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Kim Jong-un celebrates American Independence Day in style…


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Author Topic: Kim Jong-un celebrates American Independence Day in style…  (Read 620 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #75 on: July 30, 2017, 01:46:35 am »


from The Washington Post....

EDITORIAL: Sanctions are the best option against
a dangerous North Korea


If the Trump administration works consistently, it could cut off the flow of hard
currency into Pyongyang and make a real impression on the dictatorship.


By EDITORIAL BOARD | 7:14PM EDT - Friday, July 28, 2017

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency/Reuters.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency/Reuters.

ONE school of North Korea experts has been arguing for some time that sanctions will never induce the isolated regime of Kim Jong Un to give up its nuclear weapons nor its race to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles that could carry them to the United States. A good answer is that while they might be right, sanctions are still the best available option — and unlike others, such as negotiations with the regime, they have never been given a robust try. Fortunately, that may be about to change.

After waiting in vain for China to apply serious pressure to the Pyongyang regime following President Trump's first meeting with Xi Jinping, the administration is readying sanctions against a number of Chinese companies and banks that do business with North Korea, a senior administration official said this week. A sanctions bill on its way through Congress mandates additional steps against North Korean shipping, countries that evade U.N. sanctions and those that employ the slave laborers whom the regime exports to other countries. Still-tougher measures are in a pending Senate bill developed by Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen.

If the administration aggressively and consistently exploits the new authorities — an open question, given the endless chaos in the White House and gaping personnel holes at the State Department — it might be able, over time, to cut off a substantial part of the flows of hard currency that last year allowed North Korea to increase its trade by nearly 5 percent and that financed $1.7 billion in imports from China in the first half of 2017.

The problem is a lack of time. Even successful sanctions campaigns, including that which induced Iran to bargain over its nuclear program, can take years to produce results — and the time North Korea may need to acquire the ability to threaten a nuclear attack on the U.S. homeland appears to be rapidly shrinking. The Washington Post reported on Tuesday that U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded the Kim regime could produce a missile that could reach the U.S. homeland with an atomic warhead in a year, years faster than previously estimated. On Friday, the regime carried out a new test of what appeared to be a long-range ICBM, the second this month.

Not surprisingly, both the administration and outside experts are debating other options. CIA Director Mike Pompeo recently hinted at a strategy to “separate” the Kim regime from its weapons. If that means regime change, it would require far greater cooperation from a Chinese government that so far has been unwilling to seriously pressure its neighbor. Some analysts suggest the United States should take up a Russian-Chinese proposal for a freeze on North Korean missile and nuclear tests in exchange for a halt to U.S.-South Korean military exercises. But history shows that any North Korean commitment to a freeze would be temporary and unreliable, while Washington's agreement to the deal could introduce a permanent crack into its alliance with South Korea.

One helpful proposal comes from the State Department's former human rights chief, Tom Malinowski, who wrote in a Politico essay that the United States should ramp up efforts to provide the North Korean people with information, including about the far freer and more prosperous lives of South Koreans. Political change in North Korea forced by its own citizens, he says, is more likely than denuclearization by the current regime. That clear-eyed but ultimately hopeful forecast strikes us as sensible.


__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • The Washington Post's View: What Trump can do about North Korea


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/sanctions-are-the-best-option-against-a-dangerous-north-korea/2017/07/28/41d6dcf4-72fb-11e7-8f39-eeb7d3a2d304_story.html



Hilarious actually. Trump is too busy encouraging blood-sport in The White House to be able to concentrate on North Korea for longer than the time it takes to compose and post an idiot tweet. Before he could say geronimo (that is presuming he can even work out what it means), the North Koreans will have their nuclear deterrent against American aggression, and then it will be too late, 'cause if Trump launches an all-out attack against North Korea, they will kill a few million Americans before they get taken out completely. And if Trump attacks them in the meantime, the NKs will simply open up on South Korea with their artillery and kill hundreds of thousands of South Koreans as well as several thousand Americans before their artillery can be destroyed. The clown/mad-king in The White House has been snookered by Kim Jong-un.
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« Reply #76 on: July 30, 2017, 02:08:34 am »

..mmmm..seems even the Washington post does not have the answer....🙄

....Oh-bummer did nothing for 8 years....just ran away like a kiwirail employee from work🙄
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Kiwithrottlejockey
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« Reply #77 on: July 30, 2017, 03:26:26 am »


Whether America likes it or not, North Korea is going to get their nuclear deterrent against American aggression.

And the Chinese aren't going to do bugger-all about it, because China fears millions of North Korean refugees flooding over the border more than it fears an idiot and a clown like Donald Trump indulging in buffoonery & stupidity in The White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. And as for the USA slapping sanctions on Chinese companies and banks, if the Chinese retaliate in kind against American companies and banks, the Americans will get hurt considerably more than the Chinese will. Just as in a trade war started by Trump, it will be America and American workers who will be hurt the most. Although, somehow I think Trump is too stupid to even begin to comprehend that.
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« Reply #78 on: July 30, 2017, 03:35:19 am »


Ahhhh...what did Oh-Bummar do?


...he was there for 8 long years🙄 Hiding like a scared kiwirail employee?
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« Reply #79 on: August 03, 2017, 02:04:04 am »

US may get tougher against China trade policies
Published August 02, 2017
FoxNews.com
The Trump administration is signaling it intends to take a harsher stance on trade issues than it has during its first six months.

The U.S. is considering using rarely invoked U.S. trade laws to fend off China’s demands that foreign companies share their technology in return for access to the country’s vast market.

The move is prompted by discontent among U.S. businesses, which have grown frustrated with China’s trade and market access practices, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Those practices have helped position China to become a global leader in emerging technologies, such as microchips and electric cars, the New York Times reported.

The U.S. policy shift also may reflect White House frustration that it hasn’t received the help it hoped for from China in addressing North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

But a senior Chinese official said Monday there was no link between North Korea’s nuclear program and China-U.S. trade, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, trade ministers from China and other nations -- including Brazil, Russia and India -- concluded a conference in Shanghai on Wednesday, agreeing to promote international cooperation and oppose "trade and investment protectionism," Reuters reported.

A source familiar with the U.S. discussions said the Trump administration planned to employ Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974, which allows Washington to investigate China’s trade practices and, within months, raise tariffs on imports from China, or impose other sanctions.

Section 301 was used frequently in the 1980s to combat Japanese imports of steel, motorcycles and other items, but less frequently after the World Trade Organization was founded in 1995, Reuters reported.

Related Image
Commerce Secretary-designate Wilbur Ross testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017, at his confirmation before the Senate Commerce Committee. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)Expand / Collapse
U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, seen in Washington, Jan. 18, 2017, says the U.S. will use every available tool to combat trade barriers set by China and the European Union.  (Associated Press)

The new investigation would focus on China’s alleged “forced technology transfer policies and practices,” the source said, adding that the Trump administration could launch the probe as soon as this week.

One question not yet answered is whether the Trump administration would work with the WTO or seek to impose penalties on China without relying on the international body, the Wall Street Journal reported.

On Monday, U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal, assailing China and the European Union for “formidable nontariff trade barriers” and asserting the U.S. would use “every available tool” to combat those barriers.

This story includes reporting from the Associated Press.
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« Reply #80 on: August 08, 2017, 09:50:42 pm »


from The Washington Post....

North Korea says it won't give up nuclear weapons
and that entire U.S. mainland is within firing range


North Korea’s foreign minister also dismissed new U.N. sanctions as illegal.

By CAROL MORELLO and ANNE GEARAN | 9:04PM EDT - Monday, August 07, 2017

A North Korean flag flies at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva. — Photograph: Denis Balibouse/Reuters.
A North Korean flag flies at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva. — Photograph: Denis Balibouse/Reuters.

MANILA — North Korea spurned harsh new U.N. sanctions on Monday and threatened to defend itself with nuclear weapons if necessary, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson repeated an offer to bargain with the outcast nation under the right circumstances.

There was no sign at a major Asian security conference here that the sanctions hailed by President Trump as a foreign policy achievement would succeed where past efforts have failed in trying to persuade the country to give up its nuclear weapons.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told diplomats that his country will never negotiate away what he called a rational “strategic option” against the threat of attack from the United States.

“We will, under no circumstances, put the nukes and ballistic rockets” up for negotiation, Ri said in prepared remarks, adding that the entire United States is within range of its missiles.

He dismissed the U.N. Security Council sanctions approved on Saturday as illegal, appearing to rule out talks that the Trump administration, in a diplomatic partnership with China and Russia, is offering North Korea as a way out of its economic and diplomatic pariah status.

“The best signal that North Korea could send that they're prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches,” Tillerson told reporters on Monday at the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) gathering.

The security conference in the Philippine capital was dominated by the rising threat posed by North Korea's rapid advances in nuclear and ballistic missile technology. Those capabilities are already a threat to neighbors and U.S. allies South Korea and Japan. In two tests last month, North Korea demonstrated that it could hit major population centers in the United States, and the country is now working to perfect the technology to allow those missiles to carry nuclear warheads.

The new economic sanctions were approved amid the discussions here. The penalties are the toughest to date against a country that has been under international sanctions for more than a decade, and they carry the symbolic weight of approval by Pyongyang's closest ally, China. They also approximate a trade embargo by targeting some of North Korea's biggest exports, including coal.

The sanctions can work only if North Korean leader Kim Jong Un concludes that he has too much to lose by hanging on to his weapons. Kim's calculation has been the opposite — that his weapons and the means to deliver them buy him irreplaceable leverage over the United States, his principal adversary.

China is urging Kim to consider negotiations, and also worked alongside the United States to develop the new U.N. sanctions. Days before the unanimous Security Council vote, Tillerson had made a point of saying that the United States does not consider North Korea its enemy and does not seek to invade the country or unseat Kim. Those reassurances were meant to encourage North Korea to meet at the bargaining table.

At the same time, Washington has issued blunt warnings that the United States will use military force if necessary, and North Korea has answered in kind.

In the printed version of his speech, Ri said Pyongyang will use nuclear weapons only against the United States or any other country that might join it in military action against North Korea.

Ri's address here was closed to the media, so it could not be determined whether he stuck to a script delivered to reporters.

Another direct warning was aimed at the United States in a government statement published by the state-run Korean Central News Agency.

“There is no bigger mistake than the United States believing that its land is safe across the ocean,” it said.

North Korea “will make the U.S. pay dearly for all the heinous crimes it commits against the state and people of this country,” the statement said.


What was said to be the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in North Korea on Friday, July 28th, 2017. — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service/Associated Press.
What was said to be the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) in North Korea on Friday, July 28th, 2017.
 — Photograph: Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service/Associated Press.


Tillerson would not spell out a deadline for North Korea to respond to the diplomatic overture.

“We'll know it when we see it,” he said on Monday.

“We hope again that this ultimately will result in North Korea coming to a conclusion to choose a different pathway, and when the conditions are right that we can sit and have a dialogue around the future of North Korea so that they feel secure and prosper economically,” he told reporters.

Tillerson avoided running into Ri, who attended the related ASEAN Regional Forum. The State Department said he skipped one event where the two men might have met and left another early to attend a scheduled meeting with Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Tillerson and Trump spoke by phone for about an hour on Monday, and Tillerson detailed the results of his discussions in Manila, the White House said.

“United Nations Resolution is the single largest economic sanctions package ever on North Korea,” Trump wrote in a Twitter message on Saturday. “Over one billion dollars in cost to N.K.”

On Monday, Trump complained that the U.S.-led sanctions vote at the United Nations is not getting enough attention, writing, “The Fake News Media will not talk about the importance of the United Nations Security Council’s 15-0 vote in favor of sanctions on N. Korea!”

North Korea rarely attends, or is even invited to, international forums such as the ASEAN meeting. Ri tried to make the most of it, holding meetings with the top diplomats from China and Russia, two countries that trade with North Korea and employ North Koreans as contract workers. China alone is responsible for 90 percent of North Korea's trade.

Moscow and Beijing have proposed a “freeze for a freeze” approach, in which North Korea would suspend its missile and nuclear testing if the United States and its allies stop conducting joint military exercises in the region. Washington has rejected that.

After meeting with Ri, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov called on all parties “to show maximum restraint to avoid the projection of military power on the Korean Peninsula and immediately start seeking a political and diplomatic resolution to the problems of the peninsula, including its denuclearization.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said he told Ri that North Korea should abide by U.N. prohibitions against missile and nuclear testing. But he also said that sanctions, while needed, “are not the final goal,” and he called for dialogue. Wang urged the United States and South Korea, as well as the North, not to increase tensions, saying the situation already is at a “critical point”.

Chinese state media on Monday acknowledged that North Korea had to be punished for its missile tests, but criticized the United States for its “arrogance”.

The effectiveness of the new sanctions depends on how well China, in particular, decides to enforce them, said Michael J. Green of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, who was an Asia export in the George W. Bush administration.

More broadly, Green said, the time for effective diplomacy has almost certainly run out. There is little to no chance that North Korea can be talked out of weapons it considers essential, he said.

“The North Korea strategy for decades has involved both carrots and sticks. The problem is that the carrots are no longer credible,” he said.


Anne Gearan reported from Washington.

• Carol Morello is the diplomatic correspondent for The Washington Post, covering the State Department.

• Anne Gearan is a national politics correspondent for The Washington Post.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: North Korea: U.S. will ‘pay dearly’ after U.N. passes sanctions

 • VIDEO: North Korean defector who made millions for Kim regime on why sanctions don't work

 • VIDEO: Japan calls for further ‘pressure’ on North Korea

 • North Korea can show it's ready for negotiations by stopping missile launches, Tillerson says

 • The Washington Post says: The U.N. has placed more sanctions on North Korea. That's not enough.

 • What the new sanctions on North Korea mean

 • U.N. imposes tough new sanctions on North Korea

 • Tillerson to North Korea: ‘We are not your enemy’


https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/north-korea-under-no-circumstances-will-give-up-its-nuclear-weapons/2017/08/07/33b8d319-fbb2-4559-8f7d-25e968913712_story.html
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« Reply #81 on: August 08, 2017, 11:00:47 pm »

..yes...a good outcome for Trump and Tillerson....finally getting Russia And China on board...😉

...Oh-bumma spent most of his 8 years hiding from REALITY....and playing golf with Sir John🙄

...good to America trying to bring the change by peaceful methods first😉

..
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« Reply #82 on: August 09, 2017, 01:09:12 pm »

China could bring it's evil gremlin neighbour to heel over night, if it wanted to.
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« Reply #83 on: August 09, 2017, 02:24:17 pm »

Yup...but they don't want to end up with democracy and freedom on their doorstep....the natives might get restless😳
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« Reply #84 on: August 09, 2017, 02:27:53 pm »

More likely NK is just another tool to drain the democratic world of money and resources.
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« Reply #85 on: August 09, 2017, 02:37:29 pm »

Really...how much money do you think NK Is draining from the democratic world?....and how?

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« Reply #86 on: August 11, 2017, 09:28:43 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Someone needs to distract Trump with a shiny object

He's totally unequipped to handle North Korea.

By EUGENE ROBINSON | 6:25PM EDT - Thursday, August 10, 2017

President Donald J. Trump in Bedminster, New Jersey. — Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters.
President Donald J. Trump in Bedminster, New Jersey. — Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters.

THIS is what we dreaded. Some international crisis was bound to flare up, and President Trump would make it worse. Now we can only hope that the mature adults surrounding him are able to cool things down.

Trump probably thought it was oh-so-clever to answer North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's nuclear provocations with a taste of the dictator's own apocalyptic language, threatening “fire and fury like the world has never seen”. It sounded like a playground taunt, reflecting the president's emotional immaturity. On Thursday, Trump said that maybe those words weren’t “tough enough.” Soon these two nuclear-armed leaders may be trading insults about the size of each other's hands.

The “fire and fury” line was “improvised”, meaning Trump failed to warn anyone about it beforehand — not Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, not Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, not Chief of Staff John F. Kelly, not national security adviser H.R. McMaster, not U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. Wish these five officials well, because they stand between us and unthinkable disaster.

It is possible that “fire and fury” was, in Trump's mind, a bit of strategy. Perhaps he wanted to come across as a dangerous madman. If so, he succeeded in unnerving Americans and our allies — but not, apparently, the North Koreans.

Ironies abound. Before Trump's intervention, his administration was actually doing pretty well in orchestrating a global response to North Korea's development of intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads. Haley managed to get the U.N. Security Council to approve tough new sanctions, which meant she had to win co-operation from China and Russia — a real diplomatic achievement.

Moreover, Trump's bombast may even have occasioned high-fives in Kim's inner circle. Kim has long sought direct talks with the United States as a way of showing the North Korean people his exalted status among world leaders. A back-and-forth exchange of rhetoric fills the bill.

Dealing with this crisis will require patience and realism, both of which Trump totally lacks.

There is no quick solution. If there were, Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush or Barack Obama would have implemented it long ago. A U.S. military strike could cost millions of lives in South Korea and perhaps many thousands in Japan. Our nation, under Trump, would become an international pariah. We would have the blood of many innocents on our hands.

The reality is that Kim doesn't want to conquer the world — or provoke a U.S. attack that could end his regime. He wants to remain in power. He also dreams of someday reuniting the Korean Peninsula under his own leadership, but that is a much longer-range goal. Right now, his imperative is survival.

By developing nuclear weapons and advanced missile technology, Kim sought to ensure that he never faces the fate of Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Having gone to extraordinary lengths to obtain this insurance policy, he is not likely to give it up. Ever.

The Trump administration believes the Chinese government could do more to pressure Kim. It is true that China has the power to destroy the fragile North Korean economy, but Chinese leaders are not willing to confront the consequences of provoking a collapse of central authority in Pyongyang. And the Kim dynasty has shown a willingness to force the North Korean people to endure unspeakable hardship in the pursuit of national goals.

I see no way that Kim is ever going to be persuaded or coerced into giving up his nukes. Maybe he would do so under imminent threat of being deposed. But in any scenario I can imagine, he has more leverage with nuclear weapons than without them. I don't want to live in a world in which a nuclear-tipped North Korean missile can hit Guam or Hawaii or Los Angeles or Chicago, but we may not have a choice.

Deterrence does work, though. It worked throughout the Cold War. It worked during Mao's Cultural Revolution, when China was at least as unhinged as North Korea is today. It works between India and Pakistan.

Trump once said he would be willing to meet with Kim. If the president can be kept from making further threats and the present crisis allowed to subside, perhaps we can eventually offer direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang — something Kim dearly wants — with the subject being a verifiable freeze on the North Korean nuclear program. After a freeze is in place for a while, it might be possible to negotiate reductions.

As I said, we need to be patient and realistic. Someone please distract the president with a shiny object for the next few years.


• Eugene Robinson writes a twice-a-week column on politics and culture for The Washington Post, contributes to the PostPartisan blog, and hosts a weekly online chat with readers. In a three-decade career at The Post, Robinson has been city hall reporter, city editor, foreign correspondent in Buenos Aires and London, foreign editor, and assistant managing editor in charge of the paper's Style section.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • VIDEO: Trump's wide-ranging statements from his Bedminster estate, in three minutes

 • VIDEO: Worried about North Korea? Here are 4 things you need to know.

 • Michael Dobbs: Trump and the Cuban missile crisis

 • David Ignatius: This is the moment of truth

 • Charles Krauthammer: The Rubicon is crossed


https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/this-president-totally-lacks-the-ability-to-deal-with-north-korea/2017/08/10/1d51c2e2-7e07-11e7-83c7-5bd5460f0d7e_story.html
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« Reply #87 on: August 11, 2017, 09:59:49 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Gaming out the North Korea crisis: How the conflict might escalate

Trump has four options, experts say: Status quo. Tougher sanctions. Talks. War.

By MARC FISHER and DAVID NAKAMURA | 8:35PM EDT - Thursday, August 10, 2017

A Seoul news program reports on North Korea's threats to strike Guam with missiles. — Photograph: Ahn Young-Joon/Associated Press.
A Seoul news program reports on North Korea's threats to strike Guam with missiles. — Photograph: Ahn Young-Joon/Associated Press.

A MILITARY CONFRONTATION with North Korea may now be “inevitable,” says Senator Lindsey O. Graham (Republican-South Carolina) The United States is “done talking” about North Korea, tweets U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley. President Trump threatens “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” then says maybe his language “wasn't tough enough.”

The North Koreans return verbal fire, talking of using “absolute force” to hit the U.S. territory of Guam and even “turn the U.S. mainland into the theater of a nuclear war.”

In this moment of heated, belligerent rhetoric, planners in and out of government are diving into decades of plans and projections, playing out war games, engaging in the macabre semi-science of estimating death tolls and predicting how an adversary might behave. Inside Washington's “what if?” industry, people at think tanks, universities, consultancies and defense businesses have spent four decades playing out scenarios that the Trump administration now faces anew.

The pathways that have been examined fall into four main categories: doing nothing, hitting Kim Jong Un's regime with tougher sanctions, pushing for talks, and military confrontation. An armed conflict could take place in disparate spots thousands of miles apart, involving any number of nations and a wide variety of weapons, conventional or nuclear.

In hundreds of books, policy papers and roundtable discussions, experts have couched various shades of armageddon in the dry, emotion-stripped language of throw-weights and missile ranges. But the nightmare scenarios are simple enough: In a launch from North Korea, a nuclear-tipped missile could reach San Francisco in half an hour. A nuclear attack on Seoul, South Korea's capital of 10 million people, could start and finish in three minutes.

Talking tough about war doesn't necessarily lead to it. Inflammatory language can work both ways, sometimes lighting the fuse of battle, sometimes bringing the parties to an easing of tensions.

At this volatile intersection, alternatives to war are at least as much the focus as preparation for battle. Luring the North Koreans to the negotiating table is perhaps the most popular pathway among many experts, who advocate a “freeze-for-freeze” option, in which the United States might promise to restrict military exercises in the region or eschew new sanctions against Kim's regime, in exchange for North Korea agreeing to halt expansion and testing of its nuclear capabilities.

Former defense secretary Robert M. Gates, for example, has suggested promising not to seek regime change in North Korea in exchange for Kim committing to a cap on his nuclear program.

However, Susan Thornton, the acting assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, said the Trump administration rejects the idea of freeze-for-freeze, calling it a false moral equivalency.

Accepting North Korea into the world's nuclear club is a hard step for many politicians, but maybe not quite as hard as it once was. Now, it's not so much a step as an acceptance of the status quo.

“I don't think we're going to get denuclearization,” said Richard Nephew, a scholar at Columbia University who was a sanctions co-ordinator in President Barack Obama's State Department. “So we might want to accept them and depend on deterrence theory. There's a reason North Korea has not invaded South Korea: They fear overwhelming response from the United States.”

But if North Korea won't negotiate, or if the Trump administration decides against making concessions that might lure the Kim regime to the table, a military confrontation remains “a very plausible path,” Nephew said. “It's a very tempting idea to solve this problem once and for all.”

The current spate of North Korean agitation is hardly a new phenomenon. Security experts in Washington have been debating how best to respond to a nuclear threat from the Kim regime for four decades and three generations of the family's rule. North Korea was presumed to have nuclear warheads in the 1990s, and the country exploded its first nuclear device in 2006.

A military confrontation could start with a U.S. effort to force regime change, either by taking out the Kim regime or by fomenting a rebellion among elites in the isolated dictatorship.

“But it's hard to imagine that scenario ending with anything other than the North Koreans deciding to light up Seoul,” Nephew said. And if South Korea were given a voice in any U.S. decision to use force, it's unlikely that Seoul would assent to a strategy that could spark a wider conflagration on the Korean Peninsula.


A 2013 picture from KCNA shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at an undisclosed location. — Photograph: North Korean Central News Agency/European Pressphoto Agency.
A 2013 picture from KCNA shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at an undisclosed location.
 — Photograph: North Korean Central News Agency/European Pressphoto Agency.


Most of those who have considered the merits of launching a limited attack on the North — say, to destroy nuclear capabilities — have concluded that what Americans might see as limited could well be interpreted by the Kim regime as an invitation to all-out conflict.

North Korea might even respond with force to the ongoing U.S. show of strength in its neighborhood. American ships, planes and troops have been on maneuvers nearby as part of annual exercises, and the United States sent B-1 bombers stationed in Guam over the Korean Peninsula last month.

The North could also launch its own provocation — an attack on Guam, a cyberattack on Japan or a skirmish on the boundary between the two Koreas, the planet's most heavily armed border.

In 2010, for example, the North sank a South Korean naval vessel, the Cheonan, and a few months later shelled Yeonpyeong Island, a South Korean territory in the Yellow Sea, killing two soldiers. In those cases, “South Korea took hits and did not retaliate,” said Richard Lacquement, a retired Army colonel who served as a military planner in South Korea. But if they did retaliate, he wondered, might that ignite a larger war?

If the latest North Korean threats about hitting Guam reflect any real intent beyond rhetorical saber-rattling, a launch would be detected by Japanese radar, leading U.S. ships in the Pacific to launch missiles to destroy the North Korean warhead, according to one scenario. The immediate crisis might be averted, but North Korea might then respond by attacking South Korean patrol boats near the border between the two Koreas.

Skirmishes have taken place in that area for many years, but the chances that such a conflict could quickly metastasize into a full-scale war are high, military analysts said.

In a conventional war, heavy casualties would likely result as North Korean troops poured into the South, using tunnels the North is reported to have built under the demilitarized zone between the countries. In addition, North Korea is believed to have a stockpile of several thousand tons of chemical weapons, according to the International Crisis Group, which studies global conflicts.

In war games played out at Washington policy institutes, even minor confrontations have led to a nuclear exchange. In one model, a single nuclear device deployed against Seoul would result in 180,000 deaths and 160,000 additional injuries, along with a near-total collapse of civil order, including a mass exodus from the city leading to gridlock and a paralyzed health-care system.

Even without using nuclear weapons, the North could sow panic and perhaps force a shift in U.S. policy. North Korea might attempt to spread fear through an act of terrorism, said Patrick Cronin, an Asia-Pacific security expert at the Center for a New American Security. “A few grenades in downtown Seoul will absolutely close down the city out of fear,” he said.

Even without nuclear force, North Korea might seek to divide the United States from its allies. How, for example, would regional Asian powers react if North Korea shot a high-altitude electromagnetic pulse over Tokyo, temporarily turning off the lights in the Japanese metropolis?

In that instance, some experts concluded, Japan might join with some neighbors to urge Washington to cut a deal with Kim, averting further military conflict by accepting North Korea as a nuclear power.

North Korea has “proven adept over the years at using force in pretty calibrated ways to achieve political objectives,” said Thomas Mahnken, president of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, which does war-game planning. He said the North takes advantage of the relative unwillingness of the United States and South Korea to risk war.

“We lived in a period from the end of the Cold War until the recent past where we could delude ourselves that we lived in a risk-free world — and that era is over,” Mahnken said.

Many scenarios exploring how a U.S.-North Korea conflict would unfold founder on uncertainties about what Kim really wants. Despite the country's acquisition of nuclear weapons, “the regime does not have regional ambitions,” concluded Robert Carlin of Stanford University and Robert Jervis of Columbia in a paper that studied how North Korea might use its new status.

“The most likely scenario,” they wrote, “is for Pyongyang to remain tightly focused on its domestic situation, especially on its economy, and on ways to loosen or blunt the pressures from its neighbors and the United States.”

Still, they said, “we could well enter the danger zone of North Korean fatalism, in which a decision to use nuclear weapons, especially against Japan — the historic enemy — would rise on the list of ‘patriotic’ options.”

The North Korean leadership, they warned, “might become… fatalistic and decide that death with ‘glory’ is preferable to defeat.”


• Marc Fisher, a senior editor, writes about most anything at The Washington Post. He's been The Post's enterprise editor, local columnist and Berlin bureau chief, and he’s covered politics, education, pop culture, and much else in three decades on the Metro, Style, National and Foreign desks.

• David Nakamura covers the White House for The Washington Post. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • GRAPHIC: How three launches signal new leaps in North Korea's missile capabilities

 • Washington dives into options, consequences in North Korea crisis

 • Are we close to nuclear war with North Korea? The consensus is probably not.

 • Trump escalates rhetoric on North Korea's nuclear program

 • How does the U.S. launch a nuclear attack? The president gives the order — and that's it.

 • A nuclear-armed North Korea could make smaller disputes with Pyongyang much more dangerous

 • Trump has been making ominous threats his whole life

 • In dealing with North Korea, Trump needs allies — not bombast


https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/gaming-out-the-north-korea-crisis-how-the-conflict-might-escalate/2017/08/10/06d0207a-7ddc-11e7-a669-b400c5c7e1cc_story.html
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aDjUsToR
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« Reply #88 on: August 11, 2017, 10:41:44 pm »

The world has become numb to this despot. Now he's getting nuclear weapons. I feel sorry for the NK people.

If Hitler had been dealt with very early 20 million lives would have been saved.
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« Reply #89 on: August 11, 2017, 10:50:30 pm »

I actually hope there isn't a war. I'm pretty sure letting the NK regime get nuclear weapons isn't acceptable either.
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Donald
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« Reply #90 on: August 11, 2017, 10:59:31 pm »

Couldn't agree more...🙄
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« Reply #91 on: August 11, 2017, 11:44:25 pm »


Too late....NK has already got a nuclear deterent....and if we are to believe American intelligence agencies, they have managed to miniaturize nuclear warheads to fit in their ICBMs, which they have already demonstrated to have the range to reach Chicago, or New York City.

Mind you....I'd be pissed off if NK nuked New York. 'cause I've got a subscription to The New York Times and I've still got eight months to go before it needs to be renewed, so I want my eight months worth. Likewise I'd be pissed off if NK nuked Los Angeles, 'cause I've got a subscription to the Los Angeles Times. Ditto for Washington D.C. where I've got a subscription to The Washington Post and I've already paid for the next three years (well, actually I paid for five years a couple of years ago, 'cause they offered me a five-year subscription for only US$99.99 provided I coughed up front).

But I'd have no problems with NK nuking Texas, or any of those other backwards states which are full of fundy religious, gun-toting, Trump-supporting Jesuslander retards. And when Trump nuked North Korea in retaliation, the nuclear fallout would take care of those Japs, so no more Sony or Toyota or Nissan. Who knows....we might even get to see full-blown nuclear war between China and America. Wouldn't that be a real hoot, eh? It would certainly take care of global warming.

Yep....it could be great, entertaining television viewing from down-under.
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« Reply #92 on: August 12, 2017, 12:03:09 am »

Finally we agree on something....global warming is not worth worrying about....took a while but we got there in the end.....won't have to feel guilty about all the air travel carbon emissions 😜
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« Reply #93 on: August 12, 2017, 12:09:39 am »


The reason you won't need to worry about global warming will be 'cause there will be a nuclear winter when NK and Trump exchange nuclear weapons in anger.

But I guess you're too dumb to work out the connection.

However, it will be great if you are in Southeast Asia when the nuke exchange takes place and you get doused in radioactive fallout.
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« Reply #94 on: August 12, 2017, 12:17:08 am »

Probably not, I am at present at Suvarnabhumi airport in Bangkok to catch my flight home via the lucky country....

....gotta get the yacht ready for a spring cruise😜
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« Reply #95 on: August 12, 2017, 11:38:02 am »

" all the air travel carbon emissions"

Which are providing extra plant fertiliser and are only capable of adding a slight warming effect which gets buried in the noise of natural climate variability. Enjoy your flying 😁
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« Reply #96 on: August 12, 2017, 12:15:04 pm »

 ..good to see that China has said it will just watch from the sideline if Kim fires the first shot....against the US..

...guess that would include anything aimed at US allies...

..are we in some sort of agreement like OZ that says if someone attacks the US we are also at wat with that country😜


China pledges neutrality - unless US strikes North Korea first
Published August 11, 2017

China’s government says it would remain neutral if North Korea attacks the United States, but warned it would defend its Asian neighbor if the U.S. strikes first and tries to overthrow Kim Jong Un’s regime, Chinese state media said Friday.

“If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime, and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so,” reported the Global Times, a daily Chinese newspaper controlled by the Communist Party.

Meanwhile, other Asia-Pacific countries have come out in support of the United States in the event of a North Korean nuclear attack.

Japan’s defense minister, Itsunori Onodera, said this week that his nation’s military was ready to shoot down North Korean nuclear missiles, if necessary.

In Australia, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull described his country and the U.S. as being “joined at the hip,” the South China Morning Post reported.

“If there is an attack on the U.S., the Anzus Treaty would be invoked,” and Australia would aid the U.S., Turnbull told Australia’s 3AW radio Friday morning. Turnbull was referring to a collective security agreement between the United States, Australia and New Zealand.

Related Image
Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull gives the keynote address at the 16th IISS Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore June 2, 2017. REUTERS/Edgar Su - RTX38OVRExpand / Collapse
Australia and the U.S. are "joined at the hip," Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said. He is seen speaking in Singapore, June 2, 2017.  (Reuters)

The Chinese response to the heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea followed a number of hot-headed proclamations.
Fox

North Korea has threatened the U.S. with a nuclear attack on Guam, a U.S. territory south of Japan, after President Donald Trump said additional threats against the country or its allies would be met with “fire and fury.”

On Thursday, the president doubled-down on the remarks, saying his original comment possibly “wasn’t tough enough.”

In a separate appearance, Trump added: “Let’s see what [Kim Jong Un] does with Guam. He does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody has seen before – what will happen in North Korea.”

One North Korean government official, meanwhile, accused Trump of “going senile,” Fox News reported.


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« Reply #97 on: August 12, 2017, 12:35:39 pm »

Which makes me wonder even more if Kim all wrong is simply China's thug puppet. Goading the west to distract and to waste resources. Why does China always support (or at least fail to dissuade)  the bad guys?
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« Reply #98 on: August 12, 2017, 12:37:54 pm »

I suspect China possibly sees the west as a lost cause destined to self destruct. A decadent basket case.
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« Reply #99 on: August 12, 2017, 12:43:16 pm »

So if the US and allies gets beat up going to war with it's puppet thug neighbour (with China supplying muscle either covertly or overtly) AND there just happens to be another GFC style crisis, maybe China's model of governance and influence will win out? China has some very ugly aspects but the west in many ways is becoming farcical in terms of energy policy and social cohesion.
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