Lion of the Blogosphere

Japan, South Korea, and nuclear weapons

Both Japan and South Korea possess sophisticated nuclear weapons capability, they’ve just chosen not to assemble any nuclear bombs.

This is especially true for Japan which has a huge stockpile of plutonium and could build a massive arsenal of nuclear bombs in less than a year. South Korea is a lot more limited in how quickly they could produce a large number of bombs.

Remember that nuclear weapons are 1950s technology (or 1940s technology if you are talking about simple enriched uranium bombs), and we are talking about countries producing the most sophisticated 21st century electronics like computer chips, LCDs, etc. The reason why countries like Iran find it so difficult to build a nuclear bomb is because their technology is still in the 19th century. Stuff that Iran has to sneak into the country, the government of South Korea can just order from Samsung or Hyundai.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

March 31, 2016 at 10:13 am

Posted in International

27 Responses

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  1. Given this line of reasoning (no quarrel really), why not proceed to the most salient points? The reason for Iran’s relative lack of weapons sophistication must be either (1) the West has done a fantastic job of interdiction/blockade over the last 35 years, or Persians are somehow lacking in native smarts. If it’s the latter, then that’s a big genetic story, no? Especially since they’re not Arabs.


    March 31, 2016 at 10:35 am

    • I think most of the intelligent Persians left long ago, when the theocracy was installed. They fled for greener pastures in the West. For instance, a large colony of Persian Jews live in Beverly Hills, taking their brains, genes and earning power with them.


      March 31, 2016 at 12:23 pm

      • I doubt that Persian Jews are very smart. Their average IQ is likely closer to that of their fellow Persians than it is to their Ashkenazi Jewish brethren.

        The average IQ of Persia just isn’t high enough, there isn’t enough of a smart fraction to handle nuclear technology with ease, not unless a huge number of that smart fraction were impressed into service and forced to work on nuclear technology. Pakistan and India have mastered the technology because there are just so many more Pakis and Indians.

        I wouldn’t be surprised if both South Korea and Japan have already tested nuclear devices through computer simulation and have already built the necessary technical infrastructure to have a working bomb ready in a week if the need arises.


        March 31, 2016 at 3:02 pm

      • Pakistan and India have mastered the technology because there are just so many more Pakis and Indians.

        But mostly because they had ample help from other countries.


        March 31, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    • Lynn gives 86 as the Iranian IQ. I think only about half the Iranian population is Farsi speaking. The other hand includes Kurds and various Turkic goups. Many people have remarked on the high-level of consanguineous marriages among the Arabs. I don’t know to what extent such inbreeding occurs in Iran. Razib Khan in one of his blog posts quoted estimates of 2-8 IQ points for inbreeding depression.


      March 31, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      • Lynn’s data and studies are utter garbage. He invented numbers for countries that didn’t have data and cooked some of the rest of the data. He twisted it to fit his essentialist narrative.


        April 1, 2016 at 12:53 am

    • IQ essentialism/primordialism is idiotic. First off, race is a social construct, there is more genetic variation within races than between them (a randomly selected Persian is just as likely to be genetically similar to a randomly selected Italian than another Persian), and any differences in “IQ” between countries are likely to be due to environmental factors– namely schooling. Iran is simply underdeveloped and corrupt. That’s what holds it back. All of these studies, by Lynn etc. overlook the real scientific evidence. Blacks in the UK have closed the gap with whites, and besides, “blacks” aren’t a race, there’s more genetic diversity in Africa than the rest of the world combined. I know essentialism/evo bio makes for some nice tidy little explanations of this stuff but it’s idiotic to interpret politics through the lens of biology. Period.


      April 1, 2016 at 12:52 am

      • “here is more genetic variation within races than between them”

        A statement meaningless to anyone who is not an expert at statistical math, and only said to confuse people because it SOUNDS like it disproves HBD.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 1, 2016 at 9:18 am

      • The subject you don’t want to acknowledge is called population genetics. And it completely eviscerates the blank slate worldview that you’re espousing.

        Lewis Medlock

        April 1, 2016 at 10:40 am

      • As an “expert in statistical math”, I can say that that the comment “there is more genetic variation within the races than between them” is totally misleading. I see this trotted out often, but I don’t see what it has to do with HBD assertions at all.

        Especially when we’re talking about extreme tail abilities like those required by nuclear engineers. Even a tiny difference in population level means can create a huge difference in the number of people who are 3-4 standard deviations above average.


        April 1, 2016 at 6:17 pm

      • As I said, a randomly selected Zulu or Korean is just as likely to be genetically similar to an Italian as another Italian. Genetic variation is basically completely random geographically, and the only genetic differences between human “populations” are minor physical ones. The clustering software can be manipulated to fit any number of pre-determined clusters, which are, as it turns out, socially defined and constructed.

        “Weiss and Fullerton have noted that if one sampled only Icelanders, Mayans and Maoris, three distinct clusters would form and all other populations could be described as being clinally composed of admixtures of Maori, Icelandic and Mayan genetic materials.”

        -Kaplan, Jonathan Michael (January 2011) ‘Race’: What Biology Can Tell Us about a Social Construct.


        April 2, 2016 at 2:41 am

      • What really matters is how much IQ differs. Of course Zulus and Koreans are both humans, and both way smarter than chimpanzees or monkeys, but the average differenc in genetic IQ is significant and accounts for Korea being far more advanced than southern Africa.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 2, 2016 at 7:48 am

      • And you completely ignored my other point, that African immigrants in the UK outperform whites from a similar economic bracket. It’s simply the racist system in the USA that holds them back. Basically, IQ essentialism is dangerous, scientifically wrong, and provides the ideological heft that the Trump supporters need.


        April 2, 2016 at 2:44 am

      • African immigration to the UK was the self-selected best and brightest of Africa, while Africans in the U.S. were brought here as slaves, and most likely the bottom half were disproportionately made into slaves.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        April 2, 2016 at 7:50 am

      • No, there are large differences between ethnic groups, as has been written about by german anthropologist Andreas Vonderach in “Völkerpsychologie”. Everyone who lives in a “multicultural” country — i.e., almost all white countries — has his own experiences on how much people differ in their temperament, intelligence, character and psyche. I live in Germany and muslims couldn’t be more different from ethnic germans, only blacks are more shocking.

        If you don’t read german, the best I found in english was Byron Roth’s “The Perils of Diversity”. It’s also not true that blacks outperform: see the data posted as comment on Peter Frost’s “The Jews of West Africa?” blog post.


        April 2, 2016 at 11:22 pm

  2. Frankly I don’t see why we should bother to hold either of them back (or Taiwan) from getting nukes. Russia and China have happily proliferated nuke technology to their minions. We should return the favor and let our allies build their own arsenals.


    March 31, 2016 at 10:38 am

  3. Germany also has the nuclear engineering capability but would NATO, Britain and France allow them to manufacture them. Obtaining and storing plutonium or fissionable uranium is the most difficult part of making nuclear weapons, just ask Iran.


    March 31, 2016 at 10:44 am

  4. Don’t kid yourself. Neither of them are pacifists. They have always counted on America to provide a nuclear umbrella against attack. As Obama has softened American Military Might and made our sword seem flaccid, the Japanese have rediscovered their militarism and are already rebuilding their weapons. They have made new aircraft carriers to replace those Obama has pulled back. As Obama has signaled to our enemies his unwillingness to use nukes and defend our allies, I suspect South Korea is quietly improving their military muscle with the factories that used to make Hyundais. Obama is an enemy, these are not mistakes. He may be a complete idiot, but he hates America and White people. Civilization is not something his race has ever had, and I suspect he doesn’t appreciate it either.

    Joshua Sinistar

    March 31, 2016 at 1:00 pm

  5. Japan is a natural counterweight to China. Take the clamps off and let them rebuild their military.

    Lewis Medlock

    March 31, 2016 at 1:08 pm

    • Japan’s military is already pretty well built. No rebuilding necessary. They have a large and effective navy and air warfare capability. They are currently building up amphib assault capability.

      They probably already have nukes. Everybody knows their satellite launch capability exists for no other reason than as cover for a long range ballistic missile program. It makes zero economic sense.

      A bunch of countries probably “secretly” have some nukes (not just Israel). Saudi Arabia almost certainly has them. It’s often rumored the Dutch have some.


      April 2, 2016 at 4:24 pm

  6. Watching the media commentary on Trump’s comment about Japan and South Korea getting nuclear weapons, you would have thought Trump had pissed himself on camera, and then played in the puddle.

    THAT is how separated the media “elites” are from normal Americans. We’re a declining power and as we retreat, leaving nuclear armed allies is a good call. How in the world can letting Iran get nuclear weapons be considered some sort of foreign policy coup by the media but allowing two pro-American allies to get them the height of insanity? I don’t get that at all.

    Mike Street Station

    March 31, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    • Most of the media are still Boomers and these people have never met an enemy they don’t like. They spent the whole Cold War helping the Soviet Union and now Islamic Terrorists are one of the new victim groups they are protecting. Its some sort of sick death wish I suspect. The Left is nothing but a Giant Death Cult. Their support for drug abuse, homosexuality, promiscuity, feminism and anti-family formation, pro-abortion and support for euthanasia all add up to a prescription for extinction. We need to realize they are suicidal nihilists with no life and have to be stopped before they end up killing us all.

      Joshua Sinistar

      April 3, 2016 at 9:45 pm

  7. The plutonium implosion bomb is 1940’s tech, too. You’re evidently thinking of fusion weapons, which are early 1950’s devices.

    Aside from that, letting South Korea and Japan get nuclear weapons would go a long way towards stabilizing East Asia.

    bob sykes

    March 31, 2016 at 2:46 pm

  8. Israel has also assassinated Iran’s nuclear scientists, loaded their networks with computer viruses, etc, whenever they found the opportunity.


    March 31, 2016 at 3:02 pm

  9. Do you deny that Iran could at least produce high quality centrifuges?

    You need to master plutonium primaries to create hydrogen bombs because you need a primary to cause the secondary with lithium deuteride to compress quickly to initiate fusion.

    Making plutonium is fairly easy; just irradiate some uranium with neutrons for a short period of time. Too much exposure, however, produces unwanted isotopes such as Pu-240, which was the reason why a gun-type device cannot be made from a plutonium critical mass. Even too much Pu-240 would compromise an implosion-type primary due to excessive spontaneous fission.

    Regarding HBD, A.Q. Khan is middle eastern, but the supposedly low IQ of that region did not prevent him from being a primary nuclear proliferator.


    March 31, 2016 at 7:31 pm

  10. Every country with nuclear energy has the capacity to create nuclear weapons. Basically all of Europe could have nukes if they wanted to.

    A while ago, though, we decided it was probably better if there were fewer, rather than more bombs kicking around capable of blowing up the world.


    March 31, 2016 at 8:41 pm

  11. Even Tom Clancey thinks he knows how to make them.

    Clay Carlin

    April 1, 2016 at 9:15 am

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