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U.S. And N. Korea

Fri Feb 07, 2003 8:52 am

I know a few or many of you might disagree, but from what I've seen so far I think the US is a bit more "unsure" about N. Korea than they want us to believe. I mean, N. Korea makes threats and the US seemingly is trying to be as diplomatic as possible.C'mon, I think maybe just maybe the US is let me say "scared" of what the North can do. What do you think?

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RE: U.S. And N. Korea

Fri Feb 07, 2003 8:58 am

I don't think the US is scared, "cautious" would be a better word. The North Koreans are a stubborn and unpredictable bunch, they are not Iraq. NK has already fired warning shots claiming they will launch a pre-emptive strike if US military presence continues to grow in the Korean peninsula, and i think they mean it.
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RE: U.S. And N. Korea

Fri Feb 07, 2003 9:00 am

The U.S. is taking a diplomatic approach to N. Korea precisely because N. Korea has the wherewithall to mete out punishing strikes in case of war. Iraq, unfortunately, poses no threat to anyone, so they're a much easier target to bully around.

Ironic, isn't it? Things are the exact opposite of what "they" would have you believe.

RE: U.S. And N. Korea

Fri Feb 07, 2003 9:08 am

I think honestly all today's happening are definitely out of "Wag the Dog" where the president seeks some outside conflict to hide his behind for the nonsense and recession at home.
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RE: U.S. And N. Korea

Fri Feb 07, 2003 9:11 am

I get the feeling that the US is taking it's time to suss out N.Korea and what its capabilities are. They've been dealing with Iraq since '91, but Korea is unpredictable. Maybe the Japanese & S.Koreans should be the main deterrent here as then N. Korea couldn't use the American aggressor excuse to start a war. I seem to remember the Japanese navy being involved in minor skirmishes with N.Korean gunboats last year.
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RE: U.S. And N. Korea

Fri Feb 07, 2003 9:11 am

"scared" of what the North can do. What do you think?"

Bullshit, we already fought them. General Douglas Macarthur had the North Koreans against the ropes. US and UN troops were within sight of the Yellow river, then half a Million Chinese (Volunteers, yeah right) poured across the river and fought the US and UN troops to a stalemate almost exactly where the war began (38th parrarell).

Also it's been revealed that most of the North Korean Mig pilots US pilots faced in "Mig Alley" were actually some of the Soviet Union's best Mig Fighter pilots. They had orders not to be taken alive!

Some 50,000 Americans died on the Korean peninsula, and there are about 40,000 still stationed along the DMZ. We are still technically in a state of war with North Korean since we never signed a peace treaty, just a cease fire.

Scared of North Korea , hell no.

Scared of China's reaction to the US bombing North Korea within sight of Chinese troops, no. Cautious? Absolutely!
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RE: U.S. And N. Korea

Fri Feb 07, 2003 9:21 am

U.S. Bombers on Alert to Deploy as Warning to North Koreans

WASHINGTON, Feb. 3 — Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld has put 24 long-range bombers on alert for possible deployment within range of North Korea, both to deter "opportunism" at a moment when Washington is focused on Iraq and to give President Bush military options if diplomacy fails to halt North Korea's effort to produce nuclear weapons, officials said today.

The White House insisted today that Mr. Bush was still committed to a diplomatic solution to the crisis. Any decision to bolster the considerable American military presence near North Korea was simply what Ari Fleischer, the president's spokesman, called making "certain our contingencies are viable."

Mr. Rumsfeld, who Pentagon officials emphasized had not yet made a decision to send the bombers, was acting on a request for additional forces from Adm. Thomas B. Fargo, the Pacific commander, who concluded that North Korea's race to produce a nuclear weapon had significantly worsened the risks on the Korean Peninsula.

"This puts them on a short string," said a senior Pentagon official, who explained that the aircraft and crews were now ready to move out within a set number of hours should they receive the final deployment order.

The additional bomber force, which would be sent to Guam from bases in the United States along with surveillance planes, brings a potent capability to the region should Mr. Bush decide that he cannot allow North Korea to begin reprocessing its nuclear fuel into weapons.

The Pentagon's new alert status came as the International Atomic Energy Agency said it would meet on Feb. 12, in an emergency session, to declare North Korea in breach of its commitments under the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and refer the issue to the United Nations Security Council. Administration officials said today that they would seek a resolution there condemning North Korea, but that they would not take the next step — asking for economic sanctions or isolation of the country.

At the same time, administration officials, in private briefings to members of Congress, have confirmed that North Korea appears to be moving spent nuclear spent-fuel rods that have been in storage since 1994.

If reprocessed into plutonium, those rods would provide the raw material for upwards of a half dozen weapons — about one a month once the reprocessing plant is in full operation, experts say. That gives Mr. Bush a window of what one senior official said today was "a few weeks to a few months to decide if he wants to do something about Yongbyon," the nuclear complex, before the plutonium production is under way, and any military strike would risk spreading radioactive pollution around the Korean Peninsula.

Both White House and Pentagon officials insisted there were no current plans to attack the Yongbyon nuclear facility, the center of North Korea's plutonium project.

But the forward deployment to Guam would cut the bombers' flying time to the Korean Peninsula, and consideration of the move suggests that the Pentagon and the White House are concerned that they may need more power on short notice, even as many forces ordinarily based in the Pacific have been sent to the Middle East.

"We are clearly engaged in a discussion about what is appropriate should we find ourselves engaged in executing a military operation in Iraq," said one senior Defense Department official. "We want to make sure we have sufficient forces in place in the Korean Peninsula area to deter any opportunism."

The dozen B-52 bombers and another dozen B-1 bombers could certainly help the 37,000 American troops defending South Korea deter an attack from North Korea across the demilitarized zone. But American commanders in South Korea have long argued they already have sufficient forces to deter such an attack, or at least hold their ground until reinforcements could arrive.

There was no discussion, senior Pentagon officials said, about significant additions to American troops now based in South Korea.

The White House has never publicly discussed the possibility of attacking the reprocessing plant, and Mr. Bush has repeatedly said the United States "has no intention of invading North Korea."
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RE: U.S. And N. Korea

Fri Feb 07, 2003 9:24 am

U.S. Bombers on Alert to Deploy as Warning to North Koreans
(Page 2 of 2)

But that is a carefully formulated statement, leaving open the possibility that a North Korean move to produce weapons could force Mr. Bush to consider the advice of several leading Republican national security experts, who have argued that Mr. Bush cannot permit North Korea to have a significant nuclear arsenal.

"It's fair to say that there is a broad assumption in the administration now that Kim Jong Il is out to produce his weapons as fast as he can," said one senior official involved in the debate, referring to the North Korean leader. "We hope they can be dissuaded by diplomacy, pressure from us and from China and from Russia. But there are no guarantees any of that will work."

Admiral Fargo is considering repositioning some jet fighters already under his jurisdiction within the Pacific Command to bases closer to the Korean Peninsula, Pentagon officials said. The bombers under consideration would be a large addition to the Pacific Command arsenal.

Each B-1 bomber can carry up to two dozen one-ton, satellite-guided bombs. The payload of the giant B-52 is 70,000 pounds of bombs and missiles.

In addition, the aircraft carrier Kitty Hawk, now off the coast of Japan, remains available to Admiral Fargo. However, even before the current crisis with North Korea, the Kitty Hawk had been mentioned as the likely candidate should a fifth aircraft carrier be assigned to waters off Iraq. In that event, officials said, the Carl Vinson, now on the West Coast, would sail across the Pacific to take the place of the Kitty Hawk so that one aircraft carrier would always be in the region.

"It is standard practice for us to review our defensive posture for existing security commitments when U.S. forces are preparing for potential operations elsewhere in the world," said Lt. Cmdr. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman on Asia-Pacific issues. "Such planning could result in the movement of forces, but only as a prudent measure to ensure that we maintain our ability to rapidly respond to contingencies if needed."

Thus, the Pentagon is challenged with how to balance several competing interests.

The military must continue carrying out deployments to Iraq — including thousands of marines based in California who otherwise await orders for contingencies throughout the Pacific — while making sure that other forces are put into place to deter North Korea.

Yet those new deployments must be crafted so they do not increase tensions in the region while diplomacy is given a chance.

"It's a very, very fine line," said one administration official.

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RE: U.S. And N. Korea

Fri Feb 07, 2003 2:47 pm

MacArthur was right. We should have used the A-bomb back in 1950 against the PRK.
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RE: U.S. And N. Korea

Fri Feb 07, 2003 11:27 pm

I think we should be more than cautious with DPRK right now. They are extremely volatile and one wrong move could cost hundreds of thousand of lives.
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RE: U.S. And N. Korea

Sat Feb 08, 2003 12:00 am

Bullshit, we already fought them. General Douglas Macarthur had the North Koreans against the ropes. US and UN troops were within sight of the Yellow river, then half a Million Chinese (Volunteers, yeah right) poured across the river and fought the US and UN troops to a stalemate almost exactly where the war began (38th parrarell).

Well, technically it was the Yalu river. To get them pushed up against the Yellow river, we would have already been a few hundred miles past Beijing  Smile/happy/getting dizzy

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RE: U.S. And N. Korea

Sat Feb 08, 2003 1:25 am

We are on a really thin tightrope. I am really more worried about Korea than I am Iraq. As much as I hate the idea, we might have to Kim his blackmail money.
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RE: U.S. And N. Korea

Sat Feb 08, 2003 1:41 am

I see one big difference between North Korea and Irak.
When Israel detroyed the Osirak nuclear plant in Irak, it was not yet operational. They just detroyed buildings.
If the US bomb the North Korean plant, that's different, because it is working. the consequences would be worse than Chernobyl. And who would pay the price (due to the size and location of NK) ? The Chinese, and our allies from South Korea and Japan...
That's why it is easier to attack Irak....
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RE: U.S. And N. Korea

Sat Feb 08, 2003 1:44 am

I think a preemptive attack on the North's reactor is out of the question. The real danger is that the paranoid North perceives imminent attack and lashes out. I think some de-escalation is in order on both sides at this point. The US trying to push diplomacy really hard.
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RE: U.S. And N. Korea

Sat Feb 08, 2003 7:37 am

I see this whole thing as a bad situation and I wish the world was not in this situation.

The way I see the Iraq and DPRK situation is analogous to this:

Suppose the police are called to a hostage situation, and it plays out in one of two ways. In scene 1, the SWAT team (USA) arrives as the hostage taker(N. Korea) has the hostage (S. Korea, Japan and 37,000 US troops) in his grasp and has a pistol to their head. The SWAT team although being much more heavily armed will attempt the diplomatic route. They will talk, negotiate and wait all for the safety of the hostage. From what I have learnt they will not take out the hostage taker until they have no other recourse.

In scene 2, the SWAT team arrives as the hostage taker is LOADING his pistol hoping to get to the scene 1 situation. The cops will tell the hostage taker(Iraq) to drop their weapon several times (Security council resolutions 687........1441) If he persists in loading his weapon, he is taken out. This can be done by his hostages (a coup) or by the SWAT team (a war)

Now in either case, the SWAT team was more powerful than the criminal and could have 'solved' the crisis quickly but chose diplomacy in one instance and swift force in the other. Maybe before Hussein can finish loading his pistol he could either put it down or have to be taken out but for the sake of the hostages, the 'Dear Leader' will have to be talked into dropping his gun. I hope none of these come to pass

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RE: U.S. And N. Korea

Sat Feb 08, 2003 7:59 am

One of two things is happening in North Korea.

Kim Jong Ill is wanking off to his blustery, almost daily, threats about how no one better invade him or else. The Mongol Munchkin has never found himself very much on the sympathetic end of any argument, but since Hopalong decided to F-bomb him in last year's state of the union, and since Bush and his Secretary of Dipshittery Rumsfeld are rather brilliantly squandering 5 decades of global good will towards American principles, Kim finds an eager audience among tweeked world leaders.

Or option 2....

These threats are the final gasps before Kim's last stand. The famine has reached critical levels. His dynasty is in shambles. Even his old protector China is tiring of him. Clinton bought him off ten years ago, but that deal is done. Now he can either end up strung up Benito-style or go out in a (nuclear) blaze of glory and reset the Asian political landscape for the next century.
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RE: U.S. And N. Korea

Sun Feb 09, 2003 12:08 pm

If the U.S. did use nuclear weapons against the PRK then, I'd hate to think what the consequences of that action would have been. It most probably would have legitimized the use of nuclear weapons for tactical and strategic warfare purposes for the forseeable future. From all sides.
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RE: U.S. And N. Korea

Sun Feb 09, 2003 10:43 pm

Ironic isn t it? Things are the exact opposite of what "they" would have you believe

I disagree We should deal with Iraq now before it becomes another North Korea When Iraq gets nuclear weapons it will try to hold the ME to ransom just like NK is trying in the Korean penisula
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RE: U.S. And N. Korea

Mon Feb 10, 2003 12:51 am

The South Korean capital is in artillery range of the North. Never mind Scuds or anything else.
37,000 US troops would be in the front line of any mass attack by the DPRK, it would be very bloody indeed, in fact the heaviest fighting the US Army will have been engaged in since the 1950-53 war.
If the DPRK took a devastated Seoul, South Korean and US forces would have to take it back, street by street.
DPRK would lose, US airpower would be decisive, but not right away.
Most DPRK equipment is not modern, but they've got a hell of a lot of it.
All this is bad enough without the nuclear question.

So of course the Bush team is cautious about the DPRK, circumstance and a big technological lead, has meant the US has not faced an opponent in a hot war that has the capacity to inflict very high casualties for a very long time now.

All of this is probably about the 'Dear Leader' seeking help to stop his Orwellian prison camp from finally imploding, along with a desire for attention and status.

His economy is all but dead, mass starvation, he's desperate, probably not desperate enough to attack the South, but if he feels he's next after Iraq, (and paranoia plays a very large part in his thinking), he might just feel the need to do what his father vowed to for 40 years, hoping a US distracted by Iraq and Al-Qaeda might be caught off guard and not as able to send reinforcements to the region quickly enough, once a large slice of the South is in his hands, he might think the US won't have the stomach for more heavy losses.

While the 'casualty-phobia' of the US is well known, it would not apply in this instance, much US blood would have already been shed, what US President could survive allowing that to go unpunished, the situation unresolved?
Then the only throw of the dice the DPRK would have is the nuclear one, but 1-2 weapons would not change their fate, just bring down a terrible rain of destruction on the DPRK, with terrible effects for the South, China, Japan and the world in general.

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