View Poll Results: What is the best course of action in dealing with North Korea?

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  • Full scale preemptive military strike

    4 28.57%
  • Limited preemptive military strike

    0 0%
  • Appeasement in the form of recognition and aid

    1 7.14%
  • Strategic Patience - Neither negotiation nor military action

    9 64.29%
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Thread: The Korean Dilemma

  1. #301
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    If this is the true objective then I must agree it is has a valid direction. I just do not believe it this sort of thinking is in the Trumpkin capacity. I have seen no sign of such since his election and all his lies since so forgive me if I cannot believe it now. I do hope the Colonel is right though.
    You might find this a challenging listen then

    https://youtu.be/2SFXcCway_k

    Conducting foreign policy in a democracy is like playing a game of bridge with a group of people standing behind you looking at the cards in your hand and commenting on which ones you should play or what you might do so preserving an air of mystery about one's intentions is one way to overcome that disadvantage - Stanley Baldwin (?)
    Last edited by Double Edge; 12 Mar 18, at 21:21.

  2. #302
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    Even a traitor can do some things right. A stopped clock is also right twice a day (or once if it a 24hr clock). If you impose tariffs on your allies - as I think Mario Draghi said - who are your enemies? I denounced him from the start because I knew he was compromised.

  3. #303
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    You'll have to wait another three more years to make that call : P

  4. #304
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    Trump has nothing to lose while Kim will lose face if he gets nothing. Kim can lie all he wants but if the result is an increase of American military activity, then he lost. More than that, here is a chance that he could reduce tensions in the penisula and if he pissed it away, then the Chinese would be more incline to punish him further.

    Trump has nothing to lose by pissing Kim off while Kim needs a deal to please the Chinese.
    I don't know about losing face. The Kim family has wanted recognition for decades and now the third, in the line, gets to sit down at a table with the President of the United States. Look, Dad, I did it. That would be a win in my book for him. Now they get to negotiate with the North Koreans. I hope they have already settled on the shape of the table because that could be a real sticking point.

  5. #305
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    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    i prefer my national security objectives to be more than "embarrassing" ones' enemies. woo, Kim is embarrassed (i doubt it, but for the sake of the argument...)...and he has a nuclear stockpile.
    I hoped you were not seriously expecting a peace treaty. Trump could say with every confidence that talk is now over.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    AFAIK short of Kim literally declaring war on China, Xi will just grit his teeth and live with it...because that's precisely what Xi's been doing anyway. (well, i suppose there's that spare Kim uncle who was supposed to be friendly to China...ended up with one dead spare Kim uncle.) no one wants to own NK, least of all China. the US can always walk away. China can't.
    The people who would be forced to own NK are the SKs. There should be no doubt about that. The question is what would China give up to have a say in a united Korea. The fact that Germany is a political and economical powerhouse just 20 years after unification cannot escape Chinese attention.

    Quote Originally Posted by astralis View Post
    don't get me wrong, i -like- the pressure campaign. it inflicts pain on NK. but i doubt the pressure campaign will inflict the type of pain that will cause NK to fold. if NK survived the 1994 famine it'll survive now. same thing with the Kims.
    Kim is not his father, let alone his grandfather. I've never seen so many show trials since the days of GPCR. Kim has to show everyone he has power through show trials. Under his father and grandfather, people just disappeared.

  6. #306
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    I don't know about losing face. The Kim family has wanted recognition for decades and now the third, in the line, gets to sit down at a table with the President of the United States. Look, Dad, I did it. That would be a win in my book for him.
    Only in the eyes of the NKs. For the countries around NK, if this does not stop Trump from threatening war, then he lost face big time. China is now counting on this meet to restart trade. If instead, they have to beef up their defences, then China would start minimizing the damage such a war would incur and that includes throwing Kim to the American sharks.

  7. #307
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    You'll have to wait another three more years to make that call : P
    No I don't. I said he was compromised last year. Just waiting for Mueller to get the evidence (and there is a lot) organised enough to present to jury with all the dots in legal form. Get it legally presentable as it were as a whole.

  8. #308
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by snapper View Post
    No I don't. I said he was compromised last year. Just waiting for Mueller to get the evidence (and there is a lot) organised enough to present to jury with all the dots in legal form. Get it legally presentable as it were as a whole.
    Yes, a lot of people crossing fingers about this. Not me : )

    Reason is the premise. They fully believed this election was stolen. So it follows he will be found out
    Last edited by Double Edge; 13 Mar 18, at 17:03.

  9. #309
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    A Korean miracle? | IE | Mar 13 2018

    Rapprochement between Washington and Pyongyang could denuclearise the Korean peninsula, rearrange security in East Asia.

    It’s being billed as a meeting of the mavericks. After months of mutual personal abuse and the beating of war drums, US President Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have surprised the world by agreeing to meet shortly. If all goes well, the two leaders should be sitting across a table before the end of May; we don’t yet know where. There is speculation that Kim might be ready to travel to Washington.

    And if the talks between the “Rocket Man” (Trump’s derisive name for the missile-testing man in Pyongyang) and the “Dotard” (the obscure word that Kim’s propagandists found to paint the US president as a senile old man) succeed, East Asia would never be the same again. No wonder the man who has taken the lead in the process, President Moon Jae-in of South Korea, is calling it an “unfolding political miracle”.

    But few in the world would agree. Most analysts in Washington think Trump’s impulsive acceptance of Kim’s offer for a summit would end in a disaster. Some think an utterly unprepared Trump could give away the farm to Kim. Others worry that Trump’s high-stakes personal diplomacy is doomed to fail and would only increase the prospects for war with North Korea. Many hope that the meeting might never take place and the preparations would simply collapse under the weight of inherent contradictions.

    Trump, however, appears quite bullish and thinks that the “greatest deal the world has ever seen” might be at hand in North Korea. It is precisely the prospect of such a deal that alarms the region. China, for example, has welcomed the talks between Trump and Kim and claimed credit for facilitating this unexpected turn. But there is no hiding Beijing’s wariness that a breakthrough between Trump and Kim could end up diminishing China’s role in the Korean Peninsula.

    Relations between Kim and the Chinese president, Xi Jinping, are said to be strained. Much of the world, especially the United States, has operated on the assumption that Beijing held the keys to peace in the peninsula. But the current process is being driven by Kim’s charm offensive towards South Korea, his bold outreach to the US, and Trump’s willingness to gamble. Equally important is the new determination in South Korea to end the impasse with the North by taking the political initiative.

    Meanwhile, Japan too is worried. For long at the receiving end of aggressive North Korean actions, Japan has been pressing for a hard line on North Korea. Tokyo is worried that a Trump deal would leave Pyongyang with residual nuclear and missile capability and weaken the US alliance with Japan. Tokyo could end up in a far worse place than it is in now. Blindsided by the rapid turn of events, the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe, is heading to Washington next month to make sure Tokyo has some say in how the talks between Trump and Kim are conducted.

    In the past, the negotiations with North Korea were focused on lifting of sanctions and delivering international economic assistance in return for a verifiable freeze on Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme. This incremental approach was to lead to denuclearisation. The efforts did not succeed because the political distrust was too deep and the negotiation was too narrowly focused on the nuclear question.

    This time, though, the talks could be very different. Instead of incrementalism that was quite vulnerable, the idea of a grand bargain might well be on the table. The trade-off could be the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula for regime security in Pyongyang, a peace treaty that would bring the Korean War of 1950-53 to a close, deeper ties between North and South Korea, and the normalisation of relations between North Korea on the one hand and the United States and Japan on the other. For those who are familiar with the difficult history of the peninsula this is a pipe dream.

    But Kim and Trump might be thinking big and ready to act bold. On his part, Kim is said to be open to denuclearisation (critics say Pyongyang has offered that before). Trump, apparently, is ready to consider drastic political solutions. Some of Trump’s previous advisers have suggested that he might even be open to discussing the withdrawal of American troops — numbering about 28,000 — from the peninsula if Kim is serious about denuclearisation.

    This is what sets Trump apart from his predecessors. He has been deeply sceptical of alliances. He has insisted that America’s rich allies in Europe and Asia can and must contribute more for collective defence. He is also not beholden to traditional assumptions about the dangers from nuclear weapons in the Korean Peninsula. At one point during the campaign, he argued that he would not object to South Korea and Japan acquiring nuclear weapons to defend themselves against a nuclear North Korea.

    With his relentless focus on “burden-sharing” and “America First”, Trump could end up rearranging the political and security order in East Asia. Korean political developments tend to draw a big yawn in Delhi.

    This time though, India should be paying attention to the miracle being plotted by the maverick men in Washington and Pyongyang. Trump and Kim are not afraid of the unfreezing of the Korean Peninsula. Whether they succeed or fail, India would be staring at a very different set of geopolitical equations in East Asia.

    The writer is director, Carnegie India, Delhi and contributing editor on foreign affairs for ‘The Indian Express’.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 13 Mar 18, at 12:03.

  10. #310
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    This time, though, the talks could be very different. Instead of incrementalism that was quite vulnerable, the idea of a grand bargain might well be on the table.
    Only a complete fool would trust or believe anything the North Koreans say. Their record since the "end" of the Korean War is one long litany of evil, period.

    Any "grand bargain" would be instantly cheated on, ignored, and repudiated by the DPRK. It's as obvious and foreordained as the sun rising in the morning.
    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  11. #311
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    as they say we'll see

    Logically that assertion is just as valid as what you said. You can claim experience but you got a different guy in office now. What are the motivations here. Kim drops the ball the Chinese will tighten up further.

    So we don't know what's coming next.

    Appreciated the positive hopeful spin over the defeatist overly cynical takes. Make you lose all interest before the thing even starts because hey its been preordained. Ya!

    It ain't over until it's over.

    Keep all options on the table and more importantly an open mind. That latter bit is missing i find.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 13 Mar 18, at 17:05.

  12. #312
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Only a complete fool would trust or believe anything the North Koreans say. Their record since the "end" of the Korean War is one long litany of evil, period.
    Then we should start bombing right now instead of waiting until they have an ICBM nuke. This is the man who open artillery fire on a South Korean border village.

    However, we can follow Reagan's advice: Trust but verify.

    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Any "grand bargain" would be instantly cheated on, ignored, and repudiated by the DPRK. It's as obvious and foreordained as the sun rising in the morning.
    The last grand bargin between Clinton and KJI was a failure of Japan and South Korea. The deal was to replace NK bomb factories with civilain nuclear reactors. Not one brick was laid by either the South Koreans or the Japanese.

  13. #313
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    Then we should start bombing right now instead of waiting until they have an ICBM nuke. This is the man who open artillery fire on a South Korean border village.
    The North Koreans have been engaging in "low-level" terrorism and attacks since the 50's. They know to draw that line at all-out war and especially a nuclear attack.

    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    However, we can follow Reagan's advice: Trust but verify.
    How do we verify anything in the DPRK?

    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    The last grand bargin between Clinton and KJI was a failure of Japan and South Korea. The deal was to replace NK bomb factories with civilain nuclear reactors. Not one brick was laid by either the South Koreans or the Japanese.
    And this is exactly why I love the WAB so much. I seriously did not know that. I had always assumed that North Korea got tired of Hans Blix snooping around, threw him out of the country and said "Screw you guys, we're building nukes anyway"

    Pretty sure it went something like this here:

    Far better it is to dare mighty things, than to take rank with those poor, timid spirits who know neither victory nor defeat ~ Theodore Roosevelt

  14. #314
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    That article got me thinking about incrementalism and how vulnerable it is. This is why previous attempts failed is the authors suggestion.

    In IR it always struck me as odd when two adversarial powers sit down together that they want to hammer out an agreement on the hardest topic imaginable. This would be difficult to do with friends so crazy or doomed to failure with an adversary

    And that classic line, Nothing is agreed until everything is agreed

    Shouldn't they be trying for something less ambitious, lower hanging fruit.

    Everything that was agreed will be implemented instead of nothing if talks fail for whatever reason

    No, because that is incrementalism

    You either take a full swipe at the problem at hand or go to plan B or leave to the next guy to sort out
    Last edited by Double Edge; 13 Mar 18, at 17:35.

  15. #315
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    The North Koreans have been engaging in "low-level" terrorism and attacks since the 50's. They know to draw that line at all-out war and especially a nuclear attack.
    That is a line that both Trump and Mattis would not tolerate.

    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    How do we verify anything in the DPRK?
    Same thing as last time. The IAEA. A nuclear bomb factory is extremely hard to hide.

    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    And this is exactly why I love the WAB so much. I seriously did not know that. I had always assumed that North Korea got tired of Hans Blix snooping around, threw him out of the country and said "Screw you guys, we're building nukes anyway"
    It was a comedy of stupidity. The US was going to pay for it but Congress, being Congress, was putting up all sorts of conditions that delay funding for a couple of years. However, that was not the showstopper. Both the South Koreans and the Japanese were simply dragging their feet now the threat was over. At the time, it was looking more and more that KJI was going to collapse, so why pay for something that you won't need to?

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