So South Korea is really in a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. Which is kinda where they're at for the last few decades.
Again, I feel for the Koreans. Brothers fighting brothers over their common enemy's geopolitics. There's no easy way out of a civil war.
South Koreans choose restraint not because the North Koreans are Korean, but because they believe that there are still, at this time, better solutions to the problem than the destruction and casualties (on both sides) that a full-scale war entails.
-On the other hand, I've never met an ordinary Han Chinese who didn't believe that they were ethnically distinct. Nationalism and bigotry in China is very much of the Old World variety. In my view, the vast majority of Chinese feel an emotional attachment to the Taiwan issue exactly because they believe the island is Han Chinese, and has been for the last four hundred years (98% of the population self-identifies as originating from the large-scale migrations from the Han mainland). If this were not the case, then China really wouldn't have a leg to stand on with regard to Taiwan, given the fact that, in the last century, all other empires of the world have given up territories not inhabited by their ethnic peoples.
-Feelings of "brotherhood" did not prevent the North Koreans (just as ethnically Korean as the South) from causing possibly over one million deaths (some credible estimates place the South Korean death toll of civilians plus military at 2 million) of fellow Koreans in the Korean War. Nor did it prevent the 600,000 South Korean troops involved (the single largest contingent of combatants on the Southern side, and twice the size of American forces) from responding in this bloody conflict, once stiffened by allied materiel and organization, against their NK brethren, eventually going deep into the North to do so (before being stopped by the human waves of decidedly non-Korean Chinese "volunteers").
-This willingness on the part of both sides to inflict slaughter on those of their "blood" would make Koreans no different than any other nation on Earth. This is, actually, the metaphorical lesson of Jacob and Esau. In relative terms, possibly the costliest conflict in European history was the Thirty Years War of the 17th century, which was primarily a fratricidal melee between ethnic Germans, in which up to 30-40% of the populations in these German states died. More Americans died in the Civil War than in all other wars combined. If we view analogous and multiple conflicts in France, Britain, Russia, Italy, India, Japan, Korea even before the Korean War, China (among the "Han" themselves), in wars of unification, re-unification, revolution, etc., a compelling argument can be made that "brother-against-brother" conflicts have, always and everywhere, been among the bloodiest and most vicious in the sorry history of mankind.
-If it is true that there is a contrast between the current moderation of South Korean response vs. North Korea, in comparison to a lack of qualms on the part of China vs. Taiwan (which I accept for argument sake, although I am somewhat skeptical if it is as black-and-white as you suggest), I am more inclined to ascribe it to the nature of the respective regimes than to some sentiment of blood kinship.
The democratic nature of South Korea causes restraint in seriously considering offensive wars of opportunity (vs. wars of necessity), and pushes consideration of individual costs vs. national objectives front and center in political decision-making. Authoritarian regimes, by their institutional nature, possess more freedom of action in that regard.
(I sometimes speculate that there exists a kind of thermodynamic law with regard to freedom of action; that the total increments of freedom in any human system is finite, and that therefore the amount that resides in institutional authority is necessarily and proportionally a decrease in freedom for the Leibnizian "monads" that are individual human actors, in a kind of zero-sum game)
Last edited by juxtapose; 04-24-2012 at 10:59 AM. Reason: spelling
Besides nuke, I bet the ROK still stores huge amount of BC weapons although it says BC weapons were eliminated completely. (hey ROK has ballistic missile with 500 km range operational although its limit is 300 km, so you don't know what the ROK is hiding)
There are some news agencies in the region saying that North has completed preparations and may conduct a nuclear test tomorrow before or following their military parade in the capital.
My favorite anecdote I've heard about SK's nuclear weapon program is how Park boast that he will parade the bomb on 1981 armed forces day and then announce his resignation.
Here is the link that discuss fallout from SK nuclear weapon program: http://www.japanfocus.org/-Scott-Bruce/3630
Thanks Its Schoolchildren For Building Such Nice MLR Tank launchers
http://www.theatlantic.com/internati...NfIqfk.twitterNorth Korea's official propaganda outlet, the Korean Central News Agency, recently declared the state's appreciation for all those young school kids who "helped" manufacture rocket-shooting tanks for the People's Army. The announcement, which coincided with a military parade in the country's second-largest city to show off the vehicles, also thanked the "Democratic Women's Union":