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North Korea scraps all peace treaties with South Korea and threatens the US with a nuclear attack

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I honestly don't think North Korea would work on it's threat because no country is dumb enough to declare unilateral war while the opposition is backed by the United States. Knowing the US as the world knows it, they'd use it as a motive to gain North Korea's nuclear resources.

But I wouldn't think it would lead to anything big right now. Currently, the highlight is Syria. Maybe when that dies oiwn there could be a crisis.

Edited by Ossih

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I'm sorry, but anyone with a haircut like this I can't take as a legitimate threat to my country. Also, North Korea does not have much support, and if North Korea were to attack the US, who has diplomatic ties with many other strong countries as well, I don't think North Korea would really exist anymore.

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Like really what is this

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North Korea wouldn't have much support, so it wouldn't really be a WORLD WAR, but everyone going against North Korea.

Deep in my heart I hope we've learned from the two total wars we've had in the past century, and that we won't make the same mistake, at least for a while. :shifty:

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Hey guys, this news popped up just recently, what do you think about think? Could it lead to a world war?

Technically there was never a treaty because they couldn't agree with S. Korea and they are still at war.

But they're just not fighting anymore. :P

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They always talk big, this isn't anything new. What would they gain with this? they would be picking a fight against the strongest nation in the world and even their ally China who is a runner up in regards to power wouldn't support them. I doubt it would be a decisive victory on north korean soil. Just like the Taliban they are fanatical and live in mountains. So no one would win with such a war.

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Let's just hope that It doesn't... I seriously do not want to waste my last years in IB!

Now on to a more serious answer... I think that north korea is lacking the resources needed to survive a world war but when it comes to support I think that there are some countries willing to support them in a war against the united states. But then again... some peoples bark is by far worse than their bites and I don't think that they would want to risk getting the majority of the countries against them.

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Let's just hope that It doesn't... I seriously do not want to waste my last years in IB!

Now on to a more serious answer... I think that north korea is lacking the resources needed to survive a world war but when it comes to support I think that there are some countries willing to support them in a war against the united states. But then again... some peoples bark is by far worse than their bites and I don't think that they would want to risk getting the majority of the countries against them.

Resources aren't of utmost importance in a nuclear war. If North Korea fires a single missile, people will be screwed over anyway. It doesn't really matter (well at least not in the greater scheme of things) if we stop them. I think it's a very established idea.

Edited by w`t

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Successful war follows the path of Deception. - Sun Tzu

North Korea is not going to war. If you have followed their use of rhetoric for a while, you'd know it does not change at all. Right after the three last presidential elections in South Korea, the North Korean has promised 'a sea of fire' to swallow the South Korean 'marionette state.' Their threats of war and retaliation has been constant ever since the division of the Korean peninsula in 1945. And what has happened? Very little, I would say.The Korean War was an extra-ordinary event where North Korea was backed by both the Soviet Union and China - Kim Il Sung was begging for Soviet consent fto invade their Southern neighbours continuously since his inauguration in 1947. Stalin didn't support him before after the foundation of People's Republic of China. Neither modern-day Russia nor China would support North Korea in any war today. Although China is the closest ally to North Korea, that does not mean their relation is good. For instance, why would China be in favour of stricted sanctions if they supported North Korea wholeheartedly? Even China would not prosper in times of war so close to its mainland. Mao Zedong's grandson has reportedly even said 'the Chinese people wish for denuclearized North Korea.' Without their support, North Korea has lost before a war is even initiated.

The sinking of Cheonan and shelling of Yeonpyeong Islands (both in 2010) rest as two very distinct and recent exceptions, though, but they are not indicators of a drastic change in relations. There were low-intensity fighting along the 38th parallel during the late 1960s, a failed assassination attempt of the South Korean president in 1968, A Korean Air flight was bombed by North Koreans in 1987, etc. None of these events, all very serious in extent, has resulted in a new, high-intensity war between the two Koreas. This alone could prove that they are not going to war this time either.

The North Korean government is fully aware that a war with South Korea would lead to political suicide and humanitarian catastrophe. I wouldn't believe that their army has the capacities they claim either. I mean, a monstrous proportion of their population starves, and how well does a starving army fight? Fair enough, they claim to have a nuclear bomb (though, this too is believed to be false threat - they have developed a nuclear bomb, but are as of now not believed to be capable of placing it on a missile or airplane), but they would never destroy forever the land they wish to unite. That would just be ridiculous, even in their eyes.

Also, consider this: If there was any real threat of war, why would many hundred South Koreans continue to work in an industrial complex in North Korea without being evacuated by the South Korean government?

Edited by alefal
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Hey guys, this news popped up just recently, what do you think about think? Could it lead to a world war?

Technically there was never a treaty because they couldn't agree with S. Korea and they are still at war.

But they're just not fighting anymore. :P

This is a good point! I read a very sarcastic blog reporting on this on The Economist (no pun intended) and it basically said "what else is new". They've technically been at war since 1945...

The updates on the news keep saying the rockets are being moved to the coast but they won't go any further than Seoul... I don't know if they can actually launch them all the way to the US or Europe...

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Also, consider this: If there was any real threat of war, why would many hundred South Koreans continue to work in an industrial complex in North Korea without being evacuated by the South Korean government?

Don't quote me on this but I think I heard on the radio a few days ago that North Korea had actually banned all South Koreans from said industrial complex - that article is from the 11th of March so it's possible that I heard correctly!

In any case, I agree with you entirely. I've been reading quite a bit about the background to the conflict and was surprised to see how many of these dire warning things have actually been done before. They cut the communication wires in 2010 as well which was only a few years ago. On the other hand they do now have a new, young and somewhat erratic leadership and it's a bit like the cold war worry that never happened - eventually there's always the danger that they'll talk themselves into something just by having such aggressive rhetoric and finding themselves in a place where they either have to deliver on their threats or lose face entirely. There's always the anxiety that 60 years of bluster and attacks on relatively remote islands can actually at some point suddenly ignite, and that because every single threat possible has already been issued, the only way for that to happen would be through some much greater act of violence.

I also read that they actually have just 7 kilotonnes of nuclear weaponry in total, according to some sort of international arms committee (admittedly, N. Korea is such a closed country this could be wrong). Compare that with 13kilotonnes dropped at Hiroshima and 21kilotonnes dropped at Nagasaki and whilst obviously it would do untold devastation and damage (I'm in no way implying there's nothing to worry about!) it's actually not AS powerful a weapon. Considering that the US has upped its nuclear arsenal and probably could obliterate massive expanses of land, we're talking city-sized, maybe a 3-4kilometre radius. Any bomb dropped would be an atrocity and kill tens of thousands of people, there is no doubting that, but its reach probably wouldn't be the be-all and end-all. In any case, an assault from N. Korea would be suicide, as you say, but I just found that fact quite interesting.

According to the articles I was reading yesterday (mostly BBC analysis - they do a lot of coverage *coughScience&Healthcough* appallingly but their foreign coverage is usually excellent) the latest 'ramping-up' is said to be to do with some subtle plea to make a peace treaty with the USA. I don't know enough to understand that though, got to be honest.

Also if you look at recent history, every year the S.Koreans and the US do a joint military exercise on the Korean peninsula and every year the N. Koreans feel threatened by it and react badly. The USA this year for reasons best known to itself decided to follow up by flying a nuclear-capable military plane over the peninsula as well, which I think is a decent guess for what's made N. Korea step up. Especially as the USA is the only nation in the world to ever have actually dropped a nuclear bomb and killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, then if you're as distrustful of their motives as the N. Koreans, well... you can see how a paranoid set of people might take that as a threat and feel like they need to respond.

On a side-note, I watched this talk yesterday by Lee Hyeon-seo who is a woman who grew up in North Korea, escaped and then went back to help her family escape. It's very interesting to listen to, if anybody's got 12 free minutes! It does let you see how perhaps the N. Koreans might honestly believe the US does want to destroy them - even if that seems like a load of codswallop to everybody else http://blogs.wsj.com/korearealtime/2013/03/21/lee-hyeon-seo-at-ted/

Random factoid: Kim-Jong Un is said to have done the IB! Which just goes to show exactly how spectacularly irrelevant TOK and the IB learner profile are! :P Global citizen my arse.

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Also, consider this: If there was any real threat of war, why would many hundred South Koreans continue to work in an industrial complex in North Korea without being evacuated by the South Korean government?

Don't quote me on this but I think I heard on the radio a few days ago that North Korea had actually banned all South Koreans from said industrial complex - that article is from the 11th of March so it's possible that I heard correctly!

Yes, the Kaesong Industrial Region was closed by North Korea a few days ago, and they have threatened to use the 900-or-so South-Koreans currently in the area as hostages. A very negative development - for both nations. South Korea loses a means of communication with the North, North Korea loses a lot of economic benefits (the region has proven to be a steady income for North Korea through exports). You might ask why they would do something that would damage their own economy, and the reason is most likely that it would operate as a means of negotiation, much alike their new declaration that they will re-open the Yongbyon nuclear reactor. It is also rumoured that North Korea would like to start bilateral discussions with the US, and the Kaesong region has always forced South Korea into the talks. Again, if this is wrong, it may indicate that they believe that they will be able to earn more through drug production (yes, North Korea has been producing and selling drugs worldwide for ages - they were actually forced to leave the embassy in Norway due to a drug scandal) and tourism. I don't find this very plausible, though.

On the other hand they do now have a new, young and somewhat erratic leadership and it's a bit like the cold war worry that never happened - eventually there's always the danger that they'll talk themselves into something just by having such aggressive rhetoric and finding themselves in a place where they either have to deliver on their threats or lose face entirely. There's always the anxiety that 60 years of bluster and attacks on relatively remote islands can actually at some point suddenly ignite, and that because every single threat possible has already been issued, the only way for that to happen would be through some much greater act of violence.

That is absolutely a danger, and partly what makes this situation more tense (at least for the Western world). We don't know how to deal with this new leadership, and Kim Jong Un has little or no experience with international affairs or politics in general. I read a while ago that he actually is not interested in politics at all, which could make the situation much worse if he doesn't understand the political implications of his threats and a potential war.

The North Korean leaders have always tested the water when consolidating their power. Kim Il Sung is of course known for the Korean War. Kim Jong Il is said to be the brain behind the axe murder incident in the 1970s, which caused the relations to deteriorate a lot. Kim Il Sung then immediately apologised for the event, and stopped the deterioration as well as effectively stopping Kim Jong Il's actions. Now, Kim Jong Un has nullified the armistice agreement of 1953 and has declared a state of war. What is dangerous is that no-one can really stop him this time - if he says 'attack,' the Korean People's Army is forced to issue the order.

It has also been speculation whether or not Kim Jong Un is the person who actually controls the country. I remember that there were a lot of speculation whether or not his uncle Jan Sung Taek was the behind-the-scenes leader. If that is true, then there is actually a quite experienced person who runs the show. This doesn't seem very plausible to me, though, as the provocations have been much more frequent and 'loud' this time. An experienced politician would probably not nullify the armistice.

According to the articles I was reading yesterday (mostly BBC analysis - they do a lot of coverage *coughScience&Healthcough* appallingly but their foreign coverage is usually excellent) the latest 'ramping-up' is said to be to do with some subtle plea to make a peace treaty with the USA. I don't know enough to understand that though, got to be honest.

Yeah, that's what most experts agree on, as every time North Korea has come with provocations, they are in need of something - usually food. I read somewhere that they want to make the situation so dire that everyone understands it cannot go on further in order to force the US and other nations into discussions. It has worked before, but the Western society, especially the US, have recently seemed much more reluctant to discuss with them after provocations. Not surprising, I guess.

The USA this year for reasons best known to itself decided to follow up by flying a nuclear-capable military plane over the peninsula as well, which I think is a decent guess for what's made N. Korea step up.

It's important to remember that the US and South Korea have also done their part to make the situation more tense. Although North Korea assumedly tested their nuclear weapons earlier this year, some experts claim that the choice to fly those planes over South Korea made the situation much worse.

The military drills they hold each year are also very provocative for the North, and may have caused the shelling of Yeonpyeong Islands in 2010 if the North Korean version is (at least partly) true. Anyhow, this situation shows how fragile the relations are, and how easy it is to misunderstand the intentions of each other's actions.

On a side-note, I watched this talk yesterday by Lee Hyeon-seo who is a woman who grew up in North Korea, escaped and then went back to help her family escape. It's very interesting to listen to, if anybody's got 12 free minutes! It does let you see how perhaps the N. Koreans might honestly believe the US does want to destroy them - even if that seems like a load of codswallop to everybody else http://blogs.wsj.com/korearealtime/2013/03/21/lee-hyeon-seo-at-ted/

I will listen to that story when I have the time.

If you want to read or learn more about North Korea, though, I can recommend Barbara Demick's book 'Nothing to Envy.' I have read that one myself, and found it really interesting. It must be said that I am a bit more interested in the Korean peninsula than the average person, but I truly believe it could be an interesting read for most people. Also, Shin Dong-hyuk's story is very compelling. He was born in one of the North Korean concentration camps, and is apparently only one of three who has ever escaped from one of those camps and is able to tell their history. I haven't read his book 'Escape from Camp 14' yet, though.

This is an article where three very respected experts on North Korea answer four questions related to the current situation. It is a very interesting and short read, and can be found here.

Random factoid: Kim-Jong Un is said to have done the IB! Which just goes to show exactly how spectacularly irrelevant TOK and the IB learner profile are! :P Global citizen my arse.

I heard he left before the exams, though, and never received his diploma. Hehe, maybe IB was too tough for him?

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If DPRK would declare war against United States, DPRK would no longer exist. My biggest fear is that of Korea's missile technology. US is fully prepared to tackle the situation but my biggest concern is that if DPRK launches missile against US, then god alone knows whether the missile would hit on Asia ,the middle east or if hit really hits United states. Even if US defeats DPRK, we can face many problems like economy crisis or nuclear pollution.

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I don't think so; it's more likely to be a limited war than anything.

Yes, North Korea does have a faithful army and a threat of nuclear weapons, however, it does not have allies with other countries. The leader would probably understand the implication of not having a reserve to fall back on. Hence, even if the war starts, it is not going to be a world war as there just isn't country on N.K's side and even China, I think, wont give N.K its full support because of other allies;

I also think N.K's leader would probably understand the implication of a economic crisis and the consequence of starting and losing a war

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They always talk big, this isn't anything new. What would they gain with this? they would be picking a fight against the strongest nation in the world and even their ally China who is a runner up in regards to power wouldn't support them. I doubt it would be a decisive victory on north korean soil. Just like the Taliban they are fanatical and live in mountains. So no one would win with such a war.

Sorry, but as a South Korean-born user on these forums I couldn't let such an ignorant and judgmental comment slide. North Korea, while they are a shambles of a country in comparison to modernised Western nations, are still a country, and have a military (have you not seen any pictures of their massive army at all?) and have the highest, or one of the highest, military-to-civilian ratios in the world, as a result of their ongoing conscription system similar to South Korea's. To say they "live in mountains" is borderline bigotry, and logically indefensible - why would one of the hugest armies in the world, which very nearly beat South Korea's better equipped army in 1950, resort to guerrilla tactics like a subversive terrorist organisation like the Taliban? I am not defending North Korea, but I feel obliged to defend logic in general from your prejudiced nonsense.

And yeah, there won't be a war haha. North Korea are just pursuing brinksmanship again, as always.

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They always talk big, this isn't anything new. What would they gain with this? they would be picking a fight against the strongest nation in the world and even their ally China who is a runner up in regards to power wouldn't support them. I doubt it would be a decisive victory on north korean soil. Just like the Taliban they are fanatical and live in mountains. So no one would win with such a war.

Sorry, but as a South Korean-born user on these forums I couldn't let such an ignorant and judgmental comment slide. North Korea, while they are a shambles of a country in comparison to modernised Western nations, are still a country, and have a military (have you not seen any pictures of their massive army at all?) and have the highest, or one of the highest, military-to-civilian ratios in the world, as a result of their ongoing conscription system similar to South Korea's. To say they "live in mountains" is borderline bigotry, and logically indefensible - why would one of the hugest armies in the world, which very nearly beat South Korea's better equipped army in 1950, resort to guerrilla tactics like a subversive terrorist organisation like the Taliban? I am not defending North Korea, but I feel obliged to defend logic in general from your prejudiced nonsense.

And yeah, there won't be a war haha. North Korea are just pursuing brinksmanship again, as always.

I don't mean to offensive but I don't think their army is at the level of the American military and other NATO members who would join in, with the exception of size as every man and woman has had military training and high-school children are trained in tank busting and marksmanship. They military may be big but half of it is out-dated soviet era technology which in a conventional war is obsolete at this point. They have more planes than fuel! its all a show with the exception of small arms and man power.

Simply my prediction is such a conflict would be that their military infrastructure would be utterly decimated by NATO bombing campaigns in a matter of weeks. But being such an impassioned people it would still be an effective force. Even if NATO destroyed what was left of their conventional force, an insurgency would definitely be a possibility in a total dis-memberment of their conventional army. I don't see how that is remotely offensive, the Taliban comparison was also just a fact, fighting a passionate group in hilly and mountainous territory is an impossible fight to win. Its not bigotry, its geography, North Korea isn'f flat like Iraq there is no way you can take the country in a matter of hours, defending it would be much easier for the North Koreans.

And I emphasize you can;t jus look at sheer size of an army. I could have army of 3 billion spearmen, Does their size make them any ultra-superior? No, it plays a factor, but it doesn't define capability which lies in experience, technology and a whole host of other things. North Korea has a sizeable army and home-court advantage, but lacks technology.

How is it remotely bigoted? I may have not expressed my opinion well, but I think you made a quick judgement.

Edited by Luka Petrovic

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They always talk big, this isn't anything new. What would they gain with this? they would be picking a fight against the strongest nation in the world and even their ally China who is a runner up in regards to power wouldn't support them. I doubt it would be a decisive victory on north korean soil. Just like the Taliban they are fanatical and live in mountains. So no one would win with such a war.

Sorry, but as a South Korean-born user on these forums I couldn't let such an ignorant and judgmental comment slide. North Korea, while they are a shambles of a country in comparison to modernised Western nations, are still a country, and have a military (have you not seen any pictures of their massive army at all?) and have the highest, or one of the highest, military-to-civilian ratios in the world, as a result of their ongoing conscription system similar to South Korea's. To say they "live in mountains" is borderline bigotry, and logically indefensible - why would one of the hugest armies in the world, which very nearly beat South Korea's better equipped army in 1950, resort to guerrilla tactics like a subversive terrorist organisation like the Taliban? I am not defending North Korea, but I feel obliged to defend logic in general from your prejudiced nonsense.

And yeah, there won't be a war haha. North Korea are just pursuing brinksmanship again, as always.

Hey there! Some good points you made there. I just wondered, don't you think the pictures are just means of propaganda? I don't doubt that they have the highest military-to-civilian ratio in the world (their conscription laws even demand people to stay in the army for 10 years or more!), but honestly, I don't think that much of the army's equipment is operational. I mean, in the 1950s, they were heavily supported by the Soviet Union, and it was basically Soviet officials who planned the war for the North Koreans. Their equipment was very modern as well, and the soldiers had either experience from the Chinese civil war or gone through Soviet's training. The US, at some point, became very concious about Syngman Rhee's warmongering behaviour, and actually refused to send heavy weaponry to the newly established South Korea. At the same time, they failed to realise that war, in fact, was a real threat. That's why the US began to withdraw their own soldiers from Korea in the late 1940s, leaving only the Korea Military Advisory Group.

Now, the NK military don't have the same support from their allies (China is by far the most important one, but keep in mind that it is not the only ally). The fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s effectively stopped the largest supply of weapons to North Korea. I read somewhere a while ago that the weaponry North Korea currently possess is of no better quality of shape than those used during the Korean War. The North Korean soldiers don't have much experience either. The only action they got recently, was to plant trees around the capital ahead of the April 15 celebration.

As for the guerilla warfare claim - isn't that kind of warfare which the North Koreans have used previously with the Rangoon Bombing in 1983, the Blue House raid in 1968, the axe murder incident in 1984, the bombing of a Korean Air plane in 1987 and the sinking of Cheonan in 2010 to mention a few instances?

Edited by alefal
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Those incidents are hardly instances of guerrilla warfare, they were espionage. Different things. By guerrilla combat I meant the type of tactics used by the CCP during the Chinese Civil War and 2nd Sino-Japanese War, in open warfare rather than isolated incidents like the ones you stated. By your own logic, that would classify the CIA as guerrilla militants rather than spies for their various attempts on Castro's life - not open combat, but small and subversive attacks? If you agree with that then I suppose we have to agree to disagree.

As for the NKA's ability to sustain a defence against NATO forces, of course they'd be decimated within days - I didn't deny that at any point, and I totally agree. The fact is that, as we have seen in Afghanistan, in Communist China, and are seeing in some cases in Libya, guerrilla warfare relies extremely heavily not just on landscape, but on civilian support - something which Kim Jong Un is not flying high on at the moment, if you're following the editorials from journalists in North Korea at the moment. Most prominent among successful guerrilla tacticians in history are, obviously, the Vietcong - and we've all seen the films, heard the stories, studied the battles. Yes, they did attack from forestry to conceal numbers and locations, but they were far more likely to make indents on the American army by defensing actual villages and strategic posts (most forests aren't considered particularly strategically advantageous). Therefore, as they held the support of the locals, who felt unease at American infantry who frequently committed atrocities, they were able to camouflage themselves among the peasantry and strike with minimal chance of being discovered.

Now, my point is - and the point I was making to Luka - the NKA would not opt for guerrilla tactics á la the Vietcong, CCP, or indeed the Taliban. The reason for this is as I just said - they would not be supported well. Even if they forced civilians to attempt to conceal them, it would be less than successful. Imagine a North Korean man trembling and fearing for his life because the "peasant" behind him has a gun to his back, forcing him to keep quiet. Not exactly Vietcong-esque, no? Plus, with Kim Jong Un's characteristic stubborn pride, I sincerely doubt he'd allow his men to turn to what bullish personalities such as himself frequently have considered in history to be cowardly tactics. He'd likely let every soldier fall than run like a coward from 'American scum', or something of the likes.

And even if he were to lead his NKA into the mountains of Korea, what then? Like you said, they are extremely poorly equipped, and like I said, not well loved. They couldn't pose much threat to the modernised troops and vehicles of the ROK and US armies, who are, again as you pointed out, very well trained and experienced in comparison. Yes, Luka, the Taliban may be successful in their tactics, but that's due to the stockpile of weapons afforded them by none other than the US of A, a far cry from the NKA's shabby post-WWII equipment. I may have arrived at a "quick judgment" - I can see in hindsight it takes a bit of thought before making a comment. But a "defence" of a country does not consist of hiding in mountains with the inability to threaten the invaders, it consists of a military resistance that significantly hinders or reverses the progress of an invading force - that's the definition I and many people would see it as. I'd say I've pointed out enough reasons as to why North Korea's army would react completely differently to the Taliban, which was my main point - an army and a terrorist group are different entities.



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