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N Korea admits it has nukes

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cg...i055504S81.DTL

This is serious.

I don't think we should panic but....
post #2 of 25
That "Axis of Evil" speech just keeps coming back to haunt us. The guy who came up with that line (I forget his name, but believe he's still working for Bush) should have been fired. How do you get countries like North Korea and Iran to drop their nuclear programs when they see how Iraq was invaded, and have been verbally threatened by the U.S.?
I bet there's real panic in Japan.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
That "Axis of Evil" speech just keeps coming back to haunt us. The guy who came up with that line (I forget his name, but believe he's still working for Bush) should have been fired. How do you get countries like North Korea and Iran to drop their nuclear programs when they see how Iraq was invaded, and have been verbally threatened by the U.S.?
I bet there's real panic in Japan.
You know, believe it or not I have been trying to curb my Bush bashing here...but thanks for bringing up the stupid axis of evil line. I know that prompted a lot of this. Bush is so irresponsible it's not funny. He is too stupid know how to talk about international affairs, it's like putting Jethro in a state dept meeting.
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
You know, believe it or not I have been trying to curb my Bush bashing here...but thanks for bringing up the stupid axis of evil line. I know that prompted a lot of this. Bush is so irresponsible it's not funny. He is too stupid know how to talk about international affairs, it's like putting Jethro in a state dept meeting.
Just after I wrote the post, my husband started channel surfing, and several talking heads (German and British) were also going on about the line, and how Bush and Rice have to be more diplomatic. Obviously a lot of people haven't forgotten it.
post #5 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
That "Axis of Evil" speech just keeps coming back to haunt us. The guy who came up with that line (I forget his name, but believe he's still working for Bush) should have been fired. How do you get countries like North Korea and Iran to drop their nuclear programs when they see how Iraq was invaded, and have been verbally threatened by the U.S.?
I bet there's real panic in Japan.
I can see your point regarding the diplomacy aspect, but I have a really hard time believing that they had no nuclear ambitions until Bush came into office. It takes a little longer than 4 years to get a full nuclear program, including deployment vehicles, fully operational as they claim now.

I heard today that Japan is working toward a missile defense system, ala Reagan's Star Wars.
post #6 of 25
Thread Starter 
I am sure they were on the road to nukes, but now are never going to come to agreements about anything since as Tricia said they were verbally threatened. I mean would you?
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 
The timing of the annoucement is interesting. No doubt partly due to the language used about Iran by Rice and alluding to military action. But it's also new years in the Asian world and someone said annoucing it now is like "announcing it at 4pm on Friday" over here.
post #8 of 25
The country can't feed its citizens, and obviously needs foreign aid, so I question the validity of its claim. I imagine they're at least very close to having nuclear weapons, but wonder if what they have, should the claim be true, can actually be used. There was a lot of talk about countries that officially have nukes, unofficially have nukes, and are suspected of having them, on TV this evening (hubby zapped for two hours). Nobody mentioned South Africa, which I clearly remember being put in the "suspect" category years ago. I've been exchanging emails about this with a friend in the U.S. this evening. One point she's trying to make is by what right can the international community lay down who can have nuclear weapons, and who can't? The U.S. is the only nuclear power that has actually used the A-Bomb. Right now we're embroiled in a discussion about whether that use was racist, i.e., why Japan, and not Germany? Did geography really play a role? Why were Japanese-Americans interned, and not German-Americans? Since we've been discussing this subject ever since the UN inspections in Iraq in the 90s, I imagine we can go on for at least another decade.
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
The country can't feed its citizens, and obviously needs foreign aid, so I question the validity of its claim. I imagine they're at least very close to having nuclear weapons, but wonder if what they have, should the claim be true, can actually be used. There was a lot of talk about countries that officially have nukes, unofficially have nukes, and are suspected of having them, on TV this evening (hubby zapped for two hours). Nobody mentioned South Africa, which I clearly remember being put in the "suspect" category years ago. I've been exchanging emails about this with a friend in the U.S. this evening. One point she's trying to make is by what right can the international community lay down who can have nuclear weapons, and who can't? The U.S. is the only nuclear power that has actually used the A-Bomb. Right now we're embroiled in a discussion about whether that use was racist, i.e., why Japan, and not Germany? Did geography really play a role? Why were Japanese-Americans interned, and not German-Americans? Since we've been discussing this subject ever since the UN inspections in Iraq in the 90s, I imagine we can go on for at least another decade.
I think it could be true, they spend their money on that and not their citizens.

As far as racist: Well when we dropped the bomb, wasn't Germany contained or almost? Interesting point on the internment though. Although it was mostly the west coast right? And the location might have had something to do with it (Japan came so close to the mainland at Pearl Harbour)
post #10 of 25
Wow, North Korea announces it has a nuke and it fills the US and international headlines. Sorry folks this isn’t new and has been common knowledge for some time, at least officially by the North Korean government:

In a roundtable discussion with the United States and China in Beijing on April 24, 2003, North Korean officials admitted for the first time that they possessed nuclear weapons. Furthermore, North Korean officials claim to have reprocessed spent fuel rods and have threatened to begin exporting nuclear materials unless the United States agrees to one-on-one talks with North Korea. (Source: FAS (Federation of American Scientists) and others)

[Note: I find this interesting since this press statement released today by North Korean leaders claim this was the official as of today...]

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have been running especially high since, in early October of 2002, Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly informed North Korean officials that the United States was aware that North Korea had a program underway to enrich uranium for use in nuclear weapons. Initially North Korea denied this, but later confirmed the veracity of the US claim. In confirming that they had an active nuclear weapons program, they also declared the Agreed Framework nullified. (Remember that also that North Korea is no longer a part of the NPT either)

The Agreed Framework signed by the United States and North Korea on October 21, 1994 in Geneva agreed that:

* North Korea would freeze its existing nuclear program and agree to enhanced International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards
* Both sides would cooperate to replace the D.P.R.K.'s (Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea) graphite-moderated reactors for related facilities with light-water (LWR) power plants.
* Both countries would move toward full normalization of political and economic relations.
* Both sides will work together for peace and security on a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.
* And that both sides would work to strengthen the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.

(Excerpted from FAS.org)

This agreement, signed under the Clinton administration, not surprisingly, failed. Not because it was the Clinton administration, but the N. Korean government does what it wants too and doesn't care about the other nations and sells what it once and alleged threat. Remember, there is a Cease Fire in affect, not a peace treaty since the Korean War ended. North Korea has always thought of the U.S., Japan and other allies and anyone else who sneezes the wrong way.

On 22 April 1997, U.S. Defense Department spokesman Kenneth Bacon officially stated, "When the U.S.-North Korea nuclear agreement was signed in Geneva in 1994, the U.S. intelligence authorities already believed North Korea had produced plutonium enough for at least one nuclear weapon." This was the first time the United States confirmed North Korea's possession of plutonium.

Now we speed up to 2005, and see this "revelation" being announced by North Korea. And of for the threats, and the Axis of Evil statements, this is nothing new. Even The Clinton Administration has considered them a threat and nearly invaded North Korea in 1995. However, it was called off since the logistics of it would be too enormous and a security risk for the region since if North Korea would have seen the troop build up and resources that they would have seen this as a declaration of war and invaded South Korea. (source: Defense Secretary William Perry).

Also, there are currently as many as 22+ nuclear facilities in the country. If the threat wasn’t as of 4 years ago, they wouldn’t have the resources to do this is this quick of time. (Source: FAS, http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/dprk/f...other_nuke.htm) North Korea wanted the bomb, they got the bomb. They even sold material to Libya. Are we surprised or do we have our heads in the sand that deep. This has been building for at least 15 years or so.

As for delivery systems, they are similar to the missile systems that both Pakistan and Iran currently have since they (the North Korea) have sold them the technology. This is not news btw. As for the delivery system(s) range, the maximum range for these missiles, if loaded with a nuclear payload, is very minimal, on the grand scale of technology and the range for a missile to hit the US Soil would reach the coast of Alaska, if that. The biggest threat though would be Japan and other international interests. (Source and map: http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/prolif97/pg7.gif) For more information on the Taep'o-dong-1 and NKSL-X-2/Taep'o-dong-2 (technical and historic information located here: http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/dprk/missile/td-2.htm) , you can also view more information, granted technical, here: http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/dprk/missile/index.html

As for what I have read so far today, I hope Dr. Rice gets things back on track, but with the usual stubbornness of North Korea, this will take time. I do foresee another Korean war on the horizon. But hopefully it won’t be as along, or as political as the first one. However, this is my opinion, and not to be twisted into something else.

Other Sources for the capabilities of North Korea and its weapons, I have provided links below for further reading:

North Korean Special Weapons, including nuclear, chemical and biological: http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/dprk/index.html

North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program, Congressional Research Service:
http://fas.org/spp/starwars/crs/IB91141.pdf

There are many others, but FAS has good extensive library there. If any other technical information is needed on this subject, since I have worked on Nuclear ICBM’s, and studied in depth other weapon systems, Feel free to ask. As for the political, conspriacy theories or any other comments, I will refrain from answering or commenting on.
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
Nobody mentioned South Africa, which I clearly remember being put in the "suspect" category years ago.
South Afica was suspected, infact in my opinion, did have them. There was also a suspect test conducted by South Africa and/or Israel in 1979 in the Indian Ocean. you can read more about their program here: http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/rsa/nuke/

Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
Right now we're embroiled in a discussion about whether that use was racist, i.e., why Japan, and not Germany?
By the time the impolsion test(s) were confirmed and conducted at the los almos area, Germany had already surrendered. It wasn't until July of 45 when the trinity test was conducted. And well, we know what happened afterwards...

[edited for stupid spelling mistakes]
post #12 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arg0
Wow, North Korea announces it has a nuke and it fills the US and international headlines. Sorry folks this isn’t new and has been common knowledge for some time, at least officially by the North Korean government:

In a roundtable discussion with the United States and China in Beijing on April 24, 2003, North Korean officials admitted for the first time that they possessed nuclear weapons. Furthermore, North Korean officials claim to have reprocessed spent fuel rods and have threatened to begin exporting nuclear materials unless the United States agrees to one-on-one talks with North Korea. (Source: FAS (Federation of American Scientists) and others)

[Note: I find this interesting since this press statement released today by North Korean leaders claim this was the official as of today...]

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have been running especially high since, in early October of 2002, Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly informed North Korean officials that the United States was aware that North Korea had a program underway to enrich uranium for use in nuclear weapons. Initially North Korea denied this, but later confirmed the veracity of the US claim. In confirming that they had an active nuclear weapons program, they also declared the Agreed Framework nullified. (Remember that also that North Korea is no longer a part of the NPT either)

The Agreed Framework signed by the United States and North Korea on October 21, 1994 in Geneva agreed that:

* North Korea would freeze its existing nuclear program and agree to enhanced International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) safeguards
* Both sides would cooperate to replace the D.P.R.K.'s (Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea) graphite-moderated reactors for related facilities with light-water (LWR) power plants.
* Both countries would move toward full normalization of political and economic relations.
* Both sides will work together for peace and security on a nuclear-free Korean peninsula.
* And that both sides would work to strengthen the international nuclear non-proliferation regime.

(Excerpted from FAS.org)

This agreement, signed under the Clinton administration, not surprisingly, failed. Not because it was the Clinton administration, but the N. Korean government does what it wants too and doesn't care about the other nations and sells what it once and alleged threat. Remember, there is a Cease Fire in affect, not a peace treaty since the Korean War ended. North Korea has always thought of the U.S., Japan and other allies and anyone else who sneezes the wrong way.

On 22 April 1997, U.S. Defense Department spokesman Kenneth Bacon officially stated, "When the U.S.-North Korea nuclear agreement was signed in Geneva in 1994, the U.S. intelligence authorities already believed North Korea had produced plutonium enough for at least one nuclear weapon." This was the first time the United States confirmed North Korea's possession of plutonium.

Now we speed up to 2005, and see this "revelation" being announced by North Korea. And of for the threats, and the Axis of Evil statements, this is nothing new. Even The Clinton Administration has considered them a threat and nearly invaded North Korea in 1995. However, it was called off since the logistics of it would be too enormous and a security risk for the region since if North Korea would have seen the troop build up and resources that they would have seen this as a declaration of war and invaded South Korea. (source: Defense Secretary William Perry).

Also, there are currently as many as 22+ nuclear facilities in the country. If the threat wasn’t as of 4 years ago, they wouldn’t have the resources to do this is this quick of time. (Source: FAS, http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/dprk/f...other_nuke.htm) North Korea wanted the bomb, they got the bomb. They even sold material to Libya. Are we surprised or do we have our heads in the sand that deep. This has been building for at least 15 years or so.

As for delivery systems, they are similar to the missile systems that both Pakistan and Iran currently have since they (the North Korea) have sold them the technology. This is not news btw. As for the delivery system(s) range, the maximum range for these missiles, if loaded with a nuclear payload, is very minimal, on the grand scale of technology and the range for a missile to hit the US Soil would reach the coast of Alaska, if that. The biggest threat though would be Japan and other international interests. (Source and map: http://www.fas.org/irp/threat/prolif97/pg7.gif) For more information on the Taep'o-dong-1 and NKSL-X-2/Taep'o-dong-2 (technical and historic information located here: http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/dprk/missile/td-2.htm) , you can also view more information, granted technical, here: http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/dprk/missile/index.html

As for what I have read so far today, I hope Dr. Rice gets things back on track, but with the usual stubbornness of North Korea, this will take time. I do foresee another Korean war on the horizon. But hopefully it won’t be as along, or as political as the first one. However, this is my opinion, and not to be twisted into something else.

Other Sources for the capabilities of North Korea and its weapons, I have provided links below for further reading:

North Korean Special Weapons, including nuclear, chemical and biological: http://www.fas.org/nuke/guide/dprk/index.html

North Korea's Nuclear Weapons Program, Congressional Research Service:
http://fas.org/spp/starwars/crs/IB91141.pdf

There are many others, but FAS has good extensive library there. If any other technical information is needed on this subject, since I have worked on Nuclear ICBM’s, and studied in depth other weapon systems, Feel free to ask. As for the political, conspriacy theories or any other comments, I will refrain from answering or commenting on.
I think what is different this time, is before yeah they admitted to having weapons, but now they are out and out declaring it. And what they want them for (defense) and thus will test them etc. I find it very different.
post #13 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
I think it could be true, they spend their money on that and not their citizens.

As far as racist: Well when we dropped the bomb, wasn't Germany contained or almost? Interesting point on the internment though. Although it was mostly the west coast right? And the location might have had something to do with it (Japan came so close to the mainland at Pearl Harbour)
Yes, Germany was contained at that point - we'll soon be celebrating the 60th anniversary of defeat/liberation. My question is, could the timetable have been moved up? If so, why wasn't it? I've now spent over half my life here in Germany, and have seen enough photos, and heard enough eyewitness accounts of the destruction here, to think that all that can't be compared to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The big nuclear powers, with the exception of China, are primarily Caucasian and Christian. Does that make them more "responsible"? Pakistan and India are presumably capable of nearly annihilating each other, but there hasn't been a lot of upset caused by that eventuality. This isn't something that is "straight" in my mind, but I'm beginning to see my friend's points.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
Yes, Germany was contained at that point - we'll soon be celebrating the 60th anniversary of defeat/liberation. My question is, could the timetable have been moved up? If so, why wasn't it? I've now spent over half my life here in Germany, and have seen enough photos, and heard enough eyewitness accounts of the destruction here, to think that all that can't be compared to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The big nuclear powers, with the exception of China, are primarily Caucasian and Christian. Does that make them more "responsible"? Pakistan and India are presumably capable of nearly annihilating each other, but there hasn't been a lot of upset caused by that eventuality. This isn't something that is "straight" in my mind, but I'm beginning to see my friend's points.
You know that's an enlightening thought, I see your friends points also.
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
My question is, could the timetable have been moved up? If so, why wasn't it? I've now spent over half my life here in Germany, and have seen enough photos, and heard enough eyewitness accounts of the destruction here, to think that all that can't be compared to Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Actually it was rushed in 45. But when it was discovered that the Nazi's where no where even close on making hte bomb, the eyes went to Japan. As for the time tables, I would have to re-read the subject again, even though I know a lot about it. I don't think they even got the uranium and plutonium until may-june, but again, I would need to look it up.

As for the casulties, yes, in a few bombings, both in Japan and Germany, there were more casualties in the fire bombings that we did then what the two bombs did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Think of Dresden and the Tokyo bombings. I think in my opinion, that the bombs were more psychological then anything. The only thing that the US was sweating was the fact that we only had enough material for 2 bombs and hoping they would surrender after we did it... which they ended up doing. If I remember reading correctly, after the first one was dropped, Japan dared us to drop another one... we did...
post #16 of 25
Thread Starter 
It's interesting how we choose who we fear and don't. Take Saudi Arabia, their national religion IS a form of very extreme Islam, which we are suppose to be
conflicting with. Also they don't allow women to even drive or do anything really. YET Bush declared how we are only aligning with those who promote freedom. And here he leaves them alone even though the bulk of the hyjackers were Saudi. And yet Saddam suddenly became the issue. Anyways, and yes Pakistan and India are always in tension and yet we don't bat an eye practically.
post #17 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arg0
Actually it was rushed in 45. But when it was discovered that the Nazi's where no where even close on making hte bomb, the eyes went to Japan. As for the time tables, I would have to re-read the subject again, even though I know a lot about it. I don't think they even got the uranium and plutonium until may-june, but again, I would need to look it up.

As for the casulties, yes, in a few bombings, both in Japan and Germany, there were more casualties in the fire bombings that we did then what the two bombs did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Think of Dresden and the Tokyo bombings. I think in my opinion, that the bombs were more psychological then anything. The only thing that the US was sweating was the fact that we only had enough material for 2 bombs and hoping they would surrender after we did it... which they ended up doing. If I remember reading correctly, after the first one was dropped, Japan dared us to drop another one... we did...
I heard too that the second one was a bit of a shell game, hoping it would appear like we had more and get them to surrender.

Weren't the Tokyo bombings more deadly than any in Europe? In the movie Fog of War, Macnamara talks of how they had the pilots fly really low (they lost some tail guys) so that they could cover more ground.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
I heard too that the second one was a bit of a shell game, hoping it would appear like we had more and get them to surrender.

Weren't the Tokyo bombings more deadly than any in Europe? In the movie Fog of War, Macnamara talks of how they had the pilots fly really low (they lost some tail guys) so that they could cover more ground.
Some planes flew 8,000 feet in elevation, a lot of planes were lost. I saw one special last night of pilots seeing roofs, doors and other debris flying over the planes... and these were B-29's. As for the casulaty count, I'm not sure, but I always thought it was about equal.
post #19 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arg0
Some planes flew 8,000 feet in elevation, a lot of planes were lost. I saw one special last night of pilots seeing roofs, doors and other debris flying over the planes... and these were B-29's. As for the casulaty count, I'm not sure, but I always thought it was about equal.

We may have bombed equally, but I do wonder about the racism thing even uncousciously, being more to Japan. I will bet if you study war propaganda it's harsher on Japan, I mean we are from Europe etc. But that is a really interesting point Tricia brings up.
post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marge
It's interesting how we choose who we fear and don't. Take Saudi Arabia, their national religion IS a form of very extreme Islam, which we are suppose to be
conflicting with. Also they don't allow women to even drive or do anything really. YET Bush declared how we are only aligning with those who promote freedom. And here he leaves them alone even though the bulk of the hyjackers were Saudi. And yet Saddam suddenly became the issue. Anyways, and yes Pakistan and India are always in tension and yet we don't bat an eye practically.
I don't think it's just the Bush administration, despite Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11". My older brother worked in AF intelligence in the 70s and 80s, and was at times rather indignant about the leeway given to Saudi military/intelligence personnel (he died in 1991, so I suppose anything I say about his personal conclusions isn't relevant enough to get me into trouble). I've come to believe that economic interests far outweigh philosophical ones in the minds of our fearless leaders.
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
I don't think it's just the Bush administration, despite Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11". My older brother worked in AF intelligence in the 70s and 80s, and was at times rather indignant about the leeway given to Saudi military/intelligence personnel (he died in 1991, so I suppose anything I say about his personal conclusions isn't relevant enough to get me into trouble). I've come to believe that economic interests far outweigh philosophical ones in the minds of our fearless leaders.
Yeah in the end, it's petrol over standards all the way.

I guess I also consider the way we look at other countries interesting in general, not just Saudi.
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arg0
Actually it was rushed in 45. But when it was discovered that the Nazi's where no where even close on making hte bomb, the eyes went to Japan. As for the time tables, I would have to re-read the subject again, even though I know a lot about it. I don't think they even got the uranium and plutonium until may-june, but again, I would need to look it up.

As for the casulties, yes, in a few bombings, both in Japan and Germany, there were more casualties in the fire bombings that we did then what the two bombs did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Think of Dresden and the Tokyo bombings. I think in my opinion, that the bombs were more psychological then anything. The only thing that the US was sweating was the fact that we only had enough material for 2 bombs and hoping they would surrender after we did it... which they ended up doing. If I remember reading correctly, after the first one was dropped, Japan dared us to drop another one... we did...
I hate to admit it, but I'm so sick of hearing about Dresden, because the Neo-Nazis constantly bring it up. I read "Ordeal by Fire" as a young teenager. Yes, it was horrible, but not unjustified, IMHO. A lot of "sheep" were killed, but without those "sheep", Hitler couldn't have come to, and maintained, power. I 'm not as informed about Japan.
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jcat
I hate to admit it, but I'm so sick of hearing about Dresden, because the Neo-Nazis constantly bring it up. I read "Ordeal by Fire" as a young teenager. Yes, it was horrible, but not unjustified, IMHO. A lot of "sheep" were killed, but without those "sheep", Hitler couldn't have come to, and maintained, power. I 'm not as informed about Japan.
I heard with Dresden people didn't understand why it was the target, but wasn't it strategically chosen cause of location or something? I don't know that much about it.
post #24 of 25
I don't think it was racism that made Japan the target of the bombs. First, I do think it was partially motivated by revenge because they did attack US soil as an overt act of war. Second, at that point in time Japan had no thought of surrendering, their honor system wouldn't allow it. Watch the movie "Hiroshima" (a Canadian produced film) for more on that, which is based on historical fact even if there were a few dramatic licenses taken (I assume on the actual conversations). The Emperor wanted to surrender, but his military advisors wouldn't allow it, and they ran the show. There was actually a coup being planned to overthrow the Emperor by the military to ensure that he wouldn't allow a surrender. Also, Truman looked at what it would take to invade Japan. The estimates for US casualties were so astomical for invading Japan, in the hundreds of thousands making D-Day look like a tea party, and knowing that the Japanese would fight to the last person, women and children included, against us, Truman made the decision that drastic measures were needed to make the war as short as possible.
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by valanhb
I don't think it was racism that made Japan the target of the bombs. First, I do think it was partially motivated by revenge because they did attack US soil as an overt act of war. Second, at that point in time Japan had no thought of surrendering, their honor system wouldn't allow it. Watch the movie "Hiroshima" (a Canadian produced film) for more on that, which is based on historical fact even if there were a few dramatic licenses taken (I assume on the actual conversations). The Emperor wanted to surrender, but his military advisors wouldn't allow it, and they ran the show. There was actually a coup being planned to overthrow the Emperor by the military to ensure that he wouldn't allow a surrender. Also, Truman looked at what it would take to invade Japan. The estimates for US casualties were so astomical for invading Japan, in the hundreds of thousands making D-Day look like a tea party, and knowing that the Japanese would fight to the last person, women and children included, against us, Truman made the decision that drastic measures were needed to make the war as short as possible.
That makes sense. I'm kind of overdosing on Nazi atrocities right now - our newspaper is running a daily series of interviews with survivors of local concentration camps - some were 5 or 10 miles from here -, and the politicians in Berlin are trying to find a way to stop a huge neo-Nazi demonstration at the Brandenburger Tor, right near the Holocaust Memorial in Berlin, in May.
BTW, I just read that South Africa tested an atomic bomb in 1970, but decided not to pursue that course.
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