North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

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jewish_scientist
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Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

Postby jewish_scientist » Tue Jan 12, 2016 2:03 pm UTC

I do not think that people understood what my last post was saying. If N.K. used nukes on S.K., China would know that are the only two ways that the situation can end. China stays allies with N.K. and risk attack from all of S.K.'s allies; China does not ally herself with N.K. and does not risk attack from S.K.'s allies. The better of the two is obvious. The fastest way China can tell the world that it is no longer allies with N.K. is by attacking N.K.. Every country on the planet uses this same logic, and attacks. The net result is...
jewish_scientist wrote:...that literally everyone turns on the country that used the nuclear weapon and literally reduce it to craters using conventional weapons.
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sevenperforce wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:
sevenperforce wrote:I doubt the North Koreans actually know what a hydrogen bomb is, much less possess the capacity to build one.

This reminds me of a controversy that happened in Massachusetts a little while back. A group of exchange students from the Middle East (may have been Pakistan) wanted to take a class on nuclear physics. Some people thought that it would be stupid to give information on nuclear physics to citizens of a country we are trying to stop from making nuclear weapons; others thought that the students were being discriminated against for their nationality. I do not remember what happened in the end.

That's fantastically racist and utterly, utterly stupid. Probably wasn't Pakistan, though, since they already have nukes.

If true, it must have been a knee-jerk reaction by a few idiots who don't know anything about what nuclear science is.

Yeah, that is what I think it was. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


jewish_scientist wrote:Unless the leadership of a country decides to use the 'suicide bomber' stratagem, no nuclear weapons will ever be used. That is why I am more concerned with Middle Eastern countries with nuclear arms programs; suicide bomber tend to do act in the name of a country or terrorist group centered in that region.

sevenperforce wrote:Suicide bombings aren't limited to Middle-East-origin groups.

I think this qualifies as a trend.
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sevenperforce
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Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

Postby sevenperforce » Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:01 pm UTC

jewish_scientist wrote:I do not think that people understood what my last post was saying. If N.K. used nukes on S.K., China would know that are the only two ways that the situation can end. China stays allies with N.K. and risk attack from all of S.K.'s allies; China does not ally herself with N.K. and does not risk attack from S.K.'s allies. The better of the two is obvious. The fastest way China can tell the world that it is no longer allies with N.K. is by attacking N.K..

No one is going to nuke China just for being North Korea's ally...not unless China actually tries to defend North Korea. It would make no sense for the United States to act aggressively toward China merely due to the tenuous alliance it currently maintains.

jewish_scientist wrote:Unless the leadership of a country decides to use the 'suicide bomber' stratagem, no nuclear weapons will ever be used. That is why I am more concerned with Middle Eastern countries with nuclear arms programs; suicide bomber tend to do act in the name of a country or terrorist group centered in that region.

sevenperforce wrote:Suicide bombings aren't limited to Middle-East-origin groups.

I think this qualifies as a trend.

Well, that link yielded:

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But the kind of suicide bombings you're talking about are a fairly emergent phenomenon. Nowadays, about 75% of suicide bombings occur in Iraq, Afghanistan, or Pakistan. But before 9/11, suicide bombing was far more sporadic. And I think there's a big difference between the mentality that allows individuals at the bottom of the food chain to become suicide bombers and the mentality of someone at the top who would sacrifice their entire countries along with themselves.

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Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jan 12, 2016 3:56 pm UTC

sevenperforce wrote:
jewish_scientist wrote:I do not think that people understood what my last post was saying. If N.K. used nukes on S.K., China would know that are the only two ways that the situation can end. China stays allies with N.K. and risk attack from all of S.K.'s allies; China does not ally herself with N.K. and does not risk attack from S.K.'s allies. The better of the two is obvious. The fastest way China can tell the world that it is no longer allies with N.K. is by attacking N.K..

No one is going to nuke China just for being North Korea's ally...not unless China actually tries to defend North Korea. It would make no sense for the United States to act aggressively toward China merely due to the tenuous alliance it currently maintains.


This. China would either support them on the sly, which would mostly be tacitly ignored by all concerned, and it'd be another proxy war(which has happened a few times without degenerating into full scale nuclear war), or is allied, but doesn't really go to bat for them. Just..stand by and watch.

In terms of TAKING N. Korea, China likely does not actually want that. There's...not really a good reason to want to administer the inevitible mess afterward, from a strictly selfish perspective. Likely to be very costly.

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sardia
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Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

Postby sardia » Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:15 pm UTC

I'm surprised how many of you think China is more willing to accept a disintegration of North Korea, or the unification of Korea in any way. North Korea could nuke south Korea, and they would still have n Korea's back. The reason is simple, Korea is an ally of the US, and both of them are rivals first, trade partners second. If they spend political capital to prevent an attack on north Korea, they will use it because the alternative is worse for them. Now their capital may be spent convincing north Korea to back down but they won't just drop support over a few dead Koreans.

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Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

Postby sevenperforce » Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:47 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:
sevenperforce wrote:No one is going to nuke China just for being North Korea's ally...not unless China actually tries to defend North Korea. It would make no sense for the United States to act aggressively toward China merely due to the tenuous alliance it currently maintains.

This. China would either support them on the sly, which would mostly be tacitly ignored by all concerned, and it'd be another proxy war(which has happened a few times without degenerating into full scale nuclear war), or is allied, but doesn't really go to bat for them. Just..stand by and watch.

The only reason that the proxy wars of the past did not degenerate into full-scale nuclear war is that North Korea didn't have nukes and neither China nor the USSR were willing to provide them.

A proxy war is less likely now for three reasons. First, the USSR no longer exists and so China is the only possible supporter. Second, China might support NK on the sly in an actual war, but they're not going to provide actual weapons or troops because they couldn't afford to alienate their trade partners. Third and most importantly, North Korea has nukes now, and would use them.

Or, perhaps more to the point, North Korea has nukes and might use them, so we would make sure they couldn't use them.

sardia wrote:I'm surprised how many of you think China is more willing to accept a disintegration of North Korea, or the unification of Korea in any way. North Korea could nuke south Korea, and they would still have n Korea's back. The reason is simple, Korea is an ally of the US, and both of them are rivals first, trade partners second.

I don't think China would maintain its alliance with NK if NK did something so brazen and destabilizing as to initiate a nuclear first strike in China's backyard. But even if they did, it wouldn't matter, because the United States has already all but promised to provide South Korea with nuclear retaliation capacity. So all China could do would be to sit by and watch North Korea evaporate into a radioactive wasteland.

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Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:55 pm UTC

sevenperforce wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
sevenperforce wrote:No one is going to nuke China just for being North Korea's ally...not unless China actually tries to defend North Korea. It would make no sense for the United States to act aggressively toward China merely due to the tenuous alliance it currently maintains.

This. China would either support them on the sly, which would mostly be tacitly ignored by all concerned, and it'd be another proxy war(which has happened a few times without degenerating into full scale nuclear war), or is allied, but doesn't really go to bat for them. Just..stand by and watch.

The only reason that the proxy wars of the past did not degenerate into full-scale nuclear war is that North Korea didn't have nukes and neither China nor the USSR were willing to provide them.

A proxy war is less likely now for three reasons. First, the USSR no longer exists and so China is the only possible supporter. Second, China might support NK on the sly in an actual war, but they're not going to provide actual weapons or troops because they couldn't afford to alienate their trade partners. Third and most importantly, North Korea has nukes now, and would use them.

Or, perhaps more to the point, North Korea has nukes and might use them, so we would make sure they couldn't use them.


I do agree that China would be far more likely to just stand by, particularly if N Korea had been going further than they have so far in their provocations. Seriously, as an 'ally' for China, they're not that great. A lot of hassle in exchange for the thorn in the side, to use that metaphor. China wears the pants in that relationship.

sardia wrote:I'm surprised how many of you think China is more willing to accept a disintegration of North Korea, or the unification of Korea in any way. North Korea could nuke south Korea, and they would still have n Korea's back. The reason is simple, Korea is an ally of the US, and both of them are rivals first, trade partners second.

I don't think China would maintain its alliance with NK if NK did something so brazen and destabilizing as to initiate a nuclear first strike in China's backyard. But even if they did, it wouldn't matter, because the United States has already all but promised to provide South Korea with nuclear retaliation capacity. So all China could do would be to sit by and watch North Korea evaporate into a radioactive wasteland.


Yeah, China's cautious there. They DO have a no first nuclear strike policy, and they're not dumb enough to get into a nuclear shooting match with the US. If one breaks out, they're gonna write North Korea off as a loss and call it a day. Concerns will revolve around things like "where will the fallout land" and stuff like that.

Of course, I think North Korean leadership knows this, and thus will inevitibly stop short. Lotta blustering, lotta incidents, but actually launching an invasion or a nuke would be the end for them. They need external enemies to blame for the hardship, but they don't need to ACTUALLY fight them. Just...to continue the cycle.

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sevenperforce
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Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

Postby sevenperforce » Tue Jan 12, 2016 5:22 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:China's cautious there. They DO have a no first nuclear strike policy, and they're not dumb enough to get into a nuclear shooting match with the US. If one breaks out, they're gonna write North Korea off as a loss and call it a day. Concerns will revolve around things like "where will the fallout land" and stuff like that.

Of course, I think North Korean leadership knows this, and thus will inevitibly stop short. Lotta blustering, lotta incidents, but actually launching an invasion or a nuke would be the end for them. They need external enemies to blame for the hardship, but they don't need to ACTUALLY fight them. Just...to continue the cycle.

If we assume rational choice theory applies to Kim Jung Un. Which is probably the only reasonable assumption we can make.

There is a small but active possibility that Kim believes he actually possesses a hydrogen bomb and that we are actually terrified of it. Neither of these things are true; his "hydrogen bomb" had only two thirds the yield of the pure-uranium Little Boy and half the yield of Trinity and Fat Man, and he has virtually no way of getting it anywhere near US soil. But if he believes his nukes serve as a deterrent to US involvement on the Korean peninsula, he may be emboldened to do more than what we will tolerate...like shelling Seoul or mounting an invasion.

And even if Kim knows his nukes aren't a viable deterrent, he may still be forced to escalate the situation bit by bit. South Korea's propaganda broadcasts are claimed to be acts of war and violations of the truce, so if Seoul continues them (or similar actions), Kim may have to do more and more aggressive things to keep up appearances...which will only result in further responses by Seoul. Such a sequence of events could very well push Kim over the edge into something dangerous enough to provoke direct US military strikes.

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Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jan 12, 2016 6:48 pm UTC

*shrug* Even a single h-bomb, without a long range delivery system, isn't much of a deterrent. It's a problem, sure. The kind that attracts bad attention, if sufficient instability exists, and ends up being a target, but...I don't believe he can cobble together an actually functional ICBM. Still gonna end one way.

I don't think he's inherently irrational, just...constrained by the nature of the power structure there.

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Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

Postby sevenperforce » Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:05 pm UTC

Tyndmyr wrote:*shrug* Even a single h-bomb, without a long range delivery system, isn't much of a deterrent. It's a problem, sure. The kind that attracts bad attention, if sufficient instability exists, and ends up being a target, but...I don't believe he can cobble together an actually functional ICBM. Still gonna end one way.

As far as payload delivery systems are concerned, SpaceX has had a leg up on North Korea since 2008.

Kim's actions can probably be safely modeled with rational choice theory. But if he believes that he actually has a hydrogen bomb ("Oh, glorious leader, this is TOTALLY a thermonuclear weapon!"), or if he thinks his little Roman Candles have a greater capability than they do ("Oh, glorious leader, we can TOTALLY hit Obama's bedroom window with this missile!"), then he will grossly overestimate our reluctance to respond by force to his actions.

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Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

Postby Tyndmyr » Tue Jan 12, 2016 8:29 pm UTC

Bad feedback is always going to be a problem in the sort of power structure that punishes undesired news/actions. Not a lotta motivation to correct unrealistic expectations, yeah.

Sooner or later, that'll result in the regime crumbling in one way or another. The question is mostly how messy the collapse is. I'd bet "very".

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Re: North Korea conducts 4th Nuclear Test

Postby sardia » Fri May 27, 2016 2:40 am UTC

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/27/busin ... .html?_r=0
Security researchers have tied the recent spate of digital breaches on Asian banks to North Korea, in what they say appears to be the first known case of a nation using digital attacks for financial gain.
In three recent attacks on banks, researchers working for the digital security firm Symantec said, the thieves deployed a rare piece of code that had been seen in only two previous cases: the hacking attack at Sony Pictures in December 2014 and attacks on banks and media companies in South Korea in 2013. Government officials in the United States and South Korea have blamed those attacks on North Korea, though they have not provided independent verification.
On Thursday, the Symantec researchers said they had uncovered evidence linking an attack at a bank in the Philippines last October with attacks on Tien Phong Bank in Vietnam in December and one in February on the central bank of Bangladesh that resulted in the theft of more than $81 million.
“If you believe North Korea was behind those attacks, then the bank attacks were also the work of North Korea,” said Eric Chien, a security researcher at Symantec, who found that identical code was used across all three attacks.
“We’ve never seen an attack where a nation-state has gone in and stolen money,” Mr. Chien added. “This is a first.” “North Korea is hurting for money,” said Herb Lin, the senior research scholar for cyberpolicy and security at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation and a fellow at Stanford’s Hoover Institution. “They’ve been cut out of the financial system because of sanctions. They had been among the best counterfeiters in the world, and only recently have they been stymied in the counterfeiting of superdollars. If it’s true that we’ve cut them off from that, then it’s not at all surprising that they would turn to something else.”
Remember the Asian bank hacks where millions were stolen? Turns out it was the North Koreans in the first recorded case of state sponsored robbery for financial gain. (China stealing tech secrets somehow doesn't count). Why bother with an economy when you can just steal millions.


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