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The North Korea Problem

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I’m unconvinced this will ever get passed the hype phase. Trump cares more about a few good media cycles than actual progress on the Korean Peninsula, IMO.

Also... Lots of media buzz coupled with walking away from promises seems to be this admins M.O. on many topics. 

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8 hours ago, iNow said:

I’m unconvinced this will ever get passed the hype phase. Trump cares more about a few good media cycles than actual progress on the Korean Peninsula, IMO.

Also... Lots of media buzz coupled with walking away from promises seems to be this admins M.O. on many topics. 

This is very true. Trump recent retreat on gun control after boasting about the NRA not having influence over him is an example of that. Assuming Trump and Jong-un do meet I fear Trump may casually make several promises with regards to trade, sanctions, the U.N. and etc that he won't keep. Outside of that though, Trump being vacuous and untrustworthy, I don't mind world leaders sitting down to talk. In this case I hope China, Russia, South Korea, and Japan are all participating in the meeting.

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I find it hilarious that you would single out D Trump as vacuous and untrustworthy in a meeting between him and Kim Jong Un .

Edited by MigL

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I'm sure they will get on like a house on fire.

As long as it doesn't turn into a planet on fire. (I can imagine the two of them daring each other to be the first to "press the button".)

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11 minutes ago, MigL said:

I find it hilarious that you would single out D Trump as vacuous and untrustworthy in a meeting between him and Kim Jong Un .

Who would have thought that such hilarity would be played out in the real world?

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3 hours ago, MigL said:

I find it hilarious that you would single out D Trump as vacuous and untrustworthy in a meeting between him and Kim Jong Un .

He is the one who represents me (a U.S. Citizen) and not Kim Jong-un. I find it silly you'd need that clarification as if how evil Kim is somehow matters in context to Trump's ineptitude and my concerns for the way he manages the diplomacy in part on my behalf. 

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That's us, silly and hilarious.

D Trump doesn't represent me, I'm Canadian.
And as an objective observer, I know who is the bigger whack job of the two.

Lets try to keep that in mind.

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13 hours ago, MigL said:

That's us, silly and hilarious.

D Trump doesn't represent me, I'm Canadian.
And as an objective observer, I know who is the bigger whack job of the two.

Lets try to keep that in mind.

The U.S. Sec of State was fired yesterday, via twitter no less, and there doesn't appear to be anyone who is a subject matter expert on North Korea working with Trump. Yet you feel it is important here is to focus on Jong-un as the "bigger whack job"? That dichotomy is true for Trump vs Assad,  Rouhani, and many other dictators around the world. President of the United States is arguable the most influential position in the world. Supreme leader of North Korea isn't. Having even a slightly below average POTUS can create more trouble around the world economically and militarily than have a "whack job" in charge of North Korea. The U.S. currently has troops in 150 countries around the world. U.S. soldiers are currently actively involved in combat in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Yemen. North Korea currently doesn't have any foreign deployed combat troops. North Korea. It is important, to you, that I note Kim Jong-un is the "bigger whack job" though because that is what matters here. It is North Korea who set the agenda and has the greatest opportunity for influencing the world? POTUS and Leader of North Korea are contextual equals so I need to stop picking on Trump and make it clear Kim is the dotard here?  

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15 hours ago, MigL said:

That's us, silly and hilarious.

D Trump doesn't represent me, I'm Canadian.
And as an objective observer, I know who is the bigger whack job of the two.

Lets try to keep that in mind.

Let's wait and see, personally, I wouldn't bet more than I can afford to lose either way.

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D Trump will be gone in a couple of years ( hopefully sooner, if impeached ), Ten oz.
Kim Jong In will be around for a long time.

V Putin also seems to have found a way to 'stick around'.
As has now Xi Jinping, and many other dictators in all but name.
( even D Trump has mused about it, hopefully you guys will get rid of him before he gets serious about it )

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22 minutes ago, MigL said:

D Trump will be gone in a couple of years ( hopefully sooner, if impeached ), Ten oz.
Kim Jong In will be around for a long time.

That is no reason to ignore the present. War can happen between now and a couple of years. What the current leader of the free world is up to matters. Trump entering into one on one talks with North Korea without Japan, South Korea, or China directly involved at a time when he doesn't even have a Sec. of State to perform outreach to our allies is problematic.  I shouldn't need to first demagogue Kim Jung-un to point out that Trump probably (certainly in my opinion) isn't competent enough for this. Kim Jung-un is a bad person who kills his own people but that does make Trump any less vacuous and untrustworthy. As a matter of fact vacuous and untrustworthy aren't adjectives I would use for Kim Jong-un at all. Kim Jung-un is a murderer.

The analogy here is a police negotiator and a madman with hostages. Do we send in a police negotiator known to be vacuous and untrustworthy or not? 

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OK, now that you've explained yourself a little better, I concede, you are right.

As Swansont once said...
"Sometimes it's not about winning the argument, it's about making it better."

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13 hours ago, MigL said:

OK, now that you've explained yourself a little better, I concede, you are right.

As Swansont once said...
"Sometimes it's not about winning the argument, it's about making it better."

It isn't really a right or wrong thing. More of a agree or disagree thing. We mostly agree. How is Trump handling talks with your reps:

Quote

President Trump boasted in a fundraising speech Wednesday that he made up information in a meeting with the leader of a top U.S. ally, saying he insisted to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the United States runs a trade deficit with its neighbor to the north without knowing whether that was the case.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2018/03/14/in-fundraising-speech-trump-says-he-made-up-facts-in-meeting-with-justin-trudeau/?utm_term=.480ae0f3c558

Later in the same speech Trump complained about South Korea and implied the U.S.could remove troops from the region if South Korea doesn't give him what he wants on trade. I can't wrap my head around how threatening to remove troops from the border separating North and South Korea ahead of one on one talks with Kim Jung-un is a good idea. Kim Jung-un is a killer who'd execute any number of his own people just for good luck ahead of one on one talks if it tickle his fancy. Trump can not just fudge facts and make causal threats & promises the way he has with Trudeau, people will get killed. 

In my opinion Trump needs to first sit down with South Korea and Japan and hammer out a clear and transparent position. Something that provides security for South and Japan while giving North Korea a carrot. Then that transparent position needs to shared with China so no one is caught off guard. After that due diligence and with South Korea, Japan, and China diplomats in toe Trump can sit down and chat with Kim Jong-un. 

*Russia may want in on the talks also but in lieu of Russia's global election manipulation, poison attacks, and possible leverage over Trump himself it might be best for the U.S. not to involve Russia.   

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Most informed Canadians know that we have a trade deficit with the US, and just attribute it to D Trump shooting off his mouth without being informed.
We also know that several of our industries are 'protected' unfairly ( dairy farming in Quebec ??? ).

And yes I do agree that other involved parties should be at these talks ( Although Russia is quickly becoming a pariah ), if only to keep them somewhat sane.

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Canadian milk is protected because American milk contains a growth hormone somatotropin (also called bGH, rbGH, bST, or bST) which does not meet Canadian health standards. That's more of a scientific fact and a market choice than a regulation, albeit a science supported, market driven regulation. America can't force Canadians to buy/drink what they've broadly chosen not to drink, especially in the absence of labeling. I don't think "contains bovine growth steroids" sounds very inviting when advertised for sale alongside otherwise hormone-free products. Generally, American agriculture and ranching are way more subsidized than Canada.

47 minutes ago, MigL said:

We also know that several of our industries are 'protected' unfairly ( dairy farming in Quebec ??? )


But that's a discussion better suited for another thread.

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59 minutes ago, MigL said:

Most informed Canadians know that we have a trade deficit with the US, and just attribute it to D Trump shooting off his mouth without being informed.
We also know that several of our industries are 'protected' unfairly ( dairy farming in Quebec ??? ).

And yes I do agree that other involved parties should be at these talks ( Although Russia is quickly becoming a pariah ), if only to keep them somewhat sane.

More evidence that Trump has no idea what he's talking about much of the time. Most economists don't worry over trade deficits, and they aren't the problem Trump thinks they are. They only SEEM unfair to someone looking only at the surface, with no understanding of the depth of economic complexities. IOW, they're mostly cable news fodder to get listeners outraged over nothing. 

Trump will bring that same shallow lack of understanding to talks with NK, and he's also ensured that his State Dept will now openly be seen as an extension of the CIA (which I'm told by DC folks has always been a problem, but now the gloves are off). I don't see this ending well for the US. Trump and Kim have competing goals since both need to be seen as the stronger. I see Trump giving away too much and then lying about how great a deal he made, OR he shuts the talks down by being too hardline, OR he becomes "impressed" with Kim (there's going to be TANKS, ffs!) and how he's handled things in the face of so much adversity and we end up with Trump convincing half the country that Kim, like Putin, is a strong leader to be admired.

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12 hours ago, Ten oz said:

In my opinion Trump needs to first sit down with South Korea and Japan and hammer out a clear and transparent position. Something that provides security for South and Japan while giving North Korea a carrot. Then that transparent position needs to shared with China so no one is caught off guard. After that due diligence and with South Korea, Japan, and China diplomats in toe Trump can sit down and chat with Kim Jong-un.

Not one step in that (very sensible plan) corresponds to how Trump rolls.

2 hours ago, Phi for All said:

OR he becomes "impressed" with Kim (there's going to be TANKS, ffs!) and how he's handled things in the face of so much adversity and we end up with Trump convincing half the country that Kim, like Putin, is a strong leader to be admired.

I would be willing to put money on that as a possible outcome.

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1 hour ago, Strange said:

I would be willing to put money on that as a possible outcome.

Me, too. Sad!

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Does anyone know what the common attitude the North Korean people have towards South Korea?  I heard in a CNN documentary of a US journalist traveling in North Korea asked a North Korean soldier what he thought of South Korea and he said they want to LIBERATE South Korea.  That was the word "liberate".  Are North Koreans taught the South has it worse than they do and they need to liberate the south for their own good?  That seems to be a major disconnect with reality.  If the North Koreans learned the truth about the South, would they want to join the South or keep their leader, Kim?

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Since "common attitude" is usually determined by an opinion poll, even better by kind of election, I would be surprised if it was known. As for the NK soldier anecdote, it might as well be close to reality, but one swallow does not make spring.

While there seems to be a major disconnect with reality indeed, if we were to go by historical parallel Deutsche Demokratische Republik - Bundesrepublik Deutschland, it is perhaps quite possible that Koreans are still one nation with all perks that come with it. 

I would even think that many, if not majority, of NKs are aware of "the truth", just they can't do anything about it.  

Edited by tuco

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17 hours ago, Airbrush said:

Does anyone know what the common attitude the North Korean people have towards South Korea?  I heard in a CNN documentary of a US journalist traveling in North Korea asked a North Korean soldier what he thought of South Korea and he said they want to LIBERATE South Korea.  That was the word "liberate".  Are North Koreans taught the South has it worse than they do and they need to liberate the south for their own good?  That seems to be a major disconnect with reality.  If the North Koreans learned the truth about the South, would they want to join the South or keep their leader, Kim?

I would imagine with a hint of jealousy (especially during the famines), as for the soldier I can't imagine he'd go on record saying anything derogatory about his country, perhaps his tone wasn't good enough and he was filmed trying to escape to the south.

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21 hours ago, tuco said:

....I would even think that many, if not majority, of NKs are aware of "the truth", just they can't do anything about it.  

How much of the "truth" about the outside world do you think a population can know, when they are totally controlled by an authoritarian media system?  The average person may detect inconsistencies or undeniable falsehoods in what they are told.  It would make them wonder.  They may be suspicious, but more importantly in overwhelming fear of death or being sent to prison for life, along with all their relatives, if they don't ACT well.  They must learn to have a good poker face, and learn to emote, cry or cheer, on cue.  To be a good actor is for simple survival.

Certainly the North Korean soldier told CNN exactly what he was TOLD to say.  Does he really believe that the South needs to be liberated by the North? 

Is there a campaign by Southerners to sneak DVDs about life in the South, into the North, using helium balloons and other means?

Edited by Airbrush

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I can only assume as I noted.

Such assumption is based, again, on drawing a historical parallel from personal experience from a country belonging to the Soviet Bloc during the late 80's. People were able to receive a terrestrial radio broadcast from the West (RadioFreeEurope) or even television broadcast if they lived near the border with Austria or West Germany. In addition, various printed materials were available to an admittedly small group of people, which were either smuggled in from the West or printed in small editions by individuals. At that time satellite broadcast was not available nor was the internet so I would assume access to information could be somehow easier than in 80's. 

For more see: 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radio_jamming_in_Korea

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_in_North_Korea

However, from the little I know about NK the disconnect, you mentioned, there seems to be much greater than it was in the former Soviet Bloc, so it's hard to tell how informed NK populace really is. 

The system, in the former Soviet Bloc, let's say from 70's was not held in place mainly by propaganda but by power - secret police, Soviet military, legal system. 

Edited by tuco

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This is the closest discussion of North Korea.  Now N. Korea released 3 hostages.  Interesting that all 3 of the hostages have "Kim" in their name.  Welcome back guys!  How did they get captured in the first place?  I heard Trump welcoming them off their plane.  It required an interpreter.  So these Americans did not even speak English?

To me it looks like Kim wants Trump to stay in office because Kim thinks Trump is a Bozo-the-Clown "dotard".  Kim will try to give Trump ENOUGH of a "WIN" to give the GOP a chance in the midterm elections and therefore avoid Trump's impeachment after the midterms.  Or at least that could be Kim's strategy, to make Trump look good.

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3 hours ago, Airbrush said:

This is the closest discussion of North Korea.  Now N. Korea released 3 hostages.  Interesting that all 3 of the hostages have "Kim" in their name. 

In much the same way it might be interesting to have unrelated hostages released from the US who were all named Jones.

3 hours ago, Airbrush said:

How did they get captured in the first place?

By the authorities, for "hostile acts".

3 hours ago, Airbrush said:

To me it looks like...

Science discussion site! We need some evidence to elevate your guesswork, otherwise you're just a political crackpot.

You can support your speculations with some better background info. Kim has a set of goals his family has been trying to achieve, and pretty much everything he's done falls in line with them. 

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