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Southeast Asia forum

North Korea Situation and Thailand/Laos/Cambodia?

Posted by jennigun on 10/4/2013 at 11:34

I will be in Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia from late April until late June. Do you think I should be concerned about the situation in North Korea? I obviously care about what is going on in a global sense, but should I be concerned for my safety? How are relations between Thailand and North Korea?

#1 jennigun has been a member since 25/12/2012. Posts: 27

Posted by Captain_Bob on 10/4/2013 at 11:50

I doubt anyone here is giving it that much thought. So Kim Jong Un wants to throw his toys out of the pram. Seems he's just trying to gain some awesomeness with the masses and legitimacy (in his dreams) with the international community. Seriously I wouldn't let it influence your decision to travel in Thailand/Laos/Cambodia at all. It's a far cry from Hitler circa 1938.

#2 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,891

Posted by jennigun on 10/4/2013 at 12:06

Thanks, that was my thinking as well. I have no intentions of canceling the trip, just wanted to see what the general mood is!

#3 jennigun has been a member since 25/12/2012. Posts: 27

Posted by caseyprich on 10/4/2013 at 20:30

I'm in China which abuts North Korea and here it isn't seen as too serious. Really just saber-rattling that comes every spring and not nearly so bad as 2010 - most likely a play on the domestic front. I can see where people in Japan and Dongbei might be a little edgy, but SE Asia doesn't really need to follow this story at all.

#4 caseyprich has been a member since 3/3/2010. Location: China. Posts: 1,281
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Posted by DLuek on 10/4/2013 at 22:55 TF writer

Fully agree with comments by Captain Bob and Casey above -- I personally would not even cancel travel plans to South Korea at the moment.

There are no real tensions between Thailand, Cambodia or Laos (or ASEAN in general) and North Korea as far as I know. Kim Jong Un might be unpredictable, but I highly doubt he's going to say "Let's nuke Chiang Mai!" just for the hell of it.

To put it into perspective -- someone in the US is far more 'threatened' by North Korea than someone in Southeast Asia.

I'd be interested to hear Madmac's input on this one.

#5 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,173
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Posted by MADMAC on 10/4/2013 at 23:12

To start with the OP, dude, look at the map. North Korea is not exactly right next door. North Korea couldn't care less about Thailand. It's a highly insular state that trades with whoever it can (and that ain't much) so it has occassionally found trading partners in Iran and Pakistan for example (North Korea does sell some crappy military equipment and minimal nuclear and missile technology). Thailand - not even on their radar screen. Cambodia - even less. Laos... nobody cares about Laos. The cold war is over, and Laos has nothing of interest to anyone. Chinese are developing some hyrdo dams...

DLuek - As for North Korea, they are highly unpredictable, but one thing is clear even to those knuckleheads. If there's a war, they'd lose and lose big. China, who now has made a Faustian pact with the US, is not going to fight for North Korea. The North Korean Army is pathetic. It's using 1950s and 1960s technology and is totally outclassed by the South Koreans even if we didn't help - and we would help. If North Korea lost, their leaders would lose their heads. They are well aware of this fact. So in spite of them being unpredictable, I would say that the safe money is on them not wanting to end up dead. Neither the South Koreans nor the Americans share European reticence to kill people we think need a good killing. So if these guys were captured at wars end, we'd be happy to try and then kill them. I think they are quite aware of this fact, so if self-preservation is an instinct they possess, I suspect they will talk big and do nothing.

#6 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by DLuek on 11/4/2013 at 09:50 TF writer

Yup, that's about what I was expecting from you, Mac. :)

"Laos... Nobody cares about Laos." LOL

Not sure where the OP is from, but I've watched a few clips recently of US news (especially Fox) trying to make everyone all in a frenzy there about North Korea. If it wasn't North Korea, it'd be the latest band of amateur jihadists in Yemen or Libya or where-ever. If not that it would be some new virus or 'psycho squirrels' who bit some old lady in Kalamazoo. They'll always find a reason to try to scare people -- because fear attracts viewers. It's one thing I do not miss about living back there.

#7 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,173
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Posted by MADMAC on 11/4/2013 at 11:40

Well, I don't watch much Fox. In fact, I don't watch much television news at all. I prefer print media. But if you look for something to get worked up about, you'll find it.

#8 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

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