What are nuclear weapons?

My question isn't precisely what they ''are'' but how they are different from any other weapon as used in an average war. Aren't they both just ''blowing the hell out of each countries'' nuclear or not? I have been reading about North Korea and why we don't invade them. People stated ''Because no one really wants to mess with their nuclear weapons'' therefore they keep it on ease.

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  • 6 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    1. They yield a much larger explosion than conventional weaponry. In that respect they can cause excessive collateral damage depending on where they land.

    2. A conventional bomb will yield an explosion, maybe kick up some dirt, and that's it. A nuclear weapon produces radioactive fallout that is impossible to control, which can be picked up and travel to other parts of the country where it lands (or even to other countries, which might be neutral or even allied with the people who launched the weapon).

    3. I don't think at this point people are too concerned with North Korea's nuclear weapons. The primary reason we don't invade North Korea is that, despite the fact its equipment is obsolete, that nation has one of the largest standing armies in the world (and perhaps the largest if you compare number of soldiers to the country's size). It would be difficult, even with our superior weaponry, to defend from a retaliatory strike of such large numbers. There are also dozens, if not hundreds, of reinforced artillery positions aimed directly at Seoul. Even though, again, that technology is not the most modern, the sheer amount of shells raining down on the capitol would be utterly devestating.

    4. There are two types of nuclear weapons: Strategic (intended for destroying the enemy's nuclear assets and military/political targets of high importance and value to the other side), and Tactical (weaponry which is supposed to have a lower yield, and is meant for use in battle to provide an advantage to friendly soldiers). There are two problems here:

    a. Use of any nuclear weapons, as I said before, can cause nuclear fallout, which would in turn irradiate the area around it. This means that use of "tactical" nuclear weapons would present a lasting danger to friendly forces if they were not properly protected against its effects.

    b. It's generally accepted that the use of "tactical" nuclear weapons would escalate the conflict to the use of strategic nuclear weapons almost immediately. This means that if Country A used a tactical nuclear missile to destroy an enemy forward operating base, Country B would immediately launch a nuclear missile as retaliation. This leads many to believe that there really are no "tactical" nuclear weapons, just nuclear weapons with a smaller yield.

    5. They're just extremely devastating. For instance, the Russians have a submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) that is capable of carrying up to 10 nuclear warheads. That's enough to decimate an entire city (or inflict severe damage to multiple cities on one coast).

    EDIT: Regarding Joe's answer, I highly doubt that China would assist North Korea at this point. They understand their neighbor is stirring up trouble in the world and they don't like it (hence why they're right there with us when we try to bring NK to the negotiating table to end their nuclear development program). North Korea provides no material benefit to China (it does not supply any meaningful resources or provide support to the Chinese economy). It's essentially just a buffer zone between South Korea and China. So I'm pretty sure we could roll into North Korea, have an extremely bloody war, win, and only ever hear a couple of bad words in the press directed at us from the Chinese.

  • Anonymous
    6 years ago

    Well what makes nuclear weapons different than other weapons is that although they can both blow a lot of stuff up, they can do a lot more. In other words, one bomber or missile is needed to completely destroy a city if the bomb/missile is nuclear. This is a lot easier than hundreds of planes dropping regular bombs where some are shot down. Also, a nuke can definitely eliminate anything within its blast. If a regular bomb hits the ground it can damage buildings but it won't knock them down. A nuke will make anything near it literally evaporate into the air.

    Part of why we don't invade NK is because if we did, they would get China to help them and then we'd have a problem. The chances of them using nukes now is much smaller than if we try to invade them.

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  • J
    Lv 6
    6 years ago

    Go to you tube and look up nuclear weapons. You will see how destructive they are That will show you the difference in that and conventional weapons. Plus after a weapon is denoted then you have residual radiation.

    Source(s): Former member Canadian Army Reserve Infantry
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  • 6 years ago

    In addition to all the good answers about nukes---

    The reason "we" don't just go in and free the Norks is because

    -China wouldn't let us.

    - Anyone with a knowledge of history remember how f&cked-up it was when the USSR fell and freed the East Germans to enjoy their new found freedom and unfettered capitalism.

  • D
    Lv 4
    6 years ago

    they are to do whatever you want to with them ... i.e she will clean your house , you can play around with raw materials...or in my case move a city

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