"We May Not Be Able to Stop a North Korean Missile"

MemberLG

5-Year Member
Japan and South Korea’s power resides in their citizens and democratic deliberation as established by law. North Korea’s power lies in just one man. He is neither mature, nor does he support democracy, human rights, international law, and environmental sustainability. It is therefore far more dangerous for nuclear weapons to be in the hands of Kim Jong Un than in South Korea, Japan, or ourselves. Kim's lack of respect for these core values makes him more likely to use those weapons in a way that grossly violates them, and he therefore should not have them. Russia, North Korea, China, Pakistan and Iran are all lacking in the qualities of democracy, human rights, environmental sustainability and international law. Therefore they should not be trusted with nuclear weapons, which can do major damage to these core values.
Sure, it is funny that US is the only country that used nuclear weapons against another country. So if I am not a friend of the US, I am thinking unless I have a creditable deterrent, the US is going to use her nuclear weapons against me.
 

Chockstock

"Forever One Team"
10-Year Member
North Korean prison camps arguably constitute the greatest human rights violation in recorded history. North Korean prisoners are subject to a lives of nothing but extreme torture, hard labor, sleep deprivation, and hunger. In some camps, prisoners work upwards of sixteen hours a day performing back-breaking labor, spend several more hours each day marching, and are forced to engage in daily hour-long sessions of mutual and self-criticism leaving them with only four hours to sleep each night .Despite their strenuous labor and long waking hours, food rations for prisoners are so meager that those who eat only rationed food die of hunger. In order to survive, prisoners resort to extreme measures such as sorting through animal dung to dig out undigested corn kernels. However, obtaining food by such means is extremely risky; if caught, prisoners are often killed. Kim Yong, a North Korean prison camp survivor, testified that one of his co-workers was killed for picking up a chestnut off the ground (Kim and Suk-Yong 89). Another account details a six-year old girl being beaten to death for having five unauthorized kernels of corn. Besides demonstrating the harsh treatment North Korea prisoners are subjected to, these anecdotes reveal the extreme level of desperation North Korean prisoners feel.

Coupled with these physical challenges is a deep emotional toll, as many prisoners are permanently separated from their families upon entering prison. For those fortunate enough to stay with their families, family relationships are close to non-existent. Shin Dong-Hyuk, a North Korean prisoner that spent the first 26 years of his life in a North Korean prison camp, described his mother “as a competitor for food”, his father as a man who “ignored him”, and his brother as “a stranger”. Shin ended up reporting his mother and brother for talking about escaping the camp in hopes of getting an extra meal for himself, and both were subsequently executed. At the time of the execution, Shin, who had been raised his entire life to believe the rules of the camp were morally right, felt they deserved to be killed for talking about escaping.

Similar to holocaust victims, the vast prisoners in North Korean are completely innocent. If a North Korean found guilty of committing a crime, not only are they sent to a prison camp, but their entire family for three generations, often times for life. This results in many people spending their entire lives, from birth to death, in the confines of a North Korean prison camp, knowing nothing but the living hell that they were born into.

If impregnated, women are either executed/given forced abortion. Below is a former prisoners description of one of those abortions taking place:


I have read many books on both North Korean prison camps and the holocaust, and as bad as the holocaust was, I believe that what North Korean prisoners go through is far worse. From birth to death, their lives are complete hell. If you go to a holocaust era death camp, you are either going to die very quickly, or you are going to come out alive in 3 years. Auschwitz was around for 5 years. North Korean prisons camps have been around for around 70. I might be a lot younger than you, but I doubt you have done as much reading on either the holocaust, or North Korean prison camps as me.
Allow me to enlighten you on the wonderful truth behind our foreign policy and why the United States does what it does. The driving force behind our policy, aka the decision for military action, is not altruism. It seems that you are advocating that the US and its allies attack North Korea. Think of history and all the atrocity, senseless violence, and suffering around the globe. Remember Rwanda? Or maybe the Khmer Rouge. Both times, we kicked up our feet and did nothing. Ever wonder why? In fact, not only have we ignored mass violations of human rights...we've actively supported regimes that do! It happened all the time during the Cold War! I won't go into a history lesson here but the point is that we are motivated by things like, oh, I don't know, national security more often than pure goodwill for our worldly neighbors. In the second half of the last century, we were confronted with a formidable and cunning adversary and we dropped everything to focus our efforts into containing communism. At the time, it was the single greatest threat to our national security and we treated it as such. Sadly, the values that we stand for were sometimes left on the wayside in the name of winning the conflict. You can question and debate it all you want but it happened and will continue happening.

With that in mind, consider North Korea and the situation right now. No one disputes the fact that North Korea is engaged in some appalling human rights violations and responsible for the suffering of millions on a systematic scale. It's sad, it's horrifying, and it's regretful that more people are not aware of or concerned. But if you are frustrated that the US will not act to end the horror, even while knowing all about it, well...better to shelve the frustration now and save that anger for your next SOSH paper. At the end of the day, North Korea is not an imminent threat to our security. Or at least until our current administration formulates a grand strategy identifying NK as such. And like someone already said, I am more than confident that our intelligence and military leadership are in agreeance that in the interests of our security and the American people, now is not that time to be picking a fight with North Korea. They obviously know more than we do. And how much would you like to bet that we are waging some sort of electronic war against NK? There are many ways to inflict damage on an enemy without overtly bombing or shooting them. Until you see a mushroom cloud over San Francisco, what you're advocating for isn't going to happen.

There are other reasons why we will not act decisively in Korea. You may find it hard to believe, but the US, Russia, and China all favor the status quo. North Korea is no doubt a danger to everyone. But keeping Korea divided maintains a happy equilibrium. China will never see a US-backed, twice as powerful Korea sitting at their doorstep. The US will never see it either (do you think US or Japanese auto manufacturers and electronics industries are clamoring to see an even bigger and stronger Korea compete in the world economy? I don't think so. Post-reunification, Korea would face terrible economic challenges for years but that would be the theoretical endstate - a stronger ally but also a stronger economic competitor). The never-ending possibility of a conflict on the peninsula also provides the US with the justification to keep our armed forces in Korea. We have 55,000 troops in Korea and I think like 30,000 in Japan. Imagine NK finally defeated and the peninsula reunified - will the Korean government continue to tolerate our presence? I doubt we would ever leave Korea but our numbers would inevitably go down. Where do you propose we place several tens of thousands of Soldiers when we remove them from Korea? It's a dilemma that's already been discussed. So, to consider your wonderful proposal of attacking North Korea is to also consider the aftermath of a defeated enemy and a ruined country and ultimately, the reunification of the peninsula under a US-friendly government. Does that sound like a task we are prepared for or willing to undertake? American power has not diminished but the power of others around the world has grown since the Cold War - fighting North Korea and reunifying the peninsula is a goal that is impossible to achieve without involving Russia and China in the equation. The days when we could do whatever we wanted with little repercussion are gone (sadly). I guess we still say whatever we want, though (Trump).
 

emwvmi01

5-Year Member
A few more thoughts as I sit here 12 miles from the DMZ.

1. Most analysis says KJU doesn't have any desire to strike the US mainland or even his neighbors. What he does want is a negotiating lever that elevates a mediocre economy and helps stabilize his regime. A good book by BR Myers explains how NK propaganda plays internally to the region and globally. Don't buy it at face value.

2. While reports from NK labor camps are horrific so is the idea of war on the Korean peninsula and its global effects. In the first 24 hours some estimates put casualties in Seoul at 60,000. A horrific cost and untold economic cost when you disrupt a top 12 economy.

3. A national evacuation would never be accepted by South Korea, Japan or China. China is increasing trade and diplomatic ties with the ROK so the idea of a unified country isn't as daunting anymore. Their pressure is having an impact on North Korea.

At the end of the day we the United States can't do anything without South Korean or regional cooperation.
 
Sure, it is funny that US is the only country that used nuclear weapons against another country. So if I am not a friend of the US, I am thinking unless I have a creditable deterrent, the US is going to use her nuclear weapons against me.
By the sounds of it you believe that every country has an inherent right to protect itself. I do not believe such a right exists. If the US sees a country with values that differ from its own, it has the right to fight to enforce its own values, physics says so. Reality is objective. Might making right is reinforced by physics, that is there is no good force like the force of gravity that delineates good from evil. Morality is subjective in nature (absent a higher power) because the superiority of one human being's opinion on right vs wrong is entirely arbitrary. The moral standards of any society enforced by law, that is FORCE, are entirely dependent on those who control that force. Broadly speaking, we all live under a system of might makes right. Physics and power are objective qualities. The opinions of whomever holds power is subjective in nature. That those with power control the morality of society is objective and that their opinions are subjective is fact.

Allow me to enlighten you on the wonderful truth behind our foreign policy and why the United States does what it does. The driving force behind our policy, aka the decision for military action, is not altruism. It seems that you are advocating that the US and its allies attack North Korea. Think of history and all the atrocity, senseless violence, and suffering around the globe. Remember Rwanda? Or maybe the Khmer Rouge. Both times, we kicked up our feet and did nothing. Ever wonder why? In fact, not only have we ignored mass violations of human rights...we've actively supported regimes that do! It happened all the time during the Cold War! I won't go into a history lesson here but the point is that we are motivated by things like, oh, I don't know, national security more often than pure goodwill for our worldly neighbors. In the second half of the last century, we were confronted with a formidable and cunning adversary and we dropped everything to focus our efforts into containing communism. At the time, it was the single greatest threat to our national security and we treated it as such. Sadly, the values that we stand for were sometimes left on the wayside in the name of winning the conflict. You can question and debate it all you want but it happened and will continue happening.
I don't understand why this has to be the case. If you went on the streets of any city of the United States and asked people, "If the holocaust were taking place again at this very moment, would you support the United States giving every effort to stop it?", I think you would find very few people that would answer "no". Why is it then that we allow something that is arguably worse to take place?

No one gets to choose where they are born, kind of like no one gets to choose what race they are born as. A black person should not be treated differently than a white person, because neither of them got to choose what race they are, it is not their "fault" that they are whatever race they are. Similarly, a person born in North Korea should not have their rights valued less than a person born in the United States, neither of them got to choose where they were born, and it is not their "fault" that they were born wherever they were. Why are people appalled by racism, but they are not appalled by the fact that we grossly discriminate against people based purely off of where they were born? If these actions that are taking place in North Korean prison camps were happening to people who were born in the US, we would do everything in our power to stop this from taking place. So why is it, that when this happens to people who weren't born in the US, we do nothing to stop it from happening? Why is discriminating based off race wrong, but discriminating based off of where someone is born is considered perfectly okay?

The United States Military Academy has taught me to choose the harder right over the easier wrong. Is the harder right not to do something about this gross injustice?

I realize that debating this isn't going to change the outcome of anything, but at the end of the day, debating any topic on this forum doesn't change anything. I have read about the situation in North Korea for years, and a lot of anger and frustration has built up inside of me over this issue. Debating this topic allows me to express some of that frustration, and gives me a chance to see other people's perspectives on the issue. I have been extremely disappointed in a lot of the responses on this thread that I've seen, but it is still valuable to me to see these perspectives and know what other people think about the issue.
 
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MemberLG

5-Year Member
I don't understand why this has to be the case. If you went on the streets of any city of the United States and asked people, "If the holocaust were taking place again at this very moment, would you support the United States giving every effort to stop it?", I think you would find very few people that would answer "no". Why is it then that we allow something that is arguably worse to take place?.
Because I am not willing to send you to your death so I could sleep good at night believing I took an action to help those poor North Koreans. You might have read a lot, but keep in mind when words become reality, fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, sons, and daughters are sent to harms ways and some won't come back.
 

xyz321

Member
By the sounds of it you believe that every country has an inherent right to protect itself. I do not believe such a right exists. If the US sees a country with values that differ from its own, it has the right to fight to enforce its own values, physics says so. Reality is objective. Might making right is reinforced by physics, that is there is no good force like the force of gravity that delineates good from evil. Morality is subjective in nature (absent a higher power) because the superiority of one human being's opinion on right vs wrong is entirely arbitrary. The moral standards of any society enforced by law, that is FORCE, are entirely dependent on those who control that force. Broadly speaking, we all live under a system of might makes right. Physics and power are objective qualities. The opinions of whomever holds power is subjective in nature. That those with power control the morality of society is objective and that their opinions are subjective is fact.


I don't understand why this has to be the case. If you went on the streets of any city of the United States and asked people, "If the holocaust were taking place again at this very moment, would you support the United States giving every effort to stop it?", I think you would find very few people that would answer "no". Why is it then that we allow something that is arguably worse to take place?

No one gets to choose where they are born, kind of like no one gets to choose what race they are born as. A black person should not be treated differently than a white person, because neither of them got to choose what race they are, it is not their "fault" that they are whatever race they are. Similarly, a person born in North Korea should not have their rights valued less than a person born in the United States, neither of them got to choose where they were born, and it is not their "fault" that they were born wherever they were. Why are people appalled by racism, but they are not appalled by the fact that we grossly discriminate against people based purely off of where they were born? If these actions that are taking place in North Korean prison camps were happening to people who were born in the US, we would do everything in our power to stop this from taking place. So why is it, that when this happens to people who weren't born in the US, we do nothing to stop it from happening? Why is discriminating based off race wrong, but discriminating based off of where someone is born is considered perfectly okay?

The United States Military Academy has taught me to choose the harder right over the easier wrong. Is the harder right not to do something about this gross injustice?

I realize that debating this isn't going to change the outcome of anything, but at the end of the day, debating any topic on this forum doesn't change anything. I have read about the situation in North Korea for years, and a lot of anger and frustration has built up inside of me over this issue. Debating this topic allows me to express some of that frustration, and gives me a chance to see other people's perspectives on the issue. I have been extremely disappointed in a lot of the responses on this thread that I've seen, but it is still valuable to me to see these perspectives and know what other people think about the issue.
Of course we don't discriminate based on where people were born. #travelban
 

bruno

10-Year Member
Retired Staff Member
By the sounds of it you believe that every country has an inherent right to protect itself. I do not believe such a right exists. If the US sees a country with values that differ from its own, it has the right to fight to enforce its own values, physics says so. Reality is objective. Might making right is reinforced by physics, that is there is no good force like the force of gravity that delineates good from evil. Morality is subjective in nature (absent a higher power) because the superiority of one human being's opinion on right vs wrong is entirely arbitrary. The moral standards of any society enforced by law, that is FORCE, are entirely dependent on those who control that force. Broadly speaking, we all live under a system of might makes right. Physics and power are objective qualities. The opinions of whomever holds power is subjective in nature. That those with power control the morality of society is objective and that their opinions are subjective is fact.


I don't understand why this has to be the case. If you went on the streets of any city of the United States and asked people, "If the holocaust were taking place again at this very moment, would you support the United States giving every effort to stop it?", I think you would find very few people that would answer "no". Why is it then that we allow something that is arguably worse to take place?

No one gets to choose where they are born, kind of like no one gets to choose what race they are born as. A black person should not be treated differently than a white person, because neither of them got to choose what race they are, it is not their "fault" that they are whatever race they are. Similarly, a person born in North Korea should not have their rights valued less than a person born in the United States, neither of them got to choose where they were born, and it is not their "fault" that they were born wherever they were. Why are people appalled by racism, but they are not appalled by the fact that we grossly discriminate against people based purely off of where they were born? If these actions that are taking place in North Korean prison camps were happening to people who were born in the US, we would do everything in our power to stop this from taking place. So why is it, that when this happens to people who weren't born in the US, we do nothing to stop it from happening? Why is discriminating based off race wrong, but discriminating based off of where someone is born is considered perfectly okay?

The United States Military Academy has taught me to choose the harder right over the easier wrong. Is the harder right not to do something about this gross injustice?

I realize that debating this isn't going to change the outcome of anything, but at the end of the day, debating any topic on this forum doesn't change anything. I have read about the situation in North Korea for years, and a lot of anger and frustration has built up inside of me over this issue. Debating this topic allows me to express some of that frustration, and gives me a chance to see other people's perspectives on the issue. I have been extremely disappointed in a lot of the responses on this thread that I've seen, but it is still valuable to me to see these perspectives and know what other people think about the issue.
Bluntly- This is a truly juvenile screed. Perhaps somebody at West Point forgot to tell you a few basic concepts- National Interest and Cost and potential for success for example? You haven't happened to notice the wars that are now 2 generations in length - that were embarked upon in large part for altruistic reasons? Paul Wolfowitz would recognize that argument but it certainly didn't turn out the way that he argued now did it? My son is now enroute to a war that his parent was deploying to 15 years ago - all to achieve the unachievable for less than compelling National Interests worth the cost in Blood and dollars.

North Korea is run by a loon- but he is a loon who apparently is not influenced or deterred by conventional calculations of death and destruction. So while you apparently are cavalier about nuclear warfare- I sure as heck am not willing to risk us, not to mention the 50 million South Koreans who will certainly pay a horrendous cost for what is likely to be a Nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula. And if you think that we have a responsibility to ride off and right every wrong around the world regardless of cost to the US- then you probably have spent too much time on Video war games and not enough thoughtful study of the subject. And ain't nobody at West Point teaching the concept that every wrong is ours to right so you clearly failed to read chapter two in that book about "doing the harder right over the easier wrong".
 
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Because I am not willing to send you to your death so I could sleep good at night believing I took an action to help those poor North Koreans. You might have read a lot, but keep in mind when words become reality, fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, sons, and daughters are sent to harms ways and some won't come back.
I'm not denying that fighting North Korea would come at a cost. I simply believe that these costs are heavily outweighed by the benefits. According to one prisoner's testimony, more than half of the people in her prison died over a 5 year span. 200,000 people are currently estimated to be in these prisons, so that is a bare minimum, assuming exactly 50% is meant by "more than half", 100,000 people every 5 years. The prisons have been around for 70 years and it doesn't look like they are about to stop if nothing is done. If nothing is done now, North Korea will eventually. have advanced nuclear technology and it really will be impossible for the international community to do anything without risking human extinction. 20,000 preventable deaths a year in JUST the prison camps, prison camps that compromise of LESS THAN 1% of the North Korean population.

Now lets move on to the general population of North Korea. NK is likely on the brink of another famine right now because the international community is placing heavy sanctions on them and cutting all food aid. In the famine that took place in the 90s, some estimates place the death toll at 3.5 million people in less than 5 years.

If we allow North Korea to continue to exist for the next century, I think it is fair to say that tens of millions of people will die unnecessary, horrible, premature deaths.

I sure as heck am not willing to risk us, not to mention the 50 million South Koreans who will certainly pay a horrendous cost for what is likely to be a Nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula
How many people are you thinking will die in a war with North Korea? In all of the estimates I have read, none of them have pegged this number at more than a few million. If you are't willing to risk a few million of "us" and "South Koreans" to save tens of millions of North Koreans, then you have a very different moral compass from me that places a value on someone's life based off a factor they can't control, where they were born. I value all lives equally. I don't care if you are black, white, male, female, from California or from North Korea, your life is worth the same as anyone else's.

And if you think that we have a responsibility to ride off and right every wrong around the world regardless of cost to the US
I have previously stated that I believe attacking North Korea is the right decision not just from a moral standpoint, but from a strategic one as well. North Korea's nuclear weapons will continue to develop until they are stopped, and if they are never stopped they will one day have advanced nuclear technology. Once they have this, the entire world is in danger because as each Kim dies, a new random dude is going to have the power to detonate half the planet. Who knows what Kim Jong the 5th will be like? Kim Jong the 7th? They could be insane, and they would have the power to kill billions. Is it worth risking billions of people's lives to save a couple million? The longer we wait the worse the situation is going to get, making NOW the ideal time to do something.


My son is now enroute to a war that his parent was deploying to 15 years ago - all to achieve the unachievable for less than compelling National Interests worth the cost in Blood and dollars.
What you are referring to and what this thread is about are independent of one another.
 
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bruno

10-Year Member
Retired Staff Member
I'm not denying that fighting North Korea would come at a cost. I simply believe that these costs are heavily outweighed by the benefits. According to one prisoner's testimony, more than half of the people in her prison died over a 5 year span. 200,000 people are currently estimated to be in these prisons, so that is a bare minimum, assuming exactly 50% is meant by "more than half", 100,000 people every 5 years. The prisons have been around for 70 years and it doesn't look like they are about to stop if nothing is done. If nothing is done now, North Korea will eventually. have advanced nuclear technology and it really will be impossible for the international community to do anything without risking human extinction. 20,000 preventable deaths a year in JUST the prison camps, prison camps that compromise of LESS THAN 1% of the North Korean population.

Now lets move on to the general population of North Korea. NK is likely on the brink of another famine right now because the international community is placing heavy sanctions on them and cutting all food aid. In the famine that took place in the 90s, some estimates place the death toll at 3.5 million people in less than 5 years.

If we allow North Korea to continue to exist for the next century, I think it is fair to say that tens of millions of people will die unnecessary, horrible, premature deaths.


How many people are you thinking will die in a war with North Korea? In all of the estimates I have read, none of them have pegged this number at more than a few million. If you are't willing to risk a few million of "us" and "South Koreans" to save tens of millions of North Koreans, then you have a very different moral compass from me that places a value on someone's life based off a factor they can't control, where they were born. I value all lives equally. I don't care if you are black, white, male, female, from California or from North Korea, your life is worth the same as anyone else's.


I have previously stated that I believe attacking North Korea is the right decision not just from a moral standpoint, but from a strategic one as well. North Korea's nuclear weapons will continue to develop until they are stopped, and if they are never stopped they will one day have advanced nuclear technology. Once they have this, the entire world is in danger because as each Kim dies, a new random dude is going to have the power to detonate half the planet. Who knows what Kim Jong the 5th will be like? Kim Jong the 7th? They could be insane, and they would have the power to kill billions. Is it worth risking billions of people's lives to save a couple million? The longer we wait the worse the situation is going to get, making NOW the ideal time to do something.



What you are referring to and what this thread is about are independent of one another.
Nope- same exact impulse- rush in to "save" a situation without consideration of the cost or probability of success. "Only a few million killed" is an acceptable cost? You are delusional
 
Nope- same exact impulse- rush in to "save" a situation without consideration of the cost or probability of success. "Only a few million killed" is an acceptable cost? You are delusional
So a few million killed is not an acceptable cost when it saves tens of millions, or potentially even billions of people from being killed( fighting prevents future advanced nuclear attack)? That makes me delusional?

If I said you could have anywhere from between 10 billion dollars and a trillion if you gave me a few billion, would you say "a few billion is not an acceptable cost. Accepting that would be delusional."?
 

MemberLG

5-Year Member
North Korea is run by a loon- but he is a loon who apparently is not influenced or deterred by conventional calculations of death and destruction.
The loon is very concerned about death and destruction of himself, so he will push and push, but not to start a war.
 
The loon is very concerned about death and destruction of himself, so he will push and push, but not to start a war.
For this loon, that may be true, but the same can not be said with any certainty for the person that will take the current loon's place when he dies. Allowing North Korea to have nukes doesn't just give Kim Jong Un the sole power to start nuclear war, it gives that power to his descendants as well, and they may not hold these same concerns.
 

MemberLG

5-Year Member
1337BeachedWhale1337

The reality is that human lives have different values. A life boat with just one more space, can you make a choice between a 90 year old and a 16 year old using your rational?
 

MemberLG

5-Year Member
For this loon, that may be true, but the same can not be said with any certainty for the person that will take the current loon's place when he dies. Allowing North Korea to have nukes doesn't just give Kim Jong Un the sole power to start nuclear war, it gives that power to his descendants as well, and they may not hold these same concerns.
Hoefully, we don't make national security decisions based on what if or he or she could. If you study North Korea, you should see a common theme of regime survival. Why didn't the grandfather Kim start another Korean War - he didn't want to get nuked by US. And he also knew that if he started a war without Chinese or Russian support and things went bad, he will end up dead. Why did North Korean elites supported the next Kim? If new guy took over, there would have been a bigger purge than when Kim took over. What if the new guy wanted to peacefully unify with South Korea or start a war? If so more than likely, ruling elites would have lost power or even be prosecuted for war crimes. So the evil they know, which includes status quo, is better. The same scenario for the latest Kim.
 
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