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March 29, 2013 1:27 PM   Subscribe

Kim Jong Un indirectly threatened to nuke Austin today. Austin Responds.

TL;DR: Austin residents come up with hundreds of increasingly ludicrous reasons on Twitter for Kim Jong Un's sudden and bizarre threat to destroy them.
posted by DecemberBoy (133 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

 
Clearly he's bigoted against Texas barbecue.
posted by kmz at 1:31 PM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Korea is as sick of hearing about SXSW as I am! We're going to get along great, KJ.
posted by mintcake! at 1:31 PM on March 29, 2013 [42 favorites]


that's funny, yet not as funny as I want it to be, but I think that's mostly because I don't get the Austin references.
posted by sweetkid at 1:32 PM on March 29, 2013


He hates abstract art and forgot what major city in Texas is home to the Rothko Chapel.
posted by sendai sleep master at 1:33 PM on March 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


How could they even reach Austin, or Washington? Maybe Hawaii, but probably not LA...

Most likely the Pacific Ocean.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:33 PM on March 29, 2013


I was kind of expecting pictures of large groups of Austinites, with middle fingers extended.
posted by Malor at 1:35 PM on March 29, 2013


Or, he was going to hit Dallas but recon suggests that it's just a city with buildings and cars and absolutely zero people.

No place on earth could possibly be that unnameable to pedestrians!

(Those are all my Texas jokes folks, hope you liked them!)
posted by sendai sleep master at 1:35 PM on March 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


But that's where his Twitter buddy lives!
posted by triggerfinger at 1:36 PM on March 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


He never forgot the time that Austin got lost in Boston (because it rhymed).
posted by mintcake! at 1:37 PM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I wonder if NK is trying to focus on scaring people in the US since, as this article points out, they can't follow through on their whole "bomb the crap out of Seoul civilians" threat without killing large numbers of Chinese nationals as well. Angering China would mean it's pretty much game over for the Kim clan.
posted by mullingitover at 1:39 PM on March 29, 2013


RODMAN!
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:39 PM on March 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


Target Austin
posted by audi alteram partem at 1:39 PM on March 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


There is a tumblr now. Could that be added into the main post?
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:41 PM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


He's mad that they moved the Dirty Sanchez onto the 'secret' menu at Torchy's.

and he hates beardos.

and loves plastic bags
posted by dirtdirt at 1:42 PM on March 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


They're just now getting reruns of The Six Million Dollar Man in North Korea, so I think it's safe to assume he thought he was targeting America's greatest superhero and, thus, Kim Jong Un's true nemesis.
posted by The World Famous at 1:42 PM on March 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


"But that's where his Twitter buddy lives!"

Now it becomes clear! He must have disrespected Coldplay somehow. Maybe a treaty can be negotiated? Come on, North Korea. Don't wait for the wicked and wild wind to blow down the doors and let you in.
posted by Kevin Street at 1:43 PM on March 29, 2013


He thinks this is where Steve Austin, The Six-Million Dollar Man, lives. Obviously, you want to take out any bionic capabilities right away.
posted by orme at 1:46 PM on March 29, 2013


It's gotta suck to be a world leader, threaten to blow up a bunch of cities, and have everyone laugh at you. But, well, that's what happens when you're perpetually at the FLASHING RED LIGHTS SUPER DUPER MEGA SERIOUS WE ARE SO CLOSE TO BOMBING YOU RIGHT NOW threat level.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:48 PM on March 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


He's mad about all the Don't Move Here t-shirts: "well, if I can't move there, then NOBODY CAN, EVER AGAIN!"
posted by scody at 1:48 PM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I know an Austin, and was very briefly perplexed at how he had suddenly been dramatically thrust into the heart of a geopolitical crisis.
posted by Going To Maine at 1:49 PM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have to wonder how much disinformation is fed to him as well. Is he the man in control? Or do generals and advisers filter the information, and talk about how we're quaking in our cowboy boots?
posted by [insert clever name here] at 1:51 PM on March 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Also, this reminds me of a great short story collection, Fort Wayne is Seventh on Hitler's List.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 1:51 PM on March 29, 2013


I'm pleased we've already got a Tumblr up for this. It's what makes Austin the best.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 1:51 PM on March 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Pssh, I was into nuclear annihilation before it got all popular.
posted by TheFlamingoKing at 1:53 PM on March 29, 2013 [10 favorites]


yea seriously though, I understand totalitarian government information systems are not going to be the most comprehensive, but I don't understand how they could have thought that Austin was a major nerve center of American military or finance, or even had a lot of people.
posted by sweetkid at 1:53 PM on March 29, 2013


I'm guessing Kim Jong Un's reach will probably extend no farther than my house in Washington State. Which is fine with me, really, because I'm not looking forward to staining the deck.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:54 PM on March 29, 2013 [11 favorites]


The thing is, North Korean missile tech being what it is, the chances are far greater that the missile will fall way short of its target, which if you trace a trajectory between Korea and Austin suggests that, if any major North American urban area's going to smitherated, it will be my hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

Which is why I'll be doing nothing but drinking quality craft-brews, eating food and watching Monty Python episodes until this thing cools down.
posted by philip-random at 1:55 PM on March 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Man, you don't have to drink Lone Star. There's always Shiner.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 1:56 PM on March 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


The serious answer: honestly, the North Koreans are probably as puzzled by us as we are of them. They remember that George W. Bush (the recently retired American General Secretary) was from Texas, so they decided to publicly target the capital of Texas Prefecture in order to strike fear into our hearts. "Even your beloved former leaders are not safe!" is the message they are trying to send.

Also there is a real chance that they believe, in all seriousness, that much like other East Asian dynasties, Obama is merely a chancellor for General Secretary Bush, who is really calling all the shots from retirement...in Texas.

You think I'm making this up.
posted by Avenger at 1:58 PM on March 29, 2013 [45 favorites]


I can't read "beloved former leader" without hearing it in Boris Badenov's voice.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:03 PM on March 29, 2013 [10 favorites]


From the Nautilus.org report up there:

Dud rate – the only numbers available—to the DPRK as well as the rest of the world—indicate a dud rate of twenty-five percent.

THAT high? Is he talking just about the crappy quality of artillery in the DPRK's forces, or is the dud rate just a fact you have to live with as a military planner if you want to fight using a very long and heavy artillery barrage?
posted by Iosephus at 2:04 PM on March 29, 2013


New Zealand in the crosshairs.
posted by eagle-bear at 2:06 PM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


He finally heard that Leslie had died, and decided that Austin just wasn't as good as it was in the 70s. He thinks of it as a mercy nuking.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:07 PM on March 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


Maybe it's a failed effort to drum up hipster support for the pending invasion bombing occupation liberation of DPRK by US forces.
posted by ceribus peribus at 2:08 PM on March 29, 2013


"Is he talking just about the crappy quality of artillery in the DPRK's forces, or is the dud rate just a fact you have to live with as a military planner if you want to fight using a very long and heavy artillery barrage?"

Maybe it's because of age? They've been steadily manufacturing artillery shells for sixty years, and some of them must be getting pretty long in the tooth by now.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:10 PM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not New York City? I don't know whether to be relieved or insulted.
posted by Soliloquy at 2:12 PM on March 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Answering myself: there's a footnote in an annex that says this is a sensible estimation for the DPRK's dud rate from the mess at Yeongpyeong in 2010. Huh. Interesting...
posted by Iosephus at 2:12 PM on March 29, 2013


Alternatively, he may have confused it with Austin, MN. He's had a grudge against Hormel since.... To be fair, everyone has a grudge against Hormel; that stuff's pretty rank. Kim just has the means to do something!
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:12 PM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


It is also completely possible that North Korean leaders are simply unaware of the vast distances that seperate East Asia and Texas. They ordered their underlings to target Texas and their underlings were too frightened to tell them that their rockets don't have the required range.

Also, maps themselves are probably highly classified objects in North Korea, unauthorized possession of which is punished harshly. It is actually possible that there are only a few people in NK (maybe a few scientists and cartographers -- all with very high security clearances) who are actually aware of the true distances involved.

That is how deep the rabbit hole of North Korea goes.
posted by Avenger at 2:12 PM on March 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Kim Jong Un went to school in Switzerland. It's a safe bet he knows the true size of the globe.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:18 PM on March 29, 2013 [6 favorites]


I've already got a plan. We'll go to Luckenbach, Texas, with Waylon and Willie and the boys. This weird hipster life we're livin' is under threat by Kim Jong-un and all his toys.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 2:21 PM on March 29, 2013 [10 favorites]


Avenger, are you exaggerating are you for real? If you are for real, tell us more! How do you know all this?
posted by Tarumba at 2:22 PM on March 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


I've been saying for some time that Austin needs a glowing pile of nuclear waste downtown to get rid of the Johnny-come-latelies. This would be just the thing.
posted by adamrice at 2:24 PM on March 29, 2013


I'm sure this is too obvious to others to bother mentioning, but I think the whole threatening to strike the U.S. territories and mainland is meant to influence North Koreans. To further puff up the image of a mighty North Korea standing against international evil. If anyone outside of the borders of North Korea happens to believe it too, that's just an added extra benefit.
posted by King Sky Prawn at 2:26 PM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Kim Jong Un went to school in Switzerland. It's a safe bet he knows the true size of the globe.
posted by Kevin Street at 2:18 PM on March 29 [+] [!]


Who else in the NK chain of command went to school in Switzerland? Besides, we have people graduating from our premier American universities who believe the universe is 6000 years old. It doesn't mean much.
posted by Avenger at 2:27 PM on March 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


Some perspective: Visual comparison of size of Texas vs. size of North Korea. (Via the awesome site MapFight.)
posted by mosk at 2:28 PM on March 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's actually a pretty forward looking economic warfare tactic. If he hits it during SXSW he'll take out the principals of most Kickstarter projects and the future as we know it will disappear.
posted by George_Spiggott at 2:29 PM on March 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


He was probably offended by the Chi-Lantro Korean tacos and Kimchi Fries.
posted by kaszeta at 2:33 PM on March 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Some perspective: Visual comparison of size of Texas vs. size of North Korea.

Nuclear maps needs to be a little more detailed
posted by phaedon at 2:34 PM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


IT'S WORSE THAN WE THOUGHT: HE'S SENDING DENNIS RODMAN TO AUSTIN!!!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:36 PM on March 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a midsized city to nuke.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 2:37 PM on March 29, 2013 [14 favorites]


After Austin Powers was asked about Kim Jong Un's threat to nuke him, the international man of mystery told reporters that, in light of the threat, he'd prefer to shag now rather than shag later.
posted by jonp72 at 2:42 PM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


They're making 290 a toll road??

I will push the launch button myself.
posted by zjacreman at 2:45 PM on March 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


"Because fuck dry rub," said Kim, a well-known afficionado of the Carolina, Kansas City and Pyongyang-style barbecues.
posted by klangklangston at 2:57 PM on March 29, 2013 [23 favorites]


Seriously, back in the 70's Austin used to have a SAC base with B-52's & everything. I wonder if his intel is just that outdated?
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:02 PM on March 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Do your worst Kim Jong. They're just gonna build condos wherever it hits.

*sigh* True.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:02 PM on March 29, 2013 [5 favorites]


It didn't take long for a picture of Kim Jong Un's face in Eric Cartman's hat and coat with the caption RESPECT MY AUTHORITAH to appear. It works amazingly well.
posted by DecemberBoy at 3:09 PM on March 29, 2013


It's Not a Hermit Kingdom, and 4 Other Myths About North Korea
posted by Kevin Street at 3:13 PM on March 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Why Austin?

The "research" is already done?

The serious answer

Ignores the oil business and some kind of attempt to cut back on the gasoline production.

It's gotta suck to be a world leader, threaten to blow up a bunch of cities, and have everyone laugh at you.

Is it worse to have shoes tossed at you instead?
posted by rough ashlar at 3:16 PM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


"At least we got...Terre Haute...Indiana."
posted by kirkaracha at 3:24 PM on March 29, 2013


Man, you don't have to drink Lone Star. There's always Shiner.

The day I went down to the liquor store here in Indiana to see a big Shiner Bock display was one of the best days all year.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:32 PM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yo, not to be this guy, but this seems like a pride before the fall thingy.

Love you, Austin!
posted by elmer benson at 3:34 PM on March 29, 2013


His technicians have made him a nuke and a missile, but I wonder if any of them have dared tell him the missile can't carry the nuke. Or maybe the missile is for male enhancement and the real delivery vehicle is a shipping container.

Also, while no nukes are good nukes NK's nuke is pretty 1945 and while it would make a very messy hole in a city like LA it wouldn't be a much bigger hole than the one punched in NYC on 9/11, life would go on, and we'd probably respond by showing the little creep what a real Cold War missile/nuke combo looks like in action.
posted by localroger at 3:42 PM on March 29, 2013


Come now, I thought the Austin GP was a pretty good effort for their first attempt.
posted by arcticseal at 3:46 PM on March 29, 2013


Could just be a F-it attiitude due to all the trees being mowed down for more development.

http://www.austinheritagetreefoundation.com/

http://www.facebook.com/austinheritagetrees?ref=stream

Or the 512reality monopoly of apartments in 78751 / Hyde Park / UT Campus area...
posted by buzzman at 3:47 PM on March 29, 2013


"You Americans claim your foods are whole. But majestic North Korea truly has the wholest foods."
posted by mcmile at 3:58 PM on March 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that it's a culture-code message that essentially says, "Doodz! I'm not really posturing...I just have to talk big shit to keep these fuckers in line! ZOMG, like don't blow my cover!".
posted by snsranch at 4:05 PM on March 29, 2013


What the hell is wrong with Texans. He threatened DC, LA, Guam and Hawaii but we arn't whinging all a twitter. For such "tough" folks y'all sure do yap a lot. What are you North Korea?
posted by humanfont at 4:32 PM on March 29, 2013


Why You Should Be More Concerned About War With North Korea This Time
posted by homunculus at 4:37 PM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


> It's Not a Hermit Kingdom, and 4 Other Myths About North Korea

I think that's possibly the worst article I've ever read in The Atlantic.
posted by Brak at 4:56 PM on March 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


But majestic North Korea truly has the wholest foods

WTH? They have a Whole Foods and we can't even get a Trader Joes ?
posted by arcticseal at 5:02 PM on March 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


I wonder if NK is trying to focus on scaring people in the US since, as this article points out, they can't follow through on their whole "bomb the crap out of Seoul civilians" threat without killing large numbers of Chinese nationals as well. Angering China would mean it's pretty much game over for the Kim clan.

Which is a really bad plan, since if the conservatives for one second think USA might be at risk of a NK nuke, they will preemptively bomb the whole place so far back that dinosaurs will reappear.
posted by ymgve at 5:27 PM on March 29, 2013


Maybe Kim Jong Un has just discovered usenet and has been trying to restore alt.nuke.the.USA to its early 90s glory.
posted by humanfont at 6:20 PM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


"I think that's possibly the worst article I've ever read in The Atlantic."

And why is that?
posted by Kevin Street at 6:37 PM on March 29, 2013


"Where should we place this extra pin?"
"Oh, just stick it anywhere."
posted by double block and bleed at 6:40 PM on March 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


What the hell is wrong with Texans. He threatened DC, LA, Guam and Hawaii but we arn't whinging all a twitter.

We are not laughing with him, trust me.
posted by immlass at 7:14 PM on March 29, 2013


Whole Foods has nothing on Central Market. NOTHING.
posted by leotrotsky at 8:00 PM on March 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


I have been to Central Market once. It is my Brigadoon.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:09 PM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


#whynotportland
posted by braksandwich at 8:40 PM on March 29, 2013 [8 favorites]


I still miss Central Market. Best supermarket hands down anywhere.
posted by arcticseal at 8:42 PM on March 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


Don't be ridiculous KJU loves Portlandia. He isn't going to risk harming Cathy and Fred.
posted by humanfont at 9:04 PM on March 29, 2013


whinging all a twitter

what
posted by DecemberBoy at 9:27 PM on March 29, 2013


Don't be ridiculous KJU loves Portlandia. He isn't going to risk harming Cathy and Fred.

Carrie. (Sorry if this means you get bombed, Ms. Brownstein.)
posted by Sys Rq at 10:06 PM on March 29, 2013


Seriously, back in the 70's Austin used to have a SAC base with B-52's & everything.

We have Camp Mabry, which is a big deal for the Texas National Guard and Air National Guard.

Of course, if he really wanted to rustle Texans' collective jimmies, he'd airdrop a shitload of beans into everyone's chili. Nuking Austin will just make the rest of the state love him.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 10:47 PM on March 29, 2013


A very good sign that North Korea is bluffing about war
posted by KokuRyu at 11:32 PM on March 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


> The serious answer: honestly, the North Koreans are probably as puzzled by us as we are of them.

During the era of Ping-Pong Diplomacy (Nixon presidency, Mao still Chairman) the Chinese national table tennis team toured the US and played matches in several cities. The Chinese players were absolutely and utterly unbeatable... but somehow during each tourney one, just one, American player managed to get a win. And somehow it was always the American player whose home town was nearest to the site of the match.

There was a tourney on Long Island. A couple of the American players were actually from Long Island, but the one who got the freebie win was from Brooklyn.

Chinese intelligence knows that Brooklyn is on Long Island.
posted by jfuller at 3:45 AM on March 30, 2013 [6 favorites]


...Don't mess with Texas.
posted by ostranenie at 6:53 AM on March 30, 2013


On a serious note I think that the north is probably trying to see if they can get new concessions when there is a new South Korean goverbment, American Secratary of State along with other churn in US foreign policy leadership. They hope for an Americab or South Korean over reaction to allow then to gain favor with other countries. For example the south could suspend the economic cooperation zone, reduce food or fuel oil shipments. We could also conduct some more direct act. We could also take some indirect action such as collapsing the already unstable banks of some notorious money laundering hub thereby confiscating deposits of a number of officials and espionage accounts. That would also hurt the Iranians and Russians. That last bit was a joke FYI.
posted by humanfont at 7:43 AM on March 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


A very good sign that North Korea is bluffing about war

Yeah, about that...
posted by ymgve at 10:27 AM on March 30, 2013


Samsung US hq.
posted by BeeDo at 11:47 AM on March 30, 2013


such as collapsing the already unstable banks of some notorious money laundering hub thereby confiscating deposits of a number of officials and espionage accounts.

That would help. They pretty much just print U.S. money in Macau. They're big into the drugs too. There was the Pong Su thing with Australia a bit back. The DPRK ship was flying a flag of convenience (Tuvalu) and hauling heroin.

Their military equipment is a joke. But I dislike analysts who say "never." I mean, sure, there's no way they can hit us - with a missile - on the continental U.S. Then they go into how it can't happen in this specific way like the details are important. Like a storefront dojo Sensei (my band name in high school) "No, no, you attacked me wrong. Attack me like this."
Like the NKs are going to say "Oh, if we can't do it that way I guess it can't be done."

The asymmetric thing can be a pain in the rear though. Sure none of their military equipment is a threat. The Sang-O II subs have no real distance. Their aircraft (the Ilyushin Il-28 retired by the Soviets in the 80's among them) don't either. In fact, General Ri Pyong Chol went to Russia last year to ask for spare parts.

If they were serious, they could try to smuggle something in a ship. Maybe blow it up near Hawaii, Guam or the Philippines. It can be done. But they're not serious.

Look at what happened in Nov. '10 after they shelled the south. They fire Def minister Kim Jong gak, U Dong chuk the deputy director of state security f'ing disappears, top General Ri Yong-Ho (who planned the shelling operation) gets the Soviet sickness and is "resting" in a "secluded" area. Or he got shot. Or he's dead. Or just ill. Or retired.

Soviet sickness. They haven't figured out his loyalties yet and they're keeping him on ice.

So it looks like Kim Jong un is just consolidating his rule and needs an external threat to get everyone in line. He's not trying to scare us, he's trying to scare them. (all you might wanna know about the leadership here)

Now, provoke us? Yeah, he's going to do that.

More from Reuters:
North Korea has canceled an armistice agreement with the United States that ended the Korean War and cut all hotlines with U.S. forces, the United Nations and South Korea.

He's betting we won't nuke him because he's stating he's willing to use nuclear weapons. He's more than willing to roll those dice because he wants something conventional and small scale.
Frankly, with the draw down, the current position the U.S. has, our probable response to another small scale attack (previous shelling, whatnot) it's a pretty smart move. He could cry foul if we attempt to assassinate him. He could cry foul if we don't by just pretending we tried. There aren't a lot of good options given he's willing to drive to the brink then cut his losses, appease, whatever, and back down.
It's a game they've played before.

That's given, of course, he wants to strengthen his grip on the country. And given we won't invade. I mean Russia is saying "Uh, dude...chill." They might wind up playing the role of putting their buddy in a headlock because he's swinging wildly at people at the party.

China ... I don't know.

personally I blame Young-Hae Chang Heavy Industries for provoking North Korea first though.
posted by Smedleyman at 12:57 PM on March 30, 2013 [4 favorites]


META!
posted by homunculus at 1:07 PM on March 30, 2013


Now, provoke us? Yeah, he's going to do that.

This is what concerns me the most - the war in Afghanistan's winding down, our military-industrial complex will be groping around for a new target (ofc there's way too much money to be made in the US's perpetual state of war and heavy-defense-spending to not keep it going!) and even though Iran was looking pretty likely for a while there, in comes our n00bish North Korean dictator to spit in the eye of the bear - purely for his own internal power-consolidating reasons, as you say - at just the point where the bear is trying to figure out where it can keep the flow of money/guns/bombs/drones headed next.

Articles discussing the possibility of war with the DPRK? To me they just sound like the gears of the propaganda machine whirring up. The only thing that makes this reasonably unlikely is that China and Russia are both more likely to object (forcibly if necessary, especially China) to a US-invasion of the DPRK than they are of whatever unloved Middle Eastern dictator we get fixing to bomb next. Still, it wouldn't be too hard for Kim Jong Un to misjudge, push the envelope too hard or too far, in either the direction of A.) alienating China/Russia even a bit or B.) shifting the American public's perception of "invade DPRK" from "lose a few percentage points of popularity" to "gain a few points" in which case our politicians would probably go ahead and invade anyways, to hell with China, and since China's not about to escalate things just to save the DPRK they'll have no choice but to back off once it becomes clear the USA's going full-steam-ahead-and-damn-the-consequences.

On the hope-for-peace side: A.) I think austerity is bad economics (see the Walmart thread about how stores making less money spend less money on workforce and then death spiral, then enlarge to a national scale) but OTOH it does at least get people talking about runaway spending which makes starting another war a much harder sell in the US, at least for now, and B.) between Dennis Rodman and this #WhyAustin stuff, there's just enough light-hearted goofiness that I think it helps make war a hard sell, too. Hell, maybe Kim Jong Un is a diplomatic genius, and is in fact counting on the goofiness to keep his country out of any serious harm while he goes through all the posturing and consolidating anways. (In which case I am grudgingly forced to salute him for his cleverness and giant brass balls, and I look forward to the next completely ridiculous thing he does.)

Anyways, all this goes through my head reading all these articles, but I gotta say, the #WhyAustin stuff is pretty funny.
posted by mstokes650 at 4:02 PM on March 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


I picked the wrong week to visit Austin.
posted by maryr at 9:15 PM on March 30, 2013


But maybe they just picked the capital of the biggest sate in the lower 48. Anchorage is too close to be impressive sounding, they're already hitting LA in California so no need to target Sacramento... If you don't know the US well, the capitol of the largest contiguous state/2nd largest by population doesn't sound that bad. They just don't know that if they'd named Houston we wouldn't be laughing so hard. We'd be cheering.
posted by maryr at 9:19 PM on March 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


Someone in another place theorised that the real target is Ft. Hood. A friend brought up the Samsung thing.

I admit to having played with the NUKEMAP repeatedly ever since NK started getting all loud again.

Whatever happens, I don't like the feeling right now of being back in the '80s and worrying some stupid/crazy/deluded/evil person is going to make a lot of other people miserable and scared because this world is ridiculous. I want to laugh, and I do a little, but it's with a cringe and a darting glance.
posted by batmonkey at 10:02 PM on March 30, 2013


North Korea isn't going to do shit. They haven't got the capacity to do more than march some infantry across the DMZ, and the NK leaders know perfectly well that should they do so, their time is over.

"Well, I could keep living in unimaginable luxury, but I'd rather be killed for no particularly good reason!" said nobody ever.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:17 AM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]


Looks like WWIII is about to kick off - deleted post.
posted by Artw at 1:33 PM on April 3, 2013


The MSM drumbeat has definitely changed from "LOL @ NK!!!1" to "ZOMG WAR" in the past few days.
posted by entropicamericana at 1:34 PM on April 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


I've heard from many commenters that it's all just posturing because they haven't done, um, what they just did.
posted by Artw at 1:37 PM on April 3, 2013


I think he had to shut it down, since EVERYONE was saying "it's all bluff and there's nothing to worry about since he hadn't shut it down." It just means less money for them, which is fine by him--he's still living in luxury.

I had really hoped for more from someone who spent time outside the wire, but it appears he's going to keep up the fear and fantasy and live it up with Rodman, etc.
posted by whatgorilla at 1:38 PM on April 3, 2013


The North Korea Deal That Wasn't
posted by homunculus at 2:03 PM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe China could do something helpful. LOL.
posted by Artw at 2:04 PM on April 3, 2013


Maybe China could do something helpful. LOL.

I can't help but think that there are very tense talks going on between Obama and the Chinese right now about their crazy neighbors, and how they can't expect the US to stand idly by if Kim Jong Un decides to start flinging missiles around. That, in turn, has got to be applying pressure on NK from the direction of their huge northern neighbor. (Well, if NK listens to China at all.)
posted by JHarris at 2:39 PM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well now the North Koreans say they have approved a merciless diversified nuclear strike against the United States. I got a bad feeling about this.
posted by humanfont at 3:42 PM on April 3, 2013


Speaking as a west-coaster, I'm so not worried. Anyone remember the Scud?
posted by entropicamericana at 3:46 PM on April 3, 2013


China is sick of NK's shit and I don't see them backing the NK leadership should shooting break out.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:23 PM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I'm not worried about a missile delivery system. I'm worried about boats going up the Potomac and Hudson rivers with NK bombs on them. A surprise attack with their full nuke arsenal is their only hope of hurting us bad enough that a response might be delayed...not sure what would happen, how long it would take us to figure out for sure they did it, etc.
Still, the leaders only care about themselves; if there was someway they could survive hidden in another country, I wouldn't put it past them, but then I don't know who'd work with them on that...since most of the world loves us so much.
posted by whatgorilla at 5:09 PM on April 3, 2013


North Korea isn't going to use nukes; doing so would result in basically the rest of the world participating in wiping the NK government off the face of the earth.

What you have to understand first and foremost is that the people who actually run the North Korean government live in luxury; everything they do is aimed at preserving that fact. They're not stupid enough to provoke their own annihilation for no gain to themselves.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:40 PM on April 3, 2013


North Korea exists off of making the statement "North Korea isn't going to..." invalid. I think at the moment we have to consider at least the posibility that they ate about to commit spectacular national suicide and how to mitigate loses if they to.

TBH I worry about China's nukes more than NKs - if they prole an action that provokes a Chinese reaction the whole world is in deep shit.
posted by Artw at 5:45 PM on April 3, 2013


A Serious Armed Clash on the Korean Peninsula is Unlikely
posted by triggerfinger at 6:01 PM on April 3, 2013


The noise emanating from Pyongyang is, well, just noise.

Oh happy world of a few days ago... Let's hope it still holds true.
posted by Artw at 6:13 PM on April 3, 2013


EXCELLENT NEWS: Richard Lloyd Parry @dicklp: "Hot overnight #NorthKorea rumour (no more than that): two Nork subs have "disappeared" - in other words are underwater, looking for targets"

MORE GREAT NEWS: Auskar Surbakti ‏@AuskarSurbakti: "DEVELOPING: The South Korean government has urged its citizens to leave the joint industrial zone in #Kaesong, North Korea"
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 7:06 PM on April 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Missiles on the move?
posted by Artw at 8:25 PM on April 3, 2013


If Beijing wants to be taken seriously as a global leader, it needs to begin to deal with the nightmare that is North Korea
posted by Artw at 8:42 PM on April 3, 2013


Russia is now condemning NK as too crazy. Russia!
posted by Artw at 7:18 AM on April 4, 2013


Okay, so... Almost everyone in this thread is laughing at this posturing because the US has such scary military tech, and such huge military budgets, and North Korea doesn't. Now normally I have serious reservations about those huge budgets and nuclear arsenals and whether they make the world safer or more dangerous, and I would have thought the majority of the MeFi community shared those reservations. But at times like this I think that Pax Americana, enforced by our enormous capacity to kill, really does paradoxically make the world a better, less violent place. On average. So far.

The Austin jokes are funny, but I'd kind of like to see a serious MetaFilter discussion on the desirability of US continuing to try to win all possible arms races and continuing to insist that "no option is off the table", in the context of these threats... Not pushing an agenda myself, just uncomfortable with the fact that I'm benefiting here from a policy that I normally would not approve of, and wanting to hear other perspectives so I can sort it out in my mind a little better.
posted by OnceUponATime at 7:32 AM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


You don't need to spend to spend $472 billion a year to keep NK in line.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:38 AM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd be happy to see a more serious post. There's a bit of a discussion about it in Meta.
posted by Artw at 7:39 AM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


North Korea deploys missiles said to be planning launch. The missile is said to be able to reach Guam. The next move is ours.
posted by humanfont at 8:36 AM on April 4, 2013


Russia is now condemning NK as too crazy. Russia!

More than anything, that just makes me think North Korea is still being backed by Russia.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:15 AM on April 4, 2013


Interesting date in humanfont's link: April 15, the anniversary of Kim Il Sung's birth. (IE: the founder of the modern state, grandpa of its current leader.) If they're going to test any more missles or whatever, they might do it then.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:30 AM on April 4, 2013


So I shouldn't bother doing my taxes this year?
posted by entropicamericana at 11:36 AM on April 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you live in South Korea, the current developments are probably a subject of serious concern. If you live in Japan it's somewhat worrying. If you live in Guam it's something to talk about, but probably not a big deal. Further away than that, nah. From this side of the Pacific the economic and humanitarian implications of a possible war are much more relevant than any physical threat.
posted by Kevin Street at 11:48 AM on April 4, 2013


From talking to my brother and friends in SK, if you live there, the current developments still aren't all that worrying to the guy on the street. You can only hear the sabres rattled so often before you tune them out.
posted by klangklangston at 12:04 PM on April 4, 2013


Okay, lets take a look ... we have a not-too-bright vengeful man who has inherited an 'empire' - along with his father's legacy (ever overshadowing him). So, he jumps on the opportunity to claim his right to a "preemptive strike" against an Evil Villain nation that threatens all the world. What could go wrong?

hint: the Texas connection is just a clue?
posted by Surfurrus at 2:23 PM on April 4, 2013


Anonymous hackers take control of North Korean propaganda accounts: Kim Jong-un portrayed as a pig and "nuke lover" in hacked Flickr account.
posted by homunculus at 3:41 PM on April 4, 2013


Yeah, that's helpful. Thanks Anonymous!
posted by Artw at 3:43 PM on April 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I was in Israel/Palestine in 1990 until just before Iraq invaded Kuwait. Saddam had been making threats all summer, but local residents including Arabs and Jews seemed very dismissive at the time that Saddam would do anything beyond make some threats against Kuwait. Geographic proximity isn't always an indicator of better information. It a bit reassuring that South Koreans are not raising the grocery stores.
posted by humanfont at 3:45 PM on April 4, 2013


North Korea warns diplomats to leave by April 10th
posted by Artw at 12:42 PM on April 5, 2013


New post.
posted by Artw at 9:38 PM on April 5, 2013


Based on this, it looks like the intended target might have been Colorado Springs and not Austin at all.
posted by Copronymus at 11:39 AM on April 12, 2013


Texas Attorney General: Democrats Pose Greater Threat To Texas Than North Korea
posted by homunculus at 6:43 PM on April 16, 2013


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