Sunday assorted links

by on July 9, 2017 at 12:58 pm in Uncategorized | Permalink

1 Lothrop Stoddard July 9, 2017 at 1:09 pm

2. What’s interesting about it?

2 Thiago Ribeiro July 9, 2017 at 1:23 pm

It is a moral surrender to Communism. America and its South Korean puppets blinked.

3 gab July 9, 2017 at 1:29 pm

I didn’t get that at all. Did the west Germans surrender to communism when they unified with the east?

That was basically the model Moon proposed.

4 JWatts July 9, 2017 at 1:52 pm

Yes, this isn’t an offer of surrender from South Korea. Instead, it’s putting the inevitability of a reunification on the table. China will lose its North Korean “ally”. This would have been unthinkable a few decades ago. However, at this point the China communist party is mostly pro forma Communist.

“It is a moral surrender to Communism. America”

If anything this is the exact opposite. The West is pointing out the inevitable collapse of Communist North Korea.

From the article:

“To Korea, which is the last divided nation on this planet, the experience of Germany’s unification gives hope for unification, and at the same time shows us the path that we need to follow.

You’ll note that he says the following: “The Berlin in which we are here today is the very place where 17 years ago President Kim Dae-jung of the Republic of Korea introduced the “Berlin Doctrine” which laid out the foundation for reconciliation and cooperation between South and North Korea.”

There’s a pretty strong hint there that 20 years is the appropriate amount of time and 17 years has elapsed since the Berlin Doctrine was introduced.

5 Art Deco July 9, 2017 at 2:54 pm

Yes, this isn’t an offer of surrender from South Korea. Instead, it’s putting the inevitability of a reunification on the table.

Unification is not ‘inevitable’ whether it’s on the table, the sideboard, the kitchen counter, or the window sill. It’s not advisable even if the components of the North Korean state and society manage to send Kim Jong Un et all to the same grave in which sits Nicolae Ceausescu. The distinction in standard of living, in economic organization, and in social-psychological factors is as immense as it could be between two neighboring states. Time to fuhgeddaboutit.

6 JWatts July 9, 2017 at 5:08 pm

Inevitable might be to strong a word, but it’s clear from the interview that Moon is pushing reunification.

“The distinction in standard of living, in economic organization, and in social-psychological factors is as immense as it could be between two neighboring states. Time to fuhgeddaboutit.”

You sound like Tyler talking about Brexit. I doubt the economic situation is the sole determinant of what happens. It seems unlikely that the government of North Korea has long term stability. If the Dear Leader dies unexpectedly, will the situation remain stable?

7 Art Deco July 9, 2017 at 6:47 pm

You sound like Tyler talking about Brexit. I

Only to your ears. Tyler is fussing about minor tariffs, some disjunction in regulatory regimes, and inconveniece to a five-digit population of British subjects living on the continent. I’m talking about trying to amalgamate into one state two territories with dramatically dissimilar standards of living, modes of production, and experience of the last 70 years.

8 Bluto July 9, 2017 at 8:27 pm

Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? He’ll no! And it ain’t over now.

9 JWatts July 9, 2017 at 9:25 pm

“I’m talking about trying to amalgamate into one state two territories with dramatically dissimilar standards of living, modes of production, and experience of the last 70 years.”

Much the same could be said about the German reunification. It went fine.

10 static July 9, 2017 at 11:06 pm

This is insipid nonsense. The East Germans wanted union with the West, but were being held back by the USSR. There is no external force holding back the North. It is 100x more different than East and West Germany. To even start this process the border must be opened and the people of the North given freedom of movement. The North will never agree to this- so many want to stay. In a democracy, the North would be dominated by the South.

By offering to do other things, basically giving presents to the ruling class of the North, Moon and his band of fools are making things worse for the people of North Korea.

11 Alistair July 10, 2017 at 5:58 am

“It seems unlikely that the government of North Korea has long term stability”

We’d all like to believe that. But they’ve been there for 70 years, including 25 years without a patron. We have to update our priors.

Let’s be honest and admit we don’t have a good model for the endurance of really, really repressive dictatorships. Cuba is hanging on too.

12 Thiago Ribeiro July 9, 2017 at 2:44 pm

“Did the west Germans surrender to communism when they unified with the east? That was basically the model Moon proposed.

“No, it is not. He is all about preserving North Korea’s dictatorship and helping it to “prosper” and obligarting South Korea to keep the rograms of cooperation with the North, no matter who voters vote for (would the Kims be under an equivalent obligation? Who would enforce that?) . It is clear the South do not believe anymore the USA can protect it from North Korea’s wrath. China is achieve its golden dream, the finlandization of South Korea. Almost 30 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the USA are losing the Cold War.

13 Thiago Ribeiro July 9, 2017 at 2:46 pm


14 Tyrone Ribeiro July 9, 2017 at 4:06 pm

Of course, South Korea could turn to Brazil for protection? Oh wait, nobody thinks or cares about Brazil. Hangs head in shame. …. Starts ranting about inevitable collapse of the United States ….

15 Thiago Ribeiro July 9, 2017 at 6:29 pm

The Soviets will be here for ever, they invaded Afghanistan, their Cuban puppets are in Angola, Oh! the Dominoes are falling! Int he end the internal contradictions of the Communist totalitarian refime killed it no matter how ICBM. The same will happen to America, you can’t stop History.

16 Thiago Ribeiro July 9, 2017 at 6:29 pm

The Soviets will be here forever, they invaded Afghanistan, their Cuban puppets are in Angola, Oh! the Dominoes are falling! Int he end the internal contradictions of the Communist totalitarian refime killed it no matter how ICBM. The same will happen to America, you can’t stop History.

17 chuck martel July 9, 2017 at 2:21 pm

Let’s put North and South Dakota on the list, too. And Virginia and West Virginia. And the Carolinas.

18 Anonymous July 9, 2017 at 3:03 pm

Sudan and South Sudan, and their posturing over the Abyei region, would seem a fairly obvious (non-joke) omission.

19 Ray Lopez July 9, 2017 at 3:47 pm

What’s interesting about the North Korean nuclear crisis? Everything. E.g., this quote by Moon: “Recently, Korea and the United States agreed on the overall direction that sanctions are a diplomatic tool and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula should be achieved in a peaceful manner. Our two countries also made clear that we do not have a hostile policy towards North Korea.” – this is the problem. There are two camps in this debate: the doves, who base their logic on the Cold War, and point out China also got nukes when it was poorer than now and can in theory nuke the USA (and nobody seems to care) and the Hawks, like me, who think perhaps we should nuke North Korea in a preemptive strike before their ICBMs have the 6k mile range to reach Los Angeles (Alaska, Guam are no big deal, I think most Americans are prepared to sacrifice these places in a Pearl Harbor attack). Nobody cares about India and Pakistan since their missiles don’t have the range to affect America.

Which side are you on? The smart money says you cannot stop North Korea from having ICBMs. But, I say you can: have periodic drills where the residents of Seoul practice “duck and cover” 1950s style exercises, so that it becomes ‘routine’ and not alarmist to the North Koreans for these exercises, then, after Intel points out where Kim is (maybe at one of his mass games with 100k other people in a stadium), preemptively nuke him with tactical nuclear weapons (a 100 MT depleted uranium core Tsar Bomba, which the USA also has on paper, would be overkill). In fact, a war exercise by the Pentagon back in the 1980s found the best time to nuke a country is when engaged in peace talks with it, since that is least expected time. Trust me, I’m from the Balkans, I know about sneaky stuff. And you have to agree, it will make countries, like Iran, think twice about getting intercontinental missiles (which BTW experts say is 1950s tech, not hard to build these days, so don’t trust the ‘experts’ who claim North Korea will never be able to miniaturize nuclear weapons and fly them on a missile). Besides, Kim is mentally unstable and I don’t believe the talk about him just being a buffoon. Of course he is, but he’s like Trump (also borderline unstable mentally IMO, an egomaniac) and anything can happen before he dies. Better to take him (Kim) out now. And they have low-rad nuclear weapons now (perhaps mothballed, recall neutron bombs) that make fallout less of an issue than before. Duke, Nuke ’em! Bang, bang, problem solved! as Seth Green once said in the movie Austin Powers. Why go for a complicated solution that’s not shown to work when you can solve the problem kinetically?

20 Ethan Bernard July 9, 2017 at 4:23 pm

“And they have low-rad nuclear weapons now”

There is no such thing.

21 JWatts July 9, 2017 at 4:54 pm

“recall neutron bombs”

It’s backwards. Neutrons were high-rad nuclear weapons.

22 Ray Lopez July 9, 2017 at 5:13 pm

@JWatts, technically, you’re right, but I’m talking about fallout; neutron bombs have less fallout than conventional nuclear weapons (Wikipedia: “The intense pulse of high-energy neutrons generated by a neutron bomb is the principal killing mechanism, not the fallout, heat or blast”)

23 Alistair July 10, 2017 at 6:06 am

I see we’re on to Nukes as ultimate horror radiation weapons again.

To repeat: nukes overwhelmingly kill by blast, primary, secondary, tertiary, etc. Many fewer deaths from burn / primary radiation and fallout.

Fallout from a couple of small devices is entirely manageable if you know what you are doing. Just walk cross-wind. End of problem.

24 Kirkland July 9, 2017 at 4:25 pm

“… Hawks like me…”

No way you would actually risk/sacrifice your own life or that of your children to control North Korea.
Sterile push-button nuclear war seems oh so easy from the comfy vantage point of your home.
U.S. immediately dispatched atomic bomb laden B-29’s from Travis AFB to Japan at the outbreak of the 1950 Korean War, but were never used. U.S. military had better success attacking Korea in June 1871, winning swift victory with 15 Congressional Medals of Honor awarded.

25 Ray Lopez July 9, 2017 at 5:17 pm

Lol! Better trolling next time. “No way you would actually risk/sacrifice your own life or that of your children to control North Korea. Sterile push-button nuclear war seems oh so easy from the comfy vantage point of your home” – yes to both sentences, and your point is? You want me to have boots on the ground in North Korea in a conventional war, when they have 1.2M solders who have orders to fight to the death, like in Japan’s islands during WWII? And possibly Kim would still nuke Seoul when he’s about to lose in a conventional war. Much easier to nuke them, as our grandfathers correctly surmised in WWII. Lern to love the bomb!

26 Alistair July 10, 2017 at 6:08 am


It’s because I don’t want to risk my own life or those of my children that I’d consider a sterile push-button nuclear was to eliminate the threat now.

What? You think we have an obligation to make conflict fair and messy?

27 Anonymous July 9, 2017 at 7:33 pm

I admit at the outset that there is a great deal about the situation I am not privy to, but I came to a similar conclusion several years ago and hoped that Obama would handle it militarily back in 2014. It’s the height of foolishness to allow a country to openly and defiantly develop ICBMs while we sit by and preen and make empty threats and conduct ‘training exercises’. Nipping their nascent missile program in the bud would have obviously been preferable, especially three years ago, at which time any international whining about US intervention could have been met with ‘go complain about Russia violating Ukraine’s sovereignty’ or ‘tell China to stop their encroachment in the South China Sea, and do I really need to mention Tibet?’. Of course, such points could still be raised, but they’re far more effective at the outset of such adventurism.

28 Ray Lopez July 10, 2017 at 4:51 am

Right you are, Anonymous. From an expert who plausibly claims he follows this stuff, as summarized in an article from a mainstream media source the other day, the expert said it was actually George H.W. Bush that’s at fault, and maybe even Clinton, for not stopping North Korea when they had the chance (and you know the Israelis would have done so if they were in charge BTW). According to this expert (and that’s why I said in my OP that this is the ‘smart money consensus’) it’s too late to stop North Korea now. It’s only then a matter of time IMO before some dictator from the Kim clan gets a brain tumor or goes crazy and decides to ‘go out with a bang’ and take out Tokyo, Seoul, or Los Angeles. Analogously, just that thing happened in Nepal a few years back with the royal family there (a crazy royal gunman slaughtered his relatives over a petty love dispute), see: This kind of stuff happens with small, ‘close’ forms of government like aristocracy. I can easily see the present Kim (or one of his successors) coming down with an incurable illness and deciding to go down in history for something infamous like nuking the USA (and in turn having his country destroyed, but that’s small consolation for us). I can easily see this. Unfortunately, most people don’t have my imagination (or my IQ, or my money) and IMO what will have to happen is the worse case scenario, as constantly predicted by the Union of Concerned Scientists, and that’s a nuclear exchange, before the world comes to their senses and severely restricts nuclear weapons. The severe worldwide rationing of nuclear weapons after this event will be the ‘silver lining’ in the mushroom cloud over LA (or NYC, since it’s not that much further in Great Circle distance to reach NYC from Pyongyang).

29 Alistair July 10, 2017 at 6:10 am

The silver lining in a limited exchange is they mainly target blue counties. 🙂

30 Mark Thorson July 9, 2017 at 1:23 pm

Do you really expect the government to have a monolithic, competent approach to security? The default is to leave every department to themselves — even more so because turf is involved. We should expect some to be first rate and others to be much less so.

I’m reminded of the time I installed IBM’s OS/2 operating system on a PC. What a nightmare that was! You could tell that there was no coordination at all in the preparation of the installer CD. Nobody took responsibility for the installation as a whole. It had dozens of phases, each phase obviously made up by a different department. Some phases had a counter ticking off 10%, 20%, etc. Others had a thermometer bar to show how far that phase had run. But nothing gave you a clue to how far you were into the whole process because nobody who implemented any of those phases knew any big picture stuff like that. I thought it would take minutes or maybe an hour. It took all day. That’s why most of you have never heard of OS/2.

Is there any government that has implemented comprehensive and uniform computer security for all of its departments/ministries? The article combines FCC’s security incompetence (releasing data which should have been private) with authentication (screening input for bots). The former is totally solvable, except for the human element — hence totally insolvable. The latter is a policy problem, only accept input from what, Congressmen and Senators and their staff?

31 Melmoth July 9, 2017 at 1:28 pm

5. Reminds me of the depressed and ill looking puffin I saw in the indoor glass walled enclosure in Singapore’s bird park, with not enough room to even fly.

32 Anon_senpei July 9, 2017 at 1:45 pm

3. I had too much time on my hands one day so I decided to read about what the experts advise if one should encounter a bear. Never run from a bear; this makes you appear as food to them and they will likely pursue. If the bear is a black bear, stand your ground, scream and wave your arms. They are easily scared away. If they charge, they are most likely bluffing so continue to stand your ground. In rare circumstances, a predatory black bear will pursue a human. A predatory black bear will not charge but rather stalk the human, walking slowly closer and closer. In this situation, there will probably be trouble, and one should prepare to fight the bear in whatever way possible.

When faced with a brown bear of grizzly bear, the advice differs quite a bit. Most grizzly bear attacks are “defensive” attacks; the bear feels frightened or more likely fears for the safety of her cubs. In this situation, do NOT stand your ground, but do not run either. Play dead; the bear will likely maul you until she feels you are no longer a threat. Cover your head, roll into a ball, and lay still. The best option, however, is to spray the bear with bear spray. One should always carry bear spray when hiking in “grizzly country”. Grizzly bears are also capable of engaging in predatory attacks, but just as with black bears, these types of attacks are exceedingly rare. A predatory grizzly bear will behave like a predatory black bear, walking slowly closer and closer. Do NOT play dead in this situation, otherwise the bear will think you are an easy meal. Fight back in whatever way possible. It is crucial to differentiate between predatory and defensive grizzly bear attacks, as this guides the correct strategy to take. It is possible that a defensive attack can turn into a predatory attack. For example, a grizzly bear may charge to protect her cubs, the human plays dead, the bear mauls the human for a few minutes, then the bear starts to eat the human. Though playing dead was the correct strategy initially, vigorously fighting back becomes the correct strategy once if the bear should become predatory.

The classic book about surviving bear attacks is “Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidance” by renowned bear biologist Stephen Herrero.

33 GoneWithTheWind July 9, 2017 at 1:56 pm

If a black bear attacks shoot it. If a brown/grizzly bear attacks shoot it. DUH!

34 Anon_senpei July 9, 2017 at 2:02 pm

There are a number of recorded injuries and deaths of people who have shot grizzly bears but were mauled and killed anyways, or who shot and missed the grizzly bear and then were killed. It is controversial, but many experts including Stephen Herrero, believe that it more effective to use bear spray against a bear than to attempt to shoot it.

35 john byrne July 9, 2017 at 2:41 pm

It’s a bear !!
we can’t out run a bear!!

36 Alistair July 10, 2017 at 6:13 am

Complete the Latin square.

How many shot it and survived? And how many weren’t armed and got eaten?

37 GoneWithTheWind July 10, 2017 at 11:20 am

If you are armed, which some people are, and a bear charged would you shoot? Or would you say “Gee, I wish I always carried bear spray but I better not shoot because I might get mauled anyway”? I would shoot. Simple as that. I might get mauled, I might get killed but that is NOT the consideration at hand. The intent is to stop/kill the bear and prevent the mauling or killing not to answer a theoretical question that cannot be answered except by shooting.

38 Potato July 9, 2017 at 2:43 pm

Shoot a grizzly? Yikes. If you have a 10 gauge shotgun with slugs, I suppose that’s a viable strategy. Don’t see too many 10 gauges around. Could try your luck with a 12 I suppose. Again, with slugs. Maybe you get 4 off?

306 might just make it angry if you’re shooting center mass. Certainly won’t kill it in any space of time to save your life. And center mass is probably being generous whilst being attacked by a giant angry bear.

To incapacitate a grizzly in a time frame of 2 seconds is no easy feat. Unless you’re slinging around a 240B for some reason through the woods.

39 Ray Lopez July 9, 2017 at 3:20 pm

Good thread by Anon_senpei, good advice that you should memorize if you’re in bear country. We had a bear on our farm south of DC, probably a black bear, some people saw it but it hid well. Also Wikipedia had a page on people who fought bears hand-to-hand (most of them lost, especially against a grizzly, but I recall one guy who died but killed the bear in the process, they were both found dead; most bears have about the strength of five people combined so keep that in mind if you care to bear hug them; even domestic pigs weighing less than 100 pounds are a handful to wrestle with, as I know from experience in the Philippines–they are all muscle very little fat on a porker!). Potato is right, shooting a bear often just annoys it (even a fatal shot can take a minute or two to kill), though multiple shots of a charging predator can work (see: The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber by Ernest Hemingway). The other day however, a pre-teen boy shot a charging small brown bear (from the photo) with birdshot, using a pump action shotgun, two shots, and incapacitated it enough for the rest of his group to finish it off (it was on MSN news). The rest of the group did not have time to even unholster their shotguns but the boy was carrying his without a strap, in his hands, so he got shots off. Bear spray is the most effective tool (works with elephants too, though I would not want to spray a charging elephant, which I’ve had happen in Thailand but it was tame and hungry for the banana in my hand, not in anger).

I like this quote by the Kenyan Mr. Marube: “”I don’t fear lion,” he said. “I don’t fear anything else. But a bear is scary.” – lol! I fear lion, leopard (which Marube has encountered), bear, and worst of all, in the tropics where I often live, the small common krait, which has the most deadly (outside of the sea snake) venom in the world. Not aggressive but some people have amputated their fingers when bit by one, though that is a bit extreme (Wikipedia: “Kraits are nocturnal, so seldom encounter humans during daylight hours; incidents occur mainly at night. Frequently, little or no pain occurs from a krait bite, and this can provide false reassurance to the victim. …If bitten by a krait while sleeping, a victim may not realize he has been bitten, as the bite feels like that of an ant or mosquito. The victim may die without waking up….the patient may die from respiratory paralysis within four to five hours. A clinical toxicology study gives an untreated mortality rate of 70-80%”)

Happy trails!

40 Kirkland July 9, 2017 at 4:33 pm

… American Indians routinely hunted Grizzly with bows & arrows — but it takes planning, skill, and courage

41 JWatts July 9, 2017 at 4:59 pm

“… American Indians routinely hunted Grizzly with bows & arrows — but it takes planning, skill, and courage”

My guess is that they used Spears.

42 Anonymous July 9, 2017 at 6:26 pm

The Inuit would hunt polar bears with spears. Not alone, and they’d set the dogs on them first.

43 Thanatos Savehn July 9, 2017 at 10:47 pm

Big difference between being predator and being prey.

44 Anonymous July 9, 2017 at 5:56 pm

Alaska rangers recommend bear spray, apparently because people will use it early and often.

45 derek July 9, 2017 at 8:12 pm

To kill a grizzly bear with a firearm is extremely difficult, and considering you have just a few seconds to get off enough rounds and hit the right places while a very large animal is charging at you, likely impossible for all except the most skilled and prepared.

I carry a pepper spray when hiking, always at the ready. Safety comes from situational awareness; know where they feed, make sure they can know you are around. Most bear situations here are either hunting related; a fight over the kill, or dogs harassing the bear.

They are magnificent animals. Their power and delicacy is amazing to watch.

46 Careless July 11, 2017 at 1:23 pm

They’re bigger than humans, but they’re not bullet-proof, and they’re not Wolverine. They die the same as any other animal when it gets shot, depending on where it gets shot

47 Alistair July 10, 2017 at 6:16 am

I always use bear spray! I smell dreadful for hours, but haven’t been attacked yet.

48 Anonymous July 9, 2017 at 5:57 pm

Guides carry handguns, mostly to give clients a false sense of security.

49 JWatts July 9, 2017 at 6:44 pm

“Guides carry handguns, mostly to give clients a false sense of security.”

Have you been on a hunt with an Alaskan guide and had him tell you he carried a handgun for a “sense of security”?

50 Cyrus July 9, 2017 at 9:50 pm

A majority of humans killed by bears in Alaska in the time since DNR began recording such things have been armed with firearms; and a majority of those, for whatever reason, did not discharge their firearm. Reaction time seems to be at a premium.

51 Alistair July 10, 2017 at 6:17 am

Experimental design fail. You need 3 others numbers to conclude this.

52 Regular guy July 9, 2017 at 1:53 pm

#1.) I came to the conclusion that the federal government wasn’t a place for serious work when I was working as a fed ( I left). But after the government got hacked and lost it’s databases of security clearance holders and information… I now think we simply cannot trust the government to be competent at anything, even it’s most important duties.

Where do we go from here though? Reform doesn’t appear to be possible, does it?

53 chuck martel July 9, 2017 at 2:18 pm

Let me point out that government collection of data on individuals is very dangerous. This is because every government in world history has come to an end and been replaced by another. It can’t be predicted what policies the new government will have and what its level of freedom might be. This might not have been consequential in the days when records were less extensive but technology has changed that. Without a doubt the Bolshevik Cheka scoured the records of the Tsarist Okhrana for any and all useful information. Our own secret police are just that. The rarest sight in the world is a team of bowlers in a bar wearing FBI shirts. Believing that any information held by the government is secure and won’t be used to the disadvantage of various individuals in the future is naivete in high heels and fishnet stockings.

54 Thiago Ribeiro July 9, 2017 at 4:03 pm

“Without a doubt the Bolshevik Cheka scoured the records of the Tsarist Okhrana for any and all useful information. ”
Do not let the Communists take over.

55 GoneWithTheWind July 10, 2017 at 11:25 am

It is a mistake to place classified or critical data on a computer that can be accessed by the internet.

56 Jay July 9, 2017 at 2:18 pm

1. What is the big deal? Democrats are trying to give unions unfettered access to personal information of non-union workers. Oh, I see what the problem is! Only unions should have access to this type of information.

57 john byrne July 9, 2017 at 2:24 pm

At a conference of religious leaders, three of the most prominent individuals got into a discussion of which of them had the strongest faith and ability to convert the heathens. One was a Catholic Priest, one a Baptist Minister, and one a Jewish Rabbi.

As the night went on, and each one’s claims became more fanciful, one of them claimed “I bet I could convert a bear.” Rather than challenge the claim, the other two insisted they could convert a bear as easily as he. They decided they would make it a challenge, each would find and attempt to convert a bear the next weekend in Yellowstone National Park.

After that weekend, the Priest and the Minister happened to bump into each other at the local hospital, where each was making the rounds to visit patients from their particular denominations.

“I did it!” claimed the Priest. “I read to the bear from the Catechism, sprinkled him with holy water and next week is his First Communion.” The Priest did have a few scratches on him, but nothing bad.

The Minister also had a few small cuts and bruises, but nothing major. “I too succeeded in my efforts. I found a bear by the stream, preached God’s holy word and he let me baptize him in the river.”

The two of them rejoiced in their successes and were about to part ways when a couple of paramedics came rushing by with a guerney on their way to the emergency room. On the guerney was the Rabbi and he was a mess. He had cut and bite marks all over him and at least a dozen broken bones. He was barely concious, but was able to identify his colleagues as they followed alongside him. He gestured them close to his mouth and in a strained voice he said to them, “maybe I shouldn’t have started with circumcision.”

58 rayward July 9, 2017 at 2:30 pm

2. Seoul is less than 40 miles from the DMZ, and NK already has the capacity to kill millions in SK within minutes. Trump can make all the threats he wishes to make but any attack on NK will result in a catastrophe of gigantic proportions, possibly bringing Japan and China as well as the US and SK into the conflagration. Is it any wonder that Moon would promote re-unification and peace rather than confrontation and catastrophe. From the Atlantic article:

“There is no sign of panic in Seoul. Writing for The New York Times from the city in April, Motoko Rich found residents busy with their normal lives, eating at restaurants, crowding in bars, and clogging some of the most congested highways in the world. In a poll taken before the May election, fewer than 10 percent of South Koreans rated the North Korean nuclear threat as their top concern. . . . Although in late April Trump called Kim “a madman with nuclear weapons,” perhaps the most reassuring thing about pursuing the acceptance option is that Kim appears to be neither suicidal nor crazy. In the five and a half years since assuming power at age 27, he has acted with brutal efficiency to consolidate that power; the assassination of his half brother is only the most recent example. As tyrants go, he’s shown appalling natural ability. For a man who occupies a position both powerful and perilous, his moves have been nothing if not deliberate and even cruelly rational. And as the latest head of a family that has ruled for three generations, one whose primary purpose has been to survive, as a young man with a lifetime of wealth and power before him, how likely is he to wake up one morning and set fire to his world?”

59 Potato July 9, 2017 at 2:51 pm

They do not have the capacity to kill millions within minutes. This is not even remotely true.

They have artillery pieces aimed at Seoul. That may or may not be operational. They have artillery crews that have never trained with live ammunition because they can’t afford food.

Believe it or not it’s cheaper to develop nukes than train artillery units to a level of preparedness that would be able to consistently land shells where you want them to land. Let alone clear misfires without blowing themselves up. Did I mention no one knows if their ammunition even works? They test it every once in a while and it doesn’t look great.

They have nukes and no delivery system. Gonna drop it from a 1930s bomber ? Get real.

They can try to shell Seoul. Good luck.

60 John Dougan July 9, 2017 at 8:31 pm

Seoul is a pretty big target, especially with gas shells. If all the other components are in place even idiots should be able to hit it somewhere. That said, the other problems you mention are a quite possible, though in general the NK military gets first cut of resources so I wouldn’t be as certain of ther complete faulure as you appear to be.

61 Borjigid July 9, 2017 at 9:15 pm

If I recall correctly, when they bombarded that South Korean island a few years ago 25% of their shells failed to explode. Dunno how a 75% success rate for artillery fire against a dense metropolitan area works out, but I’d rather not find out.

62 JWatts July 9, 2017 at 9:29 pm

” Dunno how a 75% success rate for artillery fire against a dense metropolitan area works out, but I’d rather not find out.”

It’s substantially less damaging than an atomic bomb. That is the reference point in the conversation.

63 Borjigid July 9, 2017 at 10:05 pm

My point is that assuming the NK conventional forces are impotent is not a good idea.

64 JWatts July 10, 2017 at 4:45 pm

Fair enough.

65 Potato July 9, 2017 at 11:28 pm

Well said.

However, My point was millions in minutes is off by orders of magnitude. I stand by that.

66 Borjigid July 10, 2017 at 10:38 am

That’s fair.

67 Art Deco July 9, 2017 at 2:50 pm

An interesting South Korean statement on North Korea.

Not a whole lot. There’s a mess of negligible goo, a recitation of some bland diplomatic-historical points, a wish list, and a warning. Only the last is of much interest.

The North is engaged in a number of provocative exercises. The question is where they see this leading and what their goals are.

68 Dzhaughn July 9, 2017 at 6:11 pm

He compares Korea and Germany. Fair enough. But East Germany didn’t have a deified monarchical authoritarian regime; they were obliged to scramble up a new story once their imperial backing had collapsed. How does the NK regime back down to a secular basis for legitimacy in some comparable way? Producing the corpse of their god? Perhaps the witnessed Assumption of the ruling family into heaven?

69 Donald Pretari July 9, 2017 at 10:16 pm

The U.S. probably has two subs off the North Korean coast that have about 400 nuclear warheads that can be launched in minutes and will hit their targets within ten minutes. How many targets does North Korea even have? By the time they gave the order to attack and tried to implement it they’d have a Trident up there ass. They must be high.

70 Donald Pretari July 9, 2017 at 10:19 pm

up their ass. I must be high.

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