North Korea threatens nuclear strike on Australia.

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neverfail
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Re: North Korea's New Missile

Post by neverfail » Fri May 19, 2017 3:21 am

Sertorio wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 7:51 am
neverfail wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 6:45 am
Sertorio wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 3:02 am

The North Korean regime is exclusively a problem for the North Koreans themselves. Their developing defensive weapons is a right of any sovereign state.

Sertorio: what do you define as a "defensive" weapon. If ICBM missiles and thermonuclear bombs are not aggressive weapons then what is?
They are defensive because they can be dissuasive of any attacks by other countries. Of course they could also be used offensively, but any country like NK using them in such a manner would be wiped out immediately. So I think we can safely assume that NK would only use such weapons for its own defense.
In the hands of a criminal (blackmailers,extortionists, assassians and bullies) mafia like the Kim dynasty of dictators I would not take that as guaranteed Sertorio.

In any case, China has offered to guarantee NK's defence security:

http://www.smh.com.au/world/china-would ... vk9pm.html

So why has the NK government not accepted the offer?

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Sertorio
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Re: North Korea's New Missile

Post by Sertorio » Fri May 19, 2017 3:42 am

neverfail wrote:
Fri May 19, 2017 3:21 am
Sertorio wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 7:51 am
neverfail wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 6:45 am
Sertorio wrote:
Wed May 17, 2017 3:02 am

The North Korean regime is exclusively a problem for the North Koreans themselves. Their developing defensive weapons is a right of any sovereign state.

Sertorio: what do you define as a "defensive" weapon. If ICBM missiles and thermonuclear bombs are not aggressive weapons then what is?
They are defensive because they can be dissuasive of any attacks by other countries. Of course they could also be used offensively, but any country like NK using them in such a manner would be wiped out immediately. So I think we can safely assume that NK would only use such weapons for its own defense.
In the hands of a criminal (blackmailers,extortionists, assassians and bullies) mafia like the Kim dynasty of dictators I would not take that as guaranteed Sertorio.

In any case, China has offered to guarantee NK's defence security:

http://www.smh.com.au/world/china-would ... vk9pm.html

So why has the NK government not accepted the offer?
Because China could change its mind... Making sure one or two large American cities would be destroyed in case of a US attack on NK seems to be safer...

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Sertorio
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Re: North Korea threatens nuclear strike on Australia.

Post by Sertorio » Sat May 20, 2017 7:22 am

(...)

While the standard of living in North Korea has significantly improved over the last decade and a half, new sanctions threaten the well being of ordinary people, Abt warned.
"This year, at the instigation of the US, the UN banned the export of North Korea's most important commodities – metals, minerals and coal. If China, by far its most important trading partner, fully adheres to this embargo, North Korea will lose almost all of its foreign income overnight. It can't do anything without this foreign income. This would be a serious blow to the economy and the countless North Koreans who make a living from importing goods. This would really shrink the economy, which has been growing over the past several years, and could lead to famine like in the 1990s," Abt warned.

"The standard of living has greatly improved over the past fifteen years, not only in the capital but also in the countryside. Reforms have made a contribution to this: farmers are now allowed to sell part of their goods on the market and keep the profits for themselves. Throughout the country, an entrepreneurial middle class has developed. Markets and shops are well supplied, there are more and more restaurants and there are the first traffic jams in the cities."

In order to help North Korea out of international isolation, other countries should negotiate with Pyongyang instead of imposing sanctions...

(...)

https://sputniknews.com/asia/2017052010 ... -business/
If people left NK in peace, it would slowly develop following their specific model. But leaving NK alone has never been the US intention. The US must destroy the NK experiment, because the US cannot accept living with any non-capitalist success. Good that NK has nuclear weapons.

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SteveFoerster
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Re: North Korea threatens nuclear strike on Australia.

Post by SteveFoerster » Sat May 20, 2017 7:47 am

Sertorio wrote:
Sat May 20, 2017 7:22 am
(...)

While the standard of living in North Korea has significantly improved over the last decade and a half, new sanctions threaten the well being of ordinary people, Abt warned.
"This year, at the instigation of the US, the UN banned the export of North Korea's most important commodities – metals, minerals and coal. If China, by far its most important trading partner, fully adheres to this embargo, North Korea will lose almost all of its foreign income overnight. It can't do anything without this foreign income. This would be a serious blow to the economy and the countless North Koreans who make a living from importing goods. This would really shrink the economy, which has been growing over the past several years, and could lead to famine like in the 1990s," Abt warned.

"The standard of living has greatly improved over the past fifteen years, not only in the capital but also in the countryside. Reforms have made a contribution to this: farmers are now allowed to sell part of their goods on the market and keep the profits for themselves. Throughout the country, an entrepreneurial middle class has developed. Markets and shops are well supplied, there are more and more restaurants and there are the first traffic jams in the cities."

In order to help North Korea out of international isolation, other countries should negotiate with Pyongyang instead of imposing sanctions...

(...)

https://sputniknews.com/asia/2017052010 ... -business/
If people left NK in peace, it would slowly develop following their specific model. But leaving NK alone has never been the US intention. The US must destroy the NK experiment, because the US cannot accept living with any non-capitalist success. Good that NK has nuclear weapons.
Yes, nothing shouts "non-capitalist success" like mass starvation.
Writer, technologist, educator, gadfly.
President of New World University: http://newworld.ac

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Sertorio
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Re: North Korea threatens nuclear strike on Australia.

Post by Sertorio » Sat May 20, 2017 7:56 am

SteveFoerster wrote:
Sat May 20, 2017 7:47 am
Sertorio wrote:
Sat May 20, 2017 7:22 am
(...)

While the standard of living in North Korea has significantly improved over the last decade and a half, new sanctions threaten the well being of ordinary people, Abt warned.
"This year, at the instigation of the US, the UN banned the export of North Korea's most important commodities – metals, minerals and coal. If China, by far its most important trading partner, fully adheres to this embargo, North Korea will lose almost all of its foreign income overnight. It can't do anything without this foreign income. This would be a serious blow to the economy and the countless North Koreans who make a living from importing goods. This would really shrink the economy, which has been growing over the past several years, and could lead to famine like in the 1990s," Abt warned.

"The standard of living has greatly improved over the past fifteen years, not only in the capital but also in the countryside. Reforms have made a contribution to this: farmers are now allowed to sell part of their goods on the market and keep the profits for themselves. Throughout the country, an entrepreneurial middle class has developed. Markets and shops are well supplied, there are more and more restaurants and there are the first traffic jams in the cities."

In order to help North Korea out of international isolation, other countries should negotiate with Pyongyang instead of imposing sanctions...

(...)

https://sputniknews.com/asia/2017052010 ... -business/
If people left NK in peace, it would slowly develop following their specific model. But leaving NK alone has never been the US intention. The US must destroy the NK experiment, because the US cannot accept living with any non-capitalist success. Good that NK has nuclear weapons.
Yes, nothing shouts "non-capitalist success" like mass starvation.
What mass starvation? Data, please...

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SteveFoerster
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Re: North Korea threatens nuclear strike on Australia.

Post by SteveFoerster » Sat May 20, 2017 11:28 am

Sertorio wrote:
Sat May 20, 2017 7:56 am
SteveFoerster wrote:
Sat May 20, 2017 7:47 am
Sertorio wrote:
Sat May 20, 2017 7:22 am
(...)

While the standard of living in North Korea has significantly improved over the last decade and a half, new sanctions threaten the well being of ordinary people, Abt warned.
"This year, at the instigation of the US, the UN banned the export of North Korea's most important commodities – metals, minerals and coal. If China, by far its most important trading partner, fully adheres to this embargo, North Korea will lose almost all of its foreign income overnight. It can't do anything without this foreign income. This would be a serious blow to the economy and the countless North Koreans who make a living from importing goods. This would really shrink the economy, which has been growing over the past several years, and could lead to famine like in the 1990s," Abt warned.

"The standard of living has greatly improved over the past fifteen years, not only in the capital but also in the countryside. Reforms have made a contribution to this: farmers are now allowed to sell part of their goods on the market and keep the profits for themselves. Throughout the country, an entrepreneurial middle class has developed. Markets and shops are well supplied, there are more and more restaurants and there are the first traffic jams in the cities."

In order to help North Korea out of international isolation, other countries should negotiate with Pyongyang instead of imposing sanctions...

(...)

https://sputniknews.com/asia/2017052010 ... -business/
If people left NK in peace, it would slowly develop following their specific model. But leaving NK alone has never been the US intention. The US must destroy the NK experiment, because the US cannot accept living with any non-capitalist success. Good that NK has nuclear weapons.
Yes, nothing shouts "non-capitalist success" like mass starvation.
What mass starvation? Data, please...
For you to disregard it? Knowing you, even if you toured Pyongyang or Caracas and saw people dumpster diving for food, you'd just praise the environmentally friendly and frugal citizenry that are inspired by the virtues of socialism.
Writer, technologist, educator, gadfly.
President of New World University: http://newworld.ac

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Sertorio
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Re: North Korea threatens nuclear strike on Australia.

Post by Sertorio » Sat May 20, 2017 12:33 pm

SteveFoerster wrote:
Sat May 20, 2017 11:28 am
Sertorio wrote:
Sat May 20, 2017 7:56 am
What mass starvation? Data, please...
For you to disregard it? Knowing you, even if you toured Pyongyang or Caracas and saw people dumpster diving for food, you'd just praise the environmentally friendly and frugal citizenry that are inspired by the virtues of socialism.
N Korea and the myth of starvation
byAndrei Lankov
Andrei Lankov is professor of Korean Studies at Kookmin University, Seoul. He is the author of "The Real North Korea: Life and Politics in the Failed Stalinist Utopia".

North Korea is a secretive country - and, like most secretive countries, it is especially susceptible to cliche-ridden descriptions. Some such cliches are basically well founded, while others are seriously misleading or outdated.

One of the most commonly cited cliches is that North Korea is a "destitute, starving country". Once upon a time, such a description was all too sadly correct: In the late 1990s, North Korea suffered a major famine that, according to the most recent research, led to between 500,000 and 900,000 deaths. However, starvation has long since ceased to be a fact of life in North Korea.

Admittedly, until quite recently, many major news outlets worldwide ran stories every autumn that cited international aid agencies saying that the country was on the brink of

North Korea is a secretive country - and, like most secretive countries, it is especially susceptible to cliche-ridden descriptions. Some such cliches are basically well-founded, while others are seriously misleading or outdated.

One of the most commonly cited cliches is that North Korea is a "destitute, starving country". Once upon a time, such a description was all too sadly correct: In the late 1990s, North Korea suffered a major famine that, according to the most recent research, led to between 500,000 and 600,000 deaths. However, starvation has long since ceased to be a fact of life in North Korea.

Admittedly, until quite recently, many major news outlets worldwide ran stories every autumn that cited international aid agencies saying that the country was on the brink of a massive famine once again. These perennially predicted famines never transpired, but the stories continued to be released at regular intervals, nonetheless.

In the last year or two, though, such predictions have disappeared. This year, North Korea enjoyed an exceptionally good harvest, which for the first time in more than two decades will be sufficient to feed the country's entire population. Indeed, according to the recent documents of the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations), North Korea's harvest totaled 5.03 million tonnes of grain this year, if converted to the cereal equivalent. To put things in perspective, in the famine years of the late 1990s, the average annual harvest was estimated (by the same FAO) to be below the 3 million tonne level.

However, this does not mean that North Korea is an affluent country. The CIA fact book estimates North Korea's GDP per capita to be $1,800. Even this estimate is probably excessively optimistic. There is a good reason to believe that the actual per capita GDP of North Korea is in the region of $800-900. This means, of course, that North Korea is a seriously poor country. However, poverty does not equal starvation.

The gradual improvement in the food situation is closely related to changes in other areas of North Korea's economic life. Contrary to what a majority of lay people tend to believe, the last decade has been one of moderate economic growth north of the DMZ.

Not starving, but not well-nourished either

Since North Korea ceased publishing virtually all economic statistics more than 50 years ago, it is very difficult to estimate the true scale of this growth. The Bank of Korea - South Korea's central bank, generally considered to be the most reliable source of information on North Korea's economic situation - estimates that economic growth averaged 1.3 percent over the last 15 years in North Korea, though the rate has been known to fluctuate significantly from year to year. Ironically, it seems that North Korea's economic expansion was sped in 2006-7 even as the country was subjected to a further round of international sanctions in the wake of missile and nuclear tests.

Anecdotal evidence, as well as observations made by foreigner visitors and residents in North Korea confirm a picture of steady, if slow and uneven economic improvements in North Korea. Still, these observations also leave no room for doubt that North Korea remains by far the poorest nation in East Asia.

In recent years, one can see a proliferation of expensive boutiques in the North Korean capital. The North Korean new rich - both corrupt officials and successful black market entrepreneurs - can easily buy world-renowned luxury brands for their friends and family.

There is more traffic than ever on the once notoriously empty avenues of the capital. Pyongyang, like some other cities in the country, is also experiencing a minor construction boom. While theoretically, trade in real estate is illegal, there is a growing property market in Pyongyang and other major cities, and this market cannot be described as anything but dynamic. A good apartment in Pyongyang, which would cost less $10,000 just 10 years ago would now set you back between $70,000 and $100,000.

Another standout of North Korean economic expansion is the growing private restaurant trade. These businesses are nominally owned and operated by the state. In practice, however, wealthy private individuals set up restaurants and register them with state agencies in order to disguise the business from the potentially dangerous local and central government. A good meal at such places can cost as much as $15-20 (sometimes more) - enough for an entire family in a countryside village to live for a week or two. Nonetheless, many such restaurants are doing a roaring trade.

As already hinted above, one should not paint an excessively rosy picture of the situation. A significant part of the population is still malnourished, and the average North Korean family considers itself reasonably affluent if they can afford a new bicycle. So, North Korea is very, very poor indeed. Nonetheless, it is clearly not a starving country anymore.

Private economy expanding

Why is North Korea's economy growing? It seems that the single most important factor is the gradual and seemingly unstoppable expansion of the semi-legal private economy. According to the most recent estimates, about 75 percent of North Korean household income now comes not from the state but from assorted private economic activities - activities that are now tacitly tolerated by the government. North Koreans today tend to their very own private plots, run their own food stalls, make clothes, footwear (and even counterfeited Chinese cigarettes) in unofficial workshops, and of course, they trade.

This private economy is massive. Strictly speaking, most of these activities remain illegal under North Korean law, but the North Korean government is unable (and perhaps unwilling) to enforce many of the outdated rules and regulations. Indeed, it may have no other choice since if these laws were enforced another round of starvation (and even a massive rebellion) might ensue.

North Korean government's army of bureaucrats are not immune to the allure of the private sector either. Some are passive: They merely take bribes, leaching off the hard work of North Korea's entrepreneurs and private workers. Many, though, utilise their government positions more creatively (and less parasitically) by becoming de-facto entrepreneurs, by using the capital, land, equipment and/or people under its control to make goods and services for profit.

Many government-appointed managers at North Korean state factories have basically become private entrepreneurs, and have made themselves rich (by this country's very modest standards). In the process they have also contributed to their country's slow-motion economic revival.

When it comes to the economy, the market works in North Korea as well as it does in many other parts of the world. It brings growth, but it also brings a large amount of income inequality and social tensions with it too. In spite of North Korea's Stalinist rhetoric, North Korea is now a country in which there are rich and poor - and the gap between these two groups, already large, is widening quickly.

However, this does not mean that the rich are getting richer while the poor get poorer. It seems that the proverbial rising tide is lifting all boats, albeit at very different rates.

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinio ... 24471.html
I would say that the writer seems to be qualified enough to express an accurate view of what is going on in North Korea...

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Sertorio
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Re: North Korea threatens nuclear strike on Australia.

Post by Sertorio » Sat May 20, 2017 12:44 pm

North Korea famine...
By JOHAN NYLANDER, JANUARY 4, 2017 11:42 AM (UTC+8)
http://www.atimes.com/article/north-kor ... ren-india/

There’s a conception that people in North Korea are starving, and that their children have less access to nourishment than kids in other developing Asia countries.

Indeed, when president Barack Obama was asked about the effects of greater sanctions on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea last year, he repeated a mantra widely associated with the authoritarian regime: “The country can’t really even feed its own people” and that “Over time, a regime like this will collapse.”

But several reports and academic studies show that North Korea’s food situation is stable and on par with – or even better than – some other nations in Asia.

Professor Hazel Smith, Director of the International Institute of Korean Studies at Cranfield University in the UK, concluded in a new research paper that levels of severe wasting – people being underweight for their height because of acute malnutrition – is lower in North Korea than in a number of other low-income countries and equal to those in other developing countries in Asia.

North Korea is “far from the outlier state that is commonly presented in scholarly, policy and global media analysis,” her report found.

Other North Korea watchers have also stated that the food situation is stable, dependence on international food aid is declining and that the issue of starvation is in the past.

(...)
Is Asia Times a reliable enough source?...

neverfail
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Re: North Korea threatens nuclear strike on Australia.

Post by neverfail » Sat May 20, 2017 4:13 pm

After the mass starvation of 500,000 to 600,000 people back in the 1990's, I suppose the country's population has fallen back into its true capacity to produce enough to feed the rest. :cry:

A lot like Ireland's mid-19th century potato famine reducing that country's population back to the natural carrying capacity of that island. :twisted:

neverfail
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Re: North Korea threatens nuclear strike on Australia.

Post by neverfail » Sat May 20, 2017 4:23 pm

Sertorio wrote:
Sat May 20, 2017 7:22 am


If people left NK in peace, it would slowly develop following their specific model. But leaving NK alone has never been the US intention. The US must destroy the NK experiment, because the US cannot accept living with any non-capitalist success. Good that NK has nuclear weapons.

If North Korea ceased gratuitous acts of aggression against others it might be left in peace to rot away at its own slow pace.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombardment_of_Yeonpyeong

http://adst.org/2016/01/north-korea-blo ... -airliner/

http://adst.org/2016/01/north-korea-blo ... -airliner/

....and that's only a random selection of the outrageous provocations that this rogue criminal regime has committed over a prolonged period of time. Would you like to see more?

A great way for NK to establish international trust and confidence, don't you think?

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