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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Dantriges » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:14 pm

I think NK stopped having any hopes to resolve the conflict in a military way in the 70s. AFAIK most people in the know assume that SK would stomp over NK in a military conflict without nukes and perhaps even with nukes included. It´s not like NK has stockpiles full of nukes with enough carrier systems to actually deliver them. The loss of life would be huge but an all out war, with soldiers invading your homes is a lot different and incites a huge response and the huge losses if teh war turns hot and is inevitable would be deemed acceptable. So I don´t think that South Koreans would just curl into fetal position and let the occupation be unresisted.

I don´t think that they can actually conquer the south and keep it occupied and pacified. The US has many difficulties in Iraq and Afghanistan with people who don´t like them being there and I imagine tha the regime would have a lot of nightmares with SK cultures affecting the North and resistance in the South.

So NK can´t win in a military conflict, even if they win. Perhaps they gain the riches of the South but it is a lot different extorting stuff from your nighbour than adinistering it and keep it running. Their regime is based on exterior threats and extorting their neighbours. The easiest and only neighbour to extort and paint as the enemy is South Korea. Whom do they want to threaten and extort otherwise? Japan? Won´t put up with it and the US can´t lose another ally in the area. Russia? Yeah sure. China? Oh yeah good luck with that.
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Dantriges » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:20 pm

Hm most stuff cited is either 60 years old or internal stuff. It´s easy to invade and occupy a country with no significant allies or resources someone wants. Also the climate in the 50s was different from 2010.
Last edited by Dantriges on Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Dorvan » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:27 pm

Fivelives wrote: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 that's you're only concern, then you have nothing to worry about. As we've already covered, China and the US have huge incentives not to go to war with each other. At the superpower level, the worst case we're looking at would be another cold war, and even that is extremely unlikely

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.


Setting aside the very short-term view of history (who's to say that the Koreas in 50 years would look exactly like they do now? 100 years?), even if I accept that premise, the clear answer is that reunification should not be a goal in that case.


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.


Yeah, because putting down minimally/unarmed internal rebellions is the same thing as declaring war against a nuclear superpower...*that's* your ace in the hole? Funny, I thought Taiwanese independence ran amiss of the Chinese government, wonder why that hasn't been handled already?
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Dorvan » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:27 pm

Fivelives wrote: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 that's you're only concern, then you have nothing to worry about. As we've already covered, China and the US have huge incentives not to go to war with each other. At the superpower level, the worst case we're looking at would be another cold war, and even that is extremely unlikely

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.


Setting aside the very short-term view of history (who's to say that the Koreas in 50 years would look exactly like they do now? 100 years?), even if I accept that premise, the clear answer is that reunification should not be a goal in that case.


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.


Yeah, because putting down minimally/unarmed internal rebellions is the same thing as declaring war against a nuclear superpower...*that's* your ace in the hole? Funny, I thought Taiwanese independence ran amiss of the Chinese government, wonder why that hasn't been handled already?
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Dorvan » Mon Nov 29, 2010 5:27 pm

Fivelives wrote: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 that's you're only concern, then you have nothing to worry about. As we've already covered, China and the US have huge incentives not to go to war with each other. At the superpower level, the worst case we're looking at would be another cold war, and even that is extremely unlikely

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.


Setting aside the very short-term view of history (who's to say that the Koreas in 50 years would look exactly like they do now? 100 years?), even if I accept that premise, the clear answer is that reunification should not be a goal in that case.


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.


Yeah, because putting down minimally/unarmed internal rebellions is the same thing as declaring war against a nuclear superpower...*that's* your ace in the hole? Funny, I thought Taiwanese independence ran amiss of the Chinese government, wonder why that hasn't been handled already?
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:01 pm

Fivelives wrote: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.
China won't intervene if NK invades SK, but they will if SK pushes back across the DMZ, we've been there and done that before. Either way, SK has to beat both NK on NK soil (which they won't) and also China to "win". If we pull out NK only has to beat SK, I don't think NK will win either, but there will be a lot of death if they try and nothing will change politically.


Fivelives wrote:China's military technology hasn't improved much at all since Vietnam - and why would it have?
Not true. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... =102371127 (and that's almost 2 years old)

Dantriges wrote:I think NK stopped having any hopes to resolve the conflict in a military way in the 70s. AFAIK most people in the know assume that SK would stomp over NK in a military conflict without nukes and perhaps even with nukes included.

Define the theater, because nobody I know thinks that even the US could go into NK and defeat them without significant problems. Topographically that place is a nightmare to invade. If you are suggesting that SK can keep NK out, yeah I'd agree but that's what we have now, just with a few million less deaths, so why bother with the alternative?
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Brekkie » Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:15 pm

Sure is a lot of alarmism in this thread.

Few things to add from my perspective as a Marine Embassy Security Guard working directly for the Department of State:

-China and the US have really close ties, despite what Fox news would like you to believe. We, the US, hold most of the cards in that relationship, for various reasons which I can't really get into too much, but a few big factors are that our economies are too closely tied for either side to afford a degeneration of diplomatic relations. China's economy would come out the worse of severed ties, and they are simply not strong enough or developed enough yet to be able to sustain that kind of blow. Additionally, if it ever came down to it, all the US would have to do to punch china in the dick would be for us to default on all our debt.

-The American military's strength, at least in the case of ground forces, is superior training, not technology. Gadgets are nice, and technology has become a big part of the American cultural zeitgeist when it comes to war, but to be honest most of that stuff sucks in reality. Special operators, Marine infantry, and the like, use very little of it in practical warfare. There certainly isn't some massive technological advantage for infantry verses insurgent combat. The closest you could arguably come is the M16 verses the Ak-47, but the M16 was a weapon invented in the 50s.

-We are certainly not "one of the smallest militarys, like fivelives claimed. That's simply factually inaccurate. We are one of the largest, in both spending and personnel, and certainly in presence.

-The North Korean military capability is wildly overestimated. They have nukes, and relatively short-ranged delivery systems for them, but we have the capability to shoot down anything they launch before it can reach any target of significance. That is the primary purpose of the aforementioned carrier battle group. They have nothing in their military arsenal that we do not have a direct counter to, including the entrenched artillery positions.

-North Korea is on it's last legs. It is practically strangled by the sanctions it has been under for so long, and lacks the resources for any sort of conflict. It is merely posturing in an attempt to be taken more seriously, and to attempt to lend more legitimacy to what will ultimately be a weaker successor to it's current head of state.

-South Korea wants our military presence there. They (Sk) have more control over their situation than is often portrayed.

-The primary reason China supports NK at all is because if NK collapses and is absorbed by SK, it will create a unified, militarily strong, democratic, capitalistic nation positioned in China's strategic underbelly. This is a problem not only for geo-strategic reasons, but for social reasons too. China is still a communist government, and the inevitable social exchange with a unified Korea would cause increased calls for social reforms within Chinese society. China prefers a weak NK to a unified democratic Korea, but is not in much of a position to prevent that outcome should it occur and be backed by the US.

-A lot of the discussion here is missing the point. The global economy has made it so that actual military conflicts between major powers are unlikelier than ever before in history. World War 3 will be fought by legions of spies and counterintelligence agents, and by computer hackers and cybersecurity specialists. Direct military conflicts, when they occur, will be won or lost before any shots are fired by the actions of the aforementioned, and will likely be fought through third-party puppet nations.
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Brekkie » Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:20 pm

A couple clarifications:

-I can't envision any situation where anyone would want to invade NK.
The possible outcomes are either 1) NK does nothing, 2) NK invades SK and is utterly countered in every way, while the Chinese stand by and do not help, resulting in the humiliation of NK and the likely collapse of their government, or 3) NKs government weakens to the point where it collapses, is overthrown, and is absorbed by SK.

-This is all posturing for position. Nothing serious is likely to happen.
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Fivelives » Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:35 pm

If that's you're only concern, then you have nothing to worry about. As we've already covered, China and the US have huge incentives not to go to war with each other. At the superpower level, the worst case we're looking at would be another cold war, and even that is extremely unlikely


China is dependent on foreign trade for raw materials and oil imports - they import 25% of their oil requirements from Iraq, the US, and Russia, and 60% of their steel from the US. That's what would crush them more than the economic ties.

Setting aside the very short-term view of history (who's to say that the Koreas in 50 years would look exactly like they do now? 100 years?), even if I accept that premise, the clear answer is that reunification should not be a goal in that case.


My entire argument on this point boils down to this: we had absolutely no right to interfere in Korea's civil war to begin with, and everyone should just butt the hell out and let them finish it, finally. Peaceful reunification will never happen; it's a pipe dream, so long as NK remains a dictatorship where the dictators have absolute power. They will never give that up for the goal of reunification - unless of course, it's reunification by absorption.

Yeah, because putting down minimally/unarmed internal rebellions is the same thing as declaring war against a nuclear superpower...*that's* your ace in the hole? Funny, I thought Taiwanese independence ran amiss of the Chinese government, wonder why that hasn't been handled already?


No, that's 3 examples of China backing up their threats with actions. Taiwan's independence isn't assured, by a long shot. China takes a long view, and always has.
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Fivelives » Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:42 pm

China won't intervene if NK invades SK, but they will if SK pushes back across the DMZ, we've been there and done that before. Either way, SK has to beat both NK on NK soil (which they won't) and also China to "win". If we pull out NK only has to beat SK, I don't think NK will win either, but there will be a lot of death if they try and nothing will change politically.


There's a chance that China will back out of the Koreas if we do. It's not beyond the realm of possibility, after all. That's what I said in my last post, if I'm not mistaken. Goldfish memories abound, along with selective reading here!

Not true. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... =102371127 (and that's almost 2 years old)


All that link said is that China is being secretive about their military power. Well, except the bit about where they bought just under 200 advanced jet fighters from Russia, and the specs of the tanks they're using (which if you know anything at all about tanks, you'd know those aren't even rolling coffins - they're rolling DEATH TRAPS). What they're keeping quiet is the strength and disposition of their forces, not the technology behind them - which is what I linked. Their navy is still a joke, but it's like the 40 midgets vs a lion competition. They don't need high quality to beat us when they can just sacrifice enough of their force to take us out. That's been a viable strategy since at LEAST WWII, if not earlier.
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Dantriges » Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:47 pm

Brekkie wrote:-The American military's strength, at least in the case of ground forces, is superior training, not technology. Gadgets are nice, and technology has become a big part of the American cultural zeitgeist when it comes to war, but to be honest most of that stuff sucks in reality. Special operators, Marine infantry, and the like, use very little of it in practical warfare. There certainly isn't some massive technological advantage for infantry verses insurgent combat. The closest you could arguably come is the M16 verses the Ak-47, but the M16 was a weapon invented in the 50s.


Logistics, recon, air forces, close air support and tanks all profit from better technology, ground trops benefit from them or are we talking about another insurgent peacekeeping operation yet again? Better ask the South Koreans to do that, they know the customs, language, are probably more welcome than an american peacekeeping force (not sure if the North Koreans would actually like SK troops in their country, but probably better than american G.I.s) and so on and are probably better in smoothing over tight situations. I think nobody wants US troops as occupation troops in North Korea.

But yes it is rather unlikely that a major war will be fought between major nations unless the resources are running dry and the situation is more bleak than now. At the moment everything is linked by trade and unless you attack an isolated country, everyone, including the invader will suffer.
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Fridmarr » Mon Nov 29, 2010 7:51 pm

Fivelives wrote:
China won't intervene if NK invades SK, but they will if SK pushes back across the DMZ, we've been there and done that before. Either way, SK has to beat both NK on NK soil (which they won't) and also China to "win". If we pull out NK only has to beat SK, I don't think NK will win either, but there will be a lot of death if they try and nothing will change politically.


There's a chance that China will back out of the Koreas if we do. It's not beyond the realm of possibility, after all. That's what I said in my last post, if I'm not mistaken. Goldfish memories abound, along with selective reading here!
And a heavy dose of delusion. There's a chance that my aunt might grow balls and become my uncle. It's roughly the same chance as China standing by and watching and watching SK invade NK without lifting a finger. Of course, based on your own posts rallying about some treaty that means China must engage or lose all face to the world, you already know all this. So perhaps you're playing devils advocate now? Interesting strategy inside one thread.
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Fivelives » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:05 pm

Few things to add from my perspective as a Marine Embassy Security Guard working directly for the Department of State


Your guesses are as good as ours! Welcome to the thread, Brekkie.

China and the US have really close ties, despite what Fox news would like you to believe. We, the US, hold most of the cards in that relationship, for various reasons which I can't really get into too much, but a few big factors are that our economies are too closely tied for either side to afford a degeneration of diplomatic relations. China's economy would come out the worse of severed ties, and they are simply not strong enough or developed enough yet to be able to sustain that kind of blow. Additionally, if it ever came down to it, all the US would have to do to punch china in the dick would be for us to default on all our debt.


We wouldn't be able to weather the economic blow either, Brekkie. If the US collapses, so does the rest of the world, putting everyone on a pretty even footing. If China is smart, they could capitalize on that and take advantage of the "reset", while coming out ahead in prestige - after all, it would be the US defaulting on the debt, not them being bad loansharks and trying to collect an uncollectable debt. Our credit would be absolutely wrecked, and the rest of our markers would most likely be called in.

The American military's strength, at least in the case of ground forces, is superior training, not technology. Gadgets are nice, and technology has become a big part of the American cultural zeitgeist when it comes to war, but to be honest most of that stuff sucks in reality. Special operators, Marine infantry, and the like, use very little of it in practical warfare. There certainly isn't some massive technological advantage for infantry verses insurgent combat. The closest you could arguably come is the M16 verses the Ak-47, but the M16 was a weapon invented in the 50s.


I'm going to disagree here. Our training is nowhere near to the standards of many other countries, despite what propaganda would lead you to believe. I've been through it - twice - and for two separate jobs, both of them combat line jobs (chem weapons specialist and m1a1 abrams crewmember). Our technology is vastly superior to the majority of the world; just look at the munitions we're using in the field today. Our training, though, is lacking - because it doesn't adequately prepare our combat units for actual combat. And we aren't using the M16 anymore, for the most part - we're using the M-4 carbines. Granted, they're basically the same weapon, but improvements have been made (such as scope mounts, weight reduction, etc) that make it a superior weapon. Besides, the AK-47 was, is, and always will be, superior to the M16. I have a feeling though, that that can be argued until the cows come home, so let it be known that is my opinion.

We are certainly not "one of the smallest militarys, like fivelives claimed. That's simply factually inaccurate. We are one of the largest, in both spending and personnel, and certainly in presence.


In this conflict, we are the smallest military forces involved, by far: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_co ... _of_troops (sort that by the totals - the Koreas have 8 and 9 million, and China has almost 3.5 million plus a billion or so they can conscript and send out).

The North Korean military capability is wildly overestimated. They have nukes, and relatively short-ranged delivery systems for them, but we have the capability to shoot down anything they launch before it can reach any target of significance. That is the primary purpose of the aforementioned carrier battle group. They have nothing in their military arsenal that we do not have a direct counter to, including the entrenched artillery positions.


Even SK has a direct counter to their entrenched artillery positions - positions of their own. It's the same philosophy as the buildup during the cold war: MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction). I don't think Kim Jong will carpetbomb Seoul into dust, it would be far preferable for him to be able to march into it as a conqueror and erect statues to his glory.

North Korea is on it's last legs. It is practically strangled by the sanctions it has been under for so long, and lacks the resources for any sort of conflict. It is merely posturing in an attempt to be taken more seriously, and to attempt to lend more legitimacy to what will ultimately be a weaker successor to it's current head of state.


That's what makes them so dangerous now. There's nothing as dangerous as a cornered animal, and that's exactly what NK has become. Especially with the looming death of "dear leader". A serious attack by NK isn't outside the realm of probability - far from it, in fact!

South Korea wants our military presence there. They (Sk) have more control over their situation than is often portrayed.


I don't think anyone (myself included) ever said they didn't have any control over their situation. We are a "friendly" occupying force, after all. If push came to shove though, that could change. Also, of course they want our presence there, we're the only thing between them and the ironclad jackboots of the NK/China alliance being rammed down their throats. Or so they think, anyway.

The primary reason China supports NK at all is because if NK collapses and is absorbed by SK, it will create a unified, militarily strong, democratic, capitalistic nation positioned in China's strategic underbelly. This is a problem not only for geo-strategic reasons, but for social reasons too. China is still a communist government, and the inevitable social exchange with a unified Korea would cause increased calls for social reforms within Chinese society. China prefers a weak NK to a unified democratic Korea, but is not in much of a position to prevent that outcome should it occur and be backed by the US.


We agree on this point. I mentioned this a couple pages back - close to the beginning of the thread, I think! Although, I'm pretty sure that China is a communist government in name only, with capitalism having taken firm root in their society and more cultural contamination from tourists (both theirs and "ours") or exchange students, etc, they've already had a lot of social reform.

A lot of the discussion here is missing the point. The global economy has made it so that actual military conflicts between major powers are unlikelier than ever before in history. World War 3 will be fought by legions of spies and counterintelligence agents, and by computer hackers and cybersecurity specialists. Direct military conflicts, when they occur, will be won or lost before any shots are fired by the actions of the aforementioned, and will likely be fought through third-party puppet nations.


Kinda like Korea vs Korea, eh? And China's hijacking of internet traffic and attempts to force Google to release private information. But on the "what if?" front - who says China wouldn't be willing to hit the "stocks fall, everybody dies" button and reset the global economy if things look dire for them?
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Fivelives » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:07 pm

Fridmarr wrote:
Fivelives wrote:
China won't intervene if NK invades SK, but they will if SK pushes back across the DMZ, we've been there and done that before. Either way, SK has to beat both NK on NK soil (which they won't) and also China to "win". If we pull out NK only has to beat SK, I don't think NK will win either, but there will be a lot of death if they try and nothing will change politically.


There's a chance that China will back out of the Koreas if we do. It's not beyond the realm of possibility, after all. That's what I said in my last post, if I'm not mistaken. Goldfish memories abound, along with selective reading here!
And a heavy dose of delusion. There's a chance that my aunt might grow balls and become my uncle. It's roughly the same chance as China standing by and watching and watching SK invade NK without lifting a finger. Of course, based on your own posts rallying about some treaty that means China must engage or lose all face to the world, you already know all this. So perhaps you're playing devils advocate now? Interesting strategy inside one thread.


I'm basing all this on what I perceive to be the best possible outcome diplomatically, i.e. if we can convince China to stay out of it while we stay out of it. Do I think it's likely? Not very. Is it possible? It's eminently possible, even if unlikely.
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Re: South/North Korean incident.

Postby Koatanga » Mon Nov 29, 2010 8:32 pm

Breaking news:


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