Post Reply Would an atmospheric H-bomb test be considered a "casus belli" (cause for war)?
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Posted 9/30/17 , edited 10/1/17
Ok so remember how North Korea said they were going to plan a test of an H-bomb over the Pacific in response to quote "UN sanctions and US agression" end quote?

I'm going to be perfectly honest; even if it's out in the middle of the Pacific, if they are crazy enough to detonate a thermonuclear bomb in our atmosphere, it should be considered a casus belli, and we should immediately retaliate. Perhaps not with our own nukes but at the very least they would have crossed enough of a line to merit an assault and invasion with conventional weapons and forces.

There's a reason atmospheric nuclear testing has been banned by an almost unanimous international treaty since the 1990's. Put short, even if you're nowhere near the blast you're still going to catch the EMP, which means any trans-pacific flights going on at the time are going to be fucked. Depending on the yield,, the altitude of the detonation, and the precise location of ground zero, the EMP could even reach cities in Japan or the the US West Coast, causing massive levels of fuckery - blackouts and system failures, the works. It will also be a massacre of marine life, and that's not even touching on the potential for irradiated contaminants that will spread on the winds and ocean currents (if you thought Fukushima was bad, well say good bye to non-irradiated sushi for the next 100 years).

When the US did atmo testing on Bikini Atoll in the late 40's to the early 50's, they basically wiped 3 islands off the map and made the rest unlivable due to radiation. Bikini is still considered unfit for long-term human habitation over 50 years later (a few people live on the island, mostly scientists monitoring radiation levels, but caesium-137 levels still exceed the 15 millirem standard to be considered habitable by the EPA). The Starfish Prime test caused an EMP big enough to KO streetlights in Honolulu, which was almost 900 miles away from the coordinates directly below the detonation point (even further from the actual detonation which was 250 miles above sea level) - and that was only a 1.4 Mt detonation. That should give you an idea of just how far the effects of a thermonuclear detonation can spread. Again - there is a REASON the ENTIRE WORLD agreed to stop this shit. Even the US. Especially the US.

Even if its a test, the consequences are real enough to consider it as bad as a direct attack. Between the environmental/ecological impact, the danger to US, Japanese, and S. Korean citizens (not to mention the various islands in the Pacific many of which are US territories or otherwise under US protection), and the economic impact on trans-Pacific commerce, I honestly believe there is no way in hell we're avoiding war with N. Korea if they go through with this.

God help us all.
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Posted 9/30/17 , edited 10/1/17
one question, haven't they already tested multiple actual nukes?
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Posted 9/30/17 , edited 10/1/17

redokami wrote:

one question, haven't they already tested multiple actual nukes?


They have, but they've all been underground tests. Those aren't as big of a deal since the blast and the fallout are contained underground. They'll make a seismometer go nuts (their H-bomb registered somewhere around 6-8 on the Richter scale) but little else.

An atmospheric test, however, is about as close as you will get to actually getting nuked short of actually firing the weapon for effect. As the name implies the test is conducted either on ppen ground or in the air.

Political provocations aside, it's possible the goal of the test is to ensure the re-entry vehicle can survive and the warhead inside can still detonate after launch and re-entry. They've shown they can launch a missile and they've shown they can make and detonate an H-bomb, but they have yet to demonstrate combining the two into an effective nuclear-warhead ICBM - a successful test in atmo would effectively prove they can do just that.

But of course it's going to cause major problems for everyone else in the Pacific even if the blast never touches territorial waters. Plus to reach far enough out into international waters to ensure that it doesn't they'd have to chuck it over Japan. That alone could be considered provocation enough. (They've already fired several missiles over Japan but none have had payloads, nuclear or otherwise) Finally, if it detonates close enough to the water, or in it, it could cause a tsunami.
Posted 9/30/17 , edited 10/1/17
Not a test, but a direct attack.
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Posted 9/30/17 , edited 10/1/17
I don't understand why China didn't stop this shit before it got to this point. Fat kid going to cause WWIII
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Posted 9/30/17 , edited 10/1/17
I think the whole reason why there hasn't been a complete crackdown on NK with all their tests is that so far they haven't let things get out of hand with the radiation containment. Should one of their underground tests crack the mountain shell and lead to the dispersal of radioactive material into the atmosphere, I feel that at the very least China is going to be wiping their hands of NK. That being said, an open air test may very well lead to all nations on the UN Security Council green-lighting military operations against the country, as the result of that test would benefit no one. Or they could maintain the current line of forcing the council to lean on sanctions and diplomacy, because right now it's all that's stopping a US-led strike to wipe NK's leadership off the map for good and finally put an end to the Korean War.

What may kick off WW3 are not actions in Syria, but some nutjob in NK flexing by blowing up a nuke and the world's response to that event (strike or not).

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Posted 10/1/17 , edited 10/1/17
It will be. The radioactive cloud to pass over inhabited places right? Yeah indirectly kill hundreds if not thousands.
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Posted 10/1/17 , edited 10/1/17

MittinsTheCat wrote:

I think the whole reason why there hasn't been a complete crackdown on NK with all their tests is that so far they haven't let things get out of hand with the radiation containment. Should one of their underground tests crack the mountain shell and lead to the dispersal of radioactive material into the atmosphere, I feel that at the very least China is going to be wiping their hands of NK. That being said, an open air test may very well lead to all nations on the UN Security Council green-lighting military operations against the country, as the result of that test would benefit no one. Or they could maintain the current line of forcing the council to lean on sanctions and diplomacy, because right now it's all that's stopping a US-led strike to wipe NK's leadership off the map for good and finally put an end to the Korean War.

What may kick off WW3 are not actions in Syria, but some nutjob in NK flexing by blowing up a nuke and the world's response to that event (strike or not).



Haen't heard much of Syria lately. Funny it comes out here.
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Posted 10/1/17 , edited 10/1/17

Dear_1nsanity wrote:

I don't understand why China didn't stop this shit before it got to this point. Fat kid going to cause WWIII


You have to understand how China thinks. China is a country about profits. North Korea buys something like 80% of what little food it has from China. Since they have isolated themselves North Korea has become completely dependent upon China for oil, food, ect. What better customer then one who refuses to buy from anyone but you right?

That said China during President Trumps first fire and brimstone comments made a public declaration that if the US/UN struck North Korea without provocation China would wholeheartedly defend North Korea. Then followed up with if the leadership of North Korea provacated or "shot first" North Korea would be on its own. I believe this was Beijing's way of telling North Korea their patience is not infinite. If we look at the main motivator for China being profits.... the US alone buys geometric rates more in products and services then North Korea. To say nothing of the rest of the world. No wise businessman would risk financial failure for 1 regular customer who doesn't spend that much in the first place.

That said North Korea likely doesn't understand the repercussions of detonating thermal nuclear device in high orbit. How could they? They have been so isolated from the world they get only bits and pieces from China. What concerns me most is the fanatical loyalty half of North Korea's people have. That they honestly believe their country is perfect and that their govt. could win a war against the US. This loyalty borders on madness that can only be achieved through extreme isolation, and manipulation.

To make matters worse in the event of a retaliatory strike on North Korea the consequences would be history making. North Korea currently has the ability to hit Japan and South Korea in less then 5 minutes after launch. You barely detect the missile and its almost to target. North Korea could easily launch 2 missiles one to Seoul, and one into Tokyo and wham something like 40 million dead. For those that don't know North Korea has one of the worlds largest stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons. A conflict with North Korea is literally a no win situation. However I would also like to say diplomacy is pretty much a lost cause as North Korea seems to have departed from using logic or reason.
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Posted 10/1/17 , edited 10/1/17
North Korea is a cat's paw that China uses to keep it's rivals and enemies off balance.

Any military action against North Korea would force China to respond in kind.
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