Author Topic: I'm afraid of North Korea  (Read 2526 times)

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Offline barbie

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Re: I'm afraid of North Korea
« Reply #60 on: January 12, 2018, 01:10:37 am »
Or, and hear me out, kidnap all their unicorns. Okay, I guess there's really nothing to hear me out on, that is the whole of it.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/nov/30/unicorn-lair-discovered-north-korea

(Seriously though, that is the sort of government we are dealing with unfortunately. Not that I am going to throw too many stones in this house made out of glass. Also unfortunately, it is the North Korean people who have to live that reality on a daily basis. :/)

N. Korea leaders look crazy, but actually they are very rational.

Another story:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/dec/05/north-korea

BTW, Many people in the 21st century still believe or like to believe that Jesus was born on December 25, about 2,000 years ago without the agency of a human father. I mean literally.

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Offline barbie

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Re: I'm afraid of North Korea
« Reply #61 on: January 12, 2018, 01:48:41 am »
Too bad south Korea is attached to north Korea. It would save a lot of time and stress to send a couple of missiles to north Korea and turn it into a huge sheet of glass. But there's no way to do that without killing everyone in south Korea at the same time.

Yes. Some of the U.S. leaders once thought like you. For example, General Douglas MacArthur who insisted on nuking northern China, and even a part of Russia in 1950. But it is not so simple in the real world, as recently demonstrated in the Iraq war from 2003 to 2011.

That kind of simplistic optimism has usually resulted in unexpected consequences, sometimes tragically. For example, a crucial moment during the Korean war in 1950:



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Offline Roll

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Re: I'm afraid of North Korea
« Reply #62 on: January 12, 2018, 01:54:21 am »
N. Korea leaders look crazy, but actually they are very rational.

Another story:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/dec/05/north-korea

BTW, Many people in the 21st century still believe or like to believe that Jesus was born on December 25, about 2,000 years ago without the agency of a human father. I mean literally.

barbie~~

I actually had read the correction when it first came out, but was mostly just making a small joke with an addendum so didn't bother bringing it up. Anyway, it doesn't really change the main gist of the biggest issue in that North Korea used folklore to make a claim about rightful leadership of the peninsula. It'd be like someone in the U.K. claiming to be the new king of Britain because they pulled a sword from a stone. Or perhaps more directly, similar to strange justifications Saddam Hussein used for Iraq's supposed rightful rule of Kuwait to justify their invasion at the start of the Gulf War. (Which while didn't go quite so far as mythical beasts, it was quite creative.)

Also, the same can be said for the Nazis regarding leaders being rational. They knew exactly what they doing with their anti-Jewish(/communist/black/gay/etc.) propaganda, and few of the leadership were probably true believers(won't get into it here, but they were some pretty weird people in general, just not in ways people would think they'd be). Which is really the problem: Someone doesn't have to be irrational in order to use irrational claims to reach their goals. That irrationality then permeates a country (not always the people, but certainly the government in these circumstances), and the leadership has to continue to use that irrationality in order to keep the ball rolling. In essence, they are like people who tell one lie, then another lie to cover for that lie, and so on and so on until everything they say is a lie. Except in this case, nuclear weapons are involved. All it takes is one true believer, one fanatic, in the wrong place at the wrong time and that irrationality, fostered by people who are themselves perfectly rational, can create untold destruction.

(Though I would say the comparison to modern mass Christian belief is entirely unjust. One is a matter of faith by individuals regarding the metaphysical, the other a matter of deception to propagate political power in order to abuse potential faith. If the Pope today tried to claim political control over Europe again using Christian doctrine, that would be the analog. Basically, my issue has nothing to do with whether or not individual North Koreans believe in Kirin or not, and I would never begrudge such a belief. Unless it's related to a certain belief created by a certain science fiction author. That one I begrudge.)
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Online Deborah

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I'm afraid of North Korea
« Reply #63 on: January 12, 2018, 02:28:54 am »
I
(Though I would say the comparison to modern mass Christian belief is entirely unjust. One is a matter of faith by individuals regarding the metaphysical, the other a matter of deception to propagate political power in order to abuse potential faith. If the Pope today tried to claim political control over Europe again using Christian doctrine, that would be the analog. Basically, my issue has nothing to do with whether or not individual North Koreans believe in Kirin or not, and I would never begrudge such a belief. Unless it's related to a certain belief created by a certain science fiction author. That one I begrudge.)
Really?  The claim today, in the USA, is that God has personally selected Trump to be president and that opposition to Trump is opposition to God!

This from one who has spoken publicly at the White House.
 http://www.newsweek.com/barack-obama-trump-paula-white-663088

This from a former member of Congress.
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/293884-michele-bachmann-god-picked-trump-to-be-the-gop-nominee

We live in a glass house when it comes to believing fantastical things.



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Offline Roll

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Re: I'm afraid of North Korea
« Reply #64 on: January 12, 2018, 07:28:09 am »
Really?  The claim today, in the USA, is that God has personally selected Trump to be president and that opposition to Trump is opposition to God!

That is just typical rhetoric for people supporting their position using the will of God, or citing divine support for the reason things went their way, like people winning a high school football game and saying "God was with us!". No one is using divine right as the reason Trump is (and is "rightfully") President in any meaningful capacity, or even making claims in a non-religious sense such as by fabricating documents he is the great great great great grandson of George Washington and Betsy Ross, but yet that is the very sort of thing Pyongyang has done with their propaganda of this sort. (I was being jokey about the unicorn aspect, but it is hardly an isolated occurrence.)

God as an intangible inspiration or guiding force in the modern world is simply not the same thing as "Give us South Korea, we found the mythical steed of an ancient emperor", and it is a mistake to let any disdain for Trump or the role of religion in today's society to cloud the very dangerous difference between those two things. At no point is "God chose such and such President" ever going to mean the difference in proactive use of nuclear weapons, it just won't(excepting someone with a severe mental health issue that manages to fly under the radar, but that is a different matter entirely). With North Korea, the stuff they claim about the Kims and with things such as the Kirin lair, very well might, and perfectly rational (in the not mentally ill sense) people indoctrinated by such a government may act in extraordinarily irrational ways.

Addendum, just looked at the Bachmann article and she is being misrepresented by an attention grabbing headline. I'm not defending her or making any political commentary, but that not a a literal chosen savior view she expressed. It was clearly just an attempt to build up support for the nominee at the time, and not remotely in the same league as official statements by a governing body.
- Ellie

8/30/17 - First Therapy! The road begins in earnest.
10/20/17 - First coming out (to my father)!
12/16/17 - BEGAN HRT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2/7/18 - Began laser on face!
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Do you ever wonder if the human race could survive if sharks and alligators successfully mated? And learned to fly helicopters?


Online Julia1996

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Re: I'm afraid of North Korea
« Reply #65 on: January 12, 2018, 08:07:00 am »
Really?  The claim today, in the USA, is that God has personally selected Trump to be president and that opposition to Trump is opposition to God!

This from one who has spoken publicly at the White House.
 http://www.newsweek.com/barack-obama-trump-paula-white-663088

This from a former member of Congress.
http://thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/293884-michele-bachmann-god-picked-trump-to-be-the-gop-nominee

We live in a glass house when it comes to believing fantastical things.



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When I see stuff like this it makes me think the handmaids tale isn't so far fetched. It's a series on hulu that's very scary. A world where religion has taken over and "gender treachery " is punishable by death.
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Offline barbie

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Re: I'm afraid of North Korea
« Reply #66 on: January 12, 2018, 03:23:59 pm »
(Though I would say the comparison to modern mass Christian belief is entirely unjust. One is a matter of faith by individuals regarding the metaphysical, the other a matter of deception to propagate political power in order to abuse potential faith. If the Pope today tried to claim political control over Europe again using Christian doctrine, that would be the analog. Basically, my issue has nothing to do with whether or not individual North Koreans believe in Kirin or not, and I would never begrudge such a belief. Unless it's related to a certain belief created by a certain science fiction author. That one I begrudge.)

A little bit out of the topic.

Of course, most democratic countries separate religion from politics in ruling, while allowing religious freedom. But you look at modern history, religion still is critical in politics. For example, the sudden establishment of Israel within the territory of Palestine (de facto justified by the Bible) in 1948, the subsequent tragic wars and conflicts in the Middle East and even within the U.S., and the recent President Trump's Jerusalem decision in December 2017.

I am sure and agree that N. Korea is a totalitarian country, sometimes fabricating myths and miracles to brainwash their people. The mindset of the leaders and people there is like those in the 17th century Chosun dynasty. But, this is not unique to N. Korea. Around the world, political leaders sometimes do lie to justify their action (e.g., the operation Menu in Cambodia in 1969 by Nixon), and nationalism is still widespread and an important tool for political leaders to manipulate and unify their people against enemies (as in the recent territorial conflict between Japan and China).

Personally, I believe the western liberal democracy, in therms of Karl Popper ("The open society and its enemies") and Friedrich Hayek ("The road to serfdom"), is superior to any social system based on totalitarian communism or religious dogma, and S. Korea chose the liberal democracy in its constitution, at least on paper. Karl Popper never justified violence or war as the best solution for solving social problems.

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Offline Roll

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Re: I'm afraid of North Korea
« Reply #67 on: January 12, 2018, 04:00:58 pm »
I'll avoid the Israel issue, I could go on for hours about it. ;D (Nothing anti-Israeli or anti-Palestinian, but more about the interplay of politics and ethnocentric attitudes combined with good old fashioned vendettas and a whole lot of guilt.)

Mostly I just draw a clear line between a belief, and a political manipulation of belief (political in a very official sense in this context). When you reference the virgin birth, that is simply a belief, even if that belief influences politics(voting for a candidate because someone believes they are pro issues they consider important for religious reasons is not really any different than someone voting for a candidate because of environmental issues, fiscal issues, etc.). No matter how unlikely or irrational something may seem to us, it is of course not right to condemn anyone's belief. When Imperial Japanese pilots were told to suicide bomb targets because the emperors were descendants of Amaterasu, that was manipulation of belief. Japanese citizens having believed the imperial line were the offspring of a Goddess is something that should certainly not be criticized in the same vein as the virgin birth, but yet the actual action by the Emperors to utilize/manipulate that belief very much should be. (Or to go back to the Pope and in time a little, when kings and emperors in Europe were expressly given power at the behest of the church and the papacy was viewed as the ultimate political office, because the Pope was viewed as the instrument of God.) And while this does hinge on drawing a further distinction between an individual action even by a government official and an entirely official political action, I personally think that is a distinction worth drawing.

(I'm also deliberately avoiding the handful of modern theocracies in this context, because that is a whole big mess of its own which I might get myself banned for discussing. ;D)

TLDR(not that it was that long): Individual belief on a micro level(even micro-political) in anything should be held as a human right, even when not rational. Belief manipulated or abused on a macro level(particularly macro-political) in an official capacity, not so much. The connotations are different, even as there is certainly interplay between the micro and macro.
- Ellie

8/30/17 - First Therapy! The road begins in earnest.
10/20/17 - First coming out (to my father)!
12/16/17 - BEGAN HRT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2/7/18 - Began laser on face!
2/9/18 - Two more down! 99% out to family and friends!

Do you ever wonder if the human race could survive if sharks and alligators successfully mated? And learned to fly helicopters?


Offline Cassi

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Re: I'm afraid of North Korea
« Reply #68 on: January 12, 2018, 04:16:21 pm »
Yes. Some of the U.S. leaders once thought like you. For example, General Douglas MacArthur who insisted on nuking northern China, and even a part of Russia in 1950. But it is not so simple in the real world, as recently demonstrated in the Iraq war from 2003 to 2011.

That kind of simplistic optimism has usually resulted in unexpected consequences, sometimes tragically. For example, a crucial moment during the Korean war in 1950:



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The Frozen Chosen during the Freez'n season - The most tactical withdrawal in military history.  Marines of the 1st Marine Division (20,000 men) surrounded by Chinese forces (200,000).  The US Government had already written the Marines off. 

While not a victory in the classic sense, the withdrawal from the Chosin Reservoir is revered as a high point in the history of the US Marine Corps.

In the fighting, the Marines and other UN troops effectively destroyed or crippled seven Chinese divisions which attempted to block their progress. Marine losses in the campaign numbered 836 killed and 12,000 wounded. Most of the latter were frostbite injuries inflicted by the severe cold and winter weather. US Army losses numbered around 2,000 killed and 1,000 wounded. Precise casualties for the Chinese are not known but are estimated at 35,000 killed. Upon reaching Hungnam, the veterans of Chosin Reservoir were evacuated as part of the large amphibious operation to rescue UN troops from northeastern Korea.
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Offline Jenntrans

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Re: I'm afraid of North Korea
« Reply #69 on: February 01, 2018, 02:23:15 pm »
I was stationed in South Korea for over three years. I moved around a lot. Kim Il-sung was the leader up until I left. I worked with North Koreans that had come down during the war and to hear the horror stories they had to tell... I can't go into too much detail but there was a soldier that defected to the north because of a girl and he came back in a body bag. I used to watch Korean TV and with an antenna I could catch North Korean TV and South Korean broadcasts were on par with the 90's as much as American shows and often times more interesting than AFKN because that was only one channel. Seeing Pyongyang compared to Seoul was like looking 40 years in the past. there are no hamburgers or used to not be in NOKO because Kim invented "meat between two breads" the Kims are always fatter than the people. Has anyone else noticed this? He and the family and or the elites on a sliding scale have food yet the people suffer malnutrition.

OK what about Otto Warmbier? What should be the punishment of stealing a poster from a hotel? Yes there should be consequences such as a fine because you are breaking the law. Maybe even a 30 day jail sentence if the country is hardcore but how many years of hard labor? He was sent back because they the DPRK didn't want an American prisoner dying in their custody. But he still died. How many North Korean people are dying that we don't even hear about? Unfortunately we will never hear about them. Only their families will grieve privately. If you cause a fuss what will the Kim regime do? Send the whole family to a work camp? Even in the nineties you protected the defectors identity because the regime would punish the family. Mr. Warmbier died as a direct cause of North Korean Prison or work camp which is one in the same.

Actually Barbie is right because they are smart. they have cut off all information from the outside world such as internet, broadcasts and so on. the people hear only what the government tells them. But I will say that the ones that did defect, we took them in, fed them hamburgers and fried chicken and saw to all their maladies. To hear what they had to go through to get where they were was horrendous. Honestly they had no idea but was only following a "fairytale" so their situation must have been really bad to listen to someone else about the free world.

Has anyone ever heard the term, "Drunk with Power"? That is what the Kim Dynasty reminds me of. But a lot of North Korean defectors are the equivalent of Witness Protection for folks in the US that need protection from far reaching arms. Just a thinker there.

Offline barbie

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Re: I'm afraid of North Korea
« Reply #70 on: February 03, 2018, 03:08:19 pm »
I was stationed in South Korea for over three years.

Yes. As I know, there are a few Susans members here who once stationed in S. Korea. Seoul is a very cold city in winter, and a humid and hot city in summer. I hate the climate there.

My first son will go to a military training camp next week for obligatory military service next week. He will be in the army for 18 months. Although living conditions in the S. Korean army have been greatly enhanced during the past 30 years, I still worry about my son. All parents who have sons face the same feeling as me. He may be dispatched in an area near the DMZ, which is notorious for severe winter weather. Also I sometimes think about a possible war or a skirmish. I will go with him next week by flight, train and then taxi to the camp. One good thing is that he will certainly come home with a stronger spirit (he is now playing computer games every day).

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Online Deborah

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Re: I'm afraid of North Korea
« Reply #71 on: February 03, 2018, 05:22:11 pm »
I can't go into too much detail but there was a soldier that defected to the north because of a girl and he came back in a body bag.
Yes.  That happened when I was there in 1982 and he was in my battalion.  For about a week after he went over he was on the giant loudspeakers reading NK propaganda and calling us things like capitalist running dogs, LOL.  That was good entertainment for us during night ambush patrols in the DMZ.

They made him a captain in the NK Army.  Then in 1986, he reportedly drowned in a swimming accident. 



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Offline Kylo

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Re: I'm afraid of North Korea
« Reply #72 on: February 06, 2018, 07:07:19 am »
It looks to me like what NK wants (and has done for a while now) is to develop enough nukes so that it can eventually march right on in into SK and assimilate it while the rest of the world's countries look on and figure it too much hassle/dangerous to intervene.

Unfortunately the time has passed now where the US (or China etc.) could have intervened before they had nukes. Even worse the last few presidents before this one either tried to bribe NK not to develop nukes, or actually gave them nuclear material - and on every occasion NK took the goodies and pretended not to develop nukes but apparently kept on doing it. They were helped along by a country they are still technically at war at, and everyone put their head in the sand. At no point as far as I know has NK ever really given up on its dream of a single Korea. When that happens they will absorb all the tech and resources of the South.

I hate to say it as I'm not a fan of swanning into other countries and deposing their leaders but they should have been dealt with a long time ago. We knew they were going to be a problem and they get a bigger problem ever year.
I've read a little on NK and there's not much hope of any change coming from within. The population is underfed and and cut off from any mainstream ideas or knowledge from the outside world. Even if they were inclined to revolt against the establishment, the chances they would even want to is thin. The regime is glorified at every opportunity, the outside world demonized, and America is the convenient eternal enemy used to terrify the population with. It's like the ruling family got a copy of Nineteen Eighty-Four and used it as a how-to. When you read the stories or novel accounts of survivors who managed to escape, you realize just how defunct the escapees feel when they enter the outside world and see the Dear Leader is not a literal god and cannot actually hear their every thought. They often they have difficulty adjusting to a new life outside of NK. The only thing they can really do is tell their stories.

The regime has its own population held hostage with literal guns pointed at Seoul's head, and one day it will more than likely attempt an invasion of the South. When that happens, we can either look the other way again and leave SK to its fate, or enter war with the North. But this is a situation that should never have got this far, like a spoiled and violent kid outgrowing its own parents it is going to haunt us. I know the area is one we've never been keen on re-entering but I am sure they will step up their game once they feel even more powerful. Some people seem to be naive enough to think once they get all the nukes they want they will be "placated". I think that is extremely unlikely.

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I'm afraid of North Korea
« Reply #73 on: February 06, 2018, 10:49:35 am »
If they ever do invade South Korea then I’m confident that South Korea would win even if their allies failed to intervene.  It might be costly, but they would win.

The South Korean military is first rate, very well trained, and fully modernized.  Maybe few people know but South Korea sent two full Divisions to Vietnam as our ally during that war, the White Horse and Tiger Divisions, as well as a Marine Brigade and various support units.  Their reputation with the American Army as well as with the enemy was that they were extremely effective and fearsome in combat.  http://talkingproud.us/Military/ROKVIetnam/ROKVIetnamIntro.html

The situation now is entirely different than it was in 1950 when South Korea, as well as the USA, was totally unprepared to defend itself.


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