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back to article 'North Korea Has Launched a Missile' tweet sent by mistake

City officials in Yokohama were left feeling rather embarrassed earlier this week after jumping the gun on possible nuclear armageddon by mistakenly tweeting that North Korea had launched a missile. The over-enthusiastic managers of the @yokohama_saigai Twitter account were to blame for the incident, which happened just before …

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Facepalm

Well that couldn't have gone wrong anyway...

Well just because some twit sent a twitter (I couldn't resist the pun), what could have gone wrong in the current charged environment?

Oh, nothing much, just a few (hundred) cruise missiles fired back, not much to write home about.

Still, they could always have deleted the launch of those missiles...

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Re: Well that couldn't have gone wrong anyway...

Well, one would hope that in 2013 one would not succumb to the "tyranny of the railroad schedules" and take a little peek at the display of the Aegis system or whatever and, you know, cross-confirm.

Unless non-cross-confirmation suits the powers in charge, as in the Gulf of Tonkin "incident". But there is no indication that anyone wants to go hot at the present time.

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Coat

Re: Well that couldn't have gone wrong anyway...

"Well just because some twit sent a twitter (I couldn't resist the pun), what could have gone wrong in the current charged environment?

Oh, nothing much, just a few (hundred) cruise missiles fired back, not much to write home about." -- You think the Japanese and American military get their intel from twitter? What a twit.

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Re: Well that couldn't have gone wrong anyway...

In an alternative universe WW3 has just ended and WW4 is about to start. You know, the one that will be fought with stones and other bits of rubble.

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Re: Well that couldn't have gone wrong anyway...

This month U.S. and South Korean armed forces have been marching up and down along the border with the North. This is the context in which North Korea is getting touchy, although apparently the military exercises happen every year at this time. But, I wouldn't assume that the U.S. administration does not want a limited nuclear war against an easily defeated enemy, to show the rest of the world who's boss, and maybe put the fear into Congress and Senate as well. While they still have some nukes and weapony stuff that hasn't been foreclosed on yet.

The death of Margaret Thatcher reminds us that war is good for a government - she'd be a footnote if it wasn't for the Falkland Islands. On the other hand, we're now terrified of letting more women into the government. Well, so was she.

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Re: she'd be a footnote

I think there a lot of people in the uk who would remember her without the falklands, maybe miners, steel workers, ...

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Re: Well that couldn't have gone wrong anyway...

Oh do grow up.

Firstly, those military exercises happen every year. They won't be done on the border (because that would be silly), North Korea are notified in advance, it's only done with some forces, and they are necessary in order to maintain trained troops. Which are required due to the difficult next door neighbours.

They do ratchet up the tension of course. But possibly not enough to start threatening to nuke everyone.

Also, the administration doesn't want a limited nuclear war. You can take it as read that they really, really, really don't. Any other opinion is sheer foolishness. It would be bad for the economy, bad for the electoral prospects (although Obama is in his final term - but other Democrats want jobs) and horrifically bad diplomatically. Oh, and they don't have any tactical stuff easily available in theatre. Due to agreements with the Russians, I think they took all the tactical nukes off the Navy, and both Japan and South Korea don't allow them to be deployed there. So probably the only immediate nuclear response option would be an ICBM. They have around 10 warheads each. And launching them towards both Russia and China might cause a certain amount of consternation.

As for Maggie T being a footnote in history, it's possible. But in 1983 Labour were led by Michael Foot, riven by internal divisions, their vote would have been split by the SDP-Liberal Alliance and the economy had been picking up for a while. Remember that Gerald Kaufman described Labour's 83 manifesto as "the longest suicide note in history". Winning a war obviously helped, but wars aren't always good for governments. Just ask Lyndon Johnson for example.

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Childcatcher

Re: Well that couldn't have gone wrong anyway...

You think the Japanese and American military get their intel from twitter? What a twit.

Of course they do and from every other online source they can find. Not that the physical defense system is tied directly to a Tw*tter feed... at least not that I am aware of such.

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Devil

Re: Well that couldn't have gone wrong anyway...

In Desert Storm, General Sir Peter De Billieure (the spelling is probably wrong) noted in his memoirs that the Americans had CNN playing in their HQ and he was amazed at how the American staff changed their discussions to accommodate what was being spouted on air. At his own HQ, he had the TVs showing the news channels turned off for the duration.

Do the South Koreans & the US Military base their responses around twitter? Almost certainly not but is their thinking influenced by it? It's certainly possible...

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FAIL

Why?

Did they not learn with the germans?

Oh they're building an army? That's fine

They're invading countries they used to own? That's fine

Oh they invaded poland... Germany think about what you're doing.

Oh shit they're in belgium, now we HAVE to join in, thanks a fucking lot germany.

vs

What's that? NK are testing missiles they shouldn't have? That's fine

Now they're experimenting with nuclear capabilities? That's fine

Now they're threatening to launch missiles at every country surrounding them? That's fine

Oh they just blew South Korea off the face of the map? Great, now we HAVE to join, thanks a fucking lot NK.

I mean for god sakes, they invaded Iraq over the fact they suspected they might have WMDs with no evidence. NK has WMDs, admits it, and is threatening to use them and we do nothing... Just stupid.

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Boffin

Re: Why?

In financial terms, spending a thousand dollars to cure a ten-dollar problem is not a good thing. When it comes to North Korea, starting a war with them when they're spouting empty threats is likewise not a good thing.

Why are their threats empty? Because...

A: They don't have the kind of miltary that could conquer South Korea in the face of the very modern South Korean army and the assisting US forces (army, navy & air force).

B: They've been threatening the outside world on & off for years and they never have.

C: If they did actually start fighting, they'd lose. Period. They have old & out-of-date stuff and not much in the way of fuel and supplies. They have a lot of special forces which could briefly take key points like bridges, road/rail junctions, certain buildings etc, but they couldn't hold the ground.

D: Chances are, they're trying to stir up a reaction so that young Kim-Jong-Un gets the bigwigs to rally around him, thus securing his position and also getting some more food aid & fuel six months from now. Throwing their toys out of the pram to get food & fuel is something they've done many times in the past.

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Re: Why?

E: They're China's bitch, and China has no interest in getting dragged into a war and/or having a collapsed nation on their border when the North inevitably loses.

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Re: Why?

"I mean for god sakes, they invaded Iraq over the fact they suspected they might have WMDs with no evidence."

No, that was just the excuse they gave. You'd be mad to invade a country that actually does have WMDs.

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Headmaster

Re: Why?

it was more like:

Oh they're building an army? knock it off we are watching

They're invading countries they used to own? (In public) stop it, peace in our time etc (in private)oh crap we better start modernising our forces too

Oh they invaded poland... war declared by britain, france etc

they have been telling the norks to knock it off for a while its just china has been in the background. like the classic school kid with the big brother, no one has been saying "thats fine". There isn't much more you can do when one of the worlds biggest economys complete with nukes and a large (albiet outdated) milatary tells you to stop pushing its mate.

Iraq and Libya had no freinds even among its middle eastern neighbors and look how much contreversy there was (Syria on the other hand does and we have not "police actioned" there and are unlikely too)

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Mushroom

Re: Why?

I'm not so sure that the threats are entirely empty; their leadership is a bit unstable to say the least and they could quite easily believe their own rhetoric.

Their military may not have the more sophisticated equipment that is available to the South Koreans, but that is not a guarantee for success. They certainly have more people geared up for war; and based on what little I have seen, they are likely to fight fanatically. It could potentially make the situation in 'Stan look like a tea party.

Just because they haven't made good on their threats should not be a guarantee that they never will. Plus, when people are constantly rushing up to the line then pulling back at the last second, it wouldn't take an awful lot for someone to make a mistake and go further than they planned by accident.

Yes they probably would lose; but again, they really do believe that the Western countries are weak, flabby, lacking in moral fibre etc. (Not saying they are right, but an argument could be made...) They might well believe that they could gain ground, then stop and hold that ground without serious retaliation. Saddam Hussein did that in Kuwait thinking that he could get away with it; and he was no where near as crazy as the North Korean leadership.

I think that you are right that it is ploy to get some more supplies (he's a young man, probably needs a lot more pr0n). But the concern should be if someone does go off half-cocked and starts a bloody conflict by mistake. Then it could get out of hand very quickly; and we would need a lot of very cool heads to prevent it escalating.

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Pint

Re: Why?

Yea wowfood, you seem ready to upgrade from the 101st keyboarder to a real airborne brigade so that you can put some boots on the ground.

Sign up on this line, son.

> Oh shit they're in belgium, now we HAVE to join in, thanks a fucking lot germany.

No you didn't. No-one gives a hoot about Belgium.

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Re: Why?

@wowfood "they invaded Iraq over the fact they suspected they might have WMDs with no evidence. NK has WMDs, admits it"

That's exactly the point. US et al knew Iraq didn't seriously have any WMDs, so they wouldn't have any used against them. They won't invade NK exactly because NK has nukes. Which is pretty much why countries like Iran want to get nukes, it's pretty much a guarantee that the US won't try and regime-changing (again)

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Re: Why?

There is unfortunately a lot of truth in that.

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Meh

Re: Why?

...they invaded Iraq over the fact they suspected they might have WMDs with no evidence. NK has WMDs, admits it, and is threatening to use them and we do nothing...

That's because there isn't any oil in NK (or any other exploitable resources for that matter.)

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This post has been deleted by its author

It's just what NK does

Check out the last 20 years. Every time NK has needed aid, being food, fuel, medicine or whatever else, they've started up the military rhetoric, the blustering, the threatening. All this they do so they can then proceed to the negotiation table from what they perceive to be a position of strength. The 'civilized' world will subsequently send them 5 barrels of oil, two sacks of rice and a family pack of antibiotics (and possibly two hardboiled eggs) and NK can leave negotiations with a big tump on the chest and their media telling the population the west has once more caved in in fear of their military might without NK having to do any concessions themselves.

This is how it has gone every single time in the past, and it is quite possibly what they're after now. I have the distict impression SK agrees with me, because they do not seem very worried.

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Modern Media Management

If they only drew attention to it by apologising for it 20 minutes later, people can't pay much attention to their Twitter feed. They need to get a 'celebrity' on-board.

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Re: Modern Media Management

I gather Stephen Fry is on stand-by.

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Re: Modern Media Management

"I gather Stephen Fry is on stand-by."

I look forward to the lead-up media slots where he tells us how a fusion bomb works.

"So you see, there's all these little particles called electrons whizzing around, jostling all the big fat Uranium atoms. And after a while the Uranium atoms get annoyed with all this shoving and they start eating these terribly rude electrons. But then the Uranium gets fat and explodes like that chap Mr. Creosote from The Meaning of Life..."

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Joke

Re: Modern Media Management

I gather Stephen Fry is on stand-by.

Is that another emergency warning that has slipped out?

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Coat

Slow typist???

"We had the Tweet ready and waiting"

Because it would be so difficult to have to write up to 140 characters on the spur of the moment...

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Holmes

Maybe to help their missile-launching celebrations

Some humorous japester could demonstrate rest-of-world's military prowess by shooting it down with a laser 5 seconds after launch.

From 300km away. Or space.

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Mushroom

That bl**dy autocorrect again eh?

I said MISSIVE ! Not .. oh #nevermind

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Mushroom

Interestingly there's been a nice, calming, leak in the ole US of A. Turns out the DIA reported to Congress that they were moderately confident that the DPRK had a miniaturised A-bomb that they could stick on a missile. But that it might not be very reliable. Which is an excellent thing, as the missiles ain't that reliable either.

Course, I'm sure that'll get the conspiracy nuts going.

However, we ought to have some insight into the Nork Nuke program. They were co-operating with the AQ Khan network in the last 20 years - Pakistani nuclear know-how in exchange for missile technology, plus they may well have been doing similar with Iran recently (as they've also been cooperating on the missiles). So that ought to give various ways for information to leak out. Also, Pakistan may not have allowed AQ Khan to be prosecuted, but I presume they've had a few nice chats with him over a cup of tea. And haven't some of the Iranian nuclear scientists been kidnapped? I seem to remember reading that, which could be another route for getting info on both programs.

Well either that, or the DIA report was sent to Congress by accident, and in fact was only the draft of a future report, and someone hit enter by mistake.

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Go

Nena

If we'd had Twitter in the 80s, this would have been the premise of "99 Luftballoons".

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Coat

Ahh, so, that's why Topre keyboards are so expensive,

all the secret built in macros to save time in case the NORKS go off on one. (probably)

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