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

Why is North Korea dangerous?

  1. Nov 11, 2014 #1
    I mean, what is their motive for war? It seems like they are an isolated country who do their own communist thing, so what advantage would merit the start of a war for them? Something political? In resistance against an outside influence trying to interfere?

    I realize that their leader is crazy, but still, he must have some sort of reason to put his people in danger.
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 11, 2014 #2
    (Re)-unifying Korea?
  4. Nov 11, 2014 #3


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    From where I'm standing the danger NK is posing to anyone, as well as the craziness of its leadership, is a product of US propaganda. At best greatly exaggerated, at worst completely made up.
  5. Nov 11, 2014 #4
    They have no motive for war, only the motive for saber rattling. DPRK wants isolation, but also respect. DPRK needs to incite some international drama in order to keep the propaganda machines rolling, which gives them more control internally.
  6. Nov 11, 2014 #5
    The danger is that we have relatively little intelligence on DPRK and the leadership is unpredictable, cuppled with the fact they have enough artillery pointed at Seoul to destroy it ten times over. I agree that the media often exaggerates though, but that is with everything.
  7. Nov 11, 2014 #6
    fyi, I visited DPRK a few years ago. Of the 60+ countries I've visited, it was easily one of the most fascinating.
  8. Nov 11, 2014 #7
    Yeah, what Greg said. They're so isolated that they have to stir up the bowl or else they'd evaporate into obscurity and poverty. It's like the dog in your neighbors yard, it's not really a threat, but it's so annoying that when you decide to do a home invasion, you're going to pick the house next door where the dog is more tractable.
  9. Nov 11, 2014 #8
    Wow, really? That's pretty brave. I wouldn't go anywhere near that border out of fear of labor camp black hole.
  10. Nov 11, 2014 #9


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    Why do you think it's unpredictable, though? I've never heard of a nation to commit mass suicide, which is what attacking either of NK's neighbours would amount to.
  11. Nov 11, 2014 #10
    No problems when you fly into Pyongyang. As a visitor you must join a government sanctioned tour group. I've also never felt safer. There is no petty or violent crime. It's strange to have been on both sides of the DMZ line. When I was at the north side there was some US miltary on the other side and I'm sure they thought, "wth are you doing" when they saw me lol. I'll post some scans of a propaganda magazine later today. It's fascinating!
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 19, 2015
  12. Nov 11, 2014 #11
    When you have trouble figuring out even who exactly is in control of a country, nothing is off the table.
  13. Nov 12, 2014 #12
    My friend has visited North Korea twice. He said you need to visit to find out what it is really like, rather than rely on news articles.
  14. Nov 12, 2014 #13


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    I'm not sure what exactly you mean by "mass suicide", but a lot have countries have started or fought both winning and losing wars that killed a lot of their own people.

    It gets even tougher to do the math when the country is impoverished and famine-prone. If millions of people are going to die either way, what's the difference if they die in war or due to famine.

    In addition, instability can lead to irrational actions.

    Something else that probably needs to be said is that part of the reason we treat the risk of war as high is that we ARE technically still at war. The Korean War was not resolved with a treaty, so the border is fortified because it is still literally the front line of the Korean War.
  15. Nov 12, 2014 #14


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    What's the basis for the knowledge of the motivations of the DPRK? I see no basis for claiming the "DPRK wants" as an indication of the desires of a plurality of the enslaved population there. Apparently only what Kim II Sung wants, and perhaps some of his inner circle, is relevant to the actions of the the DPRK military and its internal security forces. Also, the sinking of the South Korea destroyer a few years ago killing most of the crew, and the artillery shelling of various S.K. islands goes beyond the common definition of saber rattling.

    Lord Lothian, 1935
    link[/PLAIN] [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 7, 2017
  16. Nov 12, 2014 #15
    Because of WW2 and the cold war, the US and the USSR had to interfere in Korea, split it in 2. North Korea sees the US as an intruder, and South Korea as a US puppet. N. Korea wants to be independant, and push away US influence, push away US corporations. They don't want to be a puppet state like they believe S Korea is. If the Kim Jung lets go of power, he might just be sent off to neverland himself. I'm not an expert, but that's my view from reading news.
  17. Nov 12, 2014 #16


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    That's correct to an extent but when even completely crazy stories about NK are taken as possible official government releases because of past actions it's hard to know what outlandish things they will do if the current leadership starts to lose total control of the population.
  18. Nov 13, 2014 #17
    I was reading and looking at pictures of pyramids. I saw this diagram that showed the relative sizes of famous ones. There's Chichenitza. Ah, there's Giza. Then there's this biggest of all, king-daddy pyramid. What the heck is that, I asked. It's the North Korean pyramid (Ryugyong hotel). It's not really that ugly, like the Sydney opera house, but it is weird. It looks as if it belongs in a sci-fi movie. It is an example of craziness in my opinion. No propaganda necessary, it speaks for itself.
  19. Nov 15, 2014 #18
    What happened if I set foot in North Korea? I am from South Korea.
  20. Nov 16, 2014 #19
    Depends on where. Near the border you are liable to be shot. If you are smuggled in some how, you will likely be sent to a prison labor camp for years.
  21. Nov 17, 2014 #20


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Well, first of all, the N.Korean government has shown its irrationality... so why would someone ask for motives? they have imprisoned people in camps for whole generations.
    It's not so isolated... N.Korea secret police has, in certain circumstances, abducted citizens from S. Korea or Japan, who disappeared forever. That's probably because N.Korea needs to prove its existence....
    A tourist in N.Korea of course will be treated nicely, except for if he disobeys the regularizations and rules (eg. no free photo-shooting, but only what is allowed by the government- what the government wants to show to the outside world). That is of course if that tourist achieves in going through all the bureaucracy needed to visit that corner of the world.

    However, the N.Korean people although scared by the police, are very good , polite and friendly...but believing in their leaders as Gods, then they can become really dangerous if the leaders are insane.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook