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PostPosted: August 9 17, 9:43 am 
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PostPosted: August 9 17, 9:58 am 
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Not sure how many times I read "normalize relations" with N. Korea in this thread.

That sounds incredibly naive to me. I'm not sure what would be a good alternative here, but the idea that if we just be nice to them and treat them like they're Costa Rica then they'll see how nice we all really are and within months they'll be hooked on Game of Thrones and Snapchat. No one has been able to normalize relations with N.K., regardless of their party affiliation.

"Fire and fury" is not the right response, obviously. But there does not seem to be a good response here at all... And of all the nations who have acquired nukes, N.K. seems actually willing and likely to use them (regardless of who's in office in the US).


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PostPosted: August 9 17, 10:02 am 
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Fat Strat wrote:
Not sure how many times I read "normalize relations" with N. Korea in this thread.


I think just once and it was a joke about getting Dennis Rodman involved.


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PostPosted: August 9 17, 10:04 am 
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The CEO of Exxon has to step in and de-escalate:

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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has sought to allay fears of a military confrontation with North Korea after President Donald Trump warned he could unleash "fire and fury" on the pariah state.

Tillerson defended Trump's comments but said there was no sign that the threat level from North Korea had changed and that Americans should "sleep well at night."


http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/09/politics/ ... index.html


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PostPosted: August 9 17, 10:08 am 
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Farewell Friends wrote:
Fat Strat wrote:
Not sure how many times I read "normalize relations" with N. Korea in this thread.


I think just once and it was a joke about getting Dennis Rodman involved.


It was posted multiple times, I thought. Maybe not.

Regardless, there isn't a good or easy solution here.


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PostPosted: August 9 17, 10:14 am 
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http://www.businessinsider.com/3-maps-explaining-north-koreas-strategy-2017-8/#the-korean-peninsula-and-surrounding-area-1

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As a result, North Korea was forced to lock in its policy of intense hostility to the South and to ramp up already extreme measures to preserve the regime, defending it from both external and internal forces — even forces within the ruling family. Its strategy became one of bluffing. A game of bluff requires utter discipline and no dissension. The North Koreans sought to frighten the Americans and the South Koreans by pretending to be irrational and on a hair trigger. The leadership sought to convince the North Korean public that there was no external threat it could not crush because of its enormous strength. What appeared to the world as entirely irrational behavior was, given North Korea’s strategic needs, quite rational.

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North Korea also needed a more credible threat than its massed force begging for a carpet bombing. This need engendered its nuclear program. The program enhanced the consequences of irrational action. It was an obvious bluff, since resorting to a nuclear attack would guarantee the annihilation of the regime — and possibly the nation. Rationally speaking, North Korea couldn't possibly launch a nuclear strike. Therefore, it was critical for North Korea to appear irrational. Only apparent irrationality, meticulously managed, could convince the Americans, the South Koreans, the Japanese, the Russians, and the Chinese that North Korea was utterly dangerous.

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Contact with the rest of the world would be destabilizing, and so North Korea must limit that contact, resulting in cultural as well as physical darkness. And the night will not pass quickly. The dark night is what makes North Korea possible. It allows the bluff to go on and with it the regime. As ever, for the rest of the world Korea — now North Korea — is a place used strategically to block the ambitions of others. Few want anything from it other than for it to continue to buffer greater powers. And even if fulfilling this purpose requires North Korean leadership to occasionally seem frightening by appearing irrational, those who watch North Korea know that its frightening aspect is tightly controlled by a calculating regime.

Best to just continue to ignore their hollow threats. Unfortunately, I don't think we have a Commander in Chief who's nearly intelligent enough to realize this.


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PostPosted: August 9 17, 10:54 am 
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Just think of how pissed you will be if that little North Korean turd and our orange-haired turd are the two responsible parties for ending humanity. I guess if that happens (and may other reasons) we weren't worthy of existing anyway.


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PostPosted: August 9 17, 11:15 am 
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Fat Strat wrote:
Farewell Friends wrote:
Fat Strat wrote:
Not sure how many times I read "normalize relations" with N. Korea in this thread.


I think just once and it was a joke about getting Dennis Rodman involved.


It was posted multiple times, I thought. Maybe not.

Regardless, there isn't a good or easy solution here.


I joked about "normalizing relations" but that does not mean they'd suddenly be our ally. The relationship would be like what we have with Pakistan, another pretty crazy country with nukes. Or maybe Iran, a country that wanted them.


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PostPosted: August 9 17, 11:29 am 
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I said "normalizing relations" in the OP and I meant it. However, I think what I meant by "normalizing relations" is being misunderstood. Normalizing relations does not mean they are all of a sudden treated like Costa Rica.

After all, Costa Rica can't nuke California. :wink:

Nuclear weapons with basaltic missiles is a game changer. I think our relationship is going to have to evolve to something more like what we have with Pakistan or Russia. Not always super friendly, but we can't continue to treat North Korea like a laughable nut job hermit kingdom. That means we're going to have develop relationship where we have an embassy with diplomats that work with them. We'll also most likely have to thaw some of our economic sanctions. It sucks, but they've basically won and no amount of tough talk is going to change that. It's time to take the L and move on to something more productive.


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PostPosted: August 9 17, 1:13 pm 
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Fat Strat wrote:
"Fire and fury" is not the right response, obviously. But there does not seem to be a good response here at all... And of all the nations who have acquired nukes, N.K. seems actually willing and likely to use them (regardless of who's in office in the US).

I agree that there's no real good response, but I also think the common refrain about how North Korea is likely to use nukes because they act crazy is wrong. North Korea obtaining nuclear weapons and missiles to deliver them is dangerous and certainly increases the risk that something terrible will happen. There is a real and ongoing danger so long as there are nuclear weapons on hair trigger alert due to accidents or misunderstanding that could easily turn catastrophic. North Korea's isolation probably increases that risk as does incompetent and understaffed U.S. leadership, but the chance that North Korea will just go ahead and launch an attack remains small. North Korea's behavior, like other powers, suggests they are perfectly aware launching a war would be their own doom. Obtaining a nuclear capability is, in fact, a highly effective self-preservation strategy that works only when you don't use your missiles.

It's true that credible displays of craziness can increase your bargaining position because adversaries may be more cautious if they think you are crazy enough to follow through on threats. In fact, it's possible that's what the Trump people are up to. Nixon tried it. And acting crazy, increases the risk of a misunderstanding that gets out of control, but the actual risk is not really that North is just nuts and thinks it can really do a nuclear attack.

I think the biggest risk (while it's still probably a small chance) is U.S. leaders, who voice views like those expressed by Lindsay Graham, who may actually believe they have a military option. Ironically, the problem is that while North Korea has some nukes and missiles, their capabilities are comparatively weak, and some military analysts think U.S interceptors have a good chance of blocking a North Korean strike. If you believe that and also subscribe to some kind of theory of irrepressible, inevitable conflict sooner or later, you could decide that the best option is to attack while that option remains open. This thinking is clearly insane, and I hope no one with power truly subscribes, but we are the nation of Curtis LeMay and Barry Goldwater, so its not exactly a phantom worry.


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