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Old 11-26-2010, 10:46 PM   #31
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They've more or less already tried this; that's what Kim Dae-Jung won the Nobel Peace Prize for, the "sunshine policy" which prevailed from the late 90s until Lee Myung-bak's election in '08. Though it took the form of South Korean investment in the North (Hyundai, rail, limited tourism, aid) rather than bringing Northerners south, even as it was, there were heated accusations of SK pols and businessmen regularly bribing the North Koreans to encourage 'good behavior'--to fairly little avail, obviously. In light of that, it's tough to imagine SK corporations okaying Northern officials in the boardroom, not to mention the fears of spying, unfair cheap-labor competition, and US alienation (Washington never liked the policy) which were there from the get-go. At any rate, Lee Myung-bak made further "sunshine" contingent on denuclearization, then effectively scrapped the policy altogether following the warship sinking last spring.
That's very interesting. I had forgotten about the South Korean investment in the North.

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I'd almost be inclined to turn the proposal around: might Seoul be able to convince China that warmer East Asian political relations (read: less South Korean, Japanese, and Taiwanese dependence on the US) are in the offing if Beijing can show it possesses the political skills, not just the economic savvy, to be a true leader in the region, by effecting a nonmilitary end to the Pyongyang regime followed by internationally mediated negotiations between the two Koreas, which have yet to sign a truce formally ending the Korean War? I don't much see this happening either, though, not least because distrust and resentment of Chinese meddling has such literally ancient roots in Korean history; indeed Seoul might find it more palatable to humble itself before Pyongyang than before Beijing.
That's an interesting thought. It would be a big score for China with both Koreas more or less able to save face, and the U.S. could pull back. A win-win-win?

So, it never will happen.

We'll see what Sunday brings. I hope there aren't any itchy trigger fingers on either side.
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Old 11-29-2010, 05:13 PM   #32
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Unfortunately, I doubt that anyone, Seoul and Beijing included, really understand what's going on in North Korea well enough
NYTimes, Nov. 29
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...The cables about North Korea—some emanating from Seoul, some from Beijing, many based on interviews with government officials, and others with scholars, defectors and other experts—are long on educated guesses and short on facts, illustrating why their subject is known as the Black Hole of Asia. Because they are State Department documents, not intelligence reports, they do not include the most secret American assessments, or the American military’s plans in case North Korea disintegrates or lashes out.

They contain loose talk and confident predictions of the end of the family dynasty that has ruled North Korea for 65 years. Those discussions were fueled by a rash of previously undisclosed defections of ranking North Korean diplomats, who secretly sought refuge in the South. But they were also influenced by a remarkable period of turmoil inside North Korea, including an economic crisis set off by the government’s failed effort to revalue its currency and sketchy intelligence suggesting that the North Korean military might not abide the rise of Mr. Kim’s inexperienced young son, Kim Jong-un, who was recently made a four-star general despite having no military experience.

The cables reveal that in private, the Chinese, long seen as North Korea’s last protectors against the West, occasionally provide the Obama administration with colorful assessments of the state of play in North Korea. Chinese officials themselves sometimes even laugh about the frustrations of dealing with North Korean paranoia. When James B. Steinberg, the deputy secretary of state, sat down in September 2009 with one of China’s most powerful officials, Dai Bingguo, state councilor for foreign affairs, Mr. Dai joked that in a recent visit to North Korea he “did not dare” to be too candid with the ailing and mercurial North Korean leader. But the Chinese official reported that although Kim Jong-il had apparently suffered a stroke and had obviously lost weight, he still had a “sharp mind” and retained his reputation among Chinese officials as “quite a good drinker.” (Mr. Kim apparently assured Mr. Dai during a two-hour conversation in Pyongyang, the capital, that his infirmities had not forced him to give up alcohol.)

But reliable intelligence about Mr. Kim’s drinking habits, it turns out, does not extend to his nuclear program, about which even the Chinese seem to be in the dark. On May 13, 2009, as American satellites showed unusual activity at North Korea’s nuclear test site, officials in Beijing said they were “unsure” that North Korean “threats of another nuclear test were serious.” As it turns out, the North Koreans detonated a test bomb just days later. Soon after, Chinese officials predicted that negotiations intended to pressure the North to disarm would be “shelved for a few months.” They have never resumed...In June 2009, at a lunch in Beijing shortly after the North Korean nuclear test, two senior Chinese Foreign Ministry officials reported that China’s experts believed “the enrichment was only in its initial phases.” In fact, based on what the North Koreans revealed this month, an industrial-scale enrichment plant was already under construction. It was apparently missed by both American and Chinese intelligence services.

...But the cables also reveal that the South Koreans see their strategic interests in direct conflict with China’s, creating potentially huge diplomatic tensions over the future of the Korean Peninsula. The South Koreans complain bitterly that China is content with the status quo of a nuclear North Korea, because they fear that a collapse would unleash a flood of North Korean refugees over the Chinese border and lead to the loss of a “buffer zone” between China and the American forces in South Korea. At one point, Ambassador Stephens reported to Washington, a senior South Korean official told her that “unless China pushed North Korea to the ‘brink of collapse,’ ” the North would refuse to take meaningful steps to give up its nuclear program. Mr. Chun, now the South Korean national security adviser, complained to Ambassador Stephens during their lunch that China had little commitment to the multination talks intended to force North Korea to dismantle its nuclear arsenal. The Chinese, he said, had chosen Wu Dawei to represent Beijing at the talks. According to the cable, Mr. Chun called Mr. Wu the country’s “ ‘most incompetent official,’ an arrogant, Marx-spouting former Red Guard who ‘knows nothing about North Korea, nothing about non-proliferation.’ ”

But the cables show that when it comes to the critical issue of succession, even the Chinese know little of the man who would be North Korea’s next ruler: Kim Jong-un. As recently as February 2009, the American Consulate in Shanghai—a significant collection point for intelligence about North Korea—sent cables reporting that the Chinese who knew North Korea best disbelieved the rumors that Kim Jong-un was being groomed to run the country. Several Chinese scholars with good contacts in the North said they thought it was likely that “a group of high-level military officials” would take over, and that “at least for the moment none of KJI’s three sons is likely to be tapped to succeed him.” The oldest son was dismissed as “too much of a playboy,” the middle son as “more interested in video games” than governing. Kim Jong-un, they said, was too young and inexperienced. But within months, a senior Chinese diplomat, Wu Jianghao, was telling his American counterparts that Kim Jong-il was using nuclear tests and missile launching as part of an effort to put his third son in place to succeed him, despite his youth. “Wu opined that the rapid pace of provocative actions in North Korea was due to Kim Jong-il’s declining health and might be part of a gambit under which Kim Jong-il would escalate tensions with the United States so that his successor, presumably Kim Jong-un, could then step in and ease those tensions,” the embassy reported back to Washington in June 2009.
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Old 12-02-2010, 05:45 PM   #33
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very bad development.......even moreso for us with family in the military

i have a feeling neither side is going to let this escalate too much
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:35 PM   #34
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North Korea was prepared to wage a "holy war" against the South.

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Tensions on the Korean pensinsula were at their most dangerous level since the 1950-53 war today when North Korea threatened to use nuclear weapons in a "holy war" against its neighbour after South Korean tanks, jets and artillery carried out one of the largest live-fire drills in history close to the border
North Korea threatens nuclear 'holy war' with South | World news | The Guardian
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Old 12-23-2010, 10:47 PM   #35
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How will this new hostility on North Korea's part affect the possibility of recording artists (including U2) touring South Korea?
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:31 PM   #36
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Yeah, I think we all need to know if Bono is okay.
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Old 12-23-2010, 11:47 PM   #37
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Anyone think North Korea's new nuclear threats are legit, or is it just more cage-rattling? 'Cause I gotta say, either way, the threats really make me rather nervous.

Angela
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Old 12-24-2010, 07:56 AM   #38
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Do we know whether NK has nuclear artillery shells?

I don't have a lot of faith in their missiles, and missiles in silos preparing for launch would be a decent target for our or South Korea's military planes.
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Old 12-24-2010, 08:29 AM   #39
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North Korea’s military is capable of striking South Korea with its nuclear weapons via missile or by dropping them from a “stealth”aircraft.
But Pyongyang would not undertake a major nuclear attack against Seoul as “it would be suicidal for the reclusive regime to do so.
'North Korea capable of hitting Seoul with nukes'
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Old 12-24-2010, 03:13 PM   #40
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When the aircraft they tout are these:





I'm a little skeptical of the potency of their missile technology, and of the legitimacy of their threats, or at least of their willingness to back up their threats.
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Old 12-24-2010, 06:05 PM   #41
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I was thinking that at first, but the article pointed out something about the biplanes that should be considered; they're virtually invisible to radar.
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Old 12-26-2010, 10:12 AM   #42
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^
That's why I was wondering about artillery shells. They're about the dumbest, oldest technology that still works pretty well.
Also, there is nothing you can do to defend against them, only trace the trajectory back to the source and destroy the cannons.
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Old 12-27-2010, 07:05 AM   #43
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The border is so close to Seoul, it really wouldn't take much. Basic artillery, decades old aircraft - more than enough. Just a plank of wood over a barrel, plus a fat guy, you've probably got all you need.
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Old 12-27-2010, 08:47 AM   #44
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The border is so close to Seoul, it really wouldn't take much. Basic artillery, decades old aircraft - more than enough. Just a plank of wood over a barrel, plus a fat guy, you've probably got all you need.


Ah yes, the deadly and effective (if short-ranged) Fat Guy/Barrel/Plank weapon.

--launching garbage, rotting meat, boiling oil and eventually explosives for millenia.

I have visions of Kim Jong-Il jumping out of a tree and sending a pot of kim chi flying at Seoul.
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Old 12-27-2010, 09:00 AM   #45
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Ah yes, the deadly and effective (if short-ranged) Fat Guy/Barrel/Plank weapon.

--launching garbage, rotting meat, boiling oil and eventually explosives for millenia.

I have visions of Kim Jong-Il jumping out of a tree and sending a pot of kim chi flying at Seoul.
I was thinking of something more like this ...



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