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War talk

Written By: - Date published: 9:38 am, April 8th, 2013 - 125 comments
Categories: defence, International, iraq, john key, war - Tags: , ,

Having escaped his local disasters for some quiet time in China, John Key has been dabbling in international diplomacy and the dangerous situation surrounding the posturing of North Korea. After initial tough talk of war, Key has been backpedalling

Key plays down North Korea war talk

Speaking from China yesterday, where he is leading a trade delegation, Mr Key said if the current crisis ends in armed conflict, such intervention was possible.

“Obviously we’ve got a long and proud history of coming to the support of South Korea so we’d always assess that on its merits. The big hope is it doesn’t get to that point,” he said.

But today he downplayed suggestions of New Zealand getting involved.

“What I said was, if there was a situation that got to the extreme, New Zealand would consider its position,” Radio New Zealand reported.

Phil Goff gives Key a telling off here. Poor John – Life was so much simpler when he was in opposition…

“Key’s South Korea comments ‘amateurish and ill-timed'”
“Fears John Key’s comments jeopardise UN bid”
“Gordon Campbell on John Key’s gaffe about North Korea”

125 comments on “War talk ”

  1. infused 1

    He just stated the obvious. It’s the media and everyone else who blew it out of proportion. If the US or Aussie goes in, we will too. Like we always have.

    The statement was as simple as that.

    The backpedaling as you put it, was that the likeliness of this getting to a point where NZ would need to be involved was very unlikely.

    In my opinion though, there will be war. There were intelligence leaks over the weekend that showed we are a week or so away from it beginning.

    • It’s the media and everyone else who blew it out of proportion.

      Which is why politicians should beware of calling journalists “knuckleheads” for reporting said politicians’ fuck-ups – the journalists’ revenge will be swift and embarrassing.

      • BM 1.1.1

        Think the “media” will learn pretty soon who has the power and who runs the show.
        Guess what, it ain’t the reporters.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead

          Authoritarians unite, you have nothing to lose but your dignity. And credibility.

        • yeshe

          Could it possibly be “The voting public” is your mystery answer ?

    • BM 1.2

      I saw the TV3 piece with rat boy, it was pathetic, Key should just tell the media to fuck off.

      You could see Key groaning at the obviousness of what Gower was trying to do.

      • infused 1.2.1

        Yeah I noticed that. Gower has become a real tosser sicne xmas. I think he’s going for his own show or something.

        • Tim

          Have you ever watched and considered Gower’s presentation style? There’s some obvious Garner type training, or at least idolising going on there! Even the hand movements. Quite pathetic.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.2.2

        Getting grumpy with the media much, BM?

        Don’t worry, you just tell yourself how powerless they are, indulge a quick fantasy that you live in a country where the PM has the power of summary execution, and you’ll feel better 😀

      • felix 1.2.3

        “Key should just tell the media to fuck off.”

        He tried that last Friday. Let’s see how that works out for him before advising him to do it again, eh?

      • Draco T Bastard 1.2.4

        Key should just tell the media to fuck off.

        I would really love him to try that…

        Oh, wait, he just did. Didn’t work too well for him did it?

        • SHG (not Colonial Viper)

          He won an election on the back of telling the media to fuck off. A bet that the public will choose Key over the news media is a bet Key has won before.

          • Draco T Bastard

            He won an election on the back of telling the media to fuck off.

            No he didn’t, he damn near lost it.

          • Pascal's bookie

            They went form being 50+ in the polls to having winston back in parliament as I remember it.

    • Pascal's bookie 1.3


      He didn’t state the obvious. He waffled and allowed Gower to sensationalise a story.

      And a PM talking about going to war is news. Especially when he is saying it overseas.

      Especially when the country he is in, is an ally of the country he is talking about warring with.

      Especially when he says we will get involved because the US and Aussie will, ergo we will, and he is saying it in China, who is widely considered to be the target of the US’s ‘Strategic pivot to the Pacific’.

      All of that sent signals to the Chinese government that will have been noted.

      But when you say there will be a war, what do you mean? Full scale land war aimed at one side beating the other? because I very much doubt it, it’s not in anyones interest.

      More likely is that NK will do something with Semi-plausable deniabilty, SK will respond with something less, and everyone walks away with a bit of face.

      • infused 1.3.1

        Gower will sensationalise anything.

        I thought it was quite clear to be honest.

        It’s actually in a lot of peoples interest. It allows Isreal to attack Iran. NK to be flattened. Allows the US to move its assets closer to China.

        The most interesting thing is what Russia will have to say about this.

        Here’s the comments over the weekend:

        North Korea requests all foreign diplomats leave

        Earlier today, the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs informed a number of Embassies of foreign countries in Pyongyang, including the British Embassy, and representatives of international organisations that they would be unable to guarantee the safety of Embassies and international organisations present in the country in the event of conflict. They invited the Embassies and organisations present at the meeting to inform them by 10 April what assistance they would require from the DPRK should they wish to be evacuated from DPRK or to be relocated elsewhere.

        North Korea warms allies that war is comming

        All major news papers are to begin tuning hourly updates on North Korea as risk of war increases.

        Tehran said that the USA is forcing North Korea into war an any actions against North Korea are actions against Iran

        Israeli to place military on alert for possible conflict with Iran.

        Guardian, bbc and CNN running 24/7 updates on North Korea, do you still wan me to post or should I hand over to the media??

        China government to hold a press conference about its official position in north korea

        Us government says any missile launch would be a declaration of war against the free world and they would respond with all military might of the united states

        Chinese armored division arrives at border brining total Chinese number to 189,000 men

        South Korean airforce f-16 tracking a II-28 flying towards a is picket ship

        If North Korea tests missile the us navy will shoot it down. North Korea vows if the navy shoots it down its an act of war

        Forum where this was being leaked too was shut down after this.

        • Pascal's bookie

          Ooh. Shut down was it.

          Gosh. Shame pretty much all of that sabre rattling was all through the news for most of the weekend. That’s what everyone has been talking about when they mention escalating rhetoric and threats.

          And if you really think the US, China, SK, Japan, or Russia want to deal with the aftermath of a ‘flattened’ NK, then I’m not sure what to say.

          • infused

            This came out before it hit the media. From the forum:

            “The group that was made in response to issues arising from the thread has had to be deleted because the user is still being harassed by undesirables (media+government), and information is also being taken from the group and posted publicly in a number of other places – in turn leading back to the forum user on here initially posting it. As a result, the updates cannot be provided on this forum at all. The excess forum traffic was only a part of the equation. Any serious updates will be posted if need be, in which case the media won’t be far off anyway…”

            I know this was real because Google removed it from the cache like an hour later. They never do that.

            And it’s NK that’s forcing all this. Kim will probably be assassinated before then anyways.

            • Pascal's bookie

              Righto. Clearly top secret stuff there. NK is making threats that they don’t want anyone to hear. 🙄

              If you are going to try and claim that a source is authoritative, it kinda helps to name it.

      • Populuxe1 1.3.2

        “Ally” is a bit strong. More like China keeps an eye on things because it doesn’t want millions of NK refugees it doesn’t know what to do with flooding over the border.

      • ghostrider888 1.3.3

        SK have “upped” their retaliatory response protocols; essentially, will go hard outta the blocks.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.4

      If the US or Aussie goes in, we will too. Like we always have.

      Two points:
      1.) We always haven’t. According to John Key we were “missing in action” in Iraq
      2.) Why would we go in? North Korea is really only a threat to themselves

      In my opinion though, there will be war.

      You’re probably right – the rich need another war to boost their profits and to distract from the fact that they’re getting richer and everyone else is getting poorer.

      • Populuxe1 1.4.1

        In case you haven’t noticed, the US military-industrial complex prefers wars that aren’t going to possibly involve nuclear superpowers like China or the possibility of triggering nuclear war with a batshit insane country like North Korea. I don’t think that’s why they’re moving against NK, especially when so many of their forces are bogged down in the Middle East.

      • infused 1.4.2

        Yes, because it’s the rich nations that are escalating this right Draco? Do you even read the bullshit you write any more, or is this just copy/pasted from the lefts ‘popular phrases of 2013’?

        The only ones that want this war are NK and Iran.

        • felix

          Who said anything about “rich nations”?

        • Pascal's bookie

          I’m a bit confused

          It’s actually in a lot of peoples interest. It allows Isreal to attack Iran. NK to be flattened. Allows the US to move its assets closer to China.


          The only ones that want this war are NK and Iran.

          Are you saying NK wants to be flattened, and Iran wants Israel to attack them?

          • infused

            I actually don’t know what NK wants. But Iran will use this to their advantage.

            What I mean in the first comment is that if war starts, then a lot of people will benefit, but, no one apart from NK and Iran actually wants this to happen.

            The US has nothing to really gain apart from what I said above.

            • Pascal's bookie

              So why do Iran and NK want it to kick off then?

              let me guess. They’re crazy!

        • Populuxe1

          Iran doesn’t want war. NK probably doesn’t either, but hasn’t worked out how not to get itself into strife by throwing tantrums and making threats it probably can’t back up.

      • SpaceMonkey 1.4.3

        IMHO… there will be war but it won’t be Korea that is the flashpoint. The US gains nothing from conflict with North Korea and it certainly isn’t ready to confront China. The main reason why the US, to the disappointment of Israel, backed off Iran was because China made it clear – hands off… China gets 100% of its oil from Iran and it wasn’t going to lose that for anything.

        North Korea is making noise as it does from time to time, to remind the world that it is still there. I expect there will be some tit-for-tat exchange between the North and South before everyone moves along.

        Of greater concern is the simmering conflict between Japan and China in the South China Sea and the trade war between the two. This could eventually escalate into a regional trade war with the US. China, for example, controls around 95% of the rare earth metals market and these metals are crucial to the US military/industrial complex. And then there’s the global “currency war” underpinning everything as well as the TPPA… a vital agreement in order to secure US mega-corporate hegemony over the Pacific region.

        • infused

          I don’t see that trade war as a greater concern. Japan should have backed off from those islands however.

          Also, rare earths are in most other countries. China just produces them at a loss so that it’s not profitable to dig them up. It’s not that China has all the rare earths.

          • SpaceMonkey

            Except that throughout history currency and trade wars have been known to escalate into hot wars.

            I didn’t say China has all the rare earth metals… only they control the market. They have actively pursued control of the market. Many of the rare earth metals are quite common, they’re only rare because they cost so much financially and environmenatlly to dig them up. I’m sure China views their monopoly of the market strategically as they already limit the export of the metals and they have, from time to time, threatened to cut the US off completely.

          • SpaceMonkey

            The other development that underpins all of this is the possible move by the BRICS nations to set up their own central bank in opposition to the IMF and World Bank and set their own reserve currency, possibly even backed by gold.

            That’s a major game changer. It will yank the US’s chains as it will accelerate the collapse of the US dollar, already going down the gurgler in the current currency war. It’s the sort of thing the US will go to into a hot war over as it directly impacts on the wealth of the rich in the US, Europe and other non-BRICS nations.

            • Matt

              “It will yank the US’s chains as it will accelerate the collapse of the US dollar, already going down the gurgler in the current currency war.”

              Wait, what? Nevermind, too easy.

        • GregJ

          … China gets 100% of its oil from Iran and it wasn’t going to lose that for anything.

          No it doesn’t.. Perhaps you meant to say it gets less than 10% of its crude oil imports from Iran?

          It is accurate to say that China is/was the biggest importer of Iranian crude oil – taking approx 20% of the Iranian output in the first half of 2011.

      • QoT 1.4.4

        Beat me to it on Iraq!

    • Lightly 1.5

      How is going to the neighbouring country to North Korea and saying ‘we’re prepared to go to war with you’ helpful to anyone when the world is trying to deescalate the situation?

    • AmaKiwi 1.6

      “If the US or Aussie goes in, we will too. Like we always have.”

      Did Aussie go anti-nuclear?

      We have choices. I don’t choose to play the victim/addict . . . “Poor me. I can’t help myself.”

  2. We have a “long and proud history of coming to the support of South Korea?”

    I’m not sure that doing something once counts as a “long and proud history” of doing it, but then I’m not a visionary CEO so may be lacking relevant information and insight.

  3. Oh how right we were to say that all this Rip, Shit, bust economics will lead to a war over China.
    And here is the deputy dog in China rushing to saddle up to take on the DPRK.

    On cue with Obama who is using this manufactured crisis to consolidate his ring or steel around China, Key is acting out the scrip as written by Hollywood.

    The US and its posse of lickspittlers like Kiwiland know that China is overtaking their fading empire and that a trade war with China (TPPA) will trigger a real war.

    Staging a phoney war with the DPRK is just a ramped up RIMPAC to drive a wedge between those countries who are rushing into China and may have doubts as to whose side they are on.


    • Populuxe1 3.1

      You are clearly out of your fucking mind.

      • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1

        Funny that he pretty much mirrors Infused’s thinking though.

        It’s actually in a lot of people’s interest. It allows Israel to attack Iran. NK to be flattened. Allows the US to move its assets closer to China.

        • infused

          Hardly. If you’ve been keeping up with what is going on with Iran, Syria, Israel and Russia, you’d have a better idea of what I’m talking about.

          Who’s giving FSA their weapons?

          Iran threatens the US over NK, who does that benefit?

          Who is Irans ally and said they would react if Iran was targeted?

          It’s pretty simple stuff really.

          • Pascal's bookie

            It’s delusional is what it is.

            And yeah I keep up with what’s going on. Which is why I know that it’s a bit more complicated than a game of Risk.

            So come on. Explain to me how it’s in the interests of the US, Japan, SK or anyone else to have NK ‘flattened’.

            • infused

              Where did I say it’s on Japan, or SK’s interest? I said the only thing the US would gain is moving their assets closer to China.

              Lets see how it turns out eh. I’ll bookmark this thread.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Good oh. Large scale war by the end of next week I think you reckoned?

                With Iran doing what?

              • Colonial Viper

                Where did I say it’s on Japan, or SK’s interest? I said the only thing the US would gain is moving their assets closer to China.


                Jeeesus mate sharpen up on your history. What was the great outcome the last time the US tried that??? Oh yes, the outcome was THIS, what we have here today. Maybe something different would be better this time around.

        • Populuxe1

          Well no – the first thing that would happen is that China would invade NK from the north in order to stop millions of refugees flooding over the border. SK would have th emother of all hissyfits. And the US probably doesn’t want to move closer to China than Guam because the US voters would appear to be getting fed up with the current two US occupations as it is.

          As for Israel attacking Iran – at least Obama has been realitively firm in dealing with Bibi and the Likkudnik hawks. Even the IDF thinks that’s crazy bullshit. I hope to Dog they don’t do anything that stupid, and if anything it would only serve to alienate Israel from the rest of the world because Iran is looking more and more normal all the time.

          • infused

            China won’t do a thing.

            Iran will be the first to strike. Israel will ‘retaliate’ sanctioned by the US.

            I don’t know where you get ‘Iran is looking more and more normal all the time’.

            • Populuxe1

              China will fucking do a thing. China doesn’t have 150,000 troops on the North Korean border for the good of their health.
              Iran will not be the first to strike because they know exactly what will happen to them if they do – the US will go fucking psycho.
              Fuck you really are as thick as the dissapointed Marxists here make out.

            • Pascal's bookie

              Iran will strike who?

              what the fuck are you on about?

              • infused

                Please read – you said you had a handle on all this. Obviously not.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  I’m trying to work out what your predictions are that you are ‘bookmarking’ this thread about. What am I supposed to read to do that?

                  Iran is going to strike, someone? SK? Israel? US bases?

                • Pascal's bookie

                  Just asking, but are you a Debka reader?

                  • infused

                    Had to look that up, so no.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Fair enough. the demented theorising seemed familiar is all.

                      So, Iran to strike Israel then? is that the prediction? With this, somehow, leading to a large scale war on the korean peninsula within about ten days?

                      EDIT: Oh, and Kim will assassinated before, something or rather else.

                      Is that the prediction? I ask only because you’ve been a bit cagey about it. while saying you’ve bookmarked the thread presuambly to show off about later.

  4. Dr Terry 4

    It was extraordinary for even an absent-minded ass like Key to make those belligerent threats toward N.K, a country which has not of course threatened New Zealand. Apparently Key did not know where he was, standing on Asian soil with an ally of N.K. and threatening an Asian country in the very presence of that ally. And now he tries (yet again) to talk his way back out of it. Someone should have presented Key with written questions that would allow him time to dream up a few distortions and evasions with which to respond – before he really “put his foot in it”.

    • Populuxe1 4.1

      I think the bit about threatening US allies probably includes us – NK isn’t exactly too worried about the details.

      • Murray Olsen 4.1.1

        How could North Korea make a credible military threat to Aotearoa?

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.2

        I think the bit about threatening US allies probably includes us – NK isn’t exactly too worried about the details.

        Wrong again.

        NK is all about the details.

        They have this geopolitical balancing act down to a fine art – they’ve had to.

        John Key on the other hand is just another cowboy, a buckeroo.

        • Populuxe1

          North Korea hasn’t specified in detail it’s target list beyond US allies and bases. New Zealand qualifies as both (or very very very good friends and at least one US base outside of Christchurch). Are you, in fact, retarded, or is your willfull obtuseness some sort of intellectual masturbation for you?

          • Colonial Viper

            Your analysis of our value as a significant NK military target is truly fascinating.

            • Populuxe1

              NK isn’t actually interested in military targets, it’s interested in showy single strikes to demonstrate their prowess to the folks back home and show the powers that be that they mean business. By that measure, NZ is ideal, if a bit far when compares with South Korea, Japan, or Guam, or even Hawai’i (a sort of Pearl Harbour 2.0). The only thing that is truly fascinating is your willful ignorance.

              • Pascal's bookie

                “…it’s interested in showy single strikes to demonstrate their prowess to the folks back home and show the powers that be that they mean business [without provoking an internationsl retaliatory response]. ”

                Finished that for ya there.

                NK has no interest in provoking a multilateral war against itself.

                How long od you think it would take us to get on the phone to the UN if we were attacked by NK, and do you really think China would veto the inevitable response of the international community?

                • Colonial Viper

                  The only way NZ could be attacked by NK is them cyber-hacking the NZ Herald website. And who knows if that would actually be a bad thing.

                • Populuxe1

                  Hahahahahahahaha hahahahaha hahahahaha – what, because NATO gives a fuck about us? Hahahahahahahahaha I suppose we can rely on ANZUS…. Oh wait…. Bahahahahahahahaha…. It’s not like China hasn’t used its veto to block all sorts of actions and resolutions before, is it? Hahahahahahahahahahahaha.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Key is good mates with the Royal Family.

                    Maybe they could send a detachment of the Coldstream Guards to help us out.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Just to be clear, you are saying that you think it plausible that if NK was to attack anyone, that we’d be an attractive target?

                    And that if they did unilaterally attack us, (with a long range missile, or from a sub that somehow made it so far beyond its range as to able able to hit us), and we went to the UN that we would be ignored and that China would veto any response in any case?

                    I didn’t mention NATO, no r did I mention ANZUS. So I’m not sure why you brought them up.

                    • Arfamo

                      This is a wind up. Gotta be. Nobody of sound mind would seriously suggest North Korea is going to attack New Zealand.

    • Key got his instructions about what to say to them like a good delivery boy but fucked it up by doing it publicly – he was supposed to deliver the message privately – I bet some people who told him what to say are shaking their heads, just like us.

  5. prism 5

    Half-listening to Matthew Hooton and for a sec he sounded like John Key. Perhaps he is channelling on North Korea.

    • Rodel 5.1

      I usually turn off when MH is on radio NZ but didn’t today and heard his best attempt to date at spin..on John Key’s bi-statements:
      ‘It is difficult to reconcile what he (JK) said with the facts as we know them now….’
      He’s getting better at it…

    • Tim 5.2

      @ prism. I’m glad it was only ‘half-listening’. You’ll have more than captured the reasoning, the logic, and the intent of the Hooten media sage

  6. Mary 6

    This has been referred to on here before but it’s worth another look:


    • Tim 6.1

      Yep, it’s quite brilliant IMO though reading through it again, I can’t help but be amused by the ‘Media Studies-speak’ throughout. Better that however than being thoroughly depressed at the fact that the electorate has managed to empower such a vacuous bullshit artist in the belief that he’s an intelligent being rather than an animal with cunning.

      • Tim 6.1.1

        oops “IMO” shudda read “IMhO”.
        …..and I’ve noticed something on here. If one trawls back thru’ comments I’ve made, very little happens afterwards.
        It’s especially disconcerting when those professing a Left view seem entirely unconcerned when SHIT like this:



        2 (i.e two, t-w-o, T-W-O) people commented)
        ffs FFS FOR FCUKS SAKE. !

        I’m contemplating shut-upsville

        Spanner in elitist works maybe? (with all due respect for half a dozen of you).

        • Te Reo Putake

          Maybe its the way you phrase things, Tim? I learned early to use ‘open’ sentences (that sort of invite comments). It also depends on the issue and timing as to whether it has legs. eg, if its something that’s already got a good thrashing, it may not generate much further comment.

          But if you’re really keen for feedback, you could try accusing a commenter of being a bad parent, the greens of being chronic underperformers and or just write anything positive about David Shearer. Works for me!

          • Tim

            OK …. yep you might be right. I just had this strange idea that committed ‘Left’ might have had an opinion and be provoked into comment all on their own (such as with Mike Treen’s post on TDB) – or a host of others on this site.

            I agree with you though.

            I’ll do my best to refrain from future comment and just take it all IN in future.

            • ghostrider888

              well, those are a lot of well-written, endorsed words of yours on TDB that there is no need to eat Tim. personally, i do not always have the time to visit other blogs for a read; a lot of weeds in the garden after the rain we have had. 😉

            • marty mars

              Kia ora Tim, Timing is a big issue in that you can post a comment and just miss the wave and it passes you by. Not much you can do about that one. Lurking is also good because you get to read some good stuff and are not necessarily committed to either side. If you have something to say get it in early on Open Mike and comments will come, generally. Keep posting and putting your view out there – it all adds up and helps.

            • Te Reo Putake

              I hope you do continue to comment, Tim, I like what I’ve seen from you so far. However, I don’t think anybody here can realistically expect instant attention and support for their posts nor uniform agreement from others that a particular issue is vital. Mike Treen’s piece is a case in point; it has immediate relevency for me and I’m glad you lead me there. But not everybody here is wired to that part of the left spectrum.

              Keep posting, comrade. The more you post, the more you will be read, and in no time you’ll be part of the digital furniture.

              • Tim

                Well thank youse feallas all. I wasn’t actually looking for back patting but I appreciate your remarks.
                Really what drove the above was that generally I notice fewer comments on postings that I happen to think should concern the ‘left’ – issues like youth rates, poverty, ….’social’ issues, the damaged society, and so on.
                I should have another trawl though because I accept there are a few that come in here whose only purpose is to disrupt and divert, and of course we should challenge their ilk at every opportunity!. One has to wonder why too.
                Better I take it all in a while longer me thinks before opening my trap. :p

                • ghostrider888

                  as Cameron (or one of his acquaintances ) tr0lled me once; “it’s a learning curve”.
                  self-taught I is, self-taught. That’ll learn ’em Pa!

  7. freedom 7

    To whomever has doubts
    there is a clear understanding of the military might of America,
    we know they are not to be messed with.

    As for North Korea there is far less detail.
    Till now that is, a just released video has highlighted the relative level of the threat from North Korea

    People scream about how Iran and North Korea want to attack people. Complete horseshit. Iran and North Korea have both been forced to make statements of promised RETALIATORY action if attacked by others. Neither has made a single threat to another nation in many many decades. In the case of Iran it is over one hundred years since last they were an instigator of a War. North Korea is Sixty years and counting. The USA is what, a couple of hours since they last killed civilians in a Nation that had done them no harm.

    Every publicised statement from North Korea has been misrepresented to ramp up the necessary confusion. Even the new South Korean Government is trying to get the yanks to back off a bit as they attempt to re-open a proper dialogue that may finally see the Yanks forced to sign the Peace Treaty they have refused to sign since the cessation of hostilities. That was sixty years ago.

    The only folk looking for a war are the USA or at least whatever company is currently running the USA. If you can not understand that from the chaos in the World around you, then you are being dishonest or are just thick as fucking pigshit and nowhere as useful.

    ( note to the obvious to come: yes , very good they are not Koreans, i said it highlighted the relative threat)

    • infused 7.1

      What a load of shit.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        Hard to justify a military empire and its concommitant spending, without enemies to fight.

        • thatguynz

          Also worth overlapping a list of the nations in the so-called “Axis of Evil” with a list of those that don’t (or perhaps DIDN’T may be more appropriate these days) have IMF/BiS/WB aligned Central Bank infrastructures. It could of course simply be coincidence…

      • freedom 7.1.2

        I am not saying NK is defenceless, it is a way to illustrate a point. NK have a formidable force but the US can simply remove them off the map any second they wish with nary a scratch. But it would mean the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Koreans and some neighbours. That really does not concern the USA, nor you apparently.

        do some learning infused,

        or are you simply going to slag off Patrick O’Brien’s recommendations because he likes it when the world tries to helps itself instead of its current practice of self-mutilation

        • Populuxe1

          You see that really enormous country attached to North Korea’s border? That one labelled the People’s Republic of China?


          Your fantasy about the US taking out NK with “nary a scratch” (such fun) kinda ignores that there are very VERY serious implications about having a pretty fireworks display on the border of one of the few countries that in fact could seriously fuck the US up even if it would be unlikely to win. The US has a policy of containing Chinese ambition – I seriously doubt they want to antagonise them unless there was a very real and serious threat.

          • freedom

            “- unless there was a very real and serious threat.”

            yeah like China calling on the USA to pay the iou’s perhaps 🙂
            an obligation that is well over a trillion dollars even by conservative numbers

            • SpaceMonkey

              Or the Chinese dumping their US dollars for a gold-backed currency.

              • Colonial Viper

                It’s not the a gold backed currency which is the biggest concern to TPTB. It’s a reserve currency backed by oil.

          • ghostrider888

            for you: from a link in the Gordon Campbell link; to paraphrase, “North Korean foreign policy = neorealism.

      • freedom 7.1.3

        oh and what part exactly, please, what part is a load of shit ?
        come on educate us

      • SpaceMonkey 7.1.4

        “What a load of shit”

        Actually, it’s far from it… it’s completely on the money (excuse the pun), because money is what it is all about.

  8. Private Baldric 8

    Boom boom boom boom
    boom boom boom

    Boom boom boom boom
    boom boom boom

    Boom boom boom boom
    boom boom boom

  9. ghostrider888 9

    btw, welcome to The Masquerade,

    “The painted faces on the street
    Caricatures of long ago
    Oh they were young and oh so sweet

    The reeling figures pass on by
    Like ghosts in some forgotten play

    They reached for tomorrow
    But tomorrows more of the same

    One by one and two by two
    past eight by tens in shattered frames
    The players try to leave the room
    Frantic puppets on a string
    And still the music sings
    And still sometimes remember
    The masquerade’s forever!”

  10. Rogue Trooper 10

    could be an earlier “kick-off” according to Granny
    Wednesday’s washing day, Thursday’s pay the rent…

  11. DavidW 11

    I just cannot comprehend how a bunch of people with at least the skills to work a keyboard and connect to the internet, can think so little of the intelligence of the players in North Asia and elsewhere that anything John Key says in a news conference might influence the likelihood of a war. As for poor Phil Goff and the hapless David Shearer trying to beat it up, I can just hope that neither ever, ever get into power with the obvious mindset that our biggest trading partners and political allies are a bunch of blithering idiots who can’t make up their own minds about what will influence their thinking on the subject of tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

    For the interested, my take on who wants what:

    China does not want unification of Korea as this would put US influence onto a land border with China

    China does not want war on the Korean Peninsula as they may get drawn into it and they do not want to be shooting at (or shot at by) the US ‘cos no-one know where that one would go.

    Japan does not want unification on the Korean Peninsula as the most likely long term outcome would be a leap forward in the industrial capacity of Korea (remember that before 1949, the South had the agriculture and the North had the minerals. Nothing has changed)

    South Korea does not want pure unification from an economic point of view as it would savage the economy until the North was brought up to the standard of the South. At least one generation would be required for this as the 40mill inhabitants of NK are intellectual and moral cripples having been brainwashed since 1952. South Korea wants unification because it would bring in 40 million low wage compliant workers who all speak Hangul – the prospect of some good old exploitation gets the blood racing among the southerners.

    South Korea emotionally cries out for unification as family and geographic origin is incredibly important under their confucian mindset. South Korea is therefore hopelessly compromised about what they want.

    Russia does not want unification for many of the same reasons as China and Japan. They no longer have the same dependance on mineral supplies from NK as they did during the cold war when they could pay peanuts in the form of credit allocations to NK and send a few MIG’s down south in payment. But Russia doesn’t want a war on its border either, they have enough skirmishes with the Chinese as it is.

    The US wants unification as it would give them a friendly country sharing a land border with both Russia and China and this makes the inhabitants of the Pentagon wet their collective pants.

    The only logical outcome is for the Kim regime to be replaces with one that can retain independance but look outward and engage with the world, something the three Kims have never done. Watch for Kim Jong Un to develop a mystery illness and for the rest of his family to go off the radar. The biggest fear for everyone would be for the Military to assume power and then anything is possible so an alternative structure would need to be already in place. A level of conventional warfare may well be the solution to decapitating the military but the number of variables grows exponentially with each reaction so that is about as far as I think it will go.

    Of course nobody knows what Obama will do – he may well need another war somewhere far far from home so that he can spend up on military toys and give the US domestic economy a boost.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1


    • Pascal's bookie 11.2

      Not quite sure what specific comments from Norman Goff and Shearer you are talking about there David.

      The comments I’ve seen were criticisms of Key’s implication that we would likely end up in a war if the US and Aussie went, and that he should have brushed Paddy off yesterday in a similar way that he discussed the issue today; by talking solely about de-escalation.

      I do think it’s likely that China will have noted his comments, China’s concern is very much about the US’s new pivot to the pacific, which she sees, reasonably enough, as being directed at her.

      Key’s reflexive ‘where US/Aussie go, we probably go to’ language is likely to be seen in that context. It’s also likely that they will be aware of his, and National in general’s, similar attitudes back in 03 with regard to Iraq.

      • Colonial Viper 11.2.1

        I do think it’s likely that China will have noted his comments,

        Copies of all relevant local media: print, radio, internet and TV, sent by secure satellite transmission from consulate staffers back to Beijing.

  12. Arfamo 12

    Interesting analysis. I’d think even Obama should be decidedly gun-shy about unintended consequences of attacking North Korea, but it won’t be him that’s really making the call.

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      I wonder how that Nobel Peace Prize is hanging.

      • ghostrider888 12.1.1

        been a few international (and domestic) commentaries coming out painting Obama as the most “sinister” Prez yet. such is the weight of office and token baubles, and a sign of the times i guess.
        to paraphrase the Orphan (hangs out with Cameron don’t you know, we exchange pleasantries, anyway, to paraphrase : “Civilized, Yeah Right!”

  13. So no peace groups in New Zealand protesting North Korea’s war talk???

    Minto is keeping his shoes on for this one?

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