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  • North Korean launch test

    I've been hearing the ire of conservative talk show hosts over the audacity of the North Koreans to attempt to launch a satellite. It reminds me of nothing so much as liberal calls for gun control following a news story about some nut on a gun rampage. Little light but much heat. What is NK really being chided for? Is it just that their leader is a nutcase and can't be trusted with sharp scissors, let alone a launch system? Then let's say that, and not muddy the waters with the choice of weapon.
    Dude, seriously, WHAT handkerchief?

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  • #2
    Re: North Korean launch test

    Perfecting long-range missile systems under the guise of a "peaceful" endeavor. I don't THINK that such a orbital delivery missile could be easily converted into a weapons package, but I'm not a rocket scientist, so maybe it is.

    Why conservative talkshow hosts have a problem with beating around the bush, though... you'd expect them to just come out and say it. Diplomats, though, they seem to thrive by saying some but meaning something else. *shrugs*

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    • #3
      Re: North Korean launch test

      Originally posted by ScratchMonkey View Post
      What is NK really being chided for? Is it just that their leader is a nutcase and can't be trusted with sharp scissors, let alone a launch system? Then let's say that, and not muddy the waters with the choice of weapon.
      That's pretty much the argument, yes. And the commentators I listen to will come out and say that straightforward, but that doesn't make the choice of weapon irrelevant. If Kim-Jong-Il is doing stupid stuff with scissors, the only people he can hurt are the ones within arm's reach. If he's doing stupid stuff with an army, he can hurt anyone within gunshot range. But if he's doing stupid stuff with a nuclear missile, the number of people that can potentially be hurt goes up dramatically. And the range of that missile is an important factor in the potential danger, which is why all the commentators are so concerned with how much range North Korea's launch systems have.

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      • #4
        Re: North Korean launch test

        Every media outlet and commentator that is spouting off about this launch is a fool. Also bear in mind that our last cry-wolf endeavor with WMD speculation didn't pan out too well.

        Most intelligence estimates are that North Korea does not yet have the appropriate technology to develop a nuclear warhead. Some estimates claim they have as many as eight unarmed warheads. Regardless, this is a defensible threat - Japan has anti-missile technology and the U.S. has anti-missile ships in place throughout the Pacific.

        The smartest thing to do here is for the public and the media to ignore North Korea's attempts at getting attention, like rocket launches.

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        • #5
          Re: North Korean launch test

          So if I understand you correctly, your position is that North Korea is way too incompetent to actually hit anything with a nuclear missile, so their public claims that they are trying to do just that* should be ignored?

          (*Disclaimer: North Korea has claimed they have a nuclear bomb, and claimed they have a functional space-capable rocket, but hasn't actually put the two together in one sentence yet.)

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          • #6
            Re: North Korean launch test

            Dunno about the viability of missile shields. Remember the Patriot system in the first Gulf War? Technology is fallible.

            Even if the missile was shot down, what would the response be towards North Korea? Another war?

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            • #7
              Re: North Korean launch test

              Who knows their one missile could be a MIRV, who knows what the satellite is even going to be used for, I'll put money down that it doesn't have anything to do with Satellite television. NK leaders are testing the waters/ruffling the feathers, in hopes that there is an outcry over them launching a satellite......

              Yes I agree the media should really stay away from this, then again i feel the media both on the liberal and conservative front should stray away from most topics since they and by they I mean certain distinct commentators (actually throw in also some independent party commentators as well) only speak to really provoke fear and confusion, remember it is their opinion that they are blasted over the radio/airwaves.
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              • #8
                Re: North Korean launch test

                Originally posted by Kerostasis View Post
                So if I understand you correctly, your position is that North Korea is way too incompetent to actually hit anything with a nuclear missile, so their public claims that they are trying to do just that* should be ignored?

                (*Disclaimer: North Korea has claimed they have a nuclear bomb, and claimed they have a functional space-capable rocket, but hasn't actually put the two together in one sentence yet.)
                I didn't say incompetent, I said they are not prepared to arm a nuclear warhead (and subsequent missile). Their aim actually isn't to hit anything with a nuclear missile anyway. This particular 'test' was a propaganda stunt aimed at accomplishing two things - a domestic event timed for Kim Jong-il's 're-election' and an attention-getting international media distraction. All signs seem to indicate that it succeeded in both - despite failing at the supposed satellite launching.

                North Korea is a bizarro world - not a failed state in the traditional sense, but in the mental sense. This is an abused and brainwashed population. It must eventually collapse. Jong-il is clearly in poor health, as was observed at yesterday's Supreme People's Assembly.

                Every media personality or politician who spouts off on this subject is only playing to North Korea's plans. This is one area of the world that unfortunately only needs the attention of the DoD - and the UN and Red Cross, but that will sadly just have to wait.

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                • #9
                  Re: North Korean launch test

                  Originally posted by AMosely View Post
                  I didn't say incompetent, I said they are not prepared to arm a nuclear warhead (and subsequent missile).
                  Forgive me, I need to ask for clarification here: Do you mean not technologically prepared, or not motivationally prepared?

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                  • #10
                    Re: North Korean launch test

                    I don't think the US has ever test detonated a nuclear warhead and ICBM together.

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                    • #11
                      Re: North Korean launch test

                      Originally posted by Kerostasis View Post
                      Forgive me, I need to ask for clarification here: Do you mean not technologically prepared, or not motivationally prepared?
                      I would say both. Every assesment I've read, including those of closer neighbors such as South Korea and Japan, continue to indicate a lack of technological preparedness. Furthermore, every time the curtain is lifted on some piece of technology (a bomb or rocket test), there seem to be flaws - the most recent bomb test was much smaller than claimed, and the recent rocket launch failed to release any object into orbit as claimed.

                      Motivationally speaking the argument becomes much more complicated. One must leave the population out of it, because we're talking about a brutal and propagandistic dictatorship - there is no motivation among the isolated population of North Korea other than what is dictated to them. Living conditions are deplorable - those who do have electricity (to watch state-sponsored television) don't even have it at all times. Those who dare speak quickly disappear. But in terms of the ruling powers, which seems to be supreme for the most part, the motivation seems to be more internal than external. By that I mean they are displays of power directed more at the internal population than at the world at large. Again, this is the belief of many analysts that are closer that us westerners are.

                      Think about it. We still live in a nuclear armed world, and most of us live in one of the armed countries. North Korea - or Iran, for that matter - wouldn't ever dare launch or even come close to launching a nuclear missile because their entire country would cease to exist within minutes. This is a plain matter of fact. Furthermore, we know from history that brutal dictatorships love their power more than anything else. They may gamble it (start regional wars, make lofty statements, test weapons systems), but would never purposefully lose it by facing immediate and total destruction.

                      The logic, at least to me, seems clear - these are charades that should only be taken seriously by those who must.

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                      • #12
                        Re: North Korean launch test

                        @Sordavie:
                        No, but we have installed nuclear warheads on ICBMs and made public statements about their capability and use. North Korea has publicized its nuclear bomb program and its missile program separately, but as far as I know they haven't publicly connected the two: Officially the missiles are only for peaceful use, for space exploration.

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                        • #13
                          Re: North Korean launch test

                          Originally posted by AMosely View Post
                          I would say both. Every assesment I've read, including those of closer neighbors such as South Korea and Japan, continue to indicate a lack of technological preparedness. Furthermore, every time the curtain is lifted on some piece of technology (a bomb or rocket test), there seem to be flaws - the most recent bomb test was much smaller than claimed, and the recent rocket launch failed to release any object into orbit as claimed.
                          Granted, they don't seem to be very good at it. Their last bomb-test was a dud, and their multi-stage missile only worked correctly up through the first stage-transition. But they are trying, and they are improving -- their previous attempts at multistage missiles didn't get any stage-transitions at all. This one got one transition, so what are the chances the next one can pull off two or three? That's about all you need to reach ICBM level range. And the fact they were able to perform a nuke test at all means they must at least have the raw materials necessary, now they just have to experiment for awhile until they get the formula right.

                          Motivationally speaking the argument becomes much more complicated. ... North Korea - or Iran, for that matter - wouldn't ever dare launch or even come close to launching a nuclear missile because their entire country would cease to exist within minutes. This is a plain matter of fact.
                          Is it really? Who exactly is going to be pulling the trigger that makes their country cease to exist in response? Keep in mind this is a question of image as much as it is about reality -- the question of whether we will nuke North Korea isn't nearly as important as the question of whether Kim Jong Il believes that we will nuke North Korea.

                          I'll bet that if he threw a nuke straight at Washington, Washington wouldn't hesistate to lob some nukes back, and even Kim probably realizes that. But what if he nuked someone else? Suppose for a moment he launched his nuke at South Korea instead of us, would we be just as gung-ho about evaporating millions of innocent, oppressed civilians just for a shot at getting Kim in the process? We might, maybe, but I'd say there's some significant room for doubt.

                          There's a similar room for doubt over in Iran, but probably somewhat less considering Israel has its own nuclear arsenal, and even if we don't use ours Israel will almost certainly use theirs. So Iran would have to believe they had a good shot at knocking out Israel's nuclear capability in one shot ... or just be so crazy they didn't care about the return-fire. But that's the danger with religious extremism -- you can never be entirely certain they aren't just that crazy.

                          The logic, at least to me, seems clear - these are charades that should only be taken seriously by those who must.
                          "Those who must" is an interesting caveat here. Who are "those who must"? I would say that covers everyone within North Korea's proven missile range, but I'm guessing you have a different opinion?

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                          • #14
                            Re: North Korean launch test

                            Only the President of the United States can give the executive order to launch Nuclear Weapons from the US. Sub Commanders, SACOM, and those at NORAD no longer have the option to launch. I believe around 2000 this was put in effect?

                            Now I don't know who has the final say in India, Pakistan, Russia and etc.

                            If NK were to launch I would imagine Japan would be a viable target, thus due to the History those two nations have, and I am sure if they did they would alert China, or it would be a dual launching, I can't forsee NK doing something like this without China's backing.
                            Randy = Ace ! - Warlab
                            Level II Volunteer FireFighter
                            Level I HazMat Technician
                            NYS EMT-B
                            Town of Mamaroneck Fire Dept.

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                            Bring On Project Reality 1.0!!!
                            RSS Feeds:Bamboo | | 9/11 - Never Forget |
                            Apophis - "TG was created to cater to a VERY specific type of gamer rather than trying to appeal to the greater gaming population.
                            Tactical Gamer is not mainstream.
                            We are not trying to attract mainstream gamers."

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: North Korean launch test

                              Originally posted by Kerostasis View Post
                              This one got one transition, so what are the chances the next one can pull off two or three? That's about all you need to reach ICBM level range. And the fact they were able to perform a nuke test at all means they must at least have the raw materials necessary, now they just have to experiment for awhile until they get the formula right.
                              These questions don't require answers if the intent is not to actually launch an attack, but instead simply prove that you can. I obviously believe the latter to be the case here.

                              Originally posted by Kerostasis
                              Who exactly is going to be pulling the trigger that makes their country cease to exist in response? Keep in mind this is a question of image as much as it is about reality -- the question of whether we will nuke North Korea isn't nearly as important as the question of whether Kim Jong Il believes that we will nuke North Korea.
                              I'm sure we would immediately if an attack on our soil was imminent, and the same holds true for numerous other nations. As for proxied retaliatory attacks (on behalf of South Korea, for example), I'm not as certain. Jong-Il most likely does not believe that we (or any other nation) will launch a nuclear weapon at North Korea, or else he wouldn't be so ridiculously provocative about his own armament. Then again, it could be (and has been) argued that he believes such provocation (these brazen acts of defiance) are a method of deterring such an attack. I personally find that argument flawed because he must realize that in terms of nuclear arsenal, he will never stand a chance.

                              I firmly believe that his are acts of propaganda designed not at the external world but at his own hold of power over the people of North Korea. They must believe that he is either defending them or that he will never let them be liberated (a continuance of hopelessness is required by any dictator who seeks ultimate control). One proof of this is his reaction to the Iraq war - his power was, at least from his perspective, threatened.

                              Originally posted by Kerostasis
                              There's a similar room for doubt over in Iran, but probably somewhat less considering Israel has its own nuclear arsenal, and even if we don't use ours Israel will almost certainly use theirs. So Iran would have to believe they had a good shot at knocking out Israel's nuclear capability in one shot ... or just be so crazy they didn't care about the return-fire. But that's the danger with religious extremism -- you can never be entirely certain they aren't just that crazy.
                              There's not much debate here. Iran will never develop any capability on Israel's watch. Not even the U.S. can stop Israel when the clock runs that low - Syria never got the chance to start enriching uranium in 2008.


                              Originally posted by Kerostasis
                              "Those who must" is an interesting caveat here. Who are "those who must"? I would say that covers everyone within North Korea's proven missile range, but I'm guessing you have a different opinion?
                              It covers the military and defense departments of the nations covered in that range. What I am trying to say is that this is who it should be left to - not politicians, pundits and boistrous civilians who aren't familiar enough with the bigger picture.

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