fridi: (Default)
[personal profile] fridi
As per the monthly topic, Trump's UN speech comes just timely. If anyone had expected even a semblance of diplomacy and nuance in his address to the UN, they might've been struck by the depressing amount of predictability in the final product. Trump appeared before the UN session as a commander in chief rattling his nuclear sabres, rather than a statesman. And this failed to surprise anyone.

In his speech, he reiterated a Twitter jab he made the other day about Kim Jong Un, the Rocket Man. In the most important speech on foreign policy he has had since the start of his presidency, he told the world leaders that Rocket Man is on a suicide mission. Ha. Ha. Ha.

The insults in the speech of the president of the United States killed the last remaining hopes that he'd send an honest message to a regime that's been challenging its neighbors for years. It's time for NK to realize that quitting nukes is the only responsible future for them, Trump argued before the UN - which by itself may sound like a relatively rational requirement. Unfortunately, what would remain in memory from this speech is his choice of an Elton John song to irritate the fellow Dear Leader of a rogue state with nuclear aspirations.

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mahnmut: (The Swallows have won!)
[personal profile] mahnmut
I mean not exactly "us", but the U.S. See, the North Korean people are deprived of many things. Freedom, you'd say. Sure, freedom. Also, food. (They do have plenty of weapons, though). But one thing is more abundant than anything else: propaganda. They start getting fed anti-US hatred from the cradle. They're taught to hate the "imperialist aggressor" in their guts from day one.

This propaganda functions flawlessly, because it feeds on the collective memory from the Korean war. It's a war that keeps defining the life and mindset of North Koreans to this very day. The fact that technically, the war ain't even over yet, is helping a lot in that respect, too. In fact, no peace treaty has ever been signed, there's just an armistice. Six decades of official war! Amazing.,!joE1K(oNOj0BN,cWVBhdg~~/s-l300.jpg

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nairiporter: (Default)
[personal profile] nairiporter
The regime in North Korea launched another mid-range ballistic missile the other day, and it was confirmed that it flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido and finally landed in the Pacific. Kim Jong Un was of course present at the launch, and all of NK's neighbours of course declared the act a provocation against the most powerful military in the world, and its allies (also very developed countries).

One might like to ask themselves, if all those allies are so developed, why didn't they at least attempt to shoot down one of those missiles? It's not like there haven't been plenty of calls in that direction, from retired generals like Chuck Wald to much of the Japanese public itself. There were many angry comments in Japan following the launch, people being dismayed that their government had not responded in any way.

South Korea, which is on the path to Guam (NK's apparent first target) is supplied with a modern THAAD system. Another system, AEGIS is present in Japanese, South Korean and US ships throughout the Pacific. Given these enormous capabilities for downing any missile, why wouldn't this be considered as a viable middle option between doing nothing (the sanctions obviously do not work) and an outright war?

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mahnmut: (WTF-E?)
[personal profile] mahnmut
"The scariest part about North Korea is, it could be anywhere".

Sums it all up, methinks.

fridi: (Default)
[personal profile] fridi

The rightful heir of the iron missle!
halialkers: Green-skinned alien with four lights behind him caption "There is no war in Ba Sing Se" (War is peace)
[personal profile] halialkers
 Well, in the last few days, things have escalated very rapidly indeed with North Korea, illustrating ultimately that the world escaped the tragedy of a Cold War nuclear crisis to get the farce that may well finally end the nuclear taboo with North Korea and Donald Trump's America. 

North Korea goes from sadly amusing to genuinely frightening )

A crucial bit of context that changes the pucker factor not a bit )

Trump goes Trumanesque )

Nuclear war with North Korea, and a President who was a source of satire for old cartoons and the basis of the villain in an 80s sci-fi film. 

This would be the scenario of a grimdark satire in any other reality, but it is the one that actually exists. 

And the worst bit is that it would literally matter not at all who won the Presidential election in the USA here. North Korea was developing these weapons since the George W. Bush years. It ended the armistice of Panmunjom in 2013, at one stroke ending all diplomatic possibilities it could use in favor of a cycle that ultimately only ends in a nuclear exchange. Other Presidents wouldn't use Trumanesque rhetoric posturing about nuclear weapons, perhaps, but the broader geopolitical picture would be no different, nor would the existential threat of a nuclear war. 

And when, not if, the cycle continues to escalate unless somehow it's broken and neither Trump nor North Korea seem to care overmuch to do that, the nuclear taboo will finally be shattered. 

And when it is, the chain leading to a global nuclear exchange of some sort shifts up tremendously quick as the Chinese are unlikely to accept a US nuclear strike next to their border without flexing their own arsenal, and the Chinese lack the military ability to deal as much damage to the USA as it can do to it. Scary times, to be sure. 
kiaa: (Default)
[personal profile] kiaa
I recently came across a few proposals for dealing with North Korea, so here's a list of them in an ascending order in terms of aggression (short of an all-out war). So have a look, and have your say:

1) Announce that any country may have economic dealings of any sort with NK if they want, OR with the US - and that it's impossible to have economic dealings with both countries. This would most likely mean cutting all economic ties with China, which would automatically mean austerity kicks in the next day. Sounds bad.

2) Shoot down any tested NK missile as soon as it leaves NK air space. I'm not sure the US has the ability to do this outside test conditions though (if at all). Please advise.

3) Increase the pressure on China to put its client state in line, and threaten to sell nuclear missiles to Japan, China's arch-enemy, unless China stops NK's nuclear program. Except, Japan probably doesn't want nuclear weapons...

I've got 4 other options too: 4) Ignore NK. 5) Surrender. 6) Withdraw from NK. 7) Bomb the shit out of them and be done with it.

Also, install nukes in Taiwan, maybe? What say you?
halialkers: (Default)
[personal profile] halialkers
So, as was recently shown, North Korea has indeed developed ICBMs that give it the capacity now to strike US soil, specifically Alaska (not that there'd be anything of actual value beyond wildlife lost if they did).
Iraq and North Korea: Axis of Idiotic US fixations  )

Context in all its morbid and even hilarious irony  )

The Cold War repeated as farce )

Of such morbid irony is the whim of reality, which unlike fiction needs no pretense of consistency or event A logically and neatly following from a cause that would indicate that this event could become that one.

[identity profile]
President Trump has said he is prepared to deal with the growing nuclear threat coming from North Korea, with or without China's help. But the experts are categorical that the Chinese will be needed in this, especially if the money flow to Pyongyang is to be effectively inerrupted. Because it is China that is the main economic supporter of North Korea, making up 80% of their trade balance.

America and her allies have been trying for years to curb the money flow to NK and isolate the country from the global banking system. But this cannot happen without China. Here are the main sources of income for Kim Jong Un and his regime...

Read more... )
[identity profile]
Even when the nuclear state directly suspended the armistice it claimed to adhere to years ago.

Also a cut )
Personally I hope nothing comes of this but with this Administration there is no certainty that it'll be the usual pantomime and same old con artist game on the part of the USA and North Korea alike. And that lack of certainty with not one but two scenarios involving other nuclear states is ah......not the best route by any means.
[identity profile]
 So, not satisfied with merely sending a carrier to the Indian Ocean, Dorito Benito has decided to treat nuclear weapons deployments to counter a nuclear state perfectly happy to use them on South Korea and Japan as a first option.
Cut )

I guess Dorito Benito wasn't kidding when he said he wanted to fire the damned things off.
[identity profile]
First, some context:

3 die in protests after South Korean president removed from office

China plans to increase number of Marine Corps from 20,000 to 100,000 to boost global presence

What's the connection, you may ask. Well, do bear with me. See, three people have died in the riots in Seoul that followed the verdict of the Constitutional court that confirmed the removal of president Park Geun-hye because of big abuse of power. There were protests for and against her on the streets around the court, and the drama eventually boiled over into clashes with the police forces. Hence the casualties. Both crying and jubilant people filled the news reports coming from various correspondents covering the events. Even foreign journalists were mildly hurt amidst all the chaos.

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[identity profile]

When North Korea released a new official photo of its leader last week, it clearly had no idea how the world would react. Lots of folks noticed the natural looking portrait was clearly missing some retouching (very untypical for the Photoshop-obsessed North Koreans), so the internet soon took care of that.

Hilarity ensue! )
[identity profile]
While we're still about infamous politicians... If there's one thing that might be greater than Kim's belligerence, it's his impudence and cynicism. Apparently, he has now told his improverished people that they better tighten the belts some more (what, even more?) and prepare themselves for another famine like the one that killed millions a couple decades ago. "Eat roots", he basically told them recently, while himself accumulating as much weight within a single year as to make up another Kim - possibly an equally evil twin bro of himself. Or something.

Frankly, I don't get it how can a nation that claims to be as proud as North Korea can continuously put up with guys like this bag of shite, and all his predecessors. But particularly this one. He came out of nowhere, he had no military or political background, and he was placed on top of the pyramid (and the food chain) merely on the grounds of being Previous Dear Leader's dear son. And people were required to buy that? Even after years of torture and starvation?

I'm not claiming to know what it's like to live under the boot of an oppressive regime like North Korea, and I assume their military and state apparatus has all the levers to keep the people in line - but how much can a people of millions really tolerate before they snap and revolt? I mean, at what point does life under someone like Kim become so unbearable that you'd be willing to put it on the line for the sake of removing that bastard? Other peoples have done it multiple times throughout history - so why not this one?
[identity profile]
...Or is someone definitely not wanting to have nice things?

While we're still about crazy-ass dictator states, here's the deal.

So basically, a private US cinema studio decides to troll North Korea a little bit, you know, just because they can. North Korea does in response what North Korea usually does in response: it throws a tantrum, talks some smack, etc.

Now, from a US perspective, it's all fair game, since it's just a private cinema studio doing their private cinema stuff - ya know, freedom of speech and all that jazz. A number of people rally behind the movie, even if it's a crappy one (or not - I don't know, I haven't watched it yet), and watch it just because they can, and because, ya know, freedom of speech and all that jazz that we "stand for". So far, so good.

But then the shit *really* hits the fan )
[identity profile]


We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces. - Carl Sagan

By now everybody has heard of the cyber attack on Sony Pictures, allegedly from North Korea in retaliation for the Seth Rogen and James Franco farce “The Interview”. The entire corporation was caught up in this including detailed and damaging information on celebrities, intellectual property, privileged corporate information, current employees and former employees. There were 10 terabytes (about 10 trillion bytes) of information that was stolen. The damage is estimated in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Information can be restored from backups and insurance is covering at least some of the losses. Sony can still do business, but this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Despite the news media trying to assess the damage in digital information and dollar losses, there is something much bigger going on here. I am not going to compare it to the Hindenburg, the Lusitania, Pearl Harbor or the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center because no physical lives were lost. However, I think the malicious nature of this attack has shaped the composition of cyber war.

Security experts agree that there was nothing Sony could have done to mitigate this hack. The lives of those caught in the attack will forever be changed. We fell into an emotional and psychological paralysis as a result of this. There are innumerable questions that may never be answered, such as how is this information going to be ultimately used. Who is going to be getting this information? One of the most frightening is what is going to keep this from happening again?

I don’t think there is any better illustration of the psychological and emotional paralysis that has happened to us than the total abdication of leadership that occurred during this attack. Theater chains left the release decision to the theater owners, Sony left the release decision to the theater chains, and ultimately the POTUS claimed that the decision to pull the film from release by Sony Pictures was “a mistake”. This is unusual for me to say, but I think the decision by Sony Pictures was the most responsible under the circumstances and the administration from the Pentagon through the President was unprepared to respond to this attack.

Retaliation for this attack is going to be difficult, at best. North Korea has no civil internet structure so a counterattack would be useless. They are so isolated that sanctions would be ineffective. Bolstering South Korea’s military capabilities would be a somewhat mild response. About the only thing I can think of is to either beam “Team America: World Police” to every TV set in North Korea or electronically disable all of North Korea’s military defenses.

All I can imagine is that this is only the first volley in a series.

[identity profile]

So, not content with ending the armistice between the two Koreas that's been in effect since 1950 (with a noticeable interruption in 1968), Kim Jong Un is now moving a missile with a 2,000 mile range to the coast of his necrocracy. It seems that in this case he's coming closer than his father ever did to actually meaning to spark a new war, especially since the DPRK is also suggesting that embassies might want to consider getting the hell out of dodge:

So this does seem to be an exercise in how far one can go with brinksmanship before one starts an outright war between three or more states at a time. And in this case this would be the first war since the Kargil War to put two nuclear states in direct confrontation with each other. Evidently from what I've read some people are attributing to this the concept that North Korea is reaping what it's sown from so long a period of brinksmanship, but I'm not entirely sure about that. The United States has engaged in brinksmanship for decades without ever triggering an actual nuclear war. I think what this is either that Kim Jong Un feels insecure in power, or he may know that the North Korean state is in a position of imminent collapse, in which case he may decide that better the US imperialist running dogs than his own incompetence as far as the direct cause of the collapse of North Korea. Or more cruelly ironic, it may seem to him that the regime is on the brink of collapse and it turns out that 30 years down the line it really never actually was, but he acted under that assumption, which produces the same result.

The best thing here, of course, is that there is no war at all. But whether or not the best thing can keep happening is a different question.
[identity profile]
It both stinks and has layers:,31821/

And now that we know that Lil' Kim is in favor of gay marriage, I shall provide you with a link to the official video where he endorses it, behind the cut:

cut lest the surprise be spoiled )
[identity profile]

I predict six days or so of major hoopla and some new concession to North Korea to prop up Kim Jong Eun's regime and another success for the North Korean regime's Catch-22 policy of holding a major city hostage with 50 years of accumulated artillery. Given the ultimately disastrous impact for the world economy and more importantly for both the civilians and soldiers of the two Koreas of an actual war (and that the outcome of said war will be that North Korea no longer exists and the regime will be permanently destabilized), I predict that like the other two Kims this one is all bark and no bite.

What I do wonder is how long North Korea will keep up the whole Seoul for Food thing going. It doesn't seem the most enduring basis for a regime to perpetuate its own survival.
[identity profile]

I'm sure most of you are already familiar with this photo. It says it all: north of that line is North Korea. South Korea is the bright area under the line. I'm sure most of us have already watched this, as well:

Surreal, isn't it? Apart from the bewilderment these images are causing, all the news coming from NK only add more details to the striking picture of an utterly self-isolated society that resides somewhere between JRRT's Mordor and an Orwellian dystopia. In other words, it's a country we could hardly imagine in its full horror, and one we're not sure whether we should laugh or cry about. A society that should never have come to be.

Maybe that's why shortly after Jim Jong Il's death, a ton of predictions came up about the imminent end of the regime, the impending instability and the hard times coming. Because, you see, his heir Kim Jong Un is too green and too inexperienced and too unknown, so he must be having enormous difficulties. Some expectations went even further: the new "dear leader" wouldn't manage to hold to power, which would cause a political crisis and would eventually cause the system to crumble down.

So how's that regime collapse working? )

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