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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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  • If this is true (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @12:29AM (#16360055)
    It scares the hell out of me.
  • by DigiShaman (671371) on Monday October 09, 2006 @12:34AM (#16360093) Homepage
    That's right ladies and germs. This technology is for SALE to the highest bidder...along with our drugs, weapons, and counterfit US money.

    Wait wait...Iran just made a deal to purchase it from them. Sorry folks, sold out of our last remaining A-Bombs. What's that? you want us to deliver it to Israel for you? That will cost extra in shipping and handling you know!
  • by Karloskar (980435) on Monday October 09, 2006 @12:35AM (#16360109)
    I am more afraid of the countries/groups who have nuclear capabilities but aren't telling anyone - should they exist.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @12:39AM (#16360135)
    If they did pick anything up, it's doubtful that such information would be immediately released. The politics of this situation are extremely complex, and the various parties involved will no doubt be using their influence to control the flow of information.

  • Take em now (Score:1, Insightful)

    by jmorris42 (1458) * <jmorris&beau,org> on Monday October 09, 2006 @12:43AM (#16360161)
    I know all of the arguments why we can't do a 'regime change' in North Korea and I agree they are all good arguments. But this incident just highlights the simple truth that none of em are worth a damn for one fundamental reason. Nothing North Korea can do now would in a fit of rage would be worse than what he WILL do eventually. Delay is only making the eventual price for appeasing that insane dictatorship for fifty years grow higher.

    We could play MAD games with the Soviets because while Evil (with the capital E) they were also mostly rational. 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. The only question is whether we wait for him to start the second Korean War at a time of his choosing or whether we do it at one of ours.

    Unfortunatly Bush is getting his nuts handed to him on a daily basis, the Dems have at least one and probably two more October suprises set to roll meaning we are set for at least a month more of internal bickering and infighting. After the election the Demos will be too busy scheduling hearings to consider uniting to do anything in the best interest of the country and the Repubs will be in 'bitter recriminations over losing Congress' mode Both sides are getting ready for '08 already. Meanwhile North Korea and Iran keep building warheads.

    This impending disaster could have been prevented just like WWII could have. Instead a billion will probably die. But fuck that, the Dems could sweep the Congressional elections and if they can help send the US fleeing a shattered Iraq they could bag the White House too! Nothing is more important that that.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dorfmann (1010467) on Monday October 09, 2006 @12:44AM (#16360179)
    Nukes are the most useless weapon any country can have, simply because you can't use them. If North Korea nukes the South, the Americans will nuke North Korea; if the Americans nuke North Korea, the North Koreans will nuke the South. So both sides have to rely on their conventional armies, just like before.

    Not only that, the North Koreans have claimed to have nukes for ages now. This sort of publically-announced test is just an extremely expensive and technologically advanced version of chest-beating.

    HOWEVER, assuming you are American, if you (and a significant majority of your countrymen) allow this to scare you and both 1) reelect jingoist pro-war politicians, and 2) support launching a 'pre-emptive' war against North Korea, things will become very dreadful indeed for the Korean peninsula.

    As a wise man once said, 'the only thing to fear is fear itself'.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @12:48AM (#16360205)
    We won't be launching any kind of war against North Korea, pre-emptive or otherwise. Like all bullies, Bush is, at heart, a pussy. If there had been even the remotest chance that Saddam Hussein had had weapons of mass destruction, do you think we'd have invaded Iraq?

    If anyone has anything to worry about, it's... /spins the wheel /round and round she goes /round and round /click, click... /click ... Botswana. Yessirree, Bob, we've got to fight them there, in Botswana, so we don't have to fight them here! Yee. Haw.
  • by Dr. Zowie (109983) <slashdot@defPARISorest.org minus city> on Monday October 09, 2006 @12:51AM (#16360237)
    Seismic results can be faked with conventional explosives -- 30,000 tons of TNT is expensive but can be amassed even by a small nation like North Korea.

    However, the world's most sensitive neutrino detector (Kamiokande) is under 1,000 km away. If the North Koreans detonated a 10-30 kiloton device, several times 1013 neutrinos from it should have passed through Kamiokande. I don't know Kamiokande's exact quantum efficiency, but it should be able to detect a pulse like that. After all, it detected Supernova 1987-A...
  • by eric2hill (33085) <eric@ijac k . net> on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:03AM (#16360327) Homepage
    No, the US can't move because the world already thinks we should keep our fucking nose out of other people's business. The only way the US is going to do anything millitarily in the next decade or two is at the behest of the UN. The people in the UN are pretty much impotent (see Darfur [google.com]) so basically we're going to clean up as best we can in Iraq and go back into a cold war status just bitching about others.

    The only way the citizens of the US will support a unilateral decision to invade another country is when a nuke goes off on US soil. The next 25 years are going to be a radioactive bloodbath and hopefully none of it will blow over peaceful countries.
  • by TCM (130219) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:05AM (#16360349)
    psychotic dictator leading his country into chaos (sounds oddly familiar, doesn't it?)
    You mean Bush?
  • by sanman2 (928866) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:09AM (#16360385)
    Hey, if there's anybody that would risk using nukes, it's that pudgy little nutcase, Kim Jong-ILL.

    He's FatMan and LittleBoy all rolled into one.

    A detached nutbag like him who's willing to let his people starve by the millions in famine, has no concerns about his people being hurt in a nukewar while he hides in some secret bomb shelter miles underground.
  • by sanman2 (928866) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:12AM (#16360415)
    Oh, and his Taepodong missiles can reach Alaska and maybe even the West Coast.

    He can't fit the nukes on them yet, though.

    Right now, he'd have to fly them on a cargo plane, if he ever wanted to deliver them onto a target. The main threat is him selling them to someone (AlQaeda??)

    NKorea currently has the ability to make 2-3 bombs per year.

    US either better bomb this guy back to the Stone Age, or else be prepared to have nukes floating all around the world.
  • by Descalzo (898339) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:15AM (#16360437) Journal
    The failure of the US to win in N. Korea in the 50s was not due to a lack of ability to win. It was because of a lack of permission to win. I guess you could say the same about Viet Nam, but from what I understand, Korea was in the bag, and the UN forces were not allowed to do what it took to seal the deal, and the Chinese kept on a-comin'.

    They were not allowed to block the entry of Chinese forces into N. Korea, even though they had that capability; they were not allowed to use the Atom bomb (it may not have been the right weapon to use, but it probably would have been effective); and other things, too.

    Ever since WWII, the USA has hardly been able to summon the will to prosecute a war. If you believe that war is never the answer, then this could be a good thing (as long as the war is never begun). But a poorly prosecuted war is one of the most immoral things a government can do! (I think that last sentence is from Sun Tzu)

    I hope you're right: N Korea will hopefully realize they can't really get anything out of this, and will not use it.

  • by antifoidulus (807088) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:18AM (#16360461) Homepage Journal
    We weren't going to be invading North Korea even before they had nuclear weapons. The reason is that half of South Korea's population as well as their political, economic, and cultural capitol is well within the range of North Korea's (relatively crude) artillery. Kim Jong Il has threatened to turn Seoul into "a sea of flames" and he can do it without nukes. There is no way that the US or anyone would be crazy enough to attack North Korea.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:3, Insightful)

    by supabeast! (84658) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:22AM (#16360499)
    "Nukes are the most useless weapon any country can have, simply because you can't use them."

    That's not really true-nukes make a great deterrent against attacks and developing them has great propagandist value. Beyond that, you base your statement on the premise that the weapons are useless because launching one nuke leads to nuclear warfare, in which no one wins. The problem is that not all nations have leaders who are even remotely sane, and Kim Jong Il is probably the craziest world leader to come along, well, ever. As crazy as he was, at least Hitler's agenda didn't completely revolve around himself. But if Kim Jong Il is feeling wacky and just wants to nuke a neighbor for kicks, it's going to happen.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:3, Insightful)

    by lordofthechia (598872) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:27AM (#16360523)
    I would venture they can launch a nuke on South Korea. I'm afraid if this is real this is what's gonna happen:

    * US and other countries send Diplomats to get NK to disarm
    * North Korea warns other countries to stay out of it's "affairs" or else.
    * NK newest "internal affair" the re-unification of North and South Korea
    * After an invasion of South Korea the US is left with an ugly choice, let SK fall or risk Nuclear retalliation against a 3rd neighboring coutnry from the NK.

    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong (and god I hope I'm wrong) but with NK's history of covert aggression against the South, isn't this the most logical progression? Unless were lead to believe that Kim Jong-il has no ambitions beyond his borders. And according to this [wikipedia.org] the north does have short and medium range missles...
  • by edwardpickman (965122) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:28AM (#16360531)
    Not many Presidents can boast of being asleep at the wheel while another nuclear power was born. They aren't a big threat to the US but what do we do if they invade the south? We'd have two choices, let them or risk a nuclear war. Anyone that still thinks the middle east wasn't about oil is delusional. Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction yet we knew N Korean was capible of making them. Bush threw everything we had at Iraq and ignored N Korean. Do the math and you come up with controling oil supplies and prices. The ones at risk right now are the Japanese and they may have to build a bomb out of self preservation. This just became Bush's biggest disaster and that's saying a lot. Hey at least gays can't marry so we got the important stuff done! Nice to see we have priorities in the US.
  • by sanman2 (928866) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:29AM (#16360547)
    NKorea can sell to the highest bidder. That's the real threat -- not missiles/warheads launched from Pyongyang, but missiles/warheads shipped out from Pyongyang.

    AlQaeda will be sending their emissaries to NKorea, along with fat checkbooks.
    Because NKorea will indeed sell. They will do anything that gets them moolah and or influence.
  • by TheFoolishOne (1008229) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:29AM (#16360555)
    It's time the Chinese started acting like the world power they are and adopt a country to destroy and rebuild in their own terrible visage. It's the only way to really make a name for yourself on the international stage.
  • by Baldrson (78598) * on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:30AM (#16360557) Homepage Journal
    Perhaps now the US government will reconsider the wisdom of leaving the security of US cities in the hands of the Mexican coast guard...
  • Re:If this is true (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Flwyd (607088) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:33AM (#16360589) Homepage
    Understanding the MADness of Mutually Assured Destruction requires a bit of mental gymnastics.

    Thinking with MADness, it's in North Korea's interest to convince the world that it has nukes. Without nukes, they have no feasible deterrent against an army of superior strength (U.S., China, etc.).

    When dealing with nuclear weapons, safe is better than sorry, so when someone announces "We have nuclear weapons," one should act as if they did. However, repeated claims without evidence can lead others to think the claimant is bluffing. The next step is therefore to perform a nuclear test, proving "Yes, I am a skunk, and yes, my glands are charged." It's no coincidence that India and Pakistan conducted their first nuclear tests within about a month of each other. It's a high stakes, high tech, high investment Mexican standoff.

    So in one sense, "nukes are the most useless weapon" because they take an enormous amount of resources for a handfull of bombs the owners hope to never use. On the other hand, building a single nuclear bomb can be a lot more cost effective than establishing a large enough army to deter one's enemies.

    It does not make me comfortable to know that people like Kim Jong Il and George W. Bush are in charge of weapons of mass destruction. As Robert McNamara revealed in The Fog of War [imdb.com], the fate of the world could rest on having inaccurate information.

    The technology problem has been solved. Now it becomes a political and psychological problem. To see how small things can lead to big problems, watch Dr. Strangelove [imdb.com], perhaps the only movie I think everyone should watch.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Grym (725290) * on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:38AM (#16360619)

    That isn't true under all circumstances. You'll still get invaded if you have no credible 2nd strike capability (ie. I'll nuke your nukes).

    Second Strike capability is really a bit of a misnomer, because things like nuclear counter-attack submarines are simply a gaurentee of retaliation but not actually a requirement for retaliation to take place.

    Take Cuba, for instance, during the Cuban Missile Crisis. It had no second strike capability. And yet, the defense estimates at the time suggested that even after a massive carpet bombing campaign unparallleled in history which would produce similar devestation to multiple nuclear weapons, Cuba would still be likely to retaliate and hit at least one major American city with one of its nukes.

    All it takes is one hidden missile silo or the survival of a single a mobile launcher. Would you be willing to risk it? JFK wasn't--and because of that, he probably saved a lot of people's lives.

    -Grym

  • by reporter (666905) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:42AM (#16360639) Homepage
    According to a news flash [foxnews.com] from Fox News, "North Korea successfully tested of a nuclear weapon late Sunday night, a senior Bush administration official confirmed to FOX News." Several news organizations are reporting that Washington has not yet confirmed the nuclear test, but apparently Fox News just received confirmation from a senior official in Washington.

    We are entering dangerous times, and the Bush administration made a tragic mistake [economist.com] in its dealings with India. Washington has signed the NPT, and by the terms of the treaty, its signatories agree to ban the transfer of nuclear technology to any nation that refuses to sign the NPT. The NPT further stipulates that any signatory which has not yet developed nuclear weapons shall not pursue their development.

    New Delhi has long refused to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and has aggressively pursued the development of nuclear weapons. Despite this fact and despite the fact that Washington is a signatory to the NPT, Washington has agreed to give nuclear technology to India. (New Delhi refused to support the strategic American objectives of promoting human rights and democracy unless Washington (1) gives nuclear technology to India and (2) greatly increases the number of Indian H-1B workers allowed to enter the USA.)

    How can Washington demand that Pyongyang refrain from developing nuclear weapons when Washington enthusiastically ignores Indian nuclear ambitions? The point of the NPT is to stop the spread of nuclear weapons to any and all nations, irrespective of their form of government.

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

    by flooey (695860) on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:43AM (#16360645)
    After an invasion of South Korea the US is left with an ugly choice, let SK fall or risk Nuclear retalliation against a 3rd neighboring coutnry from the NK.

    I'm not sure you have an accurate picture of the Korean DMZ. The zone itself is covered in landmines, and each side has more than a million men guarding it (with United States troops already being part of the South Korean force). An invasion by either side would be a long and bloody struggle to get more than a couple miles into the other country.
  • by Shihar (153932) on Monday October 09, 2006 @02:01AM (#16360765)
    North Korea is armed to the teeth with chemical weapons. Any invasion into North Korea is a quick way to turn all the cities within artillery range of North Korea into dead zones. North Korea also has a vast array of short and mid range missiles that will also certainly hit your capital and any major city. In the first hour of any North Korean war, sure as shit, Seoul will be wiped out and Tokyo will be short a few million people.

    China wants a North Korea it can control. China doesn't mind North Korea being a pain in the ass for the US and Japan from time to time. What China does mind is a nuclear/chemical/biological war in its back yard, and it minds a few million starving North Koreans throwing themselves at the border trying to escape. China wants a stable North Korea that occasionally acts up.

    That said, what North Korea is doing is NOT what China wants. China is probably going to respond, but no one is going to take military action. Military action is not going to bring down North Korea unless a North Korean leader goes (more) insane and starts something. Otherwise, North Korea is going to collapse in an internal military coup. The only thing the rest of the world can do until that day is keep North Korea from making any trouble until then... which is exactly what everyone is trying to do.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @02:13AM (#16360829)
    JFK wasn't--and because of that, he probably saved a lot of people's lives.

    JFK was worried about West Germany. He said so, repeatedly, on tape. Cuba was 100% US vs. Soviet cold war.

    One city is a casualty. When the shit hits the fan the US won't knuckle under to some regime for one city. That is the only "fact" worthy of credit. A nuclear exchange hasn't happened on Earth yet for one reason; at no time in our past has there ever been the slightest doubt about the ability and willingness of the US to retaliate effectively under all conditions. You, your ancestors and all your spawn own their lives to it.

  • by Froomb (100183) on Monday October 09, 2006 @02:31AM (#16360931)
    At a guess, I'd say it's because their main image of the US comes from American soldiers on leave. Lord knows that's enough to terrify anyone.

    That indeed used to be the case before the mid-1990s. By now, though, especially after the 2002 World Cup was jointly hosted by South Korea and Japan, Koreans have become quite globalized, with Ban Ki-moon set to become the new UN Secretary-General. There is substantial disaffection with U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East and its implications for possible war on the Korean peninsula. South Koreans fear that the U.S. will readily sacrifice their own current peace and prosperity for the sake of achieving a neo-con policy goal.
  • by metlin (258108) on Monday October 09, 2006 @02:40AM (#16360985) Journal
    Maybe - just maybe - because India is the world's largest democracy?

    While India has not yet signed the NPT, they do have a no first strike policy.

    They are surrounded by a communist military dictatorship on one side (China) and an Islamic fundamentalist dictatorship on the other (Pakistan - one supported by US).

    You can hardly blame a nation-state for doing what is necessary for survival.

    Secondly, the transfer of technology has only for the purpose of energy and power. India has also agreed to let international observers to ensure that the plants do not enrich weapons-grade fissile material but use them only for energy.

    And btw, comparing India to NK is a nice troll there - the H1B bit was a nice add, too. One is the world's largest democracy that's been making economic progress by leaps and bounds, and the other is a military dictatorship run by a crazy person.

    Way to go, combining Slashdot's racist prejudices and logical fallacies all in one go.
  • by Shihar (153932) on Monday October 09, 2006 @02:45AM (#16361017)
    Countries like the US and other powerful nations have nuclear weapons as well, I don't see why North Korea should not get a piece of it.

    Because "the US and other powerful nations" have stable governments that won't fire the weapons. North Korea does not. Because "the US and other powerful nations" cares about its citizens enough to not blatantly kill them by the millions. North Korea does not.

    When we talk about North Korea we are talking about a nation that has managed to kill of 10% of its fucking population in under a decade. They test chemical weapons on humans. If you want a hell on Earth, you couldn't point to a nation closer to achieving it. To top it all off, it isn't like this is a stable nation. This is a nation that is basically run by military gangsters with a cult of personality figurehead. You couldn't point a nation in this world that giving nukes to is a bad idea even if you tried.

    You would be better off to simply give nuclear weapons to the mob... though I suppose you think that the mob has the "right" to nuclear weapons to. The only thing that separates North Korea from every other horrible criminal organization in the world is that North Korea inflicts far more suffering are more people and control enough territory that we recognize them as a nation.

    No fucked up sense of justice justifies letting North Korea have nukes. The rest of the world is and rightfully should be doing everything in their power from keeping this insane dictatorship from swinging around more power then it already does.
  • by sheepathon (1011045) on Monday October 09, 2006 @02:46AM (#16361023)
    Every country officially says they are in favor of reunification, but in reality: South Korea doesn't want reunification because obviously their government would become the legitimate one and have to foot the bill. This would likely bankrupt SK and lead to a depression in the area that would be felt all over international markets. Not to mention most South Koreans are quite racist (no offense, it's just how it is), even towards their Northern brethren. Think of it like...the way educated Americans see rednecks who paint confederate flags on their cars and think the South won the Civil War. Japan doesn't want reunification because the SK govt (well, just the Korean govt, since we're talking about reunification) would now have nuke tech in their hands. This will make Japan nervous, seeing as they don't have nuclear weapons and having their Korean neighbors next door in possession of nukes is a bit unsettling. China doesn't want reunification because then US troops would have free access to more than just the 38th parallel - they could wander about the Yalu river (right on China's border with NK). The United States doesn't want reunification because of the insane hit to the SK economy that will accompany reunification, and a few other reasons I can't recall...I studied this in a class a couple of years ago so I need to go dig up my notes. But the official stance of all the countries is that they support the reunification of these divided Korean peoples...heh.
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday October 09, 2006 @02:47AM (#16361033)
    To prevent NK from firing their nukes, we would have to have very thick fighter coverage over suspected nuclear sites and hope that if a silo opens up we could bomb it's missle in time.

    Reality check. The DPRK does not have nuclear warheads. They are very much like India and Pakistan in that they've got a pile of fissionable material about the size of a large room. Underground. It is a lot of work to go from a room to a warhead. I'd be surprised if they could get there in less than 5 years.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:1, Insightful)

    by polar red (215081) on Monday October 09, 2006 @02:55AM (#16361071)
    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? One wonders whether the poverty in some regions in the US is a result of bad government. (like lack of resources for education to name one example.)
  • by gerardrj (207690) on Monday October 09, 2006 @03:00AM (#16361093) Journal
    Before you condemn other countries for their lack of assistance to the poor, I suggest you look at your own country first. The US has a fairly high rate of poverty [msn.com] and starvation itself. The richest country in the world has over 10% of its population not able to meet basic needs, I consider that much more egregious.

    The US government also has no real concerns about the American people being hurt in a nuclear war, but there are contingency plans and entire complexes dedicated to letting the president hide miles underground in such an instance.

    Don't condemn other countries for living up to the ideals put forth by those who claim to be the model for the rest of the world.
  • Re:Take em now (Score:3, Insightful)

    by beh (4759) * on Monday October 09, 2006 @03:04AM (#16361101)
    Twisted little thought, that...

    But may I remind you of something? When your "big W" went to war in Iraq, despite Saddam claiming he had no weapons, and UN weapons inspectors not finding any - that little Korean dictator was openly threatening the US with his WMDs.

    But - where did you end up going to war? Iraq...

    It was your current "enlightened" (and I'm using that word in a VERY loose sense of the word here) leadership, which decided that revenge for the first gulf war was more important, than acting on actual problems. Political pundits here in Europe at the time commented on the one lesson to be learnt from this for every little third world dictator: Either get the bomb, or make sure you can make others believe in you having it - then the US won't touch you. But look weak, and they will come and invade you - no matter what the rest of the world has to say about it.

    I, for one, believe this is right - by bombing down Iraq, not just did the invasion create the Quagmire there (because noone seemed to have planned what to do once the war was over), but it WILL have sent out the signals to other nations to get nuclear arms as quickly as possible, to make sure the US won't attack them. As such, NK will now have a list of potential buyers significantly longer than just AlQaeda or other terrorists.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Monday October 09, 2006 @03:07AM (#16361115)
    "Thinking with MADness, it's in North Korea's interest to convince the world that it has nukes. Without nukes, they have no feasible deterrent against an army of superior strength (U.S., China, etc.)."

    I think there's a bigger picture here, and most people are missing it. While it's true that a nuke has some deterrent value militarily, with North Korea it has another role - it's the only thing they've got that keeps them at all relevant in the region. They basically don't produce anything of value; their people are probably 100 years behind the times in terms of economic production (heck, they are barely staying alive by most accounts); and they have no particularly valuable natural resources AFAIK.

    We've been arguing with them about nukes for at least a decade. It doesn't seem likely that they'll give away the only card they've got in their hand. Eventually, some bright boy in the military (that Kim somehow missed eliminating) may solve this particular problem for us, but I'm afraid even then it's going to be very expensive for the west, unless we're willing to watch millions die of starvation. And that's the BEST case scenario!

  • Re:If this is true (Score:2, Insightful)

    by polar red (215081) on Monday October 09, 2006 @03:11AM (#16361145)
    I suggest YOU go first. Here's your helmet, your weapon and your gasmask.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jcr (53032) <jcr@@@mac...com> on Monday October 09, 2006 @03:14AM (#16361163) Journal
    If there had been even the remotest chance that Saddam Hussein had had weapons of mass destruction, do you think we'd have invaded Iraq?

    The question was actually whether he stlll had them. His use of chemical weapons and his program to develop nukes was not in doubt. 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.

    -jcr
  • Re:If this is true (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SEE (7681) on Monday October 09, 2006 @03:17AM (#16361175) Homepage
    Being a nuclear power almost guarantees that your country won't get invaded.

    Having a defense guarantee from an allied nuclear power is considered to be similarly protective, as is having the capital of your nearest hostile neighbor under your guns.

    That is, North Korea doesn't need a deterrent against the U.S., because it has a defense guarantee from China and artillery in place plenty capable of pulverizing Seoul, able to inflict tens to hundreds of thousands of casualties. If North Korea is being rational, and is doing this to have deterrent to invasion, the country they're trying to deter from invading is China.

    On the other hand, they may not be trying to deter a Chinese invasion. They might be trying to deter, say, a U.S. defense of South Korea in case of a North Korean invasion. One way to do that is to say, to Japan, "You interfere, and we'll nuke Tokyo". That could quite well get the Japanese to deny the U.S. use of Okinawa, which would logistically cripple any U.S. military response. While NK might not have the ability to hit the U.S. with a nuke at this time, they certainly could hit Japan with one (if the missile doesn't blow up in flight).
  • Re:If this is true (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @03:30AM (#16361259)
    I notice you only discuss their first deployment while ignoring their second major deployment (Iraq) where they were proven very successful. And yes, they have had several independently confirmed kills in actual combat deployment scenarios. Perhaps you should update your knowledge.
  • for the sake of argument, i'll take every criticism you have of the us, the solid ones and the specious ones, and flat out accept all of them

    at which point, however bad the usa looks, by the exact same measurements of failure, north korea is many orders of magnitude worse, according to the most careful and neutral of estimates

    in other words, to go an inch down a road is not the same as going a mile down a road

    it's called scale

    if i shoot someone, i'm bad

    but i'm not on the same scale of bad as say pol pot, who ordered the deaths of millions

    so to excuse north korea with the words you say above in any way is not right, if you appreciate the concept of scale

    "yes, north korea starves its citizens to fund its military, but prisoners in the usa don't get cable tv, so north korea and the usa are morally equivalent"

    not your points or your words in the quote above, but you see what i'm getting at with that example quote

    the point is: i'm not excusing or apologizing for the bad the usa does: the usa DOES do bad. again, the usa DOES do bad

    BUT: by the same token, you should be careful not to excuse north korea for doing far, far, far worse

    get it?
  • by WalksOnDirt (704461) on Monday October 09, 2006 @03:33AM (#16361279)
    NK will not attack the South unprovoked because even their nut case of a dictator knows that such an act will certainly end his reign.

    That reminds me of Iraq moving troops near the Kuwait border in 1990. Everyone I heard said Saddam would never actually invade, but invade he did.

    Maybe North Korea will sit still and be proud of its nuclear capability without using it, but I am afraid South Korea is overconfident of being left alone.
  • by sgant (178166) on Monday October 09, 2006 @03:40AM (#16361323) Homepage Journal
    the White House apparently confirms a nuclear test.

    I usually wait until a legit source confirms it instead of taking anything that comes out of the White House seriously.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @03:41AM (#16361327)
    Like no one saw this coming?

    Iraq. Big, Expensive Invasion. No Weapons. Yet...

    North Korea. Nuclear Weapons. Run by a sociopathic madman. A criminal spy service.
    And a U.S. cowled into sniffing and blubbering across the Pacific.
    Why? Because China scares them. They won't let the U.S. lay a finger on North Korea.

    Remember North Korea has previously shot ballistic missiles over Japan.
    A matter of time before the madman nuclear tips one to make a point.

    Bush. When are you going to pull your head out of your ass and do your job?
  • by louisadkins (963165) on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:01AM (#16361431)
    **FEAR! FEAR! TERROR! TERROR! FEAR! FEAR! TERROR! TERROR!**
    WE CAN'T CHANGE OUT LEADERSHIP AT A CRITICAL TIME LIKE THIS!

                                    Vote Republician in 2006.

    That's my take on it, anyway.
    This admin has made a habit of trying to keep the people too scared
    to allow a changeout in the driver's seat.
  • by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:07AM (#16361449)
    Anyone who thinks that there was not ample evidence of a strong possibility of Iraqi WMD is, quite frankly, delusional or utterly ignorant of the facts - there is no third possibility. (And, contrary to popular belief, a 'strong possibility' is about as good as it gets in the intel and inspection worlds.)

    Cite some of those facts please. It would be compelling if they were from a source without a vested interest in supporting the invasion, since they are facts and not opinions there ought to be enough neutral sources reporting them out there.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:22AM (#16361513)
    I missed the part where you explained why it's any of our concern what weapons Saddam had or didn't have. Hell, whatever he did have, we probably sold to him in the first place.
  • by forwardhairbrush (714823) on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:25AM (#16361531)
    That's not very funny at all.
  • by rm999 (775449) on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:32AM (#16361565)
    2 million pounds of tnt - that, I would imagine, would be really difficult to coordinate (not to mention detonating in a way to create a single cohesive explosion).

    I could be wrong, I have never worked with TNT
  • by EmbeddedJanitor (597831) on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:35AM (#16361589)
    Sure it helps to have real weapons that work, but so often weapons of dubious ability get unwarranted iconic status, mainly in the war of the minds to convince friendlies that they have the edge. This is nothing new and dates back to shamans claiming they have the gods on their side.

    Recently we've had the Patriot Missile BS where pretty hopeless systems were claimed to be invincible. During WW2 there were carrots (gave the British superior night vision) and the Americans had the Norton Bombsight - both of which have over-hype PR which exists to this day. No doubt this will continue as long as conflict of any sort exists.

  • by obnoxiousbastard (239578) on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:51AM (#16361625)
    >I happen to work in Seoul right now, and I'm actually more afraid of Bush & his friends than North Korea.

    If I were you, I think I might pick up a history book. South Korea exists because the US sent massive military assistance to the South. If you think Bush is scary, you had better read up on you freaky neighbor to the north.

    >NK will not attack the South unprovoked because even their nutcase of a dictator knows that such an act will certainly end his reign.

    That didn't stop them before. That does not stop them from inciting frequent border clases and sending suicide commandoes fo the South
  • Re:If this is true (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shutdown -p now (807394) on Monday October 09, 2006 @05:06AM (#16361675) Journal
    at no time in our past has there ever been the slightest doubt about the ability and willingness of the US to retaliate effectively under all conditions.
    Surely you meant to write "ability and willingness of the US and the USSR to retaliate" there?
  • Re:If this is true (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) on Monday October 09, 2006 @05:28AM (#16361749) Homepage

    So in one sense, "nukes are the most useless weapon" because they take an enormous amount of resources for a handfull of bombs the owners hope to never use.

    Actually, in the Sun Tzu sense, nukes are the perfect weapon. They allow you to win a war without ever firing a shot.

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

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @05:37AM (#16361797)
    But the poster you are replying to is correct in stating that he parent is wrong. If you are a country that is not the United States and your policies, culture, national interests or form of government conflicts with the national interests of the United States, then nuclear weapons are not only a useful weapon, they are the ONLY useful weapon.

    Iraq did not have nukes and we knew this and we invaded.
    North Korea is worse than Iraq and Iran, has nukes, and we will NEVER invade.
    Iran doesn't have nukes, and we are pushing to invade before they get them.

    The message is clear: if you don't have nuclear weapons and the U.S. doesn't like you, you'd damned well better get them ASAP.

  • by GauteL (29207) on Monday October 09, 2006 @05:38AM (#16361801)
    The Russian defence ministry has confirmed it as a nuclear detonation:
    "Russia's defence ministry said it was "100% certain" that an underground nuclear explosion had taken place, ITAR-Tass news agency reported"

    Until other nuclear experts tell me otherwise, I'll believe their conclusion rather than your explanation. As a complete layman it is not impossible for me to think that the time scale can depend on lots of things, including type of rock surrounding the underground explosion, how far underground it was, etc.
  • by malsdavis (542216) * on Monday October 09, 2006 @05:38AM (#16361803)
    Although it's well known he had chemical weapons back in the 1980's I don't think they can really be called Weapons of Mass Destruction. Sure, theres a ton of evidence that he killed many tens of thousands with them, but individually, the chemical shells probably didn't kill as many as our own daisy-cutters and cluster bombs can kill. So if you call Saddam's old chemical weapons WMDS, then it means we have been dropping hundreds of WMDS in Afghanistan and Iraq which kind of makes a mockery of any ethical arguement for the wars (if there even was one).
  • Re:If this is true (Score:1, Insightful)

    by kbielefe (606566) <karl,bielefeldt+slashdot&gmail,com> on Monday October 09, 2006 @05:47AM (#16361847)
    He'd never actually send anyone he cared about into war

    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. And don't forget the war has been going on long enough that most if not every soldier currently in Iraq knew they had a good chance of going there when they enlisted or re-upped, and chose to do so anyway.

    Believe it or not, there are many thousands of people who think stability in Iraq is worth dying for, even knowing what we know today. So if your opinion of the war depends on believing that for no good reason Bush is heartlessly sending people to die against their will, then you might want to rethink your reasons for opposing the war. If you still disagree, then I can respect that as a difference of opinion.

  • by AC5398 (651967) on Monday October 09, 2006 @05:59AM (#16361895)
    * Ask yourself, why are South Koreans increasingly more afraid of the U.S. than North Korea? *

    Because the younger generations of South Koreans aren't old enough to remember the bad old days.

  • by AC5398 (651967) on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:02AM (#16361911)
    * When do I get so say "I told you so"? *

    When the US troops leave South Korea and North Korea disarms as a result.

    Ain't never gonna happen - North Korea disarming that is. The US leaving you to deal with North Korea up close and personal - I give y'all another 10 years maximum.
  • by coaxial (28297) on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:13AM (#16361965) Homepage
    The ROK does want unification with the DPRK, as seen for their support for the Sunshine Policy. However they do realize that an instant unification would be an economic disaster. Germany likewise took an economic hit when it unified. Even today, the east still lags behind the west in economic growth. With the DPRK being in a much worse situation than the GDR was in 1990, we could expect the impact on the ROK, both immediate and lasting, to be far greater.

    I don't believe Japan sees the ROK as a military threat. Furthermore, it is unlikely that a nuclear democratic unified Korea, would remain nuclear for long. The ROK does have a nuclear weapons program. [thebulletin.org], however it is primarily focused at countering the nuclear threat from the DPRK. If unification would occur with the ROK absorbing the DPRK, that the ROK would denuclearize.

    Japan's nuclear intentions are much more indoubt, since it would require a constitutional amendment. The Japanese like Section 9 of their consitituion. However, it many ways it has outlived its purpose. Japan is not a militant culture anymore, and the region has become much less stable. Japan's purpose for a nuke would to counter the DPRK nuclear threat. Once the DPRK nuclear threat is eliminated, then the need would be eliminated, and I suspect Japan would denuclearize.

    The truth is, if Japan wanted a nuke, they could have one in a year. The question is whether or not they want one. Even the Japanese don't have an answer to that question.

    The key mistake in your nuclear analysis is that you assume that the only consideration for a country is who in their neighborhood has a nuke. It's not. It's who in their neighborhood is likely to attack them with a nuke. The ROK isn't going to attack anyone, let alone Japan, so there's no reason for Japan to nuclearize in light of a a nuclear democratic Korea. There's already a parallel to this with Japan's historic rival, China. China already has nuclear weapons, and yet Japan has failed to nuclearize. Why haven't they? Because, they know China won't attack them.

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

    by Profound (50789) on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:26AM (#16362007) Homepage
    he put himself at risk of being sent into war for over 5 years as a young man

    Like most rich dads, Bush's father pulled strings to get him a safe posting.

    the war has been going on long enough that most if not every soldier currently in Iraq knew they had a good chance of going there when they enlisted or re-upped

    There are actually soldiers in Iraq who WANTED to come home at the end of their service, but were forced to stay on due to lack of numbers.
  • Goddamn Right (Score:1, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo (965947) on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:39AM (#16362041) Homepage Journal
    And now, while George Bush is playing the same "run-up-to-war" with IraN (because they have oil after all), a maniac with Don King's hair is playing with real nukes in North Korea. How bad does an administration (and an entire party of lickspittles) have to be before a country says "Enough" and boots them the hell out?

    Of course, we'll hear tough talk out of Bush today. His inner cowboy will again emerge and he'll scratch another line in the sand for young Kim and it'll be Dear Leader vs. Dear Leader for a few news cycles, but in the end, we're just going to have to live with the REAL fear that an insane guy in North Korea can whach Tokyo (while standing on his balcony singing "I'm so Lonely"), instead of the trumped up fear that Bush himself and his Own Personal Jesus have carefully cultivated because of 19 guys with box cutters.

    But tough talk is going to do exactly jack shit. This was a situation that required someone who actually knows something and has a cabinet who actually thinks things through (and a congress that doesn't enable bad bahaviour - in many ways). We won't have that until Bush is gone and Cheney has a stake in his heart.

    November 7. "Do a thing." - Macho Man Randy Savage
  • by Loki_1929 (550940) on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:47AM (#16362069) Journal
    "I happen to work in Seoul right now, and I'm actually more afraid of Bush & his friends than North Korea. NK will not attack the South unprovoked because even their nutcase of a dictator knows that such an act will certainly end his reign. However, if you provoke him and lead him to believe he's about to be invaded/bombed/..., he might actually be tempted to send a couple of missiles down to Seoul, just to prove that NK is dangerous.

    I hope that the U.S. and Japan won't push it too far."


    Wait.. wait... this sounds oddly familiar...

    "I happen to work in Paris right now, and I'm actually more afraid of Roosevelt & his friends than Germany. Germany will not attack France unprovoked because even their nutcase of a fürer knows that such an act will certainly end his reign. However, if you provoke him and lead him to believe he's about to be invaded/bombed/..., he might actually be tempted to send a couple of divisions down to Paris, just to prove that Germany is dangerous.

    I hope that the U.S. and Britain won't push it too far.


    That kind of thinking has gotten us nowhere in the past. A head-in-the-sand, fingers-in-the-ears policy is exactly the kind of climate in which madmen and their armies flourish. How's 50 years of doing absolutely nothing about the threat of North Korea done for Seoul and the rest of South Korea's safety and security? Oh wait, that's right, now you guys are threatened with nuclear weapons in addition to the conventional weapons. So basically, things have improved tremendously.

    You do realize that were it not for the US tripwire force at the DMZ, you guys would all be living in the same horrible conditions as North Koreans currently endure, right? The US isn't your enemy, and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you can get some real security. Every time you people bitch and moan about the US presence (which was requested) to your North, you just embolden the man who would happily strip your economy to the bone and work every last one of you people to death if it meant he could maintain his regime for another 10 minutes more than he could without doing that.

  • MOD PARENT UP. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TapeCutter (624760) on Monday October 09, 2006 @06:55AM (#16362113) Journal
    The parent makes an excellent point: Any weapon can be considered a WMD. (eg:box of matches).

    Saddams use of chemical weapons in the 80's was a crime against humanity but the same can be said about the use of Napalm by the US in the 60's & 70's. None of the actual events could realistically be described as "using a WMD". A credible example of "using a WMD" would be something like the nuking of Hiroshima, Holocaust gas chambers, firebombing Dressden, carpet bombing Cambodia. A WMD is characterised by how swiftly it can kill large numbers of people, "nerve gas" cannot be used as a WMD without a great deal of infrastructure, planes, rockets, ect).

    In the middle ages 10,000 longbows firing a dozen arrows a minute was the pinicale of WMD technology, control of such a "weapon" commanded inter-fifedom "respect". Here in the atomic age, a nuke on top of a long range missle is the only weapon that commands international "respect" (eg: Pakistan). In other words, international politics is mearly inter-fifedom politics wearing an expensive suit.

    And yes, it is very difficult to use a box of matches as a WMD. OTOH: Arsonists still get their kicks by deliberately lighting massive bushfires here in Australia, and the energy released by some of those fires dwarfs the yeild of the largest H bombs ever built.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Maestro4k (707634) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:08AM (#16362177) Journal
    No, there is no real difference, because Americans - well, at least lot of them - know how big is North Korean army that casualties will be too high at American side to take any war with NK

    I hate to say this, but you're talking about the same country where a large percentage of young Americans can't even find New York on a map? (Source [cnn.com] 11% couldn't even find the US on a map.) Maybe a good percentage of your older generations do, but I'm in my mid 30s and I doubt that more than half of the people I graduated with have any clue about North Korea's army or how hard it'd be to invade. So don't count on that to stop the government if it decides to invade, all the majority of people are going to think is "they have nukes, their leader's insane, we've got to stop them". I won't be surprised if we both invade and the draft is brought back in short order.

    All hail World War III, it seems to be just around the corner anymore. If North Korea having nukes doesn't start it in Asia then Iraq collapsing into civil war and dragging in its neighboring countries will.

  • Re:If this is true (Score:1, Insightful)

    by killjoe (766577) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:09AM (#16362185)
    "Believe it or not, there are many thousands of people who think stability in Iraq is worth dying for, even knowing what we know today."

    I don't believe that. Maybe some people are stupid enough to want to die for a stable iraq and maybe others are hopped up on gods and guns but I just can't see why any sane and rational person would die for a stable iraq.

    First of all Iraq was already stable. Secondly why iraq? Why not a stable china, stable north korea, stable, somalia, stable equador. I mean why decide that you are willing to die for a stable iraq? How come the iraqis deserve stability more then any other human beings on the planet?

    "So if your opinion of the war depends on believing that for no good reason Bush is heartlessly sending people to die against their will,"

    Nobody says he did it for no reason. Bush has lots of reasons. Oil, venegence for his dad, personal wealth, prving he is a man, hastening the return of jesus, securing the jewish vote, rewarding his supporters, the list goes on and on. Bush had many reasons to invade iraq.
  • Re:Take em now (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jacquesm (154384) <j&ww,com> on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:14AM (#16362219) Homepage
    thank you...

    comment of the month. I already posted in this thread so no chance of modding you up, but I did add you to my 'friends' list for that one.

    Simply by defining the 'axis of evil' some countries got enough of a warning to start moving before it was too late. The six party talks were sabotaged as far as I can detect and provoked this chest beating performance by lil kim, the real question now is how far they are towards miniaturization and delivery.

    Another real nightmare scenario would be a vessel with a goodie like this in the hold docked in SF or so.

    Not all delivery needs to be done by air, not as 'efficient' (if there is such a term when it comes to mass murder), but I'm pretty sure it would get the job done.

  • by Rob Kaper (5960) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:24AM (#16362293) Homepage
    Oh, please, not that statistical trick again. Poverty in the west is defined as earning less than half the average income. If everyone's wealth doubles, the poverty rate actually stays the same. Poverty in the west means "only one TV and game console, only one car, no air conditioning and perhaps skipping a warm meal once or twice a week" for the majority of "poor" people. In North Korea it often means "find edible plants and drink from puddles".

    That doesn't mean we shouldn't try to integrate our poor into society in efficient ways. The basic needs 10% of the US apparently don't meet, would be considered luxury in the majority of the world.
  • could be fake (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geoff lane (93738) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:37AM (#16362383)
    What is the cost of 500 tons of explosive and a few pounds of radioactive dust?
  • by rjstanford (69735) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:38AM (#16362393) Homepage Journal
    Recently we've had the Patriot Missile BS where pretty hopeless systems were claimed to be invincible. During WW2 there were carrots (gave the British superior night vision) and the Americans had the Norton Bombsight - both of which have over-hype PR which exists to this day. No doubt this will continue as long as conflict of any sort exists.

    The whole carrot thing was started intentionally to try to disguise the fact that the British had figured out radar. Of course there were questions as to how they were suddenly far more effective and a rumor like that one -- unprovable but possible -- was exactly what was needed to throw people off the track, at least for long enough to make the difference.

    I don't think that the patriot missile was a cover-up for anything else spectacular.
  • Bush Bashing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by lheal (86013) <lheal1999 AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:45AM (#16362419) Journal
    He's not a bully. He's just an ordinary Joe, put in a position he probably shouldn't be in. But he is in that position, and by and large I think he's done a good job.

    So there.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rob Kaper (5960) on Monday October 09, 2006 @07:59AM (#16362519) Homepage
    Be afraid. Be very afraid.

    No.

    I will accept that it's virtually impossible to eradicate rogue states, terrorism and nuclear proliferation. It's definitely a huge (and increasingly difficult) challenge to come up with geopolitical policies that will improve the security and welfare of the world and it's also a huge challenge to find politicians (of either side, party or flavour) who manage.

    But I refuse to be afraid. What's the point.. I'd rather be ready.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jeffs72 (711141) on Monday October 09, 2006 @08:01AM (#16362525) Journal
    Read your own link. That's not an invocation of the War Powers Act. It's permission from congress for a brushfire engagement.
  • by malsdavis (542216) * on Monday October 09, 2006 @08:15AM (#16362627)
    Do you actually know what cluster bombs are?
    They are bombs which - while high up in the air - detonate a small charge which shoot out hundreds of even thousands of smaller bombs which reign down over a large area. Yes they are carried by the wind somewhat and they definatly will kill "friend, foe, and neutral alike" but then so will any bomb so I don't understand what you mean by that. They are called "cluster" bombs because they contain a "cluster" of bomblets, not because they detonate close by each other, they are specifically designed to do the exact opposite with many capable of dispersing over an area of several thousand feet, which is greater than the predicted area of effect of the chemical weapons that were likely used during the Iran-Iraq war.

  • by TheGreek (2403) on Monday October 09, 2006 @08:23AM (#16362697)
    How many CONGRESS OR SENATOR OR PRESIDENT'S KIDS AT WAR????

    -- ZERO --
    The number was a bit higher than zero [hurricane2005.com] in 2003. Dunno what it is now, but you're still a retard.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Tekzel (593039) on Monday October 09, 2006 @08:31AM (#16362765)
    Like most rich dads, Bush's father pulled strings to get him a safe posting.


    You know, I see this kind of post often when discussion turns to the war. The thing is, I read that as you sounding all hurt that he would dare do such a thing. I believe ANY dad would do the same given the opportunity and ability. I know I sure would if my son was going into harms way. And, if you think any different you aren't much of a dad. Call me a liar.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:2, Insightful)

    by hcob$ (766699) on Monday October 09, 2006 @08:36AM (#16362807)
    No, the majority of impoverished areas in America today can thank the bastardization of the welfare system to the point that people make a better living having babies and sitting on their butts than they would if they get off said butt and work for a living.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Alex P Keaton in da (882660) on Monday October 09, 2006 @08:57AM (#16362967) Homepage
    This is sad- I am interested in the technical aspects of the N. Korea bomb, and I come on slashdot and have to hear not just Bush bashing (you'll have that) but soldier bashing. It is a myth about soldiers being poor and uneducated, and it gets old. My dad was a Sr. Vp of a fortune 100 company and I was an enlisted man. Also, what a joke about the Nat'l Guard not being deployed. I can tell you first hand about an Ohio Nat'l Guard MP company that has been deployed to the middle east twice. But of course, you wouldn't care, because facts have no place here, right?
    And like it or not, soldiers and their families voted overwhelmingly for GW Bush in the last election. So GW Bush's supporters do fight in Iraq. Of course, that is unimportant here, because it is a fact.
    I am all for strong opinions about everything- but keep in mind that while we are all entitled to our own opinions, we are not entitled to our own facts. Whomever posted that there are zero congresman's kids in Iraq, are you serious? You even typed it as ZERO, and you are wrong. Seriously- how can you debate people that are like that?
  • by dbIII (701233) on Monday October 09, 2006 @09:00AM (#16362987)
    Anyone who thinks that there was not ample evidence of a strong possibility of Iraqi WMD is, quite frankly, delusional or utterly ignorant of the facts

    You discounted the possibility of people who were reading newspapers at the time with articles based on reports by experts instead of only being exposed to spin and blatant propaganda on dumbed down TV news programs. Pay attention! Most of this stuff came from real intelligence agents from many countries while the other stuff even came from advertising agencies and political campaign staff. The childish response - outing an agent and "freedom fries" in revenge for opposing views.

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

    by CFTM (513264) on Monday October 09, 2006 @09:17AM (#16363133)
    I don't agree with Taiwan being the wild card in this instance; although on the surface it does appear as though China-Taiwan-US are all in for a nice little menage it's unlikely to happen because China is already at war with Taiwan and they are already winning. The war is not a war of bullets but of dollars; why in the world does China need to invade Taiwan when they can just use their economic might to ensure other countries do not trade with Taiwan?

    Give it ten to fifteen years and they'll achieve the same end as invading Taiwan except they'll never have to fire a shot...sounds like a much smarter plan to me if I'm China...
  • Re:If this is true (Score:2, Insightful)

    by bigdavesmith (928732) on Monday October 09, 2006 @09:30AM (#16363259)
    I wouldn't call you a liar, I certainly am not decided on the issue, but I know from personal experience that you're not wholly correct. There are families with proud military and civil service traditions, whose mothers and fathers, although I'm sure they love and care about their offspring, are proud to have them defending their various countries, and upholding their way of life.

    I know that in the United States, there was a time when we held ideals that were actually worth fighting and dying for, and a lot of people were proud to be doing what they were doing. I think we've lost a lot of that now, but that doesn't make joining the army to get cuddled by your family's money an ok thing.

    Just my experiences and ideas though. Call me a liar :)
  • by Bueller_007 (535588) on Monday October 09, 2006 @09:38AM (#16363339)
    Saying that Japan doesn't want reunification is nonsense.

    There already IS a nuclear "Korean government". The North. And the weapons are currently in the hands of a madman. Japan may have problems with South Korea, but they would much see nukes in the hands of the somewhat reasonable South than the batshit-crazy North.

    In addition, reunification would mean the withdrawal of most American forces from the Peninsula, increasing the strategic importance of the American military holdings in Okinawa. A stronger military relationship with America in the Far East means Japan is safer from potential attack by either China or Korea.

    In addition, North Korea also has in its possession a number of Japanese abductees, who were kidnapped to be brainwashed and trained as anti-Japanese spies. That's a HUGE political issue, and the prime minister who can finally resolve this issue will be made out to be a national hero. That's simply not going to happen until reunification. Reunification will be a political blessing for whatever Japanese prime minister is around to try to take part of the credit for it.

    Also, when sanctions against Korea are lifted, Japan will have a new trading partner, poor though they may be. Because the North Koreans can't afford to buy Sony just yet, the Japanese government will do the same thing with them that they've done with all of their poor South-East Asian neighbours. The government will send Japanese construction companies overseas to do "charity work". The Japanese government will pay for the majority of it, making it little more than corporate welfare, but at the end of the project, they'll erect a sign saying "This ~~ was built with funds donated by the Japanese government." That's part of the way that they build good will amongst their neighbours.

    IMHO, there's no way they *don't* want reunification.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @10:05AM (#16363617)
    I will try and avoid politics and provide some kernel of useful information.

    Not having any proof, I think the device was probably a gun type device similar to "Little Boy" which was used on Hiroshima. This is basically a cannon with a shell made of uranium fired into a plug also made of uranium. (Of course this is a very simplistic description)

    This has the advantage of simplicity. the disadvantage is the device is enormous. Little Boy weighed in around 5 tons IIRC.

    These days weapons are usually built using the implosion method. This is far more efficient, but is extremely difficult to pull off. The advantage is you get a device that is smaller and a lot more powerful.

    It appears from the news reports that the NK's still managed to botch the device. It looks like it was a sub-kiloton detonation.

    Still, this is very unnerving. There are two nations that really can't be trusted with WMD's. North Korea and Iran.

    If Iran gets the bomb, they will only wait long enough to build 5-20 devices and figure a way to deploy them to Israel and the United States. (They might send a few into Europe for good measure)

    NK is less probable in using the weapons, but only a bit less. I have a feeling that if Ding Dong Il gets really sick, (Rumors are that he isn't well at all), he might just restart the Korean War. If so nuking the U.S. and ROK military would be the first thing they do.
    (Chemical and bio attacks would also be high on the list)

    MAD, (mutually assured destruction), only works of both sides really don't want to be destroyed.

    The people running Iran believe that being destroyed will be a good thing, and if Kim whatshisname decides he's finished anyway, he won't be deterred either.

    We won't go into the possibility of putting some nukes on ships and sailing into assorted harbors. In that case, the physical size of the devices really won't matter.

    Yes, be concerned and be afraid.
  • Pinnacle (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jefu (53450) on Monday October 09, 2006 @10:12AM (#16363685) Homepage Journal
    More like the heart of propaganda - and it is used by all sides. In particular, the parent uses exactly this technique to redefine liberalistm.
  • by Perl-Pusher (555592) on Monday October 09, 2006 @10:50AM (#16364143)
    We are not the solution. North Korea is China's dog. The Chinese leadership have allowed North Korea to survive because they share communist idiology. But China's patience is wearing thin, China has a large ethnic korean population near the border. The Chinese military has quite a few generals who are openly disgusted by the way North Korea treats it's people. This statement openly condemning them [reuters.com] is a very positive sign. China needs to find a way to get rid of Kim Ill Jong while keeping North Korea as a country intact. The last thing China needs is hundreds of thousands of impoverished koreans flooding their country. China would also not be happy with the prospect of North Korea united with a prosperous South Korea. That whole democracy thing might give their own people ideas. The US doing anything unilateraly in China's backyard would be foolish. This is a problem that Asian countries needs to fix not the US. If anyone is going to take out pyongyang it needs to be asian. I'm retired Air Force, I spent 3 years of my life in South Korea, they have a great culture and country. I would hate to see any war there.
  • Re:Bush Bashing (Score:2, Insightful)

    by metamatic (202216) on Monday October 09, 2006 @10:51AM (#16364155) Homepage Journal
    On what factual basis do you think Bush has done a good job?

    Number of US civilians killed by terrorists has increased. Unemployment has increased. Value of the dollar has crashed. Economy has gone into massive deficit, national debt has increased. War veterans' benefits have been slashed.

    Oh, wait. Tax cuts, right?
  • Soldiers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Khammurabi (962376) on Monday October 09, 2006 @11:16AM (#16364505)
    This is sad- I am interested in the technical aspects of the N. Korea bomb, and I come on slashdot and have to hear not just Bush bashing (you'll have that) but soldier bashing.
    Unfortunately most people in today's culture treat the armed forces as an extension of the Presidency, and fail to see a distinction between the two. I lay a large chunk of the blame on the disintegration of Congress over the past century. The legislative branch was originally given the power to decide when and where to declare war for two very good reasons. First, because if one man (the president) had the power to initiate war at a whim, our country would end up in trouble far more often than was prudent. And second, because congress would not authorize a war without first realizing that the people that are being sent to war are the children of the voters that the congress men and women represent.

    Most Americans also seem to forget that the executive branch was originally created to enforce the laws and will of the legislative branch (AKA: Congress). Anything not in writing was left up to the discretion of the President, but everything that was in writing the president was supposed to do on behalf of Congress. To insure the president's compliance in matters of Congress, the founders wrote a cause to impeach such people should they appear. But originally, it was the legislative branch that had control of the nation, not the executive. As such, the country was less prone to dive into wars without careful consideration. But that was then, this is now.

    The real point that people need to realize is that congress has the power to limit the amount of force being used, and the capacity in which to use it. So please, stop faulting the president or the troops at his disposal. Soldiers do what their told, and do it to the best of their ability. If you don't like what they're being told to do, complain to your congressman, not the president. After all, congress is the only political body in the nation that can constitutionally contrain the president's powers. Congress is the one that's supposed to be keeping an eye on presidential activities. And here's the REALLY important part for you whiners out there: The president is LEGALLY allowed to ignore anyone and everyone, with the sole exception being Congress.
  • by swb (14022) on Monday October 09, 2006 @11:20AM (#16364561)
    China wants (and probably needs) North Korea as a geopolitical pawn in order to score political points, both in the pacific rim and with the west. Kim does something wacky, the Chinese give him a tug on his leash and foreign governments give China concessions.

    The North Koreans, despite Kim's nutty behavior, know that China sets the parameters of what the North can get away with and that deviating too far from their desires will either result in allowing the U.S. to use whatever force it deeems necessary (desirable as it allows them to play 'good guy') or, if need be, with their own army, although this would probably end up being a Chinese-backed coup which kept North Korea communist, although they would probably mass a dozen armored divisions on the border to back their play and keep out the refugees.

    The North Korean leadership doesn't really care if they're Chinese lapdogs, as long as they get to stay in power and they know that the worst possible outcome is a Chinese takeover -- an American attack would allow them to run to China as a safe harbor.

    The reason we'll never see change on the Korean front is that China and Kim both understand the parameters well and both need each other. In many ways, ignorning Kim, despite how crazy and dangerous he is, is the best policy. China won't allow him to go over the edge and by ignoring him, we also don't play into the Chinese protection racket.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Martin Blank (154261) on Monday October 09, 2006 @11:25AM (#16364629) Journal
    It's actually 30,000, and will be dropping to 25,000 in a couple of years. And if you think that they want us out so badly, consider that the US wants to turn over wartime command of the forces to Seoul by 2009, but the South Koreans say they won't be ready until 2012. We're primarily there for overall wartime command, air superiority and close air support, artillery, and to provide a reason to bring in more forces when US soldiers are killed in combat.

    Note that I didn't say that there's no reason for the US to be in South Korea. I said that no one wants to fight in North Korea. North Korea does not need a deterrent, but South Korea does. The border between the two is the most heavily-fortified area of the world, with a million or so soldiers watching each other, thousands of artillery pieces in constant state of readiness, and millions of land mines in place to make any thoughts of crossing the border suicidal.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Rorschach1 (174480) on Monday October 09, 2006 @11:27AM (#16364667) Homepage
    Our first H-bomb ("Mike") was 82 tons and occupied its own building. When you're trying to prove the basic technology, miniaturization isn't a priority. That said, I don't know if North Korea's going to bother. As someone else pointed out, they have plenty of conventional weapons, and proving that they have nukes is probably worth more for the psychological impact.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Goose3254 (304355) on Monday October 09, 2006 @11:55AM (#16365059)
    This is simple...objectively, if you can afford to do nothing and still eat a diet sufficent to allow procreation, and have shelter, the welfare state is encouraging the behavior. Food and shelter are now taken care of, so, in Maslow's Heirachy of needs, the physiological and safety "layers" are met. Next in line are love and status...which in the twisted little minds of people satisfied to be impoverished baby machines are satisfied by squirting our more mewling ticks on society. Especially if you get a "raise" for each leech you generate.
  • Re:If this is true (Score:4, Insightful)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Monday October 09, 2006 @12:29PM (#16365505) Homepage Journal
    The democrats got behind the welfare reform bill too, you know. Everyone was on it. It limits welfare to five years. Personally I don't think it goes far enough. If you have two children already or have a child when you go on welfare you should be fucking sterilized. If you can't support yourself we shouldn't allow you to make the problem worse. But of course that could never happen, it's a violation of human rights or some shit. If I were Emperor of the world (provided Bush doesn't become that first) it's one of the first restrictions I'd place on welfare.
  • by inKubus (199753) on Monday October 09, 2006 @12:39PM (#16365635) Homepage Journal
    I hate to be the one to say it here, but weren't we in the middle of an important investigation of a coverup in Congress yesterday?

  • Re:If this is true (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @01:44PM (#16366699)
    Posting AC so I'm not accused of spreading family gossip (not that anyone else in my family reads /.)... I have a cousin who is the black sheep of the family. She and her husband were in and out of jail, on all kinds of drugs, abused their kids horribly, etc etc. By the time she was in her mid-20s they had their fifth child. The baby was delivered by c-section, and the doctor asked her if she wanted him to go ahead and tie her tubes while he was in there. She consented.

    Her husband screamed at her (in the hospital, probably only reason why he didn't beat her right then) when he found out, because welfare would pay extra per child for up to seven kids. So why stop at five?

    (Yes, eventually the kids were permanently taken away and adopted out - but the oldest was ten by then, and they'd been taken away temporarily several times. CPS needs some revamping too.)

    Welfare is a mess. I don't know about forced sterilization, but giving people incentives to have more kids is just not a good way to go about things. I'm sure abuses like this are the minority, but the system still acts as an enabler for the people like this who are out there.

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

    by hcob$ (766699) on Monday October 09, 2006 @03:07PM (#16368017)
    The evidence I have is only what I saw with my own eyes growing up in an "impoverished" area. 20-yr olds popping out the 5th child on welfare, getting their children certified as mentally challegned, anything and everything to get more money from the government. I'ts also very telling when someone on welfare can afford a house, two cars, tv, cable, cell phone, and good quality food. Most hard working people I know have a hard time affording all that.

    I started working at 15. It galls me to this day to see where my tax dollars go. I have SEEN what instituionalized welfare does to a populace. I get ANGRY when someone that I'm supporting with my tax dollars says that I (as a white male) OWE them something for what someone did to someone else decades ago. All I see welfare as now is a way for Democrats to get elected. In my hometown and surrounding area, the ONLY way to get elected is to say your a democrat. If the only three words you say when you step into town is "I'm a Republican"(or any party other than Democrat), you're immediately labeled as a bigot and get shouted down when you open your mouth on anything. When people actually have to start WORKING again (and not suing cause someone HURT YOUR FEELINGS), you'll see America start to thrive again. Until that day, we're doomed to a life of the actual WORKING class supporting all the fscktards that are mooching the system that was designed to help people because they feel that they are OWED something.

    The only people OWED anything in the US were the actual Slaves, Native Americans, and their immediate children. Other than that, shut the hell up, get off you @ss, and get a fscking JOB!

    And before anyone gets all up and arms about no work available, etc etc... That's just BS. I've done jobs from unloading trucks at walmart, hoeing weeds out of cotton fields, all the way up to my job now in a high tech company designing test software. The main problem is people have gotten this level of "pride" from somewhere that is unjustified. The only pride ANY American should feel is in a job well done. If you've ever not taken a job because "I'm too good for that" then you've never been really in need of anything. And in that case, I wish you would do the right thing and stop stealing from people who ACTUALLY need the money.

    Next time, take your theory of how we should be kind to other people and shove it. Until you actually take the time to add up how much of your money goes into the biggest vote-buyer in US histroy, see where that money goes, then you can be suspect of my opinion. And I'm not talking about a 5 day trip down to the "impoverished region", I'm talking about spending 18 years in an area where you are immediately looked down upon, called a racist, and are told you OWE someone more money.... Just because you are white.

    I'm a bigot indeed.
  • Our troops (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) on Monday October 09, 2006 @03:27PM (#16368325) Homepage Journal
    >we are all entitled to our own opinions, we are not entitled to our own facts

    90% of soldiers in Iraq believed (2003) we were there to retaliate against Saddam for 9/11 [zogby.com].

    Same survey, by the way, showed that only a fifth agreed with staying as long as Bush wants to.
  • by TheGreek (2403) on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:26PM (#16369327)
    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.
    Probably because parents can't compel their children to enter the military.
  • Re:Soldiers (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mr_matticus (928346) on Monday October 09, 2006 @04:28PM (#16369355)
    That's all well and good except for the fact that the military is directed not by Congress, but by the President. Congress funds the military and has the sole right to declare war, but no authority over the operation affairs of the military, power over which is vested exclusively in the executive. The activities of the past several decades have not, strictly speaking, been wars in the legal sense. As such, Congress has been saved (or has absolved itself, depending on your perspective) of the whole Iraq affair. They have been executive-mandated military actions, which Congress has permitted. There is a philosophical argument as to whether Congress should allow the President to direct the military for 3+ years without legislative intervention, but considering Iraq is not a declared war, it is the PRESIDENT who must be held accountable for the actions undertaken to this point.

    The intervention (or non-intervention) of Congress in this whole affair is a separate issue from who is responsible for the actions and who has signed the orders and set the agenda. The office of the president has done such.
  • Re:Ask Rummy. (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday October 09, 2006 @09:03PM (#16372929)
    Clinton in 1994 signed a deal to sell light water reactors if N. Korea shutd down their old ones which is exactly what they did. After years of electricity shortages they figured out that those reactors were a false promise (2003 was a bit late, no?) so the deal was off. It's the US fault, clearly, that they have nuclear bomb today.

    Now, imagine that Bush shuts down all reactors in country and lets his nation live in darkness for a decade :)
  • You're wrong (Score:2, Insightful)

    by loqi (754476) on Tuesday October 10, 2006 @01:55AM (#16374693)
    Get this. The slaves were promised 40 acres and a mule. That's because it's obvious that you can't a "free" a people into absolute poverty. That's not freedom.

    Now, you've shown that you clearly don't believe in justice on a social level, only on an individual level. So fuck you. The slaves never got their 40 acres and a mule. You take the alienated sons and daughters of a culture they're forcibly removed from, who've either been recently abducted or shit on for generations, and tell them "oh, you're free to go now", what do you fucking think is going to happen? A magical embrace of the Great American Dream? "Pull yourself up by your boostraps" is not a credible phrase to use when talking on a social level, and that's the level that's relevant in this discussion. Any systemic oppression of an entire people, such as that which still exists in America today against blacks needs to be addressed. The solution isn't always pretty, but neglecting it is simply immoral. We've inherited our forefathers' civilization and society, and all the benefits that entails, yet you act like that comes with no responsibility whatsoever for those it's trampled along the way. You're wrong.

    But you know what really pisses me off about you Republicans whining about welfare leeches? It's the fact that you support a party that actively participates in vast amounts of corporate welfare, but I see very little criticism of that use of your tax dollars. No, you'd much rather bemoan the loss of your money to the poor, or to minorities. That's why you're called racist. You'd demonize the poor and dispossessed, and claim the brutal history of their culture's treatment is irrelevant. You'd offer up token examples of systemic abuse as an excuse to unconditionally strip welfare from everyone who really does need it, instead of protesting the same kind of abuse by the ultra-rich. You're looked down upon because your head is up your ass.
  • Re:You're wrong (Score:2, Insightful)

    by loqi (754476) on Wednesday October 11, 2006 @02:17AM (#16389151)
    Compare that to several waves of immigrants in the last few decades here, most notably the Vietnamese. These people came here with only their lives if they made it at all. They were sneered at and rejected for all but the most menial jobs. One thing they had was WORK ETHIC.

    And the reason train comes grinding to a halt right at this point. Conservatives love to talk about work ethic like it's some kind of "free will" magic, and assert that people lacking it are just somehow intrinsically shit, end of discussion. It's downright ignorant to treat it as some kind of axiom, with no deeper causal relationships. Do I think your anecdote describes people with an inflated sense of entitlement who are leeching from the rest of us "hard-working Americans"? Of course, I'd be a fool not to. But there are other factors to consider:
    1) The obvious one, how representative is that? Anecdotes don't carry much weight at the scale I was discussing.
    2) Does the negative impact of the existence of leeches outweigh the positive impact of, well, the actual social welfare? One could take the (ultra-Libertarian) argument that since those people are abusing tax dollars, government should be dismantled. That's just the far end of the continuum that points at those people as an argument against social programs. This also comes around to corporate handouts. If more money is being wasted on an arguably more corrupt cause, what is the real motivation behind going after welfare? It's like justifying Iraq by saying Saddam runs a brutal regime, or outlawing marijuana because it has some negative health effects.
    3) Most importantly, are there any root causes to this observed lack of work ethic, why do they exist, and what can be done about them? This is huge. Those Vietnamese came to America looking for a land of opportunity and freedom. The difference between that and the history of most blacks in this country is pretty vast. Do you think the freed slaves saw America in a similar light? Do you really think that they had any desire, incentive, or ability to pass on to their subsequent generations the necessary foundations of a stable subculture? These things matter, not just then, but now, because they describe a process that's still in motion. Telling the descendants of a broken people to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps en masse, and comparing them to some other culture with a completely different history, accomplishes nothing except spreading divisive attitudes.

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