Senate The North Korea Issue

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Ben_Skywalker, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Ben_Skywalker Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 20, 2001
    star 5
    So I've searched the Senate and I couldn't find any real discussion on North Korea and the multitude of problems that they've bestowed onto the World. This is surprising considering the fact that within the last two months they've launched a successful missile test and allegedly exploded a nuclear bomb estimated at 5-10 kilotons.

    I think this is rather indicative of the lack of real concern from the American/western public about the NK threat.

    So hopefully we can get a good discussion going.

    NK as you all know is the most restrictive country in the world. However sanctions haven't prevented them from abandoning their pursuit of missiles and nukes. China has been unable to exert any measure of control despite being the only real provider of aid. And we've been playing this game with NK for the last 20+years. What are your thoughts on moving forward? How do we convince NK to come back to the table?

    Some initial thoughts of mine to get the discussion going.

    1. 1on1 discussions between NK and the US. Do we work to establish diplomatic ties and a peace treaty with the hermit kingdom? What kind of message does this send to Iran and any other nation looking at starting their own nuclear program?

    2. Military action: should we start talking about unilateral action such as drone strikes or a naval blockade? What if South Korea is on board? Does this change the dynamic since they have the most to lose? China has the largest role in this issue. Will the Chinese start rethinking their policy on NK if we're willing to act militarily? Sure if they had a choice, they'd love to keep a buffer state between them and the West. But if push comes to shove, will they join an allied push to oust the regime in Pyongyang?

    3. NK probably has the worst human rights record on the planet at this point. But the regime will fall eventually. This is only a matter of when. So what will the history books say about our generation after we've liberated the many concentration camps throughout the country. How will the future judge us for essentially ignoring the gross human rights abuses that we had vowed never to let happen again after the Holocaust? It's a sobering thought that we've allowed this problem to go unanswered for 60+ years.

    Discuss.
  2. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    We used to have a North Korea thread, but I guess it didn't transfer over when the forum was moved.

    Anyway, drone strikes wouldn't be much good...first of all North Korea can shoot down our drones unlike Al-Qaeda militants, and secondly what would you target? We don't know for sure where all their nuclear facilities are, and if we're going to bomb regular military targets then that's just regular old war. Either way, North Korea will retaliate and we'd have to escalate and it won't end until we've occupied the whole country. I doubt a naval blockade would do much either since nobody really trades with North Korea besides China, or as someone put it "there's nothing to sanction". Diplomatic ties and a peace treaty...honestly I'm pretty sure that any arrangement that would actually make North Korea happy would be something that's unacceptable to us (America, South Korea, Japan) in terms of security, so yeah our interests are mutually antagonistic to one another.
    Last edited by Alpha-Red, Feb 18, 2013
  3. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2004
    star 4
    Bear in mind that I'm no geopolitics expert or anything of the sort, and my knowledge about that region is very limited, so take my opinion with a huge chunk of salt, but here is my layman input, for what it's worth.

    China and the US don't openly address each other as enemies currently, although they don't particularly like each other. Presently, the loose cannon North Korea provides a good reason for why a large US naval presence is needed around China's shores. To my knowledge, if I'm not mistaken, there's a US naval presence in the East China Sea (and the South China Sea as well). As a general rule, I just assume there's a US naval presence everywhere... :p Stability is in China's interest as well, so our presence there is as much to their benefit as it is ours and they tolerate it. If the problem of North Korea disappears, China no longer has any need for a US naval presence. From that point on, our presence becomes a nuisance, and probably leads to souring of relations. Ultimately, the US will have the muscle not to be deterred by that sourness, but why kill the mood? North Korea's existence is the common problem that keeps China and the US friendly, mostly because they need us, and keeps them silently accepting that our presence there is as much to contain them as it is to contain NK.
    Last edited by Violent Violet Menace, Feb 18, 2013
  4. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    If recent events are any indication, even China's getting fed up with North Korea at this point.
    Summer Dreamer likes this.
  5. Lord Vivec Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    I'm actually perfectly okay with North Korea (and even Iran) having nukes.

    3. NK probably has the worst human rights record on the planet at this point. But the regime will fall eventually. This is only a matter of when. So what will the history books say about our generation after we've liberated the many concentration camps throughout the country. How will the future judge us for essentially ignoring the gross human rights abuses that we had vowed never to let happen again after the Holocaust? It's a sobering thought that we've allowed this problem to go unanswered for 60+ years.

    Talk of human rights abuses were one of the largest arguments (Besides the weapons of mass destruction) put forth for the Iraq War. It doesn't look like history will be judging us well for that war. I'd like to see some supporting point as to why a war in North Korea would be judged better.
    Violent Violet Menace likes this.
  6. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    I'm fairly certain that the average Iraqi had it much better under Saddam than the average North Korean does under the Kim dynasty.
  7. Lord Vivec Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    Are you suggesting that degree of crapiness is what history will use to judge whether starting a war with another country for the sole purpose of "liberating their people" was the right thing to do? I know Ben mentioned liberating people from the concentration camps, which has obvious allegorical ties to WWII and was probably his point, but this frankly isn't even close to that scenario. WWII wasn't about liberating people from concentration camps; it was about neutralizing an expansionist power which attacked various European countries.

    Neither North Korea nor Iraq were doing anything remotely similar and there are very few things which make North Korea a more acceptable target than Iraq was.
    Violent Violet Menace likes this.
  8. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    Er, actually yeah...that's what I'm saying. I don't think Iraq met that threshold, North Korea might not meet it just yet, but that threshold does exist. The Holocaust wasn't the reason we went to war against Germany (we didn't quite believe that mass murder was really happening, and we had already been at war for a while when the Final Solution started) but if some country tried to do the same thing today then I don't think we can sit by and let it happen. The problem with the Iraq war wasn't that we shouldn't go to war for humanitarian reasons, it was that it wasn't at the point where it warranted a military intervention, and that we had a Commander in Chief who was overeager to use military force and rushed to war.
  9. A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Riot Deterrent

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 7
    Excellent thread. I, myself, just finished reading through my copy of the North Korea issue. Glad to know that I am not the only person here with a subscription...
    [IMG]
    Last edited by A Chorus of Disapproval, Feb 18, 2013
    Violent Violet Menace likes this.
  10. Lord Vivec Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    Alpha-Red, what exactly is that threshold where it's okay to instigate a war with another country because we don't like how they're treating their citizens?
  11. A Chorus of Disapproval New Films Riot Deterrent

    Manager
    Member Since:
    Aug 19, 2003
    star 7
    Let's not pretend that this particular case isn't unprecedented. We don't want oil... those backward people have access to the planet's only unicorns...
  12. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2004
    star 4
    In addition to the reason I wrote above, can't we use the existence of NK and the resulting paranoia to sell lots of weapons to SK and Japan? I say it's in the US' economic interests to keep NK around. The Persian Gulf Arab states have all bought a ****load of arms from the US because of Iran's existence. Similar paranoia must be emulated and exploited wherever else possible.
  13. SithLordDarthRichie London CR

    Chapter Rep
    Member Since:
    Oct 3, 2003
    star 8
    NK is a country that wants to be bigger than it is. It does enough to get noticed by the world but nothing more because in the end the regime know they have no hope of ever winning any conflict on their own and if they nuked anyone they would get 50 back at them which are far more powerful.

    It's a Cold War relic that likes to do some chest-puffing to make itself feel important, I say ignore it until it does something worthy of retaliation like attacking another country.


    IMO Iran is a much more serious threat these days because it is the big hub for terrorism and incites hate and destruction upon the West and its allies as well as potentially also having nuclear capabilities.
    Piltdown likes this.
  14. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    UN resolution, perhaps? I don't know, I'm just brainstorming. I seem to remember the liberation of Kuwait was made under such a resolution - and that seemed to illustrate Iraq as an expansionist power.
  15. Alpha-Red Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 25, 2004
    star 5
    To cite a recent example, Gadhafi's attempt to massacre his own people. When Libyans decided they wanted the right to speak freely and tried to exercise that right, Gadhafi didn't even bother with tear gas or riot police...he just went straight to raining bombs and artillery on them. I think that meets the criteria for an armed intervention...and apparently so did Barack Obama.
  16. Violent Violet Menace Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 11, 2004
    star 4
    When he deployed fighter jets, I knew that guy was crazy. I think that's unprecedented. At that point I think there were only rag tag renegades with assault rifles, and the dude ordered an aerial bombing.
  17. Piltdown Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 3, 2002
    star 5
    This is a clear and concise way of summarizing the recent media blitz focusing on DPRK. Let them set off tiny nukes within their borders, just keep the nukes there because I also agree that there are nations interested in those weapons that are more than just pufferfish.
  18. Point Given Mod of Literature and Community

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    Dec 12, 2006
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    Doesn't mean they'll abandon North Korea. I wouldn't be surprised if they took a page out of the U.S's handbook and made sure Dear Leader was replaced by someone more pliable.
    Violent Violet Menace and Blithe like this.
  19. Lord Vivec Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    Unless North Korea is invading and occupying another country, this example is moot.
    I don't see any rebels fighting the NK leadership, so, like the above example, this one is moot as well.

    The two of you have shown your criteria...and NK meets neither.
    Blithe likes this.
  20. Saintheart Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Dec 16, 2000
    star 6
    I was brainstorming; I don't pretend to have the full answer.

    As it is, what about UN Security Council Resolution 872, as in, the UN's mandate to enter and secure Rwanda in effect? That amounted to concerns about a civil war in the nation. Admittedly part of the UN's mission came out of concerns about the conflict widening into Uganda, but part of the resolution included a directive to investigate and report on the activities of the local police. They, of course, didn't do very well at stopping the genocide between the Tutsi and Hutu, but this would be intervention by the UN into a sovereign nation due to concerns about how it's treating its citizens -- i.e. in a civil war.
  21. Lord Vivec Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Apr 17, 2006
    star 7
    That doesn't remotely look like the current political situation of North Korea. I mean, if you want to "brainstorm" (speculate) scenarios in which a war against North Korea would be justified, then I'm sure we could spend pages on that. What if North Korea steals Japanese mechas and sends them against the US? What if they allied with the asteroid belt to hurtle meteors at Russia? The "what ifs" are many, the probable ones few.
  22. DarthBoba Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Jun 29, 2000
    star 9
    FWIW, the human rights aspect was only put forth for Iraq after the war had begun-I'll include myself in having done so. I don't recall them being at all in the Bush administration's leadup to the war-it was entirely about 1)WMDs and 2) ignoring UN resolutions, iirc.

    I'm not sure the DPRK is going to fail internally, either. Admittedly this is because we know literally nothing about what really goes on in there, but you get isolated little snippets every now and again that really make me wonder-remember when the current Kim said a few months ago that the US and the DPRK had been in conflict for "centuries" (obviously not the case)? A political leader here or in Europe would get laughed at for saying something that obviously untrue...but for that, we didn't hear a peep from the people in that country. Nothing. Which kind of leads the question to just how insulated citizens in the DPRK are from the outside world-do they seriously believe the worldview put out by their leaders? If they do then I just don't see the DPRK crumbling-the level of internal control in that country is just beyond imagining, IMO.
  23. EMPEROR_WINDU Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 23, 2002
    star 5
    I think the citizens in the DPRK really are that insulated from reality unfortunately and despite their destitute standard of living I think it's highly doubtful we see any collapse of the government unless it's initiated from outside the country. I am much more concerned regarding the NK government's attempts to sell it's current and potential future advances in ballistic missile technology to the Iranians.

    We think things could spin out of control on the Korean peninsula quickly, we just better ensure that Tehran doesn't develop/purchase a ballistic nuclear capability. I don't have a concrete solution to preventing such a future, thankfully I do believe that it's a high priority for the American government (irrespective of political party).
  24. The Loyal Imperial Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 19, 2007
    star 6
    From what I understand, the lack of dissent doesn't indicate agreement as much as it does fear of reprisal if they're heard voicing opinions contrary to the government's claims.
  25. Lady_Sami_J_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jul 31, 2002
    star 6
    There was a piece on 60 Minutes a few weeks ago about a guy who escaped from a concentration camp. Back in the 50's or 60's, one of N. Korea's rulers made a law that if a person committed a crime, 3 generations of their family had to go to the prison/concentration camp with them. This young man was born in the camp (his grandfather had committed some kind of political crime, like speaking against the government). The conditions in the camp are horrible. You get extra food if you rat someone out. This guy, having no moral compass other than what he was taught, ratted out his parents for making disparaging remarks about the camp. They were killed.

    He somehow managed to escape. I think you can find the entire story segment on cbs5.com.

    I think the existence of the prison camps is enough for the US to intervene, but I'm not an expert.