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> North Korean Missiles, Something wrotten in Den- Asia?
post Mar 9 2006, 01:42 AM
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North Korea has again launched two short-range missiles near China.

The Story

Questions for Debate:

1.) Should non-diplomatic action take place?

2.) Is this a prelude to using nuclear weapons? Are you concerned?

3.) Do you believe North Korea is a real threat or simply reminding us they exist?

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post Mar 9 2006, 04:57 AM
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1) Should non-diplomatic action take place?

This a non-starter, even if the correct/proper and/or desired response is something other than diplomacy. More specifically:

"I'm writing on the 21st floor of the Lotte Hotel in Seoul, South Korea, conscious that around 14,000 North Korean artillery pieces are trained on the city, and that I am just six minutes flying time away from North Korean airspace.

Military planners believe that if a war were to break out, North Korea could rain hundreds of thousands of shells an hour on the 12 million residents of Seoul. Many of these could contain chemical or biological weapons. Perhaps in a week, US and South Korean forces could silence the guns. But in those terrible intervening days, the minimum estimate of civilian casualties in Seoul is a million, and the toll could rise to two or three million.
More sophisticated Koreans think that the conventional NK threat from artillery, Scud missiles and planes is so vast that a nuclear attack could be little worse."

See: http://www.rogerhelmer.com/seoul.asp

So, again, non-diplomatic action is a non-starter.

2) Is this a preclude to using nuclear weapons? Am I concerned?

Kim Jong Il may be a malovent miscreant, but he's not entirely dim. He understands that if he uses nucs, that North Korea will be "dematerialized" in reply. What he wants is to blackmail those in the world who claim to care. Rather than play his game, I would simply suggest that we inform the government of North Korea that if that government uses nucs, or transfers nucs, or the technology to fabricate nucs, to some other entity or person, and such entity or person uses such nucs and/or nuclear technology, that North Korea will face "prompt and utter destruction" [and that this time it won't be "mere" hyperbole].

3) Do I believe that North Korea is a real threat, or simply reminding us that it exists?

Hard to say actually. On the reminding side, simply note again my remark above about the NKs simply wanting to blackmail the caring world. With all the focus now being on Iran, this may be a reminder, I mean, blackmail sometimes calls for a reminder, yes? The complicating factor is Seoul. Given the proximity of Seoul to the NK side of the DMZ, hard to say just what someone such as Kim Jong Il might do. As MP Helmer reports, and he is correct, the damage from a "mere" conventional attack wouldn't be all that different from the damage inflicted by a nuclear strike. So Kim Jong Il could simply "play it safe" from a PR standpoint and refrain from a nuclear attack while still inflicting devasting human and material loss on the ROK. And then there's our will to absorb casualties. We'd lose a thousand a month [as opposed to the more than 2K we've lost in Iraq in very nearly 3 years]. Do we have the stomach for it? Or more correctly, does Kim Jong Il think that we have the stomach for it? Who knows, I certainly do not. And I don't know how to otherwise read our pullback from the DMZ [out of artillery range, well, more or less]. Was that simply to get out of range and never mind the immediate likelihood of a conventional artillery attack? Or do we think the man more unstable than even I suspect and so we pulled back thinking that maybe it's about time for the NKs to send some artillery in our general direction? Who knows, you'd have to ask those who made the decision to pull back. Sorry, forgot to add the third possibility re our pullback, to wit, since we apparently do not believe that the ROKs are correctly evaluating the threat posed by the NKs, maybe we sent the ROKs a message, to wit, please, by all means pursue your "Sunshine" policy, but if that don't work, please also know that it will be you and not us, who pays the immediate and rather devastating price of any initial NK attack by heavy artillery and SCUDs. So, again, hard to say, but if just had to place my bet, I'm going with the narcissist who wants to bribe the free world is simply reminding us that we have more to fear than Iran and that it is once again time for us to pony-up and pay some protection money.

This post has been edited by KivrotHaTaavah: Mar 9 2006, 05:02 AM
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post Mar 9 2006, 09:07 AM
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This is an annoying article in that is terribly scarce on details. It refers to 'Short Range' missiles, what does that mean, short range strategic missiles? Battlefield missiles?

Either way, I'm not sure how test-firing two short range missiles can be seen as much of a significant threat. North Korea has had short range strategic missile capacity for about 25 years, so this is hardly earthshattering. They tested a medium range ballistic misile a few years ago, that was worrysome, but this, its a flash in a can.

Actually, it might even be considered GOOD news. According to the article, the missiles 'went towards China by mistake'. If their missiles are of such poor quality that they cannot even control the general direction of flight I'm not sure people have much to worry about. They are in range of Seoul to be sure, but if a couple of their missiles 'accidentally' fly off North-westwards and take aout a Chinese village, then Kim has a whole now set of problems...

Lastly, short range missiles are usually tactical or battlefield in use. It is hard to tell from the article, but military standard is you don't tend to mount nukes on short range missiles, both because of the limitations of range, and the practical size of the missile (There are exceptions, the French Pluton missile and US Honest John missiles, but both date from the 1950s). We have no idea if these missiles are even NBC capable or not...

The point being, given the NK propensity to show off ballistic missiles, a couple inaccurate short-range launches of missiles we already knew they had is a bit irrelevant, and does not increase the already considerable threat.
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post Mar 9 2006, 02:09 PM
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Questions for Debate:

1.) Should non-diplomatic action take place?

No this is just more of the blackmail tactics NK has been using for years. We are smarter now and will not get fooled as M. Albright did. To respond to intimidation will just bring more of the same

2.) Is this a prelude to using nuclear weapons? Are you concerned?

Well yes we should be concerned about any and all of the weapons systems used by NK since we have thousands of troops in harms way and millions live within range of this missile. I believe wed have made it clear to NK, as we just did with Iran, that if you attack with nukes or supply nukes to people/countries that do the same you will be utterly annihilated. Letís hope they believe that.

3.) Do you believe North Korea is a real threat or simply reminding us they exist?

IMO this display of the short range missile is to let all of us know that they can hit all of South Korea well beyond the range of the thousands of artillery pieces that today could utterly destroy Soul. This system also does not allow the US to move our troops south of the DMZ for safety.

Also we must realize that small short range missiles in the quantities and with the payload they can carry are only effective if they are tipped with nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons. NK is letting us know they have them and can use them to threaten all of the Korean Peninsula.

This post has been edited by Ted: Mar 9 2006, 02:11 PM
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post Mar 10 2006, 06:38 PM
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QUOTE(VDemosthenes @ Mar 9 2006, 09:42 AM)
North Korea has again launched two short-range missiles near China.

The Story

Questions for Debate:

1.) Should non-diplomatic action take place?

2.) Is this a prelude to using nuclear weapons? Are you concerned?

3.) Do you believe North Korea is a real threat or simply reminding us they exist?


1. G.W.'s "pre-emptive strike" notwithstanding, America usually follows the "measured response" norm, which means nothing should be done in this case.

2. Of course not. Think about it, would you toss a nuke to somewhere 50 miles away just to have the wind blow the mushroom cloud back over your head. Simple equation to remember: short-range missile + nuke warhead = fallout over your head

3. I don't even think they are trying to send a signal this time. Your media's being too sensitive, it's their inner gay child acting up.
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Mar 13 2006, 12:28 PM
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1.) Should non-diplomatic action take place?

Non-diplomatic as in war? In a word, Christ no (okay two words). North Korea is a mess. This style of repressive government will not survive the modern world much longer. It will implode on its own. We should employ a naval blockade to inspect their exports, though (as I THINK we already do).

2.) Is this a prelude to using nuclear weapons? Are you concerned?

North Korea won't use nuclear weapons. What it will do is sell them to any and all willing buyers if it can, especially those who don't like the United States.

3.) Do you believe North Korea is a real threat or simply reminding us they exist?

Hard to say from Kim Jong Il. Schizophrenic messages are pretty standard for that regime. The missile over Japan years ago was a much more direct and antagonistic message than this one.

This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: Mar 13 2006, 12:33 PM
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