North Korea Nuke Test Fans Fears in Asia




 
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Boots
 
October 9th, 2006  
Team Infidel
 
 

Topic: North Korea Nuke Test Fans Fears in Asia


http://apnews.myway.com/article/20061009/D8KL0PSO0.html

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) - The specter of an Asian atomic arms race loomed over the region Monday after communist North Korea shocked its neighbors by announcing it conducted its first-ever nuclear test.
Raising the nuclear stakes from Pyongyang to Tokyo would put some of the world's biggest cities in the shadow of atomic weapons. It might also put nuclear arms in the hands of previously reluctant powers like South Korea or Taiwan.
On a wider scale, North Korea's dabbling with atomic weapons could spur other nuclear powers, including the United States, India or China, to resume their own nuclear testing, a move that raises the risk of proliferation.
"If the test was true, it will severely endanger not only Northeast Asia but also the world stability," Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Aso said.
Officials from Washington to Seoul had warned of an arms race even before North Korea said it fulfilled its threat to join the elite club of nuclear powers.
South Korea fears Japan would be the first to go nuclear, triggering countermoves by suspicious Asian neighbors in a cascade that upends regional security.
"There's no equalizer like the bomb," said Peter Beck, head of the Seoul office of the International Crisis Group think tank. "It's safe to say it will lead to an arms race - will push all the governments in the region to increase defense spending."
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld warned Thursday that allowing North Korea to test a bomb would provoke far-reaching fallout.
"The lack of cohesion and the inability to marshal sufficient leverage to prevent North Korea from proceeding toward a nuclear program ... it will kind of lower the threshold, and other countries will step forward with it," Rumsfeld said.
The current North Korean nuclear standoff dates to 2002, when the United States accused North Korea of conducting a secret nuclear program in violation of a 1994 agreement.
North Korea announced Monday it had safely conducted an underground test, claiming the development "will contribute to defending the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and in the area around it."
But a top concern is the possibility of North Korea mounting bombs atop missiles aimed at Seoul, Tokyo or even parts of the United States.
While the North's ability to accurately deliver a warhead toward its neighbors is in doubt, the communist nation shocked the world in 1998 by firing a long-range ballistic missile over Japan into the Pacific Ocean.
In July it test-launched seven missiles, although a long-range rocket believed capable of reaching American shores exploded shortly after liftoff.
Abhorrence of nuclear weapons runs deep in Japan, where memories of the U.S. atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki are burned into the collective consciousness.
But just last month, a think tank run by former Prime Minister Yasuhiro Nakasone proposed in a policy paper that Japan "consider the nuclear option."
Tokyo weighed atomic weapons back in 1995 to counter the threat of a nuclear-armed North Korea. But the government ultimately rejected the idea because it might deprive Japan of U.S. military protection and alarm neighboring countries.
So far, Japan's post-World War II pacifist Constitution keeps its overseas strike ability in check; it has no aircraft carriers, bombers or long-range missiles. But Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, a staunch North Korea critic, wants to amend the Constitution to give Japan's military greater leeway in international action.
If Japan decides to go nuclear, it wouldn't take long to convert the nation's huge stockpile of plutonium from the spent fuel of its nuclear power plants.
That would undoubtedly rattle China and South Korea, which have viewed Tokyo with suspicion since their neighbor invaded and colonized them in the early 20th century.
Both South Korea and Japan have largely relied on the U.S. nuclear umbrella as insurance against attack. But when faced with the verified presence of atomic bombs on the other side of the border, South Korea may consider arming itself.
In 1991, U.S. tactical nuclear weapons were removed from South Korea as part of arms reductions following the Cold War, according to South Korean defense experts. In the same year, the two Koreas signed an accord pledging not to deploy, develop or possess atomic bombs on the peninsula.
But back in the 1970s, Seoul was actively pursuing its own atomic program.
Fearful of a regional nuclear arms race, the United States forced then-dictator Park Chung-hee to drop the plan, partly by threatening economic penalties for a nation that was then poor and still recovering from the 1950-53 Korean War.
Shen Dingli, the executive deputy director of the Institute of International Issues at Fudan University in China, thinks Japan and South Korea are unlikely to seek nuclear arms now for many of the same reasons.
"This is bound to erode their alliance with the United States, thus subjecting the East Asian security situation headed by the U.S. to even greater challenges," he wrote in a report on North Korea's latest threat. "The chances of Japan and South Korea developing their own nuclear programs are not great."
But other countries might still use North Korea's test as an excuse to build atomic arsenals, says Ralph Cossa, president of the Honolulu-based Pacific Forum.
"If North Korea is 'justified' because it faces a threat from a bully superpower, Taiwan can make the same argument," Cossa said. "Let's not overlook Southeast Asia either. Burma is talking about obtaining a research reactor and both Indonesia and Vietnam are exploring nuclear energy options, although these dominos are a long way from falling," he added.
October 9th, 2006  
Damien435
 
 
Well, I talked to my cousin about planning a trip to South Korea so that she could visit the city she was born in and I could visit the battlefields where my grandfather fought 50 years ago, but this is not how I wanted it to happen.
October 9th, 2006  
The Other Guy
 
 
This is very unnerving. WWIII just got closer...
--
Boots
October 9th, 2006  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Other Guy
This is very unnerving. WWIII just got closer...
Sadly this is true but then it was hardly unexpected, unfortunately there is very little that can be done about it especially given that Pakestan, India and Isreal have already pretty much killed any treaties on this matter.
October 10th, 2006  
WarMachine
 
 
A nuclear weapons test doesn't necessarily mean that we're drawing closer towards conflict, it means that north korea is getting more desperate and it needs world attention focused on them. Iran gets the headlines since they're right in the middle of oil and the problematic mid east. North korea has really nothing to offer and so we ignore them even when they test WMDs. I just don't get it, we invade iraq because our prez thinks there might have been WMDs, but we don't do a thing when NK tests WMDs with proof for all who are concerned.
October 10th, 2006  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarMachine
A nuclear weapons test doesn't necessarily mean that we're drawing closer towards conflict, it means that north korea is getting more desperate and it needs world attention focused on them. Iran gets the headlines since they're right in the middle of oil and the problematic mid east. North korea has really nothing to offer and so we ignore them even when they test WMDs. I just don't get it, we invade iraq because our prez thinks there might have been WMDs, but we don't do a thing when NK tests WMDs with proof for all who are concerned.
I would normally agree but North Korea has been "rattling the sabre" for quite a while now, combine this with their rather unusual actions regarding South Korea and Japan (kidnapping, tunnels etc.etc.) I really dont think NK having nukes is a step toward world peace their leader is just too unstable to be ignored.
October 10th, 2006  
5.56X45mm
 
 
Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition


WWIII is about to start folks. Get your tickets now for those front row seats for the end of the world.
October 10th, 2006  
Easy-8
 
 
I was watching TV last night when I heard about this. I was speechless. I was just as scared as most of you were of the idea of that nutcase Kim having such a weapon. I thought things couldn't get worse with Iran acting the way it is now but oh how wrong I was. I didn't sleep at all because of this.

Kim is 100% pure wacko but he is a smart guy and knows if he does use them he will get his country and playboy lifestyle turned to glass. However, this does not mean he won't use them. I have seen many idiotic people duing my 17 years of life who will start fights with people who could easily kick living outta them, they have to know they are gonna lose but they do it anyway. So just because Kim knows he will be blown to hell doesn't mean he won't do it anyway. He many try to launch a invasion of the ROK. I assure you the west will mount a reponse. We would be pretty hard pressed to do this because we have so many troops in Iraq. The USA is a bit tied up in Iraq. with nukes in his hands Kim is even more crazy. Nukes have a major effect on people and often trick them into thinking they are untouchable.

The ROK from what I hear has a very good military. The North has outdated gear and suffers from a major lack of fuel (just ask those who fought Kampfgruppe Peiper what lack of fuel will do to a offensive!) this is one of the biggest logistics problems one can think of. And please remember... The NKPA (North Korean People's Army) is opressive to its people and if you take a good look a history a military that does such things (with a few noteable exceptions) is very poor in combat proformance on the battlefield with other nations.

I now think it was a mistake to go to Iraq because it gave nations like North Korea and Iran a lot more freedom to act up and expect no punishment. Kim could be making a last gasp for life. Dying people have been known to have one last burst of energy - This could be the beginning of the end for the DPRK or the start of a real nasty war...
What is really bad is we got a real insane freak who has a nuke aimed at Seoul and Tokyo (worlds biggest city) plus other major cities with a population exceeding 1 million.

How effective do yall think the NKPA is anyway? They seemed pretty effective in 1950 when they launched there attack on June 25th, at least until Inchon. based on what I have read of them today I think they are about as effective as the Saddam's forces in Kuwait in 1991...
October 10th, 2006  
Damien435
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WarMachine
A nuclear weapons test doesn't necessarily mean that we're drawing closer towards conflict, it means that north korea is getting more desperate and it needs world attention focused on them. Iran gets the headlines since they're right in the middle of oil and the problematic mid east. North korea has really nothing to offer and so we ignore them even when they test WMDs. I just don't get it, we invade iraq because our prez thinks there might have been WMDs, but we don't do a thing when NK tests WMDs with proof for all who are concerned.
One word: China.

Get it now?
October 10th, 2006  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Damien435
One word: China.

Get it now?
I am hoping China is going to step up the own pressure on NK as I doubt they are enthusiastic about a nuclear exchange on their border anymore than any other country.
My personal opinion is that China is pretty much the only country that can solve this one after all what can the UN do starve other than them into submission with sanctions, to late for that, they certainly wont back down to the US and any invasion or bombing of nuclear targets will just lead to radiation throughout the area (China, Japan and South Korea) whether by NK retaliation or facilities leaking.
 


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