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December 13, 2010

North Korea Threatens Nuclear War Over Joint US-South Korean Artillery Drills

Who knows with these guys. I don't think anyone can tell if they just make threats because they've learned that threats work, or if they really mean it, or if the regime is so insecure they fell compelled to issue these threats to save face and, if the latter, if they'll feel equally compelled to carry through on them.

Bluster? Or are we on the edge of a nuclear war on the Korean peninsula?

Keep in mind that North Korea's status as a nuclear-armed state is debatable; it's big test of a bomb seemed to be a partial failure, as it generated a blast greater than possible for conventional explosives, but much smaller than a full nuclear blast. A "fizzle," some have said, but still a powerful enough weapon to destroy most of a city.

An even bigger question is what Obama's response would be to an attempted (or successful) nuclear bombing. The proper response is a nuclear one, to lay down the law that if you blow up a nuke, you can expect the same fate visited upon you. Any other response encourages nuclear arms as they would have no downside whatsoever.

But that won't happen. President Prissypants will not be the second American President to order a nuclear strike on an enemy country.

Question: I tried to find the answer to this, but can't.

I know -- or believe -- that while Germany doesn't have nukes, during the Cold War, the idea was to put a number of nukes under West German control in the event of invasion by Russia. The idea being that maybe the US wouldn't have the guts to start a nuclear war on behalf of Germany, but Germany certainly would. Thus increasing the credibility of our deterrent -- maybe you don't think we've got the stones to nuke you, but the Germans whose country you're overrunning would.

I don't know if we have a similar relationship with the South Koreans. I doubt we do, but I'll ask the readers -- do we? Is there some protocol to put some nukes under South Korean control in the event of a North Korean invasion? I'm thinking we don't because we seem to not trust them with nukes as a general matter.

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posted by Ace at 03:55 PM

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