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North Korea Launches Long-Range Rocket 384

virtualXTC writes with news that North Korea, in defiance of international pressure to halt development and testing of long-range weaponry, launched a multi-stage rocket which successfully followed its intended trajectory. The North Korean government claims a weather satellite was placed into orbit. "South Korea has confirmed the launch time, and Japan has confirmed that the rocket went over Okinawa. Two stages of the rocket have successfully avoided other countries and fallen into the sea. While it is still unconfirmed as to whether or not North Korea actually put a satellite into orbit, it seems clear that sanctions have failed to curb North Korea's quest for more powerful weaponry."
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North Korea Launches Long-Range Rocket

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  • by Tastecicles ( 1153671 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @01:32AM (#42257429)

    I wonder if that's because North Korea supplies China with all that yellowcake they got buried under there?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @01:42AM (#42257471)

    That assumes other countries don't attack the US first.

    And if we discount the US is the big bad bully of the world; how about addressing the Mumbai terrorist attack? India is a nuclear power, but that didn't stop Pakistani terrorists from attacking. Or the countless IRA bombings of England? England is a nuclear power but that didn't stop Irish nationalists from attacking. Or the Beslan school hostage crisis of Russia? Russia is a nuclear power, but that didn't stop Chechen separatists from attacking.

    The fact that you cite SPECIFICALLY the US just goes to show how pitifully delusional your argument is. Nuclear proliferation doesn't solve anything unless the political structure is in place to restrain military escalation. "Most" Western countries have that restraint, as demonstrated during the Cold War. But some countries don't (how nuclear proliferation working out for your Pakistan/India?)

  • by Samantha Wright ( 1324923 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @02:33AM (#42257699) Homepage Journal
    No one wants to attack or invade North Korea. Taking out the government means taking care of the people, and somewhere in there that would mean a lot of unskilled immigrants that South Korea can't support economically. It would make no sense. The rest of the world is much more interested in pressuring the DPRK into reform, so it can take care of its citizens on its own. No one knows how to actually do that, but they certainly have no interest in anything else, other than preventing the country from harming its neighbours.
  • by Pseudonym Authority ( 1591027 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @03:07AM (#42257831)

    China could pretty much disable the US economy with sanctions so it wouldn't need to waste any nukes

    Oh wow. You mean that they would practically give the US trillions of dollars with sanctions (in the form of T-Bonds that don't have to be paid back), while fucking over the US but shooting themselves in the head, right?

    the US depends on China a lot more than China depends on the US

    You've been reading slashdot to much. China is a place where people still starve to death. The US would lose a iPods and cheap shoes (that can be moved to some other shithole in a few years time anyway), and China would lose stuff like.... food.

  • by thej1nx ( 763573 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @04:27AM (#42258185)
    Except that you didn't really. Propaganda and attempts to retroactively edit out history, cannot not change actual history. Let us observe the chain of events.

    1. May 1939, USA, under Roosevelt, informs Japan that it is withdrawing from the 1911 Treaty of Commerce(Japan was highly dependent on USA for oil etc). Japan goes ahead with its conquest plans anyways.
    2. July 1940, United States/Roosevelt imposed an embargo on aviation gasoline and high-grade scrap iron to Japan. Japan looks for alternative sources.
    3. United States responds with a complete embargo on scrap iron. Japan announces the Axis Pact next day.
    4. The United States extends the embargo to tools, iron, steel, copper, bronze, and many other critical metals.
    5. Roosevelt orders freezing all Japanese assets in the United States.
    6. Cut from critical resources, Japan tries negotiating with United States. After those failed, Japan declared war.

    Your definition of sitting it out(while waging full blown economic warfare) is pretty different from rest of the world. I am not commenting on whether Japan needed to be stopped and how evil they were, and how they were killing babies and barbequing them and eating them raw even etc. etc. But Roosevelt was NOT sitting this one out.

    World War 2 was not the glorious battle between "good and evil". It was two equally evil, bloodthirsty colonial powers duking it out. For the Nazi Holocaust, we have an quietly ignored Indian Holocaust (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indian_Rebellion_of_1857#Aftermath) that saw British killing millions of Indians in direct reprisals. Add another 10 million or so, if you count the ones who died due to the famines caused by apathetic exploitative British rule. I think Jew holocaust casualties, high as they were, pale in contrast. But since history books are written by the victors, even though the figures were pretty much recorded, they are usually always ignored, else things like Jalianwala bagh massacre and 1857 massacres would make british much much more evil in terms of body count.

    In the end, USA took sides, and was already participating in economic warfare against one of the sides. Truly staying neutral would have meant embargoing both sides(Britain for steel and Japan/Germany for oil) while the war was on, which would have crippled both sides and resulted in perhaps lesser carnage.

  • by Eunuchswear ( 210685 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @05:31AM (#42258465) Journal

    "The Dutch famine of 1944, known as the Hongerwinter ("Hunger winter") in Dutch, was a famine that took place in the German-occupied part of the Netherlands, especially in the densely populated western provinces above the great rivers, during the winter of 1944-1945, near the end of World War II. A German blockade cut off food and fuel shipments from farm areas to punish the reluctance of the Dutch to aid the Nazi war effort. Some 4.5 million were affected and survived because of soup kitchens. About 22,000 died because of the famine.[1][2] Most vulnerable according to the death reports were elderly men.[3]"

    COMPARE the figures. Granted, Holland was a LOT smaller and the figures are far more accurate but still, when your regime incurs a worse death ratio then the Germans, the most evil country on earth, you are NOT nice people. And your actions won't be affected by the loss of food imports.

    Pah the Germans were such wimps.

    In 1943 the British managed to let somewhere between 1.5 and 4 million people starve to death in Bengal (out of a population of 60.3 million ).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bengal_famine_of_1943 [wikipedia.org]

  • by Nimey ( 114278 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @10:48AM (#42260413) Homepage Journal

    I don't see how we could have possibly beaten China in the early '50s. Even ignoring their shorter supply lines and near-limitless manpower, they were also allied with the Soviets at the time, and our industry had spun down from its war footing in the '40s.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @11:19AM (#42260775)

    On the contrary, nukes raise the expected cost of any military action significantly. US would accrue huge negatives even if it was only perceived to have provoked NK to use one of their own.

    If you have a large store of functioning ICBMs and the enemy to be stopped from attacking is a democracy, then maybe.

    NK wouldn't hold out in a military conflict for more than a few days against a well-prepared US attack. All NK might -might- be able to do with it's nukes is take out a few hundred soldiers. That is assuming the US even uses soldiers on the ground, as nukes are useless against air targets, and they're less than optimally effective in water as well (it is amazing how much energy even modest amounts of water can absorb by vaporizing. Absolutely unbelievable).

    It has actually been tested that an atomic explosion more than 200 meters away from an aircraft carrier, while it would kill anyone on in line of sight from the explosion, wouldn't sink the ship (tested on a model, not with an actual aircraft carrier).

    The only defense NK has, or needs, is China as an ally, because with that ally comes escalation risk. The US does not just depend on it's own military security. The US, like any well-connected modern nation built on international trade, would be vastly damaged by any large scale conflict. The US would likely be less hurt by a NK-US military conflict than by a NK-SK conflict. A China vs middle east or China vas Africa or, God forbid, China vs Europe conflict would make economic conditions inside the US worse than they were in 1900 in a matter of months, a year at the most. Google, Microsoft, General Electric, Texaco, Chevron would all be cut in 100 pieces, unable to communicate amongst themselves, unable to ship goods from one place to another, unable to interconnect their networks. The internet age would be over 2 days into the conflict, never to return (in case you don't believe that, the telephone system, interconnected in the exact same way as the internet is today, failed in 90%+ of Europe about 9 days into world-war 2. In france it failed just before the invasion started. While not as automatically resilient as the internet, the reason the telephone network failed was not that rerouting failed. The reason for the failure was that every line was cut, and there was no way to reroute).

    NK probably doesn't see this. Internally the state is completely dependant on constant violence and threats from top-down, so that's how they deal with the outside world.

    You display a massive misunderstanding of the military position of the US and the rest of the world. The US does not have the need to concern itself with internal security much, it is spending most of it's resources guaranteeing security outside of it's borders, since that's where the US is vulnerable. Supply lines are what wins wars. All US supply lines, from oil to iPads, lie outside of it's borders. This makes the US much more vulnerable than it would seem to be at first. The US must not just avoid getting into a conflict itself, it must prevent ANY 2 governments from getting into a real fight, worldwide (except maybe - maybe - in Africa). This is why the US nearly always stands down the first chance it gets, and militarily intervenes only where there is risk of escalation.

    "the US" or "the West", you and me are included in that. You and I would be effectively fired (without a wage) a week after a large international conflict started, no matter where or who the fighting parties are.

"The following is not for the weak of heart or Fundamentalists." -- Dave Barry