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. #121
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    Might help if he had made the appoints to the State Department and literally hundreds of the professional staff with experience had not resigned due to his disparagement.

  2. #122
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    Negotiate with North Korea? A Russian Tried
    A filmmaker who made the most revealing movie about North Korea doesn't believe conventional tactics can work.
    By Leonid Bershidsky
    September 8, 2017



    Negotiating with North Korea about the future of its nuclear program is often mentioned as an alternative to a military intervention. Neither is a viable option, says Vitaly Mansky, one of the few people who know first-hand what it's like to negotiate with North Koreans and achieve a measure of success.

    In May 2013, Mansky's documentary production company signed a deal with the Korea Film Export & Import Corporation, a North Korean government agency, to jointly make a movie called "Under the Sun." The Koreans probably didn't catch on to the fact that Mansky's company was named after Dziga Vertov, the early 20th-century filmmaker who pioneered the use of the hidden camera.

    The North Koreans wrote the script for the movie, about a young girl who prepares to join the Korean Children's Union, part of the ruling Workers' Party. Mansky's job was to film a carefully stage-managed version of the girl's life with her family. True to Vertov's methods, Mansky filmed the handlers' instructions, kept the takes they discarded because the characters weren't sufficiently enthusiastic and captured on camera what he could see of actual North Korean life. The official censors got a memory card with the approved footage. Mansky kept the rest of the material hidden. It is now part of the film, which has garnered attention worldwide. It's worth watching; the film provides more insight into North Korean life than thousands of pages of news reports, memoirs and academic literature.

    Arranging this, and getting the access that "Under the Sun" demonstrates, was a serious negotiating feat. According to Mansky, a Russian now living in Latvia, Russian embassy officials who had spent years in Pyongyang asked to come along on his shoots to see things they'd never been allowed to witness. But Mansky doesn't believe in negotiating with North Korea, he told me via Skype from Riga:

    I was naive. I consider myself a good negotiator, I can find the right arguments and reach compromises -- but this is pointless. For hours, dozens of hours you discuss, you persuade, perhaps you even educate the other person, you create a different picture of the world in which harmony begins to emerge, and something even begins to flash in the guy's eyes -- but it's useless to try to persuade a lamppost. All the absurd situations there arise because at some point, someone established a rule and now it can't be changed, not just because initiative is punishable but because North Koreans don't have such a brain function as initiative.

    Instead of bending the rules, the Koreans would find surprising solutions within them. At one point, Mansky tried to film his protagonists on a subway train in Pyongyang. Foreigners, however, were only allowed to go three stops, and Mansky needed a longer sequence. When the handlers told him to get off and take the train in the other direction if he needed to film more, the director protested that he needed the same people in the subway car. OK, the handler said -- and directed everyone in the car to disembark and go back three stops with the filmmakers. They complied without objection.

    Mansky's negotiations were with rather senior officials in the North Korean propaganda machine but perhaps things can go better if the supreme leader himself is involved in talks? Mansky doesn't think so. "Paradoxically," he says, "the man at the top doesn't make decisions, either, because he's dependent on the dictatorship he has created." As Mansky tells it, the Kim dictatorship must maintain the cult that was created to sustain it, absurd rules and all; it's a two-way street of mutual reinforcement. The Communist regime under which Mansky and I both grew up sort of worked like that, too -- but North Korea has created a "perfect, flawless" version of the game, Mansky says:

    The key mistake is to read them as a version of us. We walked in the same columns, carrying the same portraits of leaders, but we'd go home and tell jokes about these leaders. This is not about North Korea. In Orwell's "1984," the characters are always trying to escape Big Brother's gaze to get some privacy. In North Korea, it's the other way round. People are born with the dream of finding themselves in Big Brother's line of sight, of being noticed.

    Mansky looked for signs of the trademark late Soviet irony, the doublethink that allowed our parents, and for some time also us, to survive in an absurd system. He didn't find any. That left him convinced that the indoctrination of North Koreans was absolute. While they realized the regime's propaganda was fake, their belief in the necessity of that fakery was absolute.

    That's why Mansky believes war with North Korea is as pointless as negotiations.

    It's just horrible to imagine what they would do in a war. Every North Korean will be a suicide bomber with a bomb belt. There is not a person there who wouldn't be ready to die for the system that has enslaved them. They have nothing apart from this, it's the only meaning of their existence.

    That may sound overly dramatic unless you're familiar with Mansky's casually deadpan work style -- and unless you read other inside accounts of life in North Korea. In a recent interview, Suki Kim, a former English teacher in an elite Pyongyang school and author of the book "Without You, There Is No Us," makes the same point, describing the country as a cult that has completely erased millions of people's pre-cult existence. Like Mansky, she found no exceptions to the inhuman, absurd rules on which the system is based.

    Sanctions against North Korea -- the easy response -- are ineffective for the same reasons. Russian President Vladimir Putin, who recently said North Koreans would "eat grass" rather than give up their nuclear program, has been listening to the right people. Putin, however, calls for negotiating with North Korea to guarantee its security.

    Mansky's proposal is to leave North Korea alone in its self-imposed isolation -- that is, if the civilized world can stand the thought of Kim's regime committing its endless crime against the North Korean people and bear with the constant taunting of missile launches and threats. He doesn't believe the regime is inherently aggressive. He describes a propaganda video he saw in North Korea, portraying South Korea as a prodigal son throwing himself on the barbed wire that separates him from his mother, the embodiment of North Korea. "They could easily change that image to a father with wire cutters slashing through that fence," Mansky says. Kim, Mansky believes, is doing his best to drill hatred of the U.S. into North Koreans' heads -- but also to hold back from any escalation, because it would present an existential threat to the regime.

    Mansky doesn't believe trying to somehow educate North Koreans is possible with the Kim regime in place. He brings up a Russian folk tale of an evil king who achieved immortality by putting his death on the point of a needle which he hid in an egg locked inside a chest. "Intelligence services must get to that needle," Mansky says. I ask him if he means the dictator's physical elimination; he demurs -- suggesting that, he says, would be going too far. And in any case, even with the regime gone, it will probably take more than a generation for North Koreans to become more like the rest of us: Mansky points out the high suicide rate among North Korean defectors to the south.

    Mansky is a filmmaker and Suki Kim a writer; policymakers don't have to listen to them as they search noisily for a conventional solution to a unique problem: There is no other country even remotely like North Korea. But it's a shame they aren't listening. If a solution exists at all, it lies in the quiet realm of intelligence operations and palace intrigue at this point -- and even so, it will require decades of subtle work to reclaim North Korea to the broader world.
    ____________
    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

  3. #123
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    It's over and done. The Norks have a nuke. Too late for a pre-emptive strike. To attack is to be in denial that they have a nuke and you could prevent them from having one if somehow you could take it away. That window has closed. It makes me think about stories some years back that the US would do the same to Pakistan (after they had the bomb) and i'm thinking maybe the original target was North Korea (before they had the bomb) but for some reason it never happened.

    Now it's about shaping what they can do and their behaviour. It will be a shitty time as they will continue with the provocations and then ease off as their confidence grows.

    Heard the markets have not reacted to this news at all. Maybe they think its better for stability if Kim has a nuke.

    Think abut the China in the 60s. Red China. Same thing isn't it. In the end the people behind the Chinese nuke program wanted better relations with the west. The tech lot not the ideological nutjobs. How did the US come to terms with China having a nuke.

    What Strobe Talbot said about India after we tested

    India's in the doghouse, they want in to the big house, we're tying to find them a half way house
    Last edited by Double Edge; 09 Sep 17, at 02:29.

  4. #124
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    China’s early 1960s leadership was worlds apart from the DPRK today.

    First, there was a very even balance among the key players – Mao Zedong, Liu Shaoqi, and Zhou Enlai at the top; and the second tier of Zhe De, Peng Zhen, Deng Xiaoping and Chen Yun. Bear in mind that October 1964 was one of the low points of Mao’s leadership. He hadn’t been all that active for two years, and wouldn’t attempt to reclaim power for another 18-24 months.

    Second, these were people who had earned their spurs the old fashioned way: through revolution. They each had independent credibility, and power bases. And, as seen in the 1959 purge of Peng Dehuai and the later Cultural Revolution, an attack against one of the old boys – even by someone as powerful as Mao – was certain to elicit a harsh reaction from the others.

    Third, China in the early 1960s was not isolated, as the DPRK is today. It had plenty of formal and informal ties to countries around the world, and was emerging as an alternative third-world leader.
    Trust me?
    I'm an economist!

  5. #125
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Still does not answer how US came to terms with a China nuke. My contention is the world is going to have to do the same with NK.

    That explicit option was missing in the poll so went with strategic patience.

    NK isn't giving it up and there isn't anything the world can do about it. Try whatever.

    So now the goal is to force NK to decide which matters more.

    The regime or the nuke. But both are tightly integrated.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 09 Sep 17, at 12:30.

  6. #126
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Still does not answer how US came to terms with a China nuke. My contention is the world is going to have to do the same with NK.

    That explicit option was missing in the poll so went with strategic patience.

    NK isn't giving it up and there isn't anything the world can do about it. Try whatever.

    So now the goal is to force NK to decide which matters more.

    The regime or the nuke. But both are tightly integrated.
    Sometimes the best thing to do is nothing. Like some spoilt child trying to get attention NK needs to modify its approach to get a positive response...lets reward good behaviour and not over react to Tiny Kim throwing his toys out of the pram....

  7. #127
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    It's just horrible to imagine what they would do in a war. Every North Korean will be a suicide bomber with a bomb belt. There is not a person there who wouldn't be ready to die for the system that has enslaved them. They have nothing apart from this, it's the only meaning of their existence.
    We've dealt with such fanaticism before. The Kamakazie was an ineffective weapon and Douglas MacArthur showed that he dwarfed Hirehitto in everyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    Still does not answer how US came to terms with a China nuke.
    A 3 million man army with 12 nukes preventing 450,000 Soviet troops with 200+ nukes from going west against NATO



    My contention is the world is going to have to do the same with NK.

    That explicit option was missing in the poll so went with strategic patience.

    NK isn't giving it up and there isn't anything the world can do about it. Try whatever.

    So now the goal is to force NK to decide which matters more.

    The regime or the nuke. But both are tightly integrated.[/QUOTE]

  8. #128
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    There Is No Precedent for What America Wants From North Korea | Atlantic | Sep 06 2017

    South Africa is the only country in history to have given up nuclear weapons it controlled. The man who made that decision compares it to the current crisis.
    but

    There is no historical case of a country surrendering its entire nuclear arsenal because of international pressure to do so, Perkovich noted. Not one.
    Absent the Kim regime collapsing or being overthrown, there’s a chance the North could be convinced to restrict its program to “have no offensive or real military utility, but just as a core deterrent for regime survival,” Perkovich told me. “It’s far less than the denuclearization that [the United States has] been demanding, but I think it’s more feasible. That’s the only way we’re going to get a diplomatic resolution to this thing.”

    And, as de Klerk might argue, a diplomatic resolution is the only kind of resolution that truly resolves anything.


    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    A 3 million man army with 12 nukes preventing 450,000 Soviet troops with 200+ nukes from going west against NATO
    Very good : )
    Last edited by Double Edge; 09 Sep 17, at 17:35.

  9. #129
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    Quote Originally Posted by WABs_OOE View Post
    We've dealt with such fanaticism before. The Kamakazie was an ineffective weapon and Douglas MacArthur showed that he dwarfed Hirehitto in everyway.
    Yes sir we have, but we've also seen how it can work in Iraq and Afghanistan. And we have no Douglas MacArthur today, nor a Hirohito to command his people to lay down their arms and surrender.
    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

  10. #130
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Negotiate with North Korea? A Russian Tried
    A filmmaker who made the most revealing movie about North Korea doesn't believe conventional tactics can work.
    By Leonid Bershidsky
    September 8, 2017


    ...Mansky is a filmmaker and Suki Kim a writer; policymakers don't have to listen to them as they search noisily for a conventional solution to a unique problem: There is no other country even remotely like North Korea. But it's a shame they aren't listening. If a solution exists at all, it lies in the quiet realm of intelligence operations and palace intrigue at this point -- and even so, it will require decades of subtle work to reclaim North Korea to the broader world.
    ____________
    Like the 4th choice in the poll: neither military action nor negotiations, simply wait for the horse to sing!
    Giving Tiny Kim time to build bigger bombs and better missiles.
    When we blindly adopt a religion, a political system, a literary dogma, we become automatons. We cease to grow. - Anais Nin

  11. #131
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Yes sir we have, but we've also seen how it can work in Iraq and Afghanistan. And we have no Douglas MacArthur today, nor a Hirohito to command his people to lay down their arms and surrender.
    We have better than that. We have Chinese and Korean soap operas infiltrating every corner of NK society via USB sticks:

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/north-k...to-daytime-tv/

    Very few in NK are stupid enough to live up to their hypocritical posing.

    We went through this in China. The very same people who were waving Mao's little red book were the ones powering forward Deng's economic expansion, and Jiang and Hu's headlong rush into crony capitalism.

    The people crying down with American Imperialism in the 60s were the same ones rushing to go to America in the 80s to today. First to study, then to work, now to buy houses in California and NYC.

    In a society like that people adopt dual personalities. EVERYONE will cry for the Great Leader on instinct and conditioning. The feelings will even be genuine. Then the vast majority will breath a great sigh of relief and will be out for themselves.

    If North Koreans were actually stupid, we wouldn't be having the present problems with nukes and missiles. They are not stupid.

    Never underestimate the power, pervasiveness and extent of human hypocrisy.
    Last edited by citanon; 10 Sep 17, at 01:03.

  12. #132
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    It's just horrible to imagine what they would do in a war. Every North Korean will be a suicide bomber with a bomb belt. There is not a person there who wouldn't be ready to die for the system that has enslaved them. They have nothing apart from this, it's the only meaning of their existence.
    Won't happen if they can deter the US to begin with

    Why Kim Jong Un wouldn’t be irrational to use a nuclear bomb first | WAPO | Sept 8 2017


    Kim’s nuclear arsenal exists to stop his enemies’ quest for regime change. If North Korea and the United States wind up shooting at each other, it might make sense for Kim to use nuclear weapons first in a way that increases his chances of survival. The basic idea is to use one set of nuclear devices to stave off the conventional invasion, and hold in reserve longer range, more powerful devices that threaten the enemy’s cities to deter nuclear annihilation. It’s a doctrine called “asymmetric escalation,” employed by states that are conventionally weak. France articulated it during the Cold War to deter the more powerful Soviet Union, and Pakistan does the same today against a more powerful India.

    The strategy turns on Kim’s main calculation that the United States will say it’s not worth losing a major American city to get rid of him. This would allow him to avoid the fate of Iraq’s Saddam Hussein and Libya’s Moammar Gaddafi, who did not have nuclear weapons. Deterrence worked uneasily during the Cold War — albeit with close calls and some hair-raising moments — but it worked. Many of the same principles about mutual destruction still obtain today between major powers.

    Yet the equation for North Korea, which cannot ensure mutual destruction, is slightly different. Faced with the prospect of a U.S.-led invasion, Pyongyang’s conventional inferiority requires it to degrade the United States’ ability to sustain the attack against it. This means it essentially has no option but to use nuclear weapons first against targets such as Andersen Air Force Base in Guam, which stations American bombers, and a variety of allied bases in Japan and South Korea. North Korea has to use nuclear weapons there because it does not have enough conventional warheads to damage the bases meaningfully; a conventional response would not slow or stop a U.S. onslaught. It is for these bases that North Korea has tested the medium-range missiles, reportedly developed a compact nuclear fission warhead and honed guidance for the missiles that would carry it.

    Wouldn’t such an attack mean the retaliatory annihilation of North Korea? Not necessarily. This is why the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) and the H-bomb are so important. Kim’s survival theory is that North Korea could threaten to destroy an American city with a thermonuclear-tipped ICBM if the United States continued an invasion or retaliated with nuclear weapons. Anytime its cities can be held at risk, the United States’ deterrence equation changes, as it did during the Cold War. Are we willing to risk losing millions of civilians in our homeland? Possibly not. And it’s unlikely that we could reliably destroy all of Kim’s ICBMs on the ground or intercept the warheads in the air, particularly as he builds more. So the prospect of losing San Francisco thanks to our nuclear retaliation may cause us to pause conventional operations and elicit a cease-fire, thereby preserving Kim’s regime and rule. Kim may surmise that if he doesn’t use nuclear weapons first, he is certain to lose; if he does, he may have a fighting chance of surviving.

    This scenario to stave off an invasion with a limited nuclear attack on a U.S. military target is not irrational, although it is clearly risky and terrifyingly tragic. One wrinkle is that North Korea’s arsenal is currently small and vulnerable, and U.S. military strategy, reiterated by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, is to try to find and destroy all of Kim’s nuclear systems in the event of a war. That gives Kim an incentive to go first, go early and go massively if he is not confident about surviving a U.S. attempt at disarming him. If Kim thinks we are coming after him or his forces, he cannot afford to be wrong, and he cannot afford to launch second.

    States with small arsenals that are put under counterforce pressure have itchy trigger fingers. It is what is known as the use-it-or-lose-it dilemma. Prior to World War I, European powers believed they all had to mobilize military forces first or risk massive conventional defeat. The calculation for North Korea is the same today, except with nuclear weapons.
    This current risk is amplified by our saber-rattling. How do we assure Kim that the B-1B sorties from Guam that are meant as “shows of strength” are not a prelude to a counterforce surprise attack? We are in a particularly dangerous phase right now, and not because Kim is unpredictable. The more rational he is, the itchier his trigger finger could be.
    At the broader political level, Kim has another aim with his nuclear weapons: to break our alliances. The Soviet Union’s acquisition of ICBM technology caused panic among our allies. France developed its own nuclear weapons, because Charles de Gaulle was convinced we would not trade Pittsburgh for Paris. Today, the concern among our allies is that with our homeland at risk, we might not trade San Francisco for Seoul, or Toledo for Tokyo. These anxieties are amplified when President Trump accuses South Korea and China of “appeasement” after North Korea’s thermonuclear test. Pyongyang probably read that tweet with glee, thinking that its political strategy is already working. With a nuclear security umbrella like the one we maintain in East Asia, it’s always harder to reassure allies than it is to deter the adversary. Right now, we are being outplayed by Kim on both counts.

    Dispensing with the notion that Kim is crazy or irrational is important for two reasons. First, it clarifies the military and political strategies he might envision with nuclear weapons. Second, it suggests that he responds to both domestic and international incentives. It means deterrence — which was always coupled with reassurance and diplomacy — can work with North Korea, just as it did with the Soviet Union and China. But deterrence works both ways: We can no longer threaten to attack North Korea without risking a nuclear exchange.

  13. #133
    Senior Contributor Oracle's Avatar
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    DE, I edited post # 115.

    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Yes sir we have, but we've also seen how it can work in Iraq and Afghanistan. And we have no Douglas MacArthur today, nor a Hirohito to command his people to lay down their arms and surrender.
    TH, NK is extremeley improvised. The moment the first bomb falls, NKs would rush to the border to cross-over for life and food. It's not an islamic state nor are guns available for all.

  14. #134
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    TH, NK is extremeley improvised. The moment the first bomb falls, NKs would rush to the border to cross-over for life and food. It's not an islamic state nor are guns available for all.
    I sure hope so...but I don't think that will be the case.
    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

  15. #135
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    Quote Originally Posted by citanon View Post
    We have better than that. We have Chinese and Korean soap operas infiltrating every corner of NK society via USB sticks:

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/north-k...to-daytime-tv/

    Very few in NK are stupid enough to live up to their hypocritical posing.

    We went through this in China. The very same people who were waving Mao's little red book were the ones powering forward Deng's economic expansion, and Jiang and Hu's headlong rush into crony capitalism.

    The people crying down with American Imperialism in the 60s were the same ones rushing to go to America in the 80s to today. First to study, then to work, now to buy houses in California and NYC.

    In a society like that people adopt dual personalities. EVERYONE will cry for the Great Leader on instinct and conditioning. The feelings will even be genuine. Then the vast majority will breath a great sigh of relief and will be out for themselves.

    If North Koreans were actually stupid, we wouldn't be having the present problems with nukes and missiles. They are not stupid.

    Never underestimate the power, pervasiveness and extent of human hypocrisy.
    I saw that video in Youtube, and it is completely opposite of what the Russian article presents. NKs are not mindless zombies. There will be a civil war only if the Chinese and the Russians decide to join the party. How US manages that would be interesting to see.

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