Not signed in (Sign In)
  1.  (9324.1)
    Just been reading the news about how the Koreas are getting tetchy with one another again,and things are tense over there. I'm wondering what would happen if they decided to nuke each other (does S. Korea have nukes?), and what would happen to the rest of the world if they did. Would we all die of nuclear radiation? Would we get cancer, superpowers and extra limbs? Or would it be like Haiti: watching another country implode, and not really giving a damn?
  2.  (9324.2)
    We didn't all die when Japan got nuked, though I'm not suggesting that the Koreas nuking each other would be a positive thing.
  3.  (9324.3)
    Yeh but aren't the koreas closer to us than Japan?
    •  
      CommentAuthormister hex
    • CommentTimeDec 20th 2010
     (9324.4)
    @ Roo - I don't think it makes much of a difference. The Pacific's pretty big and most of the nukes would be fairly low-yield, so fallout's not going to be the issue it would be for say, Japan, China or any of the regional states. I'm not aware that South Korea is in the Nuclear Club but there ARE some 30 000 U.S. troops stationed not far from the DMZ, so it's safe to say that the American Nuclear Umbrella covers them, as well as South Korea. If the North uses nukes first, (which is possible but in my mind not likely - then again, whaddou I know?), the U.S. would be hard-pressed NOT to retaliate.
    • CommentAuthorRenThing
    • CommentTimeDec 21st 2010
     (9324.5)
    I'm going to assume that we would care, due to the fact that NK has been a pain in the ass of just about everyone, including China, since the Korean War started and nothing gets American's more riled than a sudden, brutal attack especially if it kills a lot of our people. If our service men and women over there were nuked, things would get real shitty real quick. There's no telling how China would react; a lot of thought is they're getting tired of NK's constant belligerent attitude with them acting like the snotty little kid who knows they have an ogre for an older brother who will be obligated to settle any fights they start. Now, would China tolerate the US turning one of their bordering countries into a slightly glowing, glass-paved parking lot? No. Will the US really nuke a country where most of the country is starving because they've been oppressed and mind-fucked by one of the most ridiculous dictator's in the history of the planet? Probably not, the anti-war groups would flood the world with the product of their apoplectic shitfits. Would the US get involved in a land war over there? Considering how the last two wars in Asia went for us I'm not sure.
  4.  (9324.6)
    The problem with this situation is that Russia and China have mutual military protection treaties with NK, and the US (thus by extension the entirety of NATO) has a mutual protection treaty with SK. If NK nuked SK it would be liable for the rain of US nuclear fire, and that could result in a Chinese/Russian retaliation against the US that would lead to a NATO retaliation against these countries, which would basically mean everyone dies.

    That's the paranoid theory.

    Now, I believe Russia has kind of distanced itself from extended its nuclear protection sphere to NK in recent years. China has not, but China has fewer than 100 nuclear weapons, so a nuclear war with China would not necessarily mean a species extinction event (it's a good bet that NATO/US deployed missile defence systems in that quarter of the world would be able to take out a lot of these, and target-local missile defence systems the rest). Furthermore, China is somewhat deliberately unclear about that its current policy on NK is.

    Furthermore, and no one has bothered mentioning this, is that North Korea does not have a weapons platform that can deliver nukes. They would literally have to carry the weapons to the South Korean cities they want to nuke via trucks. That's not going to work.

    So I think we can all sleep soundly.
    •  
      CommentAuthorstsparky
    • CommentTimeDec 26th 2010
     (9324.7)
    Only problem with John's theory is IF the Kims are crazy enough, they could load a school bus with all their gadgets (low yield dirty bombs) and drive to Seoul easily enough (as long as no one plans to come back). I suspect it is close to 18 miles from the border. I wouldn't be surprised if there aren't tunnels that would get them under the city.
    •  
      CommentAuthorJohn Skylar
    • CommentTimeDec 29th 2010 edited
     (9324.8)
    Stsparky, I'd hope that the S. Korean and US forces would inspect the bus thoroughly enough to foil that plan. But you may be right. Still, that would only work as a first strike, never in a state of open war.

    In a scenario where NK engaged in a nuclear first strike, I think China might declare that this action voids any treaties and occupy the country itself.