The North Korea Thread


The vast majority of those 300 posts were either gman or replies to gman, so yes the cause of those 300 posts is gman and the people who are responding to his posts. The vast majority of which have nothing to do with the actual news about NK, and are instead whataboutism, moving goalposts, reporting personal feelings of woe cause poeple are being mean, etc. Not the nukes falling. Does my post now make sense? Does the fact that gman repeatedly has done exactly this in multiple other threads recently make a difference?

You either don’t get it, or are being deliberately obtuse for whatever reason. Seems like the latter at this point.

I use the PR threads in part to keep up with what’s happening in the world. Most things of importance make their way to this forum. When it gets all shitted up with the drivel that gman has been posting relentlessly, it becomes harder to get the actual news since there is no way to stop his posts from appearing on my screen. Perhaps that is his entire point in being here and he’s thrilled that it’s working. I don’t know, but it’s really effing annoying.


I imagine South Koreans are optimistic about the summit for the same reasons some people were optimistic about Trump “fixing” the country and #MAGA. They don’t know any better and are hoping for some magical cure for what ails them. For South Korea, I’d guess that they hope to finally see a day where the threat of invasion isn’t a legitimate concern. Or maybe some of them want to see their family members again, if they’re trapped up north. So they’re optimistic, even though that optimism is probably severely misplaced. Trump is a selfish self-absorbed con man. That’s all he is and all he’ll ever be. If he somehow ends up being a catalyst to peace between NK/SK then it’ll either be an accident or he’ll make out like a bandit money-wise.


It’s obviously a good thing that the South Koreans approve of the summit. Especially given how cavalierly Trump has been about frightening them with his childish taunts of North Korea. But the people of South Korea are in a very specific psychological place on this issue, where they’re considering something that poses an immediate, local, and existential threat. I remember the fear of living under the threat of nuclear war during the Cold War, and I would have been perfectly happy with a dovish leader appeasing the Soviet Union. Anything to alleviate that fear would of course be welcome. So of course South Koreans are happy to hear Kim Jung Un and Donald Trump smoothing over their dumb spat about who’s got the bigger button.

That doesn’t change the fact that we just got Charlie Browned by letting North Korea hold the football again. We further legitimized one of the most evil and morally repugnant leaders currently in power. Is it worth approval in a South Korean man-on-the-street poll when we undermine our standing in the world, both morally and in terms of our political strength going forward? Or is this just another “Gorsuch” situation where Trump supporters immediately grab onto whatever silver lining they can dream up to justify another political fumble?

Global politics is not a popularity contest, and it’s certainly not about making people feel good. Nor is it about abandoning the values that define you as a country. Just as Trump and his supporters are betraying centuries of democratic norms, this North Korean nonsense is doing the same thing to diplomatic norms, and Trump supporters are too short-sighted to understand what has actually happened.



This risk derailing the thread. But I thought Obama did the same thing with Iran.


The main difference is that Obama actually secured a verifiable dismantling of the Iranian nuclear program, and continued verification of their nuclear facilities for a decade.

We haven’t actually gotten anything from North Korea.

Also, North Korea is by virtually any measure, an objectively worse regime, that is less compatible with a movement toward liberalism.


There is also the additional mitigating factor that the Iranian people, in the person of Rouhani, had elected the most moderate person they could in an explicit expectation of improving relations with the west. Failing to treat with Rouhani would have lost us a window for encouraging Iran back to a modern society. It would have ensured a headliner back in office.

I mean the die was cast in uncertainty, but the process and timing are night and day. There was real reason to look at the deal, the measures in place, and the politics of Iran, and see a possible way to defuse a long standing tense relationship.

None of that existed with North Korea.


But I think when all is said and done, China is actually the one driving this whole thing. They have plenty of leverage (with respect to his business dealings) they can employ with Trump if he gets too far off script.


I’ll also mention there are some very strong geopolitical differences between Iran and North Korea. They certainly play into the decision making of handling each in a different manner. Most notably, the DPRK actually has nukes and is backed by the largest individual trading partner of the US. That would seem to be a call for being extra delicate, which… isn’t exactly how things have gone.


If I remember correctly, the Iran deal had a time limit after which it speaks nothing to future enrichment. The conservatives where making hay with that, insisting that what Obama did was short sighted.

I had thought that the approach was good in that it entice the Iranians into economic development and show them that the western way is better.


Yeah… It was TEN YEARS.

It gave us a decade to figure out something better. Remember, prior to the deal, Israel was saying that their Intel said that Iran was going to have a functional nuclear weapon within mere months. Months!

So a plan that pushes that out from months to a decade? That’s a good freaking deal.

The fact that we gave Iran all of the benefits of the deal, and THEN we backed out of it, just heaped nonsensical idiocy upon it by letting them off the hook.


Why would whatabouttism derail a thread? :) Besides, it’s not like there’s going to be anything else to talk about until Kim Jong Un detonates a test nuke, lobs another missile toward Japan, or kidnaps, imprisons, and tortures someone from another country. The only question is whether he’ll do it before the midterms and deprive the Republicans of another Gorsuch talking point.

As @Timex is explaining, it’s not the same thing at all. You might feel there are similarities, and I don’t think anyone would disagree with you. But “the same thing”?

In addition to what’s being said, I’m all for as much engagement with Iran as we can allow. They’ve been disproportionately villainized for far too long. That’s been a centerpiece of American foreign policy in the Middle East.



Unfortunately, the only engagement Israel will allow us to have with Iran is through bombing sorties.


Cross post from Trump thread.


Just because I sing alto occasionally doesn’t mean I don’t take this personally. Really, man!?! I sing tenor honestly!


I agree. Overturning years of work on a whim is plain crazy.


Apologies for not being more careful with my statement. “the same thing” referred to reproachment with the enemy.

But yes I agree that NK intentions should be discerned properly before any agreements are made. It’s one of the harshest regimes, if not the most, known in modern times.

Yet diplomacy being what it is, should not be dismissed out of hand just because immoral, despicable president and dictator are doing it.


Perspective of a Korean-Singaporean who helped in the meeting.


The official movie trailer our national security council created for the summit


There are some questions who made the video:

The best part of the story is the real-life “Destiny Pictures” in California that was inundated with calls after the video was aired.


So which is it? Last time you asserted, with dismissive condescension, that you’d never claimed that gman was responsible for all 300 posts. Now you’re back to claiming that gman bears sole responsibility for all 300 posts. Isn’t that moving the goalposts? Or is that only a forum crime when someone else does it?

And “look what he made us do” is still a sucky argument.

It’s telling that there’s no third option here. Can you really not admit the possibility that I’ve reached different conclusion than you have, and am saying what I think because that is what I think based on the evidence I’ve seen? Assuming evil motivations is mostly just a bit of lazy self-justification; if you question my motives then you don’t have to deal with my arguments. IMO it’s at the core of this whole bit of drama.