Lion of the Blogosphere

Strategic deterrence and how North Korea became a nuclear power

North Korea for a long time has had the non-nuclear strategic deterrence of being able to demolish Seoul with its conventional artillery and missiles. Admittedly, it’s only because of that strategic deterrence that we never forced a regime change or took out their nuclear program.

Nuclear missile are a whole new level of deterrence. What will Kim Jong-un do with them? Probably be a whole lot more aggressive than he was previously, knowing that he can get away with that much more as a nuclear power with ICBMs just like the big boys.

How did a crappy little country like North Korea develop this capability? It’s HBD. Nuclear-armed ICBMs are 1950s technology. Because Koreans are born with genetically high IQ, their engineers and scientists have been able to reproduce the technology that we perfected back in the 1950s, while the genetically less intelligent Iranians have failed to get that far despite having three times the population plus tens of billions of dollars of revenue from oil production.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 10, 2017 at 3:25 PM

Posted in Biology, International

46 Responses

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  1. I think the primary deterrence was and is China and Russia. China intervened during the Korean War and Russia aided North Korea during the war. China especially doesn’t want the US military on its border.


    August 10, 2017 at 3:36 PM

    • Destruction of South Korea was the deterrent, as the entire conflict with North Korea is not about China, which the USA is at detente with, but regarding the spread of capitalism in the Korean Peninsula.

      This is why North Korea is such a cool country. They have entirely resisted “The End of Democracy” and want nothing to do with being a western capitalist hellhole. They want to be Korean.


      August 10, 2017 at 4:27 PM

      • I don’t think you really understand the motivation of Kim Il-Sung (after the Korean War) or the thinking of his progeny. Previous S Korean President Park Chung Hee and his daughter ,who was recently impeached, is a cultural example of the same Korean respect for authority, ancestry, and political corruption.


        August 10, 2017 at 5:13 PM

      • “They” probably do not want to live in a totalitarian state. It’s not about what Koreans want, but what the crime family running the dictatorship wants.


        August 10, 2017 at 11:56 PM

  2. you’re making HBDers look bad.

    iran and n korea is apples and oranges. lots of differences other than genes.

    100% mexican from the state of oxaca

    August 10, 2017 at 4:08 PM

    • I need to write that post on historic north-south Korean differences.


      August 10, 2017 at 9:00 PM

  3. India and Pakistan have nukes, but I’m not sure that is explained by HBD. Historically, Russia and China supported Vietnam and N Korea opposing the US. The threat of more nukes (after we used them in WWII) prevented China from pushing the US out of S Korea in the 1950s.


    August 10, 2017 at 4:10 PM

    • A small subset of Indians have very high IQs, and a small subset of 1.4 billion is still a lot of people. As per the Pakistanis, my understanding is that they obtained the technology by underhanded means.


      August 10, 2017 at 4:28 PM

    • South Asians are a low mean, high standard deviation population.


      August 11, 2017 at 6:31 AM

  4. Admittedly Koreans do have the highest IQs, but still confused about the “genetically less intelligent Iranians” comment, since Iranians seem to dominate high-end neighbourhoods in many global cities and by comparison to other Muslim people, appear exceedingly well behaved and polished. Note, I realize a lot of the Beverly Hills Iranians are Jews, but even non-Jew Iranians seem very civil and successful and by extension I would assume high-ish IQ. Interestingly in my hometown of Vancouver, the Korean community comes across as middle to upper-middle class strivers, whereas the Iranians radiate a kind of aristocratic indolence. It also doesn’t hurt that many of them live in West Vancouver, the Beverly Hills of Vancouver.


    August 10, 2017 at 4:25 PM

    • Iranians are Persian and definitely better than the run-of-the-mill Arab dunderheads. Iran could probably be a really cool country if they could shake off their Ayatollah nonsense. There’s a lot of very Western attitudes in Iran. They make good movies and they have hot women, too. They need a Zoroastrian revival and mass conversion AWAY from stupid Islam, the stupidest religion of all.


      August 10, 2017 at 5:05 PM

      • Are there any good “Iranian” movies that were actually made in Iran? Under the Shadow was ok, but I believe the writer/director is a British born Iranian guy and the movie wasn’t filmed in Iran. A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night was shot in California.

        I agree that Persians are, on average, tremendous people but I don’t see any evidence of them being good filmmakers.

        Horace Pinker

        August 10, 2017 at 6:24 PM

      • I recall rather enjoying “A Separation.”


        August 10, 2017 at 9:46 PM

      • Iran is multi-ethnic. I think maybe half the population is technically Persian.


        August 10, 2017 at 9:47 PM

      • The hottest woman in California is a Persian. I once saw a wide receiver at Cal walk straight into a telephone pole while staring at her. She’s now a lobbyist in Sacramento.

        Explainer 21

        August 10, 2017 at 10:16 PM

      • The Iranian elite tend to be light skinned, and the same goes for much of the Arab world. The same principle applies to Latin America, even in Mestizo majority nations, where they are governed by people who are Whiter than the general populace.


        August 10, 2017 at 10:24 PM

      • The Crown Prince is available for the Peacock Throne, though he claims to be a serious Muslim. I enjoyed his father’s respect for the great Persian emperors. (The Shah used to pilot his airliner for day trips to West Germany for lunch. An ayatollah, brain stunted by religion, could never learn to do such a thing.)


        August 11, 2017 at 11:51 AM

    • That’s correct. Greeks, Armenians and Lebanese are also more successful than East Asians here in the states. I have been saying all along….Greeks are the 2nd wealthiest, behind the Ashkenazim. Perhaps even more so, given their small numbers.

      It’s the poor guidos-IAs who are the underachievers among the warm blooded “Whites”.


      August 10, 2017 at 7:10 PM

      • Greeks are merchants by nature. Comes with being a port country and having lots of traceable goods like olives and grapes and their derivatives. Their recent bad luck is when you mix modern monetary theory with people that like to deal directly and with a straight face.

        Paul Ryan's Sickly Old Lapdog

        August 10, 2017 at 9:31 PM

    • Persians are Persian first before they are Muslims, even before being Jews. This is a people, mind you, that was extremely offended by their portrayal in the movie 300. They think themselves imperiously, and they historical have a point.

      They still have some bad eggs which are crassly materialistic like an Arab oil-rich prince, however.

      A Dilettante

      August 10, 2017 at 8:18 PM

    • Elite immigration.

      Population stratification in Iran.


      August 10, 2017 at 9:03 PM

    • I grew up in West Vancouver. There were no Iranians when I lived there in the 60’s and early 70’s (at least not that I was aware of). But there has been a lot of population replacement occurring since then.


      August 10, 2017 at 9:28 PM

  5. South Africa and Brazil voluntariily gave up their nuclear weapons capability but could quickly restart them if they had a reason. Libya stopped its nuke program due to political pressures, then Obama and the EU overthrew Khadafy creating more boat people. The world is a complex quagmire of politics and nukes.


    August 10, 2017 at 4:34 PM

  6. “How did a crappy little country like North Korea develop this capability?”

    Entire factories were shipped in from the Soviet Union and assembled on site.

    Nuclear power in North Korea

    An IRT-2000 pool-type research reactor was supplied by the Soviet Union
    a 20 MeV cyclotron and laboratories imported […] from the Soviet Union

    To quote Barack Obama “You didn’t build that.”


    August 10, 2017 at 5:54 PM

    • This is an interesting sidepoint. Despite having access to cheap nuclear energy, the communist utopia still didn’t take off. So much for post scarcity.

      Paul Ryan's Sickly Old Lapdog

      August 10, 2017 at 9:34 PM

  7. I’m not sure why you had to put down Iran like that. They’re probably the smartest country in the Middle East (and have been that way since the beginning of Islam). The Iranians I knew in college (not a whole lot, though) seemed as smart as the Indians or East Asians.

    Anyhow, Joe Rogan had an interesting conversation about North Korea with some guy named Michael Malice:


    August 10, 2017 at 6:22 PM

    • Malice: the people are scared slaves, not enthusiastic collaborators in evil … therefore don’t go to war; do as Reagan and Thatcher did and solve the situation without a shot. The picture of the situation is interesting but the conclusion doesn’t follow. However, he might have recommended that the Leader simply be assassinated, that this alone would result in the regime’s collapse by demonstrating that Sung’s “10th commandment” (dynastic governance) no longer applies. This would be a reasonable recommendation, given the picture that Malice offers of the scene there, but I don’t think that it would be right for Trump to accept that level of risk (NK retaliation prior to collapse, a retaliation much more deadly than it would be if the US military went all-out against NK military targets from the beginning.)


      August 10, 2017 at 9:40 PM

  8. There are many smart Iranians — go to your average engineering school in the United States and you’ll see a bunch of professors with Iranian heritage. At least, that’s the way it was for me 20 years ago, and many of the professors had come over right after the Shah was thrown out. So I don’t buy that it’s HBD. Even if Koreans are on average smarter, there are still plenty of smart people in Iran.


    August 10, 2017 at 6:29 PM

    • Maybe Iran has experienced a brain drain.


      August 10, 2017 at 9:30 PM

      • Iranians are buying up property in the Greater Toronto Area in hot competition with Chinese. It’s been going on for a while. The resultant property market boom has only recently been curtailed by a non-resident tax on purchases.

        Like the Chinese, the wealthy Iranians are preparing their bolt-hole for when the shit hits the fan.


        August 11, 2017 at 4:05 PM

  9. There is a theory that nuclear weapons have never really been re-invented. For every country able to build nukes, there is a story about how hey were able to acquire the tecnology from another country.


    August 10, 2017 at 6:39 PM

    • Making a uranium fission nuke is not super hard. The hard part is producing fissile material. During the manhattan project something nuts like a third of US electricity production was going into the program, and this is with a war on and aluminum production competing for generation.


      August 10, 2017 at 9:45 PM

    • Why is that even a theory? Seems like simple common sense. After Hiroshima even if you used a different technique (and there have been) you were working backwards towards something you know can work. Just like there have been no truely new systems of writing invented in the world since the Mayan and Incan systems. Knowledge of previous systems will influence any new ones.

      JP (@JParkerKC)

      August 10, 2017 at 10:50 PM

      • The theory would say that the N. Koreans probably some non-public technological help, such as from Russians, Chinese, spies, or other rogue powers.


        August 10, 2017 at 11:22 PM

      • The theory would say that the N. Koreans probably some non-public technological help, such as from Russians, Chinese, spies, or other rogue powers.

        It’s not just a theory that Russia assisted North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, it’s a fact.


        August 12, 2017 at 9:50 AM

  10. Excuse me, but what’s the evidence that the Norms have actually mastered this 1950’s technology. I mean, they don’t manufacture Edsels or electric typewriters, do they?


    August 10, 2017 at 10:22 PM

    • I swear Lion even makes the other hbd retards look smart. Now HBD is purely manifested in nuclear and missile technology. The fact that Iran is a better country than North Korea by just about every other conceivable metric doesn’t matter.

      So yes you’re right they’re nowhere near as advanced as with the US or the USSR in the 50s


      August 11, 2017 at 1:04 AM

      • ‘The fact that Iran is a better country than North Korea by just about every other conceivable metric doesn’t matter.’

        But how does Iran compare to the South Korea?


        August 11, 2017 at 6:47 AM


    Neither Trump or Kim may want war, but one of the interesting teachings of game theory is that a war neither side wants can be sparked easily if the war’s goals and antecedent events incentivize escalation.

    At this stage the US and Kim are very close war. To understand why we look at each side’s goals and risk & reward incentive structures.

    Kim does not want a war. If he wanted one he would have already used his existing arsenal to start it. Kim sees an ICBM as a deterrent that minimizes the risk his hostile actions invite American attacks by increasing the risk of retaliation for America. Shielded by the deterrent power of future ICBMs Kim can then afford to act more aggressively than ever before even if he never intends to commit suicide by launching a preemptive nuclear attack against America: ICBMs open opportunities for nuclear blackmail against the US, Japan and South Korea in exchange for military and economic concessions and agreements to look the other way at the North’s black market criminal activities.

    Trump, too, does not want war. He could live with the Kim regime so long as it abandoned its ICBM ambitions. But Trump’s overarching goal is to prevent Kim from being able to strike the Continental United States. In the past the conventional and limited WMD arsenal of North Korea was dangerous enough to deter America from attacking the North’s nuclear program. But an ICBM is so dangerous to America that now either a very bloody conventional war or a nuclear exchange becomes an acceptable risk in American risk-reward analysis.

    But because the goals of the two heads of state are in direct conflict, game theory teaches both sides may end up at war.

    Recent UN sanctions are unlikely to halt this march to war. Since Kim’s motivation to acquire ICBMs is to enable him to engage in future nuclear blackmail, game theory teaches he is more likely to accept severe economic hardship in the short term to complete his program.

    Game theory also teaches that as a conflict draws closer, risk-reward calculations can change to incentivize either deescalation or further escalation.

    The current trends on the Korean Peninsula are increasingly incentivizing war.

    Kim is incentivized to not back down with every threat he makes because the more he vows to proceed until the end the weaker he will look to his generals if he ultimately backs down. Weakness and loss of faith could invite a coup (although, at least a coup is one threat facing Kim that Trump can sympathize with). Thus the chances of a retreat on his part are diminishing rapidly.

    Meanwhile, the speed with which the ICBM program is advancing greatly incentivizes Trump to favor preemptive war.

    With tensions higher than ever, a new possibility comes into play: Kim’s generals are incentivized to mount a coup (even if Kim at this point has backed himself too far into a corner to back down) the more likely war becomes.

    Previously, North Korean generals were hugely dissuaded from mounting a coup against the ruling dynasty by a prisoner’s dilemma – even if their best collective option was to cooperate and plot an overthrow, the great individual risks and uncertainty to each general of getting caught (How would a sincere plotter know there are no informants within the small circle of coup plotters? How would a sincere plotter know another sincere plotter wouldn’t be caught or change their mind at a key moment?) greatly discouraged such cooperation.

    Now that they face a real chance of a nuclear war that will destroy them the risk of organizing a coup becomes more less risky, though by no means a statistical certainty.

    To increase the odds the generals turn on Kim and enter serious peace talks, Trump should move advanced American reinforcements to the Korean Peninsula and vicinity to make clear he is serious about waging war.

    With the arrival of more American warships, nuclear weapons, submarines, F-22s and other aircraft, and missiles Trump increases his last remaining (if still long shot) chance to end the Korean ICBM project without firing a shot.

    And if the generals still do not turn, American forces will be in theater to eliminate Kim’s ICBM project for them.

    The Undiscovered Jew

    August 10, 2017 at 10:26 PM

  12. Lion,

    The YouTube videos of Diamond and Silk, your two favorite black women, have been demonetized.

    John D'oh

    August 10, 2017 at 11:55 PM

  13. HBD is your hammer so everything looks like a nail to you.

    Dave Pinsen

    August 11, 2017 at 1:25 AM

  14. Iran has experienced at least two brain drains in the last 60 years. In the 60s and early 70s the dissidents against the American-British backed Shah-Regime fled to Europe and the US. And around 1979 the ones who’d rather not live under the Ayatollahs emigrated. From anecdotal evidence, Iranians in Germany are above average tending (upper) middle class with a high incidence of doctors and dentists.
    But this is at least to some extent obviously a selection effect, namely, they are the (decendants of the) brains that went away during those decades. At least some of these immigrants are not muslims but Baha’i or other smallish religious groups or Christians and most probably quite secularized regardless of whether they are technically muslims or something else.
    As has been pointed out, Persians are proud of their culture that predates islam by more than a millenium. And during the heighday of islamic culture Persia was an important center, probably because of that heritage.


    August 11, 2017 at 8:41 AM

  15. The liquidation of Qaddafi and Libya is Kim’s most germane consideration. After Qaddafi gave up his nukes and we let him die the cat was out of the bag. Thanks, Obama!


    August 11, 2017 at 10:54 AM

  16. ive seen that god in the statue before. i have a video game where you can summon him to defend your city, its called “emperor rise of the middle kingdom”.

    james n.s.w

    August 11, 2017 at 12:07 PM

  17. NK has 200 truck mounted missile launchers with about 20 missiles each just north of Seoul.. Each warhead could fit 2-3 kg of anthrax spores easily. That’s about 5 tons+ of spores right there. Even 1 ton would mean year+ long clean up of Seoul – meaning full evac and risky vaccinations.

    All the talk about sarin and explosives aimed at Seoul is utter nonsense. Anthrax is/was enough. The missiles would be fired in minutes, so no counter-battery fire there.

    NK has smallpox, it could easily spread it and kill 1M+ before enough vaccines could be distributed just in SK and Japan. NK’s smallpox is the no. 1 global threat. Forget their puny nukes (20-60 nukes in the 20kt range).


    August 11, 2017 at 2:11 PM

  18. […] I already explained it. The genetically high IQ of Koreans means that North Korea can produce nuclear weapons (which is only a 1950s technology), while countries in Africa are never going to do that. […]

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