Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

News Please come to lovely North Korea

  1. Apr 18, 2010 #1
    Oh Kim Jong-il! You so funny!

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/18/opinion/18myers.ready.html?pagewanted=1"

    If living in a free country means being a crow, I have no problem going "caw caw caw"
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2010 #2

    CRGreathouse

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I've always wondered what the typical North Koreans think of the propaganda. The expats don't think much of it, of course, but they're atypical.`
     
  4. Apr 18, 2010 #3

    mheslep

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    They seem to be well caught up in it, producing an almost pathologically xenophobic and racist society.
    61D6rGlyOVL._SS500_.jpg

    A Nation of Racist Dwarfs
    Kim Jong-il's regime is even weirder and more despicable than you thought
    - Slate, C. Hitchens

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1...1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=1933633913"
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 25, 2017
  5. Apr 18, 2010 #4

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Quotes from the article:
    I've always considered our negotiations with N. Korea a waste. The pattern is unmistakable: they provoke us, then negotiate concessions in exchange for stopping the provocation. It seems obvious to me that we should not be continuing this cycle. Yeah, it sucks that milions of N. Koreans might starve to death if we don't provide them food. But to focus on that is short-sighted: by helping to perpetuate the dictatorship, we are aiding and abetting in the the misery of hundreds of millions and - over time - the deaths of millions.

    Sometimes I wonder if we could foment a revolution simply by dropping a million small bags of cool ranch Doritos over the countryside.

    Either way, this level of oppression:
    ....should not be allowed to exist in the 21st century. The N Korean military supposedly is powerful, but I have no doubt that it would pose little difficulty for a modern military such as the US's or South Koreans'. It would certainly come nowhere close in difficulty to the 2003 Iraq war, which took 19 days to conquer Iraq. Granted, when there is essentially no resistance, the main issue is how fast the tanks can be driven (and in N. Korea, they wouldn't have far to go). And the occupation following the invasion would present far less of a problem.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010
  6. Apr 18, 2010 #5
    IIRC they do have biological and chemical weapons, as well as hundreds of artillery tubes pointed at Souel which could be used as a delivery mechanism. The civilian casualties would be enormous on the South Korean side.
     
  7. Apr 18, 2010 #6

    CRGreathouse

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    They devote a large percentage of their GDP to the military, and have more men in their army than the RoK. I wouldn't want to be the South if they decided to attack! And I don't know if the US could stomach the casualties needed to defend S. Korea.
     
  8. Apr 18, 2010 #7
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G8tbzxIgxFs

    North Korean kid falls asleep doing geometry homework, and dreams about killing Americans.

    Seems to me a lot like the Nazi propaganda before WWII saying "The Jews are bad"
     
  9. Apr 18, 2010 #8

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    The proximity of Seoul is problematic, but I have my doubts that they could actually deploy their weapons. Rumor had it that much of the USSR's military might existed only on paper.
     
  10. Apr 18, 2010 #9
    Casualties on who's side? South Korea is going to have a major problem with the large amounts of artillery from the North, some or most fitted with B/C warheads. However if the North decides to put up any warplanes it will be like a Great Brittan bird hunt. The role of the birds will be played by the North Korean pilots.
     
  11. Apr 18, 2010 #10

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Their gdp is $25 billion. South Korea's is $929 billion. Googling, S. Korea spends 2.6% of their GDP on their military, equalling N. Korea's entire GDP. Wiki says N. Korea's military budget is $6 billion.
    It doesn't matter how many men they have if their tanks don't start and their airplanes can't get off the ground and their 6" shorter soldiers are starving to death.

    Probably worse is the command and control of such a country. Nazi Germany proved how paralyzing dictatorial control over a military [by a psychotic despot] can be.
    It wouldn't be the US that would have to stomach the casualties, it would only be Seoul itself. Otherwise, the war would be very easy.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2010
  12. Apr 18, 2010 #11

    The USSR was most definately not a paper tiger. Like NK's military it had lots of obsolete equipment, but unlike NK it also had something to show for its existence such as the MiG-29 and SU-27, both of which were quite formidable in their day.


    Either way I don't think it is a good idea to play russian roulette with civilians.

    They can do a lot of initial damage if they take first initiative simply because of the number of guns they have, but absolutly no staying power. Whatever initial success they MIGHT have would be very quickly undone.

    Trouble is no one seems knows what to do with NK. Reunification wont happen because the economic disparity so huge. When Germany reunified, the east german economy managed to bog down the west german economy, even though the economic parity ratio was only about 1 to 3. In the case of korea, it's more like 1 to 37. On the other hand if NK collapses then everyone around it would be flooded with millions of refugees, something none of them want, including the south.
     
  13. Apr 19, 2010 #12
    You really believe that? North Koreans are extremely loving of their leader. If a foreign force overthrows him, all hell will break loose there. Occupation would be a nightmare, the population will never cooperate.
     
  14. Apr 19, 2010 #13
    That's probably true, the extent of the brainwashing in NK is extraordinary.
     
  15. Apr 19, 2010 #14
    I remember seeing a movie about a man from North Korea fleeing to China to get his wife medicine. It led me to think that they don't really love their country or living there that much and if they had a choice they would choose to leave.
     
  16. Apr 19, 2010 #15

    CRGreathouse

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    The US had a GDP 274 times that of Iraq and suffered an 0.3% loss of its military personnel in the Iraq war (despite a spending-per-soldier higher than any other country). If the RoK has a similar ratio, it would suffer 2.2% or 15,000 military casualties. But I don't suspect it would go that well for their military, and their civilian population would surely see hundreds of thousands of deaths.

    I'm not saying that the DPRK could beat the RoK, just that a lot of people would die if they tried.
     
  17. Apr 19, 2010 #16

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    They're playing the game now. The difference would be a short term increase in the risk for a long term end to the game.
     
  18. Apr 19, 2010 #17

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Like the USSR, N. Korea's brainwash-type control of their people is based mostly on the farce that their system is superior. And as much as anything, what brought down the USSR was the people finding out that it really was a farce.

    Even the racist element is based largely on farce: Can you imagine what North Koreans would think, seeing gigantic S.Korean and American soldiers marching in their streets? The sham that is their brainwashed beliefs would come tumbling down.
    I agree. People don't have to deny reality when they don't even know what reality is. But faced with such stark choices or high-contrast information of such high importance, people don't choose the illusion.
     
  19. Apr 19, 2010 #18

    CRGreathouse

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Indeed. Not an obvious, or an easy, decision.
     
  20. Apr 19, 2010 #19

    russ_watters

    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Yes - and I never intended to imply it is an easy choice. However, what I do know for sure is that the "fight" option got a lot harder a few years ago when they [probably] tested a nuke and keeps getting harder as they develop those capabilities. This is why, IMO, we need to do everything in our power to prevent such countries (see: Iran) from getting nukes.
     
  21. Apr 19, 2010 #20
    i knew a SK student years ago in grad school. and he took some offense to my referring to his country as "south" korea. to him it is korea. they want to reunite with the north. they've already got paper governments established for all the northern communities if and when that happens.

    and i think you've got to remember, these people in the north are literally family to them. this influences the way that both SK and the US deals with the NKs. they may be perfectly willing to wait out KJI's natural death to look for an opening for reunification, rather than trying to kill them or starve them out (something which hasn't worked, btw).
     
  22. Apr 20, 2010 #21

    CRGreathouse

    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    I can only agree with the last two posts; I have nothing to add.
     
  23. Apr 20, 2010 #22

    mheslep

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Probably a topic for another thread, but interestingly the Secretary of Defense agrees with you in that he's concerned the US has no military back up plan for Iran.
    That is a remarkable [STRIKE]public[/STRIKE] statement for a sitting SecDef.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/18/world/middleeast/18iran.html
    http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2010/04/20/2010-04-20_gates_nuclear_bomb.html
     
  24. Apr 20, 2010 #23
    That's true to a point, but in NK they take cult of personality to a new level. By the time the USSR collapsed in the 80's they had no "divine great leader" anymore, but in NK it is still going strong. After all, NK has the only dead president still serving in office, divinely watching over the North Korean people.
     
  25. Apr 21, 2010 #24

    mheslep

    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Maybe over the longer term this will be the case, but I don't think history bares out this view that cults can be readily shaken out of their delusions by encountering reality. See Imperial Japan. The US showed up at the small island of Okinawa in '45 with more than 1100 ships and complete air superiority. Yet the Nipponese soldiers fought to nearly the last man and the civilians lined up to throw themselves off cliffs. Prior to the A-bomb attacks, B-29s seemingly blacked out the sky over Japanese cities during conventional bombings, yet there were no mass cries to throw in the towel.
     
  26. Apr 27, 2010 #25
    Not to be ugly, but do any of you guys study history? War with N Korea isnt the issue; the intercession of China is. Chinese entry into the Korean Conflict in 1951 is the only thing that saved the North then. China is extremely protective of thier self proclaimed hegemony of Asia and would again interpose their forces in any incident that threatened that belief. Thats the reason Dear Leader acts the constant international fool - he has the might of China's army protecting his backside.
     
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook