Is North Korea's Kim Jong Il the Biggest Threat In the Far East?

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posted on Jul, 7 2006 @ 04:19 PM
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North Korea shares a 750 mile border with China. It has a common border with South Korea extending about 250 miles across the peninsula. This is the DMZ - Demilitarized Zone. An artefact of the Korean War Truce of 1953. NK also has a 12 mile border with Russia. North Korea has 46,000 square miles, about the size of New York.

The CIA estimates NK’s population at 23 million. (SK 48 m.) It also says the NK is amongst the poorest nations, with an estimated GDP per person of $1,700 (SK $20,000); the nation’s GDP of $40 billion (SK $800 b.). NK’s about the same GDP as Rhode Island or Maine. New York by comparison has 20 million people and a $896 billion GDP.

North Korea women have 2.1 children. Infant mortality is 21 per 1000 live births. Very bad. Life expectancy is 71 years. Fairly good. Which means if you can survive the first year of life, you have a good chance of living to a fair old age. Keep in mind life expectancy means that statistical point when half the population has died. Half are still alive!

North Korea has no oil; it imports about 25,000 barrels per day, mostly from China and the remainder from Russia. NK does not import any natural gas. That means it has none or next to none plastics industry. NK has barely any electricity surplus. China takes 45% of NK exports, South Korea takes 20% and Japan, 12%. Mostly agricultural and small manufactured products. Imports come from China, 32%, Thailand, 10% and Japan, 5%.

You tell me how a $40 billion enterprise can threaten a $12 trillion enterprise? I mean seriously? I mean the payroll of our 36,000 troops in South Korea is about $1 b. a year and the cost to keep them there, a like amount. We are spending the equivalent of 5% of North Korea’s GDP posting just 2 divisions in South Korea.

So I ask again, how does a $40 b. country threaten (realistically) a $12 t. country? Or are we getting a Crawford size load of Texas BS?

You tell me.


[edit on 7/7/2006 by donwhite]
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[edit on 7-7-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]




posted on Jul, 7 2006 @ 04:47 PM
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Here's a handy little graphic showing their military strength:



IMO, the notion that they pose a threat to the US is laughable.



posted on Jul, 7 2006 @ 04:53 PM
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like in the 1984 book, we westerners have to always have an enemy. who and what he really is we only get from the news.

of course he is no threat to the usa, but he is a threat to s korea, that is why your army are there. military is big money and the usa army are in so many countries in this world, and is probably growing.

also he is a threat to the stability of the region, and to the world, because he is backed by china and friends with russia.

[edit on 7-7-2006 by andy1033]



posted on Jul, 7 2006 @ 05:12 PM
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Originally posted by andy1033
of course he is no threat to the usa, but he is a threat to s korea,


Taking the recent situation as an example of stability in the region:


U.S. Readies System For Missile Detection
By Thomas E. Ricks and Joohee Cho
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, June 21, 2006; Page A15

In Seoul, a South Korean official said his government is skeptical of U.S. intelligence indicating that North Korea is preparing to launch a new, larger version of the Taepodong-2 missile capable of hitting the West Coast of the United States. He said his government is not particularly alarmed by the situation and "doesn't understand why there is such fuss in other countries on this."
Source.


If South Korea doesn't appear to be worried, then why is the US?

[edit on 7/7/06 by Implosion]



posted on Jul, 7 2006 @ 05:23 PM
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posted by Implosion

Here's a handy little graphic showing their military strength:
IMO, the notion that they pose a threat to the US is laughable.



Well done, Mr. Implosion. The numbers of soldiers, sailors and airmen seems consistent with other things we know about North Korea. The Army is the largest employer. Once upon a time, the Post Office was the biggest employer in the US.

OTOH, the “3,500 Battle Tanks” could be misleading. It does not say “Main Battle” Tank. Andy Rooney reported 3 weeks ago the US had 8,000 M1A1 Abrams tanks. MBTs. I’d guess most of the NK are T72s. And I’d also guess that half of them don’t run - for spare parts - and the other have little or no fuel. I’m likewise skeptical that the 590 “combat” aircraft includes any later than MiG 17s or MiG19s. As for the NK Navy, 88 submarines makes me think mostly of Japan’s 2 man subs that attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941.

As for the range ascribed to the TD-2 missile, 7,500 miles, I just scoff at that. I do not dispute the planners of the TD-2 meant for it to have that kind of range, but all missiles are not created equal, and the son may be a mere shadow of the father, as in the current Bush43 case.

Well, Implosion, while I have high regard for the sources, especially for Jane’s which I say is the oldest such private organization in the world, I can’t see NK posing a threat. Not on 25,000 bbls a day oil imports.



posted on Jul, 7 2006 @ 05:34 PM
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Originally posted by Implosion

If South Korea doesn't appear to be worried, then why is the US?



its to with the fact that the only danger n korea holds is to the south koreans. america needs countires in asia(remember they first helped the south because they feared the domino effect of communism), to have some sort of hold on the area, like taiwan. if s korea ever gets taken by the north america will loose a country in a key position. of course i do not think n korea has what it takes to take the south, but if america attacks the north, the only place the north can attack is the south.

i think the south now understand they are the only country now threatened, and are now reanalysing the situation.

[edit on 7-7-2006 by andy1033]

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[edit on 7-7-2006 by DontTreadOnMe]



posted on Jul, 7 2006 @ 05:44 PM
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posted by andy1033

Of course he is no threat to the USA, but he is a threat to South Korea . .



I’m sure the planners know any NK incursion into SK would be a re-run of 1950 and 1951. I had the good fortune to be stationed at Kimpo, K14, 3 months after the shooting. From late 1953 to late 1954. I visited Seoul many times. It was a wreck. The NK had taken all the city’s electric wiring, the street car rails, and every electric motor over 1/4th hp. The national capitol was gutted, burned out although the outer walls were standing.

OTOH, the people were great! They were resilient. All they needed was a little bit of help and they were up and all about the business of living. No thanks to the United States, the SK voted for a democratically chosen president in 2000, for the first time. The SK are, economically, I believe in the top 10 of industrialized nations. It is probably true, that SK could “buy” NK if Kim Jong Il would put it on eBay.




posted by Implosion



U.S. Readies System For Missile Detection

By Thomas E. Ricks
In Seoul, a South Korean official said his government is skeptical of U.S. intelligence indicating that North Korea is preparing to launch a new, larger version of the Taepodong-2 missile capable of hitting the West Coast of the United States. He said his government is not particularly alarmed by the situation and "doesn't understand why there is such fuss in other countries on this."


If South Korea doesn't appear to be worried, then why is the US? [Edited by Don W]



I have already accused the Bush Gang of Four of conjuring this “scare” for electoral reasons only. As they did in 2002, again in 2004 and are now trying once again to parlay the Nine Eleven Event into yet one more victory in 2006.



[edit on 7/7/2006 by donwhite]





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