Re:Outstanding. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463393)

* - hint: out of the three, the one country that stopped developing nuclear weapons got invaded. Two others proceed with nuclear tests and remained safe.

When you cherrypick your examples like that, sure, it does sound crazy not to develop nukes. Of course, why on earth would we have invaded Pakistan, let alone India?!? For that matter, why not throw France on there? Their nukes are probably the reason we haven't invaded them recently.

Meanwhile, Syria, Iran, Saudi Arabia... why haven't we invaded them exactly? Is it that they have nukes or they don't have any oil so it's not worth it?

Re:Outstanding. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463157)

And how would we deal with it? The first time around, we had the fledgling UN's blessing, and ran through Korea very quickly. But we were stopped short of the border with China by.. a very nervous China.

If we were to invade again, we would have to have something we didn't have the first time around: China's support.

The price for China's support, if they are even amenable to the proposition, would definitely be China's involvement.

We dropped nukes on Japan, in part to avoid just such an entangling situation with another superpower. (and we even have a case study to compare both options: Japan for the 50 years following WWII vs. E&W Germany in the same time period.)

Re:Outstanding. (1)

shoemilk (1008173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463163)

Personally, I think he's dead. About 4 or 5 months ago, there was a thing in the Japanese news about how Kim Jung Il hasn't been seen and missed all these big celebrations that he's never missed before.
The North Koreans denied it and say he's alive, but I'll keep my tinfoil hat on, put my fingers in my ears and say "He's dead, Jim!"

Re:Outstanding. (1)

Walkingshark (711886) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463209)

Oh, he's alive alright. They just haven't finished perfecting the giant transforming robotic suit that he had them implant his brain into yet.

Re:Outstanding. (1)

mzs (595629) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463213)

The rumor I heard is that he suffered a debilitating stroke instead of dead. Our rumors are both based on what wonks dreamed-up, so who knows.

Re:Outstanding. (1)

Ogive17 (691899) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463167)

The thing is N. Korea keeps doing stupid shit that annoys the rest of the world, even nations that normally stick up for them like China and Russia are probably rolling their eyes thinking "what do they hope to accomplish?". No global power wants one of their "protected nations" causing problems around the world because inevitably they'd get pulled in as well.

I do agree that N. Korea has been a bigger threat all this time. I think the world has wished Kim Jong Il would eventually just fade away if people ignored him long enough.

Re:Outstanding. (1)

RiotingPacifist (1228016) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463171)

How was iraq a threat to global security in the gulf war? genuine question.

Re:Outstanding. (1)

palegray.net (1195047) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463377)

This little thing involving a nation called Kuwait, shitloads of oil (lots of wells set ablaze during the Iraqi retreat, as I recall), the global market for petroleum, and the complete and total destabilization of the balance of military power in the Middle East under the influence of a madman come to mind. Just a few factors, of course... daddy Bush should have finished the job the first time. We wouldn't have even had the opportunity to clean up his mess in recent (and ongoing) history if he'd got it right when he had the chance.

Re:Outstanding. (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463459)

How was iraq a threat to global security in the gulf war?

You could argue that in gulf war 1, invading Kuwait was a sign of a cancerous government in a region that we really needed to be stable so we could keep getting oil. Not a reason to invade that would have convinced many people, and had that been the express reason, the american public may have been more demanding that we rid our dependence on oil. So that one, maybe.

Gulf war 2? I personally blame extremely short-sighted neocons who got very lucky for getting us started on that again, and national arrogance for running full steam in the direction they pointed. That one, no way was that an actual threat to anything.

The second one at the very least I consider to be a crime against humanity, the first one I don't know, it's debatable and I don't know enough about it.

Re:Outstanding. (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463267)

fortunately we have the China problem and they will fiercely defend its fellow communist neighbor. they have nuclear weapons and could cripple the us economy since we buy everything from there today.

Re:Outstanding. (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463371)

China ... could cripple the us economy since we buy everything from there today.

That's not even half of the issue. They not only make everything we buy, they lend us the $$$ to buy it. If they stop buying our treasury certs, Obama can kiss his stimulus plan good-bye.

Picture this:
You're on your lunch break and pass by a hot-dog vendor. You want a hot dog, but have no $$$. He offers to lend you $2 which you then give back to purchase a dog. You do the same thing the next day and the day after that. This goes on so long that the vendor needs the bizarre relationship to keep his stand open, even though most of his profit is just theoretical in the sense that you owe him money. Also, you've been borrowing money from him for so long for lunch that you no longer know any other way to feed yourself. If he stops lending you $$, you have to re-learn how to come up with food - A major adjustment. If you stop "buying" dogs, he goes out of business. If he calls in the debt that's built up... Well that's just ugly.

capabiliy (2, Interesting)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463061)

Now we know that the only thing stopping North Korea from hitting anything in Japan or elsewhere is intention or lack therof rather than ability.

Re:capabiliy (1)

Mr Abstracto (226219) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463065)

We've known this for a while now...

Re:capabiliy (3, Interesting)

shoemilk (1008173) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463187)

Actually, that's not true, until now, the best they'd ever done was to launch some missiles into the Japan Sea (more like sputtered into). Which was why Japan was so concerned that this missile would fall on Japan. With this rocket, they wouldn't be able to hit Australia (according to the news reports I've watched), but they could get all the way to the northern part of the Philippines.

So, while the US is safe, the most part of Asia has to worry.

Re:capabiliy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463111)

They've been able to hit Japan for a while.
It's the US that has been more of a question.

We could probably shoot the missiles down if they sent a small number and we were ready for them; NK is not thought to have all that much in terms of weapons. But, the bigger problem would be if they were to strike, the retaliation. A few NK nukes get shot down, fine. Plausible. US responds with the total destruction of NK. Then what? Does China respond?

Where the hell is Vault-Tec when you need them.

Re:capabiliy (1)

Kral_Blbec (1201285) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463129)

I thought your sig is quite interesting in context of the story. The first thing that came to mind was the line from the Dark Knight when Alfred is talking about his experiences in the jungles trying to catch a local maurader.

Bruce Wayne: "I knew the mob wouldn't go down without a fight. But this is different. They crossed the line."
Alfred Pennyworth: "You crossed the line first, sir. You hammered them. And in their desperation they turned to a man they didn't fully understand. Some men aren't looking for anything logical. They can't be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn."

Knowledge, trade, money, etc etc cant defend liberty from those kinds of people. They understand only one language, force. Unfortunately, there are getting to be more and more of them in the world, both in the public and in leadership.

Re:capabiliy (1)

Norsefire (1494323) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463133)

The only thing stopping any country from doing anything is the inevitable retaliation.

Re:capabiliy (2, Informative)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463197)

The only thing stopping any country from doing anything is the inevitable retaliation.

You're forgetting that sanity has to apply to that equation as well. Tinpot dictatorships don't have any of that and are more then willing to sacrifice their people as long as the glorious leadership and it's selected people survive.

Re:capabiliy (1)

Billly Gates (198444) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463271)

Which is percisely wow Kim wants nuclear weapons. No one will fuck with it afterwards.

Long-range rocket? You mean like Iraq's WMD? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463123)

Honestly, how could anyone with a little bit of memory and average intelligence still believes this kind of BS sprouted by the US?

Not to say N.K. is not testing ICBM capabilities, they would have to be stupid not to do so, with the fine example of Iraq. But if they are really testing ICBM's (i.e. not expecting something to reach orbit) they would be a fool to announce it before hand.

The fear mongering by the US and Japan seems more like a diversion tactic to turn people's attention away from the economy. Too bad this seems to work every single time.

Re:Long-range rocket? You mean like Iraq's WMD? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463179)

Jack ass

Re:Long-range rocket? You mean like Iraq's WMD? (5, Informative)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463185)

But if they are really testing ICBM's (i.e. not expecting something to reach orbit) they would be a fool to announce it before hand.

They'd be fools to not announce it beforehand. You do not go launching major rockets of any sort, young man, unless people are warned. Otherwise, you run the risk of being very swiftly annihilated.

  *slaps with rolled-up newspaper*

Re:Long-range rocket? You mean like Iraq's WMD? (1)

rob1980 (941751) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463235)

But if they are really testing ICBM's (i.e. not expecting something to reach orbit) they would be a fool to announce it before hand.

What in the hell are you talking about. The only reason we (or the Russians, or the Chinese, or anybody else for that matter) don't already have troops on the way to take Kim Jong Il's government down right now is because they've been talking shit for the last couple weeks. A surprise launch like this would not go over well with the international community.

Re:Long-range rocket? You mean like Iraq's WMD? (1)

smashin234 (555465) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463321)

The economy is no longer news because unless you live in a cave everyone knows the US is in a recession. I bet you would be posting drivel if this article was about the economy too and how the "world should stop revolving around the US"

Not every story is because the US is trying to invade another country, and to top that off, there is a different president in the white house. Just because the last one was a moron doesn't mean this one is. Stop assuming things that you obviously know nothing about. Like another poster said, North Korea would be absolutly retarded to not announce a missile launch. They would be a parking lot for the next thousand years if they hadn't.

Another hobgoblin we're supposed to be scared of (0)

Trip6 (1184883) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463183)

N. Korea is a pimple on the ass of world politics, but they do nicely for us to be scared enough to support funding massive defense assets.

WMC ? (1)

parallel_prankster (1455313) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463223)

Holy cow It must be a weapon of mass communication. Stop it now!! Let the UN deal with it or let another nation attack them with our patented excuse.

Re:WMC ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463461)

Let's let the U.N. deal with it. I bet they'd be terrified to receive an angry letter!

Satellite (1)

obliv!on (1160633) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463443)

So did the Satellite get into orbit? Has anyone seen it as it went up or got into space? I would think a comm satellite would be relatively easy to pick up with radio equipment. Just curious.

Re:Satellite (2, Informative)

artor3 (1344997) | more than 5 years ago | (#27463535)

It's not clear yet whether or not the third stage, which would propel it to orbit, fired.

It seems like the first two stages are all the North Koreans really wanted to show off, anyway. The first two stages are all they need to threaten a large radius in Asia.

NK=Speculation? aor Accuracy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#27463547)

Nothing in particular is wrong with speculation per se. But did the missile actually succeed in sending a satellite into orbit? Regardless of whether the missile is really a veiled thumping of chests; as was the little nuclear fizzle of two years ago in the same reason.

At least Iran spent enough on possibly developing an accurate missile technology that is capable of sending a state tv satellite into orbit (That functions no less! Look at the success of a 50 year old concept with modern but limited technology!).

Ahhh... The spelling success of a cold six pack.

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