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Thread: S. Korean perception of N. Korean nuclear program

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    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    S. Korean perception of N. Korean nuclear program

    Thought I'd throw this out here. In Samuel Huntington's The Clash of Civilizations and Remaking of the World Order, he asserted that the sense of panic regarding the North Korean nuclear program grew the further one was from the Korean Peninsula. He claimed that the South Koreans view the eventual collapse of North Korea as inevitable and that they looked forward to the time when they could combine South Korean industrial prowess with North Korean nuclear weapons and assert themselves as a true power on the regional stage. North Korea would suffer the international condemnation for its nuclear weapons program and South Korea would inherit it scot-free.

    For those who are familiar with the views of the South Korean leadership, does Huntington's assertion true? Are the South Koreans unconcerned with the North Korean nuclear program and looking forward to a time in which they believe they will inherit nuclear weapons?
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    Officer of Engineers
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    South Korea is an NPT signatory.

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    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
    South Korea is an NPT signatory.
    I realize that, but in a what-if scenario, are the South Koreans really looking forward to inheriting nuclear weapons in the case of a North Korean collapse? I'm wondering if there's any academic arguments being written by South Korean military officers one way or the other regarding this, and whether Huntington's claim has any element of truth to it.
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    Officer of Engineers
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    Well, in order for South Korea to get nuclear weapons from North Korea, North Korea would have to have them first.

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    A bit off topic but what I dont understand is that if North Korean nuclear test was a dud and it appears that Libyan efforts were also getting nowhere, why are people worried about AQKhan proliferation? - perhaps the Pakistani nuclear technology only gives a 0.5kT yield when used in conjunction with 500 tons of TNT?

    Maybe we shouldnt worry about Pakistan implosion and let India and China clean up their own neighborhood. I am sick of Americans having to worry about every failed state in the world when the cash is getting a little sparse.

    We went to Iraq thinking about a mushroom cloud and same fear is keeping us from weaning Pakistan off the perpetual US aid.

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    Because the first thing you learned from a dud is what went wrong and hence you know how to fix it.

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    When a nuke test goes dud, it could be because of 10s of reasons...wouldnt you need tests after each cycle of optimization to narrow down and fix the problem? Thats how any technology is developed...nukes cannot be fundamentally different!

    You mean to say that if Tanzania puts together some device, carries out a test - [a dud] - it can now fix the problem and becomes a defacto nuclear power?

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    Officer of Engineers
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    The problem with your theory is that AQ Khan sold them working designs (the Chinese). From a dud, they can go back to the original source and deduce from there what went wrong.

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    Military Professional Deltacamelately's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg View Post
    You mean to say that if Tanzania puts together some device, carries out a test - [a dud] - it can now fix the problem and becomes a defacto nuclear power?
    Greg,
    Pakistan and North Korea didn't just "put together" some device. They had workable blueprints, that were tested by the Chinese and possibly miniaturised enough to be fitted on BMs, probably that's why they traded missiles for nuke designs. You simply don't flex mussles to a country which tested a design that just didn't burst and still have the necessary R&D facilities to correct the fault and BMs to deliver them.
    Last edited by Deltacamelately; 09 Jan 09, at 08:13.
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    Ok...I will leave it at that. My knowledge of nuclear weapons design is confined to extrapolations from elementry physics and you guys appear to know more about it than I do.

  11. #11
    Officer of Engineers
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deltacamelately View Post
    They had workable blueprints, that were tested by the Chinese and possibly miniaturised enough to be fitted on BMs, probably that's why they traded missiles for nuke designs.
    The North Korean device was not of Chinese origins.

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    SO what design did Pakistanis give to N.koreans?

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    They gave a CICH-4 which is Chinese but the NKs went the Pu route and designed their own.

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    Whats the evidence that the bomb design that Pakistanis acquired from Chinese is CICH4? What is the primary source of this information and why do you think the source is reliable?

  15. #15
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    Do a google on AQ Khan and Lybia.

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