Author Topic: North Korea (Superthread)  (Read 596022 times)

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Offline zipperhead_cop

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #75 on: October 13, 2006, 00:19:27 »
As cool as this game of Risk is, does anyone have any idea as to WHY he did it?  What was he trying to prove?  How could pissing off China have ever been seen as a good thing?  This can't be as simple as a bored whack job conducting attention seeking behaviour?   ???
God loves stupid people.  That's why He made so many of them.

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Offline warspite

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #76 on: October 13, 2006, 01:04:51 »
I have to agree with the devastation an large scale artillery bombardment would wreak on S. Korea, both physically and to the nations moral.
I cite as evidence our bombardment of vimy ridge before we took it from the germans.
-it was at the time the worlds largest artillery bombardment
-could be heard as far away as London
-We bombarded the ridge constantly for a week straight
-The germans had a name for that week, I'm sorry I can't remember it but I'm 98% sure it contained their word for terror

   Doesn't matter even if it hits you. Imagine if all a sudden a shell landed in your neighborhood... right now as your reading this... what would go through your head? Probably WTF. But what if while your trying to figure out what the heck was that there's another explosion... and another... and another.... and so the night goes on and on and on.
   Morning comes. Your neighbors house is now a crater. Smoke from fires drifts by your window. The sound of sirens is in the air.....
AND THE EXPLOSIONS JUST KEEP ON COMING.......
    Don't know about you but if you haven't had artillery exploding at your door I imagine it would be pretty terrifying. I know it would scare the heck out of me. And that means it would scare the heck out of a lot of people.
   Sure it's easy to say... well North Korea isn't capable of flattening Seoul with artillery fire. If even there was 1 shell landing every minute or two I imagine theres going to be a lot of chaos and terror which really is just as good a result as flattening the city.


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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #77 on: October 13, 2006, 07:54:27 »

-The germans had a name for that week, I'm sorry I can't remember it but I'm 98% sure it contained their word for terror
Woche des Leidens
of "Week of suffering", which also has Christian overtones, as I believe that the German for the last week of Christ is also known as the "Woche des Leidens"
So, there I was....

Offline Brixxie

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #78 on: October 13, 2006, 08:57:40 »
As cool as this game of Risk is, does anyone have any idea as to WHY he did it?  What was he trying to prove?  How could pissing off China have ever been seen as a good thing?  This can't be as simple as a bored whack job conducting attention seeking behaviour?   ???

I would sorta like to know what the point of the testing is , I am so uneducated with this part of warefare. But who has nuclear arms  ,  and who decides who can have them. And why would Kim be testing if not to show agresaggression

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #79 on: October 13, 2006, 09:09:03 »
As cool as this game of Risk is, does anyone have any idea as to WHY he did it?  What was he trying to prove?  How could pissing off China have ever been seen as a good thing?  This can't be as simple as a bored whack job conducting attention seeking behaviour?   ???

I think Kim and his handlers, the NK generals – more than a dozen of them in the ‘top tier’ – are playing a huge game of blind man’s bluff in reverse.  They hope, with some reason, that they have everyone else shambling about in blindfolds while NK baits them with insults and threats.

Why do this?

The country is an economic basket case; it is bankrupt and starving.  It will, of its own accord, collapse, within a very few years, into cruelly violent chaos; starvation does that to people.  There is no sensible way that the leadership can prevent this except by prostrating themselves at the feet of SK (supported by Japan and the USA) or China.  In either case the leadership, and their families and friends are purged: quickly, quietly and fatally if the Chinese take over.  There is little incentive to negotiate with either of the only two players with any real power on the peninsula.  Better, in the eyes of the leadership, to threaten and cajole and hope against hope that China and/or the SK (with JP and USA) will blink and provide the massive aid which NK requires – for a generation – without tossing the leadership on to history’s dung heap.  They, caring nothing at all for the NK people, are willing to play this game to its end because the alternative is so stark.  Almost anything must seem preferable to execution in some remote, cold, dusty Chinese small-town barracks square.

The Chinese are hoping, I think, that they can, peacefully, finesse this issue so that SK, Japan and the USA pay the freight while China gets, at worst, a compliant neighbour in the new NK, perhaps NK united (in a free trade area or even a very loose federation) with SK.

I think the Chinese need regional stability: no wars, no violent revolutions, no refugees, no economic panic.  I am pretty sure NK needs an uninterrupted supply food and fuel if it is to avoid sudden, violent collapse and chaos.  Therefore, I suspect China will keep sending food and fuel to NK.  I believe, therefore, that Japan’s sanctions (cutting off NK exports to Japan), announced today, (http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aPb.FrO6h1XA&refer=home ) play into China’s hands.  Japan provided NK with much of its hard currency.  Cutting that money supply will, indeed, make it harder for NK to acquire technology but it will strengthen China’s grip on NK, too.

But in short, for the NK leadership, being firmly gripped by the Chinese is better than being executed by them, so the childrens' game of blind man's bluff goes on.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
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Offline geo

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #80 on: October 13, 2006, 09:18:28 »
I would sorta like to know what the point of the testing is , I am so uneducated with this part of warefare. But who has nuclear arms  ,  and who decides who can have them. And why would Kim be testing if not to show agresaggression
NK has had many issues in the past and the UN, the IMF and all sorts of other organisations have dictated terms to NK before they would bail him out... between famine and other Socioeconomic problems, NK didn't have a choice but to comply but, from what I have read, NK crops are plentyful this year and NK is flexing what mucsle it has - telling the world & showing it's population that it can't be pushed around......
Chimo!

Offline Colin P

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #81 on: October 13, 2006, 10:02:20 »
I have no problems with China strenghtening it's grip on NK, hopefully by killing off the top tier and placing someone competent at the top who will guide NK into the 20th century (yes I know it's the 21st century) with minamal disruption to SE Asia.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #82 on: October 13, 2006, 23:08:13 »
Trying to contain or control the DPRK will require far more time, effort and resources than anyone in the West is willing to commit at this time. Sealing the borders to the West and forcing China to pay the bill for their problem (and it is their problem, as they fear a collapse of the DPRK and the subsequent flood of refugees coming across the Yalu river) works to our advantage, since China now has to focus attention and resources against the DPRK, which are no longer available to use against us.

A Chinese dominated DPRK isn't that much of a threat to us, the Chinese will probably use it as an economic resource base with a Procouncil living in the Dear Leader's palace and dictating terms and conditions (disguised as contracts to placate the West) to the Korean people, but will then have to devote even more resources to contain the North Koreans. The Chinese (according to Kaplan) might prefer a hunk of the DPRK's territory an a seaport, and allow the South Koreans to bear the cost of reunification and rebuilding the rest. The DPRK will become a game of "hot potato" between the Chinese and Western powers, with the object of the game being to make the loser pay for rebuilding the shattered remains of the DPRK when the music stops. Place the Dear Leader on ignore for a while longer, his time is coming to an end.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #83 on: October 13, 2006, 23:30:45 »
I wish you were right about Kim's longevity, but I am sceptical. The guy has managed to stay in power since Kim Il Sung's death, no small feat. Keep hoping to turn on the tv one day to a Romanian style people's revolt.
But until that day we have to deal with North Korea as it plays one of its two trump cards a nuclear weapon and refugees. The only real options we have with regard to North Koreas are economic. Stop the flow of money from the ex pat community in Japan and the regime will have no choice but to moderate.


Offline Thucydides

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #84 on: October 13, 2006, 23:47:40 »
But until that day we have to deal with North Korea as it plays one of its two trump cards a nuclear weapon and refugees. The only real options we have with regard to North Koreas are economic. Stop the flow of money from the ex pat community in Japan and the regime will have no choice but to moderate.

My point exactly. The stoppage of financial and material aid from the West puts the ball firmly in China's court, they either pick up the tab or deal with the after effect of the DPRK imploding. The regime itself will not moderate, as was pointed out in an earlier post they have no incentive. If we engage in talks, provide aid etc. they will continue with nuclear blackmail. If we do not engage they will have to take extreme steps to ensure the survival of the regime (which is what is happening now anyway).
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline fasdfasdfasdf

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #85 on: October 14, 2006, 00:56:54 »
quote from times.hankooki.com/lpage/nation/200610/kt2006101217510111990.htm

"``If the Bush administration makes more provocations, both New York City and Tokyo will be blazed,’’ Kim said. He added the North is targeting the United States but does not want to wage a war against the South as long as Seoul takes a neutral position."

I don't know how reliable that article is, however. In the article it seems relatively clear that as long as SK "stays neutral", Soeul won't get the crap kicked out of it.

A couple thoughts of mine on the situation:
     NK might be hoping that other countries will want to buy the technology from them to help support their troubled economy.
     
     Edward, is NK's situtation really bad enough that (in however many years) they will -submit- themselves to China? That seems very unlikely to me, but then again I really don't know how bad NK is atm.

     If the US/UN imposed sanctions on NK, what would the "war" be? NK does not have the military prowess to haul *** across the pacific and fight there. Would NK strike out at Japan to force battles in Asia?

     Say that there was no nuke detonation and Kim is just playing this to see how things turn out.... Is he really that big of a gambler?

On another note,
      I've heard that Israel would be most likely to attack Iran if it they developed the capacity to produce a nuclear weapon... Is there any truth to this?

     

Offline Thucydides

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #86 on: October 14, 2006, 01:49:54 »
Many of you may have seen this image or something similar; lookcarefully and you will see that there are very few avenues of approach in terms of economic sanctions for the DPRK. Cut off the food and oil, and it is over. http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/dprk/dprk-dark.htm

Oc course, the DPRK is not the only place this might be true, extrapolate the night view on this map based on concentrations of transport links etc: http://www.prairiecentre.com/pdf/cp_map.pdf
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline TCBF

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #87 on: October 14, 2006, 02:18:21 »
No big deal.  The Air Raid Wardens just enforce the blackout.  That's all. 

 ;)
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"I didn’t feel that it was an act of violence; you know, I felt that it was an act of liberation, that’s how I felt you know." - Ann Hansen, Canadian 'Urban Guerrilla'(one of the "Squamish Five")

Offline E.R. Campbell

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #88 on: October 14, 2006, 14:37:54 »
 
...  Edward, is NK's situtation really bad enough that (in however many years) they will -submit- themselves to China? That seems very unlikely to me, but then again I really don't know how bad NK is atm.
...

I was trying to say that if the crops fail again and again - as I believe they will if the NK government does not get a grip on its own domestic policies and programmes (which labour along as poor relations to the military) - then NK will collapse and they will have no alternative except China or, more likely, China + SK supported by JP and US. 

I think the Chinese intend to replace Kim Jong Il and most of the top-tier of military leaders with a fairly small, friendly coalition from within that top-tier but I acknowledge that this is a slow, difficult, risky programme.  I doubt that the Chinese certain about who will be in that friendly coalition and I suspect that many, many Chinese officials are uncertain about their own ability to get it right the first time.

This is a dangerous place and I am certain that not enough people are smart enough or well enough informed to do the right thing, right.
It is ill that men should kill one another in seditions, tumults and wars; but it is worse to bring nations to such misery, weakness and baseness
as to have neither strength nor courage to contend for anything; to have nothing left worth defending and to give the name of peace to desolation.
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Offline Prapanther

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #89 on: October 14, 2006, 19:43:50 »
 
Quote
This does not sound good at all
What I find most interesting is how small the testing measured (even more than that it happened to be seismographically etched in several databases).  The idea that there could be mini-nukes makes one a little concerned.  In terms of power politics, the North Korean government exercised its right to say don't touch, because, they tested their capability in open.  In terms of balacing power, one would expect someone to have missles pointed at north america.  Just in case.  Please let us not live in fear.  What matters now is what always has - peace, diplomacy, trade, education, etcetera.  :salute:

Offline tomahawk6

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #90 on: October 14, 2006, 20:03:48 »
Some experts feel that the test could have been a trigger for a hydrogen type bomb, which if true would be very unsettling.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #91 on: October 14, 2006, 20:29:18 »
Whatever happened at the bottom of the mine shaft was very small. In order of probability I would have to say a "fizzle" yeild due to incomplete fission is probably top of the list, with a dummy detonation of five or so KT of TNT running second.

Whatever skill and dedication the DPRK's scientific cadre might happen to have, I find the idea that they could make a thermonuclear trigger rather unlikely, particularly for the first "live" test.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline TCBF

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #92 on: October 15, 2006, 02:01:46 »
"Please let us not live in fear."

- Why stop now?   I was five years old during the Cuban Missle Crisis.  Is anyone my age or older actually losing sleep a handfull of possible warheads in the DPRK? I doubt it.
"Disarming the Canadian public is part of the new humanitarian social agenda."   - Foreign Affairs Minister Lloyd Axeworthy at a Gun Control conference in Oslo, Norway in 1998.


"I didn’t feel that it was an act of violence; you know, I felt that it was an act of liberation, that’s how I felt you know." - Ann Hansen, Canadian 'Urban Guerrilla'(one of the "Squamish Five")

Offline exsemjingo

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #93 on: October 15, 2006, 02:27:08 »
What a difference a week makes.  First there are fears that N.Korea has actually become a Nuclear threat to the point where even Russia condemns the tests.  Now there have been suggestions that the test was a failure.  This in itself is incredible, because provided that one has fissionable plutonium 238 (correct me on the isotope if I am wrong), all one really has to do to make it explode is hit two pieces together.  Any idiot can make the bomb apparatus.  North Korea supposedly has a nuclear power plant so they should by all accounts be able to produce Plutonium 238.
Maybe this does not work either.  That would explain all the darkness in night-time satelite photos of the country. ;D

At any rate, two important points suggest that the status quo really has not changed:
1) Even North Korea admits (even brags) that they have to develop their own Nuclear program.  They should be able to purchase technology from China, or at least have Chinese nukes based there covertly.  The Chinese do not trust N.Korea, so they are not free to threaten anybody.
2) Northe Korea still has one of the largest armies in the world with a deeply indoctrinated population.  Any attempt to invade would result in casualties far above the tolerance of even the most hawkish western generals.

I predict more of the same, which is the continued existence of North Korea as a convenient puppet-state for China.  The Chinese seem happy enough, for now.
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Offline chanman

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #94 on: October 15, 2006, 03:24:45 »
fissionable material is either U-235 or plutonium.

I wonder if they went for a gun-type or an implosion mechanism - it looks like the gun-type would be simpler to pull off.

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #95 on: October 15, 2006, 10:03:08 »
Quote
Any attempt to invade would result in casualties far above the tolerance of even the most hawkish western generals.

Nice generalization, jack.  Think back to the run up to Gulf war 2- was it the Generals or the Politicians who were counciling caution? In a western democracy, who sends who to war? For the most part, Western generals are very casualty adverse, because they know and understand the business of warfare and mostly, have a genuine like, if not love of the soldiers they command.  Politicians, on the other hand...

Offline Thucydides

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #96 on: October 15, 2006, 11:10:48 »
What a difference a week makes.  First there are fears that N.Korea has actually become a Nuclear threat to the point where even Russia condemns the tests.  Now there have been suggestions that the test was a failure.  This in itself is incredible, because provided that one has fissionable plutonium 238 (correct me on the isotope if I am wrong), all one really has to do to make it explode is hit two pieces together.  Any idiot can make the bomb apparatus.  North Korea supposedly has a nuclear power plant so they should by all accounts be able to produce Plutonium 238.

Without going into mind numbing technicalties, just "banging two pieces together" isn't enough. As the pieces approach each other (in a Uranium "gun" bomb) or the density of the Plutonium sphere approaches criticality as the explosive shock wave compresses it, neutrons are being released and starting fission reactions. The material is moving at "mechanical" speeds, while the reactions are taking place at "quantum" speeds, many thousands of times faster. If the implosion is asymmetrical, the fission reaction will blow the Plutonium sphere apart before it reaches full critical density and prevents the reaction from achieving its full yield.

Another factor related to criticality is the purity of the material. Plutonium comes in several isotopes which have different fissile potential. Unless the reprocessed material is very "clean" and not contaminated by the other isotopes, you may end up with a device the size of a railroad locomotive due to the need for shielding, cooling etc. to prevent a premature melt down. A Uranium bomb full of impurities will probably release a burst of heat and neutrons before melting.

If it wasn't for these (and probably other) factors, nuclear weapons could be produced in your basement. So, don't attempt to break the Laws of Physics. There is no appeal.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #97 on: October 19, 2006, 17:09:18 »
There are some issues with making, or allowing, NK to be China's problem. Though it would, in the short run, relieve some pressure from us (the grand "us"), and put the onus for resolving this deteriorating situation on a strategic competitor, not to mention forcing them to be responsible for their actions in supporting this regime - I see a number of long term difficulties that would arise.

Namely, lets assume we wake up tomorrow and the NK state has dissolved - if we have allowed China to incorporate NK into its agreed sphere of influence, they are likely to take it over and install a puppet regime. If at this point we decide all of a sudden to interfere, this will create a large amount of hostility with the Chinese possibly leading to conflict. The other option of course, the one I think to be more preferable, is to have SK open it doors to the citizens and quickly move to unify the peninsula with the backing of the major democratic pacific, and NATO nations. For this though, SK and the other democracies have to take an active interest in NK and prevent China from asserting itself as the dominant power over that nation. By active interest, understand I in no way mean interacting in a hospitable manner with them, but rather directly enforcing strict sanctions and working to subvert the leadership and economy of the state - while keeping them distanced from China and constantly asserting our own freedom of movement in this area. Understand though that the Chinese will be no more pleased with a peaceful, democratic nation on its border than we would be happy with a authoritarian oligarchical state on ours - so we will be working against them to assert our ownership. Trade relations with China, in this regard, should be used as a leverage tool, along with a host of other issues, to keep them from interacting and supporting the regime (there are a number of trade disputes with China before the WTO which could be "resolved amicably" if China agreed), not to mention the simple threat of recognizing Taiwan's independance if China touches NK with a ten foot pole.

In the end though, the point is that I think it is in fact in our best interested to actually try and distance, as much as possible, North Korea and China. Further we should become as involved as we possibly can by actively trying to disrupt the normal functioning of the state in the hopes of creating a sufficient crises to bring about mass unrest, support destabilizing elements who can direct this unrest towards regime change, while further selling the "western image" to the North Korean people through our tried and true methods - Coca-Cola, Nike, and Hollywood.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2006, 21:32:57 by couchcommander »

Offline fasdfasdfasdf

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #98 on: October 19, 2006, 18:58:18 »
while further selling the "western image" to the North Korea people through our tried and true methods - Coca-Cola, Nike, and Hollywood.

You forgot one! McDonalds!

Offline chanman

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Re: North Korea (Superthread)
« Reply #99 on: October 19, 2006, 19:56:24 »
From the Economist - The aid that NK is getting from its northern neighbour might not be as big as you would expect.  The WFP is the UN's World Food Programme, responsible for food aid.

http://www.economist.com/world/asia/displaystory.cfm?story_id=8058416

Quote
There is meanwhile a hoary assumption that China will not let North Korea collapse by suspending the aid it is often supposed to have supplied: it is said to have sent 500,000 tonnes of grain in 2005. Yet household surveys by the WFP last year found no Chinese grain. Even before the proliferation crisis, the International Crisis Group, a think-tank, concluded from research in China that its food aid was minuscule. It is probably now smaller still.

By contrast, North Korea's trade with China (including in food) has grown fast. Last year the country imported over $1 billion-worth of Chinese goods. New UN sanctions against it may change that. This week branches of the Bank of China close to the border stopped doing North Korea-related business, either at their government's decree or because of concerns that their loans could soon go bad.

North Koreans are somewhat more protected today than they were before the great famine of the mid-1990s, in which perhaps 1m died. Many can smuggle, trade, bribe, and grow food on individual plots. Still, according to the UN, a third of North Korean women with children under 24 months are malnourished or anaemic, and more than a third of children under six are stunted. One outlet for the hungry in the 1990s was China, to which 50,000-100,000 North Koreans crossed. That route is now closing, at least for those without money. In the past month, authorities in China's north-east have cracked down with dawn raids on neighbourhoods in search of North Koreans. This week, a barbed-wire fence was going up along the border. China is taking no risks.