General North Korea thread

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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Flagg » 2017-09-26 03:51am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-09-25 10:30pm
Flagg, I've found it darkly amusing how many Republicans I heard expressing relief after the election that "now we won't get into a nuclear war with Russia over Syria."

:roll:
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:lol: ;)
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Patroklos » 2017-09-26 05:14am

If its going to happen, I very much want it to be because Kim fired the first shot at a military unit. Because Fat Kim firing first is the only scenario in which we can be pretty much sure (or as close to sure as possible) that China won't come in on his side and make it World War III, and if he's going to fire the first shot, I'd rather it be at a military unit than a bunch of civilians.
There is no scenario where China comes in on NKs side. This isn't a US/NATO or US/Japan relationship. There is no affinity ideologically or economically between China and NK. Nor does territorial expansion into or of NK territory offer China anything these days. China keeps NK going because they don't want millions of refugees and a failed stat on their border. If that ball has already gone up, and if there are far less of those due to half of them being dead, what does China gain by shooting nukes themselves.

Oh china will be angry and pay some costs short term, but the fact is if the US pulls the band aid off and takes the brunt of the consequences of whatever the fallout is from striking NK China, China will see nothing but benefits medium and long term from such at thing. Short term benefits if they can pay the peace loving victim card correctly.

We hate NK, but imagine if we had them on our border instead of Baja California. They are happy to have someone else besides them take this problem on if the problem must be taken on.

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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2017-09-26 05:38am

I was under the impression that China's policy was more or less "we won't take their side if they start shit". But that they are strongly opposed to an American military intervention because:

a) North Korean refugees.

b) US ally/bases on their border.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Patroklos » 2017-09-26 05:50am

Both true (though I doubt China really cares about US conventional land threats to itself, though its useful to profess they do) neither of which translates to "start WWIII over it."

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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by bilateralrope » 2017-09-27 11:14am

North Korea seeks help from US because it can't understand Donald Trump
ANNA FIFIELD
Last updated 10:07, September 27 2017

North Korean government officials have been quietly trying to arrange talks with Republican-linked analysts in Washington, in an apparent attempt to make sense of US President Donald Trump and his confusing messages to Kim Jong Un's regime.

The outreach began before the current eruption of threats between the two leaders, but will likely become only more urgent as Trump and Kim have descended into name-calling that, many analysts worry, sharply increases the chances of potentially catastrophic misunderstandings.

"Their No 1 concern is Trump. They can't figure him out," said one person with direct knowledge of North Korea's approach to Asia experts with Republican connections.

There is no suggestion that the North Koreans are interested in negotiations about their nuclear programme - they instead seem to want forums for insisting on being recognised as a nuclear state - and the Trump administration has made clear it is not interested in talking right now.

At a multilateral meeting in Switzerland early in September, North Korea's representatives were adamant about being recognised as a nuclear weapons state and showed no willingness to even talk about denuclearisation.

But to get a better understanding of American intentions, in the absence official diplomatic talks with the US government, North Korea's mission to the United Nations invited Bruce Klingner, a former CIA analyst who is now the Heritage Foundation's top expert on North Korea, to visit Pyongyang for meetings.

Trump has close ties to Heritage, a conservative think-tank which has influenced the president on everything from travel restrictions to defence spending, although not to Klingner personally.

"They're on a new binge of reaching out to American scholars and ex-officials," said Klingner, who declined the North Korean invitation. "While such meetings are useful, if the regime wants to send a clear message, it should reach out directly to the US government."

North Korean intermediaries have also approached Douglas Paal, who served as an Asia expert on the national security councils of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush senior, and is now vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

They wanted Paal to arrange talks between North Korean officials and American experts with Republican ties in a neutral place such as Switzerland. He also declined the North Korean request.

"The North Koreans are clearly eager to deliver a message. But I think they're only interested in getting some travel, in getting out of the country for a bit," Paal said.

North Korea currently has about seven such invitations out to organisations that have hosted previous talks - a surprising number of requests for a country that is threatening to launch a nuclear strike on the United States.

Over the past two years in particular, Pyongyang has sent officials from its foreign ministry to hold meetings with Americans - usually former diplomats and think-tankers - in neutral places such as Geneva, Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.

They are referred to as "Track 1.5" talks because they are official (Track 1) on the North Korean side but unofficial (Track 2) on the American side, although the US government is kept informed of the talks.

But since Trump's election in November, the North Korean representatives have been predominantly interested in figuring out the unconventional president's strategy, according to almost a dozen people involved in the discussions. All asked for anonymity to talk about the sensitive meetings.

Early in Trump's term, the North Koreans had been asking broad questions: Is Trump serious about closing American military bases in South Korea and Japan, as he said on the campaign trail? Might he really send American nuclear weapons back to the southern half of the Korean Peninsula?

But the questions have since become more specific. Why, for instance, are Trump's top officials, notably Defence Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, directly contradicting the president so often?

"The North Koreans are reaching out through various channels and through various counterparts," said Evans Revere, a former State Department official dealing with North Korea who is a frequent participant in such talks. There are a number of theories about why North Korea is doing this.

"My own guess is that they are somewhat puzzled as to the direction in which the U.S. is going, so they're trying to open up channels to take the pulse in Washington," Revere said. "They haven't seen the US act like this before."

Revere attended a multilateral meeting with North Korean officials in the picturesque Swiss village of Glion earlier this month, together with Ralph Cossa, chairman of the Pacific Forum of the Centre for Strategic and International Studies and another frequent interlocutor with Pyongyang's representatives.

The meeting is an annual event organised by the Geneva Centre for Security Policy, a government linked think-tank. But it took on extra significance this year due to the sudden rise in tensions between North Korea and the United States.

All the countries involved in the now-defunct six-party denuclearisation talks - the US, China, Japan, Russia, and the two Koreas - were represented, as were Mongolia, the Swiss government and the European Union. The Swiss invited the US government to send an official, but it did not.

The North Koreans at the meeting displayed an "encyclopedic" knowledge of Trump's tweets, to the extent that they were able to quote them back to the Americans present.

Pyongyang's delegation was headed by Choe Kang Il, deputy director of the Americas division in the foreign ministry, and he was accompanied by three officials in their late 20s who wowed the other participants with their intellectual analysis and their perfect, American-accented English. One even explained to the other delegates how the US Congress works.

"They were as self-confident as I've ever seen them," said Cossa. Revere added: "They may be puzzled about our intentions but they have a very clear set of intentions of their own."

The participants declined to divulge the contents of the discussions as they were off the record.

But others familiar with the talks said the North Koreans completely ruled out the "freeze for freeze" idea being promoted by China and Russia, in which Pyongyang would freeze its nuclear and missile activities if the United States stopped conducting military exercises in South Korea. The United States, Japan and South Korea also outright reject the idea.

Participants left the day-and-a-half-long meeting with little hope for any improvement any time soon.

"I'm very pessimistic," said Shin Beom-chul, a North Korea expert at the South's Institute of Foreign Affairs and National Security, after participating in the meeting in Glion. "They want to keep their nuclear weapons and they will only return to dialogue after the United States nullifies its 'hostile policy.' They want the US to stop all military exercises and lift all sanctions on them."

Ken Jimbo, who teaches at Keio University in Japan and was also at the meeting, said that North Korea may still be interested in dialogue, but it on terms that are unacceptable to the other side.

"North Korea wants to be recognised as a nuclear weapons state," Jimbo said. "But when is North Korea ready for talks? This is what I kept asking the North Koreans: How much is enough?"
I wonder how long it will take them to figure Trump out.

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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Broomstick » 2017-09-27 11:59am

I dunno - how long will it take the rest of us to figure Trump out?

This is darkly funny to me.

To be fair, they SHOULD be formally recognized as a nuclear power/state because that's what they are.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by LaCroix » 2017-09-27 12:16pm

Another reason why I still believe that NK is gonna be reasonable about all this. They just realized that the new Presidency really doesn't make sense and is unpredictable, and now they try to reach out to people who know what actually IS going on in US foreign policy.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by houser2112 » 2017-09-27 12:18pm

Broomstick wrote:
2017-09-27 11:59am
I dunno - how long will it take the rest of us to figure Trump out?

This is darkly funny to me.

To be fair, they SHOULD be formally recognized as a nuclear power/state because that's what they are.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korea%E2%80%93United_States_relations wrote:On September 9, 1948, Kim Il-sung declared the Democratic People's Republic of Korea; he promptly received diplomatic recognition from the Soviet Union, but not the United States. The U.S. did not extend, and has never extended, diplomatic recognition to the DPRK.
Wouldn't they have to be recognized as a state first?

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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Elheru Aran » 2017-09-27 12:19pm

houser2112 wrote:
2017-09-27 12:18pm
Broomstick wrote:
2017-09-27 11:59am
I dunno - how long will it take the rest of us to figure Trump out?

This is darkly funny to me.

To be fair, they SHOULD be formally recognized as a nuclear power/state because that's what they are.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Korea%E2%80%93United_States_relations wrote:On September 9, 1948, Kim Il-sung declared the Democratic People's Republic of Korea; he promptly received diplomatic recognition from the Soviet Union, but not the United States. The U.S. did not extend, and has never extended, diplomatic recognition to the DPRK.
Wouldn't they have to be recognized as a state first?
Yup, though it wouldn't surprise me at all if Trump is utterly ignorant of this.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by bilateralrope » 2017-09-27 01:26pm

LaCroix wrote:
2017-09-27 12:16pm
Another reason why I still believe that NK is gonna be reasonable about all this. They just realized that the new Presidency really doesn't make sense and is unpredictable, and now they try to reach out to people who know what actually IS going on in US foreign policy.
How much of a cultural disconnect would the people NK has looking for an explanation feel between someone who knows what is going on giving an accurate and truthful explanation of Trump and what people in NK are allowed to say about Kim Jong Un ?

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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Flagg » 2017-09-27 01:35pm

Reminds me of how Thatcher’s and Reagan’s saber rattling (and “evil empire” bullshit) scared the hell out of the USSR and their aides and ambassadors had to tell them. Of course since they were reasonable (shitheads both, but reasonable) they decided to extend an olive branch to Gorbachev and things de escalated. I know Stas is not a fan of what that led to for his country (I sure don’t blame him), but it beats thermonuclear war.

But President Cockroach? Shit, I don’t know if even the people NK is seeking advice from can make sense of his rambling. Fuck, I don’t know if El Presidente Cucaracha can make sense of its own bombastic bullshit. He’s behaving like when he was in a feud with Rosie O’Donnel.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Flagg » 2017-09-27 01:42pm

bilateralrope wrote:
2017-09-27 01:26pm
LaCroix wrote:
2017-09-27 12:16pm
Another reason why I still believe that NK is gonna be reasonable about all this. They just realized that the new Presidency really doesn't make sense and is unpredictable, and now they try to reach out to people who know what actually IS going on in US foreign policy.
How much of a cultural disconnect would the people NK has looking for an explanation feel between someone who knows what is going on giving an accurate and truthful explanation of Trump and what people in NK are allowed to say about Kim Jong Un ?
What are you asking, exactly? Sorry, I’m assuming it’s me, but I don’t understand what you mean.

If you mean, “Will Kim Jong Un understand what his sources are telling him?” Then my answer is “absolutely”. He went to college in the US, so I have a feeling he has a high level of understanding about American culture, foreign, and domestic policies, etc.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-09-27 03:59pm

LaCroix wrote:
2017-09-27 12:16pm
Another reason why I still believe that NK is gonna be reasonable about all this. They just realized that the new Presidency really doesn't make sense and is unpredictable, and now they try to reach out to people who know what actually IS going on in US foreign policy.
The problem is that this is only known and knowable insofar as the sane people in the government are willing to outright ignore the president when his orders are inconvenient or unwise...
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by bilateralrope » 2017-09-27 11:24pm

Flagg wrote:
2017-09-27 01:42pm
bilateralrope wrote:
2017-09-27 01:26pm
LaCroix wrote:
2017-09-27 12:16pm
Another reason why I still believe that NK is gonna be reasonable about all this. They just realized that the new Presidency really doesn't make sense and is unpredictable, and now they try to reach out to people who know what actually IS going on in US foreign policy.
How much of a cultural disconnect would the people NK has looking for an explanation feel between someone who knows what is going on giving an accurate and truthful explanation of Trump and what people in NK are allowed to say about Kim Jong Un ?
What are you asking, exactly? Sorry, I’m assuming it’s me, but I don’t understand what you mean.

If you mean, “Will Kim Jong Un understand what his sources are telling him?” Then my answer is “absolutely”. He went to college in the US, so I have a feeling he has a high level of understanding about American culture, foreign, and domestic policies, etc.
My question is: Will the people NK sends out have a reaction of "you're allowed to say that about your leader ?"

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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Flagg » 2017-09-27 11:30pm

bilateralrope wrote:
2017-09-27 11:24pm
Flagg wrote:
2017-09-27 01:42pm
bilateralrope wrote:
2017-09-27 01:26pm


How much of a cultural disconnect would the people NK has looking for an explanation feel between someone who knows what is going on giving an accurate and truthful explanation of Trump and what people in NK are allowed to say about Kim Jong Un ?
What are you asking, exactly? Sorry, I’m assuming it’s me, but I don’t understand what you mean.

If you mean, “Will Kim Jong Un understand what his sources are telling him?” Then my answer is “absolutely”. He went to college in the US, so I have a feeling he has a high level of understanding about American culture, foreign, and domestic policies, etc.
My question is: Will the people NK sends out have a reaction of "you're allowed to say that about your leader ?"
No idea. But I doubt they will send anyone totally ignorant out of the outside world like the peasants.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by LaCroix » 2017-09-28 05:22am

bilateralrope wrote:
2017-09-27 11:24pm
Flagg wrote:
2017-09-27 01:42pm
bilateralrope wrote:
2017-09-27 01:26pm


How much of a cultural disconnect would the people NK has looking for an explanation feel between someone who knows what is going on giving an accurate and truthful explanation of Trump and what people in NK are allowed to say about Kim Jong Un ?
What are you asking, exactly? Sorry, I’m assuming it’s me, but I don’t understand what you mean.

If you mean, “Will Kim Jong Un understand what his sources are telling him?” Then my answer is “absolutely”. He went to college in the US, so I have a feeling he has a high level of understanding about American culture, foreign, and domestic policies, etc.
My question is: Will the people NK sends out have a reaction of "you're allowed to say that about your leader ?"
People in the NK diplomatic corps are even more aware about what you are allowed to say about your own leader than the rest of the NK population. These people are trained very thoroughly - heck, the text mentions that they even have memorized ALL tweets of the President (waste of time that this is) and can quote them verbatim. Memorizing all public speeches of the leader of a country to is well above the level of what we would expect a diplomat to function on. They are part of a very tiny elite that is allowed to see and interact with outsiders, and to think more freely than others, as long as they rememer the specific rules that are in place for them.

So no, they won't. Most of them went to school in Europe and the US, they have extensive knowledge of the world and politics, and pretty much live like we do, even in NK. They are fully aware of how the world works, just like their boss does.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-09-28 05:46am

On the one hand, you're not wrong.

On the other hand, these are still people who have a lot of their cultural background coming from a very different place. Even if they know the same facts you or I do, there is no guarantee they will easily interpret those facts the same way.

Everyone rationalizes certain facts about politics. North Koreans are likely to rationalize those facts in different ways, forming different structures, patterns, and expectations. Correspondingly, they may well be confused by things we find unsurprising, or vice versa.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by LaCroix » 2017-09-28 07:57am

Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-09-28 05:46am
On the one hand, you're not wrong.

On the other hand, these are still people who have a lot of their cultural background coming from a very different place. Even if they know the same facts you or I do, there is no guarantee they will easily interpret those facts the same way.

Everyone rationalizes certain facts about politics. North Koreans are likely to rationalize those facts in different ways, forming different structures, patterns, and expectations. Correspondingly, they may well be confused by things we find unsurprising, or vice versa.
The fact that most of the members of this elite went to (mostly private boarding) schools in the West, with "pretty normal" rich kids, means that their cultural background is not that far from ours.

I'm pretty sure that they operate on a "schizophrenic" level - they know how to act and how other people will behave and act outside NK, and how to act in NK to avoid problems. Pretty much like liberal people with a lot of conservative relatives on family meets. Act the way it is expected and and try to fly under the radar, supress visible reactions, and keep your thoughts to yourself. Or things will get bad. It is hinted that most NK-ans pretty much have a fervently Kim-loving public, and a private persona they switch between. I'm sure trained diplomats have a couple of them, and are able to slip into the role seamlessly.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-10-01 02:09am

I really, really, don't think we should just assume that because kids from two different families on literal opposite sides of the world in entirely different societies went to school together for N years, they must think the same way.

And it takes very little difference in mindset to create totally divergent pictures of the world from the same observed facts. Look at how two groups of Americans can observe, say, Donald Trump blustering at the North Koreans, and disagree on "he's a moron who's trying to get us nuked" versus "he's commendably tough and determined and will show those North Koreans what-for!"

If people who grew up in the exact same country and who have been privy to all the same election reports and can read all the same newspapers at least in theory can't agree on things like "what is the significance of Donald Trump's actions?"...

Well, it's not much of a stretch to expect people who grew up in a different culture where anything other than maximal worship of the Great Leader is punishable by death to not fully understand all the details of such a strange situation as the one we face with this bozo in the White House.

They certainly can't be counted on to come to the "right" answer if "right answer" is defined as "the view of any particular Westerner."
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by LaCroix » 2017-10-01 04:02pm

Of course their worldview will be different, but having spent time outside of NK they have SEEN on tv, READ in news and HEARD in radio that people do critisize their leaders outside of NK. Or make fun of them. And none of these people end up being dead. So they will certainly not be "OMG!!! CAN YOU TALK LIKE THIS ABOUT YOUR LEADER!?!?!", as the question was.

They do know that they have a lot more leeway outside of NK than inside.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-10-01 06:16pm

Okay, if your argument is literally no more than "North Korean elites are aware that Westerners can publicly criticize their leaders without dying," and "North Korean elites have a vague clue how government actually works in nations not ruled by a god-king named Kim," then sure, conceded.

The thing is, with Trump this is taken to an unprecedented degree. He's a president with very obvious, very strong, very chaotic opinions on everything, one who bellows threats over his morning Cheerios then takes no concrete action on them. It's debatable to what extent the legislature of his government, and for that matter his own cabinet officials, especially the long-service military leadership, actually listen to him.

So North Korean elites have to ask themselves questions like "if Donald Trump gets up on the wrong side of the bed and orders a nuclear launch on Pyongyang without comparable provocation, will the American military actually do it?" And bluntly, even native-born Americans are not 100% sure of the answer to that question.

Expecting the North Koreans to figure it out when they have LESS- not zero, but less- information on American culture, the typical values of US military leaders and troops, and so on? Yeah, they're not going to be confident. A lot of what the North Koreans probably thought they knew about the US government and how it works under, say, Clinton, Bush, and Obama, no longer applies or is being called into question.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by MKSheppard » 2017-11-28 05:27pm

New ICBM launch today. Enough burn time to hit Washington DC from Norkland.
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by Simon_Jester » 2017-11-29 08:18am

Yeah, IRBMs to full continental-range ICBMs in about ten years is normal.

[sighs]
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by EnterpriseSovereign » 2017-11-29 02:45pm

And Trump has said the US is going to "Take care of it", whatever the hell that means...
It's no use debating a moron; they drag you down to their level then beat you with experience.

Just because you have the attention span of a fruit fly doesn't mean the rest of us are so encumbered.

"As you know science is not fact"- HuskerJay
"The Delta Fyler [sic] isn't even a shuttle craft" -HuskerJay69
"The Dominion War wasn't really all that bad"- Admiral Mercury

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MKSheppard
Ruthless Genocidal Warmonger
Ruthless Genocidal Warmonger
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Re: General North Korea thread

Post by MKSheppard » 2017-11-29 06:29pm

Simon_Jester wrote:
2017-11-29 08:18am
Yeah, IRBMs to full continental-range ICBMs in about ten years is normal.

[sighs]
Remember those guys saying we didn't need ABM in the aughts? Because Norkland was at least x years away?

Pepperidge farms remembers.
"If scientists and inventors who develop disease cures and useful technologies don't get lifetime royalties, I'd like to know what fucking rationale you have for some guy getting lifetime royalties for writing an episode of Full House." - Mike Wong

"The present air situation in the Pacific is entirely the result of fighting a fifth rate air power." - U.S. Navy Memo - 24 July 1944

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