Comments on: Fallout is just beginning in North Korea Fri, 05 Dec 2014 14:27:05 +0000 hourly 1 By: DifferentOne Thu, 22 Dec 2011 20:44:01 +0000 “a country that treats its rulers as gods needs someone at the top of the pyramid to keep from devolving into chaos.”

I take issue with this. What kind of person at the top is needed? Of course, every society needs leaders. But the author seems to be implying that democracy is impossible in North Korea, and therefore we need another absolute dictator.

However, limited democracy and free speech is conceivable, as a first step. If you don’t start building democracy somewhere, then you are left with another absolute dictator who will be just as dangerous to the world as the one he replaced.

The present situation may be a rare opportunity for North Koreans to increase their personal freedom, even if only slightly.

By: scythe Thu, 22 Dec 2011 10:49:06 +0000 (quote) “British SAS used to say … shoot the first person who makes a move (hostile or otherwise) to ensure authority.”

still happens in england, during peaceful marches and even when innocently catching a train

( 3/july7.uksecurity11)

By: BajaArizona Thu, 22 Dec 2011 03:04:25 +0000 I have just a small adjustment of perspective to add to the conversation.

We talk a lot about N. Korea’s nukes. And we should. But they never were the game changer they have been made out to be. Here’s why:

Right now at this moment and for 6 consecutive decades the North has aimed at Seoul a vast array of conventional artillery and missiles. Over time, as one might expect, the quantity of these weapon emplacements has only grown.

What this means is that in approximately the first 20 seconds of a war (or technically the end of a cease-fire in a war that never ended) between North and South enough conventional ordnance will be launched at the South to easily kill over 11 million South Koreans. All those weapons would only need to be fired once to achieve that kind of death toll. Since they are kept loaded and manned at all times, all that would be required is merely for the order to be given.

Nukes are a way for the North to threaten enemies further afield, like Japan and the United States (although it probably still lacks missiles with sufficient range to hit North America). But it’s real deterrent has always been conventional and impervious to any first strikes. If the South ever wished to attack, it would have to empty one of the world’s largest cities first, hardly something it could accomplish in secret.

That is the basis for the current strategic impasse, not nukes.

By: Wantunbiasednew Wed, 21 Dec 2011 21:56:29 +0000 A very informative article, but one aspect of situation in North Korea is simply behind comprehension of West, free people, namely brainwashing. 25-30 years ago it was not difficult to take a two week trip to North Korea from my country. I know persons who had opportunity to travel around the country and spend some time/talk with North Korean students/guides, peers of their age (20-23). On any occasion when discussion/questions related to internal situation of NK the students became very nervous and scared to death, speechless.
I think nobody in United States really knows what to do with North Korea.
China and North Korea have very important and strong mutual interests, both benefit from the status quo.
North Korea plays dangerous country, controlled only by China, ocassionally blackmailing South to receive more rice.
China play also their part marvelously, patron, the only country that Kim Dynasty listens to. Defender in United Nations Security Council. It rises the influence of China in Asia.
That is why Hu Jinto gave so strong mandate to new Kim by visiting Korean embassy. Very important gesture, very important words were spoken:”Do not interfere (US and South Korea), try to stabilize, status quo is best, we guarantee status quo, no body knows what will be in any other scenario”.

By: matthewslyman Wed, 21 Dec 2011 20:49:49 +0000 > “putting a firm American ally right on its border”

If this is what bothers the Chinese about abandoning the status quo; I personally think this is an unfounded fear. Just look at Germany. A firm ally of the West? Perhaps, but not an unthinking one… They declined to get involved in Iraq, Libya etc. They maintain friendly relationships with Russia, with enough two-way trust to embark on the Nord Stream project (now complete). 5637244

The reunification of Germany was not a simple recolouring of the map from red to blue; but people and ideas crossed newly dissolved borders in both directions, between brother peoples who had been unnaturally separated by force.

Why should the same future not come to Korea? Unification would not be cheap, and lessons could be learned from the experience of Germany; but just look at what can be achieved! Germany is now a bridge between East and West, trusted by bother sides, and a beacon of prosperity, fiscal prudence and comparative class-equality and societal harmony to all the countries around it.

What else do the Chinese want? I struggle to see how the two situations are so different…