US/North Korea Talks Proposed

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Re: US/North Korea Talks Proposed

Postby Cobra-D » Mon May 28, 2018 3:55 am

Crimson847 wrote:Also, a lot of liberal and anti-Trump conservative commentators have a bit of egg on their faces over this, having run articles crowing about the summit cancellation and how inevitable it was and so on right before Trump started signaling that the meeting was back on. I suspect this was intentional on Trump's part, and I've got to say it's a cruel irony seeing people who have loudly announced that Trump is completely untrustworthy then proceed to keep trusting him.


Yeah they’re so stupid for doing that, like how could they believe he actually would cancel the meeting just because he wrote an official letter saying “yo bro you cray cray, meetings off. Hope I don’t have to nuke you ;).” And then sending it to him.

Freaking dumbasses mirite
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Re: US/North Korea Talks Proposed

Postby Crimson847 » Mon May 28, 2018 4:19 am

Not stupid. Normal. That's why the irony is cruel; it's often surprisingly hard to avoid the impulse to give someone the benefit of the doubt, even after they've proven over and over that they don't deserve it. That's the basic human charity that grifters have always relied on, and it's painful to see it abused.
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Re: US/North Korea Talks Proposed

Postby Windy » Mon May 28, 2018 4:52 am

Oh no will someone please think of the corporate media
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Re: US/North Korea Talks Proposed

Postby Crimson847 » Mon May 28, 2018 5:56 am

Windy wrote:Oh no will someone please think of the corporate media


I'm glad you agree, Windy.
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Re: US/North Korea Talks Proposed

Postby Marcuse » Mon May 28, 2018 5:24 pm

I personally see it as a complete failure in the media to understand the concept of negotiations. I'm not sure whether that failure is willful or not (presumably these people negotiate in other circumstances in their lives) and I don't know why it's so hard to understand that when two people are having what can reasonably characterised as a war of words that they would say things which are hyperbolic or intended to elicit a reaction which might push things forward regardless of the tone or content of what is said.

I don't think that liberal or anti-trump commentators were trusting Trump when he said the talks were off, more than I think it played into an easy story line for them: that Trump is incompetent and belligerent and can't handle the delicate task of international diplomacy and they couldn't resist hammering that easy simple line as soon as they had a softball reason to do so. So I guess it's the usual bias towards laziness and sensationalism that's the reason?
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Re: US/North Korea Talks Proposed

Postby Absentia » Mon May 28, 2018 5:51 pm

Yes it's a negotiation, but it's not really normal for international diplomatic negotiations to be conducted on the same level as eight year olds threatening to take their ball and go home. Or rather it is normal for North Korea to act that way, but it's not normal for the major powers to reciprocate.

I mean, who the hell knows, maybe playing Kim at his own game is a stroke of genius that's actually going to work. But I don't think I can blame the media for not immediately seeing that as the plan.
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Re: US/North Korea Talks Proposed

Postby gisambards » Mon May 28, 2018 9:12 pm

As belligerent and immature-seeming as Trump's approach to this has been, it does for now seem to be working better than anything in the past has. It's actually quite interesting: I don't think it's been a conscious decision on Trump's part to act like this, but rather just his natural approach to these things in this instance appears to be working - the Kims' own approach to international relations has always been like this, and so the two parties seem to understand each other in a way that wasn't there when world powers were trying to take a normal diplomatic approach to something as anomalous as the Kim regime. This has also, I suspect, been helped massively by South Korea's President Moon, who appears to be providing a rational and friendly buffer in case either side does take their natural aggressiveness too far.

I did wonder if, when Trump was first elected, a potential unintended positive outcome might be that, because of his mindset, he might have been able to engage on friendly terms with America's dictatorial enemies in a way a normal president could or would not. This does not appear to have worked at all with Putin, and has also faltered with Xi Jinping, but it might actually be (thanks to the aforementioned presence of President Moon calming tensions when they get too much) working on Kim. I wouldn't really be surprised if one side does end up fucking it up, but as of right now I really don't think it's beyond the realm of reason that Trump and Kim's bizarre relationship could actually go some way to solving the Korea crisis.
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Re: US/North Korea Talks Proposed

Postby Crimson847 » Tue May 29, 2018 2:56 am

As I've suggested before in this thread, I'm open to the possibility that Trump's approach will bear fruit here where other approaches would not. However, I don't see how one can argue that it's already done so. As far as I'm aware, Trump has not yet accomplished anything that his predecessors did not. A pause in testing and destruction of a nuclear facility? Bush already got that in 2008. Overtures to South Korea, including promises to end the war and peacefully reunite? Already happened under Clinton in 2000. A potential deal wherein NK promises to dismantle its nuclear program? Clinton already got one of those in 1994. Getting prisoners released? Not even close to the first time.

Ignoring hopes for the future and focusing on what's actually happened so far, what progress has Trump made with Kim that no prior president can match?
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Re: US/North Korea Talks Proposed

Postby gisambards » Tue May 29, 2018 8:16 am

The destruction of a nuclear facility, a pause in testing, overtures to and meetings with South Korea, a potential nuclear deal, and the release of prisoners. Previous presidents have managed these individually, sure, but the fact is Trump seems to have gotten all of them simultaneously, as well as the likelihood of an unprecedented face-to-face meeting between the President and Kim. Looking at it objectively, as much as one dislikes Trump, I don't see how it can be denied he's made more progress in this area than anyone previously.
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Re: US/North Korea Talks Proposed

Postby Crimson847 » Tue May 29, 2018 11:19 am

gisambards wrote:The destruction of a nuclear facility, a pause in testing, overtures to and meetings with South Korea, a potential nuclear deal, and the release of prisoners. Previous presidents have managed these individually, sure, but the fact is Trump seems to have gotten all of them simultaneously, as well as the likelihood of an unprecedented face-to-face meeting between the President and Kim.


US presidents have "managed" to improve relations between South and North? That's a bit like crediting the US government for the results of the Irish referendum on Friday. South Korea has a lot more control over South Korea's diplomatic posture than Trump does, which is why we see apparent rapprochements between North and South after a liberal dove takes power in South Korea (as happened in 1998 and 2017), regardless of what's going on with US foreign policy. For instance, the "Sunshine Policy" Kim Dae-Jung instituted came about while the Agreed Framework was in effect, when American pressure on North Korea was at a relative low point and we were more focused on Kosovo and domestic issues (the historic summit between NK and SK took place less than two months after the Columbine massacre in Littleton, for instance). South Korea is not our puppet; we have a strong alliance based on common interests, but we don't have a hand up their ass dictating their every move.

With respect to US achievements, It's true that Clinton didn't get a nuclear facility detonated, and neither Clinton nor Bush got prisoners released at the same time that all the other diplomatic action occurred. They got prisoners released during their terms, but as you say, that didn't happen simultaneously with the other stuff. That being said, Clinton and Bush couldn't get any prisoners released in 1994 or 2008 no matter what diplomatic badasses they were, because North Korea didn't have any US nationals imprisoned in 1994 or 2008. Likewise, in 1994 NK didn't have any dedicated nuclear weapons facilities to detonate (they had a reactor, but at that time they were still swearing up and down it was just for energy production and the international community couldn't prove otherwise yet). So I don't really find that a persuasive argument that Trump's approach is already working better than theirs did.

As for the potential summit...as I've said before, Kim and his father have made the same offer to every president since Clinton. The fact that Kim agreed to a summit is not some kind of coup or breakthrough, it's expected behavior.


Look, I sympathize with the temptation to think that Kim has really changed this time, that Trump or Moon or Jinping or someone somehow cracked the code and convinced him that denuclearization is something worth pursuing in good faith rather than just a good way to end up like Gaddafi. And maybe that's true. But after looking into the history of this issue, I see a very consistent pattern play out over and over across multiple administrations, wherein North Korea makes everyone think they want peace but only as a way to trick us into lowering our guard. Everything that's happened so far this year remains consistent with that pattern of behavior, it's a pattern of behavior that's consistently worked well for them so far when tensions with the US rise, and I see no evident reason for them not to employ it again now. So I'm deeply skeptical, and not at all inclined to count chickens until and unless they actually hatch.
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"If it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them; but the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?"
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Re: US/North Korea Talks Proposed

Postby gisambards » Tue May 29, 2018 1:43 pm

Crimson847 wrote:US presidents have "managed" to improve relations between South and North?

Quoting a single word and then placing it an entirely false context is pretty abysmal debating technique. I never suggested anything close to this. I included the mention of overtures to South Korea because you attributed that to Clinton in your previous post, and I added that this time there were actual meetings between the two Korean leaders. The rest of this paragraph isn't worth responding to because this misquote means it's arguing against something I never said and don't agree with.

With respect to US achievements, It's true that Clinton didn't get a nuclear facility detonated, and neither Clinton nor Bush got prisoners released at the same time that all the other diplomatic action occurred. They got prisoners released during their terms, but as you say, that didn't happen simultaneously with the other stuff. That being said, Clinton and Bush couldn't get any prisoners released in 1994 or 2008 no matter what diplomatic badasses they were, because North Korea didn't have any US nationals imprisoned in 1994 or 2008. Likewise, in 1994 NK didn't have any dedicated nuclear weapons facilities to detonate (they had a reactor, but at that time they were still swearing up and down it was just for energy production and the international community couldn't prove otherwise yet). So I don't really find that a persuasive argument that Trump's approach is already working better than theirs did.

When you asked what specifically Trump had done that previous presidents hadn't, you told me not to take into account any events we don't yet know the outcome of, but only what had been solidly achieved. But then apparently the riposte to that is that previous presidents probably could have achieved what Trump has if they'd been able to? Why are hypotheticals only allowed on one side? If Clinton and Bush didn't have the opportunity to do these things, it means they weren't done. Trump did have the opportunity, and did do them. Thus, like it or not, from a purely practical perspective, Trump has achieved more than they did in this area.

Crimson847 wrote:As for the potential summit...as I've said before, Kim and his father have made the same offer to every president since Clinton. The fact that Kim agreed to a summit is not some kind of coup or breakthrough, it's expected behavior.

The effort towards peace from the North Korean side is unprecedented. As mentioned, they've been making considerable overtures to the South. A North Korean leader is on his way to New York right now to meet Trump. The summit still appears to be going ahead very soon, with a location and date fully prepared. This is not remotely expected behaviour.

I'm not suggesting that this is anything close to the end of the Korean crisis, but it's simply incorrect to think that where we're at is normal. It doesn't fit into a cycle of past behaviour at all. Yes, there is a distinct likelihood that tensions may suddenly ratchet up again and all of this will count for nothing. But I think a distaste for Donald Trump is being allowed to disabuse people of the notion that at least a temporary peace is also a distinct possibility.
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Re: US/North Korea Talks Proposed

Postby Marcuse » Tue May 29, 2018 4:59 pm

I think in respect of actual tangible progress Trump has inexplicably managed to get more out of NK than other presidents have. It's probably something to do with him being fickle, thin skinned, and having no principles which means he gets on with Kim Jong Un way more than someone like Obama would have.

Having said that, I don't for a second feel like NK will enter into actual de-nuclearisation talks with any degree of good faith. My expectation is that they're waiting for the negotiations to trot out their interpretation of de-nuclearisation being the removal of US forces and threat from the Korean peninsula. When the US president understandably declines to leave an ally completely defenceless, they'll use it as evidence of American perfidy and try to drag China and SK more into their side. I also think that there are no circumstances under which Kim Jong Un will consent to the removal or decommissioning of his nuclear weapons, because he sees them as the guarantor of his safety (probably from both the US and China) and even if the US withdraws, having nuclear armed China on his doorstep is going to prompt him to keep them even if the US did go crazy and capitulate totally (which also has no chance of happening).

So really the progress we can make here is limited to the release of prisoners, symbolic gestures like the collapse of the Punggye-ri site and the potential to involve the rest of the world more in North Korea in a way that improves the abysmal lives of the people forced to work under that government. In that respect I think Trump is making good progress, against every indication to the contrary. I'm surprised, but I don't think Trump's success in those limited aims is evidence of any substantive change in North Korean policy or interests such that any real alteration of the situation in the Koreas is on the cards.
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Re: US/North Korea Talks Proposed

Postby Crimson847 » Wed May 30, 2018 1:33 pm

gisambards wrote:
Crimson847 wrote:US presidents have "managed" to improve relations between South and North?

Quoting a single word and then placing it an entirely false context is pretty abysmal debating technique. I never suggested anything close to this.


I apologize; I genuinely took that to be part of your argument.

When you asked what specifically Trump had done that previous presidents hadn't, you told me not to take into account any events we don't yet know the outcome of, but only what had been solidly achieved. But then apparently the riposte to that is that previous presidents probably could have achieved what Trump has if they'd been able to?


The riposte is twofold. The first part is that we don't know if those presidents would have been able to achieve the same, because it wasn't an option at the time.

Let me put it this way: suppose you give two students (let's call them Joe and Susie) a standardized test, but Joe's test also has an extra credit question worth 5 extra points, and Susie's does not. Later on, you're looking at their scores to try to figure out which of the two understands the material better. If your goal is to compare the proficiency of the two students, wouldn't you disregard the points from that extra credit question and only consider the questions that both students had the opportunity to answer? If Joe gets 93 points and Susie gets 88, solely because Joe got the five points from the extra credit question, should that be taken as proof that he understands the material better than Susie does?

Moreover, in Clinton's case (not Bush's--I was mistaken about that) we know he was able to get prisoners released, because when given the opportunity he did. In keeping with the above analogy, if Susie has correctly answered that same question on other tests, wouldn't that make counting it against her in a comparison even less reasonable?

The effort towards peace from the North Korean side is unprecedented. As mentioned, they've been making considerable overtures to the South. A North Korean leader is on his way to New York right now to meet Trump. The summit still appears to be going ahead very soon, with a location and date fully prepared. This is not remotely expected behaviour.


Thus far, you haven't mentioned any overtures that haven't already occurred in similar fashion in the past. You say that "this time there were actual meetings between the two Korean leaders", which is confusing because that happened last time and the time before that, too. You say there's an opportunity for a "temporary peace". I don't disagree, but that's also entirely consistent with a conflict that's seen many temporary peaces over the years, usually right before the next boot drops. You say that the North has made "considerable overtures" to the South; Kim Jong-Il laid on the charm in 2000, too. And while he was doing so, he was secretly making plutonium for nuclear weapons in violation of the Agreed Framework.

During the lead-up to the summit, North Korea expanded its diplomatic engagement with the outside world, just as Kim Jong Un has done in recent months. Kim Jong-il met with Chinese leaders in Beijing before of the summit and would later welcome Russian President Vladimir Putin to Pyongyang.

Famine and extreme shortages of goods and fuel in the 1990s plagued North Korea — in part because of the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. This provided motivation for the North to engage with the international community.

Images of Kim Dae-jung and Kim Jong-il shaking hands and clinking champagne glasses filled the airwaves and enthralled many South Korean viewers, as the two leaders signed a broad agreement to work toward peace and reunification. Kim Jong-il called the date of the meeting, June 13, “a day that would be recorded in history.”

Kim Dae-jung later declared that ''the danger of war on the Korean Peninsula has disappeared.''

Kim Dae-jung would go on to win the Nobel Peace Prize in November that year for his "sunshine policy" of rapprochement with the North. Economic cooperation followed the meeting, along with rail and road links and the start of a family reunion program.

By the end of 2002, the international community found that North Korea secretly continued its missile and nuclear programs, in violation of a 1994 framework signed with the United States. In 2003, a scandal emerged that Kim Dae-jung’s administration had secretly — and illegally — transferred hundreds of millions of dollars to North Korea to attend the summit.


https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/wor ... 545225002/

I think a distaste for Donald Trump is being allowed to disabuse people of the notion that at least a temporary peace is also a distinct possibility.


A temporary peace has already happened and is ongoing. The problem is that North Korea normally just uses these diplomatic detentes to buy some time and maybe get some aid or sanctions relief before we find out they were screwing us the whole time and they walk away giggling. Temporary peace on such terms is not so much a "win" as it is passing the buck: rather than solving or even reducing the problem, it just kicks the can down the road while making it a larger problem next time, as with the peace Clinton "achieved" in 1994 or the peace Kim Dae-jung "achieved" in 2000. We won't know if this time is any different until the negotiations finish and a deal is reached (if any). Until then, chalking this detente up as an unprecedented win for the US before negotiations have even really begun still strikes me as distinctly premature.
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Re: US/North Korea Talks Proposed

Postby IamNotCreepy » Wed May 30, 2018 3:01 pm

I am hesitant to lay blame or praise on anyone until everything is said and done. So much of this is posturing, and we don't know what is or isn't intentional, and there are so many other factors that it would be hard to pin down any one deciding factor in how anything plays out, at least not for a couple years.

/shrug
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Re: US/North Korea Talks Proposed

Postby iMURDAu » Fri Jun 01, 2018 2:01 pm

I'm just wondering if dude that had dinner with Pompeo wore a breathing apparatus so he didn't aspirate on the fresh air of freedom.
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