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Has this administration conceded that N. Korea will become a nuclear power or might we soon be at war?  

I was hopeful four years ago that a new line of diplomacy might flourish when the president was elected.  Relations have not improved with N. Korea or Iran.  

It will be interesting to see what will happen if a nuclear N. Korea suddenly has missiles that can reach the US.  

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Comment Preferences

  •  I live in Seoul. (14+ / 0-)

    You won't be at war.

    I'll be at war. Because this is the first place they'll bomb.

    I'm not too worried though. It's a MAD (mutually assured destruction) kinda situation. The North Korean regime is crazy, but they're not suicidal. They want sanctions lifted and aid. This is part of their crazy bargaining routine they do every couple years.

    What I learned from the debates: Romney needs more bayonets to destroy Big Bird's army.

    by OReillysNightmare on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 08:30:18 PM PST

  •  Suddenly? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    subtropolis, Rogneid

    N Korea has been developing bomb and missile for decades.

    I don't know how relations w/NK will take its next turn - who does? But I do not think any developments will send US and Japanese leaders into a panic. NK's missiles have not been reliable so far. And geography makes anti-missile defense viable against NK specifically. So I doubt we will see any news that actually changes the staus quo very much.

  •  North Korea, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Rogneid

    you'd think they know the rules.

    They can do all sorts of terrible shit because they only put their own people in death camps. Which is sick and sad, but apparently no one will do anything about it.

    North Korea is like isolationist Nazi Germany.

    I read about that North Korean guy who escaped one of the death camps, someone else trying to escape was killed and he had to crawl over their corpse or something terrible like that.

    Awful.

  •  Mark Helprin was right about North Korea (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    randomfacts

    (That's HELPRIN, the novelist (Winter's Tale) and conservative columnist, not HALPERIN the MSNBC idiot.)

    Many years ago in an WSJ op-ed he advocated taking out the NK regime before they went nuclear, believe there would be a incalculably higher cost in American blood that would inevitably have to be paid if we let them get nukes. This is probably the only thing I've ever agreed with him about. It's true that deterrence has worked for 60+ years now, but there have been far more close calls than we like to think about and I'm just not sure NK is a truly rational state. Just another nightmare to deal with because we keep fighting the wrong wars against the wrong opponents.

    •  That's an incredibly hawkish POV (7+ / 0-)

      Very similar to the pre-emptive war argument that was applied to Iraq and is being attempted in Iran. Strongly disagree with this Helprin person. Containment is frustrating, but preferrable to war.

      What I learned from the debates: Romney needs more bayonets to destroy Big Bird's army.

      by OReillysNightmare on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 09:04:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Helprin: A Soldier of the Great War (0+ / 0-)

      I got this book on a random buy at a used book thingie. It was a very interesting look at WW1 from an Italian perspective. Worth a look.

      Anyway I happened to glance at the spine a few days ago and had the sinking feeling it was that MSNBC lightweight who wrote it. Thanks for dispelling that notion.

    •  I disagree (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      lazybum, dougymi

      There were people who proposed exactly the same arguments versus the Soviets in 1948 and the Chinese in 1964.

      "The Soviets aren't rational! Stalin's a madman!"

      "The Russians lost 20 million in WWII, the thought of losing more won't deter them."

      "The Chinese aren't rational! Mao's a madman!"

      "The Chinese have a billion people. The thought of losing 200 million won't deter them."

      It's always the same argument. Our foes aren't rational and can't be deterred, so we need to attack them preemptively (which coincidentally we wanted to do anyway).

      Fortunately calmer heads prevailed.

      I'm not saying the DPRK are nice people (they're not) but nobody wants to be absolute dictator of a smoking crater.

      If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

      by Major Kong on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 04:05:25 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  will it say Adelson or Koch on the label. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Pluto

    pot stirring?

    cheerleaders need not apply.

    by kravitz on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 09:07:03 PM PST

  •  Breaking: CNN wants to talk war. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wu ming, Rogneid

    Breaking: Beyonce records a record
    Breaking: Snakes in Florida
    Breaking: Boy in a balloon
    Breaking: Bicycle guy lies
    Breaking: Football guy nuts
    Breaking: fill in the  blank ___.

    Breaking: CNN has no scruples.  Goes from one distortion to lie to misdirection to right wing promotion...

    •  While CNN does lack scruples... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      subtropolis, Quicklund, Rogneid

      ... I don't think this is an example of that. (The other cases you mentioned, yes of course). But if NK is testing missile or nuke technology and CNN reports that, how is that a distortion? Let's save the criticism for when it's warranted (and it's often warranted).

      What I learned from the debates: Romney needs more bayonets to destroy Big Bird's army.

      by OReillysNightmare on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 09:19:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think they enjoyed their NK trip. (0+ / 0-)

      They knew how to do as told during the Bush Administration, so they had some practice before dealing with the Kim Jong Il administration

      "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

      by Yamaneko2 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 10:07:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  It's about time for that in the cycle. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, KenBee, Major Kong, Rogneid

    DPRK (North Korea) attacks, tensions rise, DPRK pulls back, food aid comes in, DPRK gets belligerent and tests something.  

    "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

    by Yamaneko2 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 09:47:17 PM PST

  •  I've been following some of the propaganda (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Quicklund, KenBee, wu ming, Dauphin, Rogneid

    The DPRK propaganda, of course.  

    Kim Jong Un appears to be opening his society to international capital.  The DPRK has set up enterprise zones in the far northeast (Rason) and the far south (Kaesong), where international businesses who tire of the high expense and mobility of Chinese labor outsource their work.  North Korea has also begun taking in IT from outside.  Animation from South Korea is also being outsourced to the North.

    By North Korean standards, the industrial jobs offer good pay, even though half the pay is taken as tax and the rest is paid out in North Korean won at government exchange rates.  More to the point, Rason and Kaesong have above-average food security, which makes the jobs there even more attractive.

    The gulags are still running at full tilt (150,000 to 200,000 incarcerated), with two large gulags conveniently located just outside Rason.    

    Kim Jong Un's public strategy appears to be that of the "kinder, gentler" dictator opening the country just a tad.  A recent concert by the newly-organized Moranbong band and televised to the population included Western, even American pop:  "Penelope" (a Catalan hit, I believe), "My Way", the theme from Rocky (with clips from the movie) and a 12-minute Disney segment were identified on YouTube.  The "birthday presents", a package of treats given to children on Kim Il Sung's birthday, have gone up from 350 g to 1.00 kg in mass, though it's reported that the children aren't eating them.  New recreational facilities have been opened in Pyongyang, with Kim Jong Un offering "field guidance".  

    Two sites to watch are NK News and NK Economy Watch.

    "Politics should be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage." -- Lucille Ball

    by Yamaneko2 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 10:06:04 PM PST

  •  Quite odd. (0+ / 0-)

    Their reaction to being accused of having military purposes for their rockets is to threaten military action and acknowledge they have military uses.

    Quite odd, as I said.

    "To recognize error, to cut losses, to alter course, is the most repugnant option in government." Historian Barbara Tuchman

    by Publius2008 on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 10:11:35 PM PST

  •  So what? They do this all the time if they (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rustypatina

    think they are not getting enough attention from the world.

    President Obama, January 9, 2012: "Change is hard, but it is possible. I've Seen it. I've Lived it."

    by Drdemocrat on Wed Jan 23, 2013 at 11:10:04 PM PST

  •  bargaining and positioning (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    angry marmot, SuWho

    this is old hat to the governments in the area, and certainly not beyond the capacity of obama's state dept. it will be interesting to see how the new park, abe and xi administrations respond, both in terms of rhetoric and policy.

    sure would be nice to see kerry confirmed ASAP, though. i would not be surprised to see a long term deal emerge in the next couple of years, given the shifts the jong-un regime has made away from his father's policies.

  •  I think it's great news (0+ / 0-)

    The North is concentrating on a nuclear deterrent (or, if you want, first-strike ability) against the United States, which is completely ridiculous, rather than a conventional artillery threat to the South, which is something they can certainly do.  If their delusion has gone to the point where they don't want to reduce the South to rubble because they imagine it will someday be theirs, via some existential threat to the US, that's a plus for everyone involved.  

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 03:59:15 AM PST

  •  Jesus Christ Win these guys over already.. (0+ / 0-)

    Isn’t Google suppose to be negotiating with them. Give them some stuff, stop isolating them and begin to make them feel
    part of. Just the way you would when you were a little kid
    trying to make friends across the street.
    This world is way to dangerous to be fucking around with
    dictators who have dangerous weapons. After all who could
    resist Katie Perry? Come on U.S. stop the nonsense...

  •  They didn't even (0+ / 0-)

    threaten to turn South Korea into a "Sea of Fire".

    In DPRK-speak this is positively tame.

    If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

    by Major Kong on Thu Jan 24, 2013 at 08:03:53 AM PST

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