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Thread: Korean Peninsula On The Brink Of War

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    S.Korea president: attacks on civilians unforgiveable


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    SEOUL | Tue Nov 23, 2010 8:26am EST

    SEOUL Nov 23 (Reuters) - President Lee Myung-bak said on Tuesday it was unforgiveable for North Korea to fire artillery shells at civilians on a South Korean island.



    "Indiscriminate attacks on civilians are unpardonable, also in a humanitarian sense," he told a military briefing, according to a pool report. The North fired a barrage of shells at the island, killing two soldiers and setting residential areas ablaze.
    (Reporting by Miyoung Kim and Hyunjoo Jin; editing by Jeremy Laurence)
    (Created by Andrew Marshall)
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Wall street?

    Asian markets are down... 1.3 to 5 percent down.

    Eu markets...stocks hit by Korean and Irish concerns.

    US Markets opening lower because of Korea.


    I'm far from being in the know about this stuff, but its always an indicator of "the shape of things to come" I think.
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    I've always been of the mindset that when Kim knows his exit is upon him, he'll go out with a bang. Because quite frankly, he doesn't care what he leaves behind.

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Morning Bell: Don’t Give In To North Korea Demands



    Don’t Give In To North Korea Demands
    At 2:43 PM local time today, North Korea fired artillery rockets at the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong setting dozens of residential homes ablaze, wounding three civilians and fifteen soldiers, and killing two South Korean Marines. South Korea responded with artillery fire of their own but while they placed fighter planes on alert none took off. For hours North Korea offered no explanation for the attack on the island, which is two miles south of the Northern Limit Line and eight miles from shore, but by late in the evening the official North Korean news finally acknowledged the incident claiming that the South had "recklessly fired into our sea area."

    This is not the first time the North Koreans have threatened South Korea in the Yellow Sea (also called the West Sea). In August, the North fired 110 artillery shells near Yeonpyeong and another island. And in March, 46 sailors were killed when a North Korean torpedo sunk the Cheonan. Today’s artillery shelling furthers North Korea's tactical objectives of asserting sovereignty over the West Sea Area. But, more importantly, it furthers the North's strategic escalating pattern of provocations designed to force the United States and South Korea to abandon pressure tactics, including sanctions on the regime. The White House must not give into these tactics.

    Pyongyang’s actions, including this weekend's revelations of a covert uranium enrichment facility, are designed to weaken U.S. and South Korean resolve and force the U.S. back to Six Party Talks on nuclear negotiations; which is exactly what China called on the U.S. to do after today's incident. So far the U.S. and South Korean governments have properly resisted North Korean demands and they must continue to do so. That the Chinese continue to abet the North Korean’s tactics should also make us think long and hard about the sort of partner/competitor we face with China.

    But this incident is also another reminder of the White House's misplaced priorities. While Obama spends every waking second using Chicago-style tactics to press for ratification of the New START nuclear deal with Russia, North Korea is running amok. New START offers the US no new tools to deal with Iran and North Korea which are the clear and present danger. Instead, all New START does is tie our military's hands by limiting our capacity to build the missile defense systems necessary to deal with these regimes. The President should spend less time hawking flawed treaties to justify his Nobel Peace Prize and invest more time in fighting for peace against America's enemies.
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    By Aaron Back
    Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
    BEIJING (Dow Jones)--The U.S. envoy to North Korea condemned the country Tuesday over a deadly exchange of artillery fire with South Korea but urged restraint from both sides of the divided peninsula.



    Stephen Bosworth said North Korea initiated the violence that killed two South Korea soldiers posted on a South Korean island near the disputed Korean maritime border.



    The U.S. "strongly condemns this aggression on the part of North Korea, and we stand firmly with our allies," he said after talks Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi. Bosworth said he agreed with Yang that restraint is needed from all sides.



    North Korea's official media said it fired on the island in response to artillery fire from the South.



    Bosworth said he had a "very useful" dialogue with Chinese officials on North Korea's claim to have a working uranium enrichment program.



    The U.S. and China both agree on the need for a multilateral approach and for further efforts to bring about the resumption of six-nation talks on North Korea's nuclear program.

    -By Aaron Back, Dow Jones Newswires; 8610 8400 7799; aaron.back@dowjones.com
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    23 November 2010 Last updated at 08:30 ET Koreas in border artillery clash





    By Jonathan Marcus BBC diplomatic correspondent The Cheonan warship sank near the disputed Yellow Sea border
    Continue reading the main story North Korea: A Secretive State





    Nobody needed any reminder of the volatility of relations between North and South Korea nor of the sensitivity of this zone close to the disputed maritime border between the two countries.



    Last March a South Korean warship was sunk by an explosion - with the loss of 46 lives - and an international investigation indicated strongly that the North Koreans were responsible.



    Now, the shelling of this small South Korean island fits into the same pattern.
    From the North Korean viewpoint this is about establishing a deterrence strategy over the South and defending its vital interests.



    An annual South Korean military exercise is under way across the country. The North Koreans demanded that this be halted. And when it went ahead, for whatever reason, this clash erupted.


    However, this episode is much more than just an opportunity for the regime in Pyongyang to rattle sabres, bolster the morale of its own population and dismay that of the South.



    It represents a demonstration to the outside world of North Korea's power and - many analysts believe too - that it is symptomatic of some kind of political transition at the very top of the North Korean power structure.



    Quite what is going on in the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, is very hard to say; the inner workings of North Korea's government are almost impossible to discern from outside.


    Nonetheless there are strong indications that Kim Jong-il - North Korea's ailing ruler - has designated his son, Kim Jong-un, as his likely successor.



    How this is going down within the regime's ruling circles is unclear. Is there jockeying for influence? What does the military think? Are factional struggles bubbling to the surface? Nobody outside the country really knows.


    Inevitably this all opens up a period of uncertainty and unpredictability and just this kind of military incident is exactly what some seasoned Korea observers most feared.
    International condemnation

    Demonstrating its military power and resolve - just like the recent revelation of a massive uranium enrichment facility in Yongbyon - also serves Pyongyang's wider diplomacy.

    The public profile of Kim Jong-un has risen greatly in recent months


    It wants to get the attention of the outside world - notably the Americans. Some argue that Pyongyang is eager to return to talks about its nuclear capability, albeit at a price.



    The problem is that decoding Pyongyang's intentions from its actions is never easy. And this - linked also to the fact that there are very few levers that can be pulled to influence this isolated country - is what makes devising a strategy to cope with this incident so difficult.


    Diplomatic reaction has been swift, with China expressing its dismay at the turn of events without specifically condemning the North.



    Russia has been more emphatic in blaming the North Koreans while both governments insist on the need for a diplomatic solution to the problems between the two Koreas.



    China in particular wants the suspended six-party negotiations on North Korea's nuclear programme to be resumed without delay.


    Not surprisingly, Western governments have taken a tough stance towards Pyongyang; with the White House spokesman calling on North Korea "to halt its belligerent action".



    The US, he said, is "firmly committed to South Korea's defence". The British foreign secretary, William Hague, also condemned what he termed "an unprovoked attack" on this South Korean island.


    Military danger

    The problem is what to do next? For the US and its South Korean ally military escalation has to be avoided.



    For all the talk about the balance of military power on the Korean Peninsula two things are clear. In all probability the US and the South Koreans would eventually win any all-out conflict. But at what cost ?



    The South Korean capital, Seoul, is relatively close to the border with the North - well within artillery range of probably thousands of guns. It would be devastated in any war and the casualties would be appalling.



    In a strange way Washington's military strength almost deters the South from taking any significant military action for fear of the North just moving up the ladder of escalation risking an all-out crisis.


    Well-telegraphed steps may be taken to demonstrate US military resolve but the real focus is going to be on diplomacy.



    But here Washington and Beijing are at loggerheads; the US insisting in the wake of the revelations about North Korea's new uranium enrichment facility that there can be no question of resuming the six party talks now.



    The shelling may well go to the United Nations Security Council in New York and there China's position will be closely watched as an indication of the level of its frustration with Pyongyang.



    Managing this crisis is all very well in the short-term, but with North Korea back at the top of the international agenda, the pressure is going to be on the Obama administration to re-think its current approach.



    The political uncertainty in Pyongyang makes the diplomatic track even more difficult. But in its absence there is always the stark danger of military action from the North escalating out of control.
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Pentagon is stating at this time "No additional US troops" will be moved.

    Pentagon has refused to comment on US troop alert status.
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    United Nations reaction...

    No plan for a Security Council meeting.

    Monitoring the situation.

    Some members are having "side line conversations"

    Pentagon: Refusing to comment on ANY troop status at this time.
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    FNC says SK will "unleash enormous retaliation if attacked again" and NK says plenty more attacks to come.

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Ruck View Post
    FNC says SK will "unleash enormous retaliation if attacked again" and NK says plenty more attacks to come.
    Just ducky.....

    I'm wondering if I ought to start putting together a major bug out set up. Weapons, armor, food, supplies, my BOAT.... and be prepared to get the hell out of dodge here....
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns


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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    North Korean Artillery Attack on a Southern Island
    November 23, 2010

    North Korea and South Korea have reportedly traded artillery fire Nov. 23 across the disputed Northern Limit Line (NLL) in the Yellow Sea to the west of the peninsula. Though details are still sketchy, South Korean news reports indicate that around 2:30 p.m. local time, North Korean artillery shells began landing in the waters around Yeonpyeongdo, one of the South Korean-controlled islands just south of the NLL. North Korea has reportedly fired as many as 200 rounds, some of which struck the island, injuring at least 10 South Korean soldiers, damaging buildings and setting fire to a mountainside. South Korea responded by firing some 80 shells of its own toward North Korea, dispatching F-16 fighter jets to the area and raising the military alert to its highest level.

    South Korean President Lee Myung Bak has convened an emergency Cabinet meeting, and Seoul is determining whether to evacuate South Koreans working at inter-Korean facilities in North Korea. The barrage from North Korea was continuing at 4 p.m. Military activity appears to be ongoing at this point, and the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff are meeting on the issue. No doubt North Korea’s leadership is also convening.

    The North Korean attack comes as South Korea’s annual Hoguk military exercises are under way. The exercises — set to last nine days and including as many as 70,000 personnel from all branches of the South Korean military — span from sites in the Yellow Sea including Yeonpyeongdo to Seoul and other areas on the peninsula itself. The drills have focused in particular on cross-service coordination and cooperation in recent years.

    Low-level border skirmishes across the demilitarized zone and particularly the NLL are not uncommon even at the scale of artillery fire. In March, the South Korean naval corvette ChonAn was sunk in the area by what is broadly suspected to have been a North Korean torpedo, taking tensions to a peak in recent years. Nov. 22 also saw South Korean rhetoric about accepting the return of U.S. tactical nuclear weapons to the peninsula, though the United States said it has no plans at present to support such a redeployment.

    While the South Korean reprisals — both artillery fire in response by self-propelled K-9 artillery and the scrambling of aircraft — thus far appear perfectly consistent with South Korean standard operating procedures, the sustained shelling of a populated island by North Korea would mark a deliberate and noteworthy escalation.

    The incident comes amid renewed talk of North Korea’s nuclear program, including revelations of an active uranium-enrichment program, and amid rumors of North Korean preparations for another nuclear test. But North Korea also on Nov. 22 sent a list of delegates to Seoul for Red Cross talks with South Korea, a move reciprocated by the South, ahead of planned talks in South Korea set for Thursday. The timing of the North’s firing at Yeonpyeongdo, then, seems to contradict the other actions currently under way in inter-Korean relations. With the ongoing leadership transition in North Korea, there have been rumors of discontent within the military, and the current actions may reflect miscommunications or worse within the North’s command-and-control structure, or disagreements within the North Korean leadership.

    This report may be forwarded or republished on your website with attribution to www.stratfor.com

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    S. Korea Vows 'Stern Retaliation' Against N. Korea's Attacks
    November 23, 2010

    President Lee Myung-bak ordered his military Tuesday to punish North Korea for its artillery attacks "through action," not just words, saying it is important to stop the communist regime from contemplating additional provocation.

    "The provocation this time can be regarded as an invasion of South Korean territory. In particular, indiscriminate attacks on civilians are a grave matter," a stern-faced Lee said during a visit to the headquarters of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in central Seoul.

    The North fired some 100 coastline artillery rounds across the western sea border onto Yeonpyeong Island Tuesday afternoon, killing two marines and wounding more than a dozen others. Three civilians on the small island, home to more than 1,600 residents, mostly fishermen and their families, and a marine corps base, were also wounded.

    The attack set houses and forests on fire on the island that lies just south of the Northern Limit Line, the de-facto maritime border between the two Koreas drawn at the end of their 1950-53 war.

    The South Korean military launched an immediate counterattack, firing about 80 K-9 self-propelled artillery shells toward the North's coastal areas. The exchange of fire lasted for about a hour.

    Tuesday's attack was the North's most serious provocation since it torpedoed a South Korean warship in March that killed 46 sailors. It marks the first direct artillery attack on South Korean territory since the Korean War ended in an armistice, not a formal peace treaty.

    "Reckless attacks on South Korean civilians are not tolerable, especially when South Korea is providing North Korea with humanitarian aid," the president said. "As for such attacks on civilians, a response beyond the rule of engagement is necessary. Our military should show this through action rather than an administrative response" such as statements or talks, he added.

    He did not rule out the possibility of follow-up attacks.

    "Given that North Korea maintains an offensive posture, I think the Army, the Navy and the Air Force should unite and retaliate against (the North's) provocation with multiple-fold firepower," Lee said. "I think enormous retaliation is going to be necessary to make North Korea incapable of provoking us again."

    Lee's strongly worded comments came after a series of emergency meetings with senior presidential aides and security-related ministers at the underground bunker of the presidential compound Cheong Wa Dae. Participants included Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan, Unification Minister Hyun In-taek, Defense Minister Kim Tae-young, Home Affairs Minister Maeng Hyung-kyu and Won Sei-hoon, chief of the state spy agency.

    Earlier in the day, Cheong Wa Dae issued a statement denouncing the North's latest provocation.

    "North Korea will have to bear full responsibility" for all consequences, Hong Sang-pyo, senior secretary for public affairs at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae, said. He also warned that the South will "resolutely retaliate" if the North makes any further provocations.

    Hong said the government was trying to figure out the North's intentions, adding it regards the attack as a "localized situation," rather than a prelude to a full-scale war.

    "We have informed our allies and neighboring countries of the current situation through diplomatic channels," he said.

    He dismissed rumors of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il's death as groundless. "We concluded that it is not a meaningful rumor or intelligence," he said.

    In a separate press briefing, Cheong Wa Dae spokeswoman Kim Hee-jung quoted the president as telling his military to strike North Korea's missile base around its coastline artillery positions if necessary.

    "President Lee instructed (the military) to strike North Korea's missile base near coastline artillery positions if necessary... if there in any indication of further provocation," she said.

    The spokeswoman also said that the North's provocation might have come in retaliation for one of the South's annual military exercises.

    "Our Navy was conducting a maritime exercise near the western sea border today. North Korea has sent a letter of protest over the drill. We're examining a possible link between the protest and the artillery attack," said Kim.

    Foreign ministry officials said they were in consultations with the United Nations over whether to refer the case to the global organization.

    South Korea's rival political parties, meanwhile, canceled a budget committee meeting and agreed on bipartisan support for the government's response to the incident.

    "We should deal resolutely with North Korea's premeditated provocation against (the South Korean military's) normal and routine exercise that takes place on a quarterly basis," Ahn Sang-soo, head of the ruling Grand National Party, said.

    Sohn Hak-kyu, leader of the main opposition Democratic Party, urged Pyongyang to "immediately stop provocative acts that threaten the security and peace on the Korean Peninsula."

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    S. Korea may strike N. Korea's missile base: President Lee
    November 23, 2010

    President Lee Myung-bak ordered his military Tuesday to strike North Korea's missile base around its coastline artillery positions if it shows signs of additional provocation, his spokeswoman said.

    In a video conference with Gen. Han Min-koo, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the president ordered "multiple-fold retaliation" against the North for its artillery attack on a South Korean island, according to presidential spokeswoman Kim Hee-jung.

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    China says it is carefully watching impact of N. Korean attack
    November 23, 2010

    The Chinese government said Tuesday it is keeping tabs on the situation surrounding North Korea's abrupt artillery attack on a South Korean island in the West Sea.

    Earlier in the day, North Korea fired a barrage of artillery rounds toward Yeonpyeong Island near the tense Yellow Sea border, killing one South Korean marine and leaving at least 13 others wounded.

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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    I was just chatting with the co-worker again. She said that at some point in the past few weeks after the "new Baby General" was created, that Kim Jong Il and the "New General" were ordered to China together.

    Does anyone have any information on that?

    She thinks something VERY, VERY big is going on... she is also sure about the missile launch off California the other day (Not as sure it was China, but reasonably sure).
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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    DMZ gets promotional mascots




    The South Korean government has been promoting the southern side of the DMZ, a strip of land 4 kilometers wide and 248km long that runs across the Korean Peninsula, as an ecological tourism attraction, developing trails and transportation facilities along the area.

    As part of such promotion efforts, cartoon images of a butterfly family were developed as the mascots for the DMZ, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism said in a press release. The butterflies, named Didi (dad), Mimi (mom) and Jiji (their child) and with blue, pink and green wings, respectively, symbolize a family from an alien planet making their visit to Earth to find its natural charms.

    "I don't play with mascots..."

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    North Korea attacks: Are we skipping towards a nuclear apocalypse?

    By Praveen Swami World Last updated: November 23rd, 2010
    Comment on this Comment on this article


    Smoke rises from South Korean Yeonpyeong Island (Photo: Reuters)


    Eight weeks after 9/11, the Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir sat down for a meal of bread and olives with Osama bin Laden in Kabul. “I wish to declare,” bin Laden told him, “that if America uses chemical or nuclear weapons, then we may retort with chemical and nuclear weapons.”

    That nightmare scenario has haunted governments, and Hollywood, ever since 2001 – leading the world to miss a far more dangerous nuclear threat. North Korea’s attack on South Korean forces stationed on Yeonpyeongdo island underlines the seriousness of the global nuclear threat, something many of us fondly imagined had ended with the Cold War.

    It isn’t that the Korean fighting signals the coming of an East Asian nuclear apocalypse – but it does demonstrate just how nuclear weapons fundamentally transform geopolitical equations.

    No great imagination is needed to understand what North Korea now seeks. South Korea is one of the engines of Asian prosperity, on which the world’s hopes of an early economic recovery rest. By attacking an island of no strategic value, North Korea’s dysfunctional but eminently rational regime is telling the world how much pain it could inflict if it isn’t bribed to behave itself. Both sides want wealth, not war – and nuclear weapons are North Korea’s means to extract it.

    North Korea’s weapons don’t have to be particularly reliable or accurate to deter retaliation. Five kilograms of pentaerythritol tetranitrate, al-Qaeda’s explosive of choice, will blow apart an aircraft. Five kilograms of Plutonium 239, the primary material used for the production of nuclear weapons, will annihilate an entire city.

    A Stanford University scientist, Siegfried Hecker, recently published a report on the modernisation of Yongbyan nuclear facility. It made clear Western sanctions aren’t slowing down North Korea’s nuclear programme. Perhaps even more troubling was David Albright and Paul Brannan’s 2009 analysis of North Korea’s nuclear programme, which demonstrated a clear pattern of cooperation and technology exchange between North Korea and entities in Pakistan and China.

    Politicians in Japan and South Korea are starting to wonder if they should arm themselves for the worst-case scenario: that North Korea can’t be appeased, and will decide to use a nuclear weapon. For all practical purposes, the two Koreas’ advanced industrial capabilities mean they are a screwdriver’s twist away from both having one. (In February, the US Joint Forces Command said they “could quickly build nuclear devices if they chose to do so.”)

    Even though memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki still inform public opinion in Japan, its strategists have long been unsentimental in their appraisals. Last year, Shoichi Nakagawa, an influential politician, bluntly said that “it is nuclear that can counteract nuclear.”

    South Korea officially ended a four-year-old nuclear weapons programme in 1975, but the UN’s nuclear watchdog recently discovered its nuclear scientists secretly mastered key weapons production technologies.

    Iran’s nuclear programme has set off a similar nuclear domino effect in the west of Asia. Mohamed Khilewi, a Saudi diplomat who defected to the US in 1994, claimed the Kingdom had funded Pakistan’s nuclear programmes to gain access to a weapon if needed. If Turkey’s relationship with the West sours, as some fear it already is, it could be next to follow.

    There is a horrible logic to all of this: after all, Britain and France made the the same calculation after the Second World War. Even a close ally, they reasoned, wouldn’t risk its population to defend Europe’s cities from Soviet attack. Ernest Bevan, Foreign Secretary in 1946, stormed into a secret cabinet subcommittee meeting called to discuss whether Britain could bear the costs of building a bomb and proclaimed: “We’ve got to have the bloody Union Jack on top of it.”

    Nuclear guru Kenneth Waltz has actually argued this might be a good thing: “more might be better,” he famously wrote of nuclear weapons.

    The fact that the great powers have not fought a war with each other in decades, Dr Waltz argued, was a historical anomaly made possible about by nuclear weapons. He marshalled a formidable body of evidence to show that new nuclear states like India and China had avoided large-scale wars because of the risk of catastrophic outcomes.

    Dr Waltz might be right – but there’s also a second possibility, which is that more and more states will use their nuclear weapons as a back-street mugger might use a handgun. That’s something the world needs to think about real hard, and real soon.

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    Nikita Khrushchev: "We will bury you"
    "Your grandchildren will live under communism."
    “You Americans are so gullible.
    No, you won’t accept
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    outright, but we’ll keep feeding you small doses of
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    until you’ll finally wake up and find you already have communism.

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    ."
    We’ll so weaken your
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    until you’ll
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    like overripe fruit into our hands."



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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Why North Korean strike will not trigger world war three

    Even though the fighting in Korea has all the elements needed to spark off the next world war – weapons of mass destruction, hostile superpowers, and a failing, nuclear-armed regime – it is improbable that apocalypse is around the corner in East Asia.



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    By Praveen Swami, Diplomatic Editor 3:43PM GMT 23 Nov 2010



    South Korea is one of the engines of Asian prosperity, on which the world's hopes of an early economic recovery rest on peace in the region. By attacking Yeonpyeong island, a target of no strategic value, North Korea's dysfunctional regime is telling the world how much pain it could inflict if it isn't bribed to behave itself. It hopes that its sabre-rattling will force talks where the West will agree to a substantial aid package in return for a guarantee that Pyonyang will not produce further nuclear weapons. Both sides want wealth, not world war three.




    Like other weak but nuclear-armed states, North Korea believes it can use limited conventional-weapons aggression to secure its objectives, since its weapons guarantee it protection from large-scale retaliation that could threaten its existence. The first sign of North Korea's post-nuclear strategy emerged when it sank the South Korean naval corvette Cheonan in March.




    Nuclear deterrence guru Glenn Snyder described the phenomenon, of which there are several examples, as the "stability-instability paradox".

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    Beijing military hawks fought Russia over the Zhebao island on the Ussuri river in 1969 to strengthen their political position without actually risking a large-scale war that would have destroyed them. Pakistan fought a limited war with India over Kashmir in 1999, a year after both countries tested their nuclear weapons.



    The real fear now is that protracted North Korean aggression will push South Korea and Japan to reconsider their long-held taboo on possessing nuclear weapons.
    Chang Kwan-Il, South Korea's defence minister, said on Monday that it had no immediate plans to request the US to station tactical nuclear missiles on its soil, to bolster the 28,500 troops stationed there.



    Tuesday's events will obviously change that equation. The US, aware of hostile Chinese reaction, is unlikely to want to do so. If it refuses, though, its East Asian allies will begin to doubt its willingness to use its nuclear weapons if push comes to shove – and like the UK and France decades ago, go it alone.



    Both countries' advanced industrial capabilities mean they are, for all practical purposes, a screwdriver's twist away from actually building one. In February, the US Joint Forces Command admitted both countries "could quickly build nuclear devices if they chose to do so." Korea officially ended its nuclear-weapons programme in 1975, but the International Atomic Energy Agency recently discovered its scientists had continued to work on weapons-production technologies.



    Even though memories of Hiroshima and Nagasaki are still inform public opinion in Japan, conservatives have long called for the country to develop nuclear-weapons capabilities. Last year, Shoichi Nakagawa, an influential politician, bluntly said that "it is nuclear that can counteract nuclear."
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: North And South Korea On The Brink Of War, Russian Diplomat Warns

    Amateur footage of North Korea attack on Yeonpyeong island

    Amateur videos show plumes of smoke emerging from South Korea's Yeonpyeong island after North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells setting more than 60 houses ablaze, killing two South Korean soldiers and sending civilians fleeing in terror.



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    9:30AM GMT 23 Nov 2010
    The attack, which comes days after it emerged that North Korea was pressing ahead with its illegal nuclear programme, marks a serious further escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

    The incident is believed to have been sparked by South Korean military exercises in the area, which the North had objected to.

    Officials said “dozens” of artillery rounds had landed on Yeonpyeong Island at in the Yellow Sea, 50 miles off the South’s northwest coast in an area close to a disputed sea border. Other reports suggested around 200 shells could have been fired in the attack which began at 2.34pm local time (7.34am GMT).

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    F-16 fighter jets were scrambled and South Korean land-based forces returned fire on the North as civilians were evacuated to emergency bunkers, according to witnesses quoted by the Seoul-based cable news television channel YTN.
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