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Thread: North Korea's latest nuclear test

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    Master Level Member Chloé's Avatar
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    North Korea's latest nuclear test

    Now a days amid the mass shootings, explosions in Western Capitals, hostage situations, beheadings, stabbings and other terrorists attacks, with the ramped up election campaign in the U.S. the crises in Syria and most of the Middle East as well as the flood of refugees emerging from that war zone, its hard to really give much importance to some crackpot little dictator in some little country in the far east. So when he performed another nuclear test exploding nuclear material somewhere in his own land last Friday, it barely made a blip on anyone's radar other than perhaps the seismologist's.

    So, should we be worried about this latest test? North Korea has been testing nuclear material on its ongoing quest to obtain the bomb for the last 10 years. So far they have conducted 5 tests in total since 2006 and they haven't gotten to missile capacity yet.

    Yet is the operative word.

    So how close are they? According to the Washington Post, they're making steady progress.

    North Korea announced that they had conducted a “nuclear explosion test” and that they had “standardized” a nuclear warhead. Just because they’re right on the former doesn’t mean they’re right on the latter.
    Making a nuclear warhead small and light enough to attach to a missile is a difficult thing. Analysts and military chiefs think North Korea is well on the way to this capability, but there’s no sign they are there yet.
    And, even if they do manage to “miniaturize” a nuclear device and stick it on a missile, there’s still a whole lot more steps to go through. A nuclear missile goes through extremes of heat and cold, shakes with vibrations during launch, and has to survive re-entry and hit its target. There’s a lot of things that can go wrong there.
    But North Korea is making a lot of progress on its missile program. And its latest nuclear test does constitute another step down the path to what some people think is Pyongyang’s ultimate aim: being able to send a nuclear-tipped missile to the U.S. mainland.
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/...-nuclear-test/

    But this isn't a big deal right? I mean we have far more to worry about in the Middle East, with Assad using Chemical weapons against his own people, fire-lighting the rise of ISIS and spread of terrorism throughout the world on the backs of angry Syrian migrants, then there's the upheaval in Iraq and Afghanistan- remember those places the U.S went into but didn't finish up by stabilizing, leaving a power vacuum and sanctuary for terrorism? And lets not even mention that crackpot dictator in Iran who's trying to develop a nuclear bomb......... oh wait.....

    Perhaps this nuclear test in North Korea is something we need to sit up and take notice about, if not for its own merits, then perhaps as a warning of times to come. Don't forget it was only a few years ago that a deal was made with Iran, that highly controversial Nuclear Deal Benjamin Netanyahu made an impassioned speech to Congress to not agree to. The one which had no measures outlined in its structure as to how to enforce the agreement or even check up on Iran.

    Iran still has nuclear material, and for all we know is enriching more and more as we speak, readying itself to make a bomb. Perhaps they're a long way from achieving that goal, North Korea has been at the testing stage for 10 years and still isn't there yet- but there's that word again, "yet".

    Although N. Korea hasn't managed to weaponize the material they have yet, the tests they have been conducting have become bigger and bigger, and this is the largest yet:



    We haven't made a deal with North Korea like we did with Iran, we've imposed sanctions on North Korea and there are calls to impose more and harsher sanctions after this latest test, but that's not stopping them. So if we can't make a small country bordering its best ally in China, which is also against this endeavor, stop pursuing the bomb, what hope do we have in stopping a country that is run by a religious zealot, bent on destroying its neighbor Israel and then 'the great Satan' America, and declares these ambitions in front of every world leader and media outlet who'll give him an audience?

    Perhaps we should look at North Korea as the practice paper, and Iran as the final- appropriately named as they're seeking a final solution of their own eventually.

    So lets look at this test in historical terms, as well as looking forward to what it could mean in the future. Given that a few countries have already developed this technology, we have a good timeline as to there North Korea may be in its journey towards fully weaponizing nuclear material for use on a missile. The Atlantic points out:

    How to assess the merit of these claims? One seemingly oblique but constructive way is to look at the fifth nuclear tests of other countries—the United States, Russia, Britain, France, and China. These five fifth tests are a fairly telling set. By their fifth tests, all five countries had demonstrated the technologies to reduce the size of first-generation weapons, and were well on their way to building thermonuclear weapons. Their scientists were quite competent, and their place in the world as nuclear powers widely acknowledged. So why hold North Korea to a different standard? Viewed through the lens of these past tests, it’s hard to escape the reality that North Korea is, indeed, a real nuclear power.
    http://www.theatlantic.com/internati...m-jong-un-why/

    Are we all suitably terrified yet? :afraid:

    All right I'll dial it back a little. It may be of some comfort to know that the tests North Korea have conducted so far are relatively small compared to those done by other nations which are already Nuclear powers now. Here's a graph for comparison:



    As one user on Twitter commented, North Korea's tests look like farts in comparison.

    None the less, once the technology is in their reach there's no telling how much devastation they could eventually unleash, so nations have paid attention and are calling for measures against further tests.

    Before the closed-door UN Security Council meeting, US Ambassador Samantha Power said that "North Korea is seeking to perfect its nuclear weapons and their delivery vehicles so they can hold the region and the world hostage under threat of nuclear strike".
    "We will take additional significant steps, including new sanctions to demonstrate to North Korea that there are consequences to its unlawful and dangerous actions," she added.
    France's UN Ambassador Francois Delattre said: "North Korea will have to bear the consequences of its act and provocation.''
    He said the French position was that "new sanctions are indispensable".
    But so far, sanctions haven't worked, the little tubby tyrant Kim Jung Un would rather see his people starve than relinquish his precious nuclear projects.

    The isolated communist nation has been subjected to five sets of UN sanctions since its first test in 2006. Talks involving world and regional powers have failed to rein in the North's nuclear programme.
    In its statement announcing the underground test, North Korea expressed anger at the "racket of threat and sanctions... kicked up by the US-led hostile forces" to deny a "sovereign state's exercise of the right to self-defence".
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-37317782

    So what else is left to leverage against him? The only ace up our sleeve is actually up someone else's, China, North Korea's ally and a powerhouse in its own right, may hold the key to reversing Kim Jung Un's diabolical ambition. So where are they on this? Given that they want to remain friends with their neighbor, valuing stability on their borders over engaging in a fight with the dictator, they've cut him a lot of slack over the years in the hopes, presumably, that perhaps this would die down. Maybe they secretly hoped that the sanctions the UN put on North Korea would be enough, and that they wouldn't have to step in. But this latest test has changed things, as the Washington Post reports:

    China seems pretty angry right now. North Korea fired three missiles on Monday while Chinese president Xi Jinping was hosting the Group of 20 summit in Hangzhou – and those missiles were technically capable of hitting Hangzhou. Not a subtle message.
    On Friday, China’s foreign ministry released a statement condemning the test and saying it would work with the international community to urge North Korea to return to talks and give up its nukes.
    The question now is whether China gets serious about enforcing sanctions.
    Personally, I think this all balances on China to persuade North Korea to abandon this pursuit. But that depends on China's interests, and how much they may be threatened or undermined by North Korea getting the bomb. One thing is for sure though, the U.S can't really tell China what to do in this instance, China practically owns America now its in so much debt to them. The U.S is not the economic power house it once was, and now China is looking like its set to take over as the most powerful economy in the world. Then there's 'let's bring the Jobs back' Trump, who has made it clear he wants to renegotiate with China deals that will favor the US more. I doubt China will want to listen to him much if he becomes leader of the U.S, no matter how good at 'making deals' he is.

    So perhaps Kim Jung Un's latest cry for attention is something we need to look at. I know we have enough problems already, I know this annoying podgy little guy isn't who we want to pay attention to at all, nor does he deserve any attention, except perhaps as an example of what power does when it goes to someone's head- gives them a terrible haircut. But let's simply look at him as an example for future reference. If we find a way to handle this well, maybe the next dictator wont get his hands on the bomb either, we all know there's a line waiting for that power already.

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    You said it: No, it is not a concern... yet.
    "Can you worship a God who isn't obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation?"
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    The harsh reality is we have gone down a road here that pretty much ensures there is nothing that can be done about North Korea other than war.

    From years of sanctions and various prior acts we are talking about an extremely isolated and impoverished nation here. By their own doing they are in a position where they can barely produce enough food year on year to handle their population needs, let alone their government and military establishment. I forgot where I read this but basically the article suggested they do not have the means to fuel all their military aircraft and armored divisions, and they were in a position as recently as 2 years ago where their citizens went on food rations nation wide just to ensure that their government and military infrastructure could feed themselves. All the effort being put into ballistic missile and nuclear technology development has put a strain on all other efforts that North Korea is aiming for.

    The fact that their atomic / nuclear testing is causing seismic events suggests what it should, they are advancing despite their overall national condition.

    It sounds terrible but about all that is left to deal with North Korea is outright war, with all the difficulties that implies.
    "You do not, nor did you ever, need a reason to help people." - Anonymous

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    Personally, I think Trump was pretty on point when he said that North Korea is China's problem. I think they will eventually take care of the problem. I also noticed that Russia is starting to take notice of them.

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    Master Level Member Chloé's Avatar
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    What if he decides to attack a US ally like Japan or S Korea? Doesn't it then become an American issue? If so, btw, Japan won't care what happens to the South Koreans. The threats of "wiping out Seoul" will go untold and unnoticed ; Japan sees them as slaves anyway. They will invoke US defense treaties / bi-lateral agreements and force the US, to defend it. It cannot use an aggressive amount of force on any nation so they will expect and demand that the US attack the North and annex Pyongyang.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chloé View Post
    What if he decides to attack a US ally like Japan or S Korea? Doesn't it then become an American issue? If so, btw, Japan won't care what happens to the South Koreans. The threats of "wiping out Seoul" will go untold and unnoticed ; Japan sees them as slaves anyway. They will invoke US defense treaties / bi-lateral agreements and force the US, to defend it. It cannot use an aggressive amount of force on any nation so they will expect and demand that the US attack the North and annex Pyongyang.
    I don't think the Chinese will let it get that far. They have a vested interest in many of our allies in the region.

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    Did anyone notice this article dated Sept. 2, 2016?

    North Korea just executed one of its highest-ranking officials for slouching at a meeting. Or did it?

    Last week, South Korean officials announced that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had executed one senior official, reportedly for slouching at a political meeting, and banished two others to reeducation camps.

    News of political violence in North Korea is nothing new — the communist country is known for its opacity and brutality. But for many dedicated North Korea-watchers, any developments within the country’s highly secretive political class are cause for speculation.

    Here’s what experts are saying about the latest round of punishments:

    How much do we know about this execution?

    Not much. South Korean officials told reporters that North Korea executed Kim Yong Jin, a 63-year-old vice premier for education, in July by firing squad. Yet local media gave few details and attributed them to anonymous sources. South Korea's Unification Ministry spokesman Jeong Joon-hee confirmed the execution during a news conference Wednesday, according to CNN.

    The briefing followed a report a day earlier by JoongAng Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper, claiming two senior North Korean officials — former Agricultural Minister Hwang Min and senior Education Ministry official Ri Yong Jin — had been executed with antiaircraft guns in August.

    Whether the three executions were related remains open-ended.

    So what does it take for a North Korean official to get executed?

    Slumping, according to this week’s announcement. Kim Yong Jin, the education official, “was investigated by the North’s intelligence agency due to his sitting posture shown at a key parliamentary meeting held in late June,” reported South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.

    But very little about North Korean society is clear-cut or straightforward.

    “This current story is that he shrugged — that there was some kind of insubordination,” said John Delury, a North Korea expert and professor at Yonsei University in Seoul. “But seemingly a very petty act of insubordination. So we assume from that, oh, Kim Jong Un is violent, and extremely insecure. If somebody doesn’t stiffen their back when they walk in the room, he executes them.”
    http://www.latimes.com/world/asia/la...nap-story.html

  8. #8
    Master Level Member Chloé's Avatar
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    I had heard of that, but it is so sad that it has gotten to the point now that any act of cleansing / state purging is not seen as anything newsworthy in regards to NK these days. Ever since Kim executed his own Uncle it is like this is just common place for the dictator.

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    Frankly, I don't know how that regime hasn't completely caved in on itself.
    "Can you worship a God who isn't obligated to explain His actions to you? Could it be your arrogance that makes you think God owes you an explanation?"
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    The West won't intervene with NK because unlike Iraq, NK actually has nukes, and its leader has shown a propensity to be, shall we say, not entirely stable, so any unilateral action would probably be met with nuclear retaliation. Throughout history, the West has continually demonstrated a propensity to only solve problems in regions where we can win, and NK is not one of those; hence, we'll leave them alone. On the flip side, why should we care? NK has never invaded another country, or nuked another country. Would it not be justifiable for people to be more concerned about US nuclear tests? (Am just playing devil's advocate here).

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