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"Since the US is about to ignite a nuclear war...Follow

#1 Mar 11 2013 at 1:39 AM Rating: Good
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Even China is backing away very, very carefully from the crazy that has built up in North Korea under new military dictator Kim Jong-un. Up until now China has stuck to North Korea through thick and thin... but not when they pull out this:

"Since the US is about to ignite a nuclear war, we will be exerting our right to pre-emptive nuclear attack against the headquarters of the aggressor in order to protect our supreme interest." ~ NK Foreign Ministry message read out on NK nightly news.

Now, everyone is pretty sure that NK missiles can't reach America. But they DO have enough fissile material for dirty bombs. And the state daily lies to its people about what goes on outside of NK. It likes to rant about Sought Korean and USA hostility and aggression towards the NK people almost nightly on the news. It's a bit dangerous when a nation of starving and oppressed people get pointed at a common enemy outside themselves, as WW2 in Europe demonstrates. I'm not worried about the situation in Iran. Up to now nobody has been insane enough to wage an overt fissile nuclear war. But I'm really worried that Kim Jong-un doens't know how dangerous nuclear fire is to play with. If the worst comes to the worst, Russia and China may agree with the UN and USA that NK needs to be turned into glass, for the safety of the rest of the world.

I'm starting to play with the idea that the means of one lone assassin may justify the ends.
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#2 Mar 11 2013 at 3:42 AM Rating: Excellent
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Eh, they'll never do it. There are enough people in North Korea who are (relatively) wealthy and who have no desire to give up their lifestyle for the unknown of the afterlife and launching a nuclear attack on anyone is a guaranteed suicide.

And I don't even know how much of this is Kim Jong-un and how much of it is the generals and whatnot that he inherited from his dad.
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#3 Mar 11 2013 at 5:01 AM Rating: Excellent
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I'm so tired of this world. One moment it's religious fanatics who blame everyone else for the troubles they put themselves in; the next it's a crazy manchild dictator with daddy issues in control of a brainwashed country. All we need now is some evil mastermind who decides to hold the world ransom because money.

**** it, I'm going to buy a piece of land outside the city. On that land, I'll build an elevator shaft that will lead down to an underground world, safe from nuclear blasts and radioactive fallout. The underground facility will be financed partly by acting as a testing facility for the development of biological weaponry. And I'll put an advanced artificial intelligence in control of everything, including containment protocols.

I don't even know where I get these ideas from, but they're fantastic!
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#4 Mar 11 2013 at 5:29 AM Rating: Good
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Uhuh... Fantastic.



Why don't you start a new city at the bottom of the ocean while you're at it?
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#5 Mar 11 2013 at 5:58 AM Rating: Good
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Uhuh... Fantastic.



Why don't you start a new city at the bottom of the ocean while you're at it?


Screenshot


Anyway, the biggest risk here is Japan. North Korea tends to hate them even more than they hate us, and they're definitely within range. Plus, their population density ensures that a missile blast anywhere near them would be devastating.
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#6 Mar 11 2013 at 9:23 AM Rating: Good
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Yup. If NK attacked Japan, I think the USA would be drawn in to defend Japan. And that could really upset the Chinese.

Australia would really be in a strategic pickle. We're actually on pretty much equally good terms with China and Japan. And China is keeping our economy afloat right now. We'd have to take sides, instead of being a current neutral broker between China and the USA/Japan.
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#7 Mar 11 2013 at 9:31 AM Rating: Excellent
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If NK does something stupid China drops them in a heart beat. Why risk all out war with your biggest trading partners over some minor state that does nothing but mooch off of you and cause diplomatic headaches. NK is a convenient cushion and that's about it.
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#8 Mar 11 2013 at 9:33 AM Rating: Excellent
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Aripyanfar wrote:
If (X) attacked (Y), I think the USA would be drawn in to defend (Y).
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#9 Mar 11 2013 at 9:42 AM Rating: Excellent
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I laughed way too hard at this and now people in the library are looking at me...

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Edited, Mar 11th 2013 11:42am by Nilatai
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#10 Mar 11 2013 at 10:00 AM Rating: Excellent
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Aripyanfar wrote:
Yup. If NK attacked Japan, I think the USA would be drawn in to defend Japan. And that could really upset the Chinese.


The Chinese Government stated that they weren't happy about NK's nuclear testing. If NK does attack Japan then I bet China is going to wash their hands clean of it and let NK get stomped.


In short, what Protein-Joph said.

Edited, Mar 11th 2013 12:02pm by Shaowstrike
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#11 Mar 11 2013 at 10:14 AM Rating: Excellent
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Aripyanfar wrote:
Yup. If NK attacked Japan, I think the USA would be drawn in to defend Japan.

Don't quote me (or do quote me, see if I care!) but I'm fairly sure the US has a defensive treaty with Japan as part of their whole post-WWII military draw down and US military base establishment.
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#12 Mar 11 2013 at 10:17 AM Rating: Excellent
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#13 Mar 11 2013 at 10:24 AM Rating: Excellent
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#14 Mar 11 2013 at 10:32 AM Rating: Excellent
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#15 Mar 11 2013 at 10:39 AM Rating: Good
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Smiley: lol
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#16 Mar 11 2013 at 10:43 AM Rating: Excellent
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I could have responded with "Treaty of Mutual Cooperation and Security between the United States and Japan signed in 1951" but that was more boring.
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#17 Mar 11 2013 at 11:28 AM Rating: Good
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someproteinguy wrote:
If NK does something stupid China drops them in a heart beat. Why risk all out war with your biggest trading partners over some minor state that does nothing but mooch off of you and cause diplomatic headaches. NK is a convenient cushion and that's about it.


Definitely this. China has eclipsed the US as Japan's primary trading partner globally. Even if there's not a lot of cultural love there, there's a MASSIVE amount of economic love.

And then you add the US into the mix, and China has a VERY strong reason to do anything they can to keep the peace. It's more likely that they'd assist Japan and the US in a war against NK, because they'd be insane to do anything else.

But the other thing China absolutely doesn't want is a stronger American military presence in Asia, so they'll do everything they can to prevent anything actually aggressive from NK.
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#18 Mar 11 2013 at 11:30 AM Rating: Decent
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Now, everyone is pretty sure that NK missiles can't reach America.


I see this said a lot and I've always wondered. Why does this matter? I mean, it matters for typical explosive ordinance as you need fast multiple delivery capability to be effective but Nuclear bombs aren't typical ordinance. In a first strike scenario with a nuclear weapon you can take as long as you like to get the weapon into position before setting it off. There are individuals who could get one of these into the country let alone sovereign nations...

Not that I think they're stupid enough to do it, I mean, a bottle of sleeping pills would be much cheaper.
#19 Mar 11 2013 at 12:39 PM Rating: Decent
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Yodabunny wrote:
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Now, everyone is pretty sure that NK missiles can't reach America.


I see this said a lot and I've always wondered. Why does this matter? I mean, it matters for typical explosive ordinance as you need fast multiple delivery capability to be effective but Nuclear bombs aren't typical ordinance. In a first strike scenario with a nuclear weapon you can take as long as you like to get the weapon into position before setting it off. There are individuals who could get one of these into the country let alone sovereign nations...


It matters because NK would never settle for one or two bombs. They're not terrorists hiding in a cave in a desert. If NK takes a shot at the US, it will be war. Nuclear war. Need ICBMs for that, which they probably already have. I mean, they almost sent a rocket into space a while back, and if they're really building the warheads right now then they've already got the delivery system.
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#20 Mar 11 2013 at 1:08 PM Rating: Decent
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Mazra wrote:
It matters because NK would never settle for one or two bombs.


Why does this require ICBMs? Bring them in on submersibles and have dudes throw them into vans on the beach and drive them to the nearest Walmart.

Heck, throw them in container ships and ship them to a bunch of ports, blow them right at the docks and take out every major port in the US without even having to clear customs.

These are just amateur off the cuff solutions, I'm sure NK, or any country for that matter, can come up with much better options without requiring advanced long range ICBMs, transportation and logistics aren't exactly new concepts for military applications. ICBMs are nice and all but they're really only needed for retaliation or short time frame advanced strikes. In a first strike scenario your delivery system doesn't need to be as quick, and certainly not as overt.

Drug cartels bring in tons of illicit materials every day, it's not "rocket science" :).
#21 Mar 11 2013 at 1:27 PM Rating: Excellent
Sure, they could try.

Yodabunny wrote:
Why does this require ICBMs? Bring them in on submersibles and have dudes throw them into vans on the beach and drive them to the nearest Walmart.


Assuming NK has anything that could actually get that far (unlikely, their stuff is from the 50s mostly), the US would get wind of it way before they got anywhere close to the continent. Boom, down goes the sub.

Quote:
Heck, throw them in container ships and ship them to a bunch of ports, blow them right at the docks and take out every major port in the US without even having to clear customs.


Ships coming from where? We have naval forces stationed all around NK, and we're not really trading with them right now. The nuke would have to come in on a SK or Chinese ship, and good luck getting it onto one of those undetected.

Quote:
These are just amateur off the cuff solutions, I'm sure NK, or any country for that matter, can come up with much better options without requiring advanced long range ICBMs, transportation and logistics aren't exactly new concepts for military applications. ICBMs are nice and all but they're really only needed for retaliation or short time frame advanced strikes. In a first strike scenario your delivery system doesn't need to be as quick, and certainly not as overt.

Drug cartels bring in tons of illicit materials every day, it's not "rocket science" :).


The point is, for anything naval, and I really do mean anything, the United States has that sh*t on lockdown. Quoth the Wiki about the US Navy: "It is the largest navy in the world, with a battle fleet tonnage that is greater than that of the next 13 largest navies combined."

There is almost nothing North Korea could do in a naval situation with any hope of succeeding.

Edited, Mar 11th 2013 3:28pm by IDrownFish
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#22 Mar 11 2013 at 1:39 PM Rating: Good
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I don't think the problem is in any likelihood of NK actually setting any fission bombs off on USA soil. I am worried that Kim Jong-un has grown up in such a sheltered bubble world, that he could be crazy stupid enough to lob his three nukes at the South Koreans, or at US military installations anywhere in Asia. From that point on, things would be *bound* to get ugly. Even if China and Russia join up with everyone else to flatten NK.

Plus, the northern Hemisphere will have MORE nuclear radiation pollution/fallout than it already does.

Edited, Mar 11th 2013 3:40pm by Aripyanfar
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#23 Mar 11 2013 at 1:52 PM Rating: Decent
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Ocean point drops via sail boat pleasure craft then. The US isn't in some impermeable bubble of instant eradication. **** it's not even all that well guarded when it comes to small craft. It's a big coast. And those container ships wouldn't have to be NK or Chinese at all. You would want to smuggle them out of the country and take them from a different port for obvious reasons but that's certainly doable, particularly when you control one side of the border. Buy all the border guards and dock employees for a million each for the week, hell, shoot them on the way through and make it look like a terrorist attack. You're starting a nuclear war, cost isn't an issue, neither are repercussions since you'll be a glass parking lot soon anyway.
#24 Mar 11 2013 at 1:55 PM Rating: Decent
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Aripyanfar wrote:
I don't think the problem is in any likelihood of NK actually setting any fission bombs off on USA soil. I am worried that Kim Jong-un has grown up in such a sheltered bubble world, that he could be crazy stupid enough to lob his three nukes at the South Koreans, or at US military installations anywhere in Asia.


Yes, I would expect headquarters to refer to a military installation more than a political one.
#25 Mar 11 2013 at 2:04 PM Rating: Excellent
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Aripyanfar wrote:
I don't think the problem is in any likelihood of NK actually setting any fission bombs off on USA soil. I am worried that Kim Jong-un has grown up in such a sheltered bubble world, that he could be crazy stupid enough to lob his three nukes at the South Koreans, or at US military installations anywhere in Asia. From that point on, things would be *bound* to get ugly. Even if China and Russia join up with everyone else to flatten NK.

Plus, the northern Hemisphere will have MORE nuclear radiation pollution/fallout than it already does.
Again, I highly doubt that this is anything more than show. I'm confident that there are plenty of people in the political elite of NK who know how bad an idea it is to nuke anyone to make sure it never happens.

Smart people don't tend to run into wars that are pretty much guaranteed to end in a loss and take their lives in the progress.
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#26 Mar 11 2013 at 2:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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Ocean point drops via sail boat pleasure craft then. The US isn't in some impermeable bubble of instant eradication. **** it's not even all that well guarded when it comes to small craft. It's a big coast. And those container ships wouldn't have to be NK or Chinese at all. You would want to smuggle them out of the country and take them from a different port for obvious reasons but that's certainly doable, particularly when you control one side of the border. Buy all the border guards and dock employees for a million each for the week, hell, shoot them on the way through and make it look like a terrorist attack. You're starting a nuclear war, cost isn't an issue, neither are repercussions since you'll be a glass parking lot soon anyway.


The US isn't that well guarded when it comes to general things, but in a case like this when North Korea is saying "Hey, we're going to toss some nukes your way, heads up!" even though we know they won't, you can bet they'll still be watching things very carefully. Any attack coming from North Korea would be stopped pretty quickly.

Of course, what do I know? I'm not in the Navy. I'm just guessing here.
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#27 Mar 11 2013 at 2:14 PM Rating: Excellent
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His Excellency Aethien wrote:
Aripyanfar wrote:
I don't think the problem is in any likelihood of NK actually setting any fission bombs off on USA soil. I am worried that Kim Jong-un has grown up in such a sheltered bubble world, that he could be crazy stupid enough to lob his three nukes at the South Koreans, or at US military installations anywhere in Asia. From that point on, things would be *bound* to get ugly. Even if China and Russia join up with everyone else to flatten NK.

Plus, the northern Hemisphere will have MORE nuclear radiation pollution/fallout than it already does.
Again, I highly doubt that this is anything more than show. I'm confident that there are plenty of people in the political elite of NK who know how bad an idea it is to nuke anyone to make sure it never happens.

Smart people don't tend to run into wars that are pretty much guaranteed to end in a loss and take their lives in the progress.

Makes me wonder what they do if squeezed enough. If they've been restricted to the point their country/power is unsustainable wouldn't put it past them to lob something at someone as a "screw you" kind of thing before going under.

Right now though it just seems more of the same. Lots of news about what people are saying or not saying. I'll be more concerned when I hear something like "NK moves 200,000 additional troops to the border" or the like.
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#28 Mar 11 2013 at 2:43 PM Rating: Excellent
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If NK did manage to detonate a bomb it would still likely be no bigger than around 20 kilotons. America could respond with one around 15 megatons and call it a day.
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#29 Mar 11 2013 at 2:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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It's not the blast that's the issue, it's the fallout. With the North/South wind currents that Japan experiences a couple of dirty bombs can render the northern 25% of the country uninhabitable for quite a while.

Edited, Mar 11th 2013 5:14pm by Shaowstrike
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#30 Mar 11 2013 at 3:07 PM Rating: Good
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Uninhabitable, right? Unless the radiation mutates the crops and turns the soil super fertile or something.

Yodabunny wrote:
Heck, throw them in container ships and ship them to a bunch of ports, blow them right at the docks and take out every major port in the US without even having to clear customs.


Thirteen Days. The Russians tried it back in the 60's and it didn't fly. Smiley: tongue

Whatever, I've played Homefront and seen Red Dawn. Obviously, if the North Koreans do decide to attack the US, they'll launch a full-scale invasion on the western border, but they'll only get to Chicago before being repelled by a handful of courageous teenagers lead by a former military man.

Smiley: thumbsup
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#31 Mar 11 2013 at 3:14 PM Rating: Good
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Mazra wrote:
Uninhabitable, right? Unless the radiation mutates the crops and turns the soil super fertile or something.


Yeah that word. Smiley: bah
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#32 Mar 11 2013 at 4:16 PM Rating: Good
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Completely unrelated, but I was having issues deciding when I wrote my last post. Do you use "see" or "watch" about watching/seeing a movie?

Confusing language (we just use one word for it - "se").
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#33 Mar 11 2013 at 4:37 PM Rating: Excellent
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Either one.

Watch to me seems to indicate you liked it, or were interested in it, or were paying more attention to it than just saying "I saw it."
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#34 Mar 11 2013 at 4:50 PM Rating: Good
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It's funny how two words, that essentially mean the same thing, can change the meaning of a sentence so much.

I see you. I watch you. One has a slightly creepy ring to it while the other was used as a romantic catchphrase in the highest grossing movie of all time.
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#35 Mar 11 2013 at 6:38 PM Rating: Good
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Mazra wrote:
It's funny how two words, that essentially mean the same thing, can change the meaning of a sentence so much.

One has a slightly creepy ring to it while the other was used as a romantic catchphrase in the highest grossing movie of all time.






So which one was creepy again?
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#36 Mar 11 2013 at 8:57 PM Rating: Excellent
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Mazra wrote:
It's funny how two words, that essentially mean the same thing, can change the meaning of a sentence so much.
Then there's the fun of one word meaning two things. "I'm a **** object. I ask for sex, and she objects."
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#37 Mar 11 2013 at 9:32 PM Rating: Excellent
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Mazra wrote:
It's funny how two words, that essentially mean the same thing, can change the meaning of a sentence so much.
Then there's the fun of one word meaning two things. "I'm a **** object. I ask for sex, and she objects."

I have a theory that it is actually all the imprecisions in the English Language that have made it persist as the main trading language beyond the colonel era. You can mangle the language badly, as a beginner speaker of it, and you still have a good chance of getting your meaning across. Other English speakers are used to picking up actual meaning of individual words from the context of the whole sentence, or from the subject at hand.
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#38 Mar 11 2013 at 9:32 PM Rating: Excellent
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Mazra wrote:
Yodabunny wrote:
Quote:
Now, everyone is pretty sure that NK missiles can't reach America.


I see this said a lot and I've always wondered. Why does this matter? I mean, it matters for typical explosive ordinance as you need fast multiple delivery capability to be effective but Nuclear bombs aren't typical ordinance. In a first strike scenario with a nuclear weapon you can take as long as you like to get the weapon into position before setting it off. There are individuals who could get one of these into the country let alone sovereign nations...


It matters because NK would never settle for one or two bombs. They're not terrorists hiding in a cave in a desert. If NK takes a shot at the US, it will be war. Nuclear war. Need ICBMs for that, which they probably already have. I mean, they almost sent a rocket into space a while back, and if they're really building the warheads right now then they've already got the delivery system.


North Korea doesn't have enough plutonium to lauch a large scale missile based nuclear attack. It takes roughly 4-8kg Plutonium to make a lightweight nuclear weapon. North Korea could possibly have up to 131 Kg Plutonium at their Yongbyon reactor, which is capable of prodicing about 6KW per year. they had 16KG in 1989, call it another 115 since then if they were operating full blast, for probably enough for 26-30 missile loads, assuming small payloads.Thats assuming they were running full out every year they possibly could have, which we don't think they were. I personally would put it closer to 10 at the outside. Which either way would be bad, but is nowhere near enough to impede the military strenght of the United States. mainly because as soon as we saw them opening up their missile silos, we would nuke the **** out of them with the ICBM submarines we keep nearby, and China would probably help nuke them at that point maybe even before we did. We've never seen North Korea sucessfully test an implosion based plutonium weapon yet either. They probably have the designs, and they probably even built some, but I would doubt they have anything flight tested or ready to go in quantity. Implosion triggers are tricksy stuff, and making a nucelar weapon that will withstand a rocket launch is even trickier.

North Korean missiles are basically **** at the moment, so they wouldn't really be able to hit anything aside from japan and south Korea. Maybe Australia. Possibly a few rogue Denmark shots there just to keep things interesting. They sent the rocket almost into space, they didn't send a payload heavy enough to mean something up with the rocket...

The bigger threat comes from their uranium bomb stockpiles. they have a bunch of those probably given how much uranium they have, and they could load a bunch of them up on trucks and roll into the DMZ easily enough, or stick them in freighters and sail them into harbors, etc. The usual fun stuff.
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#39 Mar 11 2013 at 11:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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North Korea doesn't have enough plutonium to launch a DeLorean back to the future, back to the present, back to the past, and back the future again.


Fixed.
#40 Mar 12 2013 at 3:06 PM Rating: Decent
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While the US isn't exactly a secure bubble, we do have means of detecting radioactive materials. It's not foolproof, obviously, but the idea of loading nuclear bombs on pleasure craft and sailing them into harbors is unlikely to work. You'd need some kind of container with sufficient shielding to prevent detection. And that would have to go through third party ports, increasing the likelihood of being picked up. It's not quite as simple as it may seem at first.

It's far more likely that the saber rattling is designed to do two things:

1. Secure the new boy-king as a tough guy among his own people and leaders.

2. Scare people just enough that they'll give NK more aid money.

Let's not forget that the NK economy more or less exists solely because of foreign aid. China gives them money and materials to maintain them as a semi-puppet state. We (and other western nations) give them "humanitarian aid" under the idea that if we appear to be helping their people and providing them some basic subsistence, they'll be less likely to actually do something really really crazy. Oh. And we pay them to not build the nuclear weapons that they build anyway. So there's that too.
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I laughed way too hard at this and now people in the library are looking at me...

dailyoftheday.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/little-man-syndrome.jpg

Edited, Mar 11th 2013 11:42am by Nilatai


I enjoyed that strip, so I did a Google search on the artist to see what else he did.

Imagine my surprise when the first Google hit was WikiFur...

Edit: To be fair, he's not a obscene fur artist... and now I'm stuck reading some 800 odd strips of a comic called Sequential Art which I am enjoying.

Edited, Mar 12th 2013 7:12pm by TirithRR
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#42 Mar 12 2013 at 8:07 PM Rating: Good
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gbaji wrote:
It's far more likely that the saber rattling is designed to do two things:

1. Secure the new boy-king as a tough guy among his own people and leaders.

2. Scare people just enough that they'll give NK more aid money.

I definitely agree that the saber rattling is designed to do the first thing. And I wouldn't be surprised if it was also meant to do the second thing. But I think that he's NOT achieved the second aim, this time around. I'm a little hazy around NK current affairs but I THINK that the UN/NATO/ASEAN etc had decided food aid wasn't working to prevent any NKoreans from starving, and that there was a decision to wind it back, if not cut it off altogether. This might have been what prompted the pre-emptive nuclear strike threat from Kim Jung-un, but I think he's badly misjudged his tactic. Nuclear weapons are too deadly serious for any nation to just assume they've been put on the table as a bluff. And they are too deadly serious for any nation to allow themselves to be held hostage by them. I can't stress enough how significant it is that China has walked away from NK on this one.
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#43 Mar 12 2013 at 8:25 PM Rating: Decent
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Aripyanfar wrote:
gbaji wrote:
It's far more likely that the saber rattling is designed to do two things:

1. Secure the new boy-king as a tough guy among his own people and leaders.

2. Scare people just enough that they'll give NK more aid money.

I definitely agree that the saber rattling is designed to do the first thing. And I wouldn't be surprised if it was also meant to do the second thing. But I think that he's NOT achieved the second aim, this time around. I'm a little hazy around NK current affairs but I THINK that the UN/NATO/ASEAN etc had decided food aid wasn't working to prevent any NKoreans from starving, and that there was a decision to wind it back, if not cut it off altogether. This might have been what prompted the pre-emptive nuclear strike threat from Kim Jung-un, but I think he's badly misjudged his tactic. Nuclear weapons are too deadly serious for any nation to just assume they've been put on the table as a bluff. And they are too deadly serious for any nation to allow themselves to be held hostage by them. I can't stress enough how significant it is that China has walked away from NK on this one.


You could be right, but historically that's how NK gets other nations to give it money. I wouldn't put it past him to think that having nuclear weapons just makes his demands that much more powerful and thus entitles him to more money. I agree that this may be a mistake on his part, but is it really? If the rest of the nations in the region actually think he's crazy enough to go through with it, you don't think they'll find some excuse to hand him some cash and get him to stop? I think that real politik steps in at some point, and I think he's counting on it.


He may very well be right, unfortunately.
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#44 Mar 12 2013 at 8:51 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
While the US isn't exactly a secure bubble, we do have means of detecting radioactive materials. It's not foolproof, obviously, but the idea of loading nuclear bombs on pleasure craft and sailing them into harbors is unlikely to work. You'd need some kind of container with sufficient shielding to prevent detection. And that would have to go through third party ports, increasing the likelihood of being picked up. It's not quite as simple as it may seem at first.


Which is why I said "freighter" of which North Korea does own a few of, believe it or not. Also, they have access to lead and carbon, so shielding neutron radiation from an inert nuclear weapon the size of a small volkswagon is not exactly an impossiblity (especially in the bowels of a giant dense steel faraday cage with 3 feet cumulative steel sheet between the device and the sensors assuming they aren't borded). Not to mention the whole North Korea being surrounded halfway by water thing. They "let" a few dozen starving refugees "escape" on an old single hull freighter, wait for it to sail into the nearest frendly harbor, then boom! Everyone should be panicking about that possibility and ignoring air travel threats entirely at this point, but no one does.
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#45 Mar 12 2013 at 9:12 PM Rating: Good
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I'm reasonably certain most nations coast guards board and search ships in that condition prior to taking them into harbor. Obviously, there are ways around any security, but it's not quite as easy as "load nuclear weapon on a ship and sail it to the US". A cargo container on some kind of freighter would be the most likely means of delivery, but they'd almost certainly have to pass the container through a few hands (and nations) to get it there with any chance of not being searched. And that process itself increases the odds of such a thing being randomly discovered. I'm sure you're aware that radiation detection devices can be ridiculously sensitive, it's just a matter of whether they're employed (and how). Also realize that the kinds of countermeasures that would be required to conceal such a weapon would also be unusual enough to potentially be picked up (why is this one container opaque to pretty much every frequency of RF?).

And even if you avoid detection, how do you set off the bomb? Can't radio detonate it, cause anything capable of preventing the bomb from being detected will also prevent radio waves from penetrating. Any physical trigger (like on the door) runs a risk of detonating prematurely (those containers aren't exactly handled with care). Again, these are surmountable problems, but I'm just pointing out that the kinds of things a terrorist group might try a nation might not precisely because the terrorist group can afford to fail as many times as it takes, while a nation like NK really only gets one shot at doing something like this. I'm not saying that this isn't something to be concerned about, but I just don't see NK going this route anyway. I don't think they want to blow anyone up. They just want people to think they might.


Then again, there's no full accounting for crazy.
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#46 Mar 12 2013 at 10:40 PM Rating: Excellent
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gbaji wrote:
I'm reasonably certain most nations coast guards board and search ships in that condition prior to taking them into harbor. Obviously, there are ways around any security, but it's not quite as easy as "load nuclear weapon on a ship and sail it to the US". A cargo container on some kind of freighter would be the most likely means of delivery, but they'd almost certainly have to pass the container through a few hands (and nations) to get it there with any chance of not being searched. And that process itself increases the odds of such a thing being randomly discovered. I'm sure you're aware that radiation detection devices can be ridiculously sensitive, it's just a matter of whether they're employed (and how). Also realize that the kinds of countermeasures that would be required to conceal such a weapon would also be unusual enough to potentially be picked up (why is this one container opaque to pretty much every frequency of RF?).

Don't even need to be anywhere near a harbor really, lots of populated areas right next to land. Sneaking up on the US would be tricky, but sneaking into range of South Korea? Not difficult at all. Martime officials usually sleep sometime, and night inspections are rare unless they think you are already sneaking something. Would they ignore a north Korea flagged freighter? probably not, but what if it's flying a Japanese flag and has a fresh coat of the finest paint North Korea can buy? Doesn't ever need to exit north Korean control or even be at sea longer than a few hours to get from Pyongyang to somewhere "interesting" at night.

Most radiation detection equipment decreases in sensitivity logrithmically the further you are from the source. We can detect detonation from space easily, or from land anywhere on the planet when the neutron surge happens, but tracking an inert soft ball sized piece of plutonium inside a large lead and carbon box inside a steel cargo freighter at anything closer edit: further than a mile isn't happeneing. Too many potential background radiation sources.

gbaji wrote:

And even if you avoid detection, how do you set off the bomb? Can't radio detonate it, cause anything capable of preventing the bomb from being detected will also prevent radio waves from penetrating. Any physical trigger (like on the door) runs a risk of detonating prematurely (those containers aren't exactly handled with care). Again, these are surmountable problems, but I'm just pointing out that the kinds of things a terrorist group might try a nation might not precisely because the terrorist group can afford to fail as many times as it takes, while a nation like NK really only gets one shot at doing something like this. I'm not saying that this isn't something to be concerned about, but I just don't see NK going this route anyway. I don't think they want to blow anyone up. They just want people to think they might.

Then again, there's no full accounting for crazy.

Thats an easy one. Physical hardline from the bomb to an external antenna / cell phone. And if you can build the infrastructure to produce a functional nuclear weapon, you can probably figure out a simple remote relay switch. One would hope anyways.

North Korea probably wouldn't try that, and they probably wouldn't try it on us, but against South Korea, who knows. And North Korea is about as zany as they come these days. Who knew Kim Jungle was the stable sane one of the family???

Edited, Mar 12th 2013 11:30pm by Kaolian
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#48 Mar 14 2013 at 3:45 AM Rating: Excellent
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Dread Lörd Kaolian wrote:
Would they ignore a north Korea flagged freighter? probably not, but what if it's flying a Japanese flag and has a fresh coat of the finest paint North Korea can buy? Doesn't ever need to exit north Korean control or even be at sea longer than a few hours to get from Pyongyang to somewhere "interesting" at night.


Bolded where your evil plan for them goes wrong, NK can't afford fresh paint.
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#49 Mar 14 2013 at 4:32 AM Rating: Good
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dustinedan2 wrote:
Fanaticism begets chaos. Radicalism begets folly. A nuclear war between east and west spearheaded by a fanatically radicalized Iranian leadership and the American leadership's belief that only our way is the right way may lead us into a nuclear holocaust that very few may survive unscathed.

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Iran don't even have nukes yet. Smiley: dubious
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#50 Mar 14 2013 at 11:42 AM Rating: Good
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Even if NK smuggles a nuke, covered in lead and carbon, onto a covert freighter with a Japanese flag, there's still the matter of spies and **** I know the Cold War is over, but I think it's safe to assume that the US has a couple of guys in NK keeping tabs on this stuff.

Whatever, Jack Bauer will handle it, assuming he's still alive.
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#51 Mar 14 2013 at 12:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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Mazra wrote:
I think it's safe to assume that the US has a couple of guys in NK keeping tabs on this stuff.

As long as they aren't the same people we had on the ground in Iraq keeping tabs on the WMDs.
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