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North Korea Announces 3rd Nuclear Test, Anti-US Aims

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the state-vs-state-and-state-vs-man dept.

The Military 597

As reported by Reuters, The New York Times, and Fox News, among others, North Korea's nuclear saber-rattling has reached a new peak. North Korean officials have made clear their intent to conduct a third nuclear test (earlier tests were in 2006 and 2009), as well as further rocket launches specifically designed to demonstrate missile reach extending to the U.S. From Reuters' story: "North Korea is not believed to have the technology to deliver a nuclear warhead capable of hitting the continental United States, although its December launch showed it had the capacity to deliver a rocket that could travel 10,000 km (6,200 miles), potentially putting San Francisco in range, according to an intelligence assessment by South Korea. 'We are not disguising the fact that the various satellites and long-range rockets that we will fire and the high-level nuclear test we will carry out are targeted at the United States,' North Korea's National Defence Commission said, according to state news agency KCNA."

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A strange game.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681203)

I understand the monetary interest North Korea has in appearing to be a credible threat to peace. But someone over there needs to look at the end of this game.

If they launched something no more damaging than a dishwasher at San Francisco, their great defenders, the Chinese, would tell them "you're on your own." They have to know they wouldn't last 3 weeks against a U.S. military onslaught. Hundreds of thousands of good people on both sides would be dead, for nothing. No one in the US wants any resources North Korea has. There isn't even the weak excuse of fighting over oil (sorry, "energy security").

It's just so tragically pointless.

Re:A strange game.... (3)

kheldan (1460303) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681229)

All I could think reading this news was "Do they want to get smashed flat?". If I were China, I'd already be backing away from them.

Re:A strange game.... (5, Informative)

Antipater (2053064) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681323)

If I were China, I'd already be backing away from them.

They already are. All this hubbub is in response to a UN vote censuring them for the December rocket launch. The vote was unanimous - China did not back them up or even abstain.

Re:A strange game.... (4, Insightful)

LordLimecat (1103839) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681469)

There could be many motives behind that, and it does not necessarily mean that China is upset about the launch.

There could, for example, be value in privately encouraging an aggressive stance towards the US while publicly declaring a more neutral stance. For one, it doesnt burn all your bridges at once.

Re:A strange game.... (5, Insightful)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681553)

Losing China makes me all the more nervous of the nature of the DPRK's behavior in the future. While in some ways frustrating, the fact that China was playing big brother with North Korea served the purpose of making them more comfortable. All on their own they're far more likely to switch from a temper tantruming baby, to an animal backed into a corner. Any military action on North Korea's part will result in grave consequences for South Korea.

Re:A strange game.... (0)

cayenne8 (626475) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681715)

Why don't we in the US, drop a little 'demonstration' ourselves....maybe have about 4 or 5 'empty' of payload polaris missles drop near the shores of NK, just to show them WE CAN already do this..?

Re:A strange game.... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681347)

In the long run, they have three options:
1) cave to foreign pressure, which eventually means the end of the regime
2) rattle their sabers enough that they continue to be a threat worth placating/negotiating with, which keeps food coming in and the regime in place
3) overplay their hand, and end up absolutely leveled by superior forces.

They've done pretty well with (2) so far, but the trouble is that they actually have to keep hobbling themselves to make it work. If they're not seen as a genuine threat, they don't have a position to negotiate from. If they become an immediate threat, they will be destroyed. They have to occupy a medium position, where they are perpetually a few years away from being a major threat, but also constantly held back by the concessions they make in exchange for aid and trade.

It's the aid and trade they want to keep the regime going. If the U.S. stops negotiating, they have to either put up or shut up, which either ends the regime with a bang or a wimper.

Re:A strange game.... (2, Insightful)

butchersong (1222796) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681391)

I have little confidence that the current US administration would do much of anything about a demostration of ability to strike North America. An actual strike sure they'd respond but dealing effectively with a posturing insecure little bully like N Korea? That isn't in their playbook.

Re:A strange game.... (0)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681511)

So the guy who had Osama killed is not going to do anything about the latest Kim to rule NK if he steps over the line?

I seriously doubt that.

Re:A strange game.... (5, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681613)

So the guy who had Osama killed is not going to do anything about the latest Kim to rule NK if he steps over the line?

I seriously doubt that.

With bin Laden, Obama just had to approve the plan. No real risks would be taken since bin Laden is just a thug in hiding with little power. Here, if Kim Jong-un steps "over the line", any world leader has to consider what consequences would come, such as a bloody attack on South Korea or some sort of nuclear strike.

Obama just doesn't strike me as the sort of politician who likes to take such risks.

Re:A strange game.... (5, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681697)

Obama carried out a black-ops strike in a supposedly "friendly" country without informing them at all. That was incredibly brazen. He regularly conducts drone attacks, though it appears always with approval of the countries involved. Nevertheless, it is a fairly aggressive posture. He wasted very little time at all going into Libya.

He might not talk like Bush, but he acts a lot like Bush. The main difference seems to be European acceptance. I don't see anything to make me doubt that he'd respond appropriately.

Re:A strange game.... (1)

Trepidity (597) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681741)

I agree, although I'm not sure any U.S. president would. It'd certainly be a tough decision: attacking North Korea is very likely to result in retaliation against Seoul, which has millions of people living within artillery range of North Korea.

Re:A strange game.... (2)

jythie (914043) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681771)

Which is a good thing. Risks like that make great TV but the reality of them is pretty horrible. Risking a restart of the Korean war? NK would have to pose a very immediate and credible threat to do such a thing.

Re:A strange game.... (2, Insightful)

schwit1 (797399) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681619)

Look what he did after the Benghazi terrorist attack. I expect no more than a finger wag with the "and next time we mean it" rhetoric.

Re:A strange game.... (4, Insightful)

Nethemas the Great (909900) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681743)

You speak like it would be so neat and simple to wipe them from the map. Have you forgotten about China, or the very strong chance they'd shell Seoul--home of some 24 million people--into rubble? As a red blooded American I suppose that doesn't fit your "bring it on", "put a boot in their *ss", "and to hell with the consequences" philosophy. Who cares about a few "slant eyes" right?

Re:A strange game.... (2)

jythie (914043) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681745)

It isnt in the playbook of any administration. NK is a nuclear nation, you don't back them into a corner just to show your public how strong you are since, unlike the places we have attacked, they can actually hurt us.

Re:A strange game.... (3, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681399)

Why is that? Right now, North Korea is a nice bargaining chip for China. The US doesn't want a direct conflict with China so cannot directly attack North Korea. When the time is right, China will reign in North Korea (for a time) in exchange for some concessions from the US. It is a poker game with an element of risk, but North Korea is a high face card in China's hand.

Re:A strange game.... (5, Interesting)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681545)

Why is that? Right now, North Korea is a nice bargaining chip for China. The US doesn't want a direct conflict with China so cannot directly attack North Korea. When the time is right, China will reign in North Korea (for a time) in exchange for some concessions from the US. It is a poker game with an element of risk, but North Korea is a high face card in China's hand.

China tried reining them in 2 months ago, when they were getting ready to do the missile launch test. They still fired the missile, which is why China voted in favour of the current round of sanctions.

NK knows that China doesn't want US military presence on their borders, and that the US will not leave SK as long as NK is still a threat to the south. Thus, it's in NK's interest to be just annoying enough that SK still considers them a threat, but not annoying enough to trigger an attack. And yes, they are a credible threat to the south, with the amount of artillery they have embedded in the hills. They don't need nuclear weapons to do a lot of damage to the South, and are doing this for the attention.

As long as they don't do anything that would cause China to attack them, they're safe. (personally, I think that's how it's going to play out in the long run, btw... they'll piss China off enough that China attacks them, possibly with UN support, and then the US leaves SK). That means that they can ignore China's warnings and chidings all they want, as long as they don't actually do anything that directly affects China. Sadly, their current administration appears to be aware of this.

Interestingly enough, I was listening to a discussion on the radio this morning about Munchhausen syndrome, and can't help but wonder if NK's behaviour is a form of it.

Re:A strange game.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681595)

so cannot directly attack North Korea

No. the Us can not attack N-K -period-

Re:A strange game.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681521)

They know full well this administration will do nothing (not just this administration, the US in general),

They can only gain by this,

They get more appeasement A
Stronger position with potential allies B
They appear strong to their people C

The US won't touch N. Korea except with sanctions, they could start eating babies over there and nothing would happen.

The only reason the US went into Libya was because Gaddafi wanted to create a new currency based on gold to be used in the oil trade. It would have devastated the dollar. He was not shy about his anti-American agenda and tried to recruit OPEC nations in this scheme.

Re:A strange game.... (0)

somersault (912633) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681395)

Hundreds of thousands of good people on both sides would be dead,

Why would the US even need to send in ground troops? They could send a pretty clear message by just bombing the hell out of them.

Re:A strange game.... (3, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681489)

Why would the US even need to send in ground troops?

US ground troops are already there [wikipedia.org] . Bombing would almost certainly escalate into a ground war, with an NK offensive through the DMZ towards Seoul, which is only 35 miles to the south.

Re:A strange game.... (-1, Troll)

polar red (215081) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681709)

Bombing would almost certainly destroy the world's economy.

FFTY

Re:A strange game.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681503)

It would be FAR LESS than hundreds of thousands dead on the US side.You should read up on total US casualties in wars.

Re:A strange game.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681789)

Apologies for the imprecision. Correction: Hundreds of thousands dead, mostly North Korean, many South Korean, some U.S. All equally valuable.

Re:A strange game.... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681585)

North Korea knows that if the US strikes then North Korea gets to level Seoul with their artillery emplacements. Neither the US nor South Korea want that.

China wants North Korea to sit as a buffer between them and South Korea and as a puppet state they can use to influence the region indirectly.

The US can't just let North Korea do whatever they want because they want to protect South Korea and Japan, which, if we allowed to fall in power, would leave China as the only major power in East Asia.

So pretty much the net result is that the status quo is good for everyone except the North Korean people, but the status quo requires the North Korean state to keep baiting the US.

It's really all fucked up.

Re:A strange game.... (4, Interesting)

jythie (914043) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681721)

Thing is, if they were actually going to attack the US, using an ICBM isn't the best method anyway. They could just put a nuke on a fishing trawler and wander into any number of coastal ports.

Neither side wants a war there, NK has a pretty good memory of how the civil war went.. so NK, SK, China, Japan, US... all are quite aware that actual hostilities would be a bad idea. Symbolic gestures on the other hand have value... not on the international scale, but on the local one.

The military in NK is very powerful.. while people like to talk about the place like it is a simple dictatorship, the political reality is the Leader needs the backing of the generals, otherwise his power-base dissolves. One way to do that is build up the internal public image of military streght and show that he is willing to snub the world in favor of the generals. In essence, it is the Leader demonstrating his allegiance to his military and reasserting their primacy within the country.

Re:A strange game.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681775)

Anytime you come across this thought, that you very well laid out, you should also consider what would make such anger possible? Aside from whatever we feel about the country, or person running the country, there could be legitimate issues that they're having and no one is helping them. Obviously it's not North Korea's first idea on how to deal with whatever the issue is.

Also, why do I only hear so much about all that hate my country, but I never get to hear a clear, understandable reason for it, other than "They hate our freedom". And if that's actually it, wouldn't this free nation just be made even free-er by blowing up all of the rest of the world (who's to stop us) that "hate our freedom"?

It's silly from both sides to me. Dunno. If someone threatened to burn down my house, and empty my bank account, I'd be more interested in resolving the actual matter than preparing my house and bank account, as the problem will just fester. Or I guess I could pay people to sit outside my house with guns, while I nervously try to live out the rest of my life, wondering how long I have left.

congratulations dear leader of north korea (0)

Ruede (824831) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681217)

:) congratulations dear leader of north korea

Test just for show (4, Insightful)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681221)

If they really wanted to deliver a nuke, they'd ship it in on a tramp freighter or submarine, land on some remote area of the coast, and walk the thing in somewhere. The whole missile thing is a national prestige exercise for domestic and regional consumption.

Re:Test just for show (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681279)

High yield weapons are still large, and maximum damage requires detonation at altitude.

Re:Test just for show (1)

parlancex (1322105) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681731)

Actually, not really. 95% of what you see what you see when you look at a high yield weapon like a modern ICBM is devoted to getting the warhead to the destination, the warhead itself is a tiny fraction of the overall size and weight.

Re:Test just for show (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681339)

>If they really wanted to deliver a nuke, they'd ship it in on a tramp freighter or submarine, land on some remote area of the coast, and walk the thing in somewhere.

Since you can't have a colonoscopy and cross a bridge in the US without getting pulled over by DHS, I'm *sure* the above is going to work. You'd much rather have one of your give nukes delivered in 2.5 months, over a route filled with inspections and radiation detectors, than have it delivered in 12 minutes via missle.

Re:Test just for show (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681421)

Splattering it across the Pacific Ocean doesn't do much to scare people.

Just threatening to put it in a container full of Tupperware would be a more credible threat than launching something at us.

Re:Test just for show (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681449)

We're talking about the resources of an entire country, not just money, but manpower and research. Not some two-bit terrorists, with, at best a few college dropouts to provide them with the brains for something similar. If they wanted a ship to carry a warhead into the USA, they could probably do it successfully, even if at a very very high cost.

Because we're talking about an entire country, not two-bit terrorists, it's also safe to say, they're only posturing, and not actually planning to do something about it. They don't have the resources to make enough nukes to incapacitate USA enough to stop them from retaliating, let alone hit all it's territory.

Still, I'm happy to be on the other side of the planet, away from those wackos.

Re:Test just for show (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681453)

Shame said detectors can't tell the difference between a truckload of kitty litter and a 475kt yield W88, so, yes, it would work.

Re:Test just for show (1)

gestalt_n_pepper (991155) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681547)

Um, did I say something about the USA?

Re:Test just for show (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681689)

Um, did I say something about the USA?

That's explicitly stated as North Korea's target, so if you DIDN'T mean the USA, you're being rudely misleading in your statements and should cease communicating with us until you're ready to NOT be a dick about intentionally misleading this discussion, dick.

Re:Test just for show (1)

Jeremi (14640) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681647)

Since you can't have a colonoscopy and cross a bridge in the US without getting pulled over by DHS, I'm *sure* the above is going to work

Just wrap it in a layer of marijuana, then it will get through without being detected.

Put it in a shipping container (1)

localroger (258128) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681649)

Seriously, there is NO CHECKING of incoming freight into the US. You put the bomb in a shipping container, have it offloaded and shipped to some random warehouse, then put the bomb in a panel park and park it downtown $victim_city. There is no mechanism whatsoever to catch you if you do this. I have done work in ports. If the paperwork is straight for it to be tennis shoes it will get where it's going with nobody the wiser. Of course if you're NK your bomb is a piddly fizzly Plutonium gun bomb that doesn't work all that well so it will only knock down a few square blocks and spray a bunch of contamination around, but that will be annoying enough that nobody will mind if we respond with one of our own slightly more effective systems, right?

Re:Test just for show (3, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681667)

>If they really wanted to deliver a nuke, they'd ship it in on a tramp freighter or submarine, land on some remote area of the coast, and walk the thing in somewhere.

Since you can't have a colonoscopy and cross a bridge in the US without getting pulled over by DHS, I'm *sure* the above is going to work. You'd much rather have one of your give nukes delivered in 2.5 months, over a route filled with inspections and radiation detectors, than have it delivered in 12 minutes via missle.

An estimated 1,000,000 people secretly cross the border into the US every year; that's about 2,700 people per day.

I fear your confidence in the success rate of American border agents is overly optimistic.

Re:Test just for show (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681353)

it's mainly for domestic and regional.. and mainly domestic at generals(it's not like you need to tell this stuff to domestic peons..).

but the funny thing about this is that the terms used make no sense at all.

"Aimed at USA" "High level!" ... so wtf are they going to do? aim a rocket at usa and explode it at high altitude over the pacific as a training?

Re:Test just for show (1)

glueball (232492) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681655)

You mean like Starfish Prime?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Starfish_Prime [wikipedia.org]

"Starfish Prime caused an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) which was far larger than expected, so much larger that it drove much of the instrumentation off scale, causing great difficulty in getting accurate measurements. The Starfish Prime electromagnetic pulse also made those effects known to the public by causing electrical damage in Hawaii, about 1,445 kilometres (898 mi) away from the detonation point, knocking out about 300 streetlights, setting off numerous burglar alarms and damaging a telephone company microwave link. The EMP damage to the microwave link shut down telephone calls from Kauai to the other Hawaiian islands.[5]"

Re:Test just for show (3, Insightful)

Kjella (173770) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681463)

Like most other nukes, it's a deterrent. If the US should decide to invade/liberate North Korea like they did in Iraq and Afghanistan, North Korea would like the US to know they have nukes and are bat shit crazy enough to use them. Threatening to launch a nuclear missile is a little more immediate than threatening to smuggle it into the US covertly, which would also give away the "covert" part. They want to bluster about their ability to nuke San Francisco, if they actually did it I wouldn't expect two bricks to be standing in Pyongyang an hour later. The only reason they'd use it is because they're about to get deposed anyway.

Re:Test just for show (4, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681541)

Their nukes are the still huge. Think old 40s nuclear test stands. You aren't walking that anywhere. It would never fit in a sub.

Exactly! (1)

mveloso (325617) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681569)

That's just what I was thinking.

You don't need a missile do deliver a nuke. Heck, you don't even need fission. Just grind up a bunch of radioactive material and use explosives to disperse it into the air. There you go, you've poisoned a city forever. Game over.

Plus, if you don't care about high efficiency you have lots of options. Airburst = maximum damage, but you don't need to use a nuke as a bomb if you don't want to.

Re:Test just for show (1)

ceoyoyo (59147) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681761)

The US could theoretically invade North Korea and shut down their ability to do something like that quite quickly. Having a missile that can reach the US means they're safe from invasion.

Good idea. (5, Interesting)

MachineShedFred (621896) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681233)

Hey North Korea,

That country holding the other end of your leash just voted for the Security Council resolution against you rather than abstaining as they have done in the past. Maybe before you talk a bunch of shit about lobbing a nuke at the US, you should worry about China giving that leash a big yank.

Also, don't you guys only have enough nuclear material for 7-8 weapons? Please continue nuclear testing in your own country and use up all of your weapons grade material as fast as possible on making holes in the ground a lot bigger.

Cordially,
The Rest of the World.

Re:Good idea. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681301)

Hey America,

Remember when those planes smashed into the twin towers? Maybe before you talk a bunch of bullshit about spreading freedom around the globe, you should worry about shutting down those foreign prisons and torture chambers that you're now trying to suppress evidence of.

Also, don't you guys depend on a lifestyle that requires rare earth minerals and oil as sustenance despite the fact you have barely any of either? Please continue going to war under the ridiculous mantra of "spreading peace and democracy," then throw yourselves out of skyscrapers in flames when it finally comes back to haunt you, making the holes in the ground a lot bigger.

Cordially,
Anyone who isn't an ignorant fucking american.

Re:Good idea. (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681351)

Cordially,
An ignorant fucking american.

FTFY

Re:Good idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681407)

You say that the U.S. has "barely any oil", and then go on to refer to Americans as "ignorant"? Please.

Re:Good idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681639)

-and he mentions rare earth minerals too. Rare earth minerals are all over North America, they're only called rare because they appear in low concentrations, not because of an imbalance in their geographical distribution or general rarity. Yep, he's a fountain of knowledge and insight.

Re:Good idea. (1)

realityimpaired (1668397) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681663)

Meh. Most of the liquid crude reserves in the US are either tapped or in environmentally protected areas. But they do have a *very* large amount of shale-based deposits available to them, not to mention enough farmland to be able to provide alternative fuels for their own need.

Re:Good idea. (2)

Kotoku (1531373) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681525)

We have plenty of rare earth ores and oil....its just cheaper to get it elsewhere. Add a couple bucks per gadget/tank of gas and we could do it all here. Frankly, most oil lately has been coming from Canada which is essentially an immortal ally.

Re:Good idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681779)

Also, don't you guys depend on a lifestyle that requires rare earth minerals and oil as sustenance despite the fact you have barely any of either?

No, because that "fact" isn't a fact at all.

Re:Good idea. (2, Interesting)

theNAM666 (179776) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681309)

> Maybe before you talk a bunch of shit about lobbing a nuke at the US, you should worry about China giving that leash a big yank.

Uh, hate to break it to you, but when North Korea yanks China's chain, the US major media don't typically care to report it. Korea and China are traditional enemies. Read the Chinese and Korean press, to see how often North Korea plays with China. Stop being a head-in-the-sand, reactionary US-American.

And you can bluster all you want, nuke tests don't have to use the same amount of fissile material for different yields. Five multi-megaton warheads capable of hitting the US West Coast is serious. Treating this like a high school shouting contest, is not.

Re:Good idea. (5, Insightful)

yurtinus (1590157) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681375)

The more I observe, the more I come to the conclusion that all of politics is a tragic high school shouting contest. North Korea is just somebody's obnoxious eight year old brother that nobody wants to claim.

Re:Good idea. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681423)

Just shut the fuck up, you ignorant little third-world cunt. USA is the only nation of value in the free world.

Re:Good idea. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681531)

'MURICA!!!! P.S. when you pay off your world debt then you will be free, now China owns your ignorant american ass by the balls.

Re:Good idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681735)

Depends on how you define free. Freedom of speech? Welcome to slashdot, created in America and happy to allow you to post offensive nonsense. Good luck in North Korea or China.

Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681237)

Okay - But as long as it's just San Francisco that you're targetting...

FYI: Alaska and Hawaii are part of the US (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681247)

Not sure why news articles say things like this, but Alaska and Hawaii are much closer to North Korea than San Francisco. Do you think a nuke hitting Anchorage would be taken less seriously than one hitting in San Fran?

Re:FYI: Alaska and Hawaii are part of the US (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681337)

Depends how long it takes people to realise they don't need to be concerned about Palin anymore.

Re:FYI: Alaska and Hawaii are part of the US (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681509)

Not sure why news articles say things like this, but Alaska and Hawaii are much closer to North Korea than San Francisco. Do you think a nuke hitting Anchorage would be taken less seriously than one hitting in San Fran?

Probably because Hawaii is too small for them to hit, and the chances of them actually hitting a populated area in Alaska are rather remote.

That being said, a launch carrying a nuclear payload from NK aimed at anything outside of NK itself would probably result in the United States turning Pyongyang into the world's largest glow-in-the-dark parking lot.

Kill the Virus in Pyonyang (0)

BoRegardless (721219) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681263)

The only way the civilized world is going to limit the cost of dealing with the ultimate war with N. Korea is to prepare S. Korea, with the help other friendly countries, to do a massive surgical strike to take out the entire N. Korean military and its facilities and have S. Korea able and supplied and armed with its own people who can move in to supplie staples and organization to the society.

I am not convinced the military which is ultimately in control of everything, will ever give up its power, no matter what the "Glorius Leader" says or does, as he can be replaced.

You let the cancer grow or you cut it out and deal with the consequences. Of course this could never happen within the next 4 years because of leaders in power now who have no vision other than their own personal power.

Re:Kill the Virus in Pyonyang (2)

John Hasler (414242) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681345)

The problem with the first strike idea is that Seoul is within easy range of a vast number of dug-in North Korean artillery and rocket emplacements. They might be able to kill hundreds of thousands of people in the time it would take to destroy them. Of course, the US and South Korea will have been mapping and targeting those emplacements for the last fifty years and may have found them all. Maybe.

Re:Kill the Virus in Pyonyang (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681787)

Even if you blanketed the area with nukes you're not going to make a sizeful dent in the amount of artillery deployed there. We're talking about an enormous number of hardened bunkers in a large mountainous area.

Re:Kill the Virus in Pyonyang (4, Interesting)

samkass (174571) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681437)

The only way the civilized world is going to limit the cost of dealing with the ultimate war with N. Korea is to prepare S. Korea, with the help other friendly countries, to do a massive surgical strike to take out the entire N. Korean military and its facilities and have S. Korea able and supplied and armed with its own people who can move in to supplie staples and organization to the society.

I am not convinced the military which is ultimately in control of everything, will ever give up its power, no matter what the "Glorius Leader" says or does, as he can be replaced.

You let the cancer grow or you cut it out and deal with the consequences. Of course this could never happen within the next 4 years because of leaders in power now who have no vision other than their own personal power.

We certainly have battle plans ready that would allow us to militarily unify Korea under the south. There would be nothing "surgical" about it, though. North Korea has massive numbers of troops, rockets, artillery, etc., and South Korea's capital is only 35 miles from the border, within range of the larger NK guns. Here's a map of what could happen. [businessinsider.com] Seoul would be a pawn in the battle, and it would destabilize the entire area for some time.

I think the fundamental question here is whether this is a show of strength being done because North Korea wants to talk but has nothing else to negotiate with. If so, perhaps you meet them, acknowledge their big scary threats, trade around for some perks (maybe make Kim Jong Il the equivalent of the British Royal family in the new Korea, with a figurehead role), and unify them peacefully with everyone coming out ahead. On the other hand, maybe they want to remain independent and hold a nuclear threat over the United States' head... in which case better to strike sooner, before they have the capability. I don't have any of that information, so I'm not going to second-guess the decisions.

Pointing it the wrong way (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681265)

The potential power to reach the stars, yet all anyone wants to do is point it at their neighbor and make threats. We will never escape these "Dark Ages" we're all living in.

Re:Pointing it the wrong way (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681713)

North Korea did shoot a satellite up.

High-level nuclear "test" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681269)

By high-level, surely they don't mean high altitude? Better get out the farraday cages (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage).

How's that for critical thinking? (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681277)

"North Korea is not believed to have the technology to deliver a nuclear warhead capable of hitting the continental United States, although its December launch showed it had the capacity to deliver a rocket that could travel 10,000 km (6,200 miles), potentially putting San Francisco in range."

And Portland and Seatle are closer than San Francisco. And all in the continental US, last I checked. And I know-- warhead + rocket, but last I checked, belief was unclear on their ability to pair a warhead various rockets, but they could likely come within 30 miles of Portland. Or Portlandia.

Re:How's that for critical thinking? (1)

BradleyUffner (103496) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681329)

"North Korea is not believed to have the technology to deliver a nuclear warhead capable of hitting the continental United States, although its December launch showed it had the capacity to deliver a rocket that could travel 10,000 km (6,200 miles), potentially putting San Francisco in range."

And Portland and Seatle are closer than San Francisco. And all in the continental US, last I checked. And I know-- warhead + rocket, but last I checked, belief was unclear on their ability to pair a warhead various rockets, but they could likely come within 30 miles of Portland. Or Portlandia.

Just because it's in range doesn't mean they have a guidance system that will actually get it here, or that it won't explode 10m off the launch pad.

Re:How's that for critical thinking? (1)

theNAM666 (179776) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681451)

Ggggguidance accuracy has always been a known problem, which is why I said "within 30 miles." Exploding on the platform doesn't seem to be a problem, as they are using modifications to known Russian designs etc.

Re:How's that for critical thinking? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681699)

I'm sorry, but did you just stutter..?

Re:How's that for critical thinking? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681539)

RTFA - it specifically says that it's believed that N Korea can't build a nuke small enough to deliver via rocket

Re:How's that for critical thinking? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681621)

They can't make a high enough yield war head to deal with guidance errors fit on their rocket. These folks are too broke for that.

Nor are they quite that suicidal. This is saber rattling for food aid again.

Re:How's that for critical thinking? (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681793)

They can't make a high enough yield war head to deal with guidance errors fit on their rocket. These folks are too broke for that.

Yet. Ten years ago they couldn't make a nuclear weapon and stick it on a rocket. Ten years from now, maybe they'll have that accuracy problem fixed well enough or maybe they'll have abandoned nuclear weapons altogether and be back in their original state of being incapable of doing what they've done so far.

The problem here is that such statements of impossibility are never true for very long unless someone does something to keep them true.

Sounds like (1)

Ukab the Great (87152) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681289)

they had a blast.

a defensive nuclear strike on them. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681291)

Would make me feel better.

Perhaps Patton was right.

Re:a defensive nuclear strike on them. (1)

VAXcat (674775) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681643)

We should take off and nuke the site from orbit....it's the only way to be sure.

Just shoot it down... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681305)

Just shoot down their test and get it over with. Having a rocket capable of traveling 10,000 km is utterly pointless when your enemy can just shoot it down before it ever leaves your own airspace.

Re:Just shoot it down... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681567)

Fuck that. Just drop one pint-sized nuke right in the middle of pyongyang gookland.

Attention Whore (0)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681333)

I'm the one who builds the nukes
I'm the one to tease the spooks
I'm the one to launch the sats
I'm the one who calls you rats

I'm the one you're looking for
'Cuz I'm a big attention whore

The new, friendly leader (5, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681355)

When Kim Jong-Un came to power, I was soundly modded down for expressing skepticism about his being a reformer. I was insulted for being an "old man" stuck in a cold war mentality. Now he is dancing Pyongyang Style.

Re:The new, friendly leader (4, Insightful)

medcalf (68293) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681479)

Youth always discounts experience.

Hey, the USA Finally Found Them! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681367)

You know, those Weapons of Mass Destruction? They were in North Korea all along!

Re:Hey, the USA Finally Found Them! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681773)

Is that who the Syrians sold them to?

Lets just cut off the food aid (2, Insightful)

DarkOx (621550) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681409)

Its a pretty good bet South Korea and China won't step up. We simple broadcast in Korean on Voice of America that we are cutting off the assistance and why.

The North Koreans can then do something about their government or stave. I think we should try hard to no care which they choose.

Re:Lets just cut off the food aid (4, Interesting)

PraiseBob (1923958) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681497)

But it is worth keeping in mind that starvation is why North Korea started rattling its sabres in the first place. A starving populace needed an enemy to blame, so the leadership started blaming foreigners for everything going wrong. They started down the nuclear path specifically to get attention from the US and other countries and basically using extortion to get food aid from their "enemies".

Do we want a completely desperate nuclear power? Will the people turn against the leadership, or will they vent their rage against foreigners leading to millions of deaths?

Re:Lets just cut off the food aid (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681557)

I think you need to do a little more investigation. North Koreans are already starving, food aid or not.

What exactly should they "do about their government"? How easy to you think it is to dislodge a totalitarian regime?

linux cookie anyone? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681413)

All extremists should be taken out and shot.

Let's just get this over with (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681435)

So you build a rocket, throw a bomb in it and then think about hitting a target 6200 miles away...sounds pretty easy? I don't think this will see the light of day. Dear Leader please rethink this...maybe wait until you're much older and wiser and then you can make the fateful decision.

Can't we(US), for once, just do nothing? (1)

cellocgw (617879) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681455)

I mean, really, there's one or two countries rather close by North Korea who don't like them either. How about, instead of waving our allegedly big nuclear dicks all over the place, just plain ignore NK? Don't talk about them; don't talk to them. At some point they'll get bored and promise that their missiles are specifically targeted at $OTHER_COUNTRY.

Sorry world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681485)

Sorry, world, North Korea is right on this one. They launched a ** satellite, even if the same technology could be used to develop long range nuclear capabilities, space exploration is a worthy endeavor and adding pressure and getting hysterical about it pure hypocrisy. If in the top of it, increasing international pressure for something like this is a clear message that the US and allies are bent to prevent NK from developing any technology that can potentially be weaponized.

In those circumstances, resuming the nuclear program in order to prove nuclear capabilities is the only deterrent they can have to prevent an escalation of the situation, specially in a piss poor country with an obsolete army.

Rice-a-Roni (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681537)

Rice-A-Roni, the ________ treat!

NO! I don't think so!! Destroy North Korea before they attack. It's a normal military operation... called a preemptive attack!

Hey China (0)

kawabago (551139) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681575)

Hey China! Did it ever occur to you that the Imperial Kim Dynasty of North Korea might decide you are the greatest threat to it's existence and might want to make a preemptive strike? Isn't Beijing sitting so close to this paranoid autocracy that if Kim decided he needed to, he could vaporize Beijing before you could react? Isn't the Korean army just as large as the Chinese army? Doesn't it bother you that a capricious dictator has a massive army right on your doorstep? I'd be worried. It wouldn't be the first time the student killed the master.

Hows that any different than what we do? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681579)

We configured our missles to hit korea, whye exactly is it a big deal if they do it to us? Lets be realistic here, anyone outside the USA that has nuclear weapons has some pointed at us and at other countries also holding nuclear weapons, just like we do.

This sounds like a bunch of bullshit cooked up to scare people and nothing more than trying to get some hits on their site.

Defcon II or jawbone? (1)

swschrad (312009) | about a year and a half ago | (#42681593)

personally, I'd load up the bunker-busters, get the Aegis cruisers out in the western Pacific, and overfly Nut Korea every half hour anybody starts scuttling around the missle fields there, fly over and dig until you find sanity.

North Korea is not a threat. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42681759)

How many A-bombs the United States has? My simple guesstimation is more than 5000.

How many A-bombs the North Korea has? Well, at most 10 A-bombs I guess in the future.

North Korea is not a threat at all even if its rockets can reach to the U.S. continent. It can not attack the U.S. first unless it can destroy all the US A-bombs.

Frankly, I don't understand what the fuss about North Korean's nuclear bombs.

Do you know the real meaning of it? It means that the U.S. can't attack North Korea easily unlike Iraq.

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