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North Korea Says It Has Conducted Nuclear Test 1623

Posted by Zonk
from the troubling dept.
ScentCone writes "North Korea says that it has conducted its first nuclear weapons test and 'brought happiness to its people.' Japan and China earlier issued an unusual joint statement saying that such a test would be 'unacceptable.' As of 11:10PM EST, the USGS says that it has not detected any unusual seismic activity on the Korean peninsula in the last 48 hours." From the article: "The North said last week it would conduct a test, sparking regional concern and frantic diplomatic efforts aimed at dissuading Pyongyang from such a move. North Korea has long claimed to have nuclear weapons, but had never before performed a known test to prove its arsenal. The nuclear test was conducted at 10:36 a.m. (0136 GMT) in Hwaderi near Kilju city, Yonhap reported, citing defense officials." Update: 10/09 05:50 GMT by J : The U.S. Geological Survey reports a 4.2 magnitude quake; South Korean news is reporting a 3.58 magnitude event; the White House apparently confirms a nuclear test.
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North Korea Says It Has Conducted Nuclear Test

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  • Confirmed (Score:5, Informative)

    by sholde4 (815798) * on Monday October 09, 2006 @12:33AM (#16360081)
    According to MSNBC, USGS has just confirmed a 4.2 magnitude tremor at 10:30 am local time Monday.
  • Sizemography (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @12:33AM (#16360087)
    At this moment, US intel claims it "can't confirm" the event. However, US geologists apparently can. [usgs.gov] Transparency is a good thing, especially when it's not intended.

  • by ScentCone (795499) on Monday October 09, 2006 @12:35AM (#16360111)
    USGS and other international players are now reporting 4.2 magnitude (Richter scale) tremor at the indicated time of the test. China says they got a 20-minute warning, which they passed along to the US and other western governments.

    Looks like it will be a busy day in diplo-land, and a noisy day in pundit-land.
  • Re:Verification? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @12:41AM (#16360145)
    Verification [usgs.gov]
  • Seismic Data from North Korean underground Nuke test registers on USGS sensors as 4.2 mag quake http://bitterplace.homeip.net:8080/modules.php?nam e=News&file=article&sid=607&mode=&order=0&thold=0 [homeip.net]
  • by macadamia_harold (947445) on Monday October 09, 2006 @12:47AM (#16360193) Homepage
    You can see the Seismic Data here [usgs.gov].

    And a global map indicating it here [usgs.gov].

    No denying that one.
  • by Change (101897) on Monday October 09, 2006 @12:50AM (#16360229)
    Here's the quake info: http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/Qu akes/ustqab.php [usgs.gov]

    If you go to the Maps tab it gives you this Google Maps link (tinyURLized): http://tinyurl.com/ghvuy [tinyurl.com]

    Take a look about 4-5 miles north of the estimated epicenter, there's a large complex of buildings there. Wonder what those are?
  • Re:Verification? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Xiroth (917768) on Monday October 09, 2006 @12:51AM (#16360247)
    The real CNN article [cnn.com].

    Check link, then post - I always get that out of order.
  • by terrymr (316118) * <terrymr.gmail@com> on Monday October 09, 2006 @12:58AM (#16360297)
    From here: [iris.edu] a one killoton explosion is equivalent to about 4.0. Maybe it was just a butt load of dynamite and not nuclear at all.
  • by IdleByte (879930) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:04AM (#16360347) Journal
    Exact Yahoo Maps location... I didn't look at the URL completely before I posted.. http://maps.yahoo.com/beta/index.php#maxp=search&m vt=h&trf=0&lon=129.114&lat=41.311&mag=6 [yahoo.com] Idle
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:07AM (#16360369)
    Such as Israel?
  • by StandardDeviant (122674) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:13AM (#16360419) Homepage Journal
    This page [unr.edu] (scroll down to the header "Seismic Energy") lists richter 4.0 as corresponding to 1kT and 4.5 as 5.1kT (richter is a log scale). So kind of a pissy sub-tactical range yield (i.e. nothing you'd want to be close to, but not a city killer either). For comparison's sake, Trinity, Fat Man, and Little Boy were all in the 12-22kT [wikipedia.org] range.
  • by ChePibe (882378) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:21AM (#16360491)
    While filling your cart with 7.62mm rounds and Evian, you may want to consider some Potassium iodide [wikipedia.org], which can provide at least some protection against Radioiodine, which I assume would be a part of most nuclear explosions (although I am no specialist on this matter - do correct me if I'm wrong). It's dirt cheap, and a little something might be better than nothing. The odds of ever needing it are, of course, extremely low. But, hey, if you're going to stock up, stock up right.
  • by Jarden (589403) <neobyte@gmRABBITail.com minus herbivore> on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:32AM (#16360575)
    ..my ass [iris.edu]
  • by Strudelkugel (594414) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:34AM (#16360593)

    "I TOLD YOU SO!"

    Better have a look at this [wikipedia.org] (scroll down to the part about the Korean War) before making that statement. If he were alive today, no doubt MacArthur would be horrified to see what his miscalculation of the Chinese response created: North Korea in its current form.

  • Re:Take em now (Score:3, Informative)

    by lexDysic (542023) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:39AM (#16360623)
    North Korea (and most of these arguments apply to Iran equally well) isn't even on the same planet with sane. North Korea WILL eventually start another war. There isn't any doubt whether he has WMD anymore and he has the missles to deliver them.

    You realize North Korea is a country and not a person, right? Assuming you are referring to Kim Jong-Il (or Ahmadinejad, or Chavez, or Hussein, or whomever you think it is most important to be scared of today) have you considered that maybe it requires just a little bit of sanity to remain in control of an entire country? There are other people who would like the job, after all. (Note: I'm not saying that any of these people are necessarily very smart, just that they all certainly prefer being in power to being dead.)

    The most likely reasons for North Korea's developing of these weapons are self-defense and, more importantly, a negotiation chip to use towards stopping sanctions. All indications are that this is what's happening. (One sample analysis, written recently, is here [msn.com].)

    Confirmation of NKs nuclear capabilities reduces our diplomatic power over them slightly, since it makes the threat of a direct military attack by us on them slightly less credible. This is unfortunate, but not a reason to panic, and not a reason to initiate an attack which would certainly: (a) result in many innocent deaths, and (b) damage our relationships with countries that could affect the well-being of Americans. (Make no mistake, not even Great Britain would support us on this one).

    This impending disaster could have been prevented just like WWII could have. Instead a billion will probably die.

    The Bay of Pigs nuclear disaster could have been prevented it too, if only we'd have had the sense not to attack until it was absolutely necessary...oh wait, we did, and it was. Be thankful.
  • Re:Sizemography (Score:5, Informative)

    by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:43AM (#16360647) Homepage Journal
    The US has or had satellites that can detect particle bursts from nuclear explosions. If such satellites are still in operation (though likely any current ones are generations improved from the originals), then the US intelligence system would know for certain.

    As an aside, that type of satellite was the type that originally detected gamma ray bursts from billions of years ago and they were almost a total mystery until the last decade.
  • by abb3w (696381) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:44AM (#16360655) Journal

    If the North Koreans detonated a 10-30 kiloton device, several times 1013 neutrinos from it should have passed through Kamiokande.

    Assuming it was a nuke, the chemical explosive component should be neglectable. According to Wikipedia [wikipedia.org], 1 kiloton-TNT is 4.184 TJ. According to a quick search (matching what I recall from NE301 a decade back), average fission energy yield is around 200 MeV per [nuclearweaponarchive.org]. This gives about 4E24 fissions [google.com]. Assuming you get on the order of 1 antineutrino per, at a radius of 1000 km and assuming even sterradial distribution, gives on the order of 300 billion antineutrinos [google.com] per fission.

    Anyone who wants to find the detector capture efficiency [google.com] and make a guess at its cross-sectional area is welcome to refine the numbers further. I have some sleep to not-get.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:44AM (#16360663)
    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsww/Qu akes/ustqab.php [usgs.gov]

    Earthquake Details
    Magnitude 4.2 (Light)
    # Date-Time Monday, October 9, 2006 at 01:35:27 (UTC)
    = Coordinated Universal Time
    # Monday, October 9, 2006 at 10:35:27 AM
    = local time at epicenter
    Time of Earthquake in other Time Zones
    Location 41.311N, 129.114E
    Depth 0 km (~0 mile) set by location program
    Region NORTH KOREA
    Distances 70 km (45 miles) N of Kimchaek, North Korea
    90 km (55 miles) SW of Chongjin, North Korea
    180 km (110 miles) S of Yanji, Jilin, China
    385 km (240 miles) NE of PYONGYANG, North Korea
    Location Uncertainty horizontal +/- 14.9 km (9.3 miles); depth fixed by location program
    Parameters Nst= 9, Nph= 9, Dmin=369.4 km, Rmss=1.13 sec, Gp= 97,
    M-type=body magnitude (Mb), Version=6
    Source USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
    Event ID ustqab
  • by IanDanforth (753892) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:49AM (#16360683)
    A clear indication this wasn't natural.

    -Ian
  • Re:If this is true (Score:5, Informative)

    by Trailwalker (648636) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:59AM (#16360751)
    MacArthur's Inchon landing was a good example of how to flank fixed lines.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @02:12AM (#16360825)
    Yeah, nobody could possibly [wikipedia.org] figure [wikipedia.org] out how to bypass that border.

    I hate to break it to you, it is no longer 1917.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:5, Informative)

    by whereiseljefe (753425) on Monday October 09, 2006 @02:18AM (#16360875) Homepage
    Actually, sending in people you care deeply about tends to hamper you abilities to fight a war. Take for instance McClellan during the U.S. Civil War. Had he not been afraid to use the North's overwhelming numbers, McClellan would have ended the civil war much earlier than it did (it took Grant to realize that all he had to do was send wave after wave of troops and he would break Lee, despite the fact that McClellan was the only Northern commander that was near the intellectual level of General Lee).

    That being said, what you are trying to say is it would be wrong for Bush to pull strings to keep his loved ones out of harms way, which if he does have anyone in the military (I smell an entire family tree of ivy league pussies... W's dad must feel greatly dissapointed) I have no doubt we would have done that.

    As to your last part, I'm tired of that damned argument. These kids willingly joined the army, yes to pay for college, but they were told repeatedly and voluntarily swore an oath (no fucking fine print) that when the U.S. goes to war, they will probably have to ship off and if that is the case, there is nothing they can do about it. I feel little sympathy for these kids, I mean it sucks over there but you did sign up with the military, what did you expect? Why didn't you go for the National Guard, hmm? Your chances of being deployed over seas to hostile combat zone are dramatically reduced in that organization.
  • Re:Ask Rummy. (Score:5, Informative)

    by SEE (7681) on Monday October 09, 2006 @02:57AM (#16361077) Homepage
    North Korea already had plutonium-producing reactors in 1994, which it claimed were for the purpose of making power. The deal was to sell them light-water reactors as replacements, because light-water reactors are not suitable for plutonium production without heavy modification, and have NK shut down and seal its plutonium reactors.

    So what NK then did was start refining uranium to weapons-grade in centrifuges. In 2003, the U.S. officially asked them if they were doing this, and they announced they were. So the U.S. cancelled the shipment of the light-water reactors, because North Korea was building nukes anyway. That's right, the ABB reactors never made it to the DPRK.

    Then, North Korea responded to this by breaching the seals on the plutonium-producing reactors, and started refining the plutonium.

    So, to take your gun analogy and make it actually reflect the facts, let's assume a lunatic already has a fully-automatic AK-47, which they say they need to shoot crows that are eating their crops. The police come by, nod and smile, and convinces the lunatic to lock up the AK-47, and in exchange the police will give him a SuperSoaker to drive off the crows. The lunatic then starts making pipe bombs. A few days later, the former CEO of SuperSoaker has joined the police, and he comes by and asks the nut if he's making pipe bombs. The nut say yes, so the new officer tells him to stop it or he won't be given the SuperSoaker. In response, the nut unlocks his AK-47 and shoots off a few rounds.

    You then come along, and accuse the owner/police officer of being responsible for the gunfire because he was CEO of the SuperSoaker manufacturer.

    I guess when you have moral integrity, the only important facts are the ones that don't get in the way of your indignation.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:1, Informative)

    by 1u3hr (530656) on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:49AM (#16361623)
    The cease-fire that he agreed to after being ejected from Kuwait obligated Iraq to destroy those weapons, and prove that they had done so. It was not the job of the weapons inspectors to go hunting for them. Their job was to witness, document and audit Iraq's disarmament.

    Trying to prove you destroyed something ten years ago isn't that easy. Nevertheless, Saddam did satisfy the inspectors that he had done so. Bush chose to stick his fingers in his ears and say "La La La 9-11 Al Qaeda WMD!" and sent in the troops anyway.

  • Re:If this is true (Score:5, Informative)

    by ray-auch (454705) on Monday October 09, 2006 @05:48AM (#16361851)
    Too easy, google for patriot missile downed gives:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/2877349.stm [bbc.co.uk]

    Yep, confirmed patriot kill, right at the top of the list. Way to go.
  • Inchon (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:00AM (#16361903)
    MacArthur's Inchon landing was a good example of how to flank fixed lines.

    The Inchon landing was a gamble. It was a two phased operation that relied upon the speedy capture of the fortified island of Wolmi-do followed by a pause to wait for the tide to rise before the rest of the operation could continue which was not a good idea since there was no way to know if the island garrison would fall quickly and because the pause would give the forces ashore time to react. The Americans were lucky in several ways, firstly they only had to face some 3000 N-Korean troops who happened to have a commander of low quality, the garrison on Wolmi-do was under strength and didn't die where it stood to buy time for their comrades ashore and the local N-Korean commander didn't make any significant use of the forewarning and the time he had to react from the time the attack on Wolmi-do started and until tide rose and the rest of the American attack went ahead. An American present at the time commented that if the garrison on Wolmi-do had resisted more than it did to buy time and if the troops ashore had fought with the same determination as the German and Japanese troops he had encountered during WWII (and which the N-Koreans were fully capable of) the American forces at Inchon would have been slaughtered. Basically Inchon could *very* easily have become a compete FUBAR like operation 'Market Garden' did during WWII. It was a great success because fortune happened favor MacArthur that day but Inchon is hardly the best available study in how to plan and execute an amphibious landing, the allies set much better examples of that during WWII.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:3, Informative)

    by dackroyd (468778) on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:44AM (#16362053) Homepage
    Amir Taheri, the author of that piece is a known fabricator of lies about Iran

    From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]



    On May 19, 2006, the National Post of Canada published two pieces, one by Taheri, claiming that the Iranian parliament passed a law that "envisages separate dress codes for religious minorities, Christians, Jews and Zoroastrians, who will have to adopt distinct colour schemes to make them identifiable in public." Iranian sources say Taheri had taken an Iranian Parliament discussion on a dress code law to have Muslims wear garments that showed you were a Muslim, and reported the event as a law being passed requiring Jews to wear badges as under the Nazis. Current Iranian law does require Jews to identify themselves as such if they sell food, but Iran claims badges for Jews was not actually under discussion nor in the law. Taheri states that his report is correct and that the dress code law has been passed by the Islamic Majlis and will now be submitted to the Council of Guardians. He does not claim badges for Jews are in the law, but does say that special markers for followers of Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism are under discussion as a means to implement the law.

    The National Post retracted the story several hours after it was posted online. The newspaper blamed Taheri for the falsehood in the article, [4] [5] and published a full apology on May 24.


    Please to not be accepting propaganda as truth.
  • by althalus1969 (680826) on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:44AM (#16362057)
    You must be delusional...

    The guy leading the UN Inspection Team stepped down from office because of this scandal.
    The UN Team found no evidence whatsoever of WMDs in Iraq.

    Next time ask yourself where you get you information from, hopefully not Fox-News.
  • by Trumpetgod2k1 (740425) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:08AM (#16362173) Journal
    There are explosives (C-4, RDX) which are more powerful [wikipedia.org] than TNT, which would require much less poundage than TNT to achieve the same explosive effect.
  • by brennz (715237) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:13AM (#16362211)
    10,000 longbows ~ hardly!

    It is a well known fact that during the middle ages and before then, during an attack on a city, the sieging army would catapult into cities corpses with the plague, or dead animals, in attempts to spread disease/plague that would decimate populations.

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/background/bioweapons/biowa r_timeline.html [www.cbc.ca]
    http://academic.evergreen.edu/g/grossmaz/xiongmn.h tml [evergreen.edu]
    http://www.usmedicine.com/column.cfm?columnID=109& issueID=46 [usmedicine.com]
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubonic_plague [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:If this is true (Score:5, Informative)

    by operagost (62405) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:34AM (#16362357) Homepage Journal
    I'm getting a little tired of this, the US is NOT AT WAR, it takes an act of concress to declare a war and such an act did not take place.

    And I'm tired of ignoramuses saying that.

    Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq [whitehouse.gov]
  • Re:If this is true (Score:3, Informative)

    by Eccles (932) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:54AM (#16362477) Journal
    He must not care about himself then, because he put himself at risk of being sent into war for over 5 years as a young man.

    You guys need to coordinate your efforts more. Bush joined the Air National Guard. In the words of whereiseljefe, above, "Why didn't you go for the National Guard, hmm? Your chances of being deployed over seas to hostile combat zone are dramatically reduced in that organization."

    While there are those who think they can make a difference going to Iraq, there are plenty more who would be long gone if not for stop-loss orders.
  • Pakistan (Score:3, Informative)

    by Per Abrahamsen (1397) on Monday October 09, 2006 @08:19AM (#16362655) Homepage
    Apropos racist prejudices, Pakistan is not "an Islamic fundamentalist dictatorship". It is a good old-fascioned military dictatorship, whose main internal opposition is from Islamic fundamentalist groups (more or less are in control of Pakistans western province).
  • Crossposting?? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @08:29AM (#16362745)
    Crossposting your comments to the New York Times now? Or stealing someone else's ideas? http://news.blogs.nytimes.com/?p=59 [nytimes.com]
  • by deanj (519759) on Monday October 09, 2006 @09:24AM (#16363187)
    Clinton had nothing to do with giving North Korea nuclear tech?

    That picture of Albright and Kim Jong Il toasting each other is a fake?
  • Re:If this is true (Score:4, Informative)

    by J05H (5625) on Monday October 09, 2006 @09:28AM (#16363237) Homepage
    You only have half of it. Confucius is attributed to saying:

    "May you live in interesting times and attract the Emperor's attention."

    Makes much more sense like that.

    Josh
  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Monday October 09, 2006 @10:30AM (#16363873) Homepage Journal
    A fission weapon is 1940s technology.

    Your point about Japan building nukes left out some details.

    Japan has around 32 tons of plutonium on hand. They use it in their reactors. That is enough for four thousand weapons.
    The only thing that keeps Japan from being a major nuclear power is they don't want to be a nuclear power.

    China is the real worry right now. They can not be happy that their puppet is running amoke.

    What worries me is if they UN tries to blockade North Korea. The Navy is the one US service that isn't being really taxed by the war in Iraq. If Russia and China close their boarders then it could be pretty air tight.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:3, Informative)

    by be951 (772934) on Monday October 09, 2006 @10:31AM (#16363879)
    Also, your point is about kids willingly joining the army would be valid if they did it willingly.
    If you are aware of any instances where that is not the case, some references would be nice.

    But in America you put a limit on the amount of social security anyone can claim. So it is highly likely that if you run out of social security you would be very desperate for anywork you could get as starvation is fairly unpleasant. And watching your family starve is probably about the only thing less than pleasant than starving to death yourself.
    Obesity -- not starvation -- is the big problem in the U.S. I gather by "social security" you mean public assitance, which is provided at both state and federal level (social security is the name of a specific federal program that pays benefits primarily to retirees). But lets back up a bit -- are we speaking of kids straight out of high school, or adults with families to support? For the moment, I'll address kids fresh out of school since that is probably the vast majority of enlistments in the U.S. armed forces. You imply that (significant numbers of) these kids face the choice of joining the military or starving. And yet, unemployment is fairly low in the U.S. (varies by region). So there is a third choice -- if no jobs are available where you live, move to where jobs are easier to come by. Now before you argue that these kids might not want to move away from family/friends, recall that these are the kids whose families choose to stop supporting them as soon as they're out of school.

    This will give people a great incentive to join the army even without the fact that it is the only way a lot of poor kids can afford to go to college.And before anyone claims that they paid there own way through college with no financial help from their parents please include a free place to live while saving for college as financial help.
    There are options for going to school aside from having one's parents pay, or getting a job and paying it all yourself. In the case we've been considering --in which the parents no longer provide any financial support -- a student would be elible for federal grants and loans, as well as need based assistance from most schools, and perhaps states. This is based entirely on financial need. If one is a good student, athelete, musician (or other art or performing art), or has other skills, scholarships may be available for that as well.

    From your comments, it appears that you are not from the U.S., correct? If that is the case, perhaps you're just not getting the full picture. There are other choices for kids besides joining the military.

    Regards

  • Re:If this is true (Score:3, Informative)

    by feed_me_cereal (452042) on Monday October 09, 2006 @10:34AM (#16363915)
    The guy who typed in "ZERO" was pretty soundly refuted, and also modded to ZERO (snicker), so I wouldn't say there's a universal lack of rational discussion here, neccesarily. I sort of get the impression that you believe those who would disagree with you are all just like that guy. Maybe not, but your post really comes off that way. Anyway, being someone inclined to believe that, these days, the military mostly attracts poorer people from rural communities, glory seekers, and true believers in the bush doctrine, I'm not surprised that the military would support bush in the election, but I am surprised by your assertion that soldiers are not poor or uneducated (read: more poor and less educated than average). This is not meant to be an insult to soldiers, or anything like that, just what I would see as a consequence of the motivations for joining the military. Of course, the fact that you're not poor doesn't really mean anything, so I'm interested in the facts you claim to have concerning the average education level and poverty level among enlisted men/women. I wouldn't be terribly surprised either way, but I am curious.
  • Re:The sad thing is (Score:3, Informative)

    by metamatic (202216) on Monday October 09, 2006 @10:45AM (#16364057) Homepage Journal
    The alternative in the last election represents a far-left anti-war contingency.

    No, the sad thing is that you believe that. Kerry voted for the Iraq war, go look it up. His position was that he would have gone to war too, he just would have done it better.

    There was no anti-war candidate in the last election who had a hope in hell of winning. That's why Kerry lost--he didn't appeal to the left because he kept speaking in favor of the war on terror, and he didn't appeal to the right because he was smeared by Fox News et al as some kind of anti-war nut.

  • by metamatic (202216) on Monday October 09, 2006 @10:49AM (#16364121) Homepage Journal
    No, he didn't. Saddam went out of his way to frustrate their efforts. How many times were the denied access to sites? How many times were they kicked out?

    Saddam denied access to weapons inspectors who he claimed were CIA spies rather than legimitate UN weapons inspectors.

    And you know what? He was right [fair.org]. They were CIA spies. Of course, the US media weren't keen to remind people of that minor detail.

  • Re:If this is true (Score:3, Informative)

    by DesertWolf0132 (718296) on Monday October 09, 2006 @10:53AM (#16364187) Homepage

    I am with Alex. I had two friends, both female and both National Guard, deployed with their respective companies as supply staff. One was killed when her convoy was ambushed and the other had her truck peppered with landmine shrappnel more than once and was by luck alone unharmed. I may not support Bush's approach to this war but I have nothing but respect for the troops over there. I would be with them myself were it not for a serious knee injury I suffered in Basic Training.

    As to the congressional offspring in the military, there are at least 7 members of congress with children on active duty and I would wager more in the reserves and guard.

  • Re:If this is true (Score:3, Informative)

    by Profound (50789) on Monday October 09, 2006 @11:10AM (#16364419) Homepage
    >> Bush actually volunteered for a unit that was very likely to be sent over to Vietnam

    "No, I didn't."

    -- President Bush, Feb. 8, responding to a question on NBC's "Meet the Press" about whether he volunteered to go to Vietnam
  • Re:If this is true (Score:3, Informative)

    by jfengel (409917) on Monday October 09, 2006 @11:28AM (#16364683) Homepage Journal
    You want data? We got data [cnn.com].

    Some groups who voted overwhelingly for Bush:

    * Gun owners (63%)
    * People with $200k+ incomes (63%)
    * Evangelicals (78%)
    * More-than-weekly churchgoers (64%)
    * Married-with-children (59%)

    The military clocks in at 57%, which I wouldn't call "overwhelming", but I'd call "decisive". It may not seem all that big, but in politics 60% is called a "landslide".

    It kinda sucks that a 40% minority could be considered to have a negligible opinion. (That's exactly what the President means when he calls for a "simple up or down vote" on a judicial candidate; he knows that he can get 51% but not the 60% required to end a filibuster.) We may see in January if the Democrats would be any more polite when they have 51%, but I'm betting the answer is "no".
  • by DavidTC (10147) <`moc.xobreven' ` ... .vidavsxd54sals'> on Monday October 09, 2006 @11:38AM (#16364843) Homepage

    The real failure of Saddam was nepotism. If he'd just kept his damn sons in line, or even better entirely out of the government, there would have been a lot less insanity going on in Iraq.

    If you look at the history of how the governments of Iraq and the US interacted with each other, it is quite clearly the US that behaved in completely irrational and nonsensical ways. Saddam wasn't crazy when he thought the US would back him in Kuwait, the US merely had flipped its bipolar mind again and decided to defend Kuwait.

    I lie. The US behaved in exactly whatever way whatever administration thought would be the best for the long term goals of the US, or at least the long term goals of their wallets. However, what these goals were and how to reach them changed almost randomly, whereas Saddam's goals didn't, except he gave up on some of them because they were clearly unreachable.

    Saddam being a lunatic was always just PR, and was basically the only way to square the fact our 'friend' became our 'enemy' without changing at all. If anything, his interaction with the US had a moderating influence on him, where he at least paid lip service to human rights.

    The leaders of Iran aren't lunatics, either, for future reference.

    Kim Jong Il, OTOH, quite possibly, is a lunatic. He, however, isn't who we have to worry about in N. Korea. We have to worry about the military, who are not lunatics.

  • by Tony (765) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:17PM (#16366237) Journal
    Dude, you are so lucky to be from whatever alternate universe you are from.

    In *this* universe, Hans Blix headed up the UN inspections, and came to the conclusion that although Saddam Hussein was stonewalling, he had no WMD program whatsoever. Also, most of the other nations that *weren't* bullied by the US into joining a farcical "coalition of the willing" state they did not believe Iraq had WMDs, or the ability to pursue a WMD program. Then it turned out that *all* the evidence presented by our universe's President Bush turned out to be fabricated, or mis-represented.

    In the fabricated area, the most notable was the "Yellow Cake Documents," a set of documents purporting to prove Iraq was attempting to obtain uranium ore from Nigeria. These were proven to be forged documents by the investigations of Joseph Wilson. Even after these documents were proven to be false, President Bush continued to use them as hard evidence.

    In the "misrepresented" department, we had the "high strength aluminum tubes," which were claimed to be for suitable only for uranium enrichment. Nuclear scientists pretty much universally agreed these tubes were suitable for no such thing. The conclusion was that these tubes were most likely for medium-range conventional missiles, which Iraq was legally allowed to have.

    You are from a better place than ours, my friend-- a place where the government can be trusted, and what is said is the truth, rather than lies and misinformation.
  • by bratwiz (635601) on Monday October 09, 2006 @03:45PM (#16368581)
    You're right-- its NOT zero. I stand corrected.

    Here is the list compiled from various public sources. Of the 535 members of the house and senate, a total of two percent, meaning twelve members, have, or have had, children in Iraq or Afghanistan, and most appear to be Republicans. All but two seem to be officers. Three seem to have volunteered for multiple tours. One was killed in action in Iraq. And only one seems to be currently still serving. (again from what I was able to establish using public sources). There appear to be NO children from the White House senior officials serving (or have served) in either Iraq or Afghanistan.

    Joseph Biden, D-DE, Son is Officer in Natl Guard not very likely to go to Iraq
    Marilyn Musgrave, R-CO, Son is Enlisted in the Navy serving in the Mediterranean
    Duncan Hunter, R-CA, Son is Officer in the Marines, served two tours including a few months in Iraq and is now home
    Christopher Bond, R-MO, Son is Officer in the Marines who served in Iraq for a few months and is now home
    Becky Lourey, D-MN, Son was Officer in the Army served two tours and was killed in Iraq May 2005
    Tim Johnson, D-SD, Son is Enlisted in the Army served four wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan and is now home
    Todd Akin, R-MO, Son is Officer in Marines serving as a Combat Engineer in Iraq and is now home
    Ike Skelton, D-MO, two sons both Officers in army and navy deployment unknown (not specified)
    Joe Wilson, R-SC, three sons in military, all officers, on in Natl Guard served in Iraq and is now home
    John Kline, R-MN, son is Officer in Army serving in Iraq
    Charles Taylor, R-NC, son is Officer in Army served in Iraq and is now home
    Jim Bunning, R-KY, son is Officer in Air Force served in Afghanistan and is now home

    Feel free to mod this 'tard up or down as you see fit-- but those are the facts, the best as I can determine them. I think based on the numbers I can safely assert that our nation's leaders have put this country on a war footing but are not going out on a limb with their own children.

  • Re:If this is true (Score:4, Informative)

    by KH (28388) on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:22PM (#16369253)
    OK, the AC has some facts wrong.

    Actually, the Japanese constitution (9th paragraph) states that the only use of armed forces can be for self defense. That said, there is a plethora of laws that forbid it from doing even that.

    Here is the translation of Article 9 found at Wikipedia [wikipedia.org].

    ARTICLE 9. Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.

    In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized.

    That it allows Japan to have self defence forces is a rather forced interpretation.

    The Japanese self decense army is under prepared, under staffed, and does not have the necessary equipment. We have no missiles. Our jet fighters were deliberately modified so that they don't have fuel tanks large enough to fly a round trip to Korea and back.

    I'm not sure if F-15s and Mitsubishi F-2s cannot fly sorties to North Korea from Japanese bases, not that I see point in doing that. It does not seem F-15J/DJ [att.net]s were in any way modified to reduce their range, either. IIRC, the range of the F-15 became an issue in the parliament when its introduction was discussed. Also, now JASDF has tankers [boeing.com].

    The old Model 66 assault rifle, when dis-assembled, broke down into 30-some odd parts, including some very small springs, which my brother says would be impossible to re-build in the field. People lose parts when undergoing re-build training in the baracks!

    Type 64 (not 66) rifle may have been PIA to maintain, but current infantry weapon is Type 89. I don't think it's not much inferior to any modern assault rifle. And I highly doubt small differences in personal weapons are strategically that significant.

    Even the high-mobility vehicles, the Japanese version of the Hummer HMMV (built by Toyota under the civilian model name Mega Cruiser), simply resembles the U.S. Hummer, but in reality is not even close in functionality.

    It's not like HMMVs did not have major problems not having armours. Japan also brought light armoured vehicles [wikipedia.org] to Iraq.

    Overall, the parent post reads very much like a typical sentiment of a Japanese person living in Japan. The problem I see is that they are not exposed to international media and do not know how much self-perception is different from perception from outside. Most of the Japanese see China and South Korea as some sort of bullies who always mention and exaggerate what the Japanese did during the WWII. This must come as a great shock for the Chinese and South Koreans who are genuinely scared of the Japanese behaviour in the first half of the 20th century. Just like they see Japan as the victim during the WWII (another big surprise for those who are not Japanese), they still feel that they are isolated and have no friend.

    There is also a sensationalism with regard to North Korea. There are some factions of nationalists in Japan who capitalize on the actions of North Korea. They tend to overhype the danger of North Korea. I find this very dangerous.

    North Korea always seemed to be seeking for attention. They don't seem to like the fact that the US is paying more attention to Iran, or a south Korean becoming the general secretary of the UN. As long as they get attention, they seem happy. I also figure that anybody, including South Korea,

  • by Shadowruni (929010) on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:25PM (#16369311) Journal
    Please for the love of God learn what you're talking about. The fissile material in a nuclear device has ratios that tend to be particular to a type of reactor and with certain types even the section of the reactor. Thing about breeder reactors, for example, is that they have "hot spots". Places where you're certainly promised to get more Pu isotopes than other spots. This can be for a variety of reasons. The thing that makes this unique is that to change this you'd need to change the very structure of the reactor and it's hard to do that when you can't get anywhere near it (as in human hands can never touch it again). Robots stop being robots in high radiation enviorments and people simply break down REALLY quickly (much quicker than the movies ever show)in reactor core conditions. You see at 10,000+ rems nerves and such just stop, no pain, nothing, they just stop. At levels that high, suits don't matter anymore, it's simply game over. So for someone to hide the source of a nuclear blast by chaging the signature of the material, it's quite impossible, plus we can always check the fallout of this. Nuclear reactions are highly effiecent, but not 100%; so it's possible to figure it out. Can't say much more, but it's very interesting what you learn in some A-schools....
  • Re:If this is true (Score:3, Informative)

    by Harinezumi (603874) on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:29PM (#16369387)
    While that is true to an extent, I don't think that that's the biggest consideration in North Korea's case.

    The problem with NK is that they have more than enough conventional weapons to turn Seoul and Tokyo into smoking piles of rubble before we can react, which would not only harm our biggest allies in the region, but also cripple the US economy since we get so much of our industrial inputs from Japan and South Korea nowadays.

    Furthermore, the proximity of China, Russia, and South Korea makes nuking NK 'til it glows a somewhat less palatable option geopolitically.
  • by msebast (318695) on Monday October 09, 2006 @09:15PM (#16373027)
    > The cool thing about nukes is, all of the evidence to its origin is obliterated in the blast.

    Why does factually wrong get marked as interesting?
    Three other posters have pointed out that parent is wrong.
    http://www.commondreams.org/headlines04/0319-04.ht m [commondreams.org]
    http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/02/politics/02nuke. html?ex=1296536400&en=341f6ecfda09ee14&ei=5090&par tner=rssuserland&emc=rss [nytimes.com]

    Too late now. The article is stale and in the future it will only be read at +4 and the parent will seem accurate to those who don't know any better...
  • by r00t (33219) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @04:22AM (#16375339) Journal
    We have bombers.

    To bomb Iraq/Afganistan, we sometimes fly an around-the-world trip from the base in the US. The flight is about 46 hours, with one stop for a crew change at an island in the Indian Ocean.

    I think we can reach North Korea. :-)

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