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  #101  
Old 04-25-2018, 11:29 AM
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Originally Posted by HurricaneDitka View Post
So you think it's ... what, exactly? A step in the wrong direction? The world was a better place when North Korea was regularly launching missiles over Japan? I think your hatred for Trump has blinded you to reality.
I would say that it is a small step in the right direction that had nothing to do with Trump, and everything to do with Kim's current set of goals, and possibly South Korea's new leader.

I also think that while this could potentially be a great opportunity, it will require very careful negotiations in order to exploit it. In the hands of expert diplomats with a firm understanding of the internal politics, culture and goals of all parties in the vicinity, this could be the start of real progress.

Unfortunately Trump has basically thrown out anyone in the state department who would fit that description. He also has a Dunning Kruger level of confidence in his own negotiation abilities and so will blunder into the negotiations blindly, confident in his powers as world's best deal maker that he can outwit Rocketman. However, Rocketman has been immersed in the politics of the region his whole life, while Trump only recently learned that the Korean war ended in an armistice rather than a peace treaty. It is also important to remember that Trump that Trump's goal isn't to get the best deal for the US, it's to get the best deal for Trump. So he would gladly sell all of the US's influence in the region in exchange for something he can tweet victory about back home.
  #102  
Old 04-25-2018, 11:38 AM
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If this Peace Scare looks like it might get out of control, there's always Bolton.
  #103  
Old 04-25-2018, 11:45 AM
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I'm not claiming the "small feint" absolves them of past misdeeds, or means they deserve our unqualified trust in the matter, but it seems obvious to me that it's an improvement, like when a school shooter drops his weapon and throws up his hands, signaling his surrender to law enforcement.
He definitely hasn't dropped the gun. At best he has picked up the phone and agreed to talk to the police. The problem is that our hostage negotiator is this guy.
  #104  
Old 04-25-2018, 11:49 AM
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I think this has something to do with Trump, but nothing to do with Trump's ability at dealmaking and diplomacy. I think for Kim it is a matter of Trump needs a war badly. He's just brought on a warmonger as Sec'y of State. It is better to feign some overtures of peace, which will implicitly hold up a sign pointing to Iran that says "Plz bomb here". Hopefully, dialogue between NK and SK will make some real progress even if I don't think NK's heart is really in it. Sometimes just coming to the table and talking can sort some things out.
  #105  
Old 04-25-2018, 12:04 PM
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Recent reports suggest one of North Korea's sites kinda 'sploded. Not to be a Debby Downer, but that seems like a far more likely reason for the sudden halt than anything Trump has done.
  #106  
Old 04-25-2018, 12:32 PM
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His military are no doubt pleased to have nukes and missiles. But now they have them, have tested them, so they exist, their deterrent value will not improve with more testing, especially if they don't work. Quit while you're ahead.

Also, this shit is expensive as a motherfuck. Money that might otherwise be spent buying food to feed the troops.

Last edited by elucidator; 04-25-2018 at 12:32 PM.
  #107  
Old 04-25-2018, 03:03 PM
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As much as I despise Trump I think HD is correct (for now) that Trump gets a bit of credit for the current movement of NK. Maybe it's a big farce on NK's part (likely) or maybe it'll fall apart (possible) or maybe Trump will tweet something stupid about NK and blow it all up, but right now it looks hopeful. Maybe as hopeful as it's been since the 1950's.

I don't believe it's any great statesmanship by Trump, though. I think it just as likely that Kim realized that one crazy person in the room can get away with shit but two crazy people feed off each other and someone ends up getting hurt. Trump still gets credit for that, I'd say.
  #108  
Old 04-25-2018, 05:44 PM
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Turns out that, whether this is a positive step or a terrible idea, depends only on when you ask the question.
Oh, that's wonderful! I check in at TPM several times a day (loyal Prime subscriber!), and how the heck did I miss this gem?
  #109  
Old 04-25-2018, 07:44 PM
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I actually understood that they'd dropped that particular demand. CNN: North Korea drops withdrawal of US forces as condition of denuclearization, Moon says

Where are you getting your information from?
Moon clarified his statement in subsequent reports. North Korea has not renounced its long-held call for an American withdrawal; it simply has chosen not to explicitly raise it this week.
  #110  
Old 04-25-2018, 09:09 PM
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As much as I despise Trump I think HD is correct (for now) that Trump gets a bit of credit for the current movement of NK. Maybe it's a big farce on NK's part (likely) or maybe it'll fall apart (possible) or maybe Trump will tweet something stupid about NK and blow it all up, but right now it looks hopeful. Maybe as hopeful as it's been since the 1950's.

I don't believe it's any great statesmanship by Trump, though. I think it just as likely that Kim realized that one crazy person in the room can get away with shit but two crazy people feed off each other and someone ends up getting hurt. Trump still gets credit for that, I'd say.
Please. Trump isn't a 'great negotiator' with anyone who doesn't want to kiss his ass. Kim saw Putin playing him like a fiddle and he's trying the same.
  #111  
Old 04-26-2018, 12:40 AM
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Moon clarified his statement in subsequent reports. North Korea has not renounced its long-held call for an American withdrawal; it simply has chosen not to explicitly raise it this week.
You didn't answer my question. What is your source?
  #112  
Old 04-27-2018, 06:34 AM
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Please. Trump isn't a 'great negotiator' with anyone who doesn't want to kiss his ass. Kim saw Putin playing him like a fiddle and he's trying the same.
I'm not sure you read my entire post. On the international stage Trump is generally a disaster. In the business world his posturing may appear to work but--in foreign policy--opposing countries have competing interests which Trump can't fathom. His erratic flip-flopping makes it hard for other nations to have a coherent strategy. He undermines his own negotiators; he could hardly be worse.

However, in the case of NK, his erratic behavior might actually be a positive. In the past NK could probably bank on US presidents not wanting to be responsible for thousands (millions?) of SK deaths. But Trump can't think that far ahead; all he knows is that NK is bad--really bad-- and he has a big hammer; who knows if he might actually use it? Is NK trying to get some support from SK as an attempt to corral Trump?

Maybe NK would be doing the same thing if Clinton (who would have a much better grasp of international politics) were president but it's happening under Trump.

Last edited by Deeg; 04-27-2018 at 06:37 AM.
  #113  
Old 04-27-2018, 06:36 AM
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So the two Koreas have met:

https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...ce-kim-jong-un

What occurred to me as I was reading about their summit and reading about all of the warm fuzzies that the summit might be creating is that it creates a potential problem for the United States.

If the two Koreas appear to be working toward some sort of peace agreement, then that puts the United States in the position of having to support that agreement, irrespective of whether or not it addresses the concerns of the US and Japan. If voters in South Korea view the summit positively, that puts the US and Trump in the position of potentially fucking it all up if the Kim-Trump summit somehow breaks down, which would potentially drive a wedge between the US and South Korea.

If, let's say, Kim Jong Un pledges to President Moon that he will suspend further development of his nuclear program and missile testing and maybe even scrap some of his biological arsenal or offer other minor concessions, then that could be viewed as "progress," particularly if Moon, independent of US and Japan's concerns, views this as a stepping stone toward the end of sanctions against Kim's regime.

Kim may also be angling for an even more powerful play here, which is a direct connection to the South Korean people. Through Moon, he may have opened up a more direct channel of communication to persuade South Koreans that he just wants to be left alone and that the two Koreans can manage their own affairs without other world powers like the US involved. Even among South Koreans, there is a long-standing sentiment that countries have exploited Koreans for their own benefit. Korea has a history of being invaded, occupied, and exploited by larger, more powerful outside powers and Kim knows that he can use that sentiment to his advantage in dealing with the US and Japan.
  #114  
Old 04-27-2018, 07:11 AM
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The South Korean president is unlikely to agree to something that the US would be strongly against as they could risk losing some defense support in response. Kim could promise him the moon, but if that's a problem for the US, it's a problem for SK.
  #115  
Old 04-27-2018, 07:27 AM
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Please. Trump isn't a 'great negotiator' with anyone who doesn't want to kiss his ass. Kim saw Putin playing him like a fiddle and he's trying the same.
Kim has done pretty well playing a rather weak hand, such as spinning the collapse of his nuclear test site into a statesmanlike "decision" that he is willing to forego further tests in the interests of yadda yadda yadda.
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  #116  
Old 04-27-2018, 07:44 AM
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optimistic me : this is great - its time that the Korea war ends officially and maybe Kim means it this time.

realistic me :

1.) end war
2.) re-unify korea - formalize trade, etc
3.) Tell U.S. "Thanks for helping, you're no longer needed here to 'defend' against NK" - our forces must leave
4.) Kim kills Moon and rest of SK reps - declares himself president of Korea (all of it)
5.) Kim still has his nukes, etc from the beginning - but now he ALSO has all of SK and its wealth and people.

Basically - Kim is using this to do a 'bloodless' takeover of SK - he needs it.
  #117  
Old 04-27-2018, 07:47 AM
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Obama got one for not being George W. Bush. Which, even as a liberal Obama voter, I found absurd.
Me, too.
  #118  
Old 04-27-2018, 08:00 AM
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You didn't answer my question. What is your source?
I think the issue is still ambiguous: I've seen reports that DPRK dropped its demand for U.S. troops withdrawal as a "precondition" for talks on denuclearization (which has obviously happened), and also that it has dropped its demand for withdrawal as a part of a final denuclearization deal.

While the breakthroughs yesterday and today are very good news, let's not kid ourselves about the North Korean position on withdrawal of U.S. troops:

Quote:
But Pyongyang has made similar remarks in the past -- only to subsequently demand such a step -- along with abrogating the bilateral defense treaty and removing the U.S. extended deterrence guarantee.

In 1992, previous leader Kim Jong-il indicated the North would accept having U.S. troops remain in the South, while former U.S. negotiator to the Six Party Talks Robert Gallucci recalled he had been told by his North Korean counterpart in 1994 that “we don’t actually require that the U.S. remove its troops from the South.” During the 2000 inter-Korean summit, Kim Jong-il told South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, “It is desirable that U.S. troops stay as a peacekeeping force in Korea, instead of a hostile force against the North."
https://www.forbes.com/sites/insidea.../#1bcb78644221

Of course, the Republican reaction to these talks is just as puzzling. When Clinton negotiated a deal with North Korea, he was a sucker. When Obama negotiated a deal with Iran, he was a sucker. When Moon negotiates a nascent deal with North Korea, OMG TRUMP WINS!!! Not to mention that Trump just hired a National Security Adviser who could not be further from the "let's use diplomacy with North Korea" camp.
  #119  
Old 04-27-2018, 08:10 AM
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optimistic me : this is great - its time that the Korea war ends officially and maybe Kim means it this time.

realistic me :

1.) end war
2.) re-unify korea - formalize trade, etc
3.) Tell U.S. "Thanks for helping, you're no longer needed here to 'defend' against NK" - our forces must leave
4.) Kim kills Moon and rest of SK reps - declares himself president of Korea (all of it)
5.) Kim still has his nukes, etc from the beginning - but now he ALSO has all of SK and its wealth and people.

Basically - Kim is using this to do a 'bloodless' takeover of SK - he needs it.
Realistic??? Are you taking bets, because I've got some cash burning a hole in my pocket.

Last edited by John Mace; 04-27-2018 at 08:10 AM.
  #120  
Old 04-27-2018, 08:13 AM
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...Not to mention that Trump just hired a National Security Adviser who could not be further from the "let's use diplomacy with North Korea" camp.
I wonder if that tipped the scale with the North Koreans or the Chinese.
  #121  
Old 04-27-2018, 08:20 AM
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I think the issue is still ambiguous: I've seen reports that DPRK dropped its demand for U.S. troops withdrawal as a "precondition" for talks on denuclearization (which has obviously happened), and also that it has dropped its demand for withdrawal as a part of a final denuclearization deal.

While the breakthroughs yesterday and today are very good news, let's not kid ourselves about the North Korean position on withdrawal of U.S. troops:


https://www.forbes.com/sites/insidea.../#1bcb78644221

Of course, the Republican reaction to these talks is just as puzzling. When Clinton negotiated a deal with North Korea, he was a sucker. When Obama negotiated a deal with Iran, he was a sucker. When Moon negotiates a nascent deal with North Korea, OMG TRUMP WINS!!! Not to mention that Trump just hired a National Security Adviser who could not be further from the "let's use diplomacy with North Korea" camp.
"Kim acknowledged the widespread skepticism over their summit. "We have reached big agreements before but were unable to fulfill them. ... There are skeptical views on whether the meeting today will yield meaningful results," Kim said. "If we maintain a firm will and proceed forward hand in hand, it will be impossible at least for things to get worse than they are now."

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories...04-26-20-51-35
  #122  
Old 04-27-2018, 08:35 AM
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Obama got one for not being George W. Bush. Which, even as a liberal Obama voter, I found absurd.
And I too. I think the Nobel committee were a tad peeved at President Bush about the whole Iraq thing and they weren't allowed to award a Nobel Fuck You Prize to him, so they had to do it indirectly.

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Originally Posted by simster View Post
optimistic me : this is great - its time that the Korea war ends officially and maybe Kim means it this time.

realistic me :

1.) end war
2.) re-unify korea - formalize trade, etc
3.) Tell U.S. "Thanks for helping, you're no longer needed here to 'defend' against NK" - our forces must leave
4.) Kim kills Moon and rest of SK reps - declares himself president of Korea (all of it)
5.) Kim still has his nukes, etc from the beginning - but now he ALSO has all of SK and its wealth and people.

Basically - Kim is using this to do a 'bloodless' takeover of SK - he needs it.
What the what now? Even Tom Clancy would balk at writing that last scenario, considering it too implausible. Does this stealth coup rely on whether the flags in the DMZ have gold fringes?
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  #123  
Old 04-27-2018, 09:03 AM
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I wonder if that tipped the scale with the North Koreans or the Chinese.
I find that about as likely as the mistaken believe that Iranians released the hostages on Inauguration Day 1981 because they were soooooooo scared of Reagan.
  #124  
Old 04-27-2018, 09:39 AM
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Realistic??? Are you taking bets, because I've got some cash burning a hole in my pocket.
I meant to edit that to 'cynical' or 'pessimistic' me - but time ran out and I didn't.

Last edited by simster; 04-27-2018 at 09:40 AM.
  #125  
Old 04-27-2018, 09:42 AM
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Of course, the Republican reaction to these talks is just as puzzling. When Clinton negotiated a deal with North Korea, he was a sucker. When Obama negotiated a deal with Iran, he was a sucker. When Moon negotiates a nascent deal with North Korea, OMG TRUMP WINS!!!
Right? Just like Reagan "won" the Cold War all by himself.

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Not to mention that Trump just hired a National Security Adviser who could not be further from the "let's use diplomacy with North Korea" camp.
The Bolton factor will be interesting indeed.
  #126  
Old 04-27-2018, 11:17 AM
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The South Korean president is unlikely to agree to something that the US would be strongly against as they could risk losing some defense support in response. Kim could promise him the moon, but if that's a problem for the US, it's a problem for SK.
This is where Trump's erraticism is either a boon or blessing. How does SK decide what the US (read: Trump) will be strongly against? He called Kim an "honorable" man the other day. Maybe SK goes out on a limb and decides to do what's best for SK.

I saw this on another board I frequent; from The Guardian: Inside North Korea, all they will say about Trump is 'he's crazy'

Officials there [NK] have long calculated that no US president would risk lives in Seoul with an attack on the North. But under Trump that is no longer a safe assumption, says Andrei Lankov, professor of Korean Studies at Kookmin University.
  #127  
Old 04-27-2018, 12:11 PM
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In the past, we survived several examples of nuclear dumfuckery when cooler heads prevailed based on little more than the faith that the Other Guy was not insane. We could be pretty sure that the Other Guy also knew that the POTUS wasn't either.

And now? Well, maybe the installation of John of House Bolton as a national security advisor has reassured them.
  #128  
Old 04-27-2018, 12:52 PM
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It's easy to say you're not going to test anymore when you can't.
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North Korea's nuclear test in September last year was so strong that it caused an on-site collapse at the test site, geologists in China claim.

Using high-quality seismic data to pinpoint the location of several tremors that followed the test, the researchers determined that one event 8.5 minutes after the nuclear test was in fact the cavity caused by the blast collapsing.
  #129  
Old 04-27-2018, 01:05 PM
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It's easy to say you're not going to test anymore when you can't.
So - they are now Kronos in the 'undiscovered country'.
  #130  
Old 04-27-2018, 01:15 PM
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So - they are now Kronos in the 'undiscovered country'.
Yes, except Star Trek VI didn't have an orange Pakled swooping in trying to take credit for everything.
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  #131  
Old 04-27-2018, 01:48 PM
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Right? Just like Reagan "won" the Cold War all by himself. :
Trump made some sort of comment today about how a lot changed in North Korea after he started saying things like "Rocket Man" and "Liddle Kim." Yep, that's what changed.
  #132  
Old 04-27-2018, 08:21 PM
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Now it is not good for the Christian’s health to hustle the Aryan brown,
For the Christian riles, and the Aryan smiles and he weareth the Christian down;
And the end of the fight is a tombstone white with the name of the late deceased,
And the epitaph drear: “A Fool lies here who tried to hustle the East.”
This little gem from Rudyard Kipling just popped into my mind. The language is very un-pc, but there is some wisdom there.

I think that whatever happens with Korea and Iran, Trump is going to get his ass handed to him.

I suspect that when the dust (but hopefully not the fallout) settles, the end game is Iran has nukes, North Korea still has nukes, and the Europeans and Chinese are happily trading with both of them. And we'll be frozen out.
  #133  
Old 04-27-2018, 08:47 PM
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This little gem from Rudyard Kipling just popped into my mind. The language is very un-pc, but there is some wisdom there.

I think that whatever happens with Korea and Iran, Trump is going to get his ass handed to him.
An very appropriate comment, but I believe that we will have our asses handed to us, one way or another.
  #134  
Old 04-27-2018, 10:27 PM
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You didn't answer my question. What is your source?
You can find multiple sources for this. Here's some of the first ones I found via a quick google search:
Quote:
Questions remain about how North Korea would define denuclearization, which Washington sees as Pyongyang abandoning its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea has said over the years that it could consider giving up its nuclear arsenal if the United States removed its troops from South Korea and withdrew its so-called nuclear umbrella of deterrence from South Korea and Japan.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-n...-idUSKBN1HF0WQ
Quote:
First South Korean, then Chinese officials have in recent weeks reported North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has told them he is “committed to denuclearization” on the Korean peninsula.

Kim’s declared commitment to denuclearization, however, is neither new, nor likely in line with Washington’s expectations.

North Korea has long said it is open to eventually giving up its nuclear arsenal if the United States withdraws its troops from South Korea and ends its “nuclear umbrella” security alliance with Seoul, among other conditions.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-n...-idUSKBN1H40YI
Quote:
But what does “denuclearization” mean?

It depends on whom you are asking. To some in Washington, “the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” as Trump tweeted late last month, means Kim handing over his nuclear weapons and missile systems and allowing international inspectors to check that the regime is keeping its word.

To Pyongyang, it means something very, very different. It means mutual steps to get rid of nuclear weapons, including requiring the United States to take down the nuclear umbrella it has put up over South Korea and Japan.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world...=.b4d9757c1b2e
  #135  
Old 04-27-2018, 11:01 PM
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I predict:

1. No matter what happens, Trump will claim an unprecedented victory.

2. A lot of Americans will say they agree.

3. Some of them will actually believe it.
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  #136  
Old 04-28-2018, 01:27 AM
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Kim has done pretty well playing a rather weak hand, such as spinning the collapse of his nuclear test site into a statesmanlike "decision" that he is willing to forego further tests in the interests of yadda yadda yadda.
And had the Tangerine Mussolini given it all the appropriate reception and ignored it, he would have folded or busted. Instead, the Imbecile-In-Chief tried to spin it as one of his "accomplishments" and gave power to Kim in the long term.

Are we really talking about Trump being a statesman when he's only months removed from "my nuclear button is bigger"?
  #137  
Old 04-28-2018, 09:31 AM
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Trump made some sort of comment today about how a lot changed in North Korea after he started saying things like "Rocket Man" and "Liddle Kim." Yep, that's what changed.
I think there is a possibility that the Chinese, fearful of a crazy and unpredictable US president, have put some pressure on NK to make some changes. I don't know if it's likely or not, but I think it's possible. But even if that's the case, it's a stupid and risky policy to use name calling as your primary form of "diplomacy".

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Originally Posted by Chisquirrel View Post
And had the Tangerine Mussolini...
I usually find the nicknames people here give Trump to be more eye-rolling than anything else, but that one made me chuckle. And, it would be an excellent band name to boot!!
  #138  
Old 04-28-2018, 03:30 PM
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If Trump & Co. can genuinely de-nuclearize NK and turn it from a starving pariah state into a halfway normal place, I will happily give them credit for the win and accept the "statesman" label for Trump. I will accept "honorable" for Kim Jong Un- heck, I will go so far as "whatta guy!" and invite him over to my place for some brats, let him play with my cat and drink my beer. It would be unequivocally a Good Thing if de-nuclearization occurs.

For now though, it is all a little too early. Let's wait until we see some results.
  #139  
Old 04-28-2018, 03:55 PM
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Poor SK President Moon... Dude has to reason and deal with two of the world's most unreasonable, lying scumbags, and by all appearances, they're the ones set to get all the credit for being reasonable and making the deal.
  #140  
Old 04-28-2018, 05:10 PM
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"National security experts, and even the South Korean foreign minister, are crediting Mr. Trump for bringing North Korea to the table." My bold.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/north-s...t-experts-say/
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Old 04-28-2018, 08:30 PM
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Here's the thing: If Trump actually opposes the John Boltons within his administration and is part of brokering an actual peace agreement, and if he's able to overcome the objections of militarists within the government and if he can get Congress to support him...then yes, I will give the man his due. It might feel like I'm cutting off my right testicle, but I'll give Trump credit if he can actually be an innovator when it comes to US foreign policy. That also means, however, that Kim has to hold up his end of the bargain and he has to be prepared in case he doesn't. This looks easy now; it won't be easy, and that will be revealed in time.
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Old 04-28-2018, 08:32 PM
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Poor SK President Moon... Dude has to reason and deal with two of the world's most unreasonable, lying scumbags, and by all appearances, they're the ones set to get all the credit for being reasonable and making the deal.
Pfff...that guy's an opportunist. I don't feel sorry for Moon -- like at all. In fact, I suspect that he's just trying to throw the US under the bus.
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Old 04-28-2018, 09:04 PM
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Pfff...that guy's an opportunist. I don't feel sorry for Moon -- like at all. In fact, I suspect that he's just trying to throw the US under the bus.
That would be like North Korea throwing China under the bus. It ain't going to happen.
  #144  
Old 04-28-2018, 09:17 PM
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That would be like North Korea throwing China under the bus. It ain't going to happen.
They're gonna need a bigger bus.
  #145  
Old 04-28-2018, 09:18 PM
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Pfff...that guy's an opportunist. I don't feel sorry for Moon -- like at all. In fact, I suspect that he's just trying to throw the US under the bus.
I doubt it. South Korea still needs America as a counterweight to China.

Kim seems to be looking to take North Korea from its outlaw status to regular dictatorship status.
  #146  
Old 04-28-2018, 10:28 PM
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Here's the thing: If Trump actually opposes the John Boltons within his administration and is part of brokering an actual peace agreement, and if he's able to overcome the objections of militarists within the government and if he can get Congress to support him...then yes, I will give the man his due. It might feel like I'm cutting off my right testicle, but I'll give Trump credit if he can actually be an innovator when it comes to US foreign policy. That also means, however, that Kim has to hold up his end of the bargain and he has to be prepared in case he doesn't. This looks easy now; it won't be easy, and that will be revealed in time.
Here's the thing, NK will not denuclearize anytime soon. Everybody that knows anything knows that. Trump needs a win on a pretty tight time frame and the biggest component of any such possible "win" is actually pretty obvious. He's going to "throw SK under the bus" by forcing them to pay and/or provide for their own defense, with some U.S. troops stationed there coming home immediately upon the announcement for show. It's something he and KJU both already want and can call a win. Throw something in about nuclear tests and missile ranges. Done deal.
  #147  
Old 04-29-2018, 05:36 AM
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"National security experts, and even the South Korean foreign minister, are crediting Mr. Trump for bringing North Korea to the table." My bold.

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/north-s...t-experts-say/
Are you the guy who cares about what experts think when they are mildly supportive of Trump, and then thinks they are part of the swamp when they are extremely critical? There’s so many posters around here I can’t keep track.

Surely part of the credit for this breakthrough should go to Trump’s handpicked ambassador to South Korea. That guy has been a master as working so far behind the scenes, his role in history will surely never be recognized.
  #148  
Old 04-29-2018, 08:38 AM
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I doubt it. South Korea still needs America as a counterweight to China.

Kim seems to be looking to take North Korea from its outlaw status to regular dictatorship status.
You're probably correct, but the some segments of the left wing in South Korean politics believe that the US has conspired to disrupt ties between the North and South, and they wouldn't mind seeing the US out altogether. I'm not saying all South Koreans feel that way - the right and the centrists probably want the US to stay. But Moon represents a center-left position that sometimes leans away from the US.

I think what all South Koreans see the value of the US as a trading partner, and as you say, this enables the rest of Asia to have some balance in dealing with China's ascent toward being a superpower. On that note, Trump's proposed economic policies (tariffs and pulling out of TPP) with respect to South Korea would seem counterproductive.
  #149  
Old 04-29-2018, 10:18 AM
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Perhaps Kim is the Gorbachev of N. Korea? Like Gorby, it is possible Kim has reached the conclusion that things must change in order to stay the same. He has grown up in the system, he has consolidated his power over it and he understands it is not sustainable over the long-term (especially with escalating sanctions). Perhaps N. Korea’s nuclear weapons program was always intended to be given away for long-term regime survival vis-à-vis the West. Regardless, there can be little doubt Kim understands that to actually use a nuke would mean the end of N. Korea, and that the West is just as unlikely to use them against N. Korea. With no practical utility in terms of use or even deterrent, giving them away for what the regime wants most of all – i.e., a guarantee of survival – does not seem too illogical as to defy credibility. I don’t actually believe it, but at this early point - and notwithstanding N. Korea’s long record of broken promises (all or certainly most of which pre-date l’il Kim’s reign) – it seems to me the possibility cannot be completely discounted.
  #150  
Old 04-29-2018, 10:35 AM
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With no practical utility in terms of use or even deterrent, giving them away for what the regime wants most of all – i.e., a guarantee of survival – does not seem too illogical as to defy credibility.
Sure, it worked for Khadafi. Oh, wait...
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