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Time bomb (North Korea is the absolute craziest place on earth MUST READ article)
Sydney Morning Herald ^ | July 12 2003

Posted on 07/11/2003 8:34:05 AM PDT by dead

Time's running out for North Korea. Its weapons are old and its people are worn down. Any attempt to cordon off its ships may be all the provocation it needs for a last-ditch nuclear strike. Hamish McDonald reports.

Across North Korea at 7am each day, loudspeakers come to life and blare a rousing song titled 10 Million Human Bombs for Kim Il-sung and, according to recent visitors, it is common to see people of all ages singing along fervently. That Kim Il-sung has been dead for nine years does not seem to have diminished the song's appeal.

Kim was the communist guerilla leader who, with the help of Soviet occupation forces, founded the North Korean state in 1945. From being the isolated nation's "Great Leader", Kim has now been promoted to "Eternal Leader". In ceremonies last week, on the anniversary of his death, he was extolled by state propaganda as the "greatest statesman of the 20th century".

With his late wife, the senior Kim has been elevated into a trinity along with their son, the current leader Kim Jong-il, in what some regard more as a state religion than just a bizarre ideological variant of Marxism-Leninism: it even has its own nativity scene, set in a mountain-top log cabin during wartime Japanese rule.

North Korea's Juche or self-reliance doctrine borrows these and other elements of Christianity and combines them with the patriarchism of the ancient Chinese sage Confucius and a millenarian Korean sect called Chondogyo. Kim Jong-il is the chief shaman or priestly miracle worker in this quasi state religion.

"It's a lot worse than even George W. Bush thinks it is," says a senior Western diplomat who frequently visits Pyongyang. "It is something very depressing to the human spirit. They want everyone to think the same thing at the same time, and they are close to getting it. That's what makes it horrible." The tight grip of this leadership cult, and the suicidal militancy expressed in the song, make this and many other observers in the region wonder whether the Bush Administration really understands the beast it is now tackling through hardline diplomacy and tightening inspections of North Korean export shipments. "The idea that this is a ... state that only needs a prod to collapse is false," the diplomat said.

Despite North Korea's failed economy and the misery of most of its 22.5 million citizens - trapped in poverty and decayed housing and ravaged by malnutrition and periodic famine, power blackouts and diseases such as tuberculosis and cholera - its core belief still burns bright in the country's self-isolation from the world. The cult tells North Koreans they are a special people who evolved separately to other humans, according to neolithic "discoveries" by North Korean archaeologists. They learn that they are ruled by special leaders and that the hardship is merely the prelude to an early paradise that will come through a sudden convulsion.

Elites at the top of a social ranking divided into 54 classes - from Kim Jong-il's inner circle down to hereditary class enemies and collaborators - are, meanwhile, kept quiet with privileges and supplies denied the ordinary population. "They are very eager to keep the regime in existence," says Choi Jin Wook, a senior researcher at Seoul's Korea Institute for National Unification. "If it fails, it's the end of their privileges."

Also fully keyed up is the formidable war machine:

In the past two months, Kim Jong-il has intensified his "army first" doctrine in which the KPA has effectively replaced the Communist Party as the key structure in the regime. This may signal that advocates of economic liberalisation in the trade and light industry ministries and the committees dealing with Asia-Pacific relations and flood rehabilitation have already lost out to the old-guard military-heavy industry camp.

But a clock is ticking in this war machine. The newest artillery, tanks and aircraft were supplied in the last days of the Soviet Union, and are more than a decade old. The struggle to shield heavy industry from North Korea's overall economic decline is getting harder. Even the human quality of the KPA is shrinking: the height requirement for new recruits is now 1.3 metres, reflecting the effects of nearly two decades of malnutrition.

"There is a critical crossover point some time in the future - which we don't know and which we can't know - where the North Koreans calculate they won't be able to fight the Americans and win," the diplomat said. The idea of a "use it or lose it" deadline for North Korean conventional war capability adds a frightening new dimension to the crisis over the US-led effort to eliminate Pyongyang's nuclear threat.

Another incalculable element is the extent to which the KPA's top generals share the widespread expectation that the millenarian event will be the reunification of the two halves of Korea, under the Kim dynasty. Some may have their private doubts, but the KPA's doctrine is based on quick and massive attack and counter-attack, hoping to replicate its rapid dash towards southern Pusan in 1950 after catching the American garrison and South Korean military off guard. That drew a counter-invasion by the US general Douglas MacArthur from Japan. MacArthur later requested permission to use nuclear weapons when China entered the war (and was refused and sacked by President Harry Truman). The increasing reliance of the present-day US military on precision air strikes and its unwillingness to carry casualties is said to be encouraging some KPA generals to think they could prevail, helped by Korea's difficult terrain and weather.

There is deep unease in South Korean political and military circles at the realignment of the 37,000-strong US force in South Korea, particularly the planned shift of the 15,000 frontline troops from the Joint Security Area of the DMZ, which directly defends Seoul, to a base further south. They worry about removing the reassuring "tripwire" which has long meant that if any war starts, the US is immediately involved and taking heavy casualties. The US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, says this is obsolete thinking and that the redeployment will allow US forces to respond more effectively to attack.

A further unknown deadline, which may be the real restraint on the KPA, is the point at which North Korea is able to deliver nuclear weapons. A report compiled for the White House, Nuclear Posture Review, and leaked in 2001, indicated that the US could use nuclear weapons on non-nuclear adversaries in a wide range of contingencies. It may have been that review, far more than Bush's later "axis of evil" rhetoric, that provided the impetus for Pyongyang to speed up and diversify its nuclear weapons effort so that it would have a counter-deterrent.

Experts don't dispute that North Korea had collected enough plutonium to make one or two bombs by the early 1990s. This week's report by South Korea's intelligence chief that the North had conducted 70 tests of the non-nuclear trigger of a bomb - the conventional explosive that sharply compresses the plutonium core and sets off nuclear fission - is new only in the number. Such tests have been going on since 1983. How many have occurred recently would have been far more interesting, but that was not revealed.

Some South Korean analysts think any bomb may yet be an unwieldy, untested device that could not fit the 1000-kg maximum payload of the North's proven medium-range missiles, which could hit US bases in Japan. But one expert, a Swiss nuclear physicist and nuclear proliferation analyst, Andre Gsponer, thinks this underestimates the extent to which North Korea can use published data on nuclear weapons. "North Korea has displayed excellent technical skills in building long-range missiles, something much more difficult than building atomic bombs," Gsponer said. "I would think that the weight of the North Korean plutonium-239 bombs would be in the range of 500 kg to 1 tonne, at most."

North Korea made its open claim to have nuclear weapons during talks with US and Chinese officials in Beijing in April. That galvanised China into ever-more-intense efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the crisis which had begun the previous October when Pyongyang privately confessed to the US that it was building a second path to nuclear weapons - centrifuge enrichment of its plentiful uranium reserves.

Until then, the Chinese had believed Pyongyang's nuclear rhetoric was bluff, aimed at getting Washington to deliver the power stations and other aid promised in the 1994 "framework" agreement in return for a cap on North Korea's nuclear programs. Aside from a small oil contribution, that aid never arrived: the Clinton administration had made the promise expecting the Pyongyang regime to collapse before it had to be delivered.

The new Chinese leadership under President Hu Jintao has fewer sentimental ties to North Korea than Beijing's old guard. Further, a nuclear North Korea threatens Chinese interests because of its potential to provoke a lurch to the right by Japan, which has eight tonnes of plutonium in storage and the capacity to go nuclear within weeks.

In March, Beijing turned off the spigot on its oil pipeline into North Korea for three days to reinforce a warning against resuming ballistic missile tests. Since then, the Chinese Communist Party's "leading group" on North Korea, formed in February and chaired by Hu himself, has studied all options to head off a Korean war because it would be ruinous to China, too. China's tearaway 7 to 8 per cent annual growth is founded on massive trade and investment links with the US and its strategic partners. Even China's trade with South Korea totalled $US44 billion ($67 billion) last year, and is expected to reach an annual $US100 billion in five years. As well as cutting this off, a Korean war would force the closure to international shipping of all Chinese ports north of Shanghai, including the major export outlets of Qingdao, Tianjin and Dalian.

As revealed this week in the Herald, these studies included the feasibility of China's People's Liberation Army conducting a lightning strike to disarm North Korea. The conclusion was that the PLA did not have the logistics capability to reach the DMZ fast enough to prevent the North Korean military attacking south to engage US troops. Hence a frantic Chinese drive to get the Americans and North Koreans back to a second round of talks.

China's changed attitude is revealed in a directive recently issued to the Chinese media by the central propaganda directorate: "Regarding the DPRK [North Korea] nuclear crisis, China and DPRK now have divided opinions on many issues, so we require media not to play on this nuclear issue and stick to the Xinhua [official news agency] version only."

The intensifying economic blockade of North Korea by the US and its allies - with the notable exception of a reluctant and worried South Korea - brings new threats of military conflict. Japan's recent deployment of squads of safety inspectors to check North Korean shipping has effectively blocked a sizable flow of cash and high-tech goods provided by pachinko (pinball) operators and other donors in the pro-Pyongyang camp of Japan's ethnic Koreans.

The "proliferation security initiative" discussed by the US, Australia, Japan and several European nations at this week's Brisbane meeting threatens a more critical cut. A naval cordon around North Korea would threaten Pyongyang's major source of hard currency if it stopped its $US600 million-a-year ballistic missile exports to the Middle East and Pakistan.

The Prime Minister, John Howard, seems to be backing away from Canberra's earlier enthusiasm for such a blockade. And such a blockade could have some "nasty consequences", the senior Western diplomat warned this week. "It is entirely likely that those ships in the blockade will be attacked by North Korea."

He pointed out that North Korea's small navy wielded some potent weapons and its vessels were crewed by fanatical regime supporters willing to carry out suicidal missions. Indeed, a modified North Korean fishing boat, seized after a recent clash with Japan and put on public display, included a secret missile compartment and extra-powerful engines. This recalls German raiders of World War II, such as the Kormoran, which sank the Australian cruiser Sydney with all hands in a close-range encounter in 1941.

The prospects of an early diplomatic solution are not good. At the Beijing talks in April, the North Koreans asked for a non-aggression pact and some $US3.5 billion in economic aid. They promised to respond with unspecified nuclear concessions once it started flowing. The Americans wanted a complete and verifiable closure of all nuclear programs before they would even discuss aid. A formal non-aggression treaty would have no hope of ratification by the US Senate.

"The situation is very different from 1994," said the Seoul unification institute's Choi, referring to the deal that ended the last North Korean nuclear crisis. The US is holding back, watching to see if North Korea crosses a "red line" by resuming reprocessing of its spent nuclear fuel stockpile to extract more plutonium. Pyongyang has meanwhile shown much of its hand.

"They do not have any more cards," Choi said. "Unless they escalate." But a dramatic move, such as reactivating the reprocessing plant or even conducting an underground bomb test, might convince Washington that containment was more realistic than diplomacy, and China might see its long-term interests as being in co-operating with a quarantine of its awkward ally.

Those who know the North Koreans say they are in a corner. "Do nothing and eventually they will collapse," the senior Western diplomat said. "Open up and they draw into question their social stability which is dependent on complete isolation. The conundrum is the reason why there are different factions arguing over how to go forward. The problem for all of them is that this regime cannot survive a breath of fresh air."


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events
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1 posted on 07/11/2003 8:34:05 AM PDT by dead
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To: dead
We should have let MacAurther "do what he was gonna do" and it would have saved us alot of headache.
2 posted on 07/11/2003 8:44:13 AM PDT by KC_Conspirator (This space for rent)
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To: All
50,000 people go to a baseball game, but the game was rained out. A refund is then due. The team is about to mail refunds when the Congressional Democrats stopps them and decrees that they send out refund amounts based on the Democrat National Committee's interpretation of fairness. After all,if the refunds are made based on the price each person paid for the tickets, most of the money would go to the wealthiest ticket holders. That would be unconscionable!
Free Republic
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3 posted on 07/11/2003 8:47:13 AM PDT by Support Free Republic (Your support keeps Free Republic going strong!)
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To: dead
If I'm not mistaken, 1.3m is 4'4". That's amazing, if true.
4 posted on 07/11/2003 8:47:35 AM PDT by wideawake (God bless our brave soldiers and their Commander in Chief)
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To: dead
Good article, probably wrong on some points. IF China is willing to use it's army to smash North Korea, I say that is a great deal. Yes North Korea can do awful damage to South Korea. But imagine the damage they will be able to do to Japan, USA and South Korea in 5 years. Also, it is hard to picture a full attack South while a massive Chinese invasion is pouring in from the North.
5 posted on 07/11/2003 8:53:46 AM PDT by Williams
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To: dead
I really don't understand this situation in N Korea as it relates to threats against the US. One well placed bomb, or a couple of well placed bullets could end this problem in a minute.

The US has already crossed the line so far as going after another head of state is concerned, so I don't really see that there is a problem. Just kill the bastards, and be done with it.

Any problems caused by assasinating the leadership would be small change compared to allowing this lunatic to use a nuke. If we are going to be the lone superpower, we had better start acting like it.

6 posted on 07/11/2003 8:54:37 AM PDT by wcbtinman (Only the first one is expensive, all the rest are free.)
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To: wideawake
Sort of like going up against a malignant Munchkin-Land.
7 posted on 07/11/2003 9:00:28 AM PDT by Cincinatus (Omnia relinquit servare Republicam)
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To: dead
bump
8 posted on 07/11/2003 9:02:23 AM PDT by VOA
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To: wcbtinman
Part of the problem is that, even barring a deliverable nuke (which they may or may not have), their military has massive amount of artillary dug-in all around the DMV. At a moment's notice, they could rain holy hell down on Seoul, killing a million or so people.

That would create some image problems for us at the UN.

9 posted on 07/11/2003 9:05:01 AM PDT by dead
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To: dead
DMV should read DMZ.

(I would be in favor of a massive artillary assault on the DMV.)

10 posted on 07/11/2003 9:05:58 AM PDT by dead
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To: dead
bump
11 posted on 07/11/2003 9:08:49 AM PDT by NorseWood
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To: AmericanInTokyo; TigerLikesRooster
FYI & comment.
12 posted on 07/11/2003 9:14:31 AM PDT by Amelia (It's better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness)
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To: wideawake
If I'm not mistaken, 1.3m is 4'4". That's amazing, if true.

Almost sounds like they are devolving ....

13 posted on 07/11/2003 9:15:24 AM PDT by Centurion2000 (We are crushing our enemies, seeing him driven before us and hearing the lamentations of the liberal)
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To: dead
The author of this article doesn't notice that he's put forth two contradictory views of North Korea

"The idea that this is a ... state that only needs a prod to collapse is false," the diplomat said.

...

"There is a critical crossover point some time in the future - which we don't know and which we can't know - where the North Koreans calculate they won't be able to fight the Americans and win," the diplomat said. The idea of a "use it or lose it" deadline for North Korean conventional war capability adds a frightening new dimension to the crisis over the US-led effort to eliminate Pyongyang's nuclear threat.

According to this second theory, NK could well collapse if we delay for long enough their decision to "use it."

I'm also inclined to disbelieve that NK is close to a point where all of the people "think the same thing at the same time." I think instead that, given a chance at a life without Kim Il Sung, most people would jump at the chance.

I agree that NK is crazy, though.

14 posted on 07/11/2003 9:27:47 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: dead
The increasing reliance of the present-day US military on precision air strikes and its unwillingness to carry casualties is said to be encouraging some KPA generals to think they could prevail, helped by Korea's difficult terrain and weather.

Bah. We've seen how devastatingly effective our "reliance" on precision airstrikes can be. That, coupled with what would have to be extremely dense masses of North Korean troops, will result in the greatest military slaughter in human history.

15 posted on 07/11/2003 9:30:43 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: dead
"It's a lot worse than even George W. Bush thinks it is," says a senior Western diplomat who frequently visits PyongyangThe Democratic Party Headquarters. "It is something very depressing to the human spirit. They want everyone to think the same thing at the same time, and they are close to getting it. That's what makes it horrible."
16 posted on 07/11/2003 9:34:07 AM PDT by N. Theknow
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To: dead
As revealed this week in the Herald, these studies included the feasibility of China's People's Liberation Army conducting a lightning strike to disarm North Korea. The conclusion was that the PLA did not have the logistics capability to reach the DMZ fast enough to prevent the North Korean military attacking south to engage US troops. Hence a frantic Chinese drive to get the Americans and North Koreans back to a second round of talks.

Hmmm. The underlying assumption here seems to be that the North Koreans would ignore a Chinese attack from the north, because it couldn't reach the DMZ quickly enough.

Even the North Koreans aren't that crazy.

17 posted on 07/11/2003 9:34:13 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: dead
Good article bump.
18 posted on 07/11/2003 9:39:32 AM PDT by blam
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To: dead
I just love that "Atoms for Peace Program". Are we having fun yet? :0
19 posted on 07/11/2003 9:49:12 AM PDT by Dec31,1999
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To: dead
It is very difficult to imagine a good outcome of this situation.

To survive the north has to take the south. The south cannot allow this to happen because of the human toll and it only delays the inevitable fall of a dysfunctional government.

The only way to stop the north, preemptive or not, would be tactical nukes.

The north’s only exportable products are arms with the most exportable being WMD. They left themselves no real choice but to trade in weapons systems. Their most likely primary customers being the Middle East and/or terrorists, the USA cannot allow the trade.

It looks like a no win situation for all involved.
20 posted on 07/11/2003 10:01:25 AM PDT by El Laton Caliente
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To: dead
their military has massive amount of artillary dug-in all around the DMV.

Maybe a few 1st strikes with a few MOAB's would help.

21 posted on 07/11/2003 10:05:55 AM PDT by Go Gordon
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To: Amelia
Re #12

N. Korea is a Jonestown writ large. It has been nearly completely sealed from outsiders until recently. It had to be because N. Korean regime was founded upon a monumental lie. The myths surrounding the ruling family and the whole history of modern Korea are lies through and through. They have been also lied about atrocious conditions outside their border, especially S. Korea, where, according to their propaganda, homeless folks are overrunning the whole country.

All these lies are perpetuated in order to maintain the regime. The regime was founded on the big lie since its beginning. Kim Il-sung's credentials were vastly exaggerated to justify his position as a N. Korean leader. He purged just about everybody who knew about his real background, a two-bit guerilla leader of no real achievement except hitting a Japanese police substation during his exploits as a partisan leader. As a result, all Korean communists dispatched from Soviet Union and China to shore up the regime eventually were purged and killed. A lucky few escaped.

He was more and more obsessed with total control of his people at the expense of everything else after he saw the mighty Stalin trashed after his death, followed by Mao Ze-Dong suffering the same fate, about 23 years later. The two towering giants with absolute power cannot ensure their legacy. Kim Il-sung realized that he had to work harder to make sure this won't happen to him. That is why he installed his son as a successor. That also doomed the long-term prospect for N. Korea. The regime filled the country with mind-numbing propaganda and suffocating oppression. Only the total obedience is required to survive in this country. It turned into the country of complete yes-man and sycopants who are completely useless in efficiently running the country.

Kim Il-sung firmly secured his godly stature at the beginning of 80's, by eliminating the last small pocket of political challege to him. This was when his regime started to go downward. Things had been slowly deteriorating during the 80's. It accelerated in early 90's when both Soviet Union and China cut off their foreign aids. The country's economy nosedived. Panicked, N. Korean regime had to look for the new source of economic aids. That is why N. Korea precipitated the nuclear crisis around '93. It was not because America and her allies were about to invade. That is total BS. They need to secure a new source of economic aids.

The last N. Korean regime wants to do is to open up the country to outsiders. It would do as little as possible to secure its survival. Once fully exposed to the outside, it will not last. However, these days, information is tricking inside the country. The disastrous famine loosed the control over the movement of population, and information flows better than it used to. Ordinary folks lost faith in the regime. The vaunted propaganda has lost much of its power, even if people are still chanting it furiously. They do it to survive, not because they are really into it.

N. Korea can inflict a real damage. However, it is also to be noted that they always exaggerate their power by at least 10 times. N. Korean regime is the best blackmailer of the world. To defeat them, one should not buy into their brinkmanship.

The regime is now brittle if dangerous. Some freak accident from inside can lead to its demise. This can only happend when the outside pressure is sustained without wavering. Unless you go for a total appeasement, there is no path to orderly resolution. Even in the best case of near bloodless conclusion, it will give us a good scare.

22 posted on 07/11/2003 10:13:20 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
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To: r9etb
RE #15

The ground invasion of N. Korea may not be easy. However, repelling N. Korean invasion is not as hard as he said. Because the invasion force will be trapped in narrow invasion corridors. You are right.

23 posted on 07/11/2003 10:17:06 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
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To: dead
bump. Scary stuff here...
24 posted on 07/11/2003 10:32:53 AM PDT by jerseygirl
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To: TigerLikesRooster
The invasion would begin with what could be the largest artillery barrage of all time. Not a good prospect for the south!
25 posted on 07/11/2003 10:45:23 AM PDT by El Laton Caliente
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To: El Laton Caliente
Re #25

That is true. Heavy S. Korean casualty followed by massive N. Korean casualty.

26 posted on 07/11/2003 10:50:51 AM PDT by TigerLikesRooster
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To: Go Gordon
Maybe a few 1st strikes with a few MOAB's would help.

Wouldn’t do a lot of good. There are too many of them, concealed in solid bunkers. They have constructed thousands of caves and supply tunnels in the mountains to supply the guns, which can retract immediately after firing. They are scattered all over the hills, and we couldn’t even find them until they fired. We’d have to first find the gun, by waiting for it to fire, then take it out individually. While we get one gun, hundreds more will be lobbing bombs (and maybe more?) into the city.

Unless we nuke the hills, which we won’t, the artillary will decimate the civilian population until troops battle up there and take them out.

27 posted on 07/11/2003 10:54:25 AM PDT by dead
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To: dead
Like I said, tactical nukes are the only logical solution, nut politics are going to over ride logic.
28 posted on 07/11/2003 11:02:46 AM PDT by El Laton Caliente
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To: El Laton Caliente
But not nut...
29 posted on 07/11/2003 11:03:17 AM PDT by El Laton Caliente
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To: dead
Bill Clinton's legacy rolls on....
30 posted on 07/11/2003 11:05:10 AM PDT by grumple
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To: dead
The cult tells North Koreans they are a special people who evolved separately to other humans, according to neolithic "discoveries" by North Korean archaeologists. They learn that they are ruled by special leaders and that the hardship is merely the prelude to an early paradise that will come through a sudden convulsion.

There's nothing quite like scientific, dialectical materialism.

31 posted on 07/11/2003 11:21:10 AM PDT by Aquinasfan (Isaiah 22:22, Rev 3:7, Mat 16:19)
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To: TigerLikesRooster; Alamo-Girl; Jeff Head; Travis McGee; belmont_mark; ALOHA RONNIE; maui_hawaii; ...
Bump. Good retrospective and analysis.
32 posted on 07/11/2003 11:30:14 AM PDT by Paul Ross (A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one!-A. Hamilton)
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To: dead
Actually there is a high-tech solution that might just prevent the calamity of the 'death of Seoul' posed by this threatened NK artillery fusillade:

The US Army has successfully shown an repeated ability with its THEL high-power lasers ( as of two years ago, link requires Acrobat Reader) to track and blow-away artillery shells in flight! Deploy a couple hundred of these to cover most of the ballistic paths to Seoul from the known cannon locations, and we will have an all new regional situation. In view of the 'use it or lose it' mentality alluded to in the article, I would get the system 100% deployed BEFORE the North Koreans catch wise of it. Tell the locals that we are putting in 'weather-tracking' installations. Lead Weather. Once the NK attack is launched and blunted, the US JDAMs can crush the tunnel entrances of all the artillery. Prioritization of so MANY targets will be a bitch though. Particularly since the NK Army won't be standing idle, but will be popping up behind SK lines through their tunnels, their own flanking amphibious assaults, and even driving straight down that stupid railway opened up between the North and South by the incredibly credulous Southerners...

33 posted on 07/11/2003 11:50:09 AM PDT by Paul Ross (A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one!-A. Hamilton)
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To: Paul Ross
Thanks for the heads up!
34 posted on 07/11/2003 11:52:43 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Paul Ross; Jeff Head; HighRoadToChina
Interestingly, many so called "conservatives" even here on this thread welcome a possible PLA invasion of the Korean Peninsula. Exactly as the PRC would wish; a situation where the Western left are nipping at the heels of Bush, while our pathetic excuse for the right become supporters of the actions of Communist Red China (and the Russians) as they convert the DPRK from a covertly aided crypto-ally into an overtly occupied satellite!
35 posted on 07/11/2003 12:00:34 PM PDT by GOP_1900AD (Un-PC even to "Conservatives!" - Right makes right)
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To: TigerLikesRooster
bttt
36 posted on 07/11/2003 12:31:01 PM PDT by DTA
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To: Alamo-Girl
Your'e welcome. More THEL info about the TRW project:

November 5, 2002 History in the making … Today (1:55 p.m. EST) Army laser destroys artillery projectile in flight

White Sands Missile Range, N.M. – For the first time in history, a laser successfully destroyed an artillery projectile in flight.

Over the desert of New Mexico, at the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command’s High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility (HELSTF), the Tactical High-Energy Laser (THEL) demonstrator – Mobile THEL (MTHEL) testbed – tracked, locked and fired a burst of photons on an artillery projectile ... seconds later, at a point well short of its intended destination, the projectile was destroyed.

The event occurred as part of a new series of tests to determine MTHEL testbed capabilities. The artillery projectile is only one of the many target sets to be tested.

MTHEL testbed stems from the Tactical High Energy Laser (THEL), an Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) program initiated in 1996. THEL tests during 2000 and 2001, which focused on the threat of rockets, proved highly successful, intercepting and destroying 25 Katyusha rockets.

Though their diameters are nearly the same, the artillery projectile measures about two feet in length rather than the 10 feet of a Katyusha rocket. The artillery projectile’s small size, combined with the lack of heat it gives off, makes it much more difficult to track.

The MTHEL testbed program, managed by the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, is a collaborative development program between the U.S. Army and the Israeli Ministry of Defense.

Satellite video footage will be available for downlink. Call for information.

For additional information, please contact the SMDC Public Affairs Office, William Congo at (256) 682-4816; Giselle Bodin at (256) 955-3889 or giselle.bodin@smdc.army.mil ; or Dottie White at (256) 955-1640 or dottie.white@smdc.army.mil.

37 posted on 07/11/2003 2:35:24 PM PDT by Paul Ross (A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one!-A. Hamilton)
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To: Ronin; AmericanInTokyo
Further, a nuclear North Korea threatens Chinese interests because of its potential to provoke a lurch to the right by Japan, which has eight tonnes of plutonium in storage and the capacity to go nuclear within weeks.

Ping

38 posted on 07/11/2003 2:54:41 PM PDT by Question_Assumptions
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To: Paul Ross
Yes, it is my guess that the ability to shoot down NK missiles during their launch is what George W. is waiting for.
39 posted on 07/11/2003 2:58:23 PM PDT by Question_Assumptions
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To: Question_Assumptions
We should commision the Japanese to build us some nukes while they are at it. They would be the best ever made.
40 posted on 07/11/2003 3:28:32 PM PDT by GOP_1900AD (Un-PC even to "Conservatives!" - Right makes right)
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To: wcbtinman
One well-placed bomb, a couple of bullets....

Great idea, but we have tried decapitation by bomb attack three times in my memory -- Libya, Aghanistan and now Iraq -- and it hasn't worked very well.

Kadaffy is still alive and kicking, Bin Laden is releasing tapes and now Saddam is too. OK, you can say the tapes are fakes, but how can you prove it? It takes a body with multiple holes in it these days to prove a man is dead.

That brings us to the couple of bullets.

How you going to get a hitman close enough? In North Korea? If we have a single illegal on the ground there I would be utterly amazed. Spies go in, and they don't come out -- ever.

A coup-de-etat is possible, I guess but Kim Jong Il is a very paranoid and experienced survivor. If he wasn't he would be dead already.

There is no simple solution to these problems. If there was it would have been found by now. The end of the regime may be coming soon -- but it is not going to be pretty when it does.

41 posted on 07/11/2003 6:38:07 PM PDT by Ronin (Qui tacet consentit!)
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To: Paul Ross
Ah! Thanks for the information!
42 posted on 07/11/2003 8:58:04 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: dead
A great career choice for young people would be a Korean speaking socialogist or psychologist. When these thing falls, it's going to be one of the most fascinating examples of human indoctrination ever seen.
43 posted on 07/11/2003 9:05:47 PM PDT by Mr.Clark (From the darkness....I shall come)
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To: El Laton Caliente
Tactical nukes are by no means the only option.
MOABs are infinately more attractive.
Many weapons in our arsenal are very usefull against large ground force concentrations.

44 posted on 07/11/2003 9:32:14 PM PDT by sarasmom (Punish France.Ignore Germany.Forgive Russia.(Tell Turkey to lay off the hookah).)
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To: wcbtinman
DPRK "Regime Change" through assassination is in fact a scenario that has been planned in intricate detail already, along with many many other scenarios and combinations of scenarios. At this point, it appears the North Koreans are going to "cross over the red line" in plutonium rod reprocessing, which is a very unfortunate thing indeed.

One way to destabilize would be to hit a soft target with limited civilian damage, such as the very elaborate Kim Il Sung mausoleum in P'yang, where Papa's body is on ice. Combined with a bombing or sabotage strike on that facility, backed immediately with a rumor operation within the country that a shadowy anti-Kim Jong il organization did it and more can be expected, and then a ramp up the said vitriol with Korean language broadcasts about the attack in Korean to the Korean people through all kinds of media, might be enough to start the downfall. China and or Russia would also have to declare an open refugee zone on the North's border and that fact would have to trickle down to North Korea's population as a magnet to deflate the country from it's human resources and create chaos. With nukes already in place, though, we would have to work with countries to stabilize and recover the assets very quickly. This is as sensitive an operation at this time as separating twins joined at the head, IMHO. Very risky, but also very risky at this point not to do anything.

45 posted on 07/12/2003 5:21:06 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (Folks, I am NOT in Tokyo right now. So don't worry about me being nuked by N. Korea. OK? Thanks.)
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To: Amelia
alerting you here
46 posted on 07/12/2003 5:21:55 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (Folks, I am NOT in Tokyo right now. So don't worry about me being nuked by N. Korea. OK? Thanks.)
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To: AmericanInTokyo
My own counter argument to the above is the minute there was a covert provocation by the Free West with amazing results within the heart of the beast in P'yang, no doubt the word would go out to sleeper cells in place in S. Korea and throughout Japan to start acts there. Our troops would probably be the first threatened or targeted with WMD. I myself think the the DPRK has the capability, and may be waiting, to unleash a WMD attack internally in those two countries with is provacateurs already firmly in place and probably possing WMDs (chems/bios).
47 posted on 07/12/2003 5:32:30 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (Folks, I am NOT in Tokyo right now. So don't worry about me being nuked by N. Korea. OK? Thanks.)
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To: AmericanInTokyo
Furthermore, an economic blockade would be quite limited in effect I believe. Corrupt dynamic exists between Japan and North Korea (yakuza/pachinko/bought off politicians), with a corrupt political system in place in Japan (LDP) which would strangely, suicidally allow it, for money transfers to be established through some other new routes and the eco blockade of the North would just be "gone around".
48 posted on 07/12/2003 5:35:25 AM PDT by AmericanInTokyo (Folks, I am NOT in Tokyo right now. So don't worry about me being nuked by N. Korea. OK? Thanks.)
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To: belmont_mark
Exactly as the PRC would wish; a situation where the Western left are nipping at the heels of Bush, while our pathetic excuse for the right become supporters of the actions of Communist Red China (and the Russians) as they convert the DPRK from a covertly aided crypto-ally into an overtly occupied satellite!

In all fairness, we would be lucky to turn North Korea into an overtly occupied satellite. One of the Immutable Laws of FR, 'North Korea is a puppet, China pulls the strings', is dead wrong. The DPRK is a loose and deadly cannon. The North Korean people may fare no better than Tibet under Chinese rule, but that's a lot better than what they have now. It would also be safer for the neighbors, and ultimately, safer for us.

The article misses the mark about the PLA needing to make it to the DMZ before a DPRK attack on the South. They don't need to do that at all, they only make it to the DMZ before we can break their lines and push north into Pyongyang.

China wouldn't be able to hold onto them for long, anyway. Pressure from South Korea and Japan would threaten their economic prosperity, which is far more important to the Chinese than holding on to less than worthess real estate. They will want to grab it, but to give it back under their own terms.

What China doesn't want is a successful U.S. lead war that brings us to the Yalu, possibly for a long, long time. If they were able to sieze North Korea, and make it's return dependent upon U.S. forces leaving South Korea, then they'd have some real leverage. Many South Koreans would leap at the chance to get rid of us. With the threat from the DPRK gone, we'd have no reason to warrant such a large presence.

49 posted on 07/12/2003 5:44:33 AM PDT by Steel Wolf (Stop reading my tagline.)
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To: KC_Conspirator
So much for the concept of "limited war."

Thanks Harry Truman, the most overrated President in American history.
50 posted on 07/12/2003 5:45:48 AM PDT by Guillermo (Proud Infidel)
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