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North Korea Launches Long-Range Rocket

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the good-thing-they-don't-have-oil dept.

The Military 384

virtualXTC writes with news that North Korea, in defiance of international pressure to halt development and testing of long-range weaponry, launched a multi-stage rocket which successfully followed its intended trajectory. The North Korean government claims a weather satellite was placed into orbit. "South Korea has confirmed the launch time, and Japan has confirmed that the rocket went over Okinawa. Two stages of the rocket have successfully avoided other countries and fallen into the sea. While it is still unconfirmed as to whether or not North Korea actually put a satellite into orbit, it seems clear that sanctions have failed to curb North Korea's quest for more powerful weaponry."

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384 comments

It seems "clean" ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257345)

Another typo?

Re:It seems "clean" ... (2)

virtualXTC (609488) | about a year ago | (#42257675)

That's what I get for trying to post from a mobile device... I meant 'clear', but it looked okay on the tiny screen.

Re:It seems "clean" ... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257779)

And some people continue to claim their smartphone is good enough to make useful work...

Why would they stop developing weaponry? (3, Insightful)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#42257349)

It is the only thing that protects them from the wrath of US army... ever wondered why the US only attack weak countries?

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (2, Insightful)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42257359)

Exactly. Far from me defending anything about North Korea, but the only guarantee any country can have of sovereignty, for some decades now, is nuclear capacity.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (0)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#42257505)

Nuclear capacity doesn't guarantee sovereignty. If somehow N Korea made the US mad enough, the US would bomb them anyway. Sad for S Korea, but oh well.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (4, Insightful)

siddesu (698447) | about a year ago | (#42257623)

On the contrary, nukes raise the expected cost of any military action significantly. US would accrue huge negatives even if it was only perceived to have provoked NK to use one of their own. Besides, it is unlikely the US will use military force without approval from at least SK and Japan, which isn't happening in the next decade. In 10 years from now things may well be different, as both Japan and SK seem to be growing hawkish, but even such developments are far from certain, as the stances of both SK and Japan will depend much more on the position of China then.

A US leader will find it much, much harder to cobble up a "coalition of the willing" against anyone in Asia similar to the one W whipped up in Eastern Europe for the Eye-rack invasion.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (3, Insightful)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#42257631)

sounds more like the real worry is that if the US pisses NK off enough, NK may actually have the balls (and a sufficient lack of concern for self-preservation) to unleash cans of nuclear whoop ass across the pacific.

the reason why this could become a real possibility is that the NK leadership would all be hiding in their nuclear-proof bunkers and would likely not give a rats about its citizens on the surface, so the traditional concept of MAD wouldn't apply to NK

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (1)

Jeremi (14640) | about a year ago | (#42257665)

Nuclear capacity doesn't guarantee sovereignty. If somehow N Korea made the US mad enough, the US would bomb them anyway. Sad for S Korea, but oh well.

Sure, but the threshold for "mad enough" is a lot higher if the US has to worry about a friendly (or even US) city getting nuked as part of the exchange.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (2)

phantomfive (622387) | about a year ago | (#42257849)

Destruction of Seoul is probably more likely from conventional weapons than from nuclear weapons. There's a good chance the North hasn't figured out a delivery system for nukes, but they can definitely shell damage and terror from their many guns along the border.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257659)

Exactly. Far from me defending anything about North Korea, but the only guarantee any country can have of sovereignty, for some decades now, is nuclear capacity.

Oh sure, that's helping Pakistan so very much now, isn't it?

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (5, Insightful)

siddesu (698447) | about a year ago | (#42257689)

It is helping them a lot, the fighting with their most serious enemy practically stopped after both countries developed nukes.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257367)

ever wondered why the US only attack weak countries?

Because it's poor tactics to attack someone stronger than yourself?

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (2, Insightful)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42257391)

That is not what the GP meant. There is nobody stronger than US. US attacks only those that do not present any significant threat, because doing otherwise would risk damage. It is not an unreasonable strategy but maybe not attacking anybody and minding its own business would be a better one, considering that it greatly stimulates countries to go nuclear to guarantee sovereignty.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257471)

That assumes other countries don't attack the US first.

And if we discount the US is the big bad bully of the world; how about addressing the Mumbai terrorist attack? India is a nuclear power, but that didn't stop Pakistani terrorists from attacking. Or the countless IRA bombings of England? England is a nuclear power but that didn't stop Irish nationalists from attacking. Or the Beslan school hostage crisis of Russia? Russia is a nuclear power, but that didn't stop Chechen separatists from attacking.

The fact that you cite SPECIFICALLY the US just goes to show how pitifully delusional your argument is. Nuclear proliferation doesn't solve anything unless the political structure is in place to restrain military escalation. "Most" Western countries have that restraint, as demonstrated during the Cold War. But some countries don't (how nuclear proliferation working out for your Pakistan/India?)

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257625)

Terrorists != Countries

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (1)

kaws (2589929) | about a year ago | (#42257869)

While I agree with you, that may not be 100% true anymore. I wouldn't be surprised about potential government backed organizations.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#42257731)

no actually your argument is pitful because you're talking about "terrorists" and "nationalists".... not the same thing by any measure

a terrorist action isn't akin to an act of war by a sovereign nation

if the pakistani or irish governments bombed india and ireland, there would be no doubts that pakistan and ireland would be smoking holes in the ground (and if you think india and england just ignore attacks by terrorist or nationalist groups you're just an idiot)

the middle east is a better example... what happens when palestinians send rockets into israel (palestine being closer to a fledgling nation than a terrorist or nationalist group), israel sends in tanks... the difference is that there is a clear and obvious target (palestine/gaza), whereas terrorist groups can't just be bombed like any country.

can you imagine what would happen if a sovereign nation (such as NK) was even suspected of an act of war against the US (lets not even worry about whether it could be proven by the ICC, which the US isn't a party to anyway); the US would smash the absolute crap out of it, being sure to make up all sorts of false intelligence about WMDs and whatnot along the way.

the ONLY way to have any level of military operational success against the warmongering US with its massive arsenal of multi-trillion dollar weapons of mass destruction (don't worry about whether your citizens are impoverished or that the national debt is unsustainable)... is to strike first with nuclear weapons in a way as to inflict maximum casualties and hide in your bunker while your citizens are assured a fiery death from a second strike. most nuclear nations are too "civilized" to allow this, hence why MAD has been successful in the past, but you get a country like NK or Iran where citizens are treated like cattle, and the US has a reason to really shit its pants.

any country that attacks the US is guaranteed total annihilation... the only question is what country would fire nuclear weapons at the US without any regard for that consequence? I would bet the Pentagon fears NK more than any other country (Iran would be a close second), not because they either have or want nukes, but because of the possibility of their use.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257765)

if you don't realise that the US can carpet bomb anyone into submission then you need a serious reality check.

A saturn V loaded with nukes could have destroyed the USSR. You really think NK is aserious threat to anyone?

Go fuck yourself, idiot.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257381)

It is the only thing that protects them from the wrath of US army... ever wondered why the US only attack weak countries?

No, the only thing that protects from from the wrath of the US army is their strong alliance with China and THEIR army.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (1)

rgbrenner (317308) | about a year ago | (#42257561)

North Korea + China once fought South Korea + US to a stand still. Today, they're one of the poorest, malnourished, and isolated countries in the world.

The US isn't going to go to war with NK until it absolutely has to. We're playing a waiting game. Each year that passes NK gets further and further behind. The long they wait, the easier and less risky it is for the US to finish the war.

You really think China will be there to help them? China has had the ability to put a nuclear icbm on any point on the earth for 30 years. They won't give NK a missile, but you think they'll risk destabilizing their own country for them?

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (5, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | about a year ago | (#42257627)

North Korea + China once fought South Korea + US to a stand still. Today, they're one of the poorest, malnourished, and isolated countries in the world.

Meh. It would be more accurate to say that China fought the US to a standstill. The only reasons the North Korean forces had such success early on in the Korean War were (a) near-total surprise, and (b) at that point, both Koreas were about equally poor, malnourished, and isolated. Once the UN (mainly US) war machine really got rolling, North Korea itself crumbled pretty fast, and it took what was essentially a Chinese takeover of the war to push the situation to its eventual stalemate.

You really think China will be there to help them? China has had the ability to put a nuclear icbm on any point on the earth for 30 years. They won't give NK a missile, but you think they'll risk destabilizing their own country for them?

Unfortunately, I think China would make pretty much the same calculation now they did sixty years ago: they may not give a damn about North Korea as such, but they won't tolerate having the US Army camped out on the Yalu.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (3, Insightful)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#42257741)

You really think China will be there to help them? China has had the ability to put a nuclear icbm on any point on the earth for 30 years. They won't give NK a missile, but you think they'll risk destabilizing their own country for them?

China could pretty much disable the US economy with sanctions so it wouldn't need to waste any nukes
the US depends on China a lot more than China depends on the US

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (4, Insightful)

rgbrenner (317308) | about a year ago | (#42257827)

That's pretty dumb. A 14 trillion $ economy is going to be disabled by a country that trades 400b per YEAR with it? Or do you imagine that the 100b a year we export to US is somehow vital to our economy? Or do you imagine that the debt they hold, that we could freely choose to devalue or refuse to pay, somehow could be called-in by China? (btw, it literally can't be called-in by China. If China wants to get rid of it, they have to find another party to buy it from them.)

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (2)

rgbrenner (317308) | about a year ago | (#42257839)

or maybe you mean China will take their air craft carrier (yes, that's singular), that they salvaged from a Ukranian junk yard, and park it off California to prevent the US from importing anything?

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (3, Interesting)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about a year ago | (#42257831)

China could pretty much disable the US economy with sanctions so it wouldn't need to waste any nukes

Oh wow. You mean that they would practically give the US trillions of dollars with sanctions (in the form of T-Bonds that don't have to be paid back), while fucking over the US but shooting themselves in the head, right?

the US depends on China a lot more than China depends on the US

You've been reading slashdot to much. China is a place where people still starve to death. The US would lose a iPods and cheap shoes (that can be moved to some other shithole in a few years time anyway), and China would lose stuff like.... food.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (2)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about a year ago | (#42257395)

North Korea's greatest weapon isn't their nuclear arsenal or ballistic missiles--neither of which are an effective deterrent.

The only real concern at this point is the conventional artillery within range of Seoul.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about a year ago | (#42257403)

Oh... and the fact that China would retaliate against anyone who attacks North Korea.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (3, Interesting)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about a year ago | (#42257429)

I wonder if that's because North Korea supplies China with all that yellowcake they got buried under there?

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257491)

I wonder if that's because North Korea supplies China with all that yellowcake they got buried under there?

yellow chinks, yellow cake. makes sense to me!

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (2)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about a year ago | (#42257593)

Nope, sorry, you lost me. I was talking about milled uranium ore [wikipedia.org], U3*O8*, which is the only legal method of transporting uranium across state borders anywhere in the world.

*Please, Slashdot, stop fucking about and fix the forms if we're supposed to be able to use html markup! ALL OR NOTHING! At least give us the <sub> tag!

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (1)

fredgiblet (1063752) | about a year ago | (#42257475)

I actually kind of doubt that China would pick NK over the US, one of use is worth a LOT more to their economy. Not to say they'd be happy about it.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#42257513)

That depends. East German top officials saw their country as a product of post ww2 Russia - as in a Russian 'prize', something to be protected and cared for at any cost by Russia. I recall reading some top staff members made a long glowing toast about the unique relationship. The Russians in the room changed the wording just a bit - the more wise in the relaxed room setting understood the meaning - they where not special.
China likes China and what was part of China. NK is more a pool of intel, cheap export/import options and a real pain if the northern boarders ever flood open.
As for this launch it puts NK in a unique club of nations- nukes, guidance and range - all good for arms deals of basic rocket systems.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (1)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42257431)

Any functional ballistic missile with a nuclear warhead is a good enough deterrent. No sane country would risk even a single city annihilation without a very strong motive.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (5, Insightful)

CodeBuster (516420) | about a year ago | (#42257643)

Incorrect. Without the capability to protect an ICBM during the boost phase of the flight, it's vulnerable to attack by an enemy who can establish air superiority over the launch areas. As far as we know, North Korea lacks both SLBMs and long range strategic bombers which means they cannot establish the nuclear triad [wikipedia.org]. In fact, the existence of North Korean nuclear weapons, with neither first [wikipedia.org] nor second strike [wikipedia.org] capability, increases the likelihood that they will be attacked preemptively in the future. The mere possession of nuclear weapons is not enough. A nation must also posses the capability to launch a surprise attack and to guarantee retaliation in the event of a surprise attack. Thus, the only nations with a complete and credible deterrent at this time are the United States and Russia.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257745)

If I were China I'd make sure a number of my special forces scattered around the world have access to nukes.
In event China gets nuked by the USA, they either nuke various cities directly and/or let those terrorist enemies of USA have a number of nukes and delivery methods.

The USA may still win, but at a cost.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257469)

"North Korea's greatest weapon isn't their nuclear arsenal or ballistic missiles..."

I always thought their greatest weapons were fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the pope.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#42257755)

I always thought their greatest weapons were fear, surprise, and ruthless efficiency...and an almost fanatical devotion to the pope.

I almost thought you were talking about the US, except for the bits about surprise and efficiency

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257445)

... we don't attack countries that have [nuclear weapons], we attack countries that we think might get them.
- Madeline Albright, former US Secretary of State, PBS interview, 2003.

The context was the Middle East, but it applies here as well.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257543)

ever wondered why the US only attack weak countries?

What a loaded statement... Considering the amount of funding, its shear size, and how heavily equipped the US military is, isn't every other country weaker?

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257635)

Nahhhhhh. Obama's gutted the military like a fish. But other countries don't need to attack the US. We can do that just fine with our own idiot voters. Relax.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#42257763)

the OP didn't say "weaker"... they said "weak" (implying near the bottom of the food chain... kind of like Afghanistan and Iraq)

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#42257579)

Lets phrase this properly, shall we. NK uses the threat of nuking SK and Japan and the prospect of millions of refugees flooding into China to keep China compliant, the US at bay and everyone giving one of the most tyrannical and inept regimes in existence the food and other humanitarian supplies its pathetic and abused citizens need to survive because it has redirected most of its economic output to its insanely disproportionate military machine.

I give the Kims' credit for the cleverness by which they manipulate friend and foe, but that's praising Stalin for the efficiency of his show trials.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (1, Offtopic)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#42257789)

without Stalin the whole world would be speaking German and saluting Nazi flags... plenty of people outside the US would say that the US is governed by one of the most tyrannical regimes in history, and it has nothing to do with the President or Congress, which would be seen as mere puppets for the corporate lobbyists who fund and manipulate all levels of the US government for their own greedy purpose

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | about a year ago | (#42257583)

Rubbish - they have no need of nukes or ballistic missiles, with their conventional forces they could still be in Seoul pretty fast; it's about 30 miles from the boarder.
That's more than 10 million people within artilliary range...

Why *should* they stop developing weaponry? (4, Insightful)

Okian Warrior (537106) | about a year ago | (#42257629)

I see no reason why any country should bow to pressure to stop developing weaponry.

For one thing, it speaks to the sovereignty of the nation in question in the most basic way possible. Weapons can be used to protect citizens from the overbearing dictates of another country. Open yourself to unbridled foreign dictates and they could sack your country. See Danegeld [wikipedia.org].

For another, as pointed out regularly here on Slashdot, weapons don't kill people - people kill people. If you can argue that the problem is the weapon and not the people (and their interactions), then you're starting down the slippery slope of intercession, pre-emptive war, and so on. Where do you draw the line? Can you dictate to stop other behaviours that don't affect you directly, but that you don't like? Drug farming? Copyright infringement? Smoking? Stem cell research?

And finally, the general feel here on Slashdot is that places like Iran, NK, et al should not be allowed to have weapons because they would probably use them.As others have pointed out, as soon as a country gets nuclear capability the US stops meddling and takes a more respective stance (viz: India, Pakistan). At the same time we decry US policies that anger other countries and make the world our enemy. If Iran has nuclear capability, it will cause our government to step back from imperialist meddling.

NK should be free to develop whatever they want in whatever form they want. It is only when they start affecting the people of other nations that remedial measures should be taken.

And yes - this may mean that a tragic incident happens followed by overwhelming response. This scenario will be better in the long run than leaving things to fester unaddressed. The stark aftermath of the Japan [nuclear] bombing caused the world to be more cautious and circumspect. Had the US *not* bombed Japan, the first nuclear exchange (in the cold war) would have been with improved technology and better delivery vehicles. Much, much worse.

Let them develop whatever they want. There is no upside to us being a bully.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (3, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | about a year ago | (#42257685)

It is the only thing that protects them from the wrath of US army... ever wondered why the US only attack weak countries?

You do realize that when the US liberated Kuwait in the '90's, that Iraq had the fourth largest military in the world, don't you? This military was not only large, but battle hardened after fighting Iran for years. That kind of blows a whole in your whole " the US only attack weak countries" theory, doesn't it?

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#42257813)

Lots and lots of antiquated soviet equipment does not make an army strong. Quality is much more important than quantity in threat analysis.

Re:Why would they stop developing weaponry? (5, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year ago | (#42257699)

No one wants to attack or invade North Korea. Taking out the government means taking care of the people, and somewhere in there that would mean a lot of unskilled immigrants that South Korea can't support economically. It would make no sense. The rest of the world is much more interested in pressuring the DPRK into reform, so it can take care of its citizens on its own. No one knows how to actually do that, but they certainly have no interest in anything else, other than preventing the country from harming its neighbours.

Thank-you Dear Leader (1)

zippo01 (688802) | about a year ago | (#42257353)

When you are willing to let your people starve and work them as slave labor, then kill them, sanctions doesn't really matter. What is the saying, I don't care about money, give me minions. This will continue until China steps in or the country revolts, which due to the level of imprisonment, propaganda, force, and international apathy is unlikely. Think about it. Who will be responsible to clean up the mess if the country falls? China? The US? Its easier to just let them be.

Re:Thank-you Dear Leader (1)

Tastecicles (1153671) | about a year ago | (#42257433)

whoever steps in to clean up the mess will be in for rich rewards of as much yellowcake as they can stuff in their jackets.

Re:Thank-you Dear Leader (1)

crutchy (1949900) | about a year ago | (#42257797)

China already has more than enough access to unlimited supplies of uranium in Australia

Re:Thank-you Dear Leader (1)

tsotha (720379) | about a year ago | (#42257461)

As much as the man on the street tries to maintain the dream of a unified Korea, the people who would actually have to coordinate unification balk at the unimaginable burden rebuilding the North would represent. Even Germany had a hard time absorbing the East. At the time a) West Germany was wealthier than South Korea and b) East Germany was in a lot better shape than North Korea.

So South Korea and China will continue to send enough aid that they don't have millions of refugees flooding over the border. In the long run it hurts the people of North Korea, but nobody - not China, not South Korea, not the US, and certainly not their own government, cares about that.

Re:Thank-you Dear Leader (1)

fredgiblet (1063752) | about a year ago | (#42257485)

I've actually wondered about what woudl happen if the Koreas unified, even if SK was the lead it wouldn't be pretty for them.

Re:Thank-you Dear Leader (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257565)

I've actually wondered about what woudl happen if the Koreas unified, even if SK was the lead it wouldn't be pretty for them.

One good thing though, SK would have access to the unicorn lair!

Re:Thank-you Dear Leader (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#42257617)

It would cost SK trillions, and while it would certainly gain the benefits of NK's technical expertise surrounding certain types of weaponry, I think it would probably do SK severe damage. I don't think you could do a German style reunification. Maybe a stages approach, but that would pretty much mean the Kims and the senior military brass would have to be out of the picture, and as we've seen, the Kim's are very very good at keeping their power base intact.

Rocket == Weapon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257357)

So... If I'm to jump aboard virtualXTC's bandwagon, rockets are weapons now? Even when the payload is supposedly a satellite?

meh

Re:Rocket == Weapon? (1)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | about a year ago | (#42257365)

Why do you think that rockets were first developed? As weapons, peaceful purposes were secondary to the original development and that is likely to be the case in North Korea's development of them too.

Re:Rocket == Weapon? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257413)

Why do you think that rockets were first developed? As weapons, peaceful purposes were secondary to the original development and that is likely to be the case in North Korea's development of them too.

Actually through limited research I think rockets were first developed as "fireworks" as a form of entertainment/celebration. It is controversial to make the claim they were developed first as weapons; apparently history isn't that black/white.

A "rocket" is basically defined as a vehicle that obtains thrust from a rocket-engine. Therefor as of now we lack sufficient information to label this as a weapon.

Re:Rocket == Weapon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257575)

long range multistage rockets you fucking tard

Re:Rocket == Weapon? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257611)

In ancient Chinese dialects, the word for 'rocket' is the same for 'fire arrow'. Consider: gunpowder was first used by the Chinese in iron pots which were dropped off the wall of a besieged castle. Boom. Like a grenade. Cannons followed.

The development of the rocket probably goes something like this: some ancient inventor was playing around with ways to make a more portable explosive, (perhaps a pipe-bomb style device built from bamboo) and he accidentally discovered that the device would amusingly shoot off like crazy if one of the pipe-plugs was ever so slightly loose. So he put a hole in the plug, and WOOOSH the first rocket was born.

The militaristic implications would have been obvious even to a retard like yourself. Fireworks displays take much more finesse to create than a simple rocket, it's much more likely that the rocket was first used as a missile against other human beings.

Re:Rocket == Weapon? (1)

Shag (3737) | about a year ago | (#42257815)

If you're talking about simple, crudely aimed fireworks, perhaps. If you're talking about actual steerable rockets, Robert Goddard appears to have been driven more by interest in flight and spaceflight (and the innate curiosity of a scientist and inventor) than by the prospect of weaponizing his creations.

Re:Rocket == Weapon? (1)

evil_aaronm (671521) | about a year ago | (#42257875)

Thread over - it's been Goddard'ed.

mumble... Whassat? mumble... "Godwin'ed," you say? Oops. My bad. Carry on!

Thank you China for propping up the regime (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257361)

Thank you China for propping up the regime. Remember kiddies, every worthless plastic object you buy at Wal-Mart funds Kim Jong-un's coffers!

China (1)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | about a year ago | (#42257363)

I'm curious at what point the Chinese leadership starts getting really antsy about an unstable, nuclear armed neighbor with missiles capable of reaching its own economic centers.

I suppose even North Korea realizes if it ever threatened China, China would simply Nuke it so hard that the glowing remains of South Korea would become an island.

Re:China (5, Insightful)

fredprado (2569351) | about a year ago | (#42257415)

North Korea is very stable. It is hell on Earth to most of its population, but it is controlled with an iron fist.

Now, for China it is a good neighbor to have, because it is generally friendly, its leadership knows it cannot go against China and it is a thorn in US back.

Re:China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257499)

I'm not sure China totally regard North Korea as a "good neighbor". They share borders with a country that is widely believed to be one of the most likely nations to actually use its nuclear weapons.

It is certainly very wise of China to give every outward indication that they are happy neighbors. Pyongyang is less than 1000km from Beijing, so China are probably not at all displeased that North Korea are trying to make ICBMs - less chance of China being the target that way.

(disclosure: IMHO NK are very unlikely to use nuclear weapons in my lifetime - but not everybody shares this view)

Re:China (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#42257555)

One thing to consider is that if there is a major crisis in N.K., tons of refugees would flood into China and overwhelm the small cities in the area. It would be a major headache for China.

Re:China (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257607)

That's a good point. The only major crisis I can think of that could mobilize NK's citizens would be a retaliatory nuclear strike. Another good reason for NK not to use their nukes.

Re:China (1)

virtualXTC (609488) | about a year ago | (#42257861)

The problem is never that x country has nukes and might aim them at us, it's that x country has nukes and might sell them to group y.

Re:China (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#42257781)

That has already happened on several occasions, and it was a bit of a headache each time. I don't know what the refugee situation is now but apparently just before 2000 there were thousands in camps in the province of Jilin.

Re:China (1)

dbIII (701233) | about a year ago | (#42257767)

It is not friendly and not a good neighbour, but there are no US bases there, so the Chinese government probably still prefers it to a unified Korea for that reason. Mao played all kinds of odd mind games on the first Kim (eg. fabricating "evidence" of a US biological weapons attack on NK and convincing Kim that it was real), then a couple of decades ago there was an attempted coup in NK with apparent Chinese involvement and the border has been almost closed since then.

Color me Surprised (3, Insightful)

Brett Buck (811747) | about a year ago | (#42257369)

While it is still unconfirmed as to whether or not North Korea actually put a satellite into orbit, it seems clean that sanctions have failed to curb North Korea's quest for more powerful weaponry."

        No kidding? Because I figured that cutting them off would strangle their weapons programs and starve out the current government. Why, it almost seems as of the economic sanctions only hurt the hoi polloi, and that the leaders kept what little resources there were for themselves and let the rest of the country go hungry. What a completely odd and unpredictable event!

Re:Color me Surprised (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257507)

While it is still unconfirmed as to whether or not North Korea actually put a satellite into orbit, it seems clean that sanctions have failed to curb North Korea's quest for more powerful weaponry."

No kidding? Because I figured that cutting them off would strangle their weapons programs and starve out the current government. Why, it almost seems as of the economic sanctions only hurt the hoi polloi, and that the leaders kept what little resources there were for themselves and let the rest of the country go hungry. What a completely odd and unpredictable event!

Yeah just like Cuba and almost everyplace else.

You have to understand politician's "logic". Politicians "logic" is like this: we must do something - this is something, so it must be done!!11!!11oneone!!111!

The worlds going to end! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257373)

The worlds going to end... Bangemstyle!!!!!!

NORAD confirms orbit (3)

petsounds (593538) | about a year ago | (#42257489)

NORAD statement [norad.mil]

"Initial indications are that the missile deployed an object that appeared to achieve orbit."

Of course, WHAT they put into orbit is open to speculation.

Re:NORAD confirms orbit (1)

_merlin (160982) | about a year ago | (#42257715)

Even if all they put into orbit is dead weight, it's hard not to be at least a little excited about it. In the face of idiotic domestic policy, sanctions, and enemies on all sides they've managed to build a multi-stage rocket and put something into orbit with it.

Re:NORAD confirms orbit (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257759)

Excited? Why should anyone be? Even following your train of thought, it wouldn't be a "wonderful demonstration" at all. At the very best, it demeans the accomplishment of achieving orbit (If "even they" can do it...), and at worst it actually is a functional nuclear device which will likely become uncontrolled in the foreseeable future.

Most likely it's just Sputnik and the object itself is no cause for alarm.

N.K.'s willingness to thumb their noses, to behave like China's wild and bratty children in the supermarket ("Mommy! Let's get this, Mommy! Wheeeee! *CRASH!*") -- that's cause for frustration and outsider intervention.

Telemetry Suggest (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257501)

They did a fine launch.

La Di Da.

Glad for them.

And also glad that Japan Self Defense Forces did not launch missile and interceptor rockets Pal Mal! Doing such would have sent tens of thousand of Japanese citizens to hospitals and graves quite quickly. It would have been a case of 'Shooting One's Self In The Foot!"

XD

Satellite? (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about a year ago | (#42257511)

Maybe they can help Gaza with their space program. Gaza's rockets can't reach orbit, and fall short.

Weather satellite, eh? What kind? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257517)

Perhaps for Weather CONTROL!

Ha-ha-Ha-Ha!

Re:Weather satellite, eh? What kind? (1)

gagol (583737) | about a year ago | (#42257553)

If you try to alter the weather using directed energy, a satellite will not do it. Not enough energy available.

I live in Washington's Puget Sound area.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257549)

.... and I don't like this development.

Japan Big PooFF (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257651)

The USA did not give the Japan Self Defense Forces the firing mechanisms for the Patriot 0, 1 and 2 systems.

They, the Patriot 0, 1, and 2 system are duds.

However, the Japan Self Defense Forces and drive the missile/rocket batteries around Ginza and such places, running down and killing the elderly, school children or drunken salerymen on 'sabbatical of the day' and the likes.

Fortunately, the dead from the Japan Self Defense Forces 'Maneuvers' will be the 10 of hundreds Japanese killed. Hay, With an enemy this stupid, lets call them over of drinks. XD

What say!

XD

This is why it's dumb to not build missile defense (0)

tiqui (1024021) | about a year ago | (#42257673)

Any missile with enough altitude and horizontal velocity to place a payload into orbit (something an IRBM or ICBM does not need - see: V-2), can easily do a sub-orbital launch of a heavier payload; that's called a ballistic missile, and it's just a matter of physics and aerodynamics.

First, Clinton and Bush 43 fiddled while the North Koreans built "the bomb". Now Obama has fiddled while the North Koreans built the missile. Now the whacko maniac mini dictator of the north can threaten any population anywhere on Earth. Sure, we'll hear the experts "tut tut" over the notion and they'll explain that we can drag our feet because it will take time to make a nuke small enough for the missile or to make a reentry vehicle for the warhead, but these are the easier tasks and will be hard to monitor. The evidence before us is that western diplomats will similarly entertain themselves with talk while Iran also gets the bomb and a launch vehicle. Dark days are ahead when civilized men stand by while barbarians from the dark ages get their hands on weapons uniquely capable of returning us all to the dark ages.

Who died and made the USA and its allies God? (0)

NewtonsLaw (409638) | about a year ago | (#42257705)

Why the hell should other sovereign nations bow to Western pressure not to develop their weapons?

Surely every country has a right to develop its own technologies if it wishes to. It seems awfully hypocritical of the USA and other nuclear powers to say "no, *you* can't have nukes" to nations that want them.

Now I have no time for Iran or N. Korea - but it's just bitchy for those who have nukes and ICBMs to criticise those who don't but are developing them.

Maybe, if these little renegade states end up with nukes on ICBMs, there'll be a lot more double-sided discussion rather than demands and sanctions. Isn't that what we need to preserve world peace?

Hell, imagine what the world would be like today if Hitler had invented the nuke and said to the USA -- no, sorry, you can't have any -- shortly before turning NYC into a smouldering hole in the ground.

Imagine how long the cold war would have lasted if only Russia had nukes!

It seems to me that MAD is working just fine -- but for it to work, all parties have to have nukes of their own.

The way I see it -- either every nation has a right to nuclear weapons and ICBMs -- or none do.

what (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257791)

ur all pitiful morons. the usa doesnt have to ask anyone when they launch satellites. nor russia. nor china. so why should they. its legal. leave them alone.

Message from the Dear Leader: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257803)

"Nowth Kaweea wockets find thew way to Wos Angowess, cooking yoo Impewial Wankies!"

Time for Operation Paul Bunyan II (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257817)

That, after all, is the only kind of sanction that North Korea understands... Even if they did claim it was their victory...

Can't we just be happy for them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#42257871)

I'm sure it sucks in North Korea, but come on, they just (possibly) launched their first satellite, and all we can talk about is weapons. Can't we just rejoice at the existence of another independent space program that can now reach orbit? I think the first non-dickish move to make is to congratulate them on a substantial scientific success.

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