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Letters: North Korea goes off the deep end

April 09, 2013

Re "Playing the lunatic card," News Analysis, April 5

North Korea acts like it has nothing to lose — because it has nothing to lose. When you starve and horribly mistreat your own people, and when you keep repeating the same careless behavior and expect a different outcome, that is lunacy, pure and simple.

We all know that lunacy can be dangerous and often lethal. The young and up-until-now untested North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will learn that his nuclear and long-range missile threats will have long-term consequences that will completely overwhelm his weak and undernourished nation.

Even Kim's favorite "ambassador," Dennis Rodman, will be unable to explain away or ask for a re-deal of the cards in this dangerous game of chance.

Bette Mason

Los Angeles

The article asserts that North Korea is "bristling" with nuclear weapons. It is by no means certain that North Korea has even one nuclear bomb that actually works.

The North Koreans have supposedly conducted three nuclear tests. In stark contrast, the U.S. has conducted more than 1,000 such tests since 1945. North Korea's first test, in 2006, had an estimated explosive yield of less than 1 kiloton and was widely considered a failure.

The second test, in 2009, yielded 6 kilotons, as did the test this year. However, there is also considerable doubt as to whether these tests were actually nuclear, because in both cases diagnostic radiation was not detected by sensors in South Korea, China and Japan.

By comparison, the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 had a yield of 15 kilotons. North Korea cannot match what our nation was capable of 68 years ago.

John Grula


Want to peacefully open the eyes of isolated North Koreans stewing in the cruelly false fear of an imminent invasion from the U.S.? Flood the country with smartphones, tablets and wireless access, and they'll soon be demanding food, freedom and Facebook friends.

David Fertig



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