Kim Jong's Ill in head
February 17, 2003 7:58 AM   Subscribe

North Korea vows it will win a nuclear conflict with the US. I can't decide if these bizarre pronouncements from the North Korea are horrifyingly scary, or just truly nutty. For the time being, I think I'm going to go along with the Onion's point of view on this.
posted by psmealey (47 comments total)

 
Apologies in advance for another war-related link, but I hadn't seen anything on here that was PDRK-related.
posted by psmealey at 8:05 AM on February 17, 2003


"Everyone in my country refers to me as 'Dear Leader.' Is that not disturbingly cultish?"Kim continued. "I do not understand why President Bush is so much more interested in Saddam than me. I'm a strange, despotic, unpredictable madman, too, you know."

It's funny but true.
posted by y2karl at 8:06 AM on February 17, 2003


Not scary at all - unless you live in South Korea. But as far PDRK "winning" any war with the U.S. -- no way, no how, no time. Face it: we could crush any army/nation, and N. Korea, if a conflict really, really got nasty, would be annihilated in an instant. No politics - just simple reality.
posted by davidmsc at 8:10 AM on February 17, 2003


Not very scary for those living in South Korea. I call my friends and relatives there wanting to talk about it and it isn't even in the news there.

Much more scary for Japan.
posted by Plunge at 8:17 AM on February 17, 2003


What does the DPRK have against Japan?
posted by ac at 8:23 AM on February 17, 2003


If N. Korea starts getting realy aggressive (where it seems an attack of some sort is imminent) I would expect China to be the first to actually do anything about it.
posted by PenDevil at 8:26 AM on February 17, 2003


I don't know, I bet China, given the technology could actually come up with something relativly threatening to the U.S. Anybody else is just kidding themselves... although there was that big guy Goliath and that little guy David, and you know, one well placed rock...
posted by psychotic_venom at 8:28 AM on February 17, 2003


Is it sad that, scary as this might be, I clicked immediately on the Onion link first?
posted by Shane at 8:33 AM on February 17, 2003


ac - What does the DPRK have against Japan

Incredible World War 2 atrocities, primarily.
posted by vito90 at 8:40 AM on February 17, 2003


" . . . the future ever more radiant"

A bigger man wouldn't laugh at that phrasing. I'm not a bigger man.
posted by yerfatma at 8:41 AM on February 17, 2003


Incredible World War 2 atrocities, primarily.
Ha! So evil warlike Japan commits atrocities during WWII in Korea and now they are harmless, with no armed forces, still occupied by the US, fearing nuclear retaliation from Korea? Ha ha, the tables have turned! That's really odd though.
posted by ac at 8:47 AM on February 17, 2003


Ha! So evil warlike Japan commits atrocities during WWII in Korea and now they are harmless, with no armed forces, still occupied by the US, fearing nuclear retaliation from Korea? Ha ha, the tables have turned! That's really odd though.

you forgot the eye twitch.
posted by clavdivs at 9:27 AM on February 17, 2003


What does the DPRK have against Japan?


Historical grudges aside, if if DPRK attacks anyone in Asia, the world markets collapse and it takes the world a few globally depressed years to restart any type of commerce alongs the lines we've all grown dependant upon.

So one nuke lobbed Japan's way or a million NoKos sacking Seoul is really all it takes to tip the globecon's scales way off balance, and dear leader is playing this card, plain and simple.

On the bright side, dear leader's strategy fscks up China as much as everyone else, and thats probably the only reason he's spurting into the wind.
posted by Fupped Duck at 9:31 AM on February 17, 2003


I will tell you this--one atom bomb goes off anywhere in this world and you'll see the world econmy goes down the toilet so hard for so long that your generation will be named after it. You think 9/11 was bad for the economy, the airlines, consumer confidence--try multiplying that by a hundred.

We can win a war--get real. If we use any of the nuclear weapons anywhere, if one falls here--it would fill every burn unit in every hospital in the country, at least until we ran out of supplies, which would happen in days unless some very brutal triage were done. We would be, at best, a disarmed third world nation on the receiving end of foreign aid for years and years. We would never be number one again. Not ever. And we'd be lucky if we didn't splinter into several smaller states ala the Soviet Union.

We can laugh, we must laugh, in fact, to whistle past the graveyard but underneath is some very scary shit. We can not afford a real war--shit, we may find out we can't afford the coming what some assume to be the easy toy one.

Which is why I am so scared. These people like Steven Den Beste with his Tom Clancy weapons porn, all these warblogger armchair generals who have it all figured out--nobody gets it. The whole point about having nuclear weapons is that you can never, never use them. Because if we do, if Korea does, if Pakistan does, if anyone does, there will be Hell to pay and Hell will not be cheap. and we'll be making the payments for the rest of your life. A third world country.
posted by y2karl at 9:37 AM on February 17, 2003


Maybe I just don't know where to look, but I can't seem to find alot on exactly why W rants about Saddam and his WMD while Kim Jong dares him to "cross this line." Can anyone enlighten me please?
posted by LouReedsSon at 9:37 AM on February 17, 2003


well, Fupped Duck, I guess I don't share your optimism, but other than that, our thoughts were parallel.
posted by y2karl at 9:39 AM on February 17, 2003


While i am no expert on this stuff, it seems to me like the desperate tirades of a despot clinging to power in a region where totalitarian govt's are so last century. Somehow I seriously doubt that your average starving N. Korean farmer guy really wants to start a nuclear conflict with anyone.
posted by H. Roark at 9:41 AM on February 17, 2003


But, H. Roark, do you think your average Iraqi does?
posted by LouReedsSon at 9:46 AM on February 17, 2003


y2karl - isn't third world country generally a relative term? From my viewpoint, it seems hard to imagine a sequence of events whereby America's economy falls off the edge of the world without a concomitant decline in virtually every other country in the world. Therefore, while the ending may ugly and awful and bad, i think the term third world country is not the best. Perhaps a more inclusive term like 'stone age' or something like that.
posted by H. Roark at 9:46 AM on February 17, 2003


LouReedsSon - no. But I also dont remember hearing similar rhetoric from Hussein (1990 excepted of course)
posted by H. Roark at 9:47 AM on February 17, 2003


Just checking H. I guess I'm confused and just a little more than bothered by the way the average American on the the street rants about Iraq but dismisses N Korea. I believe anyone can be a real threat to anyone else if you can't play nice with them. I know, how very simplistic of me. :)
posted by LouReedsSon at 9:53 AM on February 17, 2003


We would be, at best, a disarmed third world nation on the receiving end of foreign aid for years and years. We would never be number one again. Not ever. And we'd be lucky if we didn't splinter into several smaller states ala the Soviet Union.

Geez. You have permission to crawl back under the bed with the dog. Or at least get a writer's job on Terminator IV.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:57 AM on February 17, 2003


AC : It goes far beyond WWII. There is a VERY long history of Japanese agression in Korea and their occupation of Korean began long before WWII. There is too much history there for a post here though.
posted by Plunge at 9:57 AM on February 17, 2003


I used to joke that one thing America needs is a good famine. Now here's y2karl explaining how it could come about. Gee, I guess I'll dig out my copy of Warday and reread it.
posted by alumshubby at 10:03 AM on February 17, 2003


Brent Scowcroft and Daniel Poneman: Korea Can't Wait
posted by homunculus at 10:12 AM on February 17, 2003


"Our victory is certain and the future ever more radiant."

So much so, Kim Jong-Il has to wear shades.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:14 AM on February 17, 2003


If we use any of the nuclear weapons anywhere, if one falls here--it would fill every burn unit in every hospital in the country, at least until we ran out of supplies, which would happen in days unless some very brutal triage were done. We would be, at best, a disarmed third world nation on the receiving end of foreign aid for years and years.

That's just daffy. Having a nuke go off in a city would be a serious bunch of No Fun, to be sure, but it's hardly going to be nation-ending. Nukes just plain aren't that big, at least not the nukes that North Korea likely has. I can't find an estimated yield for their bombs online, surprise surprise, but what I can find about their program makes it seem very unlikely that they'd have hydrogen bombs, and pure fission bombs are going to be in the Hiroshima/Nagasaki ballpark, 15-25 kilotons... call it 50kt to be generous.

Having a 25-50kt bomb go off in your hometown would be a really bad day, but it's not going to end the world. I'm in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, and if you set off a nuke that size in downtown Dallas, you'd mostly take out downtown Dallas. People in the suburbs would mostly lose power and get a whopping great light show (and cancer later), and maybe lose a window or two. People driving on 635, the major ring road, would presumably lose their cars to the EMP but probably wouldn't suffer real blast damage; just a big wind. People in Fort Worth would be largely unaffected, bar the EMP.

Hell, if you dropped a 10-megaton bomb on Dallas (something 200 times bigger than a 50kt bomb), I might lose window or two out in the outer suburbs where I am, but that's it.

In the grand scheme of things, having a 25-50kt nuke go off would probably be less bad than whenever the faults under LA or SF let go in a big way, or having Mt. Hood or Rainier erupt, or having a hurricane kill New Orleans. No fun, but it's not going to reduce the US to a third-world nation or break it up. You want to do that, you need to have Yellowstone go boom, or have that one island in the Canaries slide into the sea and watch the tsunami wipe out the eastern seaboard cities.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:24 AM on February 17, 2003


Wow! I was feeling kind of depressed today and was in need of some cheering up. Thanks, Xenophobe.
posted by deadcowdan at 11:57 AM on February 17, 2003


speaking of trans-pacific fallout . . .
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 12:10 PM on February 17, 2003


Cool ROU_Xenophobe. So what you're saying is a couple Nukes Over America would be like a wild light show for those not in the line of fire and everything could go back to business as usual in a few days? Damn, and I still miss those really big buildings that used to be standing somewhere downtown NY back when the economy wasn't so shaky. My bad!
posted by LouReedsSon at 12:12 PM on February 17, 2003


you need to have Yellowstone go boom

What's with Yellowstone going boom?
posted by ginz at 12:15 PM on February 17, 2003


but it's not going to reduce the US to a third-world nation or break it up.

This is the secret fantasy of the French, and much of the world (and for some, it's not a secret). So look for more Euroweasling once Iraq is fixed, and Korea moves up the charts as a menace.
posted by ParisParamus at 12:25 PM on February 17, 2003


OK, you're right, ROU_Xenophobe--I was up late and in a grim mood and got overdramatic. I thought about it myself, afterward: We get hit by a Hiroshima size bomb--well, how's Hiroshima doing? How's Japan doing? So, my bad. I must say, though, that knowledgeable discussions of 25 megaton airbursts, however accurrate, are not much comfort.

The idea we'll just roll up our sleeves and go back to being happy consumers with high consumer confidence, whistling while we all work, work, work--you know, like we all are now!--and go back to being the prosperous litttle engine that is buy, buy, buying the world into prosperity. I wonder.

It doesn't seem like it would necessarily take all that much to throw our economy into something on the scale of the Great Depression, and if we go down, economically, fast enough and hard enough, doesn't the world go with us? Isn't there a point where, if things start to slide, it all implodes economically? Or am I assigning too much to the concept consumer confidence.

I'm afraid, though, that, have we another WTC scale attack, a Rip Van Winkle who nodded off during the millenium wouldn't recognize the country should he or she suddenly awaken thereafter. Not physically but, you know, socially, politically, wouldn't it be a very different country?

oh, ginz, I saw the link here a few days, ago--turns out Yellowstone is one super sized caldera. It could erupt and send enough ash up to coat the world with a layer a yard deep or something like that. We're talking an inconceivable blast plus nuclear winter. From the geological record, such events happen every 600,000 years, if I recall corrrectly. It's like the movie Armageddon except hold the asteroid--old mother Earth will handle that end.

What a hopeful happy lot we are today!
posted by y2karl at 12:32 PM on February 17, 2003


You rock y2karl! :)
posted by LouReedsSon at 12:37 PM on February 17, 2003


I don't know, PP, about this being France's fantasy, who'd buy their cheese? We've got the world on a string that way.

Jeez, the French are taking more hits than they deserve. You don't think the USA is scaring the pants off the rest of the world? Or is that just dong resin? Oh, wait a minute--the assless thing, ok, right. Nevermind.
posted by y2karl at 12:38 PM on February 17, 2003


> you need to have Yellowstone go boom

Yellowstone is sitting on a single giant volcanic activity area that may well go off boom, all at once like Mt. St. Helens, with a global impact comparable to a big asteroid. This is due and overdue. Walk softly when you feed the bears.
posted by jfuller at 12:39 PM on February 17, 2003


So what you're saying is a couple Nukes Over America would be like a wild light show for those not in the line of fire and everything could go back to business as usual in a few days?

No, I'm saying that it would be big -- Hurricane Andrew big, or somewhat bigger. But even something 2 or 3 times as bad as Andrew was isn't going to turn the US into Third-World-Hellhole-Land. Nor would it drop Britain or Germany or France to the third world; it would be a big but eminently survivable-for-the-nation disaster.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:47 PM on February 17, 2003


(off topic) Thanks y2karl and jfuller. I just read about calderas and Yellowstone. Going back to enjoying life now I still can.
posted by ginz at 12:50 PM on February 17, 2003


...it would be a big but eminently survivable-for-the-nation disaster.

Hmm... Well, I have to believe that just like those chips you can't eat just one of, once the nukes start, people will say fuck it all and all hell will break loose. One after another, and so on... I think it's bad policy to tempt (or ignore) someone, anyone to start using them. Yeah, I'm a-skeered. sigh
posted by LouReedsSon at 1:01 PM on February 17, 2003


I predict that in the future, ParisParamus and Sean Hannity will contine to dislike the exact same people.
posted by mcsweetie at 1:27 PM on February 17, 2003


Blame the Raelians
posted by y2karl at 2:16 PM on February 17, 2003


Make DC and NY disappear, or at least become uninhabitable, and the US will fall apart economically, and hence socially, and hence politically. Damn those Raelians.
posted by alumshubby at 2:48 PM on February 17, 2003


ginz: don't forget the mega-tsunami! (more here)
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:14 PM on February 17, 2003


For the time being, I think I'm going to go along with the Onion's point of view on this.

So is The Times of India.
posted by homunculus at 5:37 PM on February 17, 2003


China's dilemma in tackling N. Korea crisis
posted by homunculus at 5:42 PM on February 17, 2003


Thanks for reminding me ROU_Xenophobe. *thwack*
posted by ginz at 8:19 AM on February 18, 2003


Get Your War On!
posted by DyRE at 5:41 PM on February 18, 2003


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