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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Dorvan » Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:18 am

Hm, the current rate of combat casualties from the ongoing conflict is very low, and there's far from any guarantee that even if reunification was the result of a war, there's far from any guarantee that the standard of living for North Koreans would be raised (as South Koreans economy may well be a steaming pile of rubble at that point.

Forget the band-aid philosophy, what you're suggesting is more like the hacksaw surgery approach.
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Fivelives » Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:03 pm

Like I said, it'll take a few generations to integrate, even after a short and decisive war. Like with everything in life, there's always a chance things will go tits up, too.
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Candiru » Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:18 pm

A short and decisive war would not unify the country. It would be an occupation of one half by the other. It would very likely result in ongoing insurrection and civil unrest for a long time. You can't unify countries with a war. In the modern age of explosives, it is so easy for a few individuals to cause massive damage. They are better left as separate countries that slowly work towards reconciliation and reunification over several generations, or just remain two separate countries but with less frosty relations.
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Fridmarr » Sun Nov 28, 2010 6:59 pm

Fivelives wrote:Like I said, it'll take a few generations to integrate, even after a short and decisive war. Like with everything in life, there's always a chance things will go tits up, too.

Well I guess what Dorvan is saying though is that if you took the current death rate, the sun would likely go super nova before the death toll would match what a war could bring in just its first few hours. So that doesn't seem to qualify as "rip off the band aid" approach, unless you are talking about applying a band aid to someone you first threw into a wood chipper.

Candiru wrote:A short and decisive war would not unify the country. It would be an occupation of one half by the other. It would very likely result in ongoing insurrection and civil unrest for a long time. You can't unify countries with a war. In the modern age of explosives, it is so easy for a few individuals to cause massive damage. They are better left as separate countries that slowly work towards reconciliation and reunification over several generations, or just remain two separate countries but with less frosty relations.

Well this situation is a little bit different I think. Maybe after half a century of being closed off to anything other than NK propaganda there's been a big change, but the populace on both sides have been in favor of reunification. They really don't even have to be under the same government to be "unified" though.
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Fivelives » Sun Nov 28, 2010 7:37 pm

I already said it would take a few generations for a "true" unification. Where was I unclear about this?

Yes, if NK won the war it would likely be an "occupation" until the populace overthrew the NK dictatorship. How long, after being infected by SK culture, do you honestly think it would take for that to happen? I'll answer: Not very fucking long.

If SK won the war, it would enter NK as a rescuer rather than as a conqueror, with medicine, technology and liberal ideology and it wouldn't be an occupation - it would be similar to what we did in Iraq, with the main difference being that the people who are rebuilding your country are your relatives. They would uninstall the dictatorship and replace it with the democratic rule seen in SK. Oh, and instead of trying Saddam Hussein, they'd be trying Kim Jong Il.

Yes, there will be a cultural gap. All it takes for a family to become citizens of the country that they live in rather than the country that they left is 3 generations:

Immigrant generation: keeps to the "old ways" because it's all that they know
Second generation: keeps to the "old ways" because they're afraid of losing it, but accepts the "new ways"
Third generation: thinks "what old ways? We're here now, we belong here"
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Fridmarr » Sun Nov 28, 2010 11:41 pm

Fivelives wrote:I already said it would take a few generations for a "true" unification. Where was I unclear about this?

No where, but then what does that have to do with the price of tea in China? I don't think Theck, Dorvan, or myself are concerned with issues about the reunification process should they go to war, but rather with the massive death toll that the war itself could bring. You're basically advocating that they go to blows now, instead of a long drawn out conflict, your "band aid" approach.

The current long drawn out solution is world isolation of North Korea, until they are forced to let in liberal concepts in order to stave off economic issues. Admittedly, with China's support and North Korea's contempt for their own people, that approach may not work, but it does put the onus on North Korea and it's people, with relatively little violence outside of North Korea.

If they go to war, there are two likely scenarios. First both sides back off using their full arsenal (likely), and you basically rehash the original Korean war. Tons of people killed, probably a US intervention required because in this scenario North Korea and their massive military will likely win the ground war and want to push into South Korea. Should South Korea win and push into the North, then China steps in and halts that. Either way we are right back to where we are now, plus a few hundred thousand dead, possibly including some Americans.

The other option is that one side or the other unleashes their arsenal. In this case we have millions upon millions dead, and possibly a reunification occurs when it's over, although it could be in the wrong direction, and the potential escalation could be pretty scary. Since one of bigger benefits is your claim that if North Korea is busy fighting South Korea, they won't hit us, what if North Korea wins?

In either situation, I just don't see how the ends justify the means. I can understand your desire for us not to be so burdened there, but I don't think advocating for them to fight it out is much of a solution and I don't think it will lessen our burden in the end either.
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Fivelives » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:23 am

If you're sure that China won't intervene if NK invades SK, then let NK invade SK. Their troop levels aren't that different (both of their armies number in the 5 million range). Reunification isn't going to come peacefully, or it already would have come by now - it's been almost 60 years (1951 is when the Korean war started) and it hasn't happened yet.

Let them fight their own damn civil war without interfering. Period. Get China to do the same. We can't afford to either fight there, or continue supporting them, or rebuilding their country, and it's not our problem.
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:04 am

Fivelives wrote:If you're sure that China won't intervene if NK invades SK, then let NK invade SK. Their troop levels aren't that different (both of their armies number in the 5 million range). Reunification isn't going to come peacefully, or it already would have come by now - it's been almost 60 years (1951 is when the Korean war started) and it hasn't happened yet.

Let them fight their own damn civil war without interfering. Period. Get China to do the same. We can't afford to either fight there, or continue supporting them, or rebuilding their country, and it's not our problem.

Really, what's the time limit on that exactly?

You think we'd be there if we didn't think NK had a very good chance at winning? South Korea, under your system has no chance to win at all, they can only be invaded, but can't turn the tables because China only agrees to stay out of it if NK is winning. So South Korea is left to be the victims of constant attacks without much recourse, or worse (for both of us) them losing.

Financially speaking, being in South Korea isn't something we can't afford. There is plenty to be cut from our budget that doesn't have nearly the ROI that aiding South Korea does.
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Dantriges » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:34 am

AFAIK SK has by far the better equipment. Abrams against T62 is a difference.
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Sabindeus » Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:36 am

Fridmarr wrote:Since one of bigger benefits is your claim that if North Korea is busy fighting South Korea, they won't hit us, what if North Korea wins?

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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Fivelives » Mon Nov 29, 2010 9:59 am

If North Korea wins, then they'll have their hands full for quite awhile settling the region and dealing with civil unrest. I imagine that China would probably step in and help the US provide a police force in this situation too.

China would absolutely relish the chance to improve world opinion of them.

There's also the technological advantage that SK has over NK. We have one of the smaller military forces in the world, but our technological advantage is what wins wars for us - other countries are still going strong on Vietnam era equipment, whereas SK has had the US occupation force providing them with technology and arms (just like we've done in Germany and Japan, the other nations we still occupy today). Also, I imagine that if we were to withdraw from SK to prevent China from fighting with or helping NK, we would mysteriously "lose" all of the materiel that we have there today.
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:24 pm

Fivelives wrote:If North Korea wins, then they'll have their hands full for quite awhile settling the region and dealing with civil unrest. I imagine that China would probably step in and help the US provide a police force in this situation too.

What? If NK wins they will kick us out and go about slaughtering the dissenters as they do now.

Fivelives wrote:There's also the technological advantage that SK has over NK. We have one of the smaller military forces in the world, but our technological advantage is what wins wars for us - other countries are still going strong on Vietnam era equipment, whereas SK has had the US occupation force providing them with technology and arms (just like we've done in Germany and Japan, the other nations we still occupy today). Also, I imagine that if we were to withdraw from SK to prevent China from fighting with or helping NK, we would mysteriously "lose" all of the materiel that we have there today.

We don't exactly know what the technological advantage is, but NK will have unfettered access to China's modern equipment too. Not to mention their nuclear capabilities and the fact that they can level Seoul with their current armaments without ever even crossing the DMZ. Besides given you allowing China to step in as soon as SK pushes into NK, there is no scenario in which SK can win. The best they could do is lose potentially millions of people just to preserve the status quo. I fail to see how this scenario is even worth contemplating.
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Fivelives » Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:10 pm

Make up your mind - either China won't support NK as the aggressor in a war, or they will. If they do, then it's doomsday for all, mind you.

You're also underestimating the power of culture. SK has a thriving, free culture - that will appeal to the NK citizenry, which is where the revolution will happen. It won't be NK freely slaughtering dissenters, because the dissenters will be North Korean too, and the more harsh they are on them, the more dissent there will be. I have a feeling I'm not communicating this point well enough - look at what happened in Germany, for example. Cultural influence is a huge factor that you're completely neglecting to take into account.

China's military technology hasn't improved much at all since Vietnam - and why would it have? Until recently, the Chinese industry and production capabilities were bordering on the third world, and their recent industrialization hasn't had time to settle yet. There's also the fact that China is a country that, while incredibly large (both in population and land size) is notoriously poor when it comes to resources. Their primary imports are steel, coal, and oil. If they don't have the raw materials to manufacture enough of their "advanced weaponry", then they'll effectively be crippled. Supporting NK in a war for the Chinese would be a logistical nightmare. Look at all the difficulty they had in controlling Tibet and inner Mongolia, simply because of the supply lines. That won't change if they move in to support NK - if anything, it'll get even more problematic. Another thing: why would they focus on increasing their military technology when they've always relied on massively superior numbers to win their fights?

To wit: Chinese tanks vs South Korean tanks.

China has always favored quantity over quality, and their military hardware shows this. As fortified as the entire peninsula is, it will be a major undertaking for either south or north to dominate the air, despite China's arguably superior dogfighters. A war in Korea will be fought primarily on the ground, assuming the US doesn't get involved. Which we shouldn't. I'm also pretty confident that if the US stays out of the conflict, so will China.

North Korea's nuclear capability is a worry, I'll grant. But that would be a rather pyrrhic victory, don't you agree? As far as leveling Seoul without crossing the DMZ, SK can do the same to Pyongyang as well.

Oh, and for those of you that thought China would be reluctant to back North Korea in a conflict, here you go: A little crow pie. The only hope I see of China staying out of it is if the US convinces them to stay out of it by offering to stay out of it ourselves.
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Dorvan » Mon Nov 29, 2010 4:45 pm

Fivelives wrote:You're also underestimating the power of culture. SK has a thriving, free culture - that will appeal to the NK citizenry, which is where the revolution will happen. It won't be NK freely slaughtering dissenters, because the dissenters will be North Korean too, and the more harsh they are on them, the more dissent there will be. I have a feeling I'm not communicating this point well enough - look at what happened in Germany, for example. Cultural influence is a huge factor that you're completely neglecting to take into account.


Culture doesn't even enter into the picture yet, because you still haven't addressed the glaring flaw in your rationale....namely that any armed conflict will lead to far greater loss of life than the current state of affairs.

China's military technology hasn't improved much at all since Vietnam - and why would it have? Until recently, the Chinese industry and production capabilities were bordering on the third world, and their recent industrialization hasn't had time to settle yet. There's also the fact that China is a country that, while incredibly large (both in population and land size) is notoriously poor when it comes to resources. Their primary imports are steel, coal, and oil. If they don't have the raw materials to manufacture enough of their "advanced weaponry", then they'll effectively be crippled. Supporting NK in a war for the Chinese would be a logistical nightmare. Look at all the difficulty they had in controlling Tibet and inner Mongolia, simply because of the supply lines. That won't change if they move in to support NK - if anything, it'll get even more problematic. Another thing: why would they focus on increasing their military technology when they've always relied on massively superior numbers to win their fights?


I don't know enough about the Chinese military to give an sort of assessment of it's strength. This entire paragraph is irrelevant to my line of reasoning, however.

North Korea's nuclear capability is a worry, I'll grant. But that would be a rather pyrrhic victory, don't you agree? As far as leveling Seoul without crossing the DMZ, SK can do the same to Pyongyang as well.


If the US unconditionally resolves not to get involved in the conflict, I don't see what's so pyrrhic about the use of nuclear weapons. In fact, a small nuclear strike followed by a hasty surrender would probably be one of the best case scenarios in terms of loss in that situation. I really don't understand what you're getting at: somehow both sides go to an all out war with each other, yet neither tries to strikes the others' capital? Huh? You're not making any sense here.

Oh, and for those of you that thought China would be reluctant to back North Korea in a conflict, here you go: A little crow pie. The only hope I see of China staying out of it is if the US convinces them to stay out of it by offering to stay out of it ourselves.


I will be eating no crow, thank you very much. There's a huge gulf between sabre-rattling and armed conflict...the fact the your citing the former and evidence of willingness to engage in the latter simply underlines you lack of understanding of international diplomacy.
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Fivelives » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:10 pm

Culture doesn't even enter into the picture yet, because you still haven't addressed the glaring flaw in your rationale....namely that any armed conflict will lead to far greater loss of life than the current state of affairs.


You mean to say that you prefer having an insane, dying dictator of a nuclear power that's absolutely pissed at the US and vowed to destroy us over an armed conflict that will result in unification of a nation that will more than likely be friendly with the US? It's not all about the loss of life. Frankly (and this will sound callous), I could care less about the loss of life for Koreans. What I do care about is ensuring that WWIII isn't sparked off.

If the US unconditionally resolves not to get involved in the conflict, I don't see what's so pyrrhic about the use of nuclear weapons. In fact, a small nuclear strike followed by a hasty surrender would probably be one of the best case scenarios in terms of loss in that situation. I really don't understand what you're getting at: somehow both sides go to an all out war with each other, yet neither tries to strikes the others' capital? Huh? You're not making any sense here.


What would be pyrrhic is that the Korean peninsula is small enough that the fallout would affect both North and South Korea. Any nuclear strike done by Jong Il will be overdone - the equivalent of swatting a fly with an RPG. I don't disagree with you regarding NK's ability to strike Seoul, just saying that SK has the same ability to strike at the capital of NK, Pyongyang. And again, I don't subscribe to the bleeding heart "OMG LIVES WILL BE ENDED" philosophy. Of course people are going to die; at this point it is inevitable that any reunification in Korea will be accompanied by rivers, if not oceans, of blood.

I will be eating no crow, thank you very much. There's a huge gulf between sabre-rattling and armed conflict...the fact the your citing the former and evidence of willingness to engage in the latter simply underlines you lack of understanding of international diplomacy.


China is very straightforward when it comes to saber rattling. If they say "hey, if you do this, we'll take it amiss" then if you do that, they take it amiss. Chinese thinking has always been based on the belief in their absolute invincibility, and unlike certain countries, the Chinese have never been proven wrong.
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