cphite wrote:There is a vast amount of area between taking NKs side and joining a nuclear exchange.
There is. Most countries would fall somewhere into the area of "taking no military action". However, states in general tend to condemn aggressive action, and understand the need for reactions. Nuclear war puts a great deal more importance on this than usual. North Korea is generally lacking in friends due to it's usual behavior. It isn't rich, powerful, or influential enough to get away with a nuclear first strike.
Everyone would at that point view it as a dangerous, but easily defeated threat. That's...not a good position to be in.
Understand, if the situation ever gets to the point of open warfare, the Kim regime is going to assume that their only chance of survival is to cause enough carnage to convince their opponents to cease hostilities. That means doing massive amounts of damage in a limited amount of time; that's why they want nukes in the first place. China does not want to place themselves on that list, especially since they are right next door.
China is not in fear of North Korea. NK is vastly inferior to China in every respect I can think of. China's policy towards North Korea appears to be driven by logical self interest and a desire for stability, not fear. They're a useful stick to poke the west with on occasion, so long as they don't get out of control, but China tends to lean on them a bit(while also being seen to play the part of peacemaker) when things look too messy. The status quo benefits China, why would they seek to upset it?
However, if NK upsets it, they won't be overly happy with them.
Also, NK doesn't have a ton of nukes. If they start using them in a first strike fashion, they will very rapidly lose any remaining deterrent. This is not true for the US. A limited nuclear exchange between US and NK will not significantly impact our arsenal, but it will NK.
This is not a video game. China isn't going to risk losing one or more cities based on the premise that North Korea can only destroy a few. Just one would be a massive disaster; hell for that matter just one on the Korean peninsula would be a massive disaster from their perspective. Adding to that disaster does not serve their interests.
The only way China would ever consider using a nuke against NK would be if they had reliable intelligence that NK would launch against them - and that's way outside the realm of shit that's ever going to happen.
China has a no first strike policy. Their nukes are explicitly for second strikes.
Why would being seen to stand against an out-of-control North Korea be against their interests? If NK has already launched, they have comparatively little stick left. NK doesn't have much in the way of nukes, launchers, or launch facilities. If you hit them, they don't get to hit back, particularly if they've already expended a first strike. There simply isn't danger of NK retaliation at that point.
At that point, they have nothing to gain by backing NK, but siding with the winners has historically worked out well. Remember when Russia declared war on Japan quite late in WW2? Same scenario.
Totally different scenario. Russia made a deal with the allies to engage with Japan after the fall of Germany, and was promised territory. Also, Japan was a major military power that had proven themselves both willing and capable of aggressive expansion. And finally, they were still thinking in conventional (non-nuclear) terms - where striking first gained you heavy favor in terms of outcome.
The only thing China would gain from a nuclear exchange with North Korea would be massive casualties, radioactive fallout, and mass unrest; there is really no outcome that would be good from their perspective.
Why would they sustain causalities? In any case, becoming involved would put them in a good position to exercise more direct influence over their wayward neighbor. It's literally next door to them, they're not going to ignore a fight in their back yard. They're going to make a play in their self interests.
Also, airbursts have minimal fallout. Standard nuke usage on the korean peninsula wouldn't have a great deal of effect on china. This might not be true if NK resorts to ground bursts while retreating or similar, but that falls into "actions that annoy china", not actions that keep china from doing anything.
This whole "everyone launches against everyone, and fallout is everywhere" viewpoint of every nuclear exchange seems like an odd relic of the cold war.
CorruptUser wrote:I think he is assuming that there would be fewer survivors. That's... not really true. The city of Hiroshima had a population of 350,000 prior to the bombing, meaning that the bomb only killed 1/8 near-instantly and another 1/8 in lengths of time anywhere from hours to weeks. Granted that nukes are more powerful now, but it's unlikely that we'd kill more than half the population, virtually ALL of which are going to be fleeing the fallout into China/SK.
The assumption is that if NK is desperate enough to get into that position, they're mostly going to be refugees anyways. Injuries and lingering deaths also inhibit people's ability to walk to the border, so in a situation where north korea is falling, the resulting cost is probably not theirs to clean up.
This isn't a statement of moral support, merely a cynical note that it happens to serve China's interests in more ways than one.
Anyways, in more cheery topics: https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/could-epa-proposal-could-lead-new-uses-cancer-causing-asbestos-n898546
, Trump's administration is seeking to have the EPA look into allowing more uses of asbestos. In celebration, a russian asbestos company slaps his face on their product.
Trump's historically been pretty pro-asbestos, which seems...odd. The toxicity of asbestos hasn't changed, really. It's not something that we've learned is really pretty safe, it's not a controversial thing, and it's a threat that doesn't really go away. Once you slap that in a house or something, it stays there until eventually someone tears it down. I'm all for re-evaluating threats on occasion, but this isn't a marginal or controversial one.