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View Poll Results: What is the near-term future of the DPRK
It will fall into chaos as a result of renewed famine and poverty, resulting in military crackdowns. 3 15.79%
There will be a military coup that displaces the current leadership, hopefully soon. 4 21.05%
It will continue to remain a closed society, technologically dormant and otherwise insignificant. 12 63.16%
The leadership will eventually make a misstep, forcing military action from the United States. 0 0%
Voters: 19. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 06-20-2006   #1
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Default North Korea: 2012-2016

20 June Washington Times - N. Korean Threat Activates Shield by Bill Gertz.

The Pentagon activated its new U.S. ground-based interceptor missile defense system, and officials announced yesterday that any long-range missile launch by North Korea would be considered a "provocative act."

Poor weather conditions above where the missile site was located by U.S.
intelligence satellites indicates that an immediate launch is unlikely, said officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

However, intelligence officials said preparations have advanced to the point where a launch could take place within several days to a month.

Two Navy Aegis warships are patrolling near North Korea as part of the global missile defense and would be among the first sensors that would trigger the use of interceptors, the officials said yesterday.

The U.S. missile defense system includes 11 long-range interceptor missiles, including nine deployed at Fort Greeley, Alaska, and two at Vandenberg Air Force Base, Calif. The system was switched from test to operational mode within the past two weeks, the officials said.

One senior Bush administration official told The Washington Times that an option being considered would be to shoot down the Taepodong missile with responding interceptors...
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Old 07-08-2006   #2
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Default DPRK Policy

What would the benefits be if the US publicly renounced its treaty obligations with Taiwan in order to gain Chinese support with North Korea, and further forge a Sino-Japanese--Korean-American alliance?
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Old 07-08-2006   #3
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Default Short-Term Benefits...

Originally Posted by Strickland
What would the benefits be if the US publicly renounced its treaty obligations with Taiwan in order to gain Chinese support with North Korea, and further forge a Sino-Japanese--Korean-American alliance?
While sending a long-term message that we abandon democracies in order to gain those same short-term benefits. Bad idea…

Moreover, memories run deep in three of the four countries you include in this alliance. Any alliance between the PRC, Japan and the ROK would be fragile at best and subject to abandonment at the slightest of perceived provocations - Japanese PM visiting a war shrine in Tokyo, Japanese text-books, PRC and ROK maritime claims and surveys - you name it.

Your proposed alliance would also be a major disruption of the financial status-quo in East Asia. I believe, rhetoric aside, Japan and the PRC like the idea of a financial gateway into their countries via the ROC. Regardless of the public statements - business rules and quite a bit of it is done between the three.
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Old 07-09-2006   #4
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My thought on the subject is that the military threat to Taiwan is overstated; I also feel no sense of obligation to the defense of Taiwan so the idea is somewhat appealing to me. Personal I think there is a lot of value in rethinking our relationship with China in general. I think a little flexibility on our part could further our international goals without any appreciable increasing of the threat to Taiwan or any of China’s neighbors.
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Old 07-11-2006   #5
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I agree with SWJED that the most costly result of renouncing Taiwan to garner support from China is the damage this would cause to the U.S. reputation with allies. Nations like South Korea, Japan, Australia, and India would wonder if the U.S. would "abandon" them given the need. Additionally his point regarding the difficulty of forming any sort of Sino-Korea-Japan is very true. The Japanese and Chinese are long term competitors in the region and the Koreans have long resented the Japanese for their past exploitation of Korea.

Secondly I disagree with Stu-6 as to the threat Taiwan faces from China. China truly believes Taiwan is a part of China. If China believed it possessed the capability (which it is rapidly building) and the opportunity to reintegrate Taiwan under mainland control they would seize it. This would not necessarily entail open warfare but could be accomplished through threats or even a blockade if the U.S. made its intent to remain uninvolved clear.
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Old 07-11-2006   #6
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I also agree with SWJED on this one. You may gain some short-term bennies from China by doing this, but it certainly would send the wrong signal to other powers in the region. There are also, as cmetcalf82 pointed out, a number of existing issues with Japan and the rest of Southeast Asia that would need to be addressed before any real steps foward could occur. Both China and the Koreas have long-term issues with Japan. There needs to be clear thinking about policy in this part of the world, but abandoning longstanding treaty obligations for limited or undefined gains isn't a good way to start.
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Old 07-12-2006   #7
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Well China does view Taiwan as part of it but that doesn’t mean they would go to war at the drop of the hat. I think they would consider the possible repercussions and are only likely to attack if the situation changes. I also think the connection between our Taiwan policy and Japan and Korea is overstated we have actual troops on the ground in both Japan and Korea which makes a major difference in determine our reliability in a fight. I think it might also be worth noting that our stated policy on Taiwan over the years has changed and incorporated various degrees of ambiguity with no obvious ill effect on our relationships with outer states.
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Old 10-10-2006   #8
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Default KN Nuclear Test News Roundup

On Today's SWJ Daily News Links...

Click on the link above for:

North Korea
  • U.S. Doubts N. Korean Test Was Nuclear - Washington Times
  • Low Yield Of Blast Surprises Analysts - Washington Post
  • Blast May Be Only a Partial Success, Experts Say - New York Times
  • Even if Device Was Flawed, Test Crossed a Threshold - Los Angeles Times
  • The Moment that Shook the World - London Times
  • U.S. Proposes Stringent U.N. Sanctions Against N. Korea - Voice of America
  • Pentagon Assesses Responses, Including Possible Blockade - New York Times
  • U.S. Proposes Embargo, Sanctions on N. Korea - Washington Post
  • World Condemns North Korea - Los Angeles Times
  • Condemnation Swift, But Options Limited - USA Today
  • World Powers Ponder Sanctions - London Daily Telegraph
  • Bush Seeks Action from U.N., 6 Parties - Washington Times
  • Bush Rebukes North Korea; U.S. Seeks New U.N. Sanctions - New York Times
  • U.S., Japan Lead Push to Sanction Pyongyang - Washington Times
  • Nuclear Test Sparks Global Condemnation - Voice of America
  • U.N. Members Condemn N. Korea Over Test - Associated Press
  • Bush Condemns N. Korean Nuclear Test - Voice of America
  • S. Korea, Japan Condemn N. Korea - Voice of America
  • Tough Talk From Seoul, if Little Will for a Fight - New York Times
  • Rattled South Koreans Consider Test a Betrayal - Los Angeles Times
  • China Condemns N. Korean Nuclear Test - Voice of America
  • Angry China Is Likely to Toughen Its Stand on N. Korea - New York Times
  • China Opposes Military Action - Associated Press
  • China Rules Out War But Not Sanctions - Reuters
  • Neighbors See Threat, 'Betrayal' in Nuclear Test - Washington Times
  • North Korea Rocks Asia's Status Quo - Christian Science Monitor
  • North Korea's Political, Economic Gamble - Washington Post
  • A Look at Sanctions Against North Korea - Associated Press
  • A Look at N. Korea Nuclear Capabilities - Associated Press
  • Verifying Nuclear Test Blasts - Associated Press
  • Weapons of the World's Nuclear Powers - Associated Press
  • Text of North Korea's Nuke Announcement - Associated Press Transcript
  • For U.S., a Strategic Jolt After N. Korea’s Test - New York Times Analysis
  • Test 'Changes the Landscape' for U.S. Officials - Washington Post Analysis
  • Next Step Depends on U.S. and China - Los Angeles Times Analysis
  • Diverted Attention, Neglect Set the Stage - Los Angeles Times Analysis
  • The Defiant One - Washington Times Editorial
  • Responding to North Korea - Washington Post Editorial
  • North Korea and the Bomb - New York Times Editorial
  • Kim Jong Il's Challenge to China - Los Angeles Times Editorial
  • Rebottling N. Korea's Nuclear Genie - Christian Science Monitor Editorial
  • New Dawn of a Dangerous Age - The Australian Editorial
  • Answering North Korea - Washington Post Editorial
  • The North Korea Nuclear Puzzle - Los Angeles Times Editorial
  • North Korea and the Dominoes - New York Times Editorial
  • Raising the Stakes - Wall Street Journal Commentary
  • Coming-Out Party - Washington Times Commentary
  • In a Test, a Reason to Talk - Washington Post Commentary
  • No More Negotiating With N. Korea - Los Angeles Times Commentary
  • Talking With the Monsters - New York Times Commentary
  • Is U.S. N. Korea Policy Working? - Real Clear Politics Commentary
  • Now What? - Slate Commentary
  • It’s the Nukes, Stupid - National Review Commentary
  • Wanted: New Deterrent For a Tyrant - London Times Commentary
  • Region in For a Shakeup - The Australian Commentary
  • If Kim Jong Il Gets Nukes - Los Angeles Times Commentary
  • Correct Response is Critical - The Australian Commentary
  • Stalking the Hermit - Tech Central Station Commentary
  • He Huffs and He Puffs - Weekly Standard Commentary
  • 'Dear Leader' Feels Ignored - Real Clear Politics Commentary
  • North Korea: War Is Coming To American Soil - Captain's Quarters Blog
  • It's Always America's Fault - Belmont Club Blog
  • North Korea Tests Nuclear Weapon - The Fourth Rail Blog
  • North Korea Nuke Test Stirs Region - Threats Watch Blog
  • "Collapse Brinkmanship" - The Adventures of Chester Blog
  • Was N. Korea Testing a Suitcase Nuke? - Belmont Club Blog
  • Fizzlemas In North Korea - Captain's Quarters Blog
  • Stratfor: No "Satisfactory Military Solution" - Counterterrorism Blog

Rogue Nuclear States
  • Mutually Assured Disruption - New York Times Commentary

  • Japan Likely to Rally Behind PM’s Call for a Strong Military - NY Times
  • Japan's PM Abe Gets Helping Hand From N. Korea - Reuters

"U.S. intelligence agencies say, based on preliminary indications, that North Korea did not produce its first nuclear blast yesterday."

"U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that seismic readings show that the conventional high explosives used to create a chain reaction in a plutonium-based device went off, but that the blast's readings were shy of a typical nuclear detonation."

--Washington Times, U.S. Doubts N. Korean Test Was Nuclear
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Old 10-11-2006   #9
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Default 11 October Update

On today's SWJ Daily News Links...

North Korea
  • Report: N. Korea Threatens More Nuke Tests - Associated Press
  • Scientists Still Analyzing Claim of Nuclear Test - Voice of America
  • U.S. Waits for Information On Nature and Success of Device - Washington Post
  • Small Blast, or ‘Big Deal’? U.S. Experts Look for Clues - New York Times
  • White House Casts Doubt on N. Korean Nuclear Arms - Reuters
  • Was North Korea's Nuclear Device a Dud? - Associated Press
  • U.S. Envoy: Nuclear Test May Never be Verified - Reuters
  • Cold War Aircraft Searches Sky for Proof of Test - London Times
  • Even a Small Nuke Poses Big Threat - USA Today
  • 'No Evidence' of Second Nuclear Test - The Australian
  • Japan Quake Reported as 2nd Test - Washington Times
  • North Korean Proliferation at Heart of Nuke Test Issue - AFPS
  • Israel Worried North Korea May Help Iran - Associated Press
  • Rice Asserts U.S. Plans No Attack on North Korea - New York Times
  • N. Korea: Sanctions Would Start War - London Daily Telegraph
  • Kim Has Case of ‘Malign Narcissism,’ Expert Says' - Los Angeles Times
  • Economy Built on Drugs, Ivory Poachers and Counterfeiters - London Times
  • North Korea and Iran - Washington Times Editorial
  • In Search of a North Korea Policy - Washington Post Commentary
  • Dancing with Kim - Washington Times Commentary
  • Kim Kindled Nuclear Funeral Pyre - London Times Commentary
  • Solving the Stalemate, One Step at a Time - New York Times Commentary
  • Perils from Pyongyang - Washington Times Commentary
  • North Korea Isn't Our Problem - Los Angeles Times Commentary
  • It's Always America's Fault - Belmont Club Blog
  • North Korea Tests Nuclear Weapon - The Fourth Rail Blog
  • North Korea Nuke Test Stirs Region - Threats Watch Blog
  • "Collapse Brinkmanship" - The Adventures of Chester Blog
  • Was N. Korea Testing a Suitcase Nuke? - Belmont Club Blog
  • Fizzlemas In North Korea - Captain's Quarters Blog
  • Stratfor: No "Satisfactory Military Solution" - Counterterrorism Blog
  • A U.N. Blockade of North Korea? - Westhawk Blog
  • Second Nuke Test Reported, but Veracity Doubted - Belmont Club Blog
  • North Korea Warns: Bigger Tests, Missile Launch - Threats Watch Blog
  • Senator John McCain On North Korea - Captain's Quarters Blog

South Korea
  • North-South Korea Relations Suffer A Sudden Chill - Washington Post
  • S. Koreans Feel Betrayed by Nuke Threat - USA Today
  • Koreas' Ties Likely to Bend, Not Break - Washington Times
  • S. Korea May Bolster Conventional Arsenal - Associated Press
  • All Quiet on Korea's DMZ, Just a Bit More Spit - Reuters
  • N. Korean Troops at DMZ Said Bolder - Associated Press

  • China Says It Will Back Sanctions On N. Korea - Washington Post
  • China Hints Agreement on N. Korea - Washington Times
  • China Joins Clamor to Curb N. Korea - London Daily Telegraph
  • China Rules Out Military Action, But Not Sanctions - Voice of America
  • China Supports Sanctions Against N. Korea - USA Today
  • China: N. Korea Faces 'Punitive Actions' - Associated Press
  • China Says N. Korea Should be Punished - Reuters
  • China Ponders a Problematic Friendship - Christian Science Monitor

  • Japan Mulling Harsh Sanctions Against N. Korea - Voice of America
  • Japan to Keep Prohibition on Nukes - Washington Times

  • The Scramble for a Way to Stop Nukes - Christian Science Monitor
  • Word of Test Confirms Stances in 2 Nations - New York Times
  • United in Their Protests, Not Their Politics - Los Angeles Times
  • Wary Neighbors Shy Away from Punishing N. Korea - London Times
  • A Nuclear Leviathan in the Pacific - The Adventures of Chester Blog

  • Pakistan Denies N. Korea Nuke Test Link - Associated Press

Rogue Nuclear States / Post-Cold War Period
  • U.S. Fears Export of Technology - Los Angeles Times
  • Rogue Realities - National Review Editorial
  • Mutually Assured Disruption - New York Times Commentary
  • We Need a New Deterrent - Washington Post Commentary
  • The Bus is Waiting - New York Times Commentary
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Old 11-04-2006   #10
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Default U.S. Speeds Attack Plans for North Korea (pop up warning)

The Pentagon has stepped up planning for attacks against North Korea's nuclear program and is bolstering nuclear forces in Asia, said defense officials familiar with the highly secret process.

The officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the accelerated military planning includes detailed programs for striking a North Korean plutonium-reprocessing facility at Yongbyon with special operations commando raids or strikes with Tomahawk cruise missiles or other precision-guided weapons.

The effort, which had been under way for several months, was given new impetus by Pyongyang's underground nuclear test Oct. 9 and growing opposition to the nuclear program of Kim Jong-il's communist regime, especially by China and South Korea.

A Pentagon official said the Department of Defense is considering "various military options" to remove the program.

"Other than nuclear strikes, which are considered excessive, there are several options now in place. Planning has been accelerated," the official said.

A second, senior defense official privy to the effort said the Bush administration recently affirmed its commitment to both South Korea and Japan that it would use U.S. nuclear weapons to deter North Korea, now considered an unofficial nuclear weapon state.

"We will resort to whatever force levels we need to have, to defend the Republic of Korea. That nuclear deterrence is in place," said the senior official, who declined to reveal what nuclear forces are deployed in Asia.

Other officials said the forces include bombs and air-launched missiles stored at Guam, a U.S. island in the western Pacific, that could be delivered by B-52 or B-2 bombers. Nine U.S. nuclear-missile submarines regularly deploy to Asian waters from Washington state.

The officials said one military option calls for teams of Navy SEALs or other special operations commandos to conduct covert raids on Yongbyon's plutonium-reprocessing facility.

The commandos would blow up the facility to prevent further reprocessing of the spent fuel rods, which provides the material for developing nuclear weapons.

A second option calls for strikes by precision-guided Tomahawk missiles on the reprocessing plant from submarines or ships. The plan calls for simultaneous strikes from various sides to minimize any radioactive particles being carried away in the air.

Planners estimate that six Tomahawks could destroy the reprocessing plant and that it would take five to 10 years to rebuild.
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Old 11-04-2006   #11
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Default Prudent...

... Even if there was only an iota of a chance we would use force against the DPRK; planning, accelerated or not, is what they get paid for.
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Old 11-05-2006   #12
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I have to wonder if this is one of those intentional "leaks" so that we can tell NK "If you keep screwing with us we will crush you," without actually saying "If you keep screwing with us we will crush you."

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Old 11-14-2006   #13
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Default North Korean Nuclear Issues

ICG, 13 Nov 06: North Korea's Nuclear Test: The Fallout
...There are no good options for resolving this crisis, but the least bad option remains a negotiated settlement. To achieve this, the U.S. and others will need to present a long-term view of economic change in North Korea while offering what amounts to a guarantee not to overthrow the Pyongyang regime. The undertaking will involve a considerable investment of diplomatic energy and financial resources and should be matched by a ramped-up effort to ensure that North Korea cannot proliferate nuclear weapons or missiles. But it provides the only prospect for peaceful and gradual change on the Korean peninsula.

Sanctions without sustained, direct diplomacy would only mean escalation. The Bush administration has operated under the flawed assumption that direct negotiations with its foe are a concession, when this may be the only way of moving forward. With Washington, Tokyo, Seoul and Pyongyang all locked into policies which are likely to change little until new leaders emerge, however, Beijing’s is the government to watch...
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Old 11-19-2006   #14
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I am not an Asia, expert. However my younger brother owns his company in the PRC. His office is in Beijing. He majored in CS and minored in Chinese at Texas. When he was last home we were talking, and he said that reading the OpEd pieces in the chinese newspapers, the chinese tend to think the DPRK leadership is insane (his words, not mine). China has some levers on the DPRK, but my brother points out that we in the U.S. tend to over-estimate the ability of the Chinese to pressure the DPRK. Furthermore, my brother said that the Chinese are pimamrily concerned about a mass illegal immigration if/when the DPRK collapses (Mentioned elsewhere on this website.). My brother has traveled extensively in the region (on his own, not package tour stuff). He stories of a trip out to Xiangjiang/Uighurstan (SP??) was fascinating.
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Old 11-20-2006   #15
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Default Future of the DPRK

Strickland's post about our policy on Tawain, vis-a-vis gaining Chinese cooperation on the DPRK, made me consider the future of the DPRK. After seeing and hearing the conditions in the country, is it due for a revolution like Romania?
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Old 11-20-2006   #16
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Coup with Chinese behind it.
Historic-Battles forum moderator
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Old 11-20-2006   #17
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Hmmm...That would be the makings for a new Clancy novel, and frankly was something I had never thought of.

Last edited by jcustis; 11-20-2006 at 05:04 PM.
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Old 11-21-2006   #18
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For those with too much free time I highly recommend Under the Loving Care of the Fatherly Leader by Bradley Martin. It's a pretty hefty tome but very thorough. Most of the book focuses on his interviews with various defectors. It's probably the best look inside the regime I've come across.
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Old 11-22-2006   #19
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Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
I thought direct negotiations were thought more to be a slight to our allies in the region.

Unilateralism, anyone?
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Old 11-23-2006   #20
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Default Status Quo

While it is impossible to predict what will happen in North Korea I think it is safe to say that China has no interest in seeing North Korea implode in the immediate future, since they are hosting the Olympics in 2008 (major show case demonstration for what many predict will the nation with the world's largest economy by 2020), and S. Korea is more concerned about their economic development than their starving brothers and sisters in the North (a conflict of any type with the North would most likely be severely disruptive). I would place my money that the status quo will continue "if" North Korea's neighbors' have the ability to help Kim Jung Il maintain it.
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