Lion of the Blogosphere

North Korea

What previous presidents did DID NOT WORK. It just dug us into a deeper hole.

But everyone really likes the status quo, so any hint that Trump is changing how it approaches the North Korea problem causes everyone to throw fits.

The previous rulers of North Korea never believed they were in danger of a first strike from previous U.S. presidents. If Kim Jong-un believes that Trump is different, then he might change his behavior. But given that after Trump threatened “fire and fury”, the Kim Jong-un government released details about an alleged planned attack on Guam, I don’t think the gambit worked. (It should be pointed out that Guam is 2000 miles from North Korea, and Kim Jong-un doesn’t have the military capability to strike Guam unless they have finally have long-range nuclear missiles, which they are supposed to not have yet.)

We must remember that Kim Jung-un does NOT think like a liberal in the United States. It’s hard to predict what he would do. North Korea has already demonstrated that it doesn’t care enough about its own people starving to death in order to lose face and become a more normal country.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

August 9, 2017 at 7:50 am

Posted in International

54 Responses

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  1. Why can’t an American drone locate him and kaboom?

    Kim is basically an extension of the Chinese-US geopolitical sphere (the Chinese (and I assume all of Asia) secretly disdain the coca prola presence in the Pacific and NKorea is their strongman in response to it).

    JS

    August 9, 2017 at 9:09 am

  2. Trump on North Korea from 1999, maybe earlier.

    Rifleman

    August 9, 2017 at 9:09 am

  3. Kim Jong Un is more or less Michael Corleone: the younger son who was never expected to amount to much, now shown to be no less ruthless and coldly calculating than his father. He even killed his Fredo (the derpy older brother who went against the family).

    His goal is to retain power, and to perhaps pass power to his offspring if he has any. Also to stroke his ego, but he seems to have enough future orientation to see that the best way to stroke his ego is to retain power.

    This isn’t rocket science –these have always been the primary goals of all politicians and leaders, except perhaps for those monarchs with no interest in ruling, in which case it was the goal of their ministers. Some politicians have more of a conscience than others, but every politician compromises the good in some way to secure power.

    The Kims are just taking the traditional path of the stationary bandit (see Mancur Olson), only promoting the good of the people insofar as it makes North Korea a place worth ruling instead of a wasteland.

    The political leaders of “normal” countries have a tendency to lose power eventually. If normalizing NK decreases his odds of retaining power by even 5%, why should he do it?

    The Kims act somewhat crazier than Michael Corleone, but that’s because they’re coming from a position of weakness, and acting crazy is the dominant strategy in a game of chicken if your opponents are constrained from acting crazy (which politicians in democracies generally are).

    Trump is prepared to take the game of chicken further than nearly all Western politicians, and even his supporters aren’t entirely sure to what degree he’s crazy like a fox (4D chess) or just a bit nuts.

    Wency

    August 9, 2017 at 9:23 am

    • Also, to say we’ve dug ourselves into a deeper hole: what exactly has NK cost us? Almost nothing, other than the fact that we have chosen to spend more resources building up Guam. But that was our choice. We could easily leave Japan/SK to defend themselves, which they could easily do.

      My plan remains: disband our ground forces and scale back the Navy and Air Force, with an emphasis on preserving the nuclear deterrent.

      No one can save Seoul in the event of war, except perhaps with an overwhelmingly successful first strike, which will always be a big gamble. NK does not need nukes to destroy Seoul: it’s within range of heavily entrenched conventional artillery and rockets. And there is nothing we can extract from NK that is more valuable than Seoul, let alone whatever other damage they may be able to do.

      Wency

      August 9, 2017 at 10:02 am

    • Trump is prepared to take the game of chicken further than nearly all Western politicians, and even his supporters aren’t entirely sure to what degree he’s crazy like a fox (4D chess) or just a bit nuts.

      He’s not insane because his goal is rational.

      It’s unlikely Kim wants a nuclear war. What he wants is an ICBM capability that he can use to shield him from American retaliation from more aggressive actions. If he has functional ICBMs he can – without actually using them – increase his chances of successfully blackmailing the US, South Korea, and Japan into economic and military concessions, his navy could hold for ransom the significant number of merchant ships around Northeast Asia, etc. etc.

      The Undiscovered Jew

      August 9, 2017 at 3:21 pm

      • “His navy could hold for ransom…”

        Couldn’t the Soviets have done the same thing? And they were in a much stronger position to do so; if we retaliated massively, they’d do the same. But we had the dominant naval position, and any actions would be met tit-for-tat. Either we won, or there was escalation and nobody won. So they had nothing to win from such a strategy. Kim, coming from a position of weakness, has even less to gain from pushing things too far.

        But when the question is the survival of his regime, he does not have any incentive to back down. And that’s why he’s willing to push the line much harder when it comes to his nuclear program than he would when it came to his hypothetical naval piracy program.

        If you assume that Kim values holding onto power above all else, as appears to be the case, would you predict him to behave any differently with regards to securing nukes?

        Kim doesn’t know if his threat to Seoul is enough to deter the U.S. from attacking him (a fact that also worries South Korea), so he wants more insurance. Modeling U.S. foreign policy is pretty tough. A group of Saudis based in Afghanistan attacked us, so we invaded Iraq against the objections of most of the West. We promised Gaddafi that we would normalize relations if he abandoned his nuke program, then we killed him and handed his country over to our true enemies the first opportunity we got.

        If I were Kim, I’d feel like I couldn’t have enough insurance against unpredictable and inexplicable American aggression.

        Wency

        August 9, 2017 at 5:37 pm

      • If he has functional ICBMs he can –

        YUGE miscalculation.

        ICBM + nukes = North Korea is going down.

        Rifleman

        August 9, 2017 at 8:38 pm

      • If I were Kim, I’d feel like I couldn’t have enough insurance against unpredictable and inexplicable American aggression.

        True but his “insurance” is actually close to a guarantee of US aggression that will end his regime.

        NK calculates the US is willing to pay the price of South Korean civilian deaths. Just like Iraq’s.

        So NK thinks it needs to put US civilians in the cross-hairs to protect NK.

        But that calculation is wrong.

        The right calculation is for NK to mimic South Korea and become a modern capitalist state.

        But they wont because that would be the end of the Kim family cult.

        Rifleman

        August 9, 2017 at 8:44 pm

      • Couldn’t the Soviets have done the same thing? And they were in a much stronger position to do so; if we retaliated massively, they’d do the same.

        Yes, and the Soviets were an extremely hostile adversary because their nuclear arsenal shielded them from retaliation, provided they remained within a certain American risk tolerance threshold.

        The difference between Soviet aggression and North Korean aggression is that the USSR was playing a global game against the US while North Korea would have to start with regional aggressions; if not piracy around the Sea of Japan then some other type of menace. For the Soviets, piracy would have been little league stuff. For Kim regional threats will be good enough.

        But the scale of their respective threats doesn’t change the principle that as North Korea’s arsenal becomes more dangerous their actions will become more dangerous.

        If you assume that Kim values holding onto power above all else, as appears to be the case, would you predict him to behave any differently with regards to securing nukes?

        In an article on my blog tomorrow I am going to examine if he can back down.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        August 9, 2017 at 9:09 pm

  4. I do think the Sony hack as extremely amusing.

    Awesome Heir should go back to that.

    Lion o' the Turambar

    August 9, 2017 at 10:26 am

  5. My thoughts on North Korea: https://nationalistperspective.wordpress.com/2017/08/08/war-with-north-korea/

    Also, Lion, thought you would enjoy this: “Is it acceptable or even positive to attack Trump from the right?”

    https://nationalistperspective.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/is-it-acceptable-or-even-positive-to-attack-trump-from-the-right/

    nationalistperspective

    August 9, 2017 at 10:59 am

    • You say, “Yeah, shit might go down there.” You don’t say whether or not we SHOULD fuck ’em up. Should we or shouldn’t we? I say yes, because people that threaten us should get fucked up. And if Seoul’s in the way, too bad for Seoul.

      Garr

      August 9, 2017 at 3:15 pm

  6. In 1994 the Clinton administration negotiated the “Agreed Framework” with the immediate goal of freezing and replacing North Korea’s nuclear power pants. The long term goal was to normalize relations between the US and North Korea and to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula.

    North Korea shut down their graphite-moderated nuclear reactors and placed them under IAEA monitoring. All plutonium was placed in locked storage under IAEA monitoring. The US agreed to provide oil for heating and electricity generation in the short term to replace the shut down nuclear reactors and to build two light water reactors (LWR) to replace them. The LWR are very difficult to use to produce nuclear weapons.

    The Agreed Framework was not a treaty or executive agreement. It did not need to be ratified by Congress. Shortly after the treaty was signed, Republicans took control of Congress and they hated the agreement. They refused to allocate all the money to pay for the promised oil or to build the LWR. The Clinton administration had to scramble and get money through the UN. Oil deliveries were late. Construction of the LWR was very slow to get started. Construction of the first LWR finally started in Aug 2002.

    NK had expected relations to be normalized and sanctions lifted under this agreement. By 1999 there was no sign this was going to happen and they began to threaten to restart their nuclear program.

    In January of 2002 state of the union address Bush included NK in the Axis of Evil. The Bush administration began to push for regime change in Iraq, another member of the axis of evil. In late 2002 the US got some intelligence that NK had started a uranium enrichment program. Technically, the agreed framework did not cover uranium enrichment, but it was not in the sprit or long term goals of the agreement. The US confronted NK about the uranium enrichment in late 2002. Oil deliveries were halted in December 2002. Construction of the LWRs which had just finally gotten started was also halted. NK restarted its plutonium reactors in Dec 2002. In January 2003 NK withdrew from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty.

    In NK mind, they gave negotiations with the US a chance, but the US did not live up to its obligation. It was late with oil shipments, reluctant to build the LWRs and refused to consider normalizing relations or lifting sanctions. They believe at this point NK needs nuclear weapons capable of reaching the US mainland for their nation security and nothing is going to change their mind at this point.

    mikeca

    August 9, 2017 at 11:16 am

    • That was a great propaganda speech. More recently, Dems gave freebies to Iran. Another country that got money and goodies while never intending to honor their side of the agreement. Dems even tried to prop up the Soviets during the cold war. Dems have a long history of giving freebies to America’s enemies. You’re natural born traitors.

      destructure

      August 9, 2017 at 2:10 pm

      • That is exactly what it is: giving freebies to America’s enemies. It’s never really explained why “de-nuclearizing” the Korean peninsula was necessary or why that necessitated propping up some Communist economy.

        map

        August 9, 2017 at 2:35 pm

      • The Republicans in Congress and the Bush administration criticized the agreed framework saying it rewarded bad behavior by NK.

        This is an argument, but you can’t always get what you want. The Bush administration used the uranium enrichment program to cancel the agreed framework, even though uranium enrichment was not really covered by the agreement.

        What did they expect would happen when they did that? Did they expect NK government to collapse?

        NK restarted its nuclear reactors and started reprocessing the plutonium they had in storage. Two years later NK declared they had nuclear weapons. In 2006 they conducted their first nuclear test.

        The agreed framework did not stop NK from creating a uranium enrichment program, but ripping up the agreed framework only made things worse.

        Ripping up the Iran nuclear deal will probably only make things worse. Iran will probably have nuclear weapons in 2 or 3 years after the agreement is canceled.

        I understand you don’t like the Iran deal, but explain how canceling it will produce a better outcome.

        mikeca

        August 9, 2017 at 2:40 pm

      • Shortly after the treaty was signed, Republicans took control of Congress and they hated the agreement. They refused to allocate all the money to pay for the promised oil or to build the LWR.

        That deal works only if we could have trusted North Korea to not cheat.

        Since there was no reason to trust them the best strategy for America was to attack the program in 1994 before they could develop a nuclear deterrent to shield them from the consequences of their actions. Now we are very likely going to have to attack them when they have regional nuclear capabilities before they develop intercontinental reach.

        Ripping up the Iran nuclear deal will probably only make things worse. Iran will probably have nuclear weapons in 2 or 3 years after the agreement is canceled.

        I understand you don’t like the Iran deal, but explain how canceling it will produce a better outcome.

        The Iranians are pushing the envelop of what they can get away with under the agreement.

        Here, as well, a military attack against their program before they build a nuclear deterrent is preferable. An Israeli or American attack would setback Iran’s program much more than 2 to 3 years. It would also be a fairly simple operation compared to would be needed in a fight with North Korea because Iran cannot retaliate as effectively as Kim can. The Israelis should be able to do it for us despite Iran being a bit at the outer end of Israel’s strike range.

        And if Iran rebuilds, we can just attack them again.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        August 9, 2017 at 3:34 pm

      • The Dem “solution” is to give our enemies free stuff and promise not to attack while they continue to develop nukes. Of course it’s worse.

        destructure

        August 9, 2017 at 5:39 pm

      • mikeca,

        And how do you know that North Korea would not have re-started their nuclear program anyway…only with the added benefit of a freshly-built light-water reactor and a huge surplus of stored oil, thanks to the Democratic Party?

        After all, notice how this stored plutonium was conveniently left in North Korea’s control so that the option of re-starting the nuclear program was always there. I suppose that was just a coincidence to you, right?

        map

        August 9, 2017 at 7:05 pm

      • “Since there was no reason to trust them the best strategy for America was to attack the program in 1994 before they could develop a nuclear deterrent to shield them from the consequences of their actions. Now we are very likely going to have to attack them when they have regional nuclear capabilities before they develop intercontinental reach.”

        Almost everyone believes there is no serious military option with NK. NK has thousands of artillery pieces within range of Seoul. They might use chemical shells. The estimate is that tens of thousands of people would be killed on the first day of a conflict with NK. That artillery could be taken out with an air campaign, but it would take several weeks and in that time Seoul would be devastated. NK also has many conventional missiles that could be use.

        A few hundred thousand South Korean casualties and the destruction of the South Korean economy would probably be the price of a strike on NK’s nuclear program.

        The US does not currently have anywhere near the forces needed to attack NK in the theater. It would take months to move those forces into the area and there is a significant chance NK would strike South Korea and US forces before all the forces got there.

        This has been true since the 1980s.

        “Here, as well, a military attack against their program before they build a nuclear deterrent is preferable. An Israeli or American attack would setback Iran’s program much more than 2 to 3 years. It would also be a fairly simple operation compared to would be needed in a fight with North Korea because Iran cannot retaliate as effectively as Kim can. The Israelis should be able to do it for us despite Iran being a bit at the outer end of Israel’s strike range.”

        Parts of the Iran nuclear program are deep underground. Difficult but not impossible to damage with air strikes. Not clear how long it would take Iran to rebuild those facilities. It would take a sustained attack over many days to seriously damage the program to the point it could not be quickly rebuilt.

        Iran has conventional missiles capable of reaching Israel. I would expect them to fire some of those missiles at Israel regardless of whether the US or Israel attacked their nuclear facilities. They might also try to close the Strait of Hormuz and disrupt oil shipments in the gulf.

        There is the issue of US forces in Iraq and Syria that might be captured or killed by Iran or others working with them.

        mikeca

        August 9, 2017 at 10:02 pm

      • “And how do you know that North Korea would not have re-started their nuclear program anyway…only with the added benefit of a freshly-built light-water reactor and a huge surplus of stored oil, thanks to the Democratic Party?”

        The LWR that were suppose to have been built are almost useless for producing nuclear weapons.

        Of course you don’t know if NK would not have restarted their nuclear program at some point, but it should have been obvious that they were going to restart it if the US canceled the agreement like it did.

        After canceling the Agreed Framework, the Bush administration tried to start some multi-way talks to end NK nuclear program but those talks went nowhere. The Obama administration seemed to adopt strategic patience. Trying to wait for NK to collapse on it own. That didn’t seem to work either. Information about the outside world is beginning to get into NK. It may collapse on its own, but nobody has any idea if or when that might happen.

        mikeca

        August 9, 2017 at 10:20 pm

      • “After all, notice how this stored plutonium was conveniently left in North Korea’s control so that the option of re-starting the nuclear program was always there. I suppose that was just a coincidence to you, right?”

        The Agreed Framework called for the stored plutonium to be removed from NK after the two LWR were operational. The target date for the LWrs was 2003, but the US dragged its feet about starting construction. It was not until August 2002 that construction was started and it was ended in Dec 2002 after the agreement collapsed.

        mikeca

        August 9, 2017 at 10:28 pm

      • The Agreed Framework called for the stored plutonium to be removed from NK after the two LWR were operational. The target date for the LWrs was 2003, but the US dragged its feet about starting construction. It was not until August 2002 that construction was started and it was ended in Dec 2002 after the agreement collapsed.

        So your position is America is the one that provoked North Korea?

        The Undiscovered Jew

        August 9, 2017 at 11:02 pm

      • “So your position is America is the one that provoked North Korea?”

        In 1993 NK threatened to withdraw from the nuclear nuclear non-proliferation treaty and become a nuclear power. The 1994 Agreed Framework kept NK in the nuclear non-proliferation treaty until 2003. It did not end NK nuclear program but It delayed it.

        NK expected that if they followed the agreement, the US would recognize NK and negotiate an end to the Korean war. I don’t think the agreement actually requires the US to do that, but NK was under the impression that would happen. By the late 90s it was clear it was never going to happen and that is when NK started talking about restarting its nuclear program. It may have been when they started the uranium enrichment program too.

        It was politically impossible for the Clinton or Bush administrations to give NK what they really wanted, which was recognition. It is unclear whether NK was ever willing to give the US what the it wanted, which was a permanent end to their nuclear program. When the Agreed Framework was canceled NK restarted and accelerated its nuclear program.

        mikeca

        August 9, 2017 at 11:50 pm

      • It was politically impossible for the Clinton or Bush administrations to give NK what they really wanted, which was recognition. It is unclear whether NK was ever willing to give the US what the it wanted, which was a permanent end to their nuclear program. When the Agreed Framework was canceled NK restarted and accelerated its nuclear program.

        If the odds of them giving up the program were poor then Clinton had a moral and strategic responsibility to act selfishly and attack North Korea.

        Not using force was negligence on his part as well as for Bush and Obama.

        The Undiscovered Jew

        August 10, 2017 at 2:56 pm

      • mikeca,

        “Of course you don’t know if NK would not have restarted their nuclear program at some point, but it should have been obvious that they were going to restart it if the US canceled the agreement like it did.”

        Why is it that every democrat “deal” with some hostile foreign power involves generous benefits to that power with very little to benefit the United States?

        Was it really that difficult to secure the NK plutonium stores before any transfers of fuel or building of LWR took place? If NK was serious about using plutonium for “civilian” uses only, then securing those plutonium stores ahead of time would have been easy.

        But…no…Democrats insist that the source of the problem…weapons-grade plutonium…remain in the hands of an enemy no matter what.

        You need to understand that the Republican position was correct…if there is no way to secure the NK plutonium stores ahead of time, then there is no way to secure them if NK backs out of the deal. If, in either case, there is no way to secure the plutonium, then why reward North Korea for their bad behavior with free fuel and free reactors? You don’t think that LWR reactor will be used to run the centrifuges that convert the plutonium to weapons grade?

        Once again, we are in another position like this because of the treasonous actions of the Democratic Party. In this case, rewarding bad behavior thinking that it would lead to less bad behavior. When is this criminal organization going to be destroyed?

        map

        August 10, 2017 at 3:27 pm

      • mikeca,

        “In 1993 NK threatened to withdraw from the nuclear nuclear non-proliferation treaty and become a nuclear power. The 1994 Agreed Framework kept NK in the nuclear non-proliferation treaty until 2003. It did not end NK nuclear program but It delayed it.”

        It’s amazing how you do not see what you are writing.

        North Korea threatens the US, and the Democrats respond by rewarding NK’s bad behavior with free stuff, thinking this will lead to less bad behavior. The objective, plutonium stores, is not achieved at all. After all, if they can’t secure the plutonium when NK is weak, then how are they going to secure it when NK is less weak?

        map

        August 10, 2017 at 3:40 pm

      • “North Korea threatens the US, and the Democrats respond by rewarding NK’s bad behavior with free stuff, thinking this will lead to less bad behavior. The objective, plutonium stores, is not achieved at all. After all, if they can’t secure the plutonium when NK is weak, then how are they going to secure it when NK is less weak?”

        There were no military options in 1993 when NK threatened to withdraw from the nuclear non-proliferation treaty. NK already had enough artillery to destroy Seoul. The Clinton administration negotiated the Agreed Framework which was the best deal they could work out with NK. It did delay the NK nuclear program for 8 years.

        In 2002 the Bush administration was looking for an excuse to cancel the Agreed Framework and found it with the uranium enrichment program, which was not actually covered by the Agreed Framework. They canceled the Agreed Framework in Dec 2002.

        NK withdrew from the nuclear non-proliferation in Jan 2003 and restarted their nuclear program full speed ahead. What did the Bush administration do about it? There were no military options in 2003 either. NK still had enough artillery to destroy Seoul and the US military was busy invading Iraq at the time. The Bush administration refused to engage NK diplomatically. They gave speeches about how evil NK was and how the Agreed Framework was just rewarding bad behavior, but they did nothing to stop or slow down the NK nuclear program.

        In 2006 NK did its first nuclear test.

        Today, there still are no military options that would not result in hundreds of thousands of South Korean civilians killed and the South Korean economy devastated.

        You can get Trump to launch more tweets at NK, but those threats are just paper tigers.

        There are still no military solutions that don’t include unacceptable casualties and the destruction of South Korea.

        So what do you propose to do? Sit back and let NK build more nukes and more ICBMs while patting yourself on the back for not rewarding bad behavior?

        My belief is at this point NK is a nuclear armed state with ICBMs. The US just has to accept that is the way it is. There is nothing the US can do to make NK give up its nuclear program. At this point there is no military or diplomatic solution.

        The best hope is that NK will eventually self-destruct from within. NK is a very poor country and they have poured all their resources into the nuclear and missile programs. The only way they are able to do that is to keep the people ignorant about what is going on in the outside world. That is gradually breaking down. Information about the outside world is slowly getting into NK. At some point the current government will collapse. We just need to hope NK does not launch a few nuclear ICBMs at the US as it goes down.

        mikeca

        August 10, 2017 at 6:31 pm

      • mikeca,

        “So what do you propose to do? Sit back and let NK build more nukes and more ICBMs while patting yourself on the back for not rewarding bad behavior?”

        The solution is easy.

        You send one nuclear missile to clear out the conventional artillery targeting Seoul and you send the second nuclear missile to Pyongyang.

        Problem solved.

        The NK regime is not going to implode on its own. The regime will bleed it’s entire population to maintain itself. The insanity and cognitive dissonance to engage in this wholesale slaughter and oppression will eat into the collective psyche of the North and nullify any “rational actor” model Foggy Bottom maintains to deal with them.

        There is no way for Kim Jong Un to maintain face and right his ship. Any move to the South Korean model not only exposes him to the rope, it exposes everyone who benefited from the Kim’s despotic model.

        Kim is running his country in such a way as to prevent the run-of-the-mill North Korean from hacking him and his cohorts to pieces. It’s very similar to how Hillary Clinton said that, if Trump wins, they will all hang.

        Surgical nuclear strikes, taking out the head and the balls of the North Korean regime will solve this problem. If we don’t, then Los Angeles and San Francisco will find out the hard way that their bomb shelters don’t work.

        map

        August 10, 2017 at 9:31 pm

      • “The solution is easy.

        You send one nuclear missile to clear out the conventional artillery targeting Seoul and you send the second nuclear missile to Pyongyang.

        Problem solved.”

        Rolls eyes.

        We should let Superwoman use her lasso to move Seoul further South so it is out of range of the artillery.

        You do know that the artillery is only 20 miles from Seoul. That is why it is in range of Seoul. So you want to drop a nuclear weapons 20 miles from Seoul?

        Oh, I’m so sure Kim Jong Un and the whole North Korean army will be just standing around in the square in Pyongyang waiting to be incinerated .

        If you are typical of the type of thinkers produced by our schools it is no wonder we are in trouble.

        mikeca

        August 10, 2017 at 11:20 pm

      • mikeca,

        Yes, you can drop a nuke on it’s artillery pieces…a small one, with a much narrower blast radius and less fallout and radiation.

        Tactical nukes. Problem solved.

        Would you rather have a North Korean nuke pointed at Seoul, with Kim threatening to eradicate the city unless South Korea and the West provide food, fuel and women?

        This guy is busy building and testing ICBM’s. What’s the loss in simply getting rid of this regime?

        map

        August 11, 2017 at 8:14 pm

      • It really is pathetic and disturbing how desperately people cling to this myth of an omnipotent american military held back by traitorous democrats in civilian roles.

        Magnavox

        August 13, 2017 at 10:49 pm

    • Unfortunately, this is the correct assessment. In terms of realpolitick/rational self-interest, we would expect the N. Koreans to pursue a nuclear program after the stupid invasion of Iraq (a country that did not even have nuclear weapons). The lesson was clear: if you want to deter US attack, your country needs to have nukes.

      It’s also a mistake to label the crime family running N. Korea as simply “insane.” States, unlike suicidal terrorists, can be deterred. They have an address, and even leaders of slave states want to keep what they have (status quo bias runs both ways), and pass it along to their progeny.

      It seems the person incapable of understanding 4D chess is Donald Trump. He argued NATO was “obsolete” (before later declaring it was “no longer” obsolete), but what did we get in exchange for providing military defense to Japan and Germany? US planners essentially took out two historically dominant powers, thus extending US hegemony in Europe and the Pacific. States in those regions are dependent upon us for national security.

      Vince

      August 10, 2017 at 1:18 pm

  7. John McCain was being completely irresponsible in an interview I heard this morning. Regarding Trump’s threat to retaliate if North Korea did anything to Guam, McCain said he doubted Trump had the will to act if Kim Jong Un did anything. Incredible! For a man in his position that’s near treasonous.

    We here in the US know that McCain is a spiteful little jerk who is still bitter at Trump over a joke two years ago, and that he’ll grasp at any chance to make Trump look small and ineffective. But it’s doubtful the North Koreans are aware of such subtleties. What they probably see is a leading senator of Trump’s own party spilling some inside info about Trump’s unwillingness to respond if North Korea hits the US militarily. North Korea WANTS to believe that. Remember that they sank a South Korean destroyer a few years ago without suffering retaliation; it was a big propaganda victory for them, and Kim and his sycophants probably still pat themselves on the back over that one. So shitheel John McCain goes out in public and tells them Trump won’t act if North Korea pulls a similar stunt on us. What a fucking piece of crap.

    Richard

    August 9, 2017 at 11:54 am

  8. My theory is that South and North Koreans are the Asian version of Jews and IA’s – look much alike but have vastly different capabilities. So I’m pretty confident that even Guam has nothing to fear, let alone San Francisco.

    west Coast IA

    August 9, 2017 at 12:10 pm

    • You meant twins separated at childbirth. I just realized the mayor of Montréal, Denis Coderre is the French Canadian version of NJ’s governor – Chris Christie.

      Both politicians are overweight and overbearing, and they look alike.

      JS

      August 9, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      • A fat Frenchman…how dreadful. I bet he licks his fingers after gobbling a block of camambert.

        lola

        August 9, 2017 at 4:22 pm

      • There are plenty of fat French Canadians. New world Whites are prolier. Meriproles are the worst of the bunch.

        JS

        August 9, 2017 at 10:03 pm

  9. North Korea is part of the Israel, Hungary, Poland, Japan, North Korea ethnostate system of international governance now supplanting global neoliberal capitalism, so I support them.

    Jjbees

    August 9, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    • NK is China’s tiny squirter.

      JS

      August 9, 2017 at 12:58 pm

  10. When fat boy is finally captured, he should be brought to the US and while still alive fed to alligators, James Bond style. The whole spectacle should be live streamed so our friends in the Middle East are made aware of the consequences of misbehavin.

    roli

    August 9, 2017 at 2:16 pm

  11. The world doesn’t have a nork problem. It has a chicomm problem.

    destructure

    August 9, 2017 at 2:26 pm

  12. We may not have many people starving to death in the states but we certainly have many homeless people. Besides the quality of food many poors and lower middles eat and/or have access to is questionable.

    lola

    August 9, 2017 at 4:17 pm

  13. North Korea is expecting a famine and needs food or else a huge part of the country is going to starve to death. The country’s general problem is that it didn’t have much farmland to start with and then Kim I and Kim II built the Nampo Dam. The Barrage, what it sometimes is called in propaganda videos, is a national symbol, but destroyed many agricultural areas. When North Korea acted up in the 90s it was because of famine. The Clinton deal resulted in agricultural aid that helped stop mass starvation, so North Korea was willing to halt their nuclear program. This time around, Kim III wants to work out something similar. Best case is that the Norks will agree to stop building missiles and in return the US, Russia, and China will ship over a bunch of grain. In another 15 or 20 years the cycle will repeat itself. The North Korean elite aren’t crazy, but they know how to act crazy when it benefits them.

    Aristippus

    August 9, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    • No, the solution is you drop one nuke on Pyongyang and one on their massed artillery. Problem solved.

      map

      August 10, 2017 at 3:59 pm

  14. Our policy towards NK has been working just fine. Government control over the economy has significantly eroded over the past decade. NK now has farmer’s markets and private business. Private cars and cellphones are common in Pyong-Yang. There is no danger of famine. Most educated people watch Chinese and South Korean shows on smuggled flash drives. It is just a matter of time until Kim goes the Ceaucescu route, the issue for us should be how to manage his departure.

    We don’t actually want a sudden collapse of the Kim regime and millions of economic refugees heading to South Korea. It doesn’t much matter if NK has nukes, since China has had them for decades. There is some risk that Kim would use the threat of nukes to weasel more economic aid out of the US, but we can deal with that later. Of all the issues Tump has to deal with NK should be the bottom of the agenda. So why now?

    Peter Akuleyev

    August 9, 2017 at 9:31 pm

    • We should offer world leaders a safe and comfortable retirement so they will step aside.. But we are too stupid to do that. We feel that we have to punish them and put them in jail for the alleged crimes against their own people.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      August 9, 2017 at 9:49 pm

      • How many people are involved in oppressing NK? 700 or 800 thousand? You can’t give asylum to just the Kim’s. You ‘d have to transplant a massive population. This is unworkable.

        map

        August 10, 2017 at 3:57 pm

    • “We don’t actually want a sudden collapse of the Kim regime and millions of economic refugees heading to South Korea.”

      Who’s we? I couldn’t care less if that happens.

      “We should offer world leaders a safe and comfortable retirement so they will step aside.”

      Excellent idea.

      Peterike

      August 9, 2017 at 10:58 pm

      • You couldn’t care less? I suppose you don’t depend on the global economy in any way for your livelihood. Good for you, some of us aren’t that lucky. If I lived off the grid I might feel the same way.

        Peter Akuleyev

        August 10, 2017 at 1:26 pm

    • Our policy towards NK has been working just fine.

      It’s been and is horrible. NK now has nukes and it is on it’s way to getting ICBMS and you think that is trivial or OK because North Koreans have cell phones, small farms and watch foreign soap operas.

      It is just a matter of time until Kim goes the Ceaucescu route, the issue for us should be how to manage his departure.

      You have to be trolling!

      It doesn’t much matter if NK has nukes…

      Of all the issues Trump has to deal with NK should be the bottom of the agenda. So why now?

      This is just going full retard! This is the mentality of the Trump hater.

      Kim is launching and testing rockets hoping to get multiple ICBMs, he has nuclear weapons and is desperate to protect the Kim family cult and you are acting like the problem is Trump.

      Sick.

      Rifleman

      August 10, 2017 at 4:37 am

      • Yeah, NK has nukes. So what? What do you think they are going to do with them? You don’t know the first thing about North Korea, you should sit down and learn something, son.

        Peter Akuleyev

        August 10, 2017 at 1:25 pm

      • Rifleman,

        You have to understand how this works. Democrats empower some alien regime…they get a cut of whatever is sent. If NK threatens LA with a nuke, then Dems get a cut of whatever aid is sent in payment for the blackmail.

        map

        August 10, 2017 at 4:25 pm

  15. Previous presidents also did not start a nuclear war. I have no such hopes for this president.

    Anthony

    August 9, 2017 at 11:38 pm


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