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N Korea and the Donald

 
 
Reply Fri 9 Mar, 2018 06:48 am
I admit I don't expect much from the proposed meeting between he and Kim, but if he should work a miracle I will be forced to say "Well done." I personally think he will push for more concessions than Kim is willing to grant, because I can't see him granting American concessions in return.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 14 • Views: 4,291 • Replies: 152

 
rosborne979
 
  2  
Reply Fri 9 Mar, 2018 07:06 am
@edgarblythe,
Prepare to hear a lot of pretty talk and to see a lot of flashy headlines. But don't expect anything to actually change.
McGentrix
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 9 Mar, 2018 08:06 am
Is this the latest meeting of the Democratic Optimist Liberation Tribunal?

So much positivity going on here.
edgarblythe
 
  3  
Reply Fri 9 Mar, 2018 08:15 am
@McGentrix,
And you had to sully the whole event. Perhaps you need more fiber in your diet.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Fri 9 Mar, 2018 08:16 am
@rosborne979,
Yes, but we can hope. There are several trends moving in the right direction. There is a pro-detente government in S. Korea, N. Korea has effectively completed its nuclear program and feels it can sit at the table as an equal, international sanctions have been working and Trump's hard line threats are a language that N. Korea understands. (On the downside, we don't have a S. Korean ambassador and Pence's Olympic performance did not draw rave local reviews from the locals.) If Trump sets realistic expectations, I think he can do something here. If he thinks he's going to get de-nuclearization, I doubt he's going to get anywhere, but if his team is thinking outside the box, I think he could accomplish something, maybe something big.
oralloy
 
  -4  
Reply Fri 9 Mar, 2018 08:24 am
@engineer,
engineer wrote:
If Trump sets realistic expectations, I think he can do something here. If he thinks he's going to get de-nuclearization, I doubt he's going to get anywhere, but if his team is thinking outside the box, I think he could accomplish something, maybe something big.

Without denuclearization the world needs to keep crushing North Korea with sanctions.

Just how much is North Korea going to offer if they don't get sanctions relief in return?
0 Replies
 
hightor
 
  5  
Reply Fri 9 Mar, 2018 08:32 am
@McGentrix,
Quote:
So much positivity going on here.

I think it's called "realism"!

It's pretty much unprecedented for a meeting between the leaders of two countries with a long adversarial history to be announced before extensive preliminary negotiations between lower-ranking diplomats and specialists have taken place. There are good reasons for this. Especially since the DPRK has skilled and experienced diplomats while our own State Department has undergone a loss of people, status, and morale.

The DPRK has long demanded the denuclearization of the peninsula as a precondition for normalization of political relations. By pursuing the development of its own nuclear force the DPRK has broken the stalemate, forcing Washington into direct talks between heads of state.

EDIT: adding this from a post blatham made —

Quote:

Or put another way, Trump has agreed to give Kim Jong-un exactly what he wants. North Korean leaders have sought this kind of meeting for decades because it would necessarily elevate the rogue state: it would show the world that North Korea's leader can be treated as an equal by the Leader of the Free World. Previous American presidents - from both parties -- have left open the possibility of such engagement, but only as a reward for meaningful and tangible results.


rosborne979
 
  3  
Reply Fri 9 Mar, 2018 02:10 pm
North Korea's goal has always been to be treated as a nuclear power. They have achieved that goal. A meeting with a US President will only solidify that position. So this is good for them, with no real downside.

President Trump loves to make headlines, so this is also good for him with little short-term downside. There is a long-term downside for the US of course, but I don't think Pres Trump is much concerned with long-term strategy or planning.

All both sides need to do to get what they want is to meet and talk and say it was productive. North Korea solidifies its position as a nuclear player (legitimized on the global stage), and Trump gets to make big spashy headlines.

On the bright side, I don't think there was ever going to be any good solution to this problem. And a Gigantic waste of time, blustering self-indulgent political dog-and-pony show is better than bullets flying.
oralloy
 
  -3  
Reply Fri 9 Mar, 2018 02:15 pm
@rosborne979,
rosborne979 wrote:
North Korea's goal has always been to be treated as a nuclear power. They have achieved that goal.

Have they? They won't have the sanctions lifted until they give up their illegal nukes.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Mar, 2018 02:17 pm
There was an NK expert on the BBC earlier today. He was warning against unrealistic expectations. NK negotiators move in inches, a little bit here and there, minor concessions. Also these sort of negotiations are normally preceded by two months of diplomats ironing out about 60-80% of the items before the leaders even meet.

The fear is that Trump and King Jong Un will hate each other and set things back even worse than before.

Not saying that will happen, but it's a very real possibility.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  1  
Reply Fri 9 Mar, 2018 06:46 pm
Opinion piece on the BBC website.

Quote:
US-North Korea talks: What could happen now?

US President Donald Trump has accepted an invitation to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in what appears to be a breakthrough after months of insults, threats and mutual hostility.

It could happen as early as May which leaves little time to get things organised, from venues to core negotiations. So it's perhaps not surprising that there are many questions about what happens next.

How historic is this?

The talks would be unprecedented, marking the first face-to-face meeting between sitting leaders of North Korea and the US. Former US presidents have met North Korean leaders before, but they were all out of office at that point.

"The [significance of this] could almost be compared to President Nixon meeting China's Chairman Mao, to a lesser degree," analyst Michael Madden of the US-Korea Institute at Johns Hopkins SAIS told the BBC.

What do we know about the actual meeting?

Not much. The White House has confirmed that Trump will meet Kim "by May", but an exact time and location is yet to be determined.

According to Mr Madden, there's a "speculative chance" that the meeting might take place at the North Korean truce village of Panmunjom, which sits at the demilitarised zone between the North and the South.

However, Dr John Park of the Korea Working Group says that he believes the meeting might instead be held "in a neutral location". This could be in China or elsewhere.

This is the first time the US has been in direct talks with North Korea about its nuclear program since 2012. Kim Jong-un has never met another foreign leader until now, though he is scheduled to meet South Korean leader Moon Jae-in in April at Panmunjom.

What will be discussed?

Denuclearisation will undoubtedly be the biggest issue that the meeting will hope to address.

But while Mr Kim says he is "committed to denuclearisation", North Korea has not yet promised to abandon its nuclear weapons completely.

"The US will be pushing for total denuclearisation and South Korea has also said that it is their main objective," said Bruce Bennett, an analyst at the RAND Corporation.

"But it's important to remember that Mr Kim has said over and over again that they will not give up their nuclear weapons."

Other points that might be brought up are: US pushing for Americans held in Pyongyang to be brought home, North Korea looking for recognition as a nuclear-capable state and a possible peace treaty being signed.

"A peace treaty would give North Korea reassurance and deprive them of one of the key rationales behind their nuclear program [that they have to defend themselves]," said Mr Madden.

But one of the terms of a potential peace treaty could be the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea, a move which could prove deeply problematic.

"I think Mr Kim anticipates that if a peace treaty is signed, that after say 10 years most of the US troops in South Korea could be withdrawn," said Mr Bennett.

"Then maybe if later on he then wanted to forcefully reunify South Korea, [it would be easier] as the US troops would be gone. This would be the safest way to reach his objective."

What will happen to sanctions?

Analysts agree that it is hard to predict the extent to which sanctions will be lifted or eased, adding that it is dependent on how successful the talks are.

"North Korea is definitely looking for sanctions relief, that will be a key demand of theirs," said Mr Bennett. "The question is, would we lift sanctions in an incremental manner or are we going to insist on total denuclearisation before we lift?"

Mr Bennett also believes that the harsh sanctions placed on North Korea had real effect in bringing them to the table.

"There were reports that North Korea was going to possibly run out of hard currency by this October. So I think the campaign was really causing some pain in the North."

What would a successful meeting look like?

A successful meeting would see an "agreement" being signed by all parties, according to Mr Madden.

"If they can reach a point that has certain tangible achievements, like North Korea agreeing to a freeze in nuclear test activities and letting international inspectors in to the country to view their nuclear facilities that would be a success," said Mr Madden.

But Mr Bennett argues that it is more likely that both sides would reach a compromise where they had "given things up but also gained".

What is the worst case scenario?

"The worst case scenario is North Korea walking out of talks and claiming it's because Trump is being totally unresponsive and the US is being difficult," said Mr Bennett.
But a more plausible scenario is the US and North Korea simply failing to make any progress at all.

"I call it the 'kick the can down the road' policy, we just delay discussing this until further down the line with another US President," said Mr Bennett.

"By say 2030, North Korea could have 200 nuclear weapons and what happens then if they force the South to surrender? If we kick the can again we're going to have a bigger problem a few years down the road."


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-43340272
oralloy
 
  -4  
Reply Fri 9 Mar, 2018 07:09 pm
@izzythepush,
Quote:
"By say 2030, North Korea could have 200 nuclear weapons and what happens then if they force the South to surrender? If we kick the can again we're going to have a bigger problem a few years down the road."

Put a hundred American tactical nukes in South Korea (with their permission of course). Tell North Korea and China that they'll be removed only when North Korea gives up their illegal nuclear weapons.

We're coming out with a really nifty tactical nuke with low yields and unprecedented accuracy. The yields and accuracy are such that they can be used to strike military targets with minimal collateral damage. They may become the first nuke that is truly usable without risk of escalation to a large-scale nuclear war.

http://fas.org/blogs/security/2013/09/b61-12holland/
http://fas.org/blogs/security/2013/10/b61-12hearing/
http://fas.org/blogs/security/2014/01/b61capability/
http://fas.org/blogs/security/2014/02/b61-12pictures/
http://fas.org/blogs/security/2014/03/b61-12integration/
http://fas.org/blogs/security/2014/04/b61-12features/
http://fas.org/blogs/security/2015/11/b61-12_cartwright/
http://fas.org/blogs/security/2016/01/b61-12_earth-penetration/
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 12 Mar, 2018 04:31 am
@oralloy,
I believe the Russians once tried that in Cuba.
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  0  
Reply Mon 12 Mar, 2018 07:25 am
I think if Trump had followed previous administrations’ tactics, we’d have paid off Kim once again—I’m glad we didn’t.

I appreciated that South Korea and China were brought in by the Trump administration to work with us.

As has been said, there is room for error at the meeting, but I like what has happened so far.

I feel that Trump has been warned about scenarios that should predicate his immediate departure from this proposed meeting. Normally, I’m concerned about Trump’s ego playing into negotiations, but I see him saying that he has no idea what the outcome may be—since he’s downplaying the results, hopefully he’ll stand firm on laser-tight issues and not digress into button measuring.

If Kim is playing this straight, I expect a positive outcome.
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  -2  
Reply Wed 14 Mar, 2018 12:19 am
@hightor,
You continue to peddle the standard fare from career diplomats and foreign policy media hacks.

All of the standard diplomatic operating procedures have been followed in the past with North Korea (and for that matter the Palestinians) and what have been the results? Kim is on the verge of being able to strike any city in the US with a nuclear warhead.

This is certainly not to say that an alternative approach will work, but what's that definition of insanity that involves trying the same thing over and over and expecting a different result each time?

As for Kim already achieving a win? Another Foggy Bottom canard.

World leaders across the globe have now reconsidered their assessment of NK as a rogue state and the Kim regime a despotic dictatorship because Donald Trump announced he is willing to meet with doughy Dear Leader? I doubt it. And if Trump had not made the announcement these very same leaders would not take nuclear-armed North Korea as a serious threat?

What makes you think NK has skilled diplomats? Read that in the Economist? They are a global pariah and the only nations that they have been "negotiating" with are fellow rogue states like Iran. Their "experience" in negotiating with the US and South Korea consists entirely of bad faith and lying. Perhaps in that regard, they are skilled because they've managed to snooker at least three administrations in a row, and get paid to continue their development of offensive nuclear capabilities.

Career diplomats are bleating about Trump having just raised the status of North Korea while at the same time they speak of the regime as a canny actor on the world stage that will run rings around an American president and his team. Not only are they elevating NK to an equal footing with the US they are suggesting that footing will prove superior.

I hold very little hope for any talks, and I'm not at all certain that they will even take place, but the only way anything positive can come from them is if Kim thinks Trump is wild enough to start a war that will hurt us and our allies in the region much more but will destroy him and his dynasty.

engineer
 
  6  
Reply Wed 14 Mar, 2018 07:32 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

You continue to peddle the standard fare from career diplomats and foreign policy media hacks.

If I want my teeth worked on, I go to an experienced dentist. If I want to conduct diplomacy, I look to experienced diplomats.
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

All of the standard diplomatic operating procedures have been followed in the past with North Korea (and for that matter the Palestinians) and what have been the results?

Well, there was the Agreed Framework that was working decently well until Bush made his Axis of Evil speech and blew it up. (Of course, there is some debate there with parties saying N. Korea was not honoring it, but the reality is that it all went down the drain pretty fast after Bush ignored his diplomats and went with his speech writers.)
Finn dAbuzz wrote:

I hold very little hope for any talks, and I'm not at all certain that they will even take place, but the only way anything positive can come from them is if Kim thinks Trump is wild enough to start a war that will hurt us and our allies in the region much more but will destroy him and his dynasty.

I doubt Kim thinks that way, but I think there is an opportunity here. On the Trump side, a major deal with N. Korea would make Trump a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. Yes, it really would. My guess is Trump would value that greatly. Also just like it "took Nixon to go to China", it will likely take Trump to go to N. Korea. If Trump were to make the exact same deal that Obama would have made, the reception in Congress will be completely different. Those favoring a military solution may be dismayed, but they won't rise up like they did over Obama's Iran deal. The same dynamic came into play with Reagan and the USSR. Conservatives were skeptical, but they weren't going to lay down in the road. On the Kim side, he has what he wants. N. Korea is a nuclear power with demonstrated ICBM capability. That puts them is a pretty exclusive club. Israel, India and Pakistan haven't demonstrated ICBM capability. They are in a much better place to negotiate as an equal with S. Korea and the US. S. Korea is also in a reconciliation mode. You can make a parallel with Germany in that Korea is one country, artificially separated.

If Trump goes in big, trying to negotiate a full settlement to the Korean War, he might win big. By full settlement, I mean acceptance of N. Korea as a nuclear power, normalization of relations between the Koreas, removal of the DMZ, removal of US troops from S. Korea, removal of N. Korean troops and artillery from the border, no support for terrorist organizations from the North, easing of sanctions upon verification of terms, he could do something. If his point is "you must denuclearize before we discuss anything further", nothing is going to happen.
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Wed 14 Mar, 2018 08:11 am
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.washingtonpost.com/amphtml/news/fact-checker/wp/2017/08/09/history-lesson-why-did-bill-clintons-north-korea-deal-fail/

A Clinton-leaning, but otherwise pretty straightforward, blow by blow of American twaddling in NK.

There’s plenty of bipartisan blame to go around, however. Here’s a quick summary of what happened. (Note: Glenn Kessler covered the collapse of the Clinton deal and subsequent efforts to negotiate a nuclear deal with Pyongyang as The Washington Post’s diplomatic correspondent from 2002-2011.)
0 Replies
 
Finn dAbuzz
 
  -1  
Reply Wed 14 Mar, 2018 08:31 am
@engineer,
Quote:
If I want my teeth worked on, I go to an experienced dentist. If I want to conduct diplomacy, I look to experienced diplomats


With each new and significant advance in dental medicine, there were plenty of old-school dentists sticking to what they knew best.

Experience is most often a highly valuable commodity, but I'm sure you have experienced individuals who have been at their game for decades, but rather than having 40 years of experience, have one year's experience repeated 40 times.

Chances are you would have had the same response if I substituted "military officers" for "diplomats" and "national security" for "foreign policy," but the world history of war is one of most generals fighting the current war as if was the previous one and the victors being those who threw out the book and innovated according to the circumstances at hand.
engineer
 
  5  
Reply Wed 14 Mar, 2018 08:47 am
@Finn dAbuzz,
There are a lot of generals over the years who threw out the book and then got slaughtered. We don't hear much about them. There are a lot who used their experience and succeeded. History generally treats them kindly. There seems to be a trend these days of dismissing experience out of hand, ignoring scientists on technical issues, ignoring diplomats during negotiations, ignoring business professionals and economists on trade issues, etc. If Trump wants to stretch existing techniques in new directions and push diplomats to think outside their preexisting boxes, great. If he wants to "throw out the book" and ignore those with experience in a culture that he doesn't understand, I think he is going to fail spectacularly. You need to understand the book (or at least have those around you who do) before you can decide that it is not relevant.
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sun 6 May, 2018 06:36 pm
I've been reading over this thread again. Engineer says pretty much what I think needs said for now.
0 Replies
 
 

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