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Who cares about North Korea?
#61
I have visited many of the main cities of the former sovietic block, and they never came close to building what the NK have built. But the soviets stopped to build, because they stopped to exist as "soviet", 24 years ago. Had they been given a chance to build 24 more years, amybe they would have done more, but I'm not sure.

Yes, NK is a very strange example of a surviving communist dictatorship. But they will move to capitalism too overtime, it's sure. The pressure to make business will be too much. And I'm sure the Chinese are pressing them much more than anyone else in that direction.

Unification won't mean economic disaster if done slowly and properly. Much harder than the reunification of Germany because east Germany (DDR) was is better condition, but not impossible. Once the gates opens, capital is flowing in very quickely. Investors will ruch in there because everything will be cheap, especialy real estate.
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#62
(10-05-2014, 05:11 AM)yohan Wrote: Even South Korea is not much interested in unification, as it will mean a financial disaster.

Absolutely correct! They had only look to Germany and its problems with unification. It took Germany over a decade to get things back up to speed. ROK is very much aware of this future scenario.

My parents made many friends when they were station in Japan and Germany. And a couple of their German friends visited them, about a decade ago, when Dad was still alive. And they stated that they wished they had never brought DDR into the fold. At least before they had gotten their act together.

And too, the cost in cleaning up all the horrible ecological messes that were created in the East, were staggering. This is what one gets when Collectivism attempts to play catchup with Capitalism. They cut corners, and destroy the very land they are living in.
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#63
NK's governance appears to be a unified clan governing a nation for their benefit only.

It would be like one of these Mexican drug gangs ruling Mexico minus the personal worship aspect. Or an American drug gang, same difference.
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#64
JL Wrote:They had only look to Germany and its problems with unification. It took Germany over a decade to get things back up to speed. ROK is very much aware of this future scenario.

My parents made many friends when they were station in Japan and Germany. And a couple of their German friends visited them, about a decade ago, when Dad was still alive. And they stated that they wished they had never brought DDR into the fold.
Maybe these Germans have seen a decrease in pensions, a rise in relative unemployement for 10 years or so. But it wasn't an economic disaster. It had to be done anyway. DDR had to come back to the free economy, as well as the rest of eastern europe.
Now, the reunification is a success. Almost no difference between east and west anymore. Long term they are net winners.

Last time I crossed the German/Polish border on the highway from Liepzig to Wroclaw, and for a while I wasn't aware that I crossed it. There was a very small sign anouncing Poland in 4 km, then some speed limit down to 80km/h nobody seemed to care about, then nothing... not even a change in asfalt color.
Then I arrived in Krakow. Last time I was there, about 15 years ago, half of the town was not build. I didn't recognized anything until I reached the historical center. And even there the number of bars was a surprise. The market place is now entirely covered by tourist terasses, while student bars moved to a different area.
Malls, Hyper-Max movie theatres, one miles of car seller showrooms, "Home Depot" type stores, fashion stores etc... The developement has been incredible and is now visible all across eastern Europe.

With NK it may be more problematic because the economic gap is wider, the political elite is more retarded and less willing to modernize and to lose their privileges.
It's possible thought not as fast as with Germany.
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#65
(10-05-2014, 02:51 PM)Palladin Wrote: NK's governance appears to be a unified clan governing a nation for their benefit only.

It would be like one of these Mexican drug gangs ruling Mexico minus the personal worship aspect. Or an American drug gang, same difference.

Lots, lots more 'soldiers' than Mexican gangs ... over a million active duty ... seven and a half million including reserves and 'paramilitary' ... police ... secret police ... paid thugs, etc.. And all of them get an extra share of the crumbs from the ruling 'clan's' table. That's a lot of unhappy campers when the shit hits the fan. If you're a 'soldier' and get relegated to 'citizen' ... eg. from extra rations to eating sticks and bugs and grass like everybody else, THAT is a huge problem. The biggest mess to be cleaned up is the corruption ... probably the world's worst ... and frankly I doubt there's any sort of mop on this planet that big. Makes the Mexican gangs look like choir boys. I'm sure it's hard from a cultural standpoint, but South Korea would be fools to wade into that mess as a "peaceful unification" exercise ... sounds like a job more suited to China ... but I'd figure South Korea and Japan would strongly disagree. For the West, a better scenario would be a desperate last ditch war attempt and attack on South Korea. They'd flatten the North in a few days ... perhaps hours. Chinese intervention would be a major wild card ... but if they aren't prepared for it, it could be well over before they even got started ... particularly if U.S. forces were moved into the North. It would be a bold stroke and require daring. Let's hope this doesn't go down on Obama's watch.
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
-- Henry Mencken
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#66
Valid point Yak. The size of the army and police is so huge that it will cause an economic problem. You can't recycle these poeple easily. Maybe Russia has got this very problem until now. The army in Russia too was and still is oversized. On the opposite former soviet block states in eastern Europe have undersized armies: Their growths beat all records and their sens of democracy is among the best in the world.
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#67
(10-06-2014, 03:37 PM)Fredledingue Wrote: Valid point Yak. The size of the army and police is so huge that it will cause an economic problem. You can't recycle these poeple easily. Maybe Russia has got this very problem until now. The army in Russia too was and still is oversized. On the opposite former soviet block states in eastern Europe have undersized armies: Their growths beat all records and their sens of democracy is among the best in the world.

I downplayed Mexican gangs above, but they serve as a cautionary tale. The most violent, deadly and brutal groups are made up of ousted or ex Mexican military and police (a bunch of them of are still active duty). But this is on a scale of maybe some tens of thousands. Imagine literally 'millions' of North Koreans in mafia style "made man" positions suddenly being cut loose. The 'legitimate' North Korean government has been active in kidnapping, smuggling, counterfeiting, arms trafficking ... etc, etc, for decades. Can you imagine the capability for chaos of millions of unrestrained 'freelancers'? Another nasty possibility of the breakup of the regime would be that the labor gulags could be 'liquidated' outright out of fear of retribution and/or being identified in Nuremberg style prosecutions. The U.S. policy has long involved bribing a few elites in the ruling family. Bribing the entire nation would require an enormous volume of resources. I would expect an epic fear of being cut out ... and being really pissed off about it.
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
-- Henry Mencken
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#68
Yes. The solution must be very gradual. Likely starting with a double racket-tax system for the new commerces.
Some problem would come with retaking all the weapons from retired or out of duty soldiers.
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#69
(10-06-2014, 04:28 PM)Fredledingue Wrote: Some problem would come with retaking all the weapons from retired or out of duty soldiers.

We did that in Iraq and by most accounts it made things much worse. The weapons eventually went to all the thugs anyway. Only the guys that might have been vetted were the ones that were disarmed. How on earth could you possibly do any sort of vetting in a "Hermit Kingdom"?

If the rumors are true, can you imagine the slaughter of a North Korean version of "The Night of Long Knives" must have been? I'd hate to be part of the crew that has to mop up that mess. The cleaning staff will probably get the same treatment in some remote pit. Shock Now the hard part ... explaining to millions of people that are supposed to consider that little putz a 'God' how he suddenly died of "the gout". Maybe it's a new 'Ebola' version of gout ... in which your limbs and head suddenly become ... 'detached'. S24
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
-- Henry Mencken
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#70
And speaking of weapons, ROKs are also heavily armed. When I was stationed over there, every able bodied male was part of the Home Guard. Even my house boy, and all the rest of them at my compound, were all in it as well. Once a month they were required to pull night guard at certain strategic points, due to NK "unidentified individuals" sneaking across the border and moving south into the main part of ROK to either assassinate, or commit some sort of havoc. And they were all armed. So, South Korean civilians were armed to the teeth. And somehow I can't see it as being any different today.
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#71
(10-06-2014, 10:10 PM)John L Wrote: And speaking of weapons, ROKs are also heavily armed. When I was stationed over there, every able bodied male was part of the Home Guard. Even my house boy, and all the rest of them at my compound, were all in it as well. Once a month they were required to pull night guard at certain strategic points, due to NK "unidentified individuals" sneaking across the border and moving south into the main part of ROK to either assassinate, or commit some sort of havoc. And they were all armed. So, South Korean civilians were armed to the teeth. And somehow I can't see it as being any different today.

See comments above John. My belief is that SK could likely squash NK like a bug. They have 3X the military budget ... and they probably spend most of it for actual weapons ... North Korea claims to spend $10 Billion a year ... 25% of GDP (???). Does anyone really believe this? If even a fraction of that much is being spent, it's probably going mostly for foreign booze, sports cars, hookers and giant waterslides ...

Other than their faux nukes, I think the biggest cited threat is a lot of artillery. You know infinitely more about this John. Doesn't that stuff have a limited shelf life and a need to get replenished and 'freshened' periodically? Aren't there fairly stringent maintenance requirements that have to be followed pretty rigorously for proper operation? What are the odds that the North is bluffing on big piles of duds and rusty barrels? You've been directly involved ... what are the odds that the South would roll over the entire place in a day or two ... if not hours in the case of a suitable provocation?

The North has missiles but Seoul is publicly acknowledging 'consideration' of putting counter measures in place ... which means they probably already have counter measures in place. ROK actually has something worth scrapping over ... their counterparts in the North main motivation is probably somebody behind them with guns to their heads ... likely not the best incentive for a soldier.
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
-- Henry Mencken
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#72
I saw that post earlier. In truth, the North could get down close to seoul in an invasion. Seoul is only about 25 south of the DMZ. There is great terrain defense positions, and only a few avenues of approach, but they would be throwing everything at that one avenue, called the "Bowling Alley". They can almost shell Seoul right now, so Seoul would be thoroughly trashed in almost any event.

But the ROKs are mean fighters and more than capable the next time of taking it all the way to the Choson.

Incidentally, the correct acronym for South Korea is ROK(pronounced Rock). ROK stands for "Republic of Korea". Everyone in the military goes by that designation.
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#73
I've talked to various Vietnam vets that said that those guys are very tough (and brutal) fighters ... along with some extremely nasty and graphic stories about their 'interrogation' techniques used on captured prisoners. Lots and lots of deployments in various parts of the world for many decades. In contrast, the North looks like their experience is limited to mistreating their own people and skirmishing/harassing their neighbors to the South (ROK).

You have to wonder whether dynastic cultural isolation eventually has the same effect as genetic inbreeding. Several generations of incest would certainly produce a loon. Maybe the same applies for the 'nurture' side of the equation? After seeing his predecessors repeatedly rewarded for aggression and criminal behavior maybe the kid was just plain bat shit crazy enough to launch a first strike and had to be stopped by the few adults still around that realized what would occur? He apparently had at least some education in Europe, but if you're raised and treated like a young prince since birth, that may not have been much in the way of inoculation.

... anyway, it seems like everybody is playing "where's waldo" these days. I wonder how long before they fess up? ... maybe with a lethal gout story or something like that?
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
-- Henry Mencken
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#74
How long can "wild speculation" be sustained?? Anybody think maybe he's gone all Howard Hughes and is hold up in a Penthouse in Vegas?
"Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard."
-- Henry Mencken
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#75
Hasn't he already surfaced?
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#76
He had resurface a few days agao, smashing the craziest speculation. I read only the headline because frankly, I never believed that he would disapear like that.
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#77
Is anybody concerned about what is happening with North Korea? I personally am worried. Let's discuss this.

What worries me most is the effect on the world economy. I see a major crash coming if this spills over into violence. S4
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#78
According to today's reports, North Korea is considering attacking Guam, and Trump has warned NK that they will be met with "fire and fury" and "power like the world has never seen" if they keep on threatening the USA. I know some people living on Guam. Also, I heard a report that 30% of the population of Guam consists of U.S. military.

Here is a guess. NK launches a missile at Guam. It misses or fails to detonate. But real nukes that do work will hit NK, probably including the capital city--Pyongyang--and non-nuclear missiles will be used to strike against all 40-60 estimated locations of NK nukes, and the NK troop buildups along the border with South Korea. A nuke might be used against the latter.

Any nation that has representatives in Pyongyang had better bring them home, pronto. There is no guarantee that President Trump will give them advance warning, after an attempted attack on Guam. Also, we should watch to see if South Korean and American military are told to pull back from the border (in anticipation of a nuke strike).
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#79
(08-09-2017, 11:01 AM)Ron Lambert Wrote: According to today's reports, North Korea is considering attacking Guam, and Trump has warned NK that they will be met with "fire and fury" and "power like the world has never seen" if they keep on threatening the USA. I know some people living on Guam. Also, I heard a report that 30% of the population of Guam consists of U.S. military.

Here is a guess. NK launches a missile at Guam. It misses or fails to detonate. But real nukes that do work will hit NK, probably including the capital city--Pyongyang--and non-nuclear missiles will be used to strike against all 40-60 estimated locations of NK nukes, and the NK troop buildups along the border with South Korea. A nuke might be used against the latter.

Any nation that has representatives in Pyongyang had better bring them home, pronto. There is no guarantee that President Trump will give them advance warning, after an attempted attack on Guam. Also, we should watch to see if South Korean and American military are told to pull back from the border (in anticipation of a nuke strike).

I believe that no matter what happen, other than no fighting, the economy is going to go to the dogs. The Stock, and Bond, markets are going to tank and we will be in for a serious recession. This is not something I look forward to enjoying.
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#80
I care. Fixing to get millions of people massacred is why, the markets don't count for shit with me. They'll recover.

Ron, you have it backwards, Trump made his childish "Kim like verbose threats" and Kim immediately replied he might attack Guam. Now your boy Trump looks even more ludicrous than he did last week.

https://www.ft.com/content/5564982c-7c6c...da0bcbc928
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