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Satellite Images Suggest N. Korea Has Restarted Small Nuclear Reactor

timothy posted 1 year,19 days | from the excellent-horse-like-regime dept.

Politics 121

mdsolar writes "Recent satellite imagery suggests that North Korea has restarted a small nuclear reactor, allowing the secretive nation to potentially bolster its stockpile of plutonium for weapons, a U.S. research institute said Thursday. The North had said five months ago that it would restart key operations at its Yongbyon nuclear facility 'without delay.' The report from the U.S.-Korea Institute at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies indicates that it is quietly going ahead with that pledge — and facing few apparent problems in firing up a reactor mothballed for six years. Commercial satellite images from Aug. 31 show two plumes of white steam rising from a turbine building adjacent to the reactor. That steam is an essential byproduct of the reactor's operation, and its venting suggests the 'electrical generating system is about to come online,' the report said."

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News For Nerds (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44829997)

Why is this story here? It's really not news for nerds; suggestions and speculation on North Korea's nuclear program is not even a real story until it becomes fact.

Where is the Linux news?

Re:News For Nerds (1)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830043)

Hey, nuclear physics is actually pretty cool, even if this particular instance increases the odds of the end of life as we know it.

Re:News For Nerds (4, Insightful)

TheCarp (96830) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830083)

If by "end of life as we know it" you mean "another round of them being provocative to get attention and remain in the news" or "more talks of sanctions and deals" then.... yes, life as we know it is going to totally end...and by end, I mean not change one bit.

Re:News For Nerds (2)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830099)

It's only a minute increase, but anything that increases the likelihood of a nuclear war isn't a good thing.

Re:News For Nerds (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830687)

It's only a minute increase, but anything that increases the likelihood of a nuclear war isn't a good thing.

North Korea doesn't have a delivery system or anywhere near enough warheads for MAD, so the worst case scenario is they commit a form of "suicide by cop" by nuking one of the US's allies and get themselves bombed into oblivion by the NATO retaliation (probably doesn't even need to be nuclear retaliation).

That scenario isn't particularly likely, because well... suicide.

Re:News For Nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44832193)

Because China totally wouldn't mind us nuking North Korea.

Re:News For Nerds (1)

jacknifetoaswan (2618987) | 1 year,19 days | (#44833313)

They do have a delivery system, two, actually. The first is their ICBM program, that, while shaky, could be operational in the next couple of years. They might even have enough done, at this point, to be able to reach Hawaii, though that's doubtful.

The second is much more nefarious and more difficult to protect against, and that's a shipping container, on its way into port, before its been scanned for NBC agents by US Customs. While they likely haven't been able to miniaturize a warhead and get a fully tested and operational ICBM into production, the latter delivery choice is pretty damn simple.

Re:News For Nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830839)

Better not have any kids, then, since overpopulation creates resource strain which in turn drives countries to find excuses to plunder each other, possibly using nuclear weapons.

Re:News For Nerds (2, Insightful)

cold fjord (826450) | 1 year,19 days | (#44831679)

If by "end of life as we know it" you mean "another round of them being provocative to get attention and remain in the news" or "more talks of sanctions and deals" then.... yes, life as we know it is going to totally end...and by end, I mean not change one bit.

And by not changing one bit you assume that it is not possible for a North Korean instigated military confrontation, like the ship they torpedoed several years ago, or another missile launch over Japan going awry, could spiral out of control leading to an exchange of nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula, North Korean nuclear strikes against both Japan and American forces in Japan, the intervention of China to prevent the collapse of North Korea? And if we're lucky, the Chinese intervention doesn't involve nuclear weapons, including a nuclear attack against the US as advocated by high ranking Chinese military officials in recent years? If the nukes start flying between the US and China, would the Chinese government possibly decide to take out the last remnants of the former government of China, the Republic of China, which has only had control of the Chinese province of Taiwan since it effectively lost the Chinese civil war? After all, with Chinas recent moves toward a market economy the mainland could fit in under the Republic of China's government if the Communist government were decapitated. I'm pretty sure that a series of nuclear weapons going off in South Korea, North Korea, Japan, the US, China, and Taiwan could at least alter life as we know if, or "end it" depending on the definition of that. Hey look! Nuclear Winter! Hmm, climate change just got another thing to incorporate into the model. The Russians, what will they be doing at this time? In the late 1960s the Soviet Union approached the US to see if it would acquiesce to a Soviet attack on China to destroy its nuclear program. The US said, "no." If the nukes are flying, would the Chinese send a few Russia's way? Would Russia decide there is no time like now to finish things with China? If China attacks Russia, would Russia only attack China, or would it send a few towards Europe and the US? The Russians have already threatened nuclear attacks against the NATO missile shield against Iran. China and India are already engaged in a military confrontation. Does something happen there? Pakistan and India are bitter enemies, and both are nuclear armed. Pakistan is an ally of China, and playing a double game, both for and against the US in Afghanistan. An enormous web of possibilities. But I suppose a wave of the hand will always do here: this is not the conflict you're looking for, forget all about it, nothing will happen or change. Life as you know it will continue, there is no threat. Not even of plague [fas.org] .

Re:News For Nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44832611)

Re:News For Nerds (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,19 days | (#44833043)

Whoa there! Back to the decaf.

Re:News For Nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830091)

Oh, please. NK has, like, a half-dozen fission bombs. This isn't the USSR we're talking about.

Re:News For Nerds (1)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830111)

No, but with nukes, all you need to do is START shit, and the rest can take care of itself.

Re:News For Nerds (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830199)

Neither China nor Russia are going to start The Big One over North Korea, especially if NK shoots first.

Kim-Jong Un does not represent an existential threat to the world. He represents an existential threat to the city of Seoul, SK. He is essentially the world's largest municipal disturbance. Don't give him more credit than he deserves.

Re:News For Nerds (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,19 days | (#44833073)

Hey, wait... This is Samsung we're talking about. No more Touch Wiz.

Maybe Dennis Rodman is right.

Re:News For Nerds (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830577)

It's questionable whether they even have any, or ever detonated one, as opposed to a pile of tnt with uranium sprinkled on it.

Our governments would know, but letting them know we know is a separate strategy issue.

Re:News For Nerds (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830197)

Hey, nuclear physics is actually pretty cool, even if this particular instance increases the odds of the end of life as we know it.

You're too pessimistic. Life as we know it inhabits Earth's crust kilometers deep. Even a thousand Kim Jong-Whoevers couldn't possibly wipe it out.

Re:News For Nerds (1)

GigsVT (208848) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830465)

"as we know it" is an important caveat, since nuclear war, even if we blew every weapon up, wouldn't destroy human civilization. We could decimate a few major cities, but there'd be plenty of people and technology left.

We exploded over 500 devices in the atmosphere in the 50s and 60s, some of them far more powerful than those currently in the stockpile (which are typically 100-300kt these days). Nuclear winter was a hoax perpetuated by Sagan, a man I respect, but a man who seemed to have an irrational fear of nuclear things, which corrupted his integrity on those matters.

Re:News For Nerds (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830589)

It wasn't a hoax. We detonated 500-someodd devices over a period of decades of testing, in the atmosphere rather than on the ground.

Look, when the Chicxulub asteroid hit and the dinosaurs went extinct, was it because the dinosaurs were all on vacation in southern Mexico and the asteroid landed on their heads? No, of course not; the debris launched into the atmosphere interfered with plant growth, which meant the herbivores starved, which then meant the carnivores starved.

A massive ground (not atmospheric) detonation of the world nuclear stockpile in a matter of days (not decades) would absolutely have a similar effect. It probably wouldn't cause human extinction, but you would certainly see a few billion people starve, and nothing collapses a civilization faster than losing its food supply.

Re:News For Nerds (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44831141)

The optimal point for pressure wave and radiative heat propagation is not on the ground, though. Ground level actually has the effect of pumping more of that energy into the earth where it doesn't do quite as much damage.

Unless they're trying to disable a specific silo or bunker, it's much more useful to release in the air. I forget exactly, but it's on the order of several thousand feet above ground level altitude.

Yeah, not something to look forward to, and it would undoubtedly cause worldwide effects, but I don't think it's on the order of mass starvation outside of the areas of humanity which are already on the brink.

Re:News For Nerds (1)

crakbone (860662) | 1 year,19 days | (#44831375)

I would think that would have to do with where on the ground it was detonated. Focused detonation into a caldera the size of Yellowstone would definitely destroy the world food supply for billions of people.

Re:News For Nerds (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,19 days | (#44833111)

Yeah, not something to look forward to, and it would undoubtedly cause worldwide effects, but I don't think it's on the order of mass starvation outside of the areas of humanity which are already on the brink.

For billions to die from starvation isn't even going to require a 'nuclear winter' scenario. A single, near worldwide season of crop failures would put vast numbers of people at risk. Coupled with the inevitable fallout (so to speak) of a nuclear war, the disruption of supply lines and infrastructure would be the icing on the cake (bad choice of words, I suppose).

The veneer of civilization is thin.

ignore this post (1)

dj245 (732906) | 1 year,19 days | (#44832567)

modded down by mistake, undoing it

Re:ignore this post (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44833017)

FYI you can post as AC to undo moderation -- that way people won't mod you offtopic (and taint your precious karma)

Re:News For Nerds (3, Insightful)

kimvette (919543) | 1 year,19 days | (#44831071)

Nuclear winter was a hoax perpetuated by Sagan, a man I respect, but a man who seemed to have an irrational fear of nuclear things, which corrupted his integrity on those matters.

Perhaps not so irrational when he probably anticipated that both the USA and the USSR would lob all 10,000+ weapons at each other in one round. Those 500 devices detonated were of varying sizes and spread out over decades, not thousands upon thousands all detonated within an hour of each other. Consider that a large explosive volcanic eruption (such as Mount St. Helens) - a localized event - can throw enough particulate matter into the atmosphere to cause widespread cooling for several seasons.

Now consider thousands of 10kt to 100mt devices being detonated all over three continents (central North America, northern Asia, and eastern Europe), all vaporizing and shattering all kinds of matter including silicates as well as creating a lot of soot and water vapor. I think in a MAD situation that his nuclear winter hypothesis is fairly plausible. It's fair to point out that only a few 100mt-design devices existed and that most were much smaller, but in 1982 between the USA and the USSR the actively deployed warheads (numbering 23,000 - with a stockpile of about 70,000!!) available for immediate launch was 12,300 megatons - so they averaged about 500kt each. As of today there is still about 25,000 nuclear weapons between the two nations (USA and Russia) plus an indeterminate number from other powers.

As far as North Korea is concerned - it seems they just want to talk without being threatened, and when they see us (the USA) lead by puppets who are bought and paid for by warmongering profiteers, why shouldn't they pursue a nuclear deterrent? Our government is very dangerous and are ignoring the will of the people with all of the sabre-rattling in the Middle East, and innuendos toward NK. Why should they not build weapons to deter what is perceived as imperialism? Besides, without talks, for all we know, NK is just trying to continue to industrialized and become a civilized society and may just be using the power plants which have already been bought and paid for since it makes good financial sense than to throw away a perfectly good generator and wait 5-10 years for new power plants to be completed.

Re:News For Nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44831901)

If the US would only talk to NK and the raving maniacs in the middle east the world would magically transform itself into the perfect non-violent civilization. The clock is running out on being able to claim the US is the root of all evil and responsible for every problem in the world. People claim the US is losing influence in the middle east but what they are seeing the US voluntarily disengaging across the board and the next president from any party will continue that policy without pause. Sort of hard to blame the US for something if there is no US presence in the vicinity. The US citizens are already turning their backs on the and downtrodden of the world. who are being killed and gassed by the thousands. If someone discovered a Nazi era concentration camp somewhere in the world I doubt you could get the US public to give a damn and rightly so. If something like that shows up in Kansas the US will deal with it but foreign adventures are just a waste of time, money, and resources. It's taking some time but all the stupid and uninformed US citizens are realizing they have no allies or friends in the international community and start returning the same level of animosity and insults to any country looking for a handout or protection. Right now the best US policy would be to totally ignore the middle east and NK and check back in about 30 years to see how things are going. It would probably be even better if the US unilaterally withdrew from all there military and defense treaty obligations. Let Japan and Taiwan deal with the kind and loving people of China without any guaranteed backup. Let Europe come to grips with the peace loving Russians and let Israel take care of the surrounding countries hostility once and for all. They certainly don't need any help from the US judging by the military incompetence displayed by their enemies. After this adjustment the US can start selling arms to all sides instead of just one and really bring in the big money. It's not like there is any country in the world that would ever help the US in any form or fashion. The only thing any of it's military "allies" have done is hold the coats of the US military and provide inconsequential military assets and token forces so they can justify their own military budgets to there peace loving citizens.

Re:News For Nerds (1)

kimvette (919543) | 1 year,19 days | (#44832229)

On the other hand, why should we, the American people, continually foot the bill for policing these skirmishes? The UN body has HOW many member states, and what do they do to help? Not a thing. Why should we be the ones to do it? We are tens of trillions in debt due in part to policing the world and it has got to stop. Yes, there is genocide, but where were we one, two, three years ago when Syria was already engaging in these atrocities? Napalm, concussion bombs, swords, and firing squads all this time and it has been a non-issue but now that they're using chemical weapons it's suddenly an issue. Why? I think it's just profiteering on the part of certain sponsors behind the politicians, and not a moral issue at all. Were it a moral issue, we would have already intervened long ago. They're just saying "ZOMG chemical weapons" to try to rally support of The People but we are so fed up with the runaway spending, sending OUR troops to die trying to defend people who are intent upon killing each other, benefiting a handful of companies to the tune of hundreds of billions in profits as we continue to bankrupt not only ourselves but many generations to come, and we have grown wise to it and are saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.

Let them kill each other - we cannot be their babysitters. We have our own problems to deal with, and besides, every time we send aid or troops to help resolve these issues we accomplish nothing but earning more enemies, because we politicize these issues and restrain the military rather than let them do their work quickly and efficiently, costing us far more money and then having to engage in reduced freedom and increased security theater due to the terrorist cells which rise in response to our very politicized "police actions."

ENOUGH.

Re:News For Nerds (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | 1 year,19 days | (#44831455)

I think the concept of nuclear winter has more or less be proven as a fact Not saying Sagan was a competent nuclear strategist , just.. facts are facts.

Re:News For Nerds (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,19 days | (#44833137)

Depending, of course, of your definition of 'more or less'.

Re:News For Nerds (1, Interesting)

binarylarry (1338699) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830105)

Whats happens if they fuck this up like Japan did?

NK scientists are practically apes compared to Japanese scientists. Their plant goes critical, starts to irradiate NK, SK and their neighbors.

What happens then?

Re:News For Nerds (-1, Troll)

Eunuchswear (210685) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830283)

NK scientists are practically apes compared to Japanese scientists.

One, why do you think "scientists" would be involved? This is engineering.

Two, you are racist scum.

Three, Japanese engineers are so smart that they didn't install hydrogen recombiners in their containment dome like everyone told them to do. Oh, and American ones are so dumb that they decided to take 'em out "because our containment domes are really super strong, man".

Re:News For Nerds (2)

binarylarry (1338699) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830357)

It has nothing to do with race. The North Koreans have isolated themselves from the rest of the world for decades.

It isn't just Japan that's much more advanced, it's South Korea (who are almost identical racially) and everywhere esle.

Race baiting asshole.

Re:News For Nerds (-1, Troll)

Eunuchswear (210685) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830817)

It isn't just Japan that's much more advanced, it's South Korea (who are almost identical racially) and everywhere esle.

You continue to expose your racism.

"advanced"

"identical racialy".

And, the biggest givaway:

"race baiting".

Re:News For Nerds (3, Informative)

radiumsoup (741987) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830409)

NK scientists are practically apes compared to Japanese scientists.

...you are racist scum...

That's not racist.

Re:News For Nerds (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830835)

Shut up you mindless ape!

See one can use ape without being racist, so stop pretending that anyone that uses apes on comparisons is racist.
Also you're discriminating over species: if I call someone an ape I'm a racist jerk, if I call someone a dumb donkey I'm just a jerk. Are you telling me that apes somehow are a totem for racism?

Re:News For Nerds (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44832491)

Perhaps, perhaps not. Since the grandparent is (probably) not Japanese, what he wrote is not loaded with the racism inherent in his/her culture. It's analogous to how if Japan does blackface (see Dragon Ball's Mr Popo or Pokemon's Jinx) it's bad but probably not racist.

On the other hand, comparing a particular group people to apes is already seen as deeply offensive in many parts of western culture. Probably shouldn't be so quick to use that comparison with other ethnicities/nationalities.

Re:News For Nerds (4, Insightful)

Pentium100 (1240090) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830379)

Actually, I think that NK power plant is much safer than the Japanese or American ones. You mess something up and cause an accident in a Japanese or American power plant, you may get fined and lose you job. someone messes up The Powerplant That Will Bring Us Victory (not even permanent damage) - he gets shot. Not wanting to get shot is quite good motivator for people to be more careful.

Re:News For Nerds (5, Interesting)

Andy Dodd (701) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830867)

Wrong. That's actually a good motivation to cover up fuckups.

Like reporting to your superiors that your reactor is intact and there is no problem even though there are chunks of burning graphite moderator on the ground all around the plant - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individual_involvement_in_the_Chernobyl_disaster#Dyatlov [wikipedia.org]

Re:News For Nerds (1)

ColdWetDog (752185) | 1 year,19 days | (#44833167)

Uh, everything's under control. Situation normal.
What happened?
Uh, we had a slight weapons malfunction, but uh... everything's perfectly all right now. We're fine. We're all fine here now, thank you. How are you?
We're sending a squad up.
Uh, uh... negative, negative. We had a reactor leak here now. Give us a few minutes to lock it down. Large leak, very dangerous.
Who is this? What's your operating number?
Han Solo: Uh...

Re:News For Nerds (2)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830549)

Given that steam turbines normally operate in an enclosed system; the steam venting simply suggests the cooling system is back online. Sorry how geeky did you want it?

Commercial Satellite? Academic Institute? (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830845)

The announcement comes from an academic institute using commercial satellite data. That seems a little nerdy.

Good! (1, Funny)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830009)

North Korea needs nukes to defend itself against bloodthirsty mass-murdering racist pice of shit U.S. imperialists! Unconditional military defense of the bureaucratically deformed DPRK workers state is the duty of class-conscious workers everywhere! Remember Hiroshima, Remember Vietnam, Democratic Party, we know which side you're on! For a revolutionary workers party! Defeat U.S. imperialism!

Re:Good! (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44832761)

North Korea doesn't give a rats ass about Hiroshima and the rest of Japan due to them occupying Korea (before they were split) for a good 40 to 50 years. As for Vietnam, it's hard to tell, but NK does have reasons to have a frosty relationship with them. It's officially still communist, but they do have economic ties with South Korea and Vietnam was considered one of the better routes for NK refugees.

Sure why not? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830017)

What's the US gonna do about it?

There's an important lesson in here about setting red lines...

Re:Sure why not? (1, Interesting)

i kan reed (749298) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830069)

North Korea developed their nukes in response to us invading a country that was disarming. Iraq showed the world that being a nuclear power is a better way of preventing invasion than cooperation.

Re:Sure why not? (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830243)

And the more countries that have nuclear weapons, the less we have to rely on the US to come to the defense of others!

Re:Sure why not? (4, Informative)

Quila (201335) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830857)

NK started their nuke program in the 80s, extracting plutonium through the 80s and 90s, resulting in their first successful test in 2006.

Re:Sure why not? (1)

cold fjord (826450) | 1 year,19 days | (#44831721)

Their nuclear program goes back at least to the 1960s.

Re:Sure why not? (1)

Quila (201335) | 1 year,19 days | (#44833041)

I should have been more specific, their nuclear weapons program goes back to the 80s. However, I'm only talking the active program. I'm sure Kim had dreams of nukes back in the 60s too.

Re:Sure why not? (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | 1 year,19 days | (#44831851)

Iraq was co-operating and disarming? Gotta love that revisionist history.

But yes, becoming a nuclear power is THE way to prevent invasion. Irrelevant of any other factors.

Re:Sure why not? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830189)

Well, Clinton could have NOT given them the plans for nuclear reactors in the first place.

Re:Sure why not? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44831067)

Did he give them nuclear reactor plans when he was governor of Arkansas? Because that's when NK started refining plutonium.

Look, we developed our own nuclear weapons in the 1940s, without computers. Can we stop pretending that this is something beyond the reach of even crappy countries like NK?

Re:Sure why not? (1)

DarkOx (621550) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830203)

Probably talk about "international norms" as if that is real thing or something...

Then invent some reasons those "norms" don't apply to us; when China not excited about their patron state being bombed/invaded and a fight on their back porch exercises their UN veto.

Re:Sure why not? (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830585)

What's the US gonna do about it?

Obama is going to threaten North Korea that he will ask Congress for permission to do something about it!

Congress will look to public opinion polls of their voters to decide.

The general public will try to guess what Oprah would do, and just decide whatever they think, she thinks.

Re:Sure why not? (1)

binarylarry (1338699) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830803)

And of course, Putin Wins.

Flawless Victory.

No Surprise Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830061)

Little Kim hasn't gotten any real attention since this whole Syria thing started getting top ranking in the news. I'm sure this is just another shakedown attempt for free food and money.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

So...are we done with Syria then? (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830121)

The timing of this announcement (plus Dennis Rodman's recent antics) makes me think that the current administration is hoping to turn to turn the page on Syria as fast as humanly possible.

Re:So...are we done with Syria then? (1)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830195)

They sure are. That's what they wanted at least from the point that it became an openly sectarian conflict with AQ-affiliated organizations fighting alongside the rebels. That's when the window of opportunity closed and the gates of clusterfuck hell opened. I wonder why there was no quick & decisive Libya-style action?

Re:So...are we done with Syria then? (2)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830453)

>> why there was no quick & decisive Libya-style action?

Probably at least five reasons:
1) Libya's a lot further away from Iran than Syria
2) Russia had Syria's back, not so much Libya's
3) The UK told the US to pound sand, and I wonder how much of that was due to us making fun of their operational capacity in Libya (e.g., http://www.defensenews.com/article/20120207/DEFREG01/302070008/Ability-U-K-Conduct-Future-Libya-Style-Campaign-Questioned [defensenews.com] )
4) In Libya Qaddafi was still known and hated in the US and Europe blowing up an airline filled with their citizens, whereas Syria's leader was "just" suspected to have used chemical weapons on his own people (sort of a micro-Saddam)
5) Obama's public rationale for going to war with Syria was almost identical to Bush's public rationale for going to war with Iraq (See #4), and Obama's trying as hard as he can to avoid looking like Bush

Re:So...are we done with Syria then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44832977)

6) The rebel leaders in Libya repeatedly and decisively demanded that we not intervene.
7) When we (the UK) ignored their repeated demands and sent a 'diplomatic team' consisting of 8 Special Forces soldiers - dressed in 'plain clothes' (yet no sign of these men being treated as terrorists?!) - they were immediately captured by the rebels, held for a week and then sent back to us.

Despite what many now think, the Libyan civil war was a complete success for those involved, i.e. the rebels. They won and they didn't have to ask for any help - though were given it regardless.

They wanted to do everything themselves and were entirely capable of it - yet still we couldn't resist getting stuck in. What the fuck is wrong with us?

Re:So...are we done with Syria then? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830333)

Ding ding ding we have a winner. The current administration made a bone headed line in the sand that they never dreamed Syria would cross and when they did got caught with there pants down. The American public (at least the majority) have no interest in another war in the middle east, particularly one that is already a proxy war with the Russians. Obama is stuck trying to make it look to the world that the US is not retreating from the world stage while it retreats from the world stage so any conflict where he can wave the big American stick and not have to use it for real is a win.

Hmmm (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830161)

I wonder how many $$ it'll cost us to shut it down this time. Maybe Kim will settle for a shiny new iPhone5S?

There goes the tail (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830253)

...that dog's not going to wag itself...

Appeasement and hesitation don't work (-1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830315)

Same thing with Syria now. Same thing with Iran. The reason all these countries want more time to *negotiate* is because time is on their side. Wait long enough and it will be impossible to do anything about it. Iran will have nukes. Syrian resistance will be dead. N Korea will have even more plutonium to give to terrorist groups.

Here's what our hand wringing policy in Syria is forging for us:

http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/09/anti-americanism-spreads-in-syrian-refugee-camps/279538/ [theatlantic.com]

Long story short- the assurance that we lose no matter how it turns out; either Assad will stay in power, and we lose, or the rebels take over, and we lose.

Anyone who thinks Syria is just some place "over there" , like say former CIA director Gates apparently does, is a fucking asshole. There is no "over there' anymore. That's a side effect of something called "globalization". What happens in the geo-politics of far removed nations WILL impact us one way or another. A good way to make people hate us is to sit by while they're slaughtered for no reason. This isn't targeted drone strikes Assad is doing, it's mass murder.

Ditto N Korea. WTF are we waiting for? N Korea needs to be brought down through whatever means. How hard can it be to ruin this country? How hard a target is Pyongyang? We need to work out a deal with the Chinese , emphasizing that plutonium wandering the earth looking for a home isn't in their own long term best interests either. The squirt and his army have to go.

We can actually do this now or we can wish we'd done it later. If we can blow up Iran's centrifuge, if we can go into a gigantic fuckign tail spin and have repeated Constitutional crises over one day of terrorist attacks and we're a flexible democratic nation then guess how the Assad or N Korean political machine is going to fare under sustained American and allied firepower? That's the one thing we know how to do and we do well- ruin the other side's regime just like that.

  We need to fucking topple these dictators and remove the threat of proliferation of WMD now while we can. An no, this isn't Iraq II- we know they have them. With WRT to Iraq, ask Iraqis if they like the outcome of that war or they'd perhaps prefer to go back to living under Uday and Cusay. Because it seems to me that their opinions are the ones that matter.

Establishing democratic institutions once the dick-tater is gone is a multi generational a trial and error process . Ask Egypt. But they're as smart as anyone anywhere and they WILL work it out for themselves, in Egypt, in Libya in Iraq and in Afghanistan too. Over time, over a few generations maybe, but it will happen.

Terrorists take note: the globalization that permitted you to attack us, attacks back. you can't shut the flood gates against modernity and democracy once you open them, and open them you did.

Re:Appeasement and hesitation don't work (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830413)

Because they'll shoot the fucking hostages, you retard.

Seoul is a city of ten million people and even the most optimistic estimates are saying that NK will kill a half million of them if a war starts. That's without him employing his (small, crappy) stockpile of nuclear weapons. The status quo is shit but it's less shitty than reopening the Korean War.

Re:Appeasement and hesitation don't work (0)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | 1 year,19 days | (#44831197)

Estimates etc: Links or it didn't happen.

Even at that, all that means is we need another way to take the regime down. It's called selective elimination. You decapitate the people who make decisions and have the know how and willingness to use the nukes and conventional arms through *whatever means* and the people who are left are just bewildered and incapable of marshaling a fight, even supposing they wanted to.

We;re talking about a dictatorship with no real continuity of power in place. Even if the generals are cynical puppet masters, we can rest assured that the level of competence and know how below them is paper thin. That's how dictatorships are structured to keep the fat cats at the top happy and everyone beneath them who might be a threat in fact *not a danger to them* in any way.

From your POV N Korea is all about making a suicidal war machine out to face down the world at any cost . From THEIR POV, they are worried about the ambitious young men underneath them who show any sign of wanting to move up in the hierarchy through the accumulation of personal capital, competence and influence.

The people with any real power or decision making capability or know how or knowledge form a paper thin facade over an intimidated and largely incompetent inner core. That's how that works. N Korea is a paper tiger with long fangs called nukes that look bad. That's all they have, the ability to look bad. Let me kill or neutralize any 5000 N Koreans I want and I'll topple that shithole with nary a shot fired.

Re:Appeasement and hesitation don't work (0)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | 1 year,19 days | (#44831267)

N Korea invasion plan:

Day 1- sudden death of top 5000 scientists and military personnel.

Day 2- Massive air drops of millions of Coke cans, Kit Kat bars and Happy Meals. Blanket the country completely. You know what people are going to do? They're going to run around looking for the next drop and then they're going to sit down and eat it because half the country (or more) is in a state of more or less permanent starvation. Then they're going to be full. Then they're going to hang out thinking, hmmm, maybe we should just see what happens next.... hey! is that another kit kat bar?

Re:Appeasement and hesitation don't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44831583)

Day 0.5 - their holy leader calls for death to the american devils and anyone who allies with them, and unleashes the world's largest standing army from the world's largest cult on the DMZ. Millions will die, the millions that remain will overrun our soldiers when they pause to reload.

Re:Appeasement and hesitation don't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44831547)

Wait. Are you talking about North Korea, or USA?

Re:Appeasement and hesitation don't work (1)

Kelbear (870538) | 1 year,19 days | (#44832085)

http://www.businessinsider.com/map-of-the-day-how-north-korea-could-destroy-seoul-in-two-hours-2010-5?op=1 [businessinsider.com]

http://www.strategicstudiesinstitute.army.mil/pdffiles/pub771.pdf [army.mil]

"The combination of North Korea’s long economic
decline and enhanced U.S. and South Korean military
capabilities has diminished the ability of North
Korea to launch a successful invasion of South Korea.
Nonetheless, the KPA retains the ability to inflict heavy
casualties and collateral damage, largely through
the use of massed long-range artillery. In effect,
Pyongyang’s most credible conventional threat is to
devastate Seoul (and a good portion of South Korea)
rather than to seize and hold it."

NK's army is mostly an aging joke. Big, but obsolete and poorly maintained and supplied. If military action were to begin, the large volume of artillery already aimed at Seoul would kick off in a short-range storm of shells. Given the disrepute given to their condition, many of those pieces will fail, but given the vast number of pieces, it will still amount to a large amount of damage before they can be stopped. Seoul won't be "wiped out", but a lot of civilians will be hurt or killed in that opening hour of conflict. It would be followed by NK being crushed since NK's military is heavily outclassed by both SK and the US presence.

The problem has always been south korean civilians held hostage by those guns. The missiles and nukes aren't a significant threat (right now).

Re:Appeasement and hesitation don't work (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | 1 year,19 days | (#44832849)

North Korea does not have a modern military.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/worldviews/wp/2013/03/25/a-photo-that-makes-north-korea-look-a-lot-less-scary/ [washingtonpost.com]

They don't have enough fuel to launch their mig 29s (see above) and the ability of the average NK soldier or officer to act absent direction is nil. What you're saying is NK has some kind of dead man's switch whereby the body will attack even if the head is off. It's hard to believe that with our ability to fuck with their computers, fuck with their very old "long range artillery" with all our ability to direct force against a conventional army that we can't preemptively take out the creakiest conventional army ever assembled.

Compared to N Korea, what we can do is magic. The only way NK is relevant at all is as a feeder for WMD -which require state level power to create - to sub state actors. That's the issue we should be thinking about.

Honestly if I were POTUS I would baby walk KJU right down the path his mouth will take him until it was clear to everyone he intended to (had to now...) try to made good on his promise to wipe Japan or the US or SK off the map, then hit him preemptively and with zero warning.

Re:Appeasement and hesitation don't work (-1, Flamebait)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830499)

Three weeks of day and night bombing of Syria by allied forces and Assad is done and it's over. Why are we beating around the edges like this? We are totally missing an opportunity to show that the West actually gives a shit about freedom for everyone in the ME. I know people here do because I talk to them but somehow that doesn't translate into DOING anything about it.

This is what the world is. The world is still full of super assholes under whom there is no justice, no civilization just barbarity, brutality and the rule of the iron glove. This is the swamp out of which extremism is bred. Ye\s, it's not it's only source, but it's a major source and with extremism you're always playing a numbers game, an odds game. You want to reduce the head count one way or another.

For some unknown reason Americans believe that there's a peaceful, non-violent way to deal with people who want to be violent (liberals) . Or alternatively they believe they don't have to care because it won't effect them and , implicitly they only care about their own skins (conservatives) . Both sides are wrong. Violent lawless assholes don't respond to either carrots or sticks, they respond to being dead. And you DO have to care about people in far removed places but that is a "big system, big picture" kind of thinking which conservatives are constitutionally incapable of .

Re:Appeasement and hesitation don't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830793)

Three weeks of day and night bombing of Syria by allied forces and Assad is done and it's over. Why are we beating around the edges like this? We are totally missing an opportunity to show that the West actually gives a shit about freedom for everyone in the ME.

Because Assad is a dictator, but he's a mostly secular dictator. That is he doesn't much care if his citizens are shite, sunni, alawite or christian.

In other words, he's an equal opportunity dictator.

If he's "done", the most organized members of the rebel forces are the moslem brotherhood and al qaeda. Which means he'll probably be replaced by a islamic fundamentalist government.

So you're suggesting we overthrow a not-so-nice guy with an even worse group of thugs.

Lybia and Eqypt still haven't recovered from Obama's "help".

Re:Appeasement and hesitation don't work (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | 1 year,19 days | (#44831095)

If he's "done", the most organized members of the rebel forces are the moslem brotherhood and al qaeda. Which means he'll probably be replaced by a islamic fundamentalist government.

It's just not true. Those forces are there, but most people anywhere aren't fanatics, by definition. Being Muslim is not the same as being in al Queda, sympathizing with al Queda or anything else.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/02/16/opinion/zuka-syria-resistance-leader/index.html [cnn.com]

Where is the al Queda take over of Libya? Where is the al Queda take over of Egypt? Even the Muslim brotherhood couldn't hold onto power in Egypt . People hated them and hated their focus on religion and piety and the moves to exclude people based on religion and ethnicity, all at the expense of material prosperity and progress and modernity and , you know, living.

  Where is the al Queda take over of Iraq? Given a choice between self determination and the fucking Taliban, people will choose self determination. Sure al Queda and Taliban are harassing forces in Iraq, good at IED detonation mostly. And? And? Where is THAT going? Nowhere.

Re:Appeasement and hesitation don't work (1)

fredrated (639554) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830747)

Can I assume you are posting from a hideout in Syria? Because if not then get your ass over there and take care of these things you think are so important and stop asking for others to die for what you want.

Re:Appeasement and hesitation don't work (1)

dave420 (699308) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830873)

So you're not only woefully ill-informed, you're a chicken too. Wonderful to know.

Re:Appeasement and hesitation don't work (1)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | 1 year,19 days | (#44831307)

Yeah how am I ill informed? Huh? If it was YOU and YOURS would you want a super power to level the murderer? Sure you would. Golden Rule applies. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. This is not that hard to think through.

Re:Appeasement and hesitation don't work (1)

Qzukk (229616) | 1 year,19 days | (#44831629)

If it was YOU and YOURS would you want a super power to level the murderer?

So we should pick a side in the assholes vs dickheads war and kill THEM and THEIRS.

I bet you wonder why our country is so hated by everyone over there.

Re:Appeasement and hesitation don't work (0)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | 1 year,19 days | (#44831795)

Yeah that's right , perfect thank you for outing yourself as a racist asshole because the people in refuge camps are assholes.. or dickheads... take your pick. Because people "over there" and anyway not us if they're suffering brought it on themselves.

Oh wait. Except the American taxpayer, especially the Tea Party and the 1% who fund them.... now THOSE people, damn, they're oppressed through no fault of their own.

Kill yourself.

Re:Appeasement and hesitation don't work (1)

Qzukk (229616) | 1 year,19 days | (#44832693)

LOL, the people in the refugee camps are the ones who FLED. They don't want to be caught standing near either the rebels OR the government.

Re:Appeasement and hesitation don't work (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44833105)

Slightly off-topic - but did you notice how the number of refugees massively increased when the US/UK announced their intention to get involved?

As for your Golden Rule - No - I wouldn't want them involved as it basically doubles the chance of me and mine and everyone else getting killed. Doesn't matter who does the killing - it always increases when we become involved.

North Korea is smart. (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830339)

The conduct of the US on the world stage makes it obvious that nuclear weapons are the only deterrent
which will stop the US from attacking a country.

The conduct of the US government repeatedly makes the world a less stable and more violent place. Only a fool or a madman believes the US invades various countries because it "needs to happen".

one more time (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44830431)

In the ancient times my Greek ancestors, from the Corinthians to the Macedonians and from the Cretans to the Thracians, were always impressed by the Athenian rhetors that could speak for hours about a subject, so they were influenced by them in their rhetoric art - everyone except the... Spartans that could not stand that, considering all that just babble since they were famous for their Laconic style!
In one famus occasion some Greeks from an alied city state visited Sparta requesting help because their crops of grain had failed that year. In the supper they started a long speech, flatering their hosts and trying to convince the Spartans to help them with some of their spare grain, but after a while they were interapted by their hosts very rudely so in the dinner, after they thought it better, they just presented some bags and said that they need to be filled with grain... and that was Laconic enough for the Spartans to convince them!
Moral of the story: North Koreans need food... again...

the cycle starts anew (1)

spirit_fingers (777604) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830583)

And so it begins, once again. Just as North Korea begins to appear less belligerent and people like Dennis Rodman are talking up Kim as a "cool dude", North Korea turns on a dime and proves it's still Pariah #1 on the world stage. So what will it be this time, Chubs? Last time you threatened to unleash a nuclear holocaust on the You gonna invade Orlando and take Mickey and Goofey hostage? Crash the moon into the White House?

Re:the cycle starts anew (1)

Jmc23 (2353706) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830821)

Let's see, a poor nation talks brashly when threatened by the USA and you blame it on them. A poor nation turns to any means possible to get electricity flowing and it's seen as a bad thing.

The world would be better off if the most dangerous army wasn't controlled by a nation of paranoid kool-aid swilling bullies.

Re:the cycle starts anew (0)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | 1 year,19 days | (#44831533)

Dude, if you're characterizing N Korea as simply a "poor nation" then you really do know NOTHING about N Korea. It's a fucking nationwide prison camp. It's a brutal cult of personality metastasized into a gun wielding psychopath. If the US did anything little part of what N Korea does everyday, you'd be the first to freak out. Why do some people's sympathies and sensitivities stop at their own nation?

Worry about USA instead (2, Informative)

Reliable Windmill (2932227) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830861)

So what. The USA has over 100 reactors running, and have more nuclear weapons than any other country, and is the only country to have used nuclear weapons (on children, women and other civilians) so don't worry about North Korea having a little reactor, worry about USA instead.

Just 100 (1)

mdsolar (1045926) | 1 year,19 days | (#44831155)

No, there are only 100 commercial reactors and only 93 of them are running right now. http://www.nrc.gov/reading-rm/doc-collections/event-status/reactor-status/ps.html [nrc.gov]

Re:Just 100 (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44831657)

And how many military reactors empowering vessels, or are for research? The caveat of 'commercial only' isn't germane, nor in the GPs post - although that 100+ does sound like the pre-closures total of 104 commercial reactors of the other year.

Re:Worry about USA instead (0)

WOOFYGOOFY (1334993) | 1 year,19 days | (#44831423)

Yeah we're the only ones' to ever use them-= against a nation trying to help Hitler win WWII. A nation responsible for the Rape of Nanking. A nation that refused to unconditional surrender. . Oh, and nuking those cities , how ever little you like it, saved lives and set Japan on the path to being the prosperous, free, liberal democracy and first rate nation that it has been for decades now.

We freed the Japanese people from the wanton abuse they were doomed to be suffering at the hands of their former nationalistic and militaristic government. A government that led them into an appalling war. You don't hear them complain too much about it. You have to conceive of the idea that some governments are illegitimate and only inflict suffering on anyone unlucky enough to be born within their borders. Sure people go along with it, but so what? Doesn't mean that if they had another choice, if they knew anything else they wouldn't prefer it. No really blames the run of the mill mid-century Japanese person for what Hirohito and his generals did. It's too bad that those run of the mill people paid the price for it. Leaders are good at insulating themselves from their consequences of their actions. What can anyone say?

How do you shoot women, children? (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44831519)

Easy, just don't lead them so much!

Re:Worry about USA instead (1)

cold fjord (826450) | 1 year,19 days | (#44831769)

So you're concerned about "children, women and other civilians?"

I have some distressing news [theguardian.com] for you then.

Re:Worry about USA instead (2)

Zontar_Thing_From_Ve (949321) | 1 year,19 days | (#44832309)

So what. The USA has over 100 reactors running, and have more nuclear weapons than any other country,

Untrue. Most sources agree that Russia has roughly 1000 more than USA. This is one of the reasons that Putin has been unwilling to reach any agreements to reduce the number of weapons each country has although previous leaders on both sides were able to reach such agreements in the past. Nice try at America bashing buddy, but if you'd like to deal with reality, you can consider that Putin and his government actually believe that if the US builds a missile interceptor base in Eastern Europe that it can singlehandedly stop 100% of the Russian nuclear missiles and open Russia up to complete and utter nuclear annihilation at the hands of the USA, or so they have said in public. You might consider that the US has been talking about having maybe 10 interceptor missiles at such a site and we don't even truly know if the technology will actually work. An 80% kill rate of theoretical Iranian or North Korean missiles aimed at the USA would be disastrous for the unlucky people where the 20% of the missiles hit.

The worry about North Korea is that they are actually stupid enough to potentially launch a nuclear weapon at South Korea, Japan or potentially even US territories should one of their unstable military leaders actually give the order if they were under attack or the guy with the finger on the button just freaks out. What concerns me is not that Kim Jong-un might be running things but that it probably isn't his finger at all on the button and all the years of propaganda, special treatment, and purges of dissent have created a military with a tenuous grip on reality. Just the rumor of an invasion without anything happening in reality might be enough to cause tens or hundreds of thousands of innocent people to die via a North Korean nuke. But don't worry, I'm sure that you'll be safe in Euroland while everybody else pays the price for the freedom you enjoy.

Re:Worry about USA instead (1)

jacknifetoaswan (2618987) | 1 year,19 days | (#44833471)

I agree with you on most points, however, the proposed 'AEGIS Ashore' program that will place SM-3 interceptors in Europe (Romania and Poland), and use the SPY-1D(V) radar that the US Navy's Arleigh Burke-class Destroyers use, will likely put at least 100 interceptors on-site in VLS (Vertical Launch System) cells that are similar to those used by the Navy's DDGs and CGs. The DDGs can carry up to 96, while CGs can carry up to 128 (though that number is usually much smaller, due to inventory of SM-2, SM-6, ESSM, and Tomahawk missiles).

The good thing about the whole system is that it's modular, so if things really started to hit the fan, additional VLS modules could be mated, which would bring the capacity up significantly. That said, there's zero chance that, if a MAD-scenario ever played out, every incoming missile could be destroyed, even considering all the Burkes and Ticos that have BMD capability. There's just not enough SM-3s out there.

perhaps.... (2)

wbr1 (2538558) | 1 year,19 days | (#44830939)

The US gov asked n. Korea to start making noise to distract us from Syria.

A ducks a duck, but lets not quote Kipling (1)

Oil_Tan (854423) | 1 year,19 days | (#44831789)

Did anyone expect anything different from this crony?

Deep Kimchi (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,19 days | (#44831979)

Oh no we're in deep kimchi now!

Hasty Conclusion (2)

ThatsNotPudding (1045640) | 1 year,19 days | (#44832099)

That's a big assumption; they may have just finally got around the electing Best Pope.
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