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Author Topic: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia  (Read 2430 times)

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Offline MoralineTopic starter

North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« on: April 03, 2013, 09:38:27 AM »
Curious about peoples thoughts on the current growing tensions in Korea (North & South).

How far will it go?
Are we taking it serious enough?
What should the U.S. do and/or how will the rest of the world respond?
What it is China's stance and in the end how will they respond to all of this?

So many questions...

How do people think the world should be responding and why?

(A video in case people aren't aware of what's going on over seas)
Inside Story Americas - US vs North Korea: A potential crises?
Inside Story Americas - US vs North Korea: A potential crises?   by AlJazeeraEnglish, April 3, 2013

Offline Retribution

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Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2013, 09:56:53 AM »
I read a story I think it was on CNN that said Kim's father and grandfather had long ago learned that by offering up threats the US would pour more money to them so that they can feed their people and such. If I am recalling details of the Jimmy Carter mission a few years back correctly the former president offered them more aid money to cease their weapons development. I view the current crisis in the same light essentially that they want us to hand them more blackmail money.

In the Korean conflict the allied forces fought well China to a draw not North Korea. It was a proxy conflict of the old cold war. In recent years we have developed the tendency to hand countries that oppose us piles of money in an attempt to appease them. Pakistan is a prime example as we now know Osama Bin Laden was hiding there. We have had an economic embargo on Cuba and North Korea for around 60 years each. The list goes on and on and I think shows a failed policy where we shoot ourselves in the foot by trying to buy off dictators.

Lets do something crazy like keep the money we toss out in foreign aid at home. We are clearly not getting much return on our dollar for the investment and our deficit is out of control. Maybe if we kept some of that money at home we could keep our social programs and not increase taxes and it certainly could help the deficit. And call me hard hearted but I suspect our North Korean friends might have more pressing concerns than nukes when they start starving to death because that is the real issue here.

North Korea cannot feed it's population because well Communism is a failed experiment. Said population becomes restless when they are starving. The only way a dictator can divert their attention is by saber rattling and if they get handed money to feed the people it makes it simpler for them to hold onto power. I would imagine a starving population might take a petty demagog to task because well they are hungry.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 11:14:11 AM by Retribution »

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2013, 10:52:10 AM »
North Korea is not and will not be a threat to the US - they can't even get a working ICBM yet. The danger is if they flip out and lob some missiles at South Korea or Japan, who are our allies.

But as Retribution said, I'm almost certain this is just more of the same. The Kim family has learned that the squeaky wheel gets the grease, and they have proceeded to milk that for half a century or so.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2013, 11:52:00 AM »
Okay.. right off the bat.. North Korea is not, despite the US media's attempts to downgrade it, a minor threat. They have several very dangerous elements in their arsenal. First off, they have a LOT of artillery zeroed in on South Korean cities.. have for decades. It would take little to no time for them to shell some of the biggest population centers in the Peninsula with among other things.. chemical and possibly biological agents. They can reach pretty much anywhere in Asia with their short/midrange missiles. They have demonstrated this by putting missile test shots OVER Japan.

Militarily they are only out numbered by China in the region. We're a non-element thanks to downsizing. The only reason we've been able to do anything anywhere else than the gulf region is mostly luck. US Military RoE (rules of engagement) call for a 2 1/2 war navy. We last had that in Reagan's time. Iraq/Afghanistan was only possible due to relative geographic closeness. We can do something more than we are.. but only at the risk of missing something else. Add in the fiscal cliff consequences and the US military is more tightly constrained than it has been since Vietnam. We're tight on money, manpower and material.

Why do you think they are doing this NOW? Because right now it's the best time to leverage the US' allies to make us back down, cough up money and go away. Realistically the Democratic People's Republic of Korea can't hit US facilities of merit.. but they can really put a nasty hurt on South Korea, Japan, the Philippines and pretty much anyone whose country title doesn't contain 'China'. Nukes.. MIGHT be a reach.. but don't doubt for a moment that conventional ordnance, bio or chemical weapons will be doing a LOT damage to all those civilian populations.

North Korea isn't a communist nation save in name... it's a bandit kingdom..and they are using what they have to get the rich folks around them to pay up and leave them be. That worked for 3 generations of the leadership and they will continue to do so. They have flourished while over a million plus of their own citizens starved. And still no one revolted. The Eastern Bloc fell apart and still no revolt.

Also remember.. this is a NEW leader, he cannot back down.  If he falters and doesn't come down with a portion of what he seeks.. there are those who WILL try to usurp him. I imagine he plans on crushing those who aren't loyal.. but he still needs to consolidate his hold.

Offline Avis habilis

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2013, 12:01:46 PM »
... he still needs to consolidate his hold.

Which might be exactly why he's doing this now. An acute crisis may be his plan to get at least some supporters of his enemies in the palace thinking that now isn't "the convenient season" for a coup.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2013, 12:03:36 PM »
Okay.. right off the bat.. North Korea is not, despite the US media's attempts to downgrade it, a minor threat. They have several very dangerous elements in their arsenal. First off, they have a LOT of artillery zeroed in on South Korean cities.. have for decades. It would take little to no time for them to shell some of the biggest population centers in the Peninsula with among other things.. chemical and possibly biological agents. They can reach pretty much anywhere in Asia with their short/midrange missiles. They have demonstrated this by putting missile test shots OVER Japan.
Curious here, as I haven't been actively watching this for some time: Have they actually demonstrated any over-the-horizon control capability? Last I'd heard, they basically lost control the moment there wasn't a direct LOS. And, well... that's a pretty big limiting factor.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2013, 12:08:44 PM »
Curious here, as I haven't been actively watching this for some time: Have they actually demonstrated any over-the-horizon control capability? Last I'd heard, they basically lost control the moment there wasn't a direct LOS. And, well... that's a pretty big limiting factor.

They put a satellite in orbit..and all but the MOST conservative assessments say their short range and medium range missiles are reliable enough. They might not be precision weapons.. but when you drop radioactive waste, bio hazards such as bio agents/chemical agents you don't HAVE to be precise.

Which might be exactly why he's doing this now. An acute crisis may be his plan to get at least some supporters of his enemies in the palace thinking that now isn't "the convenient season" for a coup.

And perhaps draw out the more bold ones to put down before they consolidate their base.

Offline gaggedLouise

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Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2013, 12:13:01 PM »
Reader comment seen in The Guardian:

"I hope his soldiers are taking great care keying in the right coordinates of Kim's palace when they ready these nuclear missiles."

 :D

A coup could indeed be around the corner if his game swings the wrong way.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 12:43:43 PM by gaggedLouise »

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2013, 12:19:20 PM »
Reader comment seen in The Guardian:

"I hope his soldiers are taking geat care keying in the right coordinates of Kim's palace when they ready these nuclear missiles."

 :D

A coup could indeed be around the corner if his game swings the wrong way.

The best housed, fed and treated citizens wear uniforms.. he (and his father/grandfather before him) know which side to butter their bread.

Offline Caehlim

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2013, 12:38:04 PM »
Also remember.. this is a NEW leader, he cannot back down.  If he falters and doesn't come down with a portion of what he seeks.. there are those who WILL try to usurp him. I imagine he plans on crushing those who aren't loyal.. but he still needs to consolidate his hold.

I've heard it argued that he isn't even in control at all now and is simply a puppet or figurehead for the powers that be within their military.

Anyone know whether this might be true or if there's been any evidence for this?

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Offline BlightRaptor

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2013, 04:51:37 PM »
God I'd like to turn invisible and walk around in North Korea just to see what it's like... every day it sounds more and more like some crazy dystopian dieselpunk sci-fi setting.

Sadly, I can't think of any possible outcomes where North Korea's civilians come out OK. If other nations play "tough love" then the average Joe in North Korea will probably get hit the hardest. If we give their government what they want, they'll just keep building weapons so they can have their war and inevitably get their own civilians caught in the cross fire. Then there's the possibility that whatever nuclear tech they're working on backfires on themselves...

Offline Hyena Dandy

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2013, 05:29:00 PM »
Quote
How far will it go?

We have no idea. This guy is new to the whole Running North Korea thing, and we just have no clue what to think about him.

Maybe he's serious about intending to attack the U.S. Maybe he's just saber-rattling, the way the North has for centuries, but doing it louder.

We have no idea who this man is, whether he really intends to attack the U.S. or the South, and whether he has the ability to.

Quote
Are we taking it serious enough?

That's the big problem. Right now, we don't know, because we have no idea how seriously we're supposed to be taking it.

Quote
What should the U.S. do and/or how will the rest of the world respond?

I think the best thing we can do right now is have people ready to go into North Korea, all ready in South Korea. But not go in or make any attack yet. Officially treat it as 'We think they're bluffing,' but be ready to go at a moment's notice.

If we go in, and they're not bluffing, hundreds (or thousands, or more) of Americans and Koreans will die.

If we go in and they are bluffing, hundreds (or thousands, or more) of Americans and Koreans will die.

If we wait for them to do something first, and they are not bluffing, hundreds (or thousands, or more) of Americans and Koreans will die.

If we wait for them to do something first, and they are bluffing, no-one dies.

The best option is to wait. There's casualties if they're not bluffing anyway, and there's casualties if we go in, but if they are bluffing and we go in, people are dying for no reason.

Obviously, up intelligence work in the North as well. If we find enough reason to believe that this is being seriously considered, we have to go on.

As for China.. Who knows, but I think they said at some point they wouldn't support the North if the North launched a strike on Southern soil.

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Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2013, 05:42:35 PM »
The problem with having people 'ready in South Korea' (unless you are talking about actual South Korean troops) is that a saber-rattling dictator can take that as a 'sign' that we are 'massing to attack', and therefore he must launch a 'preemptive defense'.

Oh look, the big bad Americans are on our doorstep.  We had to take action before they rolled over us.  :P

If we want troops at the ready, they should be quartered on American soil (California, Hawaii if possible).  There's a little more travel time, but less chance of it being used as an excuse to actually do what they were bluffing about.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2013, 05:46:26 PM »
If I remember my Asian politics right, China likes having NK around because they're a huge pain in the neck to the Western world, in addition to being a valuable (if small) consumer market as far as their elite class goes, and one that China has near-exclusive access to. That, and it'd be a big problem for China if NK collapsed and a small army of starving refugees came flooding over the border into northern China. So as long as the new Kim is just saber-rattling and grand-standing in his family tradition, they'll be a backstage supporter, host for 'extortionconciliatory talks, primary trading partner, etc...if Kim Jong-Un were to actually pull the trigger, they'd have to drop him like a hot potato or take terrible international PR damage. They know this, and as far as we could tell, Jong-Il knew this, but whether Jong-Un knows this is uncertain.

Offline MoralineTopic starter

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2013, 05:50:46 PM »
If North Korea goes all out and attacks the South and/or it's other neighbors, what should the response be to it?
(What if they just bomb the American Military bases in South Korea?)

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2013, 06:22:16 PM »
He's been the target of at LEAST one attempt already.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/northkorea/9930238/North-Koreas-Kim-Jong-un-was-target-of-assassination-attempt.html

there is a rumored 2nd attempt on a visit to china too.

Offline TheGlyphstone

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2013, 06:39:56 PM »
Quote
Kim enjoyed a series of musical numbers, including "Let us reap a richer bean harvest" and "All servicepersons and people will become human bullets and bombs."

Wat.

Inspiring composers you got there, Kim.

Offline Sasquatch421

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2013, 08:09:25 PM »
http://news.msn.com/world/north-korea-says-military-cleared-to-wage-nuke-attack

Honestly I don't think N. Korea has the tech to hit all they have said. Short to possibly mid-range would be a safer bet and S. Korea would be one of the first they go for I think. All we can do is play a guessing game at if they will actually bite or if they are barking... I would be prepared and hope they are bluffing since we can't afford to get into another conflict. Then again after Iraq and Afghanistan, this might be they time they decide not to bluff...

A big thing to look at is to see if China decides to step in... I don't think they have been really thrilled with North Korea of late, but it's been awhile since I've seen anything on it so I don't know...
 

Offline Phaia

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2013, 11:28:50 PM »
http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military/weapons/north-korea-conflict-weapons-available


Quote
At that distance it would be safe from most artillery, but according to GlobalSecurity.org it could be hit by up to 10,000 rounds a minute from North Korean long-range weapons. Here's a breakdown of North Korea's arsenal.

Read more: North Korea Artillery - Korea Conflict Weapons - Popular Mechanics

This concerns me more then any nuclear weapons they may have.
As well as 13000...yes 13000 artilly peices along the broader

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

add the conflicting veiews on the number of possible artillry that could reach Seoul and ya get a real possiblity by the time we could react the North would have conqured the South....
Yes our air force could hammer the North hard but then they 1000s of AA guns and AA missles.

What would we do if the idea is unification which has always been the position of the North? Reinvade? From where do we pull the forces? right down we do not have the ability to send a major responce to Korea. 23 have about 30000 troops there...facing 1.5 north korea and Human wave attacks are part of the military tactics the North would use.


Phaia

Offline Ephiral

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Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2013, 12:51:03 AM »
http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/military/weapons/north-korea-conflict-weapons-available


This concerns me more then any nuclear weapons they may have.
As well as 13000...yes 13000 artilly peices along the broader

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

add the conflicting veiews on the number of possible artillry that could reach Seoul and ya get a real possiblity by the time we could react the North would have conqured the South....
Yes our air force could hammer the North hard but then they 1000s of AA guns and AA missles.

Worth noting: It is very highly questionable how much of that gear is in anything resembling a functional state. Maintenance regimes in NK are... not good.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2013, 01:05:57 AM »
Worth noting: It is very highly questionable how much of that gear is in anything resembling a functional state. Maintenance regimes in NK are... not good.

Assumptions are not something you want to risk civilian lives over.

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Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2013, 01:27:53 AM »
Wat.

Inspiring composers you got there, Kim.

I know what it sounds like, but "All servicepersons and people will become human bullets and bombs." is actually brilliant.  It's got this jaunty syncopated chorus and the verse is just pure funk.  Slap bass bridge, then back into the chorus.  Man, I'm gonna be singing that to myself all day now.

Offline Ephiral

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Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2013, 01:37:02 AM »
Assumptions are not something you want to risk civilian lives over.
Oh, absolutely not. I personally think the only thing it changes in the end is how long it would take to level Seoul. I just have an issue about flaky, unsupportable data being presented as solid.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: North Korea Vs. the U.S. Position in Asia
« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2013, 01:50:37 AM »
Oh, absolutely not. I personally think the only thing it changes in the end is how long it would take to level Seoul. I just have an issue about flaky, unsupportable data being presented as solid.


I don't know about their missiles but we used to see in briefings hinted that their artillery and rocket systems weren't too maintenance heavy. One of the reasons Iran bought them in the past. Cheap, solid and fairly reliable.

The first strike will hurt.  The second will be MUCH smaller.