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VoteLobster Offline
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North Korea

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:35 am



The recent news hype is North Korea's threats to attack South Korea and America. I personally believe that 1) Because North Korea is too poor to feed their own people and 2) they're hesitant to follow through with their empty threats, there's no reason (at least over here) to be afraid of them. If they try anything major, the US military will shoot down their missiles and could crush Pyongyang within a week. Geographically, they're basically surrounded, so it would be stupid of them to try anything. But hey, this stuff sells on news. The only reason it's a big deal is because people like EXCITING NEWS like this and news channels get huge attention when they public news like this. It's probably just Kim Jong Un just trying to prove that he really is the so-called 'Great Leader' appointed by God.

North Korea is a funny bunch. Their citizens praise their 'Great Leader' for the 30 minutes of electricity they get per day, and even though they're starving, they still worship their 'Great Leader' and live under the delusion that they are the greatest country on Earth.

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One of my teachers said that if North Korea was completely destroyed and the government overthrown, it would be one of the best things to ever happen to the country. If South Korea could expand into North Korea and form one big Korea, it would become an economic superpower. (it would take some time though)

The first step to developing as a state/country is figuring out how to get their food, NOT building the world's 3rd largest military. That's something North Korea can't seem to figure out.

Thoughts?
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:45 am



Have that conversation with them, not us. Let us know how it goes.


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Re: North Korea

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:59 am



VoteLobster wrote:
One of my teachers said that if North Korea was completely destroyed and the government overthrown, it would be one of the best things to ever happen to the country. If South Korea could expand into North Korea and form one big Korea, it would become an economic superpower. (it would take some time though)?
Here's the problem: nobody wants to be responsible for North Korea. It's true that a unified Korea might eventually benefit the south in the VERY long run, but in the short run it would be a huge drain. Recall the fall of the wall and the reunification of East and West Germany. East Germany had poor infrastructure, was severely lacking in human capital due to ineffective eastern bloc education, and also had all sort of institutional issues to be addressed. For years, the West had to export skilled workers to the east to make up for this deficit. A huge portion of the state budget went to modernizing their infrastructure. The east is catching up, but it's still being outperformed by the west (much higher unemployment, less efficient industry).

With all that in mind, consider that East Germany, even after years of communist rule, was in a MUCH better position than North Korea is currently in, economically. They had a (albeit poorly) functioning industrial sector, a population that was somewhat educated (and importantly, connected to the world through radio), and an intellectual history in their culture that allowed them to modernize and join the world community relatively quickly. And after 20 years, they are still lagging behind the rest of the country.

North Korea has none of these advantages. North Korean industry is virtually nonexistent, and any effort to rebuild it would involve opperating at a loss for years before it became profitable. The population is famished, uneducated, and brainwashed. If they were liberated, you couldn't just dump them back into their lives and tell them they're part of the world community now. These people had been brought up to believe that their leaders are great and just and that their way of life is superior to the West's. Whether or not they fully accept these lies is inconsequential - they are being pounded with this information for their whole lives and have likely accepted these ideologies as fundamental parts of their identity. When Kims eventually lose power, there's going to be an entire nation of malnourished people going through a pretty significant identity crisis. Even with significant psychological support (which would have to occur on an unprecedented scale), there's a chance that entire generations will be lost. To make up for this, human capital would have to be exported from the South to the North to set up institutions of education, government, law, ect. It would be decades before the North could begin filling these positions with it's own people. All that time, the south caries a huge burden.

So the problem is essentially that it would be a TON of work for very little gain. The North has very little benefits to offer to whoever claims that territory. They do have some rare earth mineral deposits that could be exploited for profit, but these minerals aren't particularly scarce (despite the name) and the infrastructure to extract them is nonexistent and would be costly to set up. On top of this, there's the geopolitical *beep* that would follow if the Kims fell. Refugees would flee en masse to China, which is exactly what the Chinese don't want. Relations between the US (and SK and JP, by extension) and China would become strained, which isn't good for anyone.

It's a humanitarian crisis, really. The NK people are living in terrible conditions under a hugely oppressive regime, but it's in nobody's best interest to help them. So we let their crazy leader and his police terrorize his population with famine and gulags, because nobody wants to foot the bill that would come with helping them out.
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 11:41 am



yeah, if Korea were united as one, China would flip a royal *beep* and things would be much worse than they are now, except instead of a little schoolyard bully in NK, you're dealing with China
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 2:09 pm



hotbeats645 wrote:yeah, if Korea were united as one, China would flip a royal *beep* and things would be much worse than they are now, except instead of a little schoolyard bully in NK, you're dealing with China
That does make sense. Basically, North Korea doesn't matter to the rest of the world. If they do try to go through the trouble of uniting as one Korea, it would take the NK region however long to rebuild. We'd have to fund them, and the UN could get involved, whatever. It's probably a lot of trouble put in for possibly a low gain. If NK's infrastructure does get built, (which will take a very long time), there's not really a rapid recovery foreseeable in the near future. (Cubee, I agree with what you said about the time it will take to recover)

After we bombed Japan, we helped rebuild. So if we do overthrow NK, we're kind of obligated to help them recover.
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:31 pm



Cubee wrote:
VoteLobster wrote:
One of my teachers said that if North Korea was completely destroyed and the government overthrown, it would be one of the best things to ever happen to the country. If South Korea could expand into North Korea and form one big Korea, it would become an economic superpower. (it would take some time though)?
Here's the problem: nobody wants to be responsible for North Korea. It's true that a unified Korea might eventually benefit the south in the VERY long run, but in the short run it would be a huge drain. Recall the fall of the wall and the reunification of East and West Germany. East Germany had poor infrastructure, was severely lacking in human capital due to ineffective eastern bloc education, and also had all sort of institutional issues to be addressed. For years, the West had to export skilled workers to the east to make up for this deficit. A huge portion of the state budget went to modernizing their infrastructure. The east is catching up, but it's still being outperformed by the west (much higher unemployment, less efficient industry).

With all that in mind, consider that East Germany, even after years of communist rule, was in a MUCH better position than North Korea is currently in, economically. They had a (albeit poorly) functioning industrial sector, a population that was somewhat educated (and importantly, connected to the world through radio), and an intellectual history in their culture that allowed them to modernize and join the world community relatively quickly. And after 20 years, they are still lagging behind the rest of the country.

North Korea has none of these advantages. North Korean industry is virtually nonexistent, and any effort to rebuild it would involve opperating at a loss for years before it became profitable. The population is famished, uneducated, and brainwashed. If they were liberated, you couldn't just dump them back into their lives and tell them they're part of the world community now. These people had been brought up to believe that their leaders are great and just and that their way of life is superior to the West's. Whether or not they fully accept these lies is inconsequential - they are being pounded with this information for their whole lives and have likely accepted these ideologies as fundamental parts of their identity. When Kims eventually lose power, there's going to be an entire nation of malnourished people going through a pretty significant identity crisis. Even with significant psychological support (which would have to occur on an unprecedented scale), there's a chance that entire generations will be lost. To make up for this, human capital would have to be exported from the South to the North to set up institutions of education, government, law, ect. It would be decades before the North could begin filling these positions with it's own people. All that time, the south caries a huge burden.

So the problem is essentially that it would be a TON of work for very little gain. The North has very little benefits to offer to whoever claims that territory. They do have some rare earth mineral deposits that could be exploited for profit, but these minerals aren't particularly scarce (despite the name) and the infrastructure to extract them is nonexistent and would be costly to set up. On top of this, there's the geopolitical *beep* that would follow if the Kims fell. Refugees would flee en masse to China, which is exactly what the Chinese don't want. Relations between the US (and SK and JP, by extension) and China would become strained, which isn't good for anyone.

It's a humanitarian crisis, really. The NK people are living in terrible conditions under a hugely oppressive regime, but it's in nobody's best interest to help them. So we let their crazy leader and his police terrorize his population with famine and gulags, because nobody wants to foot the bill that would come with helping them out.
I agree with the whole "brainwashed" scenario, but isn't it better (or instead of "better", the AMERICAN WAY!) to spend some years striving to help NK become a free country than to let them live in basically another world where your leader tells you "this is the life"? One issue in America has always been whether we stick our noses in other countries affairs.
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 3:49 pm



jplovesthequads wrote: I agree with the whole "brainwashed" scenario, but isn't it better (or instead of "better", the AMERICAN WAY!) to spend some years striving to help NK become a free country than to let them live in basically another world where your leader tells you "this is the life"? One issue in America has always been whether we stick our noses in other countries affairs.
Really, it's always been issue whether we (or any other country) has the right to put satellites over another country and moniter it. Some countries just see it as "Oh, we have the right to do this so we can keep our people safe/informed" and some say that we simply don't have airspace rights above the countries. Because we can't put 'air fences' above the country, some countries can see it as intimidation or a threat to see a foreign fighter jet above their land.
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 4:11 pm



we'd have to fund them with what money? we're running a trillion dollars in debt. there is no way China will allow a democratic nation right on their border.
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:20 pm



hotbeats645 wrote:we'd have to fund them with what money? we're running a trillion dollars in debt. there is no way China will allow a democratic nation right on their border.
There lies another issue. China is wary of too many Americans. But there are already plenty of Americans in South Korea.

If NK does try to rebuild, it will be a very long and rigorous process for North Korea and anybody involed.
Last edited by VoteLobster on Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:21 pm



jplovesthequads wrote:
Cubee wrote:
VoteLobster wrote:
One of my teachers said that if North Korea was completely destroyed and the government overthrown, it would be one of the best things to ever happen to the country. If South Korea could expand into North Korea and form one big Korea, it would become an economic superpower. (it would take some time though)?
Here's the problem: nobody wants to be responsible for North Korea. It's true that a unified Korea might eventually benefit the south in the VERY long run, but in the short run it would be a huge drain. Recall the fall of the wall and the reunification of East and West Germany. East Germany had poor infrastructure, was severely lacking in human capital due to ineffective eastern bloc education, and also had all sort of institutional issues to be addressed. For years, the West had to export skilled workers to the east to make up for this deficit. A huge portion of the state budget went to modernizing their infrastructure. The east is catching up, but it's still being outperformed by the west (much higher unemployment, less efficient industry).

With all that in mind, consider that East Germany, even after years of communist rule, was in a MUCH better position than North Korea is currently in, economically. They had a (albeit poorly) functioning industrial sector, a population that was somewhat educated (and importantly, connected to the world through radio), and an intellectual history in their culture that allowed them to modernize and join the world community relatively quickly. And after 20 years, they are still lagging behind the rest of the country.

North Korea has none of these advantages. North Korean industry is virtually nonexistent, and any effort to rebuild it would involve opperating at a loss for years before it became profitable. The population is famished, uneducated, and brainwashed. If they were liberated, you couldn't just dump them back into their lives and tell them they're part of the world community now. These people had been brought up to believe that their leaders are great and just and that their way of life is superior to the West's. Whether or not they fully accept these lies is inconsequential - they are being pounded with this information for their whole lives and have likely accepted these ideologies as fundamental parts of their identity. When Kims eventually lose power, there's going to be an entire nation of malnourished people going through a pretty significant identity crisis. Even with significant psychological support (which would have to occur on an unprecedented scale), there's a chance that entire generations will be lost. To make up for this, human capital would have to be exported from the South to the North to set up institutions of education, government, law, ect. It would be decades before the North could begin filling these positions with it's own people. All that time, the south caries a huge burden.

So the problem is essentially that it would be a TON of work for very little gain. The North has very little benefits to offer to whoever claims that territory. They do have some rare earth mineral deposits that could be exploited for profit, but these minerals aren't particularly scarce (despite the name) and the infrastructure to extract them is nonexistent and would be costly to set up. On top of this, there's the geopolitical *beep* that would follow if the Kims fell. Refugees would flee en masse to China, which is exactly what the Chinese don't want. Relations between the US (and SK and JP, by extension) and China would become strained, which isn't good for anyone.

It's a humanitarian crisis, really. The NK people are living in terrible conditions under a hugely oppressive regime, but it's in nobody's best interest to help them. So we let their crazy leader and his police terrorize his population with famine and gulags, because nobody wants to foot the bill that would come with helping them out.
I agree with the whole "brainwashed" scenario, but isn't it better (or instead of "better", the AMERICAN WAY!) to spend some years striving to help NK become a free country than to let them live in basically another world where your leader tells you "this is the life"? One issue in America has always been whether we stick our noses in other countries affairs.
Who's going to foot the bill?
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 5:35 pm



Cubee wrote:
Who's going to foot the bill?
How much could South Korea help? They're pretty booming as far as industry goes. Yet again, nobody will want to invest in something that may not work.
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:04 pm



VoteLobster wrote:
Cubee wrote:
Who's going to foot the bill?
How much could South Korea help? They're pretty booming as far as industry goes. Yet again, nobody will want to invest in something that may not work.
If say NK was cleared and we tried fixing it up, would China try to step in and take it for there own? I feel like it's better left alone.
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2013 9:38 pm



VoteLobster wrote:The recent news hype is North Korea's threats to attack South Korea and America. I personally believe that 1) Because North Korea is too poor to feed their own people and 2) they're hesitant to follow through with their empty threats, there's no reason (at least over here) to be afraid of them. If they try anything major, the US military will shoot down their missiles and could crush Pyongyang within a week. Geographically, they're basically surrounded, so it would be stupid of them to try anything. But hey, this stuff sells on news. The only reason it's a big deal is because people like EXCITING NEWS like this and news channels get huge attention when they public news like this. It's probably just Kim Jong Un just trying to prove that he really is the so-called 'Great Leader' appointed by God.

North Korea is a funny bunch. Their citizens praise their 'Great Leader' for the 30 minutes of electricity they get per day, and even though they're starving, they still worship their 'Great Leader' and live under the delusion that they are the greatest country on Earth.

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One of my teachers said that if North Korea was completely destroyed and the government overthrown, it would be one of the best things to ever happen to the country. If South Korea could expand into North Korea and form one big Korea, it would become an economic superpower. (it would take some time though)

The first step to developing as a state/country is figuring out how to get their food, NOT building the world's 3rd largest military. That's something North Korea can't seem to figure out.

Thoughts?

North Korea isn't just poor, their people are starving to death. Their cities have no electrical power. It all goes to the military and everyone is so brainwashed, because they do not allow any vistors and keep all media outlets contained. North Korea is still a threat to national security because of our close relations with South Korea.

If you study the DMZ, its the most heavily fortified zone in the world. Even the statues on the North Korean side are designed to blow up in case of invasion to stop tanks. North Korea, is also unstable and isn't just a threat militarly but could damage the Asian Economy if war breaks out, which is related to us and our products.

The US will not use force unless absolutely necessary because China is one of North Korea's allies and China still sends them supplies and foreign aid.

As for the other quote, North Korea doesn't want to become an economic superpower, they want to be treated as a military power. Just like the United States did when we built the Great Fleet and showed it off to the world, this is their statement (nuclear weapons). The feud they have with South Korea takes place before the Korean War and the US hatred is because our involvement in the region.

I have my bachelors degree in both Political Science and History, so this topic is highly talked about in International Relations.

We appeased the North Koreans during Clintons administration by providing them with food and supplies as long as they didn't build nuclear weapons and recieved the routine checks. After Clinton left office, Bush called the North Koreans the "Axis of Evil." From that point on, they focused their energy on developing nuclear weapons and causing unrest for the United States and the rest of the world.


At this point, their is no correct course of action that works. We have increased sanctions on trade and increased tariffs, but as long as North Korea has allies like China, it will continue to be an issue. Going to war isn't feasible. Paying them to not develope nuclear weapons isn't feasible. If we could get China to fully back the US, the embargo might hurt them, but they will continue to go on as long as Kim has the military behind him. When the military leaders have had enough, they will remove him with a Koup.


Actually, if we really wanted to make progress, we need to drop and plant as many media outlets and equipment using air drops. Radios, newspapers, phones, etc. Keep hammering on the people and get them to open their eyes and they might eventually come to their senses.

China is a perfect example. China was a very hardline communist country, but as they began to expand, they had to privatize and today, yes they have a government regulated economy, but they also allow foreign business and companies in their backdoor. This exposes their people and China has had to reduce their control.

Yes China has had human rights abuses like Tiammen Square in 1988. (sorry for the spelling) but what country hasn't had them?

The key is to educating their people, but until we can, theres not a lot we can do but wait and contain them from expanding.


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Re: North Korea

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:08 am



muthkw25 wrote: At this point, their is no correct course of action that works. We have increased sanctions on trade and increased tariffs, but as long as North Korea has allies like China, it will continue to be an issue. Going to war isn't feasible. Paying them to not develope nuclear weapons isn't feasible. If we could get China to fully back the US, the embargo might hurt them, but they will continue to go on as long as Kim has the military behind him. When the military leaders have had enough, they will remove him with a Koup.


Actually, if we really wanted to make progress, we need to drop and plant as many media outlets and equipment using air drops. Radios, newspapers, phones, etc. Keep hammering on the people and get them to open their eyes and they might eventually come to their senses.
Is China still providing NK with material support? I know they have in the past, but China has backed off the support for NK in the past couple months, since the initial missile tests. I'm no expert in that region, but I get the impression that China is done supporting NK and is more interested in protecting it's internal interests (keeping NK refugees out of China). It seems like if war were to break out, China would be more interested in securing it's borders than helping either side of the conflict.

Definitely agree about the radio business. RFE did wonders in the eastern bloc during the 80s. I wonder if SK has any initiatives like that, and if they're at all effective.
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:36 am



Kind of a random tangent here. What was NK like before the Kim dynasty? Was it as terrible as it is today?
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:52 am



hurt-a wrote:Kind of a random tangent here. What was NK like before the Kim dynasty? Was it as terrible as it is today?
Occupied by Japan. After WWII the country was split in two. The first Kim took power and established juche, and here we are today. Their resentment towards Japan is understandable, as the japanese were pretty *beep* to a lot of the people they held power over in the 19th and 20th centuries.
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:01 am



Cubee wrote:
hurt-a wrote:Kind of a random tangent here. What was NK like before the Kim dynasty? Was it as terrible as it is today?
Occupied by Japan. After WWII the country was split in two. The first Kim took power and established juche, and here we are today. Their resentment towards Japan is understandable, as the japanese were pretty *beep* to a lot of the people they held power over in the 19th and 20th centuries.
I believe it was a Japanese colony at one point...
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:03 am



VoteLobster wrote:
Cubee wrote:
hurt-a wrote:Kind of a random tangent here. What was NK like before the Kim dynasty? Was it as terrible as it is today?
Occupied by Japan. After WWII the country was split in two. The first Kim took power and established juche, and here we are today. Their resentment towards Japan is understandable, as the japanese were pretty *beep* to a lot of the people they held power over in the 19th and 20th centuries.
I believe it was a Japanese colony at one point...
The Japanese were in power from the 1900's to 1945
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:49 am



If korea tries *beep*, we'll turn them into a parking lot.
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:14 am



lij2015 wrote:If korea tries *beep*, we'll turn them into a parking lot.
Long range missiles? Warning to guam and the middle of the ocean.
It would probably be hard to do much without collateral damage to SK or China
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:42 am



hurt-a wrote:
lij2015 wrote:If korea tries *beep*, we'll turn them into a parking lot.
Long range missiles? Warning to guam and the middle of the ocean.
It would probably be hard to do much without collateral damage to SK or China
How so? I don't understand. We could wipe out NK's military before they have time to act. The US has naval bases and military entities all around the Korean peninsula. They could try to launch a missile, but we'd shoot it down with little to no trouble. Everybody's keeping a wary eye on NK now.
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 10:45 am



hurt-a wrote:
lij2015 wrote:If korea tries *beep*, we'll turn them into a parking lot.
Long range missiles? Warning to guam and the middle of the ocean.
It would probably be hard to do much without collateral damage to SK or China
I do agree, my first thought is definitely to not just destroy them but it's probable that that's what will happen.
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:14 am



VoteLobster wrote:
hurt-a wrote:
lij2015 wrote:If korea tries *beep*, we'll turn them into a parking lot.
Long range missiles? Warning to guam and the middle of the ocean.
It would probably be hard to do much without collateral damage to SK or China
How so? I don't understand. We could wipe out NK's military before they have time to act. The US has naval bases and military entities all around the Korean peninsula. They could try to launch a missile, but we'd shoot it down with little to no trouble. Everybody's keeping a wary eye on NK now.
If we just nuke them, as the comment meant to me, I would find it amazing if fallout didn't spead to one of the other countries.
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2013 12:23 pm



hurt-a wrote: If we just nuke them, as the comment meant to me, I would find it amazing if fallout didn't spead to one of the other countries.
I'm thinking of the US military just trying to destroy/cripple their military and government. They'd be left in a state of anarchy and the US, SK, UN, China, whoever, will have to take over. Or nobody. But I definitely don't mean we should nuke them. Because we can't nuke the entire country (and that would just make us look hypocritical) it'll cause more problems than we already have. NK is pretty insignificant in the big picture, so it's probably best to leave them alone unless they fire a missile at us or somebody else.

See, if we're careful about what we do to defend against NK, we shouldn't have much collateral damage. We're not going to go 'all-in' and crush the entire country, even though we probably could. When I talk about 'wiping out their entire military,' I'm meaning if they try anything drastic. Missiles are sort of whatever. But if they declare war and FOLLOW THROUGH with it, that's when something of the like could happen. But I seriously doubt it.
Alex Douglass
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Re: North Korea

Posted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 4:48 pm



Cubee wrote:
muthkw25 wrote: At this point, their is no correct course of action that works. We have increased sanctions on trade and increased tariffs, but as long as North Korea has allies like China, it will continue to be an issue. Going to war isn't feasible. Paying them to not develope nuclear weapons isn't feasible. If we could get China to fully back the US, the embargo might hurt them, but they will continue to go on as long as Kim has the military behind him. When the military leaders have had enough, they will remove him with a Koup.


Actually, if we really wanted to make progress, we need to drop and plant as many media outlets and equipment using air drops. Radios, newspapers, phones, etc. Keep hammering on the people and get them to open their eyes and they might eventually come to their senses.
Is China still providing NK with material support? I know they have in the past, but China has backed off the support for NK in the past couple months, since the initial missile tests. I'm no expert in that region, but I get the impression that China is done supporting NK and is more interested in protecting it's internal interests (keeping NK refugees out of China). It seems like if war were to break out, China would be more interested in securing it's borders than helping either side of the conflict.

Definitely agree about the radio business. RFE did wonders in the eastern bloc during the 80s. I wonder if SK has any initiatives like that, and if they're at all effective.

China still provides aid and assistance to North Korea. Not as much as they have in the past, but they do help them. In some ways, both have similar government structures, just one is the second largest economy in the world, so China behaves differently. As far as East Germany goes, East Germany did ok back when it was taken over in 1945-1950. It was when the economy started dropping in the Soviet Union in the late 1960s that East Germany took a hit. Basically, the Soviet Union stripped East Germany of all its infrastructure and moved it back into the heart of the USSR, leaving East Germany with nothing. In fact the Soviet Union became in such bad shape we were selling them grain so they could make food. Even toilet paper was rationed.

North Korea, doesn't have a superpower backing it 100%, so it is isolated. It can still cause instability in the region if proper actions are not taken.


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