What's North Korea up to?

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agitating prop's picture
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What's North Korea up to?

Was North Korea being aggressive or was little Kim just playing a practical joke on South Korea?  Did South Korea actually attack first?  Is this a  false flag operation devoted to deflecting attention away from the potential  collapse of the financial system? I don't trust the mainstream media or govt. take on anything anymore. Does anyone out there have a good theory or a decent working hypothesis to explain what happened? If the answer is North Korea actually did attack S. Korea, first, I'd sure like to know why they'd do something so contrary to their best interests.

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Re: What's North Korea up to?

I am completely out of my depth in this sort of analysis.  All I can say is NK seems to do "Crazy Stuff" every so often, just to remind everybody how CRAZY they are.  They sank that SK boat over the Summer, "test" fire missiles in aggressive ways, etc.  Today could just be another example?

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Re: What's North Korea up to?

Story is that S. Korea was carrying out exercises in the disputed area using live shells and N. Korea responded in kind, but on the island rather than into the water. If you look at the map of yeonpyeong island you can see that the maritime boundary jags North to include it rather that being a more typical straight line maritime boundary.

I found the best information in the Aljazeera report.

http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia-pacific/2010/11/2010112317110717125.html

Quote:

Diplomatic pressure

John Hemmings, a Korea expert from the Royal United Services Institute in the United Kingdom, told Al Jazeera that there was very little pressure that could be brought to bear on Pyongyang.

"In terms of sanctions, I think they have have ramped them up as far as they are prepared to go," he said.

"There is also no chance of taking any harder sort of military action as Seoul is within artillery range of the border.

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Re: What's North Korea up to?

I'll bite.  This is purely conjecture but  IMO, North Korea is NOT acting "contrary to their best interests".  A couple of months ago, they sunk a warship and what was the result?  Nada.  These attacks are just to the edge of forcing a more serious response from the South, and serve to consolidate and strengthen their domestic position which depends upon the ever present need to maintain a vigilant and strict regime.  By keeping the war warm, the regime diffuses political tension at home.  They have perfected the art of manipulating us into meeting their needs by repeating threats, followed by negotiations and have been doing it for years.

They antagonize and then in the collective sigh-of-relief from the South and the US, they look for concessions.  We are all so glad that they don't want a big shooting war, that they get what they want vis-a-vis food aid, attention, and concessions.  They know that none of us want a full out war, and so they raise the possibility, then agree to suspend hostilities.  Its high stakes saber rattling because they are otherwise irrelevant.  Don't discount the internal pressures and politics that solidify the position of the successor to knucklehead.  That's why they shelled some island instead of shelling across the DMZ.  

It is also possible that China is using them as a tool to gain a bargaining chip which can be cashed in to reduce the pressure on devaluation of the Yuan.  The Chinese think long term, and don't mind rattling our cage a little.

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Re: What's North Korea up to?

And the kewpie doll goes to.........................

SteveW

But, I'll add the following axiom, "If your enemy is in range, so are you."  There are just as many South Korean troops itching to head north so the fact Seoul is in arty range doesn't really mean much.  Katy bar the door if an errant 155 lands in downtown Seoul.

Close second to Rector - North Korea is a master of manipulation.  Although this is a pretty bold show for them.  Perhaps Junior Jong (yeah, yeah, I know Kim Jong-un) flexing his muscles a bit?

 

 

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Re: What's North Korea up to?

  OH  mY .      LogansRun  told us this in June, I believe ,and he got send below .        Maybe some will  listen more intently to  what he says . It will give us a kick in the pants to speed up our individual preps and our community .

 FM

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Re: What's North Korea up to?

[reuters] U.S. aircraft carrier heads for Korean waters

(Reuters) - A U.S. aircraft carrier group set off for Korean waters on Wednesday, a day after North Korea rained artillery shells on a South Korean island, in a move likely to enrage Pyongyang and unsettle its ally, China.

 

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Re: What's North Korea up to?

 

Perhaps nothing worthy of foreign intrigue, just the natural death throes of a failed state. North Korea has severe food shortages, and a lack of basic services such as reliable electricity, etc. Think Somalia pirates with better weapons. Just about this time last year (almost to the day), they released a bombshell of another sorts on their own citizenry, a de-valuation of the local currency.

The mandatory exchange to the new revalued currency was capped at around $50 per person, effectively wiping out the life savings of virtually everyone, except of course for the elites.

This is a failed state with nothing to lose.

Wiki

The won was revalued again in November 2009[9][10] for the first time in 50 years.[11][12] North Koreans were given seven days to exchange a maximum of ₩100,000 (worth approximately US$40 on the black market) in ₩1,000 notes for ₩10 notes, but after protests by some of the populace, the limit was raised to ₩150,000 in cash and ₩300,000 in bank savings.[13] The revaluation, seen as a move against private market activity, will wipe out many North Koreans' savings.[13]The Times speculated that the move may have been an attempt by the North Korean government to control price inflation and destroy the fortunes of local black market money traders.[14] The announcement was made to foreign embassies but not in North Korean state media.[14][15] Information was later carried via a wire-based radio service only available within North Korea.[16]

 

As part of the process, the old notes ceased to be legal tender on November 30, 2009 with notes valued in the new won not being distributed until December 7, 2009.[14] This meant that North Koreans would not be able to exchange any money for goods or services until that date and most shops, restaurants and transport services had been shut down for the week.[14] The only services that remained open were those catering to the political elite and foreigners which continued to trade exclusively in foreign currency.[14] The measure had led to concerns amongst North Korean officials that it would result in civil unrest; this was not the case.[14] China's Xinhua news agency described North Korean citizens in a "collective panic";[17] army bases were put on standby and there were unconfirmed reports of public protests in the streets in a handful of North Korean cities and towns that forced authorities to slightly increase the amount of currency people would be allowed to exchange.[18] Piles of old bills were also set on fire in separate locations across the country, old paper notes were dumped in a stream (against laws of the desecration of images of Kim Il-sung) and two black market traders were shot dead in the streets of Pyongyang by local police, according to international reports.[19][20] Authorities threatened "merciless punishment" for any person who violated the rules of the currency change.[21]

The US of course is waiting on the wings in the hope of the state completely imploding, wherein it would move in swiftly to establish a (permanent) military presence, much to the discomfort of the Chinese

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Re: What's North Korea up to?

To add clarifying information to the clamor of the uninformed...........the same crowd that was certain (well they were certain but now it's only highly likely, but now we're not so sure, oops it didn't happen, but it might happen someday.........) Iran would be attacked before the elections.

The carrier strike group WAS participating in an EXERCISE that HAD been planned for months and HAD ALREADY COMMENCED.  Was the exercise provocative?  You bet, exercises are supposed to be observable and provocative.  Demonstration of resolve and committment to our allies and all that.

This is not a flase flag.  How can it be a false flag if North Korea actually fired the arty rounds into South Korea?  All this is is North Korea raising the bet in the ongoing poker game.  And it was probably a knee jerk overreaction that quickly escalated to this previously unreported level.  I have news for you folks - live fire is exchanged across the DMZ border every single day.

Let's not make this into something it isn't.  Last I checked all parties involved were back into the same game of rhetoric and finger pointing and posturing known as international relations and diplomacy.  The US and South Korea on one side, North Korea on the other with China and Russia maneuvering in the shadows looking for some way to stir up shit and reap some political capital out of this event.

International realtions suck sometimes, don't they?

Edited to add the following excerpt from the article in jumblies' link:

Despite the rhetoric, regional powers made clear they were looking for a diplomatic way to calm things down.

South Korea, its armed forces technically superior though about half the size of the North's one-million-plus army, warned of "massive retaliation" if its neighbor attacked again.

But it was careful to avoid any immediate threat of retaliation which might spark an escalation of fighting across the Cold War's last frontier.

China has long propped up the Pyongyang leadership, worried that a collapse of the North could bring instability to its own borders and also wary of a unified Korea that would be dominated by the United States, the key ally of the South.

Beijing said it had agreed with the United States to try to restart talks among regional powers over North Korea's nuclear weapons program.

A number of analysts suspect that Tuesday's attack may have been an attempt by North Korean leader Kim jong-il to raise his bargaining position ahead of disarmament talks which he has used in the past to win concessions and aid from the outside world, in particular the United States.

Hat tip to Rector for nailing this darbikrash and jumblies for the link.

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Re: What's North Korea up to?

Dogs in a Pile, By "false flag" I  meant who fired the first rounds? If the intimidation was intense, does it even matter?  I found it rather intriguing that all that American military might was right there, ready to capitalize on  what for them, must seem like a golden opportunity.  The North and South seemed to be making progress, taking steps to reunify a few years back. I think they were calling it their "sunshine" policy.  Reunificationwould have created a geo-strategic powerhouse, with closer ties to China. The Anglo American axis of weevils can't allow this to happen. I think that a lot of what is going on in Asia amounts to the U.S. and China engaged in proxy battles for dominance.

The US can't engage China directly because China  makes American uniforms. Soldiers would have to go into battle wearing Land's End catalogue clothing. I think they're one of the few clothing companies still manufacturing in the U.S.--but I could be wrong. Surely uniforms could be stitched together from clothes purchased from the GoodWill, though. I have to give this subject some earnest attention.

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Re: What's North Korea up to?
agitating prop wrote:

Dogs in a Pile, By "false flag" I  meant who fired the first rounds? If the intimidation was intense, does it even matter?  I found it rather intriguing that all that American military might was right there, ready to capitalize on  what for them, must seem like a golden opportunity.  The North and South seemed to be making progress, taking steps to reunify a few years back. I think they were calling it their "sunshine" policy.  Reunificationwould have created a geo-strategic powerhouse, with closer ties to China. The Anglo American axis of weevils can't allow this to happen. I think that a lot of what is going on in Asia amounts to the U.S. and China engaged in proxy battles for dominance.

The US can't engage China directly because China  makes American uniforms. Soldiers would have to go into battle wearing Land's End catalogue clothing. I think they're one of the few clothing companies still manufacturing in the U.S.--but I could be wrong. Surely uniforms could be stitched together from clothes purchased from the GoodWill, though. I have to give this subject some earnest attention.

AP -

Gotcha, thanks for clarifying - I obviously took it as the other definition of "false flag".  You have asked the critical question.  Apparently, South Korea was in the middle of an exercise where they were using "training" rounds.  North Korea is claiming the South Korean units fired first and they fired in 'self defense'.  I'm pretty sure that North Korea didn't need to defend themselves against attack from a fishing village though.

I doubt we'll ever know all of the facts behind this one.

Your comment,  "I think that a lot of what is going on in Asia amounts to the U.S. and China engaged in proxy battles for dominance."

is 100% correct.  A unified Korean peninsula is high on the list for many countries.  But with different end states in mind. 

All of this cat and mouse and provocation to gauge response readiness and capability assessment is part of the shitty business of international "relations" and clearly indicates the manner of Korean unification is viewed diametrically.

As far as new uniform sources, have you seen the new seasonal lineup from Duluth Trading Company?  Now there are some pretty sweet looking duds.  Clothes made out of fire hoses?!?!?  Awesome. 

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Re: What's North Korea up to?

I happened upon this website yesterday:

http://www.threeworldwars.com/world-war-3/ww3.htm

Ordinarily, I would think it bonkers, but the following piece caught my eye:

'Once America is firmly entrenched into the Middle East with the majority of her first-line units, North Korea is to attack South Korea.'

Scary eh?

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Re: What's North Korea up to?

Hmm, from what I'm given to understand, China has more of a vested interest in avoiding a Korean reunification than Western interests do.  If the North were more economically powerful and influential that could be a different story, but since South Korea is the richer and more stable of the two it stands to reason a unified Korea would follow the model of the South more than the North.  And given the US has a lot of influence in South Korea, China may find a US-leaning unified Korea to be unacceptable.  They're already nervous about US activity in nearby waters... how much more nervous would they get sharing a land border with a nation with such a large US military presence?  If I were China in the current situation, I'd probably be more interested in keeping North Korea as a buffer.

But it's definitely true that North Korea is the chessboard for a lot of larger players who probably have little interest in the North Korean people themselves. 

- Nickbert

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Re: What's North Korea up to?
nickbert wrote:

Hmm, from what I'm given to understand, China has more of a vested interest in avoiding a Korean reunification than Western interests do.  If the North were more economically powerful and influential that could be a different story, but since South Korea is the richer and more stable of the two it stands to reason a unified Korea would follow the model of the South more than the North.  And given the US has a lot of influence in South Korea, China may find a US-leaning unified Korea to be unacceptable.  They're already nervous about US activity in nearby waters... how much more nervous would they get sharing a land border with a nation with such a large US military presence?  If I were China in the current situation, I'd probably be more interested in keeping North Korea as a buffer.

But it's definitely true that North Korea is the chessboard for a lot of larger players who probably have little interest in the North Korean people themselves. 

- Nickbert

Nick - Once again, you are all over it.  China doesn't want a unified Korean peninsula for all of the reasons you mentioned.  But they would probably be okay with a unified peninsula if it was a North goes South flavor. 

Probably a topic for a whole different conversation, but would there even be a need for a US military presence in a unified Korea?  I would think not.  What's there isn't all that large (IIRC only about 25,000 troops??). 

The 800 pound gorilla in the room over there is the China v. Taiwan/US staredown.  Which given the mutually parasitic relationship between our debt and their crap I don't believe will go hot in my lifetime. 

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Re: What's North Korea up to?

Interesting link on North Korea's military capacity- plenty of pics and Google Earth images.

North Korea Military

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Re: What's North Korea up to?

I teach kids in south korea so I know a lot what is going on. In May I think the ship was hit by a torpedo from North Korea they didnt do anything because North korea did not admit to it. The government though that they made a mistake but North korea was the only suspect. So they let that go I dont know why. They attacked this tme because they are poor and are running out of food. It is a reason to start war because they want to show power. They government is going to start training this weekend in case something else happens. Some believe if they win they could move to South korea because they are to poor in their country but that shouldnt happen.

SOUTH KOREA DID NOT ATTACK FIRST NORTH KOREA DID.

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Re: What's North Korea up to?

SK is a democracy.  NK is a dictatorship.  I would say there is a very high probability that NK fired first.  It is an odd situation.  NK is broke, starving, with a peanuts GDP, and basically a third world country.  SK is a prosperous hardworking place.  They have industry, a real economy, real people.  If there was a war NK would start out with a big bang but the industrial capacity and the people of SK would prevail and NK would be taken over.  Just look at the history of war, the side with the best industrial capacity, the most educated people, and the best economy wins.  So, the question is why does the NK gov do stuff like this.  Given long enough NK will implode all by itself.  I think a decent policy might be the old policy of containment we practiced with the Soviet Union.  Just contain NK until it implodes.  Unfortunately, NK may not be up for that.  If I was running SK I would start a very quiet but very serious military build up - especially air power.  With sufficient air power NK could be knocked out in a week.  Hit all the electric power stations (they do not have many), all the water systems, the transportation system (bridges, tunnels, etc.), railways, oil pipelines, oil facilities, and monitor what's left of the transportation system and stop the movement of basically everything.  If the NK gov can not move equipment or supplies their military power will collapse in short order.  No food, no water, no oil, no ammo, no war.

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Re: What's North Korea up to?

I thought the boat sinking incident was about advocating the need to keep US bases on Okinawa at a time when they were in doubt.

Quod erat demonstrandum.

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Re: What's North Korea up to?
agitating prop wrote:

The US can't engage China directly because China makes American uniforms. Soldiers would have to go into battle wearing Land's End catalogue clothing. I think they're one of the few clothing companies still manufacturing in the U.S.--but I could be wrong. Surely uniforms could be stitched together from clothes purchased from the GoodWill, though. I have to give this subject some earnest attention.

There's a third way --

The movie 300 has the Spartan soldiers fighting nearly naked without any form of body armor protecting them. Body armor was a valuable asset to the real Spartan soldiers. 300 author Frank Miller commented on this alteration in an Entertainment Weekly interview, "I took those chest plates and leather skirts off of them for a reason. I wanted these guys to move and I wanted 'em to look good. ... Spartans, in full regalia, were almost indistinguishable except at a very close angle."

http://www.chasingthefrog.com/reelfaces/300spartans.php

Same principle as the Nat Guard recruiting videos interspersed in movie trailers -- livin' large, lookin' good, fine white teeth.

I'm ambivalent about the 'leather skirts,' though. Surprised

 

 

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Re: What's North Korea up to?
dshields wrote:

If I was running SK I would start a very quiet but very serious military build up - especially air power.  With sufficient air power NK could be knocked out in a week.  Hit all the electric power stations (they do not have many), all the water systems, the transportation system (bridges, tunnels, etc.), railways, oil pipelines, oil facilities, and monitor what's left of the transportation system and stop the movement of basically everything.  If the NK gov can not move equipment or supplies their military power will collapse in short order.  No food, no water, no oil, no ammo, no war.

You would go down in history as a mass murderer responsible for the death of millions of innocent North Koreans.

If North Korea could have been "knocked out in a week" we would have done it already - except you forgot about China.

The most dangerous thing in the world is someone who has nothing left to lose.

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Re: What's North Korea up to?

Its all he same old, well practised, Imperial gun boat diplomacy.

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2010%5C11%5C25%5Cstory_25-11-2010_pg4_4

Quote:

The movement of US aircraft carrier group comes a day after North Korea rained artillery shells on a South Korean island. The nuclear-powered USS George Washington, which carries 75 warplanes and has a crew of over 6,000, left a naval base south of Tokyo to join exercises with South Korea from Sunday to the following Wednesday, a US officials in Seoul said. The US and South Korea said the exercise was defensive and had been planned well before Tuesday’s attack.

The whole affair was planned as a joint US-S. Korea exercise to see how much provocation by the boys playing in N. Korea's backyard was necessary to provoke some response. The carrier group was already on full alert ready to move into the East China sea which is just a 2 day jaunt. War exercises start tomorrow (from Sunday to Wednesday). Of course the Chinese don't look forward to any possible escalation involving the US on their doorstep.

Quote:

In a statement on Wednesday the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said, “China takes this incident very seriously, and expresses pain and regret at the loss of life and property, and we feel anxious about developments.” “China strongly urges both North and South Korea exercise calm and restraint, and as quickly as possible engage in dialogue and contacts,” said Hong. China “opposes any actions harmful to the peace and stability” of the Korean peninsula, he also said.

N. Korea's response was to clearly state they don't like the nasty boys from the other neighbourhood playing in their backyard and they would like them to take their toys and go home. N. Korea has some fancy toys in the form of ballistic missiles, including nuclear warhead capability. They also have some submarine capability but whether this is a serious threat to the USS George Washington I cannot determine.

I don't understand why this provocation has to even take place, although I do think a much better response could have been made to the sinking of that S. Korean ship in March. If this is the response it is too little, too late.

 

 

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Re: What's North Korea up to?
Dogs_In_A_Pile wrote:
dshields wrote:

If I was running SK I would start a very quiet but very serious military build up - especially air power.  With sufficient air power NK could be knocked out in a week.  Hit all the electric power stations (they do not have many), all the water systems, the transportation system (bridges, tunnels, etc.), railways, oil pipelines, oil facilities, and monitor what's left of the transportation system and stop the movement of basically everything.  If the NK gov can not move equipment or supplies their military power will collapse in short order.  No food, no water, no oil, no ammo, no war.

You would go down in history as a mass murderer responsible for the death of millions of innocent North Koreans.

If North Korea could have been "knocked out in a week" we would have done it already - except you forgot about China.

The most dangerous thing in the world is someone who has nothing left to lose.

Not sure about the mass murder part.  I guess we mass murdered the Germans and Japanese in WW2.  We killed uncountable innocent people in WW2.  So, maybe we are mass murders.  War is about murder.  Politically correct wars are usually lost.  I believe that America (and other countries) should only resort to violence when all other methods of solving the given problem have failed.  I think America is too quick to pull the war trigger.  I hold Iraq and Vietnam up as examples of that.  On the other hand I also believe that once the war trigger has been pulled we are not nearly aggressive enough.  I believe in the Powell Doctrine.  It certainly shortens wars and it may just save lives in the long run.

I am not convinced that China is such a good buddy with NK.  The recent wiki-leaks data tends to support this.  I think the Chinese are worried about a large number of impoverished NK people coming over the border into China if there is a war.  The Chinese do not want them.  I do not believe the South is willing to put up with what Israel puts up with.  They are not going to allow frequent missile and artillery attacks to go on forever.  We would not allow it if Mexico or Canada was doing that.  The Israelis have far more patience than we have.  I am always amazed at how patient the Israelis are.

I completely agree on your third point.  It is hard to tell what is going to happen.  It is definitely a dangerous situation.

 

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Re: What's North Korea up to?
dshields wrote:

Not sure about the mass murder part.  I guess we mass murdered the Germans and Japanese in WW2.  We killed uncountable innocent people in WW2.

Here are some numbers for you.  These are from just the bombing campaigns.  The consensus of reliable historians is 500,000 to 600,000 in Germany, and around 600,000 in Japan. The fire bombing of Tokyo killed 100,000 in a singe night, which was more than either atomic bombing, but gets little mention.  The vast majority of all the bombing victims were civilians, with a high proportion of women, children, and old men.  It was barbaric, but it is debatable if it was mass murder compared to the German concentration camps, or the Japanese slaughter of civilians in captured territory.  It may be a distinction without a difference.

Travlin 

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So Ronery...

Maybe he's just a little lonely and wants some attention...

Poet

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Re: What's North Korea up to?
nickbert wrote:

Hmm, from what I'm given to understand, China has more of a vested interest in avoiding a Korean reunification than Western interests do.  If the North were more economically powerful and influential that could be a different story, but since South Korea is the richer and more stable of the two it stands to reason a unified Korea would follow the model of the South more than the North.  And given the US has a lot of influence in South Korea, China may find a US-leaning unified Korea to be unacceptable.  They're already nervous about US activity in nearby waters... how much more nervous would they get sharing a land border with a nation with such a large US military presence?  If I were China in the current situation, I'd probably be more interested in keeping North Korea as a buffer.

But it's definitely true that North Korea is the chessboard for a lot of larger players who probably have little interest in the North Korean people themselves. 

- Nickbert

 Why would China mind North Korea following the South Korean economic model?  China is following the South Korean economic model, itself! Politically speaking, a unified Korea would automatically cleave more towards China, as it is more of a future powerhouse than the U.S.  A  unified Korea is unlikely to align itself with the pinheaded bronitisaurus of begging bankers, that the US has become and instead,  hitch a ride with China.

China continues to evolve after establishing dominance by using the inherent weaknesses of the dinosaur against itself.  U.S. hegemony isn't a static feature of geo-strategy. Your statement above seems to  reflect this assumption. It's naive, but understandable, given your age.

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Re: What's North Korea up to?

Poet--That's awful! What a smear, what a slight! You claim Lil' Kim is lonely when he is quite creary Ronery!

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Re: What's North Korea up to?

I found this one rather clarifying:

http://gowans.wordpress.com/2010/12/01/stephen-gowans-rt-tv-interview-on...

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Agitating Prop Ad Hominem
agitating prop wrote:

It's naive, but understandable, given your age.

That was uncool. Takes away from your argument and from you.

Poet

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Re: What's North Korea up to?

Please Poet, Stay on topic.

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Re: What's North Korea up to?
agitating prop wrote:

Please Poet, Stay on topic.

AP -

You have repeatedly stated (in not so many words) that you like to throw shit at people to stir up the conversation.  Take away the last two sentences of your response to nick and we have a great 'on topic' discussion going.  Indulging your desire (need) to stir things up (again) and add an insult to your comments (again) is what yanked the rudder over. 

Keep it on topic yourself and it stays there. 

agitating prop's picture
agitating prop
Status: Platinum Member (Offline)
Joined: May 28 2009
Posts: 864
Re: What's North Korea up to?

The subject here, lest we all forget, is North Korea! How about that lil Kim?

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