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North Korea's Secret Biochemical Arsenal

Zonk posted more than 7 years ago | from the i'd-keep-an-eye-on-that dept.

Biotech 321

mattnyc99 writes "Popular Mechanics has an in-depth report on North Korea's biological and chemical weapons stock, which has been developed in secret and has gone largely unnoticed amidst the country's nuke threat. From the article: 'North Korea's Chemical and Bioweapons (CBW) program appears to be modeled on that of the former Soviet Union, which covertly constructed a massive biological weapons infrastructure within the shell of a civilian research organization called Biopreparat. Inside Biopreparat, the Soviets developed deadly agents that included weaponized forms of anthrax and pneumonic plague. Intelligence reports from the United States and South Korea list anthrax, smallpox, pneumonic plague, cholera and botulism toxins as leading components of North Korea's bioweapons projects.' "

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Hans Brix to the rescue (4, Funny)

DrugCheese (266151) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465680)

We will be very, very angry with you North Korea and we will write you a letter, telling you how angry we are.

Re:Hans Brix to the rescue (1)

exspecto (513607) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465692)

Hans, ya-breakin' my balls here, Hans...ya breakin' my balls!

Re:Hans Brix to the rescue (4, Funny)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466694)

"My hands were shaking after reading this letter," said Kofi Anan. "I mean, this is a REALLY harsh letter. I think North Korea will disarm by the end of the year. My only concern is that it is too strong. We only want North Korea to disarm. This letter might cause them to surrender their entire country to France. The letter is really that strongly worded. I'm shaking even now just thinking about it." -- Jerhad!com (2006-10-13)

A joke which is far from new: (1)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467336)

"We don't want you to fight, but by Jingo, if you do,
We shall probably issue a Joint Memorandum suggesting a mild disapproval of you!"

-- Punch magazine, in 1935, on the ineffectual response of Britain and France to the Abyssinian crisis The cartoon [ebayimg.com] , found on an ebay auction

What do you need bio for? (1)

fred911 (83970) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465744)

To intimidate others from attack while you develop your nuclear program? One nuke trumps all the bio.

Re:What do you need bio for? (4, Interesting)

d12v10 (1046686) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465836)

I'm not at all surprised that NK has biochemical facilities and research, but I'm more interested in how PM found out specific details about it. That would be a better question.

Re:What do you need bio for? (4, Funny)

xQx (5744) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465942)

Well, to quote the late Bill Hicks...

George Bush: "We know they've got weapons of mass destruction"
Public: "How do you know?"
George: "Uhh... we looked at the reciept..."

Close, but yes. (1)

anti-human 1 (911677) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466064)

WMD wasn't a buzzword yet. [wikiquote.org] At least, not like it is now.

Re:Close, but yes. (1)

xQx (5744) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466152)

Fine :), the exact quote from wikipedia (he was talking about desert storm)...

You know we armed Iraq. I wondered about that too, you know. During the Persian Gulf war, those intelligence reports would come out:

"Iraq: incredible weapons - incredible weapons."
"How do you know that?"
"Uh, well ... we looked at the receipts."

Re:What do you need bio for? (1)

webrunner (108849) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467122)

but I'm more interested in how PM found out specific details about it.
They're popular

The popular can do whatever they want!

Re:What do you need bio for? (2, Interesting)

ajenteks (943860) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465896)

A nuke is just one egg in a basket. Biochemical weapons do have their advantages, i.e. you can't expose some potential "refugees" with radiation and then have them "escape" from your side of the border to freedom. Give refugees something nasty like small pox though, and hypothetically, that'd be a lot cheaper and possibly more effective than a nuke.

Re:What do you need bio for? (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467032)

But those refugees will go to/through China, and someone might not like that very much at all.

Different uses. (2, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465986)

Biological - Not really all that useful. There's too much danger of it infecting your people.

Chemical - Used to restrict the enemy's access to terrain which forces him to attack along routes you've selected or require him to attack wearing protective suits. Chemicals can also be used to "soften" a target before your own troops attack.

Nuclear - Big boom. Lots of damage.

So, I can see them working on chemical weapons and nukes. But biological weapons make no sense for them. Particularly when the "enemy" is only 10 miles across the border from them.

Re:Different uses. (5, Insightful)

endianx (1006895) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466274)

Biological - Not really all that useful. There's too much danger of it infecting your people.
Not a problem if you don't care about your people.

But those are the ones protecting you. (2, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467316)

An accidental outbreak of smallpox in your army and you're suddenly far more vulnerable than before.

Re:Different uses. (1)

jcgf (688310) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466706)

Biological - Not really all that useful. There's too much danger of it infecting your people.

But you still have danger to your people from radiation or chemical spills with the other 2.

Far fewer. (1)

khasim (1285) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467278)

But you still have danger to your people from radiation or chemical spills with the other 2.

Biological weapons can (usually) be transmitted from person to person. Infect 1 person and he can infect 1,000 others. The disease breeds inside the victim.

Radiation is only a threat to those handling the materials.

Chemicals are a bigger threat than radiation, but less than biological. And chemical spills are usually easy to see or the effects are noticed quickly. Chemical weapons are very similar to the pesticides that we use.

Re:What do you need bio for? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466808)

Technically it depends on what your after.

If your after land and structures, nukes aren't going to win it for you.

Nukes destroy everything. Biological and you have a way of killing a large population while leaving the infrastructure intact.

Now if you have the antidote, it allows you to make your people immune and take out a large portion of the enemies population.

Say you introduce the antidote into your own water supply, ensure all your soldiers are taken care of, give a few months to take root into your people.
Now, send it to the enemy.

Most of the population taken out in a short period of time, making take over that much easier.

However, this is just absolutely perfect for nanomachines to do.

Say, create a nanomachine with GPS capability, launch it in a balloon over a population, it'll kill everything within a specific geological range.

To quote from B5 (4, Insightful)

metlin (258108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465764)

"I suppose there'll be a war now, hm? All that running around and shooting one another. You'd think that sooner or later, it would go out of fashion."

- Londo Mollari [wikipedia.org]

Great, one more country has one more way of killing several large number of people in one go.

One would think that sooner or later we'd stop this crap.

Sorry, just a little frustrated with the fact that every time I have looked at news the past week, there is killing and murder and unrest everywhere. Bah.

Re:To quote from B5 (1)

TheRealMindChild (743925) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465918)

Only in the past week? Where is the rock that you live under?

Re:To quote from B5 (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466042)

I stand corrected.

Re:To quote from B5 (1)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465928)

Seems to me that the news is like that every week. I know how you feel, it's very frustrating when all they show is blood, death, gore, and sensationalism. I guess they think that will get them better ratings, I dunno... It only gets worse when they bring in "experts" to "analyze" the situation. Eeesh. I just want the facts so I can make up my own mind, I don't need some crooked politician or retarded movie star trying to tell me what I should be thinking.

Re:To quote from B5 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466030)

killing several large number of people in one go.

Actually, it's been proven time and time again that chemical weapons suck. If you want to kill people, pack your sarin-delivering shell with gunpowder, and it'll kill more people. Subway attacks are the classic best case scenario for chemical attacks and 5 Aum Shinrikyo attacks managed to kill a whopping 12 people.

Terrorists love it when everyone flips out over them though since they can induce a lot of fear with the minimum of work.

Re:To quote from B5 (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466092)

But not bio-weapons.

Those are truly scary. Can you imagine an outbreak of a strain of smallpox that cannot be controlled?

And chemical weapons combined with traditional weapons can wreak more havoc than, say, gunpowder alone.

Re:To quote from B5 (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466318)

But not bio-weapons.

Those are truly scary. Can you imagine an outbreak of a strain of smallpox that cannot be controlled?

And chemical weapons combined with traditional weapons can wreak more havoc than, say, gunpowder alone.

Oh my, the sky is falling. We better invade them RIGHT NOW before their heathen commie biologics compromise the purity of our bodily fluids.

Naw. No oil in North Korea. Our regularly scheduled jihad against Iran is still on...

Re:To quote from B5 (1)

xero314 (722674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466712)

Can you imagine an outbreak of a strain of smallpox that cannot be controlled?
Not really an issue unless they get around the CCR5 delta 32 mutation immunization. Well, at least for some of us.

Re:To quote from B5 (1)

bendodge (998616) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466966)

Some of us = almost nobody. Ever since somebody (I think the WHO) declared smallpox exterminated, it has only been known to exist in labs (and maybe the dark jungles of Africa). And now nobody is vaccinated against a disease you can't catch.

Re:To quote from B5 (1)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466260)

every time I have looked at news the past week, there is killing and murder and unrest everywhere. Bah.

The solution is simple and obvious; send in the UN Peace Keeping Forces.

"We come in peace, shoot to kill, shoot to kill."

KFG

war is never going away (-1, Redundant)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466450)

war (and love) are simply expressions of human passion

the day you make people into impassionate lobotomized autmatons is the day you get rid of war. in other words, hopefully never

you will never stop people from believing so strongly in an ideology or a cause that they will risk their lives or someone else's lives in order to advance their cause. i didn't say that was RIGHT for people to do that, i just said that such people will never stop appearing. you can't get rid of such people, simply because you can't rid of human passion, nor should you try. that's the wrong effort. all you can do is contain the damage they cause, to contain the damage caused by human passion expressed in the wrong way

but there is progress: war less of a territorial thing nowadays, and more of a criminality thing. for example, timothy mcveigh declared war on the us govt. but it was about ideology, not turf

so the future should be less bloody in that terrorism is the new warfare. rather than germans and frenchmen killing each others by the hundreds of thousands over a few feet of land between some trenches, you'll have islamofascists flying airplanes into office towers and killing people only by the thousands

in a perverted way, yes, this is progress. it's less actual human deaths involved, and it involves killing over ideas, rather than over turf

killing over ideas rather than turf consumes less human lives, even though the same level of passion is involved

the future is less land wars in the name of imperial designs, and a lot more terrorism in the name of various ideological movements, however invalid that ideological movement

the negative of course, is that everyone is involved in such wars now. there is no geographical frontline. nowhere is safe. every office, transit line, and airplane is a frontline in terrorism, the new face of war. everysingle one of us, man, woman, and child, is on the frontline in terrorism

so there will be less aircraft carriers and tanks, more IUDs and bomb belts. that's the future of war

war never goes away, it just changes in nature

war is just as much as human identity as love, and never will it be separate from what it means to be human

i didn't say that's a good thing, i'm just recognizing the reality of what it means to be human

now god forbid a terrorist group gets its hands on nukes/ chemical/ biological agents

oops, already happened [wikipedia.org]

Re:war is never going away (3, Funny)

spickus (513249) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467040)

"more IUDs and bomb belts."

That does sound nasty, where exactly are they sticking those IUDS ?

Re:To quote from B5 (1)

Tackhead (54550) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467102)

> "I suppose there'll be a war now, hm? All that running around and shooting one another. You'd think that sooner or later, it would go out of fashion."
> - Londo Mollari

Sooner or later we'll stop this crap? Sorry, we don't get to decide. I'll see your Londo and raise you a Kosh:

"The avalanche has already started. It is too late for the pebbles to vote."

Popular Mechanics? (4, Funny)

LibertarianWackJob (881478) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465798)

So could we replace the CIA with the staff from Popular Mechanics?

Re:Popular Mechanics? (4, Informative)

iamlucky13 (795185) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466032)

As someone who grew up on a big stack of Popular Mechanics, I hate to say it, but "in-depth" and "Popular Mechanics" are two terms that haven't worked well together in a sentence for years, arguably decades. A much better source of information is www.globalsecurity.org or fas.org. In fact, looking through their section on North Korea's WMD [globalsecurity.org] , I see that the Popular Mechanics author basically paraphrased their write-up, giving his article all the quality and broad research base of any good internet blog.

Another nice aspect of globalsecurity and the Federation of American Scientists, is that both maintain rather extensive databases of information on weapon systems. For example, if after reading the article, I want to know how far a chemical weapon-equipped Scud could deliver it's payload, I can look that up [globalsecurity.org] , too.

Re:Popular Mechanics? (1)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466186)

So could we replace the CIA with the staff from Popular Mechanics?

I agree that if one thought this was actually news, then hearing it from Popular Mechanics might seem a little odd. But this is hardly news. Of course NK has been been doing this stuff for decades. And just like every major intel agency on the planet knew that Saddam was (at various times, in various amounts) hiding stuff, they all know that NK has stuff. Unlike Saddam, NK hasn't yet trotted it out and used it on an ethnic minority at the edge of their country, or decided to try (since the 1950s) to invade south. So we haven't had the disruption of a NATO-ish smackdown (a la post-Kuwait) to slow down their hobby.

But if you think that the CIA (or MI6, etc) is any more precisely aware of the exact state of these programs in NK than they were about what Saddam specifically had still sitting around (or where, and what was shipped off to Syria, or not), then you're mistaken. NK is notoriously difficult to infiltrate, that way. That place is a horror show.

more WMD! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17465800)

Time to invade! Why not? Look how well it worked against the other member of the axis-of-evil...

Lets go to war... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17465824)

We can see that North Korea has a good deal of intelligence, or wait they just read the newspapers. They realize that at this point the US cannot go to war, as they are so indebted from the 'war on terror'. Now with the threat of war with Iran, if they were to develop a strong weapons program (which they now have), there is nothing the US can do about it, putting them in a good position to do just about whatever they want. Maybe we should stop hunting some guy in a cave and wake up to what is really going on in the world...

Re:Lets go to war... (1)

pinqkandi (189618) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466100)

Are you really suggesting to just stop hunting for Bin Laden? Ridiculous.

Re:Lets go to war... (2, Interesting)

dreddnott (555950) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466146)

You're 100% correct that we're fairly strapped for cash because of Iraq, as Bush has spent the combined budget for a full-fledged moon colony and a manned Mars expedition (which he promised in what, 2001? 2002?) in Iraq, with far less impressive results, but do you really think we've been hunting Osama bin Laden for even the last three or four years? Give me a break. Some people believe he may have even died of natural causes in 2002 but that sounds a bit far-fetched.

Just our luck that Bush's dad "had it out" with the one secular Arab nation in the Middle East, with the most advanced womens' rights, that didn't directly support al Qaeda, the one that didn't have any nuclear proliferation capabilities, as opposed to Pakistan, India, Iran, and North Korea, and as I imagine, many more in the future. Boomers are going to have childhood flashbacks of Bert the Turtle ducking and covering for the foreseeable future.

It's also worth noting that North Korea has one of the largest armies in the world (bigger than the People's Republic of China if you count reserves!), and if they do indeed possess chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, this would be very different from invading a sandbox that couldn't even fight off Iran (with our help).

Sure... (-1, Flamebait)

Dread_ed (260158) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465826)

We've heard this sort of thing before.

Yet there it is again. More lying claims of WMDs designed to incite the US into waging an unjustified war against (insert country name here).

Fool me once shame on you. Fool me again and...well...you can't...or something.

Re:Sure... (5, Insightful)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466282)

Yet there it is again. More lying claims of WMDs designed to incite the US into waging an unjustified war against (insert country name here).

You'd have a point, except it is China, Japan and S. Korea making the claims. Are they all lying too?

Re:Sure... (0, Flamebait)

Trailer Trash (60756) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466996)

You apparently haven't seen the list of countries that thought Iraq had WMD, too. The looney left isn't impressed by that; GWB is the cause of all the world's problems.

Re:Sure... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17467044)

Let's not rewrite history. France and Russia were also convinced that Saddam had WMD. They just disagreed with the US on how to deal with it. And not from any sense of right or wrong but because they had significant "Big Business" interests in Iraq.

Re:Sure... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466358)

There are, at most, seven people in the US that wouldn't like to blow the fuck out of North Korea. And they're all in Texas.

Hmmmm... Where's Bush on All This? (1, Insightful)

PateraSilk (668445) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465842)

Funny... a bioweapons program in N. Korea? With nukes and everything? Real, tangible weapons of mass destruction? With a prosperous true democracy only minutes away? Where's the sabre-rattling? Why hasn't Colin Powell been dispatched to the UN? How come Condi's not talking about mushroom clouds?

Yeah, Iraq had nothing to do with Bush's daddy.

Re:Hmmmm... Where's Bush on All This? (4, Insightful)

Lord_Slepnir (585350) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466062)

The difference is that North Korea has China backing them up. I assure you that if, say, Russia (or any other real threat) had backed up Iraq, we would have stayed out.

Although, China has been making moves to distance themselves from N.K. recently. but until they do, they'll be off limits. Both of my grandfathers fought in the last Korean war, and as one of them put it "Frequently, we'd run out of machine gun bullets before they ran out of troops to throw at us"

Re:Hmmmm... Where's Bush on All This? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466566)

Known as the "Zapp Brannigan Manuever"

Re:Hmmmm... Where's Bush on All This? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467254)

The difference is that North Korea has China backing them up

Where else can China sell oil at above market rates with no competition from anyone else? The two countries trade, but when it comes down to it, China does not like North Korea much and has a lot of troops on the border. However, any military action so close to China would make them very paranoid and if handled the wrong way would get China involved.

Many (not including the poster above) still haven't learned the blatantly obvious message from Vietnam which has parallels here. There were idiots right to the top that thought Nth Vietnam was run out of the Kremlin and other idiots that thought it was run out of Beijing - while the reality was it was run out of Vietnam by people playing the USSR and China against each other to get help.

Re:Hmmmm... Where's Bush on All This? (3, Informative)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466144)

How long 'til Bush Bashing is considered Karma Whoring? God knows that being a conservative is one way ticket to "Troll", "Flamebait" and my all time favorite, "Overrated".

Back to your comment:
Funny... a bioweapons program in N. Korea? With nukes and everything? Real, tangible weapons of mass destruction? With a prosperous true democracy only minutes away? Where's the sabre-rattling? Why hasn't Colin Powell been dispatched to the UN? How come Condi's not talking about mushroom clouds?

Well, if Bush hadn't received so much shit for the last war, he might be a bit more willing to go at it again. I'm sure the last thing the administration wants to give you guys another reason to protest for impeachment.

Also, and more importantly, there's a boat-load in S. Korea and Japan that are quietly praying the problem will go away. The governments in these countries don't want us to do anything about it right now because they know their cities will either glow in the dark or sit under a cloud of poisonous fumes. On the other hand, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia wanted Saddam Hussein gone and encouraged us to take action.

Re:Hmmmm... Where's Bush on All This? (3, Insightful)

nojomofo (123944) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466368)

Well, if Bush hadn't received so much shit for the last war, he might be a bit more willing to go at it again. I'm sure the last thing the administration wants to give you guys another reason to protest for impeachment.

Wait, wait, wait.... You're blaming the left wing (and centrists, too, for that matter) for trying to hold Bush accountable for all of the lying and whatnot? Perhaps if his administration hadn't done it with Iraq, he wouldn't be blamed for it, and he'd be more willing to go after North Korea. Don't try to pass the blame - Bush and his administration are the ones who cried wolf, it's not the townspeoples' fault that they're not rushing in to save him this time.

Re:Hmmmm... Where's Bush on All This? (3, Insightful)

Jtheletter (686279) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466520)

My thoughts exactly, maybe if any of the myriad and ever-shifting reasons given as justification for the Iraq war were true then people wouldn't be giving this administration "so much shit for the last war."

Although unfortunately with the situation in N. Korea there is the added problem that S. Korea is basically a hostage (well within missle range), and Seoul with its ten million or so citizens will likely face annihilation should hostilities begin in the region. :/ Still, the hypocracy is deep with this one.

Also of note, the National Defense Authorization Act [thinkprogress.org] passed in October 2006 required Bush to appoint a Policy Coordinator to deal directly with N.K. issues within 60 days, that date has come and gone and the post remains unfilled.

Re:Hmmmm... Where's Bush on All This? (4, Insightful)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466944)

S. Korea is basically a hostage (well within missle range), and Seoul with its ten million or so citizens will likely face annihilation should hostilities begin in the region.

Seoul is within *artillery* range of NK and NK has the capacity to bombard it with hundreds of thousands of rounds of artillery *per hour* until that capacity is destroyed. On the first day of fighting, there would probably be more than a million SK casualties. And these would be *first-world citizen* casualties, not third-world casualties taht nobody cares about. This is why there has not been and will not be an invasion of NK. The costs would be too high, even if NK didn't have nukes or bio-chems.

Re:Hmmmm... Where's Bush on All This? (2, Interesting)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466526)

Wait, wait, wait.... You're blaming the left wing (and centrists, too, for that matter) for trying to hold Bush accountable for all of the lying and whatnot? Perhaps if his administration hadn't done it with Iraq, he wouldn't be blamed for it, and he'd be more willing to go after North Korea. Don't try to pass the blame - Bush and his administration are the ones who cried wolf, it's not the townspeoples' fault that they're not rushing in to save him this time.

Blame the intelligence services for all of the lying and whatnot as it was more that Bush that thought Iraq had NEW WMD's. (We found plenty of the old ones that had been "destroyed", but not the stockpiles required to make the headlines.) And, quite frankly, it wasn't just the WMD's. It was the soon to be disbanded Oil for food program, the firing on American and allied planes and soldiers, the assassination attempt of a former US President, and the 1.5 million innocent people killed by Hussein. Of course we need not forget Putin telling GWB that Russian intel believed that Iraq was planning an attack in the US. After all the flack that GWB took for not stopping 9-11 when there was intel, no matter how vague (Presidential Daily Brief: Al Qaeda determined to attack in the US), I understand why we attacked Iraq. If you bashed Bush for not stopping 9-11, then you really can't honestly bash him for attacking Iraq.

Besides, since we have the same intel on N. Korea that we have on Iraq, why would you support attacking N. Korea and NOT support attacking Iraq?

Re:Hmmmm... Where's Bush on All This? (2, Interesting)

nojomofo (123944) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466714)

So you're drinking the kool-aid and blaming the "intelligence failures" on the intelligence services? Not the administration, who attempted to discredit Valerie Plame's husband and his report that there was nothing to the Nigerian yellowcake story by outing her as a spy? And failed to listen to Hans Blix, who "accused the U.S. and British governments of dramatising the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, in order to strengthen the case for the 2003 war against the regime of Saddam Hussein." (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Blix [wikipedia.org] ). Maybe you should just admit that this was what Bush wanted, he did everything he could to make it happen, and it's his fault.

Re:Hmmmm... Where's Bush on All This? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17467116)

By your post it would seem you prefer the blue kool-aid.

You have just provided the talking points of the social progressives instead of the talking points of the neo-cons.

Re:Hmmmm... Where's Bush on All This? (1)

ArcherB (796902) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467170)

So you're drinking the kool-aid and blaming the "intelligence failures" on the intelligence services? Not the administration, who attempted to discredit Valerie Plame's husband and his report that there was nothing to the Nigerian yellowcake story by outing her as a spy? And failed to listen to Hans Blix, who "accused the U.S. and British governments of dramatising the threat of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, in order to strengthen the case for the 2003 war against the regime of Saddam Hussein." (from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans_Blix [wikipedia.org] ). Maybe you should just admit that this was what Bush wanted, he did everything he could to make it happen, and it's his fault.

You mean this that we should have listened to this Hans Blix: [fas.org]
Blix said he views the U.S.-North Korea agreed framework as "a way of
promoting the implementation of the safeguards agreement" which already
exists between the IAEA and the DPRK. It was Pyongyang's announcement that
it was withdrawing from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT),
together with its threat to suspend permission for IAEA inspectors to carry
1ut their safeguards work, that triggered the North Korean nuclear crisis
in March 1993.

And from your Wiki Link:
Hans Blix personally admonished Saddam for "cat and mouse" games [3] and warned Iraq of "serious consequences" if it attempted to hinder or delay his mission [4].

What possible consequences could Blix have been referring to? What "serious consequences" would have worked?

Frontline [pbs.org] had an excellent documentary about intelligence failures. While it was certainly not friendly to the current administration, it told of a meeting between Bush and George Tenet, director of the CIA. The president read the report and said, "Is this all we have?" Tenet responded with, It's a "slam dunk" [wikipedia.org]

So the cool-aid you claim I'm drinking is backed by PBS. Hardly a bastion of right-wing ideology. Maybe you should look into your own cup and see what's in there.

Re:Hmmmm... Where's Bush on All This? (1)

NeutronCowboy (896098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466776)

The only people I remember talking about Iraq having WMDs were Bush and Blair. The US intelligence services, once you actually got a hold of the actual briefings, were very circumspect in their analysis. Everything was full of maybe's, there is a possibility, it could be, etc. There never, ever was an intelligence brief that showed a smoking gun.

As for foreign services talking about WMDs, do you have a quote? All I remember from every international news source (quoting both elected and intelligence officials) is that they thought the WMD charge was bogus.

Bush deserves full blame for the Iraq war, based on his lying (no other explanation really comes close to explaining his flip-flopping) and the complete absence of an actual reason to invade another country (that he was a bad guy had been known since the days that Rumsfeld shook hands with Saddam in the eighties).

Finally, nobody's talking about invading North Korea. Which is kinda the point.

Re:Hmmmm... Where's Bush on All This? (4, Insightful)

meringuoid (568297) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466924)

we have the same intel on N. Korea that we have on Iraq

I must have missed the memo. When did Saddam Hussein announce the successful test of a nuclear bomb, and when did seismographs worldwide confirm this?

Re:Hmmmm... Where's Bush on All This? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17467134)

Well, if Bush hadn't received so much shit for the last war, he might be a bit more willing to go at it again.

If the only thing keeping Bush from a war with North Korea is the criticism he received with respect to Iraq then that criticism was well worth it. A war with North Korea would be a really really Bad Idea.

I'm sure the last thing the administration wants to give you guys another reason to protest for impeachment.

Huh? Since when has the Bush administration even noticed that there were protests?

Re:Hmmmm... Where's Bush on All This? (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467294)

Well, if Bush hadn't received so much shit for the last war, he might be a bit more willing to go at it again

This has been going on for longer than he has been President so I consider that remark irrevelevent. He also did talk about rogue states when he first came to office.

Re:Hmmmm... Where's Bush on All This? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466502)

Look, go light on W. He's got a SHITLOAD of your mail to open this week...

Re:Hmmmm... Where's Bush on All This? (1)

Lord_Dweomer (648696) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466558)

Even more comforting is that these stockpiles are under the control of a mad man who has gone on record saying something to the extent of "if we are losing a war I'm going to try to destroy the planet and take everybody down with me".

Why exactly has this nutjob NOT been assasinated yet? If not by the US, then how about by one of the other countries that hate them, such as South Korea, China or Japan? I'm sure the rest of the world would be willing to look the other way. A nice double-tap to the head and a post-it note on his corpse threatening anybody who tries to fill his shoes is all that would be needed.

Re:Hmmmm... Where's Bush on All This? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466654)

You might be onto something, except for the daddy thing. We can invade N. Korea next, then Iran and if we come up short on manpower we can manufacture robots to do the invasion for us.

Re:Hmmmm... Where's Bush on All This? (1)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466850)

The simple, serious, answer to all your questions is "Seoul".

Until you understand this, you have no business saying anything at all about any policy towards North Korea.

Re:Hmmmm... Where's Bush on All This? (1)

goga_russian (544604) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466860)

all this Condi talk makes me want her more. just for laughs, too many boring stories like "oh yeah we have the reciepts"

Evil Dictator has WMD! (maybe...) (5, Funny)

fantomas (94850) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465844)

remind me, is this a dupe posting?

Re:Evil Dictator has WMD! (maybe...) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466794)

I dunno. Are you having a feeling of deja moo?

This gets so old (1)

Rooked_One (591287) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465866)

I mean come on... so they have a nuke (or claim to), why overkill? But, on the conspiracy side of things, they could have some super bug that the public won't be told about, and use that as some sort of leverage. God knows that science in the US has been declining. (I gotta wonder if god will give me brownie points for that statement)

Re:This gets so old (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466908)

There was a Shepherd Boy who tended his sheep at the foot of a mountain near a dark forest.

It was lonely for him, so he devised a plan to get a little company.

He rushed down towards the village calling out "Wolf, Wolf," and the villagers came out to meet him.

This pleased the boy so much that a few days after he tried the same trick,
and again the villagers came to his help.

Shortly after this a Wolf actually did come out from the forest.

The boy cried out "Wolf, Wolf," still louder than before.

But this time the villagers, who had been fooled twice before, thought the boy was again
lying, and nobody came to his aid.

So the Wolf made a good meal off the boy's flock.

Ob. Team America (1)

93,000 (150453) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465870)

When asked for comment Kim Jong declined to give details, respoding:

"You have any idea how fucking buzy I am?"

mmm hear those drums? (1)

Phil246 (803464) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465876)

Those are war drums i hear beating. The propeganda offensive has been underway for years - The military one cant be too far behind.

the question is... (1)

lordvalrole (886029) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465882)

Is there anything that the US or other nations can do to North Korea? We can sanction the crap out of them, but sanctions are just as deadly as an biological or chemical attack. Sanctions hurt countries and hurt the innocent people that aren't mixed up in this crap. North Korea is going to do what they want and no one is going to stop them. The US is so bogged down in the middle east that we can't do anything to NK, short of nuking them or causing harm on them.

What about my flying car? (5, Insightful)

Fysiks Wurks (949375) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465888)

Popular Mechanics is known for its deep knowlege North Korean technology.

By the way Popular Mechnaics, where is my flying car or personal submarine?

Re:What about my flying car? (1)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466308)

Yes, Popular Mechanics is an excellent source for far eastern intelligence. I also often consult Cycling Today and Good Housekeeping.

Re:What about my flying car? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466522)

By the way Popular Mechnaics, where is my flying car or personal submarine?

You'll see pictures of them when you subscribe. BTW, don't forget to drink your ovaltine. -PM

And? (1)

mpapet (761907) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465892)

While this is unfortunate and *may* add to instability in the region, I smell a couple of rats.

1. Now that today's bad guy is doing it how is it different than say (insert former bad-country-now-fighting-the-war-on-terrr here) doing it?

2. What special inroad does popular mechanics have in NORTH korea? Most objective analysts would have a hard time verifying it and I'd like to hear it from them.

3. Does anyone recall the long and sordid history of planted stories, media contacts and testimony in the U.S. in order to achieve a political end?

I'm weary of propaganda posing as stories to the point of disbelief. This one is a perfect example.

Definitely not in-depth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17465922)

Hmm, a 1300-word article filled mostly with semi-educated guesses and generalized fear-mongering? Not so in-depth. The eye-witness reports from "defectors" are the most concrete evidence reported, but even that kinda reminds of the Iraqi "defectors" who helped get the US in the huge mess it is now.

You know, Popular Mechanics has never really been about in-depth anything, but rather more about gee-whiz military and auto technology. The funniest line is describing Kim Jong Il as "the world figure who has come, perhaps more than any other, to symbolize the dangers of WMD proliferation". No, that world figure would most definitely would be Saddam Hussein. And it turned out he didn't have any. ANY. So now PM is helping the US redirect its paranoia towards North Korea. Thanks, guys.

No question Kim Jong Il is another Stalinistic nut job who's willing to do just about anything to his own people, but that's not to say he's a threat worthy of military action. This is the kind of article that gets people supporting stupid and intractable military actions.

KC

NK's WMD PR Dept. (1)

delire (809063) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465930)

North Korea's Chemical and Bioweapons (CBW) program
Wow, not only is their super secret enterprise in English, but they even use provide an easily recallable acronym that's constructed in a way that makes sense to our English minds! Very Handy!

Re:NK's WMD PR Dept. (1)

xQx (5744) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466104)

And it's posted on slashdot!!!

Damn, the North Korean secret minister for secret affairs must be having a pretty bad day.

Just like Usians (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17465950)

the Soviets developed deadly agents that included weaponized forms of anthrax and pneumonic plague

Usians have chemical weapons [wikipedia.org] too:

A 1994 United States Senate Report, entitled "Is military research hazardous to veterans health? Lessons spanning a half century," detailed the United States' Department of Defense practice of experimenting on animal and human subjects, often without a latter's knowledge or consent. This included:

* Approximately 60,000 [US] military personnel were used as human subjects in the 1940s to test the chemical agents mustard gas and lewisite.[7]

* Between the 1950s through the 1970s, at least 2,200 military personnel were subjected to various biological agents, referred to as Operation Whitecoat. Unlike most of the studies discussed in this report, Operation Whitecoat was truly voluntary.[8]

* Between 1951 and 1969, Dugway Proving Ground was the site of testing for various chemical and biological agents, including an open air aerodynamic dissemination test in 1968 that accidentally killed, on neighboring farms, approximately 6,400 sheep by an unspecified nerve agent.


Re:Just like Usians (2, Insightful)

PreacherTom (1000306) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466298)

Oh, please. The stuff we have stashed away makes standard weaponized anthrax and plague look like Romper Room.

Popular Mechanics and Iraq (2, Insightful)

Socguy (933973) | more than 7 years ago | (#17465964)

Maybe I'm wrong, but didn't popular mechanics have a feature article on Iraq's WMDs a few years ago?

i actually like the idea (4, Insightful)

namekuseijin (604504) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466006)

Come to think of it, i like biochemical weapons a lot more than nukes: this way, we can wipe our shitty selves out of this world while still maintaining it intact, since other life forms don't really give a shit to Ebola, AIDS or other dumb monkey weapons...

Re:i actually like the idea (1)

xero314 (722674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466190)

i like biochemical weapons...this way, we can wipe our shitty selves out of this world...
If you like the idea of wiping out mankind you should show your support by starting with yourself.

Re:i actually like the idea (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466426)

i like biochemical weapons...this way, we can wipe our shitty selves out of this world...

If you like the idea of wiping out mankind you should show your support by starting with yourself.

Nonononono.

First, the heavy metal band.

THEN their parents

THEN themselves.

If you're gonna paraphrase Denis Leary, at least try to get it close.

Re:i actually like the idea (1)

xero314 (722674) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466772)

If you're gonna paraphrase Denis Leary, at least try to get it close.
My apologies to Leary, I hadn't actually realized he said it first, though I know I wasn't the first one to think of it.

Re:i actually like the idea (1)

namekuseijin (604504) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466612)

No, I like myself very much, thank you.

I was thinking more of Bush or the North Korean dictator of the day or any other dumbasses... it's a shame millions will suffer until one of them die or chage place with another dumbass...

You bet. (1)

anti-human 1 (911677) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466394)

It really is a shame there isn't a big glass cased red button for that. I'd imagine its related to the doctrine that mankind is the sole owner of the earth, save for (deity). Thus all else, vertibrates and otherwise, get the big fuck you.

Hindsight is 20/20, and I wish I had a time machine to see if I needed to militantly start changing things now, ya know?

pneumonic plague (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466072)

A pneumonic plague? Well that one oughta be easy to remember. har har har!

Oh come on guys, you thought it was funny too. Right? Where are you going?

everyone's at it.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466280)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Detrick [wikipedia.org]

It's not just the Soviet Union and the North Koreans that develop biological weapons. After all, the relevant treaty permits production of biological agents in quantities necessary to develop protective measures, and that's not likely to be misused, is it?
On the bright side, no-one has deployed any (that I know of) for quite a while, mainly because they are not a very effective tool of war in most circumstances.

I'd say the people who have the most at stake here are the Chinese, and if they feel threatened I very much expect them to act, there's really no reason for the US to put its forces in harm's way yet again over postulated WMD's.

War propaganda, not science (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466422)

Revolutionaries stand for the unconditional defense of the DPRK against US imperialism. Drive the US out of Korea!

Re:War propaganda, not science (1)

NiteShaed (315799) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466642)

Drive the US out of Korea!

It'd be a long, wet drive home.....flying or maybe a nice cruise sounds more appealing.

We should attack!! (1)

Eric Damron (553630) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466484)

Before the proof of WMD comes in the form of a cough and runny nose.

Compared to, say, the US ... (4, Insightful)

vandan (151516) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466656)

How does their alleged stock ( in much the same vain as Iraq's alleged stock ) compare to the real stockpile that the US actively develops?

The simple fact is that all countries see these kinds of weapons as not only useful deterrents, but necessary deterrents. Consider, for example, how things would have played out differently if Iraq had possessed the nuclear ( or newkilla weapons as Dubya and half of the US pronounce it ), chemical and biological weapons that the US was claiming they had. The would have been no invasion, or if there had, there would have been very, very serious consequences, not only for US and coalition-of-the-killing troups, but for US citizens as well.

This is what proliferation is all about. This is why the US is so hypocritical when it demands that all others renounce WOMD, terrorism and such. They are the biggest perpetrators, and force everyone else's hand. Whether you agree with the politics of the other states involved or not ( and I'm certainly no fan of North Korea ), you have to look at it from their point of view. Having a US armed to the teeth with WOMD, and being the biggest terrorist around, it makes good sense to get some serious arsenal of your own. What's good for the goose ... ( and Dubya makes a fine goose ) ...

Re:Compared to, say, the US ... (3, Insightful)

Loki_1929 (550940) | more than 7 years ago | (#17466940)

"How does their alleged stock ( in much the same vain as Iraq's alleged stock ) compare to the real stockpile that the US actively develops?"

It's stored and contained by a relatively responsible and sane government with no intention of using it. Iraq's stockpile of WMDs was not alleged - it was filmed and documented by United Nations weapons inspectors and it was actively used against Iran and the Kurds. North Korea's stockpile isn't alleged either - they've admitted on numerous occassions that they have weaponized Uranium and have working nuclear weapons. Furthermore, they've threatened to actually use those weapons against those they perceive as conspiring against them (ie "sea of fire...").

In your rush to condemn the United States and its government, you seem to have lost track of the fact that Iraq murdered hundreds of thousands of its own citizens and attacked its neighbors, and North Korea is threatening nearby democracies with nuclear destruction while its citizens starve en masse in an Orwellian police state. The world is not black and white as we would like, and it's time for people who delude themselves into believing it is to grow up.

Chicken Shit (2, Insightful)

Delifisek (190943) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467288)

Where is that f*cking evidence...
The uber responsible goverment of USA sell that chemical weapons to Saddam to take down Islamic Iran Regime in 1980's. That chemical weapons used against Iran and Kurds sell by Rumsfield himself...

There was no chemical weapon production plant in Iraq, no one found it. If they found it where is the evidence ?

USA goverment broke down the IRAQ goverment, if you haven't got instant replacement, you cannot change goverment like this. Entire country will collapsed...

Current status of IRAQ was CIVIL WAR and this was generated by Responsible George W. Bush regime.

Pleas, do not F.U.D us. No one takes...

Bah (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17466832)

I'm just waiting on Bush to tell us we need to invade because they have WMDs ^^

Just because it's probably true this time doesn't excuse the last one though... And it doesn't make it right.

I doubt he will though.... how much oil does NK have? ;)

You Should be Concerned (1)

allscan (1030606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467088)

As someone who works as a systems contractor destroying the U.S. chemical weapons stockpiles, I can tell you it doesn't take much of this stuff to take out large portions. Even if they don't achieve total lethality, they will permanently disable huge portions of the population should they perfect their ICBMs. I will make a prediction that if we ever get out of Iraq, it will be time for a second Korean war.

Re:You Should be Concerned (1)

SylvesterTheCat (321686) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467314)

Generally speaking, I agree with you.

I spent a year of my life mobilized for active duty to guard some of that stuff while contractors (like you) were building a de-mil facility to destroy some of these materials.

I can tell you it doesn't take much of this stuff to take out large portions.
That is very true, especially under the right conditions. I also want to point out that tactical employment of chemical and biological munitions is not as easy as it might seem. The effects of weather and terrain are very important considerations and can make it very difficult to get the desired results, unless you have an awful lot of it and have a delivery method to put it there.

Nuke The Motherfuckers into Oblivion (4, Funny)

littlewink (996298) | more than 7 years ago | (#17467128)

There's no alternative. We must hit North Korea with a surprise nuclear attack. Many nukes will be required to take out all chemical and biological facilities and sterilise them.

It will be a short and simple war, unlike Iraq. We won't send a single person into combat. But 100-200 nuclear MIRVs will be sent on the first strike.

The longer we wait the more dangerous NK becomes. They have probably already moved CBW to U.S. and European cities.

Time to strike.

You mean the Kimchi? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17467332)

Be very afraid!
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