Because that’s as good as I can do at the moment. Leave your links and comments and anything else here.

The Discussion: 40 Comments


May 31, 2009 @ 11:25 pm | Comment

China Smack experiencing denial of service attack? I do have to say my hosting company has done a good job keeping this site up and running (famous last words) in the face of some serious attacks.

May 31, 2009 @ 11:44 pm | Comment

The crap youth are at it again.

June 1, 2009 @ 12:14 am | Comment

I wonder if the following tactic could be useful to fool a DOS attack

Keep a secret pool of URLs (and IP) for your site, different url but close enough for people to remember them.

For example google, xgoogle, goooooogle, xxxgooglexxx, etc,

When under DOS, activate the replacement url until DOS, if again under attack keep swapping when service is severely restricted.

If all url are consumed start from the beginning. Just go the merry go round, or jump randomly from one to the other.

A DOS attacker must block all alternative path, it is like a load balancing plus something. In the end the resource consumption needed by the attacker to block all paths could become too cumbersome.

With a little more sophistication, the site could be replicated in topologically different places of the internet address space. Not sure, but maybe that makes a DOS attack harder.

By the way. I still can access the information through google reader.

June 1, 2009 @ 12:26 am | Comment

A Suggestion For China To Take Over North Korea
Recently, North Korea has tested a satellite, another nuclear weapon, and canceled the Korean War Armistice with South Korea.

This post wants to claim that: from North Korea’s recent actions it is not hard deduce that Kim Jung Il is about to die very soon, the North Korean regime is on the verge of collapse, the North Korean people are living in unpleasant conditions, and North Korea is under military threat by the USA. In order for North Korea to escape the current situation, the best solution is for North Korea to be annexed by China.

First, I have to express a common fact in human societies: societies are formed by individual persons, all political, economic and military behaviors are ultimately determined by individual people’s brains.

Internally, the North Korea people are living relatively low standards of living due to the collapse of the USSR, the international economic sanctions, and certain limitation of its own non-market economy. And due to historical reasons, the North Koreans do not have much chances to know the outside world, and this caused many North Koreans to flee to South Korea and China. All in all, Kim Jung Il’s regime is in a very unstable situation.

Whether the North Korean regime falls due to external military strikes like the Taliban or Yugoslavia, or falls due to internal clashes like that of Romania or East Germany, Kim Jung Il and other senior leaders will end up either like Romania’s Caesesku (shot by the citizens in public) or like Milosevic and Hussein (imprisoned/executed), either scenario is very sad. Also, if North Korea is struck by the USA like Yugoslava or Iraq, there’ll be probably be hundreds of thousands of civilians dying, and even there’s a possibility of nuclear weapons being used, and the death scale will be much much larger than in Yugoslavia or Iraq.

Given the current international situation, an implosion of the North Korean regime is very damaging to Chinese national interests. It would lead to massive refugees into China, loss of buffer space between China and US military bases, loss of a political instrument China has in East Asia against US/Japan, and a bigger chance of future North/South Korea unification which would create a big pro-US state on China’s border, with potential nuclear weapons.

Therefore, it is of paramount importance for China to act quickly right now, before the situation becomes uncontrollable. The goal is to preempt an implosion of North Korea.

The detailed solution is: China proactively sends a large and high-level political negotiation team to North Korea, and explains all the above to Kim Jung Il personally, and make sure he understands the implications of an implosion and his own fate, and make him understand that his future is not so bright. Then big promises will be made to Kim and his leadership that their fundamental interests will be looked out for. Here’s an attractive offer that can be made:

1): Kim Jung Il will be made the vice-chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, senior member of the 7-person Chinese political bureau, the vice-President of China. And if he wishes, he can be the governor of the Province of North Korea at the same time. He and his family will be given the second-best luxurious residential complex inside the government residential complex (the Zhongnanhai) in Beijing, just after Hu Jintao’s residence.

2): all North Korean Communist Party members will automatically be absorbed into the Chinese Communist Party and become Chinese Communist Party members. They will not be demoted, and will retained their original positions and authorities.

3) : All North Korean citizens will automatically become Chinese citizens and will enjoy the same rights as Chinese citizens.

Basically, by accepting this offer, Kim Jung Il and his senior associates and all the family members will be protected under the wings of China, instead of having to confront the US/Japan or their own domestic opponents. Their future will be guaranteed. No worry of being imprisoned or executed. They can continue to live luxuriously like they did before. They will be with very little real power, but at least that is better than deaths.

This is very much like a merge between two giant American corporations. All the executives and CEO’s will still retain their original positions and salaries, and they are all happy.

When North Korea goes under China, for Kim Jung Il, he’ll be a senior leader of the Chinese bureaucracy, and given the international status of China and China’s massive land and wealth and power, being a senior leader of that bureaucracy is a dream of every world politician. The North Korean citizens will become Chinese citizens, and will not have to illegal cross borders to China and will see an instant improvement in their living standards. Now, if US declares war on North Korea, then it’ll be declaring a war on a province in China, which is declaring war on China, which has a possibility of 0.

For China, it will have control of its entire North Eastern region’s seashores and resources, and will see its land area increase 13 hundred thousand square kilometers, and it is highly beneficial to the economic and industrial development of China’s poor North Eastern region. Also, this annexation will have significant impact on future Taiwanese unification and perhaps will allow the Taiwanese to have new perspectives on the prospects of uniting with China and give a push for peaceful unification.

For the world, it no longer has to worry about a new “rogue nuclear power”, because North Korea’s 5 nuclear weapons will simply become part of China’s nuclear arsenal, and China probably will destroy those 5 missiles anyway because they are so low-grade and low-accuracy compared to China’s arsenal. The US no longer has to waste time and sleep worrying about North Korea’s military threats and sending missiles to American bases in South Korea and Japan. And with North Korea, China’s market will grow larger, more business and investment will come to China, and everyone in the world will be happier.

Finally, I have to say that seeking pleasant lives are human nature. And if two countries’ unification can bring happiness to their people’s lives, then why not?

June 1, 2009 @ 7:35 am | Comment

Yup,it’s looney-tunes time again . . .

That said, if anything can be done about NK,it’s not going to be done without a deal being struck with China.

June 1, 2009 @ 8:13 am | Comment

“3) : All North Korean citizens will automatically become Chinese citizens and will enjoy the same rights as Chinese citizens.”


June 1, 2009 @ 9:03 am | Comment


Stop smoking that dope.

June 1, 2009 @ 10:12 am | Comment

I dunno, I’m almost agreeing with Math here…I mean, not really. But almost…

June 1, 2009 @ 11:32 am | Comment

Suggest we all read this new article on North Korea and how it survives; it contradicts some of Math’s conclusions about the DPRK being on the verge of collapse.

June 1, 2009 @ 11:43 am | Comment

Good Article Richard. I doubt that China would not let DPRK collapse, they rather have a neighbor ruled by a crazed maniac who is considered ‘stable’ than some Democracy similar to South Korea hell bent on destabilizing China. Although China officially condemns DPRK for using nukes, I doubt that they would press for sanctions anytime soon unless DPRK does something really crazy like attacking China.

June 1, 2009 @ 1:04 pm | Comment

When I saw Tkacik speak in Taipei last year, one of the things he pointed out was that the joint Russian-Chinese amphibious exercise conducted last year was not aimed at Taiwan as popularly supposed, but at North Korea. It called for a landing and an offensive ending with fanatical defenders fighting to protect a leader hiding in a bunker. Looked a lot more like NK than Taiwan, he said.

June 1, 2009 @ 1:37 pm | Comment

Really great post from Math. An fascinating proposal, but I believe it will be impossible. Nice trice anyway.
Just imagine the DDR becoming a part or Russia to prevent its down fall.

Math, CH has a lot of responsabilty on the suffering of the NK people, from the beginning, and its behavior shows once again the callousness of the CH government.
For their very self power grabbing interest they do not care to ruin the lives of millions. They have done it and still do it even with their own people, I do not expect much of them in their dealings with other nations.

I have a different proposition.

Once upon a time there was a country with a loon government system, self isolated from the world and that kept its citizens under a choking totalitarian system.

Infrastructures were poor, technologicaly backward, massacred their own people when it powers that bee felt menaced, and treated dissent with most heavy hand.

Although its regime was less than palatable, other countries decided to open their markets to their product and direct massive investment to it.

The result can be seen today. This once upon a time country is China.

Why not try to do the same thing with NK?

Yes, the CH people has a good share on the success of their country in the last decades, but without the cooperation and openness of foreign countries, that where even considered to be mortal enemies, that success would have not taken place at all.

I do have reason to believe that NK people are so hard working as SK and even CH
If given the same opportunity as CH they will do welle.

Even if the (so called) NK communist remains in power, but less mad, it would be an improvement.

Somewhat parallel solution to math’s, but I think better….

Hope in 20 years the NK could say. Kim il sung? 60% right 40% wrong… Yes. we know how it works, but I care just about the people, not about these butchers of men lives.

June 1, 2009 @ 2:18 pm | Comment


The reunification of Germany was not so terrible, actually the people in DDR voted with their feet…. when allowed to do it and not shot on the attempt.

Why not let the NK people choose their own destiny?

Do you have any problem with that? If yes, explain why. I hear.

June 1, 2009 @ 2:21 pm | Comment

China does not want to be the last living remnant of Stalin’s foreign policy, so it will keep NK alive. Also, NK is already a protectorate of Beijing, and it’s better for China to keep in under a different ‘brand’. Having NK makes China look less alarming.

June 1, 2009 @ 4:35 pm | Comment

Dror, I never really thought about it that way, but you may have a point there. Very interesting perspective, though I’m not sure all readers will take kindly to the theory that China wants to keep the DPRK as is to prove they themselves aren’t the very worst.

June 1, 2009 @ 5:08 pm | Comment

Math, I’ve got a better idea. Get in your time machine, head on back to October, 1950 and tell Chairman Mao to hold his forces at the Yalu. That way Korea, with the help of the gentle American liberators, can be fashioned into a functioning democracy and the Korean people can lead pleasant lives.

Of course the greatest benefit will be the unicorns. Unicorns did not become extinct when Noah left them off the Ark, they migrated to the northern part of the Korean Peninsula and are now corralled in Kim Jong-Il’s hidden mountain redoubt. With an adjustment to the space/time continuum creating a unified, democratic and capitalist Korea the unicorn meat will become available to the world’s markets and everybody can fart rainbows.

Godspeed, Math!

June 1, 2009 @ 5:18 pm | Comment

Richard: It’s all about positioning. China’s Men in Black look so civilized next to little Kim.

June 1, 2009 @ 5:27 pm | Comment

“Having NK makes China look less alarming.”

It should be their slogan “North Korea: making China look good since 1948”. Or perhaps “See North Korea and experience China in the 1950s”.

June 1, 2009 @ 5:42 pm | Comment

They already lost Albania. I always thought NK would made the transition first. My mistake.

In any case, if they loose NK they still can play with Burma.

And Cuba is still around. But I think conditions are much better there than in NK.
The location in the Caribic must help…. You know what I mean.
I heard very funny stories of the first Russians that arrived there….

Viva Cuba Libre!!

June 1, 2009 @ 5:52 pm | Comment

Dror, on another topic: I am delighted to tell you that I was completely right and you were completely wrong about the roots of our financial crisis. His eminience grise, Paul Krugman himself, agrees with my explanation that it started with none of other than ranch-hand Ronald Reagan, who stripped the nation of its regulatory gears. Read his column today, a masterpiece. Needless to say, unlike you, he does not blame China as a fundamental cause of the catastrophe. Not even a little bit. Reagan-era de-regulation started it all and laid out a blueprint for tragedy. I am glad we can now put this long-running argument to rest.

Reagan-era legislative changes essentially ended New Deal restrictions on mortgage lending — restrictions that, in particular, limited the ability of families to buy homes without putting a significant amount of money down.

These restrictions were put in place in the 1930s by political leaders who had just experienced a terrible financial crisis, and were trying to prevent another. But by 1980 the memory of the Depression had faded. Government, declared Reagan, is the problem, not the solution; the magic of the marketplace must be set free. And so the precautionary rules were scrapped….

Now, the proximate causes of today’s economic crisis lie in events that took place long after Reagan left office — in the global savings glut created by surpluses in China and elsewhere, and in the giant housing bubble that savings glut helped inflate.

But it was the explosion of debt over the previous quarter-century that made the U.S. economy so vulnerable. Overstretched borrowers were bound to start defaulting in large numbers once the housing bubble burst and unemployment began to rise.

These defaults in turn wreaked havoc with a financial system that — also mainly thanks to Reagan-era deregulation — took on too much risk with too little capital.

There’s plenty of blame to go around these days. But the prime villains behind the mess we’re in were Reagan and his circle of advisers — men who forgot the lessons of America’s last great financial crisis, and condemned the rest of us to repeat it.

While I get a headache when Chinese media keep repeating this was a US-generated crisis again and again ad nauseum in every article, there is still plenty of truth to it. And its roots are pretty clear – we had the fox watching the hen house.

China may have played an important ancillary role in the clusterfuck, but the US was steering the ship into the iceberg.

Now General Motors, long a symbol of America itself, is declaring bankruptcy. Starting this week we get to test the arguments of how strong America’s fundamentals truly are. Way stronger than China’s no doubt. But China has the glorious advantage of money in the bank, zero debt and a population well used to dealing with all kinds of shit we Americans can only imagine in our nightmares. The next few weeks ahead should be absolutely extraordinary. I would not want to be in President Obama’s shoes, not for all the factories in China (where they were probably made). And I would not want to be in the stock market either, except for precious metals stocks.

June 1, 2009 @ 5:57 pm | Comment

Deregulation + lack of ethics, is a powerful cocktail

June 1, 2009 @ 6:20 pm | Comment

Richard, Paul Krugman thought the crisis was Reagan’s fault before the crisis even happened, and so did you. As I previously noted, “in most cases, the crisis is used by commentators and politicians as an excuse to promote their agenda”, and Krugman is no different.

I told you, no doubt that leaving the beach without a lifeguard (or more accurately, with the wrong lifeguard) was not a good idea, but it still does not explain where the hell did that big wave (of excess liquidity) come from.

I never blamed the crisis solely on China. I just note China’s considerable role in creating it. Nothing in Krugman’s article changes that. In addition, if you look at the numbers, you will see that many of the changes he is talking about started before Reagan even became president. They have a lot to do with advances in communication and shipping technology.

No doubt that US regulation had a big role in creating the sub-prime crisis, but the sub-prime crisis was not the cause of the current global crisis. It was just a symptom and a precursor.

Finally, if you read what Krugman really said you’ll see that he does blame China for the crisis, but also blames Reagan for making America so vulnerable to such a crisis:

“the proximate causes of today’s economic crisis lie in events that took place long after Reagan left office — in the global savings glut created by surpluses in China and elsewhere, and in the giant housing bubble that savings glut helped inflate.

But it was the explosion of debt over the previous quarter-century that made the U.S. economy so vulnerable. ”

I don’t disagree. China is the ‘proximate cause of today’s economic crisis’. No doubt that America could have done better to protect itself, but that’s a different story. Hah.

June 1, 2009 @ 7:27 pm | Comment

@Michael Turton – If North Korea is afraid of an amphibious invasion it might help explain this rather odd detail in a report on RIA Novostii:

“N.Korea prepares ballistic test, boosts military on west coast ”

Just in case you are not willing to take the word of a panda-hugging CCP apologist PRC troll like me, here’s the link:

June 1, 2009 @ 9:25 pm | Comment


On the topic of denial of service attack on China Smack

I just came across this piece, and found it highly relevant.

DDoS Attack Leaves Five Chinese Provinces Without Internet

this article was on 22nd of May, about a week ago. I found it through here(

and then I found this

A Chengguan website in Changzhou,Jiangsu was also attacked, it was not denial of service attack though, but also significant as it is a government website, or more precisely, branch of government that people dislike the most. The attack took place on 29 of May

it is bit weird here

Was Chinasmack one the the vicitim of that mass attack that got five provinces?,or just a individual case? like that Changguan website, hacked by some geek with a raw sense of justice

June 2, 2009 @ 2:24 am | Comment

here is a more detailed report, from the link on Dark Visitor

“Starting from 21:50 on May 19, 2009, Internet users in Jiangsu, Anhui, Guangxi, Henan, Gansu, and Zhejiang, reported that they suffered slow Internet speeds or were unable to visit some websites. The Internet in these provinces has currently recovered. According to China Telecom, the network failure was led by the domain name system failure of, the website of the Chinese music player provider, and the failure further caused the surge of DNS server visits and the decrease of processing performance of the network.”


“The attacks reportedly caused breakdown of six DNS servers of DNSPod and they are still looking for the culprit.”

June 2, 2009 @ 2:31 am | Comment

The Cylons are coming…

June 2, 2009 @ 4:33 am | Comment

@ ecodelta

ok, here comes North Korea, since that was what you guys have been discussing.

Actully I agree with you. NK is pretty much following China’s path of reform right now, at least in economic front,like get foreign investment, set up special economic zone. Most of these foreign investments come from China and SK. When China did the same thing 30 years ago, it was mainly oversea Chinese in HK and TW who came to invest first, now it is South Korean taking the lead.

But there is an important difference here between NK and China, not on economy but on politics, and that’s basically what have kept NK down when compared to China.

The thing is, Deng Xiaoping was a victim of Cultural Revolution, he was put under house arrest, his son thrown out of window by red guards, and more importantly, he was a veteran with lots authority. If he wanted to change the direction China was heading, he was able to do that; and there were enough reasons for him to do that.

In fact, China almost went NK path in 1976, Hua Guofeng was the Kim Jong-il type guy, he drew his legitimacy not from competency and experience, but from the one before him. This kind of guy(Kim and Hua) cannot really correct past wrongs, doing it will be a self-denial, a political suicide.

Throughout 1980s in China, there was a very clear conservative and reform faction within CCP and they were basically kept in check by each other and Deng, who, together with other veterans, formed a higher authority that could choose between conservative and reform policies.

NK is unfortunately not in that situation, not that it does not have reform minded people within power centre, but the lack of higher authority beyond reform and conservative factions makes the policy choice a all or nothing choice. Either reform guys purge conservative, or conservative purge reform guys.

Therefore, I think the reform process in NK will be much slower than China, they will just approach it will far greater caution

June 2, 2009 @ 7:28 am | Comment

@ By a Chinese

North Korea will collapse before it has time to “reform.” You will see it in your lifetime.

This is the precisely the situation that China is afraid of.

June 2, 2009 @ 9:34 am | Comment


“Reagan-era de-regulation started it all and laid out a blueprint for tragedy.”

Not that I disagree, but is this the American equivalent of “It’s all Thatcher’s fault” that we have in the UK?


I see Chinasmack is still unavailable. Does anyone know how sites deal with DOS attacks and how they can overcome them?

June 2, 2009 @ 3:45 pm | Comment

@ Sidney

NK’s collapse is always a possibility, as regime has its life span.

But when it comes to the question of when, nothing is definite. If NK did manage to reform and achieve a stable political and economic system, it could well last a very long long time or just reunified with South.

If it did collapse, the impact will most likely be absorbed by South, including the refugees and other big issues. A chain reaction is possible to bring China into the line, but I doubt it.

China today is hardly in the same situation as Soviet Russia did 20 years ago. I do not think many Chinese will view NK as some kind of examples to follow and China is almost in every aspect way ahead NK, especially when it comes to individual freedom and prosperity, even if they are limited.

One implication from this is that China may either sit there do nothing or simple keep the propaganda machine at full speed telling people “look at the poor North Koreans!How lucky we are!Our system is better”(much like what you hear right now “financial crisis, started in Wall Street”, or “poor Americans, etc”)

June 2, 2009 @ 4:02 pm | Comment

Si, Krugman’s (and my_ accusation agaisnt Reagan is very specific. He celebrated this libertarian notion of “getting the government off the backs of the people” – his actual campaign slogan. This meant deregulation, which meant letting the people with money and power fuck everyone with neither. You can point to a very specific moment when this ball started rolling, as Krugman explains, laying the groundwork for the collapse. I’ve maintained this for years and posted about this very same phenomenon six months ago when Bush was still inoffice:

I remember in the 1980s the heralding of a new age under Ronald Reagan, an age of deregulation when competition would drive prices lower and give us all better choices; there would be bliss aplenty as Reagan fulfilled his mantra to “get the government off the backs of the people.” So now, with regulation watered down and sometimes gone altogether, we are paying the dreaded price. In the US you have to pay many times what I pay in Asia for broadband thanks to the sacred cow of deregulation, which got the government off the backs of big business, which as usual then plundered the people to the hilt. Regulation is necessary. Over-regulation can be a bad thing, but demonizing it as socialism and a threat to the public and a roadblock to national prosperity – well, let’s just say we were conned. And no one has been more anti-regulation than our current president, whose vision is one of big business held unaccountable, where codewords like “the ownership society” means if you get fucked by the robber barons then you’re on your own, sucker.

I stand by that. I don’t want to say “It’s all Reagan’s fault,” but he did set the stage, and the bizarre celebration of Reagan as some sort of seer was all about celebrating the alleged triumph of free markets over a restrictive government (along withphony accusations that he ended the Cold War). What it actually was was the legitimization of corruption by the good old boys. It was a cancer.

June 2, 2009 @ 4:24 pm | Comment

“If it did collapse, the impact will most likely be absorbed by South, including the refugees and other big issues. A chain reaction is possible to bring China into the line, but I doubt it.”

I cannot agree with you there. A collapse of NK would not necessarily bring refugees flooding south – they would have to cross one of the most heavily mined areas of the planet to get there. They would need assistance, which the South may not want to or be able to give. In the event of a collapse a surge northward across the Yalu is much more likely, imho. However possible reactions would be determined by the nature of the collapse.

June 2, 2009 @ 4:25 pm | Comment

@Richard: I think that the fact that Clinton let China enter the WTO without agreeing to play by the rules (currency, IPR) makes him very responsible for the crisis as well…

June 2, 2009 @ 4:27 pm | Comment

“I see Chinasmack is still unavailable. Does anyone know how sites deal with DOS attacks and how they can overcome them?”

Try Google reader. I can read the post, pictures take some time.

June 2, 2009 @ 4:31 pm | Comment


Fair enough. I realised that after I posted the comparison is invalid, as in the UK the alleged liberals have been in power for 12 years and decided not to turn the tide back. I suppose in the US you could argue that Clinton could and should have done more, but then again once Bush got into power all bets were always going to be off. I think a lot of the politicans have been of course complicit in what has happened, but let’s face it, we voted these clowns into power, we mortgaged to the hilt, maxed out the credit card and sold out our futures. Now the bill is due. As a saver and potential future FTB I am really angry not just at the politicans but also at my fellow Brits. They all merrily colluded in this false idea of wealth and have effectively barred me, and others like me, from being able to get a property at anything resembling a reasonable price for the past few years and probably for the next several as the govt does its level best to keep the bubble going and slow the crash.


June 2, 2009 @ 4:34 pm | Comment

Oh, it really did start with Reagan. What was his stupid-*ss slogan? “The 9 scariest words in the English language – ‘I’m with the government, and I’m here to help.” This was all a part of the Grover Norquist/Chicago School b.s. libertarianism about “shrinking the government till you could drown it in the bathtub” – of course, that only referred to social services, not to defense spending or bailouts to Wall Street fat cats or to manipulating the tax system to funnel money up to the richest members of society.

Yeah, I’m bitter. I saw it coming. Which made not a dime’s worth of difference.

June 2, 2009 @ 4:35 pm | Comment

Otherlise, Richard: You should read Robert Reich’s Supercapitalism. He’s a Democrat, but he looked into the theory you are discussing above and reached some interesting conclusions.

June 2, 2009 @ 4:52 pm | Comment

Amen, Lisa.

Si, I don’t let Clinton off the hook; he continued the legacy and he was in almost as tightly with big business as the rest of them. However, compared to the horrors of his successor, who literally carved up the government and handed it over to his cronies, Clinton was an angel. So was Bush I. Reagan and Bush II were the ones who gutted the system and rendered it toothless.

June 2, 2009 @ 4:58 pm | Comment

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