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    Default This is NOT good!

    Report: N. Korea May Have Fired Missile

    May 1, 6:54 AM (ET)

    TOKYO (AP) - The U.S. military informed Japan that North Korea may have fired a short-range missile toward the Sea of Japan on Sunday morning, Kyodo News service and national broadcaster NHK reported.

    The reports quoted unidentified government sources as saying that the U.S. military informed Japan's Defense Agency of the possible missile launch. The government was attempting to confirm the information, the reports said.

    The U.S. Embassy in Tokyo and the U.S. military both refused to comment, and an official at the Japanese Defense Agency said he could not confirm the report. The South Korean defense ministry also said it could not confirm the account.

    NHK said the missile was believed to have been fired from the reclusive nation's east coast and to have traveled 65 miles into the Sea of Japan.

    Word of the possible test came just days after a top U.S. military intelligence official told a U.S. Senate committee that North Korea has the ability to arm a missile with a nuclear weapon, a potentially significant advance for the communist state.

    Vice Adm. Lowell Jacoby, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, in testimony on Thursday, did not specify whether he was talking about a short-range missile or a long-range one that could reach the United States.

    Two defense officials later said that U.S. intelligence analysts believe North Korea is several years away from being able to mount a nuclear warhead on a missile that could reach the United States from the Korean Peninsula.

    North Korea's missile development program has spurred Japan to join the United States in putting together a joint missile-defense system. North Korea startled Tokyo in 1998 by launching a long-range ballistic missile over the Japanese archipelago and into the Pacific Ocean.

    Pyongyang has played upon the threat by intermittently test-firing short-range missiles since then.

    The Japanese Cabinet in February approved legislation that would allow the defense chief to order the military to shoot down incoming missiles.

    Six-nation talks aimed at persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear ambitions have been stalled since last June. Washington's top envoy on the issue, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, said on Thursday in South Korea that the North's refusal to return to the talks is a problem but they are still the best way to resolve the matter.

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    Im not really worried about this. I am more worried about suitcase based bombs. It wouldnt take much to get them here and have people detonate them on a single signal like the end of the simpsons or something.......
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    I really think that you get to North Korea by going through China.
    I think if we can get China to bring pressure to North Korea, this destabilization of that region will cease and closer monitoring of them should follow.
    Everyone is afraid of North Korea, not because of Kim, but because of China.
    This one will play out in China.
    IMHO.
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    CR...I tend to agree.

    Stm4710...this is of global concerns. For Korea to be doing this on top of what else in going on in the overseas area can have another tremendous impact on the United States. Remember, we are a world power and will be the first to intercede if this become more credible. While domestic issues at home are certainly important, this is far reaching and demands close attention/
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    I think China is nervous about North Korea. China is attempting to become a stable and wealthy country, breaking out of the self-induced isolation of decades past. North Korea however is still very reclusive and is a boiling pot of trouble. China may not tell them directly to stop missle testing, but it is in China's best interest as well as Everyone else's.

    Though all this said, i sure hope you Americans will remember the help we gave you in Iraq and Vietnam if North Korea starts pointing long shinny metal things at us
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    I agree, China is probably the key.

    The problem is that China is, as was pointed out, also a world power emerging from self-isolation with the realization of what a tremendous economic force it is. Once the remnants of the old communist regime are gone, China is poised to burst forth with a capitalist society.

    I don't think that they want to tie themselves politically to the US, but I think they realize that the US is going to be the foundation of their economic growth. A little problem like a nuclear attack anywhere in the world by the North Koreans will absolutley cause a rift between China and the US.

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    May 6, 2005
    U.S. Cites Signs of Korean Preparations for Nuclear Test
    By DAVID E. SANGER and WILLIAM J. BROAD
    WASHINGTON, May 5 - White House and Pentagon officials are closely monitoring a recent stream of satellite photographs of North Korea that appear to show rapid, extensive preparations for a nuclear weapons test, including the construction of a reviewing stand, presumably for dignitaries, according to American and foreign officials who have been briefed on the imagery.

    North Korea has never tested a nuclear weapon.

    Bush administration officials, when asked Thursday about the burst of activity at a suspected test site in the northeastern part of the country, cautioned that satellites could not divine the intentions of Kim Jong Il, North Korea's leader, and said it was possible that he was putting on a show for American spy satellites. They said the North Koreans might be trying to put pressure on President Bush to offer a improved package of economic and diplomatic incentives to the desperately poor country in exchange for curtailing its nuclear activities.

    "The North Koreans have learned how to use irrationality as a bargaining tool," a senior American official said Thursday evening. "We can't tell what they are doing."

    Nonetheless, American officials have been sufficiently alarmed that they have extensively briefed their Japanese and South Korean allies and warned them to be prepared for the political implications of a test.

    On Thursday morning, Mr. Bush spoke at length about North Korea with President Hu Jintao of China, who has been his main interlocutor to Mr. Kim's government. The White House refused to say whether the two men had discussed the new evidence, focusing instead on what officials said was Mr. Bush's determination to get North Korea back to the negotiating table in six-nation talks.

    American intelligence agencies have debated for years over the extent of North Korea's technical abilities, and whether it has successfully turned its stockpile of nuclear fuel into warheads. That debate has become particularly fevered since Feb. 10, when the North publicly boasted that it had manufactured weapons.

    The accounts of North Korea's activities have come from three American officials who have reviewed either the imagery or the intelligence reports interpreting them. They were confirmed by two foreign officials who have been briefed by the Americans, but who cautioned that their countries had no independent way of interpreting the data.

    Officials at one American intelligence agency said they were unaware of the new activity.

    Since October, American officials have periodically seen activity suggesting preparations for a nuclear test, chiefly at the site in the northeast part of the country, near an area variously called Kilchu or Kilju. But in recent weeks, that activity appears to have accelerated.

    Several officials said they had never before seen Korean preparations as advanced as those detected in recent days, including the digging of a tunnel. That tunnel resembles the one used in Pakistan for nuclear tests in 1998.

    One of the creators of Pakistan's program, Abdul Qadeer Khan, traveled to North Korea repeatedly and has admitted to Pakistani interrogators that he supplied nuclear technology to the North, American intelligence officials said.

    But officials said Thursday that they had not seen any evidence that North Korea was getting outside help with its current activity. "What we're seeing is everything you need to test," said a senior intelligence official who has reviewed the evidence. "We've never seen this level of activity."

    Asked if the intelligence agencies, which have often been sharply divided about North Korea's nuclear abilities, had differences of opinion about the satellite photographs, the official said: " This looks like the real thing. There is wide agreement in the community."

    But another American intelligence expert noted that so far, intelligence agencies had not seen the telltale signs of electronic equipment that is often used to monitor the size and success of a test, leading to "some debate about whether this is the real deal."

    The intelligence official who reviewed the imagery, and others familiar with the evidence, said it was entirely possible that the activity was an elaborate ruse by Mr. Kim, to strengthen his bargaining position with the five other nations in the talks that he has boycotted: the United States, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea.

    Mr. Kim is considered skilled at the art of escalating a crisis, and a senior diplomat said Thursday that the United States had not raised a public alarm "because we don't want to play his game."

    In late 2002 and early 2003, North Korea threw out international inspectors and said it was preparing to reprocess 8,000 spent nuclear fuel rods into bomb fuel, the C.I.A. and other intelligence agencies have told Congress. In recent months, they have said that they believe all 8,000 rods were turned into bomb fuel.

    The head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, Vice Adm. Lowell E. Jacoby, went further last week, telling the Senate Armed Services Committee that North Korea was believed to have the "capability" to mount a warhead on one of its long-range missiles.

    Particular interest and concern was aroused in the White House by the construction of the reviewing stand, which appears luxurious by North Korean standards, several miles from the suspected test site.

    An American official who confirmed that the images showed the reviewing stand recalled that in 1998, after Western intelligence was surprised by a North Korean missile launching, analysts went back over satellite imagery and other data to see if they had missed anything.

    "What was interesting is they had built a reviewing stand for that launch, but that wasn't noticed," he said. "They had visitors from other countries in. We had seen movement, but we didn't know what for. The idea was that they invited other people to watch this other thing."

    While satellite imagery is often hard to interpret, nuclear arms experts say it is easy to distinguish tunneling for a nuclear test site from, say, a mine. While both require the removal of vast quantities of rock, only a test site puts the rock and other sealing materials back into the hole after the weapon is installed deeply inside. The goal is to create a impenetrable barrier that keeps the powerful blast and radioactivity locked up tight inside the earth.

    In this case, a senior intelligence official who specializes in nuclear analysis and has seen the images said, "you see them stemming the tunnel, taking material back into the mine to plug it up."

    "There's grout and concrete that goes into the hole, and normally you don't see that in a mine. A mine you want as open as possible."

    "There's a lot of activity," he added, "taking stuff in as opposed to taking it out."

    He described the site as isolated and rugged, with enough of a mountain extending above the hole to contain a weapon equal in force to the bomb that destroyed Hiroshima.

    Beyond the technical debate over North Korea's nuclear abilities and what kind of help it got from Dr. Khan's network and other suppliers over the years, the United States government has also debated whether Mr. Kim would determine a test to be in his interest.

    Many in the intelligence agencies, along with outside experts, long assumed that Mr. Kim benefited by keeping the world guessing. The absence of a test proving North Korea's weapons ability has allowed China, North Korea's major supplier of food and fuel, to argue that the country may simply be boasting, that there was still time to work out the problem, and that sanctions or quarantines of the country would only drive it into a corner.

    But that thinking has begun to shift. A senior European diplomat deeply involved in the issue said this week that he suspected that North Korea was "now pursuing the Pakistani model."

    Pakistan and India were both condemned and subjected to economic sanctions after their 1998 tests. But all of those were lifted after the United States determined it needed Pakistan's help immediately after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

    "The North Koreans may be thinking that in two or three years, it too may be regarded as just another nuclear power, outside of the Nonproliferation Treaty, the way we now view Pakistan and India and Israel," the official said.

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    There is a guy who comes into the shop about once a week who teaches political science at the univserity. He is pretty smart and I always enjoy talking with him.

    He predicted the second war in Iraq a good 12 to 18 months before it happened and is now saying he already sees hints to action against North Korea.

    He cited a number of interesting facts ranging from missile testing and their nuclear program to human rights issues. It was recently a story here about North Korean refugees telling stories of concentration camp style facilities, food riots and a many other things that the international community wouldn't stand for.

    He also went on to explain about how North Korea lacks the resources to feed its population and now that China isn't supporting them as much they can only turn to the fertile fields of South Korea and that historically the emperor in the south used to supply the tribes in the north with food in exchange for protection from the Chinese (this goes back a long way obviously).

    He also explained that if there was a conflict in the region that the industrial capacity of the south would most likely be destroyed or damaged, resulting in a shift of industrial power to other Asian countries, such as Japan or even to China itself now that they are starting to come out of their self imposed isolation.

    In addition, as bad as it sounds, another major conflict would keep the factories in developed countries, both in North America and Europe, turning out the materials to fight those conflicts. Unfortunately, war is a big money maker and can make, or break, an economic slump.
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    Originally posted by firefighter26
    There is a guy who comes into the shop about once a week who teaches political science at the univserity. He is pretty smart and I always enjoy talking with him.

    He predicted the second war in Iraq a good 12 to 18 months before it happened and is now saying he already sees hints to action against North Korea.

    He cited a number of interesting facts ranging from missile testing and their nuclear program to human rights issues. It was recently a story here about North Korean refugees telling stories of concentration camp style facilities, food riots and a many other things that the international community wouldn't stand for.

    He also went on to explain about how North Korea lacks the resources to feed its population and now that China isn't supporting them as much they can only turn to the fertile fields of South Korea and that historically the emperor in the south used to supply the tribes in the north with food in exchange for protection from the Chinese (this goes back a long way obviously).

    He also explained that if there was a conflict in the region that the industrial capacity of the south would most likely be destroyed or damaged, resulting in a shift of industrial power to other Asian countries, such as Japan or even to China itself now that they are starting to come out of their self imposed isolation.

    In addition, as bad as it sounds, another major conflict would keep the factories in developed countries, both in North America and Europe, turning out the materials to fight those conflicts. Unfortunately, war is a big money maker and can make, or break, an economic slump.
    Stick close to that guy. He sounds like a very wise man. He has a very, very good handle on the situation.

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    I don't think W wants any part of N Korea. Me thinks he wants to go out having finished reforming Social Security and getting a new energy bill done. The former looking as though it will certainly be an uphill battle. Besides, the military is stretched waaay too thin and recruitment is completely in the gutter. Going toe to toe w/ N Korea is a markedly different matter than Afghanistan or Iraq for a myriad of reasons. Just my humble opinion.

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    Resolving the threats in North Korea won't be a U.S. problem. It will be a UN problem. The international communities will have to step up to the plate on this one. If China continues its tendencies towards capitalism, they could fund a military solution in North Korea. China is finally figuring out that it takes foreign investments to provide healthy stimuli to their impoverished country.
    I still believe that China will be the key to North Korea.
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    Didnt we already fight this war before?
    wait, oops, we already fought the Iraq war too.
    I think if the s*%t hits the fan, this war may be easier then the last one because of the harsh living conditions of the north korean people. They most likely do not feel the sense of nationalism that they felt in the 50's that was the key to their war effort. Most of the people are probably against the current regime but are too afraid to even mention it for fear of being executed or tortured.
    But having said that, the fact that they have even one nuclear weapon changes the entire situation because of the irrationaility of the North korean government.

    I think however, that if America decided to take action against North korea, they would definately have the support of Australia, and many of the countries that did not support American in Iraq as well. This is because North Korea can be seen as a bigger threat then Saddam Hussien. And there is already a lot of evidence of weapons of mass destruction.

    Just food for thought.
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    From the Financial Times:

    Top Chinese general warns US over attack
    By Alexandra Harney in Beijing and Demetri Sevastopulo and Edward Alden in Washington
    Published: July 14 2005 21:59 | Last updated: July 15 2005 00:03

    China is prepared to use nuclear weapons against the US if it is attacked by Washington during a confrontation over Taiwan, a Chinese general said on Thursday.


    “If the Americans draw their missiles and position-guided ammunition on to the target zone on China's territory, I think we will have to respond with nuclear weapons,” said General Zhu Chenghu.

    Gen Zhu was speaking at a function for foreign journalists organised, in part, by the Chinese government. He added that China's definition of its territory included warships and aircraft.

    “If the Americans are determined to interfere [then] we will be determined to respond,” said Gen Zhu, who is also a professor at China's National Defence University.

    “We . . . will prepare ourselves for the destruction of all of the cities east of Xian. Of course the Americans will have to be prepared that hundreds . . . of cities will be destroyed by the Chinese.”

    Gen Zhu is a self-acknowledged “hawk” who has warned that China could strike the US with long-range missiles. But his threat to use nuclear weapons in a conflict over Taiwan is the most specific by a senior Chinese official in nearly a decade.

    However, some US-based China experts cautioned that Gen Zhu probably did not represent the mainstream People's Liberation Army view.

    “He is running way beyond his brief on what China might do in relation to the US if push comes to shove,” said one expert with knowledge of Gen Zhu. “Nobody who is cleared for information on Chinese war scenarios is going to talk like this,” he added.

    Gen Zhu's comments come as the Pentagon prepares to brief Congress next Monday on its annual report on the Chinese military, which is expected to take a harder line than previous years. They are also likely to fuel the mounting anti-China sentiment on Capitol Hill.

    In recent months, a string of US officials, including Donald Rumsfeld, defence secretary, have raised concerns about China's military rise. The Pentagon on Thursday declined to comment on “hypothetical scenarios”.

    Rick Fisher, a former senior US congressional official and an authority on the Chinese military, said the specific nature of the threat “is a new addition to China's public discourse”. China's official doctrine has called for no first use of nuclear weapons since its first atomic test in 1964. But Gen Zhu is not the first Chinese official to refer to the possibility of using such weapons first in a conflict over Taiwan.

    Chas Freeman, a former US assistant secretary of defence, said in 1996 that a PLA official had told him China could respond in kind to a nuclear strike by the US in the event of a conflict with Taiwan. The official is believed to have been Xiong Guangkai, now the PLA's deputy chief of general staff.

    Gen Zhu said his views did not represent official Chinese policy and he did not anticipate war with the US.

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    As China opens its boarders more and more and shifts from hard core communism to a more capitalistic society the entire balance of global power will be greatly effected.

    Take for example their oil imports. Some articles I have read have suggested that China imports roughly 32% of its oil usage and can be expected to double that by 2010 and that their projected oil consumption is growing by more than 7.5% a year, which is seven times that of the United States. Throw in a population of 1.3 billion and you have not only a dramatically expanding economy, but a huge population that will get accustom to "western" amenities and start to consume more and more luxuries (which may result in increased exports from American factories to full fill China’s growing appetite).

    With all their growth and potential it will only be a matter of time before they start taking a more and more vested interest in the "global game" of positioning; and like many countries they will be looking out for Number 1. In my opinion, given their many years as a communist country a lot of their ideologies will be deeply routed despite the dramatic thrust towards capitalism and all the social reforms associated with it. These deeply routed ideologies will most likely give them a vastly different approach and outlook to their development of foreign policies than that of countries with a history of democracy.

    How things develop with North Korea, in my opinion, is going to set the stage for China’s involvement on a global political level.
    Will they aid North Korea and bring it a peaceful conclusion diplomatically?
    Will the side with Western powers and pressure N. Korea into radical reforms?
    Will they stand back and let the North slog it out with the South and West only to reap their own benefits when things are all said and done?

    It sounds like this General Zhu Chenghu is a bit of a rogue, and as the article suggests, does not old the same views and the mainstay players within China’s political community; nor is he in a position to be dictating or forming foreign policy (thankfully!). Perhaps China is letting him talk big in hopes that the global community might approach China with caution when it enters the world stage. (Really, is it any different than how the Allies used Patton and his reputation against the Germans during the build up to D-day?)

    How many countries could even suggest throwing a Nuke towards the United States (let alone enough to level a few hundred cities) without being laughed at by the rest of the world. You can bet that even if Zhu is talking the talk the world is going to stand up and take notice! And that might be exactly what China wants.

    But then again, my opinion has been off the mark before. I guess we'll all just have to wait and see, and hope for the best!
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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    "The North Koreans have learned how to use irrationality as a bargaining tool," a senior American official said Thursday evening. "We can't tell what they are doing."
    The N. Koreans are not irrational...they know EXACTLY what they're doing, and if people in Washington would pay more attention to political scientists then they would have known this was coming...firefighter26 mentioned the poli. sci. professor predicting all of this...mine did too...

    Now, I definitely support our President...but I also think that this could be a big problem if Bush isn't VERY careful. We may be the hegemon, but that can change if we try to spread ourselves too thin. The UN will fix it??? Uhhhh... I'm a doubter...I don't think much of the UN, and despite the fact that it probably wouldn't exist w/o us, I don't think the UN really gives a crap about the US as long as they still get their money.

    This is what concerns me...and I quote from the NY Times, "The Uses of American Power," 2 Mar 2002:

    ...[A] superpower cannot protect itself without the help of other countries. Much of the world already resents the United States because of its size and wealth. Even our allies hate being made to feel as if they live on a planet in which only one country's opinion matters.

    Things may be pretty much unipolar right now, but that could change if we get everyone ticked off at us, and then we'll have problems and so will the rest of the world.

    One article quoted a Chinese General as saying that they would use nuclear weapons against us...OF COURSE THEY WILL...they're still ticked about the economic sanctions that we imposed in the years following 1949.

    NK MAY give up their nuclear programs in return for aid??? BS...they are desperate for funds in their current economic state...what they MAY do is go ahead and keep some nuclear weapons to sell later. Paying them to quit their programs would only be a short-term fix, if even a fix at all.
    Last edited by Co11FireGal; 07-15-2005 at 02:59 AM.
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    26's post is very interesting. But I think there is one major assumption in it, though. If China is going to evolve as a major economic power, they will have to move dramatically towards capitalism (as they are now). But, there has never been a country with a succesful, capitalistic economy that is also run by a dictatorship. That will prove to be China's undoing, as it was for the USSR.

    China's threat of using nuclear weapons against has little to do with 1949. It has everything to do with them taking over a free and sovereign nation-Taiwan-and sucking it up forever. They know that most of the world is against it, so they are now throwing the nuke threar around. I doubt that it would deter us from defending Taiwan. I also doubt that China will go through with it. The major portion of their economic growth can be attributed to the US...as foolish as that is for the US.

    North Korea is going to try to get aid in exchange for allegedly "phasing out" or reducing their nuclear weapon capability. The problem for them will be that the Pres. is going to go for it. Clinton made love to the North Koreans for 8 years and threw billions of dollars at them every time they started crying. Its not happening this time.

    But we have plenty of allies in that region who do not want nuclear weapons in the hands of a crazy person either.

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