Gauge The North Korean Threat

According to your links:

America didn’t dissolve the provisional government, South Korea did.

It seems the Americans, particularly what sounds like a few officers on the ground, condoned some of the Bodo killings…until the American ambassador ordered them to stop.

Bombing NK to rubble, dude, they invaded and started the war!

Hogans Heroes was far worse than MASH, IMO, and MASH was made much later, and focused more on the horrors of war than anything.

No argument about Trump though. I still can’t quite understand the level of stupidity that got this buffoon elected, not that the alternative was very awesome either.

We’re not the ones who need to worry about war with North Korea. On the list of countries that need to be concerned about the situation in Korea, we’re at best fifth, maybe sixth. The only American targets that Kim can hurt are the ones that we send to him.

Which means that what we should really be doing is talking with those countries ahead of us on the list and finding out how they want to handle the situation. And we’re making no effort whatsoever to do that-- We still don’t even have an ambassador to South Korea.

Wait…how are we fifth on the list? We have somewhere in the neighborhood of 40,000 personnel stationed there, many near the DMZ, I’m sure, plus a bunch of tanks, artillery, planes, etc. Also the war of words, as it were, seems to me to be between the US and NK. Obviously South Korea would be first on that list, but whom is ahead of us that “needs to worry” if a war breaks out there? China, I’m sure, since the last Korean War would have been “won” by the US had China not gotten involved (or perhaps if we’d let McCarthur off his leash).

I agree that all players involved should be talking instead of fighting, but the level of belligerence between the USA and our dumbass President and NK and it’s delusional leader has gotten pretty ratcheted up now.

And we don’t have an ambassador to South Korea? I did not know that. I always assumed we did…wonder why we don’t?

ETA: a quick google looks like the Trump admin hasn’t appointed one yet (???) to SK…nor to China or Japan (???) WTF? So anyway, it means we’ve had them in the past, just not now. I thought you meant we never had one there.

You’re right, to a point. But this didn’t just pop up yesterday. I’m pretty sure over the last 60 years we have a pretty good idea how S. Korea, Japan…etc. want to handle the situation.

And at some point someone is going to have to put an arm bar on Kim’s throat and stick the muzzle of a gun in his mouth just to get his attention. As someone posted upstream the end result will be nuclear war if we’re not able to stop him from selling the technology to every crackpot dictator with cash.

As an aside, it’s amazing to me the duration and level of animosity that exists between China, Japan and Korea. They all hate one another. I get it in light of 20th century conflicts, but this goes WAAAAAY back into history with wars, raping and pillaging. Why can’t they settle their differences in the 21st century? Racism?

Whether or not the US (or Guam) is an initial target, I think there are legitimate grounds to be concerned that a conflict could start that could pull in other players.
And/or the use of nuclear weapons again and the changes that could bring in to world security after that.

Of those 3, the main animosity is China’s opinion of Japan and that could be alleviated tomorrow if the Japanese started publicly recognizing WWII war crimes.
Most of the other relationships are largely positive both ways.
As for the history, you could say the same thing about Europe.

Yep, not like the USA and Cuba / Venezuela and, if truth be told, most of central and south America at all.

I don’t think it’s the same today as it was historically in Europe, or Cuba v the USA, or even the Central American countries. Somehow most, if not all of those hatreds have been put to rest. USA tourists are welcome in Cuba, Europe is almost one big country that’s interconnected instead of isolated from each other due to hatred, and I don’t see any current wars going on in Central America.

What I mean to say is that sure, I’m sure prejudices abound worldwide, but it just seems to me that the Asian countries really hold on to their prejudices, and in some cases (Japan v China), rightly so, but still…Germany was a brutal Nazi regime about the same time as the China/Japan conflict was going on, lots of people killed, atrocities committed, and Germany is certainly a reformed, desirable place for just about anyone to live or visit. Even Jews!

Sure, but what are you saying, that the relationship today between China and Japan say is the same as it has been historically?

Well, it isn’t: there’s a big tourist industry both ways, vast numbers of Japanese live in China (less so the other way, but then Japan generally allows little immigration, that’s not something specific against Chinese) and massive amounts of trade.
How is this not a true scotsman peace?

Goodness. That’s definitely ‘imo’ stuff. People don’t forget despicable behaviour. I know from my volunteer work with a union of mostly a south American workers here.

This administration is making a very large mistake with Kim. Not allowing him an out, other than completely surrendering his weapons and research, would cause Kim to lose face and respect and his position. Kim has no choice but to push back.

The answer is simple. Give Kim a way out that Kim can market to his minions as a total success over the American bastards. Pushing harder won’t work.

And this is the biggest problem for those hoping for a peaceful resolution. Trump’s contempt for the very notion of diplomacy is deeper than anyone ever imagined. I always knew his attitude towards diplomacy would be “Fuck you, do what I want!”, but I never thought he wouldn’t even bother officially designating an ambassador to be in charge of telling people “Fuck you!”

For the record, the idea that the Obama administration did nothing about North Korea is pure Republican/Trumpian propaganda and a deliberate falsehood.

Obama was following the policy of “they can’t be trusted to keep their agreements and every previous summit only happened because we and South Korea gave them money and aid for merely showing up, so we’re not going to keep playing that game.”

In light of this…

…and this…

So what do we do? I dislike Trump to the extreme and I believe he’s doing a metric shit ton of harm to the image of the US, but on this issue…isn’t time to say “fuck you” to the Kim regime, stop giving them money and put the screws to them? I get all the supposedly tough sanctions, but are they really stopping NK from achieving their military goals? I mean, it seems that’s all they really care about, having nukes and an obedient, massive military to keep the regime in power, and fuck the people.

Aren’t the sanctions (like in other cases against other countries, like Iraq) really just hurting the general populace and not really setting back the leadership (if you can call it that)?

What do we do? Nothing else has seemed to work, NK now has developed their nuclear programme to the point where they allegedly have missles that can reach the US or their territories (if they don’t blow up mid-air), and nothing we have done has stopped them. I remember in the late 1990’s when stopping them from enriching uranium was the goal and their missile technology wasn’t even a consideration. That didn’t work then either. And now they have both. And they constantly threaten to use them…and now, so are we. That’s the new part, having a President openly threat nuclear hellfire towards one of the Kims.

Fundamentally, the business of North Korea is business. They use their people as cheap labor for (mostly) criminal enterprises, to enrich themselves and keep a healthy supply of sex slaves and other ill-gotten gains.

The math of the situation is that, if they start anything, their country will be turned into a parking lot and they’ll be chased down and exterminated. The alternative is that they make it so that it’s too costly for anyone to stop them from doing what they do, so that no one else starts anything.

The only real risk would be that there’s a true believer in the Communist system on their side who decides that he needs to start something, that the people will revolt if they think that the leadership is failing to defend them from the “outside threat” by being too wimpy to attack, despite having nukes forcing the leadership to do something, or otherwise someone gets a clever idea that they think they can pull off, without everything going to hell.

The nukes don’t really change the math by much. It’s been, “Attack us and millions upon millions of people are going to die”, for several decades now. The only thing that changes is it goes from millions of South Koreans to millions of Chinese or Americans. We can probably be relatively confident that most of the true believers are long gone from the leadership - they just demand that the Ultimate Leader be a sufficiently badass, evil mofo that they can trust him to keep the whole criminal enterprise going, without letting the welfare of the people get in the way of successful continuation. We can probably also be confident that the message they tell the people is sufficiently edited to make it clear that the outside nations are a threat, but not too much of a threat, so that they aren’t too worried by it.

NK with nukes is not a worry insofar as NK is concerned. I think we’re all relatively satisfied that their bluster is just bluster. The issue is if they start selling nuclear weapons to terrorist organizations or countries that want to invade other countries.

Trump has successfully proved that they’re bluffing when they go out saber rattling, but I don’t know that anyone had any real doubt on that line, so it’s a bit of a pointless exercise that simply risks someone doing something stupid to verify. He would have done better to keep his yap shut and had a whole bunch of secret negotiations with China to impress upon them to concept that NK is a threat to their interests as much as it is to the US.

Your Googling sucks:

Trump Picks Korea Expert as Ambassador to Seoul

Trump picks Branstad as ambassador to China

Trump picks Tenn. businessman for ambassador to Japan

I’m not too concerned.

Both of them (Kim Jong Un and Trump) gain influence in their own countries from the tension between the countries, and would risk losing if it were to escalate to actual armed conflict. So they want to keep it much as it is.

What is most worrying is that both of them are so stupid that they could cause a war by mistake.

Clinton was president for 8 years. He did nothing to prevent NK from becoming a nuclear power capable or arming terrorist groups.

Kim is not insane; he’s brutal and inhumane, but not insane.

If you’re Kim and you saw the United States invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein, would a fear of the United States be irrational? If you’re Kim and you saw the United States support rebels during the Arab spring, would a fear of the United States be irrational? If you’re Kim and you’re already being subjected to sanctions, knowing that economic sanctions have the proven tendency to lead to popular uprisings, would a fear of the United States be irrational? I think Kim quite rationally fears the United States and wants the United States out of Asia – and he’s not alone. China and Russia also share the same fear. Hence they’re the ones supplying oil to North Korea in clear violation of sanctions. This should also tell us what China and Russia might do if the United States were to attack North Korea. They wouldn’t just sit on the sidelines. Now stop and think about that for a moment - and now you understand just how fucking scary this conflict could become.