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Comment Re:How do we tolerate this? (Score 1) 256

You are assuming that the new regime wouldn't try to ease everybody into this and that the international community wouldn't attempt to help them. I can see a regime change where the situation on the ground changed, the propaganda being fed to the NK's changed. You are also assuming that NK would suffer being invaded by foreign powers. That may not be true, it may be the country is liberated by their own military, without sustained conflict. It may be that the change from being ruled by the Un's doesn't impact the daily lives of anybody outside of the capital city.

Maybe it's just wishful thinking, but it doesn't have to go like Japan. NK has attacked nobody, cannot be a serious threat to anybody but SK and then only for a short time. If NK was contained at or near the DMZ militarily, the regime changed, then your average NK may not have a need to run anywhere.

Maybe I have rose colored glasses on, but I hope for better than a solution than one that involves NK being invaded.

Comment Re:Accuracy for WHOM? (Score 1) 73

With differential GPS? Pretty darned accurate, like to the millimeter if you have time to wait... Just out moving around without a stationary reference? What ever the military thinks you need right now, down to about a meter on the expensive receivers, a bit more if you are depending on the cheap thing in your cell phone. If the military deems it necessary, they can induce just about any amount of error they wish...

Comment Re:Re-entry aiming (Score 1) 256

Because, to get the best affect for that EMP you are trying for, you really need to be well within the atmosphere, or so I'm told..

The people who wrote the Wiki page on that disagree.

Quite the opposite. Nuclear explosions outside the earth's atmosphere are not going to generate all that much EMP on the surface, and a nuclear blast at ground level, while it does create EMP it only really affects the small surface area within the line of sight. You need to hit the "sweet spot" which is within the earth's atmosphere to get a big pulse yet high enough to cause wide spread EMP damage within the line of sight.

You see, the EMP is caused by a quick pulse of electromagnetic energy which is emitted by both the bomb materials and the air around it as it goes off. You need a lot of mass absorbing the energy from the blast and then releasing it as an EMP. Therefore you want it deep in the atmosphere to get a big pulse, but high enough that you have a large amount of the surface within the line of sight of the blast.

Comment Re:How do we tolerate this? (Score 1) 256

I'm not so sure that a regime change in NK would involve a lot of hostilities over wide enough areas to generate much in terms of refugees. Now if somebody tries to cross the DMZ in mass numbers, the ground part of the war will drag on a bit and *some* might show up, but only if the conflict is disruptive and sustained will there be many. But I don't see anybody interested in invading NK and I don't see where it would serve the Un to launch an invasion of the south.

I'm hopeful that more moderate factions would take over from Kim and transition NK in a way that allows integration with the rest of the world fairly quickly. I don't see that needing to be necessarily a long and violent struggle as real power only really exists at the upper levels. If this is the case, there would be limited bloodshed as control of the military changed, with possibly some low level hold outs and military actions around the country, but they would not be long lasting or very disruptive. And if the new government where to immediately appeal to the international community (which they would need to do to establish their legitimacy) for help, I'm guessing that sanctions would lifted and foreign aid would be flowing fast enough to forestall any refugee migration of significant numbers.

But hey, I'm just a software engineer who is not trained in foreign relations and has never been on the same hemisphere as NK. What do I know..

Comment Re:Heavy??? (Score 2) 256

I know Lit'l Un seems crazy to us, but I assure you he's not. If you understand a bit of Korean culture and how the Kim's came to power and keep it, it's pretty clear that he knows what he's doing. It's also clear that despite his repeated taunts and minor infractions of the cease fire, he's not that interested in a full frontal assault with anybody because it won't keep him in power to do so. He needs to keep inventing ways to feed the propaganda machine moral and tactical victories (real or invented) but he clearly cannot afford ANY losses in the process. So, he's not crazy, he just has to preserve appearances to stay in power.

Now where things will really get crazy is when he realizes that he's lost his grip. THEN he will be desperate to find ANY way to demonstrate his power. However, if it comes to that, I'm betting he will be dead before he realizes the game is over..

Comment Re:Re-entry aiming (Score 1) 256

Because, to get the best affect for that EMP you are trying for, you really need to be well within the atmosphere, or so I'm told...You also need to get a pretty good nuclear explosion which I understand NK hasn't really mastered, nor do they have the ability to produce nuclear weapons small enough to get them off the ground in any rocket...

Comment Re:High altitude nuclear EMP (Score 1) 256

There is ZERO chance NK attacks the south. Lit'l Un knows that would be his undoing in a big way. First, he would NOT make it very far south, plus he'd suffer a huge number of causalities which he couldn't sustain. Second, it would set loose a (blank)storm of retaliation and air strikes in the north as we shut down his air defenses and communications faster than he can get is first tank beyond the DMZ. The first would devastate his ability to stay in power by force and the second would make it impossible for him to keep the secret that he was loosing by pushing out propaganda. He'd be out of power before he ran out of cheese for his crackers, likely in a bloody coop that resulted in his death. He knows this.

Comment Re:How do we tolerate this? (Score 2) 256

Kicking the NK can down the road is likely the best option for all involved.

I don't see how beyond economic sanctions there is much more we can do. We SERIOUSLY don't want or need to deal with NK militarily. There is no point in rekindling the Korean war and turn this thing into direct combat again where a bunch of people die on both sides and nothing really changes.

What needs to happen here is the North Koreans need to revolt and overthrow the Kim government on their own, which will eventually happen if we let it go on long enough. So, we may keep kicking the can, but I see it as keeping watch, waiting for the people of North Korea to take care of this in their own time and in their own way, preserving the lives of our military by not feeding the little Un's propaganda machine.

BTW... This coming from a "Take no nonsense, kick the (blank) out of ISIS" kind of guy...Some stones are seriously best left unthrown...

Comment Re:Let's get real (Score 1) 256

North Korea is more rational than most people tend to believe, but not rational to the level that, say, Iran is (and they're far more rational than people tend to believe). They do believe the world is out to get them, but they also know enough not to pull the trigger themselves unless there's no other choice--though that may include taking the nation down with them if someone tries a coup.

Absent an enlightened successor to Kim Jong-Un in about 30 years, any shift in that impoverished country is likely to be bloody, violent, and involve a lot of carnage outside its borders.

Where I'm not inclined to disagree much... It's obvious that an overthrow of the Kim dynasty will be bloody, I'm inclined to believe that if it happens it will be quick and the violence will be fairly localized and unlikely to flow over the border that much. What WILL be an issue is if the conflict lasts very long and the population starts flooding over the borders as refugees, mostly into China.

The question that should be going through everybody's minds though should be what will trigger such events... Lit'l Kim spends lots of time thinking about this and is actively trying to keep it from happening. When any of the powerful in the government and military have even a hint of disloyalty, it's off to the concentration camps for your family and death to you. Think of it as a bureaucratic cottage industry in NK. The quickest way to advance is to give states evidence on your superiors for what ever reason you can. Kim uses this to stay in control, but eventually the truth will get out, that the rest of the world isn't starving and tiny NK isn't the huge military power, shining country on a hill that everybody want's to be a part of. That the Kim's are just self serving egomaniacs who have ruled with iron fists, forcing the people to suffer while living in luxury unimaginable to the common folk.

All this ICBM and nuclear weapons garbage is just a rouse to keep the Kim in power anyway. He has to keep showing progress, keep showing is people that he is still potent "Large and In Charge" supreme commander of the military the world fears most. This whole thing is designed to appeal INTERNALLY to the people of NK, who generally believe what they are told. Kim is being forced to produce better and higher demonstrations of NK's military power, to keep the dream alive that NK is the world's lone superpower, able to beat the USA back and keep it at bay. Once that image cracks, Lit's Un will be reduced to a skid mark on the runway of history.

Comment Re:Emergency Brake? (Score 1) 564

Yea, I usually wonder if folks who report "clutch problems" with manuals are not really just suffering from horrible driving habits that abuse their clutches. I've had to chide more than one person to keep their foot off the clutch when they are not using it, stop trying to keep from rolling backwards at stoplights by using the clutch or trying to start out in the wrong gear. Personally, I've only had ONE clutch wear out, ostensibly because it was misadjusted (the cable was too tight in a VW Bug I owned) in all the cars I've had and the rest of the clutch work I've done had to do with bad throw-out bearings, master cylinders and such. Not that it matters though, if you have the clutch out, just replace everything as the cost of labor far exceeds the parts...

Comment Re:User error (Score 1) 564

OK.. Doesn't matter anyway.. Last time I looked at a car lot for a manual transmission, I barely could get my 6'7" self into *any* of the cars that could be purchased without the automatic. By the time I'm back in the car market there will be nothing left I can afford to drive with a manual transmission and about all I will fit into is a large sized SUV or truck. If only the cheep old VW Bugs had air-conditioning, but who can spare enough horses to run the compressor and fan in that contraption... Way fun to drive and I actually fit in it, just don't live where you need AC or heat, and as close to the desert as I live.....

Comment Re:User error (Score 2) 564

Locking Torque converters have been the rule for a LONG time, like since the 70's... With all due respect for the guys from Car Talk, this *helps* with the efficiency, but there still is some energy losses due to the necessity of running the automatic part of the transmission. You have to keep the shift clutches engaged, that takes hydraulic pressure which implies a pump is running someplace. You also must circulate the transmission fluid to keep the various things lubricated and cool, which takes some power too. Power consumption in the transmission means less power for driving getting to the wheels.

I'm not saying the differential between the automatic and the manual is all that much these days, it's not, but if you are on the highway the manual is going to be better. Now if you want to argue that it's unlikely that your average skilled driver would be able to achieve better gas mileage in a mixed environment of city and highway driving on their manual, that for 99.9% of drivers would do better on an automatic, I can only agree with you. However, just straight out driving down the road at highway speed, not shifting, that manual is going to be hard to beat, all things being equal.

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