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You are here: MacNN Forums > Community > MacNN Lounge > Political/War Lounge > Does North Korea have the right to possess Nuclear Weapons for self defense purposes?

Does North Korea have the right to possess Nuclear Weapons for self defense purposes?
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iDriveX
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Feb 10, 2005, 05:02 AM
 
I'm split on this one actually. There are some countries (the United States included) that feel it is a God given right to possess nuclear weapons and have them deployed all over the globe (Attack Class Submarines). North Korea though has had a history of aggression and invasion. But, the same can be said about the US. So is this just a case of the big guy beating up on the little guy? OR Is North Korea a legitimate threat with Nuclear Weapons to the rest of the world?

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Salah al-Din
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Feb 10, 2005, 06:15 AM
 
The US has shown that they will invade countries they don't like. So in my opinion every nation has the right to build up their defences.

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Athens
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Feb 10, 2005, 06:28 AM
 
Originally posted by Salah al-Din:
The US has shown that they will invade countries they don't like. So in my opinion every nation has the right to build up their defences.

Thank you America.
I have to agree. If Iraq had Nuc's things would be very different for Iraq right now. If anything Iraq has proven that all Countries need a decent stock pile of Nucs but more important a method to use them any where around the world. Im sure Iran is working on Nuc's for defence as fast as possible being a potential target of Bush.
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lurkalot
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Feb 10, 2005, 06:30 AM
 
Technically?Yes.
Morally (and in my opinion)? No..

No country or individual has the right to possess nuclear weapons or to employ their use or threat of use. IMO. It is a form of state terrorism.

Does North Korea pose a threat to global or regional peace with or without nuclear weapons. Certainly. Is there a military solution to this problem. No.

Do nuclear weapons make either North Korea or the region safer. In my opinion the answer is again, No. Should the whole thing go bang the bangs will be unacceptably bigger. Nuclear security is a placebo more harmful than real medicine.

Nuclear subs are a good example btw. With those in the US arsenal and given the regional military allegiance treaties their existence makes any claim of a nuclear free Korean peninsula a farce. The revelation that the North has now finally publicly admitted to the possession of nuclear weapons doesn't change that.

The United States Government -including the Clinton to a lesser and Bush administrations to a greater extent- through its recent foreign policies (Bush primarily the mistakes of 2001-2003) towards North Korea bears partial responsibility although the primary blame for a nuclear crisis in North East Asia obviously lies with the DPRK oligarchy.

BTW saying in my opinion and then providing a link to the dissenting opinion of Judge Weeramantry is a supposed to be funny although some people will no doubt think it is a joke.
     
Athens
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Feb 10, 2005, 06:33 AM
 
Originally posted by lurkalot:
Technically?Yes.
Morally (and in my opinion)? No..

No country or individual has the right to possess nuclear weapons or to employ their use or threat of use. IMO. It is a form of state terrorism.

Does North Korea pose a threat to global or regional peace with or without nuclear weapons. Certainly. Is there a military solution to this problem. No.

Do nuclear weapons make either North Korea or the region safer. In my opinion the answer is again, No. Should the whole thing go bang the bangs will be unacceptably bigger. Nuclear security is a placebo more harmful than real medicine.

Nuclear subs are a good example btw. With those in the US arsenal and given the regional military allegiance treaties their existence makes any claim of a nuclear free Korean peninsula a farce. The revelation that the North has now finally publicly admitted to the possession of nuclear weapons doesn't change that.

The United States Government -including the Clinton to a lesser and Bush administrations to a greater extent- through its recent foreign policies (Bush primarily the mistakes of 2001-2003) towards North Korea bears partial responsibility although the primary blame for a nuclear crisis in North East Asia obviously lies with the DPRK oligarchy.

BTW saying in my opinion and then providing a link to the dissenting opinion of Judge Weeramantry is a supposed to be funny although some people will no doubt think it is a joke.
If one country has it every country has a right to have it. What do you think kept the peace between the Americans and USSR during the cold war. The fact both sides could wipe out the other.
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lurkalot
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Feb 10, 2005, 06:37 AM
 
Originally posted by Athens:
If one country has it every country has a right to have it. What do you think kept the peace between the Americans and USSR during the cold war. The fact both sides could wipe out the other.
Ergo. No country has that right.

What? The cold war wasn't peace. The name is self explanatory. Limited war perhaps but not peace.
Nukes didn't keep the peace. That is just selective hindsight.
     
nath
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Feb 10, 2005, 06:45 AM
 
Originally posted by iDriveX:
I'm split on this one actually. There are some countries (the United States included) that feel it is a God given right to possess nuclear weapons and have them deployed all over the globe (Attack Class Submarines). North Korea though has had a history of aggression and invasion. But, the same can be said about the US. So is this just a case of the big guy beating up on the little guy? OR Is North Korea a legitimate threat with Nuclear Weapons to the rest of the world?
There used to be an organisation of nation states that was a pretty good place for deciding and coordinating international policy on this sort of thing. Because it was recognised and generally respected by all major nations (especially those with an existing nuclear capability) it carried more authority and respect than a single country acting alone on suspect evidence, even though (due to its collaborative nature) it often took a long time to come to and apply its conclusions.

Can't quite remember what it was called now...
     
Curios Meerkat
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Feb 10, 2005, 07:01 AM
 
Originally posted by iDriveX:
North Korea though has had a history of aggression and invasion.
Huh? What countries have been invaded by NK?

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nath
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Feb 10, 2005, 07:08 AM
 
Originally posted by Curios Meerkat:
Huh? What countries have been invaded by NK?
South Korea!

The legal status of Korea's division was never clearly established; most importantly whether or not the South was under US protection (to the extent that West Berlin was, for example). Uncle Joe and Kim Il Sung attempted to take advantage of the uncertainty.
     
SimeyTheLimey
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Feb 10, 2005, 07:36 AM
 
Originally posted by nath:
South Korea!

The legal status of Korea's division was never clearly established; most importantly whether or not the South was under US protection (to the extent that West Berlin was, for example). Uncle Joe and Kim Il Sung attempted to take advantage of the uncertainty.
I don't know where you get the idea that the legal status of the invasion wasn't decided. South Korea (the Republic of Korea) is an independent state, and was a fully independent state prior to the invasion. Stalin and co took advantage of perceived US weakness and a foolish statement by the Truman Administraion that Korea was outside of US vital interests in the Pacific, but there was no legal ambiguity to take advantage of.

When the Democratic People's Republic of Korea invaded, the United Nations took the formal step of invoking Chapter VII to defend the South's sovereignty. That was a completely clear cut decision on the status of the invasion. That is why the forces who freed South Korea were under the UN flag. Technically, the forces in Korea still are (because technically, there is still a state of war).

Being technical also, every state has the right to obtain nuclear weapons. The International Court of Justice opinion cited above really has nothing to do with that. That opinion (which isn't binding anyway) is only about the use or threatened use of nuclear weapons.

So that is the default -- states have the technical right to obtain them, unless the state itself has undertaken not to obtain them. Principally that untertaking is through the Treaty on the Non-Proliferaton of Nuclear Weapons. North Korea was a signatory, so it undertook not to develop nuclear weapons, and the international community has the right to hold them to their word.

In addition, it agreed with a number of nations -- South Korea, China, Japan, and the U.S. that it would not develop nuclear weapons in exchange for civilian nuclear technology. That is the Agreed Framework, which North Korea violated. That violation is what triggered the current crisis.

After it was found to be in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, North Korea in 2003 announced its withdrawal from the non-proliferation treaty. Whether a violator can withdraw from the NPT after being caught breaking its treaty obligation is debated. Certainly, it gives the international community reason to be very wary. Especially when it has a history of supplying nuclear-capable missile technology to anyone who will pay.

Why anyone here or anywhere else would think it is a good thing for an unstable and erratic regime like North Korea's to have nukes is utterly beyond me. I think anyone who thinks that way should read up a bit on just how terrible nuclear weapons really are. They are not something to take lightly.
     
nath
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Feb 10, 2005, 07:51 AM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
I don't know where you get the idea that the legal status of the *invasion* wasn't decided.
I didn't get the idea, because that's not what I said. Of course, you didn't quote me directly because to do so would have exposed your re-wording. Key word marked by *.

Originally posted by nath:
The legal status of Korea's *division* was never clearly established
The rest of your post (ragging on North Korea for - gasp - ignoring or 'opting-out' from international treaties) is frankly laughable coming from any supporter of the current US administration.

Still, at least you kept a straight face!
     
Curios Meerkat
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Feb 10, 2005, 07:57 AM
 
Did the other nations respect the Agreed Framework? Specifically, between 1994 and 2002:
  • What progress had been made in the construction of the two nuclear reactors which were promised to NK (it was slated for completion in 2003)?
  • Was there full normalization of political and economic relations?
When were the shipments of fuel oil stopped? When were the seals and cameras removed from the nuclear facilities?

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Athens
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Feb 10, 2005, 08:12 AM
 
Originally posted by lurkalot:
Ergo. No country has that right.

What? The cold war wasn't peace. The name is self explanatory. Limited war perhaps but not peace.
Nukes didn't keep the peace. That is just selective hindsight.
Well then the US gives up its nucs, then I will expect all others to follow unless you think the US has the right to own nucs?
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Wiskedjak
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Feb 10, 2005, 08:24 AM
 
I don't like the thought of North Korea having nukes. But, I don't like the thought of the US having them either.

Only one nation has used nukes as a weapon ... and on civilian populations to boot.
     
nath
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Feb 10, 2005, 08:32 AM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
Why anyone here or anywhere else would think it is a good thing for an unstable and erratic regime like North Korea's to have nukes is utterly beyond me.
Sorry, I've read the whole thread several times and can't find anyone who thinks it a "good thing" for an unstable and erratic regime like North Korea's to have nukes.

Could you confirm who it is that has offered that opinion?
     
jbartone
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Feb 10, 2005, 08:47 AM
 
No. Why? Kim Jong-Il
     
SimeyTheLimey
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Feb 10, 2005, 10:04 AM
 
Originally posted by nath:
Sorry, I've read the whole thread several times and can't find anyone who thinks it a "good thing" for an unstable and erratic regime like North Korea's to have nukes.

Could you confirm who it is that has offered that opinion?
Not explicitly, but several posts seem to suggest it would be a good thing, or at least they expressed sympathy with the idea. You know, the usual comments about deterring the US, etc. Read 'em again. However, I would be quite content if like you those posters would clarify that they don't feel that way.

I am glad you agree it would be a very bad thing. Any sensible person would see what a disaster a nuclear North Korea could be. Not just for the US, but for the world. Especially, of course, North Korea's neighbors South Korea, China, and Japan (and to a lesser extent, Russia).

The fact that so many other countries agree that a nuclear armed -- or worse, nuclear arms selling or transferring North Korea is such a threatening thing is pretty much the only good news on this issue. North Korea really doesn't have any friends at all. At least, not any open friends. It used to have Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Iran. But all of that short list (with the possible exception of Iran) have turned away, or are very wary of getting caught dealing in arms with NK. That's the best news we have.

China is the big question. It's really the only country in the world with economic influence on NK (not even South Korea or Japan come as close). But China is probably more hostage to North Korea than the other way around. If North Korea were to lash out, the target could be as easily China as South Korea, and if North Korea collapses, it would be China that would have to deal with the consequences in terms of refugees. To some extent it is already dealing with that problem.

I wish I knew how this was going to end up, but I don't. North Korea has a record of brinksmanship and also a paranoia that makes me suspect that they could seriously miscalculate. If you have been following the news lately, there also seems to be signs of some kind of power struggle going on within the regime. It's really quite scary.
     
BoomStick
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Feb 10, 2005, 10:22 AM
 
Originally posted by Wiskedjak:

Only one nation has used nukes as a weapon ... and on civilian populations to boot.
They should keep that in mind too.

One lousey mini nuke vs thousands of multi-megaton thermo-nukes.

Let them try their worthless little popgun, they'll discover what the surface of the sun feels like.
     
lurkalot
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Feb 10, 2005, 10:27 AM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
I don't know where you get the idea that the legal status of the invasion wasn't decided. South Korea (the Republic of Korea) is an independent state, and was a fully independent state prior to the invasion. Stalin and co took advantage of perceived US weakness and a foolish statement by the Truman Administraion that Korea was outside of US vital interests in the Pacific, but there was no legal ambiguity to take advantage of.

When the Democratic People's Republic of Korea invaded, the United Nations took the formal step of invoking Chapter VII to defend the South's sovereignty. That was a completely clear cut decision on the status of the invasion. That is why the forces who freed South Korea were under the UN flag. Technically, the forces in Korea still are (because technically, there is still a state of war).

Being technical also, every state has the right to obtain nuclear weapons. The International Court of Justice opinion cited above really has nothing to do with that. That opinion (which isn't binding anyway) is only about the use or threatened use of nuclear weapons.

So that is the default -- states have the technical right to obtain them, unless the state itself has undertaken not to obtain them. Principally that untertaking is through the Treaty on the Non-Proliferaton of Nuclear Weapons. North Korea was a signatory, so it undertook not to develop nuclear weapons, and the international community has the right to hold them to their word.

In addition, it agreed with a number of nations -- South Korea, China, Japan, and the U.S. that it would not develop nuclear weapons in exchange for civilian nuclear technology. That is the Agreed Framework, which North Korea violated. That violation is what triggered the current crisis.

After it was found to be in violation of the Non-Proliferation Treaty, North Korea in 2003 announced its withdrawal from the non-proliferation treaty. Whether a violator can withdraw from the NPT after being caught breaking its treaty obligation is debated. Certainly, it gives the international community reason to be very wary. Especially when it has a history of supplying nuclear-capable missile technology to anyone who will pay.

Why anyone here or anywhere else would think it is a good thing for an unstable and erratic regime like North Korea's to have nukes is utterly beyond me. I think anyone who thinks that way should read up a bit on just how terrible nuclear weapons really are. They are not something to take lightly.
You are no doubt familiar with the reasoning that the advisory opinions of the ICJ follow essentially the same legal course as its legally binding opinions thereby indicating that the arguments in the ICJ's July 8 1996 opinion(s) is/are legally sound.

Besides, what, if not the threat of use as a consequence of certain actions or inactions by a real or perceived foe, is the so called nuclear deterrent? Found in the mere possession of a nuclear arsenal and formulated in nuclear policy doesn't that constitute a threat?
Policies which include the assertion that nuclear first strike is or can be defensive and may be directed at non-nuclear enemies?

As pointed out the DPRK had the right and took the right to withdraw from the NPT per the provisions of that treaty. It is regrettable that it did, since -in my opinion- not a single country should pursue nuclear weapons. Nuclear security is an oxymoron.

The NPT is furthermore a flawed agreement. Crippled by the nuclear powers who reserved for themselves a holier than thou position on possession. But I guess such is the present agreement as it was presented and either signed or rejected by individual nations.
Is there any prospect for an alternative that will compel the nuclear powers from giving up their arsenals? Not likely.
The laws that make nuclear weapons possession legal are therefore drafted by those who want to keep it legal. A rather self-serving state of affairs.

An analogy might be that the perpetrators of armed robbery are the ones who are asked to draw up the laws to regulate the use of weapons during the commission of such crimes.
The policemen of the world the nuclear powers are not.

The ICJ takes a neutral position and addressed the questions raised by the UN General Assembly and the WHO. The relative consensus was that states have some of the rights they assert. To possess nuclear weapons for the sole and limited purpose of self defense was seen as legal by the court.

I respectfully dissent and assert that -given the technology required for their development, the nature of the material required and the nature of such weapons themselves, their immediate impact and the long term post conflict effects on a target area- their possession and possible use are unacceptably disproportionate for any perceivable goal. There should not be an exception for the N in NBC weapons prohibition even for the limited purposes that the ICJ reluctantly condoned.

The timeline of disagreement and escalation on the Korean peninsula over the possession or development of nuclear programs by the North and the way that resulted in the end of the 1994 Agreed Framework and now the admitted but unverifiable existence of nuclear weapons in the North can and will no doubt be as contentious as a discussion of the cold war. Given the scarcity of reliable public information on the subject it will remain like that for a while at the very least. Given the political positions it is even doubtful that a consensus on that timeline will ever be reached. It is a perpetual chicken and egg argument of finger pointing.

In spite of the above. At this point in time I firmly believe that the Bush administration bungled the follow up on the Clinton policies and by its inept handling of the first years of diplomacy towards the North aggravated a situation that was in the process of cooling down when Bush took office.

Having said that let me make clear again that North Korea in my opinion should never be in possession of nuclear weapons. Not that they'll listen to me, obviously. I don't think a nuclear arsenal in the hands of those they perceived as their enemy deterred them. On the contrary. It seems to have created the necessity in their opinion. Could the existence of a nuclear arsenal in the hands of their enemies deter them from using their own first or in retaliation? Likewise doubtful.

In my opinion nuclear arsenals are a liability not a deterrent.

To use such indiscriminate weapons against -a population which is the inevitable target, living in the state of- an oppressive regime seems an illogical approach with too high a price for the eventual hoped for result.

Speaking for myself only, but with a suspicion that these words don't just apply from me; I can assure you that I don't take nuclear weapons lightly. Ignorance of their nature or impact is not at the foundation of any of my arguments. I do not advocate their use nor the maintenance of nuclear arsenals. Not even as an -arguably- legally defensible deterrent or weapon of last resort.
     
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Feb 10, 2005, 10:28 AM
 
I woke up this morning and read" North Korea Admits Nukes" and "Prince Charles to Marry Camilla" and thought I'd had slipped into another dimension.
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nath
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Feb 10, 2005, 10:29 AM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
Not explicitly, but several posts seem to suggest it would be a good thing, or at least they expressed sympathy with the idea. You know, the usual comments about deterring the US, etc. Read 'em again. However, I would be quite content if like you those posters would clarify that they don't feel that way.
I would have to disagree with how you have interpreted these posts.

The deterrent argument is a powerful one, and a million miles away from even suggesting the idea that NK possessing nukes would be 'good'. Let's break the two statements down...

1) Is it any wonder NK wants nukes when actual possession would appear, from recent events, likely to prevent any US-led military action?

2) It's good that North Korea has nukes.

What you are saying is that posters are implicitly stating the North Korea having nukes is a good thing because it prevents the US taking action. I see no indication of that in any of the posts above. While you are of course within your rights to suggest that that is what the posters 'really mean', I don't think the onus is on them to clarify your interpretation.
     
lurkalot
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Feb 10, 2005, 10:32 AM
 
Originally posted by BoomStick:
They should keep that in mind too.

One lousey mini nuke vs thousands of multi-megaton thermo-nukes.

Let them try their worthless little popgun, they'll discover what the surface of the sun feels like.
Them? Lovely argument as usual. Can you guarantee that only the small oppressive North Korean leadership will bask in the sunshine of your nuclear self-righteousness?
     
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Feb 10, 2005, 10:47 AM
 
Obviously it's not a good idea for an instable government to possess WMD, but pragmatically speaking, it's NK's only choice to prevent an invasion for sure. It's a chip in the bargaining game.

My uncle has been there numerous times, and some of his stories are quite interesting. The country is pretty poor and is barely able to survive.
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SimeyTheLimey
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Feb 10, 2005, 10:53 AM
 
Originally posted by nath:
I would have to disagree with how you have interpreted these posts.

The deterrent argument is a powerful one, and a million miles away from even suggesting the idea that NK possessing nukes would be 'good'. Let's break the two statements down...

1) Is it any wonder NK wants nukes when actual possession would appear, from recent events, likely to prevent any US-led military action?

2) It's good that North Korea has nukes.

What you are saying is that posters are implicitly stating the North Korea having nukes is a good thing because it prevents the US taking action. I see no indication of that in any of the posts above. While you are of course within your rights to suggest that that is what the posters 'really mean', I don't think the onus is on them to clarify your interpretation.
They don't have to clarify what they wrote, of course not. When someone communicates, there is never any obligation to be clear about it. Anyone has the right to be sloppy.

However, people reading what people write also aren't obligated to strain to reach interpretations that don't immidiately come across. I read what they wrote, I concluded what I concluded. If they want to correct any misinterpretations, that is up to them. But until they do, I read what they said the way it read to me.

On North Korea's behavior: this is not some new thing. The nuclear issue has been a hot one for well over a decade. In the 1990s, it seemed that they were using nuclear weapons primarily as a bargaining chip to get concessions -- probably to prop up their teetering regime which is nearing economic collapse.

The Clinton Administration (and the South Koreans, Japanese, and Chinese) tried to meet them on those concessions in good faith. North Korea violated that agreement in bad faith from the get-go. How rational that behavior is is hard to say. But it doesn't seem to have much to do with any real threats against their regime. The US isn't going to invade North Korea, their 4 million man army less than 100 KM from Seoul is more than an adequate deterrant -- much to the misery of the North Korean people, who are literally being starved by their own government while thier cousins to the south live in what is rapidly becoming a true first world economy, as well as a democracy.

North Korea primarily seems to regard hi-tech weapons proliferation as a source of hard currancy. Weapons like ballistic missiles are pretty much the only thing they have which anyone wants. Nukes would, of course, be very saleable. That is the primary reason everyone is so concerned.
     
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Feb 10, 2005, 11:02 AM
 
China needs to leash it's yappy little lapdog before it gets overconfident and bites someone who'll kick it to the curb.
     
Mithras
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Feb 10, 2005, 11:06 AM
 
My take: countries don't have rights. People do.
Governments with democratic representation may be assumed to be a fair mouthpiece for the right and wishes of their citizens. Those that don't, don't.

Now we may or may not choose to press the matter, or as a question of prudence might act towards some nondemocratic nations as though they have rights & obligations. But that it is mere pretense.
     
nath
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Feb 10, 2005, 11:08 AM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
I read what they wrote, I concluded what I concluded. If they want to correct any misinterpretations, that is up to them. But until they do, I read what they said the way it read to me.
That's really what I was getting at. The conclusions you reached are from your interpretation and certainly appear highly coloured by your own world view. It's pretty much impossible to arrive at the conclusion you did - "It's good that NK has nukes" - using anything that actually exists in the text.
     
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Feb 10, 2005, 11:19 AM
 
North Korea is led by an almost wholly agreeable nutcase with a heavily oppressed, weak, and unwillingly ignorant populace.

Yeah, you can say the same about the United States having a similar leader right now, but it's population welds a lot more power than the average NK citizen.

As such, the United States should have a little bit more credibilty in making sure our resident nutbag leader doesn't go apeshit tomorrow and blow something up with a nuke without fear of extreme retrubution from other politicians and (most importantly) us. In NK, no such thing would ever happen.
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Feb 10, 2005, 11:28 AM
 
If you guys ever get the chance then you should watch this documentary movie:
http://www.verymuchso.co.uk/som.htm
http://www.arte-tv.com/de/woche/244,...year=2005.html

I was really fascinated because I have never ever seen any documentary about NK before (because there were none, I think) and those Mass Games are the most impressive show you could ever imagine!



Important info for those among you who like to misinterpret:
- I don't like North Korea
- I don't want to live there
- I don't want them to have nukes
- I don't want any country to have nukes
***
     
SimeyTheLimey
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Feb 10, 2005, 11:30 AM
 
Originally posted by nath:
That's really what I was getting at. The conclusions you reached are from your interpretation and certainly appear highly coloured by your own world view. It's pretty much impossible to arrive at the conclusion you did - "It's good that NK has nukes" - using anything that actually exists in the text.
Well, you weren't one of the ones whose posts were suggestive in that way, and none of them so far have seen fit to distance themselves from the sentiments that to me seem pretty clear from what they wrote. All they need to do is write something similar to lurkalot's statement:

Having said that let me make clear again that North Korea in my opinion should never be in possession of nuclear weapons.
Lurkalot: The ICJ has no binding authrority at all. It never has had. States can voluntarily submit to its jurisdction, including in advance, and including in advance with reservations. Most countries who have submitted agreements to submit to its jurisdiction do so with reservations. Other states only submit on a case by case basis. The dafault is its opinions are not binding and it has no jurisdiction. Take a look at its charter if you have any doubt about that.

That particular opinion was expressly advisory. There were no state parties to the proceeding.

The NPT, as I am sure you are aware, sets out a two tier system. While the declared nuclear powers expressed a desire to disarm, that is only hortatory. It's not binding, and there is no timeframe. I don't think that this state of affairs can really be called self-interested. Most of us would prefer to wave a magic wand and to not only banish nuclear weapons from the world, but also the idea of nuclear weapons. The problem is that isn't exactly realistic. So far the nuclear powers have been rather responsible with them. If all the responsible nations got rid of their weapons, then you would have a serious incentive for irresponsible, power-seeking countries to aquire them. That wouldn't be in anyone's interests.

Until the world becomes a great deal more stable I don't think there is any possibility that nuclear weapons can be banned. In fact, I think banning them would be a mistake. That said, I am for reducing the numbers -- especially of strategic arms -- and of making sure that they are all in responsible hands. It's not a perfect solution, but the world isn't perfect.

I simply disagree with your attempt to blame all this on Bush's handling of North Korea. The fact is North Korea was violating its obligations before Bush even came into office. All Bush did was admit what Clinton's people didn't like to admit. I'm not going to try to blame this all on Clinton either. He tried something that naive or not was probably worth trying. (Full disclosure, I vaguely know Clinton's negotiator, he is a good and trustwrthy man). The real problem here is that North Korea is a dangerous state and nobody is in a very strong position to deal with it. The best we can hope for is that the interested powers together can coordinate and talk them out of this dangerous corner they have created for themselves. And, of course, that one day North Korea can be freed.
     
Salah al-Din
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Feb 10, 2005, 11:45 AM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
Well, you weren't one of the ones whose posts were suggestive in that way, and none of them so far have seen fit to distance themselves from the sentiments that to me seem pretty clear from what they wrote. All they need to do is write something similar to lurkalot's statement:
I suspect you are referring to my post. Could you explain how you came to the conclusion that I think NK having nukes is a Good Thing™?
     
OreoCookie
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Feb 10, 2005, 12:03 PM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
...

I simply disagree with your attempt to blame all this on Bush's handling of North Korea. The fact is North Korea was violating its obligations before Bush even came into office. All Bush did was admit what Clinton's people didn't like to admit. I'm not going to try to blame this all on Clinton either. He tried something that naive or not was probably worth trying. (Full disclosure, I vaguely know Clinton's negotiator, he is a good and trustwrthy man). The real problem here is that North Korea is a dangerous state and nobody is in a very strong position to deal with it. The best we can hope for is that the interested powers together can coordinate and talk them out of this dangerous corner they have created for themselves. And, of course, that one day North Korea can be freed.
I think you mistake blaming Bush for accelerating and contributing to the escalation by his politics with him being responsible for the whole situation.

Think of it what you want, but if it is sure that NK has nukes (they already to have means to deliver them), then it's pretty much safe to assume that there will be no military intervention.

And that's why I think, nuclear weapons are still just a bargaining chip ... what else does NK want except survival (political, economical, and food-wise)?
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Twilly Spree
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Feb 10, 2005, 12:07 PM
 
First we got the bomb, and that was good,
'Cause we love peace and motherhood.
Then Russia got the bomb, but that's okay,
'Cause the balance of power's maintained that way.
Who's next?

Then France got the bomb, but don't you grieve,
'Cause they're on our side (I believe).
China got the bomb, but have no fears,
'Cause they can't wipe us out for a least five years.
Who's next?

Japan will have its own device,
Transistorized at half the price.
South Africa wants two, that's right:
One for the black and one for the white.
Who's next?

Egypt's gonna get one too,
Just to use on you-know-who.
So Israel's getting tense,
Wants one in self defense.
"The Lord's our shepherd," says the psalm,
But just in case, we better get a bomb.
Who's next?

Luxembourg is next to go,
And (who knows?) maybe Monaco.
We'll try to stay serene and calm
When Alabama gets the bomb.
Who's next?
Who's next?
Who's next?
Who's next??


Apparently North Korea

Frankly I don't care. At. All.
     
lurkalot
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Feb 10, 2005, 12:08 PM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
Lurkalot: The ICJ has no binding authority at all. It never has had. States can voluntarily submit to its jurisdction, including in advance, and including in advance with reservations. Most countries who have submitted agreements to submit to its jurisdiction do so with reservations. Other states only submit on a case by case basis. The dafault is its opinions are not binding and it has no jurisdiction. Take a look at its charter if you have any doubt about that.

That particular opinion was expressly advisory. There were no state parties to the proceeding.

The NPT, as I am sure you are aware, sets out a two tier system. While the declared nuclear powers expressed a desire to disarm, that is only hortatory. It's not binding, and there is no timeframe. I don't think that this state of affairs can really be called self-interested. Most of us would prefer to wave a magic wand and to not only banish nuclear weapons from the world, but also the idea of nuclear weapons. The problem is that isn't exactly realistic. So far the nuclear powers have been rather responsible with them. If all the responsible nations got rid of their weapons, then you would have a serious incentive for irresponsible, power-seeking countries to aquire them. That wouldn't be in anyone's interests.

Until the world becomes a great deal more stable I don't think there is any possibility that nuclear weapons can be banned. In fact, I think banning them would be a mistake. That said, I am for reducing the numbers -- especially of strategic arms -- and of making sure that they are all in responsible hands. It's not a perfect solution, but the world isn't perfect.

I simply disagree with your attempt to blame all this on Bush's handling of North Korea. The fact is North Korea was violating its obligations before Bush even came into office. All Bush did was admit what Clinton's people didn't like to admit. I'm not going to try to blame this all on Clinton either. He tried something that naive or not was probably worth trying. (Full disclosure, I vaguely know Clinton's negotiator, he is a good and trustwrthy man). The real problem here is that North Korea is a dangerous state and nobody is in a very strong position to deal with it. The best we can hope for is that the interested powers together can coordinate and talk them out of this dangerous corner they have created for themselves. And, of course, that one day North Korea can be freed.
Starting at the bottom. I'm not blaming this all on the Bush administration. Would it be any more fair to say that you try to absolve Bush from any responsibility?
The Bush administration did a great deal more than "admit what Clinton's people didn't like to admit". I do not agree that the end of the Clinton term was the logical end of the Clinton policies towards North Korea and neither do I agree with your assessment of who broke the 1994 Agreed Framework first. If that is even a useful discussion to have at this point is another question but to place the blame solely on either side is not realistic. In my opinion. I never did.
I agree on the hoped for outcome. I have no desire to see this regime perpetuated beyond any second but I likewise do not want to pay any price required for its demise beyond what is the absolute minimum cost. Think money and lives with the sacrifice of money by far the more desirable and expendable currency.

For the reasons outlined in the previous post I do not have a very high opinion of the deterrent of possessing nuclear weapons. There is the distinct possibility that the North Koreans developed theirs to counter "ours". In that case the US arsenal was counterproductive as a deterrent.

"Ours" because I live underneath what has been termed the US nuclear umbrella in one of the areas potentially within DPRK missile range and in a country designated by the DPRK as a potential enemy". Though I'd much prefer to get rid of the "umbrella" and the "rain" it is supposed to shelter me from at the same time, I live in a democracy that only has influence on the unfolding of the umbrella but can't stop the rain from falling. I'd rather be wet alone than to know that a bucket of the same stuff that I've been doused with is dumped on those who likewise couldn't stop the rain anymore then I could. It has rained here once before. We have a nice park here to remind us.

Nuclear security is an oxymoron in my opinion and by exempting themselves from any binding disarmament obligations the nuclear powers did in my opinion draft a self serving and somewhat short sighted treaty with the NPT. I do not see the purpose of nuclear weapons. I don't want the euphemistic nuclear umbrella in the hands that hold it anymore than I want the regimes like North Korea to have the nuclear arsenal to "counter" it. If that's naive, so be it.

The ICJ is not the topic perse but I disagree somewhat with your analysis of the nature of the court's opinions and also with your analysis of my comments I posted -in my previous reply- on the opinions of the court. I'm familiar with the court's chapter and other guiding documents.

In short. To say that "The ICJ has no binding authority at all." is already contradicted by the rest of your own comments but I didn't claim that the opinion was binding. I said that the legal analysis offered in the ICJ's advisory opinion was legally sound.
( Last edited by lurkalot; Feb 10, 2005 at 12:15 PM. )
     
mitchell_pgh
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Feb 10, 2005, 12:14 PM
 
How can anyone see a nuclear North Korea as being a good thing.

Multiply a government based on lies, secrets and the hatred of other cultures with an economy on the brink of disaster, throw in a population literally starving to death and you have a wonderful combination.
     
SimeyTheLimey
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Feb 10, 2005, 12:17 PM
 
Originally posted by OreoCookie:
I think you mistake blaming Bush for accelerating and contributing to the escalation by his politics with him being responsible for the whole situation.

Think of it what you want, but if it is sure that NK has nukes (they already to have means to deliver them), then it's pretty much safe to assume that there will be no military intervention.

And that's why I think, nuclear weapons are still just a bargaining chip ... what else does NK want except survival (political, economical, and food-wise)?
I don't think the Bush Administration accelerated or escalated anything. That is a media impression caused simply by the fact that the public silence that followed the 1994 agreement lulled the public. So, of course, did Madeline Albright's counterfactual boasting about the suceess of the Agreed Framework. She already knew that NK was in violation. The Bush Administration initially kept quiet just as the Clinton Administration did. Both Administration face the same basic reality: the US doesn't have a whole lot of leverage here.

What Bush has been doing is working with NK's neighbors. They don't have much leverage either, but they have more than the US does.

There really isn't a military option, even though Clinton did consider one in 1994. Most of NK's nuclear program is apparently deep underground. Short of using nukes ourselves, I don't believe there is any way to be assured of reaching it. Conventional invasion is pretty much out of the question. The size of North Korea's army is their real deterrent and I don't think even the Chinese would want to take it on within North Korea.

As much as I agree with you that NK might think of nukes as their bargaining chip, I doubt they will give them up. They really are their last chip and given that their regime is so close to collapse, they don't have any real incentive to give it up. They have already shown a willingness to let their own people starve, so any assumption that they will see reason is naive, imho. So I think we'll be dealing with this for a while unless something unexpected like a coup happens.
     
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Feb 10, 2005, 12:18 PM
 
Originally posted by mitchell_pgh:
How can anyone see a nuclear North Korea as being a good thing.

Multiply a government based on lies, secrets and the hatred of other cultures with an economy on the brink of disaster, throw in a population literally starving to death and you have a wonderful combination.
NO DOOD THEY NEED TO DFEND THEMSELVUES AGAINST THIER ENEMMINIES!

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OreoCookie
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Feb 10, 2005, 12:45 PM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
I don't think the Bush Administration accelerated or escalated anything. That is a media impression caused simply by the fact that the public silence that followed the 1994 agreement lulled the public. So, of course, did Madeline Albright's counterfactual boasting about the suceess of the Agreed Framework. She already knew that NK was in violation. The Bush Administration initially kept quiet just as the Clinton Administration did. Both Administration face the same basic reality: the US doesn't have a whole lot of leverage here.

What Bush has been doing is working with NK's neighbors. They don't have much leverage either, but they have more than the US does.

There really isn't a military option, even though Clinton did consider one in 1994. Most of NK's nuclear program is apparently deep underground. Short of using nukes ourselves, I don't believe there is any way to be assured of reaching it. Conventional invasion is pretty much out of the question. The size of North Korea's army is their real deterrent and I don't think even the Chinese would want to take it on within North Korea.

As much as I agree with you that NK might think of nukes as their bargaining chip, I doubt they will give them up. They really are their last chip and given that their regime is so close to collapse, they don't have any real incentive to give it up. They have already shown a willingness to let their own people starve, so any assumption that they will see reason is naive, imho. So I think we'll be dealing with this for a while unless something unexpected like a coup happens.
Bush hasn't been working more with the neighbors, it was done more quietly before. As I mentioned before, my uncle was used as a negotiator a couple of times in NK, but there has been very, very little on the news about it.

China does have a more `pragmatic' approach to deal with Pjoenjang: one or two years ago, they had some `unscheduled maintenance' in oil and/or gas pipelines that were crucial to NK after the North Korean delegation almost escalated the situation. After a couple of days, they returned to the bargaining table.

Albright's mission was indeed a success, as it kept all sides talking.

You pretty much nailed it in your last paragraph: NK will not give up their nuclear warheads and it is very unlikely that it will use them for anything else than a bargaining chip. And there is very little one can do about it. `Being loud' does anything but make a diplomatic solution more difficult (and I don't think there will be a military conflict as the US expects that the North Korean claims are probably true (Powell once made a statement that US intelligence expects NK to have 2-3 nuclear warheads)).

Personally I would favor a policy similar of that of the former BRD towards the GDR: quiet support in exchange for economic relief. You build up dependence until the system fails. Takes some time, but it's the most effective way I see.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
SimeyTheLimey
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Feb 10, 2005, 01:00 PM
 
Originally posted by OreoCookie:
Albright's mission was indeed a success, as it kept all sides talking.

You pretty much nailed it in your last paragraph: NK will not give up their nuclear warheads and it is very unlikely that it will use them for anything else than a bargaining chip. And there is very little one can do about it. `Being loud' does anything but make a diplomatic solution more difficult (and I don't think there will be a military conflict as the US expects that the North Korean claims are probably true (Powell once made a statement that US intelligence expects NK to have 2-3 nuclear warheads)).

Personally I would favor a policy similar of that of the former BRD towards the GDR: quiet support in exchange for economic relief. You build up dependence until the system fails. Takes some time, but it's the most effective way I see.

Talking alone isn't the measure of success of a diplomatic engagement. That is elevating process over reality. Albright had a nice little dance with Kim, but Kim still kept working on his bomb program. The purpose of the Agreed Framework was to head that off, not give it cover. In that it failed.

That is not to say that anything else would have worked, or that it wasn't worth trying. But I don't think we should kid ourselves here that just talking did anything more than keep the real situation brewing out of the public eye.

As for what we do, yes, probably some kind of gradual let down is needed. The problem is that Kim Jong Il is much more like Erich Honnecker than Egon Krenz. In fact, he makes Honnecker look like a sane humanitarian.

In any case, Bush is doing the right thing keeping the pressure multilateral with Japan, China, and South Korea. NK wants only to deal with the US, and that would be a mistake. NK has to deal with its neighbors.
     
mitchell_pgh
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Feb 10, 2005, 01:15 PM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
In any case, Bush is doing the right thing keeping the pressure multilateral with Japan, China, and South Korea. NK wants only to deal with the US, and that would be a mistake. NK has to deal with its neighbors.
I feel unilateral US-NK talks now would be disastrous at this point in time.
     
BoomStick
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Feb 10, 2005, 01:22 PM
 
NK wants to play David and Goliath in front of the world.

Except NK isn't David. Far from it.
     
roam
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Feb 10, 2005, 01:54 PM
 
Well, I think they do, especially with America doing its best to manufacture its little wars these days. Take Iran, a country that has said it has no desire to develop nuclear weapons. The US, (doing Israel's bidding), is hearing none of it. They won't entertain the idea that,m OMG, Iran might just actually be telling the truth and they really do only intend to use nuclear power for civilian reasons.

Now what is a country y like Iran to do when faced with the nonsense that the uS is spewing out? D?o they stand back and let some tyrannical nation walk al over them? Do they actually go ahead and develop nuclear weapons to combat an external threat? Hell yeah. But wait, the US wil say that they are breaking what they signed up to in the non-proliferation treaty. Woopee fu[c]king do, if America can renegade on past arms treaties under the pretext that the world has changed since 9/11,m then so can others.
I really , honestly hope that both N. Korea and Iran do get armed, really balance out the world a bit. Any more **** from Bush, ****lg threaten to invade them and say that they are the real destabilising country on the planet. I would.

Hell, why aren't we threatening Israel? What exactly does Iran do that is really awful? ?Do they bomb their own civilians? Oh wait, that's what Israel does. Yet, Israel, wjho hasn't signed up to the treaty, can get away with developing, and having nuclear weapons. M<ost would say that Israel is the real destabilising threat to the Mideast, Fcuking invade the filthy ****ers.

Oops, we won't, because we are liking their arse right now.

Thing is, you re a fool, a ****ng fool if you think that any of this rhetoric being used just now is actually for the benefit of peace. It's about securing, dominating and neutralising any perceived threat to your interests. None of which is fair.
Go Iran, pound the hell out of America, N. Korea? Hell, don't be shy about using nukes, the US used atomic bombs on Japan!

Go for it
     
roam
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Feb 10, 2005, 01:57 PM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:

In any case, Bush is doing the right thing keeping the pressure multilateral with Japan, China, and South Korea. NK wants only to deal with the US, and that would be a mistake. NK has to deal with its neighbors.
Man you talk a lot of ****. You really are unaware of international affairs, & politics; and I thought you just played the ignorant arse.

My, what a happy world you occupy in which US interests are actually for the benefit of all humanity.

Climb out your arse, mate. No-one outside your mutual appreciation club listens to you.
     
roam
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Feb 10, 2005, 01:58 PM
 
Originally posted by BoomStick:
NK wants to play David and Goliath in front of the world.

Except NK isn't David. Far from it.
And what is America pretending to be these days? Mother Theresa?
     
SimeyTheLimey
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Feb 10, 2005, 01:59 PM
 
Originally posted by roam:
Take Iran, a country that has said it has no desire to develop nuclear weapons. The US, (doing Israel's bidding), is hearing none of it. They won't entertain the idea that,m OMG, Iran might just actually be telling the truth and they really do only intend to use nuclear power for civilian reasons.
Fortunately, the rest of the world isn't quite as gullible as you.

Did it ever occur to you to ask why a country swimming in oil needs nuclear power plants?
     
SimeyTheLimey
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Feb 10, 2005, 02:00 PM
 
Originally posted by roam:
Man you talk a lot of ****. You really are unaware of international affairs, & politics; and I thought you just played the ignorant arse.

My, what a happy world you occupy in which US interests are actually for the benefit of all humanity.

Climb out your arse, mate. No-one outside your mutual appreciation club listens to you.
Quoted for preservation purposes.
     
roam
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Feb 10, 2005, 02:02 PM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
Quoted for preservation purposes.
Good for you, you'll still be an arse. That's all the response you deserve.
     
Salah al-Din
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Feb 10, 2005, 02:08 PM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
Fortunately, the rest of the world isn't quite as gullible as you.

Did it ever occur to you to ask why a country swimming in oil needs nuclear power plants?
1. Cleaner energy and to be able to export more of their own oil.

2. Oil is not eternal and will run out. They are preparing themselves for the inevitable.
     
ThinkInsane
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Feb 10, 2005, 02:08 PM
 
Originally posted by roam:

Go Iran, pound the hell out of America, N. Korea? Hell, don't be shy about using nukes, the US used atomic bombs on Japan!

Go for it
I hope they get your house first.
Nemo me impune lacesset
     
roam
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Feb 10, 2005, 02:11 PM
 
Originally posted by SimeyTheLimey:
Fortunately, the rest of the world isn't quite as gullible as you.
Oh I think you're quite the gullible force on this one, just like you are on most other things. Iraq ring a bell?

Fortunately for me, the rest of the wolrld isn't Bush, Blair, and Sharon. Is it any wonder why the US is the only nation not willing to entertain talks".? To go down the sanctions route, to talk of military intervention? You equating the "world" with 3 political leaderships, is a seriously stupid mistake. Fortunately for me, you still sound like a ****, a silly Republican, ignorant ****, who pushes US self-interests as actual peace.

Did it ever occur to you to ask why a country swimming in oil needs nuclear power plants?
Yeah, why does the US need nuclear arms, or even power since they have a hell of a lot of oil, and oil imports. Why does a nation want nuclear power? I forget, you don;'t believe in removing the use of fossil fuels, no do you since America pulled out of the Kyoto agreement.

Your ignorance on why nations desire nuclear power is all too obvious. But hey, let's qet paranoid because a country actually says it wants nuclear power for peaceful reason, not like the US to actually believe them. They must be lying, we must bomb them.
Mind you, I really wonder what the evidence on this is, is it as strong as Iraq's WMD?
( Last edited by roam; Feb 10, 2005 at 02:17 PM. )
     
 
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