“Simian Mutual Hostility” – A Short Note On North Korea By Walrus.

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Colonel Lang aptly described the current situation vis a vis the leaders of North Korea and the United States as one of "Simian Mutual Hostility" and offered his opinion that there is little chance of avoiding war.

On 23rd September the U.S. Airforce flew a bomber mission, in international airspace, closer to North Korea than ever before in "the 21st century". North Korea has responded, allegedly calling this event an Act Of War and threatening to shoot down American aircraft, even in international airspace if it happens again.

I am now of the opinion that we are, at best, one miscalculation away from the collapse of the Korean Armistice. 

Our best hope is that President Trump is much better informed on North Korea than anyone thinks and that his jibe at Kim Jong Un, labelling him "Rocket Man", is a carefully calculated master stroke of foreign policy. My own opinion is that it isn't.

Word matter and President Trump is an expert wordsmith. Despite what some people might think, his characterizations like "Lyin' Ted Cruz", "Crooked Hillary", etc. , struck deep into the subconscious of the American public where they sat and festered, likewise his tweets. "Rocket Man" is no idle jibe coming from such and experienced practitioner, what is Trump thinking?

Was the "Rocket Man" reference intended solely for a domestic audience? Hardly. Is it going to change the worlds perception of Kim in ways beneficial to America? I don't think so. It looks to me like a direct challenge, from an older man to a younger, to put up or shut up. It may be that President Trump is counting on this insult plus continued military pressure to trigger a North Korean coup. If not, then the ball is now in North Korea's court. Kim Jong Un has to respond. I do not think we will have long to wait. What say members of SST?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/north-korea-asserts-its-right-to-shoot-down-us-bombers/2017/09/25/74da66c4-a204-11e7-8cfe-d5b912fabc99_story.html?utm_term=.6e385755a80b

 

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42 Responses to “Simian Mutual Hostility” – A Short Note On North Korea By Walrus.

  1. Jack says:

    Walrus,
    IMO, Rocket Man needs to act simian for his own domestic audience. He’s gonna keep developing his nuclear strike capabilities. He’s really got no choice. That’s his only insurance policy.
    Steve Bannon had it right. Unless a US administration is willing to sacrifice millions in Seoul and never be forgiven for that by the Koreans, Rocket Man can keep thumbing his nose.
    It seems the South Koreans are already trying to defuse the situation by sending the north humanitarian aid. Another South Korean president had to push back one of the liberals favorite US president who wanted to take out Rocket Man’s dad.
    https://www.forbes.com/sites/dougbandow/2015/11/26/laying-south-koreas-kim-young-sam-to-rest-former-president-stopped-second-korean-war/amp/

  2. semiconscious says:

    ‘If not, then the ball is now in North Korea’s court…’
    is that ‘the ball’ or ‘the scat’? cuz all i can see is scat being tossed from both cages. & i’m not so sure there’s really any ‘taking turns’ going on any more 🙂 …

  3. Fred says:

    Jack,
    So Kim Jong Un will stop when he has what, parity? What’s to stop the transer of the capability to some other country?

  4. ex-PFC Chuck says:

    “Word[s] matter and President Trump is an expert wordsmith. Despite what some people might think, his characterizations like “Lyin’ Ted Cruz”, “Crooked Hillary”, etc. , struck deep into the subconscious of the American public where they sat and festered, likewise his tweets. “Rocket Man” is no idle jibe coming from such and experienced practitioner, what is Trump thinking?

    Bingo! One of the first people of some prominence to predict that Trump would win both the GOP nomination and the presidential election was Scott Adams, the author of the syndicated comic strip Dilbert. He made that prediction on his blog in June or July of 2015, not long after The Donald had announced his candidacy. At the time many people were confident that it was only a matter of days, or weeks at most, until he announced his withdrawal.
    Adams describes himself as, among other things, a life-long student of the art of persuasion and asserted that he had never seen anyone so skilled therein. Several of his blog posts dealt with this specific aspect of Trump’s campaign. He called such tags “anchors,” or something similar. (That word doesn’t sound quite right to me but I’m drawing a blank on the term Adams used.) One that he thought was especially effective was “low energy JEB.” I agree that “Rocket man” is another effective anchor, whether deliberately thought out or intuitively thrown out there by the Trumpster. As Col. Lang wrote in a comment a day or two ago, when the simians start throwing s**t at each other the danger of one of the getting POed to the point that he throws down the gauntlet increases. But people forget that when the parties are ratcheted up to high DEFCON levels and the DPRK equivalent thereof, the danger of something happening down the chain of command increases as well. Two such incidents (that we know of; there may have been more) happened during the Cuban Missile crisis that came very over the edge. Next time our fate may not be in the hands of such level-headed junior officers.
    http://dilbert.com/
    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2012/oct/27/vasili-arkhipov-stopped-nuclear-war
    http://thebulletin.org/okinawa-missiles-october8826

  5. Jack says:

    Fred.
    The genie is out. We’re between a rock and a hard place. IMO, the time to solve it was before NorKo capabilities had advanced to this extent. I don’t think there was a military option that avoided significant casualties in Seoul. In the article I linked to Bill Clinton wanted to use military force but was prevented by President Kim Young Sam of South Korea.
    I think the only reasonable option now is some kind of settlement talks with China, Russia, South Korea and us that allows Rocket Man to keep some deterrence but prevents him from selling it. How to trust that he’ll keep his word? And will he trust us?

  6. b says:

    Trump is trying to goad the DPRK into an openly hostile reaction. That would then justify a U.S. war of “self defense”.
    The air-zone intrusion is perfect way of doing that. There are various zones, some unilaterally introduced by the UN then under U.S. control, some based on international law, some unilaterally declared by the DPRK.
    For the complicate details see this thread:
    https://twitter.com/CHShin_ROK/status/912503273755512832
    Trump may hope that the DPRK will take down a B-1B, or at least fire at one, and that the zone issues will not be understood by the media.
    Someone checked through the DPRK press releases and found that North Korea had declared something an “act of war” or a “war declaration” some 200 times. We should not put too much weight on that.
    A influential former defense minister of Japan said that Mattis would be the one deciding on a war, not Trump. The South Korean president said he would not allow a war to happen. The DPRK has no interest in a war. China has a defense treaty with the DPRK and recently said that it would react if the DPRK were attacked.
    I therefore doubt that any war against the DPRK will happen.

  7. Oilman2 says:

    Correct me if I am wrong, but hasn’t the US pulled out of several nuclear treaties in recent years?
    Further, there are 7 or 8 other countries that can, likely have or will, sell their nuclear tech secretly or openly to others. How successful has our control of that been?
    Answer to question #1 is partially found in question #2. MAD works when we are talking about Armageddon and there are thinkers involved on both sides. The idea that limited nuclear options exist is strictly a western one, and our walking away from agreements involving nuclear weapons clearly shows that.
    This genie has long been out of the bottle, and clearly the course that worked was overall reduction. Limit the threat and the defensive posture is in turn reduced. However, these ‘missile shields” which function partially have clearly unbalanced this equation. These systems are not ready for prime time, yet we have based policy on them. That in itself is highly problematic, to put it mildly.
    It is a great example of the worship of technology – these systems still do not work effectively, yet we move ahead believing they will and the problems are solvable. Looking at the math in nuclear exchange, the number of shields required to truly be termed a shield quickly shows that the expense is far beyond that of the weapons the shields are intended for.
    I cannot tell you what Trump might do, but it is clear what his generals are advising. Acts do speak louder than words, and the “big stick” mindset is firmly a part of Pentagon philosophy. However, with China next door and their stance in this verbalized, we still continue to piss on the boot of a much smaller nation which detests us in a region where there is only an old armistice.
    If this does get hot, I can assure you that other countries will attempt to arm up, because if they do not then they have no defense against implementation of policy by other means.

  8. Kutte says:

    May I remind readers that during the election campaign Trump continuously complained about countries like Japan and South-Korea, which depend on the US-Umbrella without paying? These countries are his problem and not the Baby-dictator. He wants to let things come to a head until Japan and South-Korea are so frightened that they ask the US to leave and make a deal with China and Russia, who will keep an eye on the little dictator and who IMHO have infiltrated North-Korea to saturation and can take away his toys at a moment’s notice. When JP & SK ask Trump to leave, he can exit without losing face. Will cost him a bit probably. Remember that 1962 the SU spectecularily left Cuba, but secretly, the US withdrew its rockets from Turkey.

  9. notlurking says:

    There are certain media types and neocons itching for war to happen….but I agree with you I doubt it will happen….at the end of the day clearer heads will prevail….

  10. Fred says:

    Jack,
    “I think the only reasonable option now is some kind of settlement talks …” …. “How to trust that he’ll keep his word? And will he trust us?”
    We can’t trust them and Kim Jung Un won’t keep his word. I’m sure the Koreans will shed just as many tears over Americans killed by Rocket Man as they did over Americans killed by Osama bin Laden’s boys. How many dead Americans are you willing to have? I think zero is the right number but doing nothing but the same Panmunjom shuffle while NOKO builds a dozen more ICBMs and the hydrogen bombs to arm them with is about the dumbest damn thing we could do.

  11. kao_hsien_chih says:

    I thought “Rocket Man” is a particularly apt moniker.
    A nuclear armed North Korea is not a problem to US. It can threaten SoKo (for which it needs no nuclear weapons). It can threaten Japan. But in the end, these are their problems, not ours.
    A potentially ICBM armed North Korea is a problem to US, precisely because it enables them to use US as a prop.
    The best “solution” is a Chinese-inspired coup that topples Kim Jong Un–in the end, it’s the Chinese that is being blackmailed primarily by the North Koreans. But pressuring the Chinese requires making it credible that US should intervene militarily beyond some point–and this is, I suspect what is going on. However, this does run a high probability that things will actually go nuts, though. Plus, it is not clear how much potential for staging a coup the Chinese have vis-a-vis NoKo–the North Koreans began really ratcheting things up after China’s allies in (or towards) North Korea have been purged, including Kim Jong Un’s brother. Plus, Trump just had to score an own goal lately by publicly thanking the Chinese for their help towards dealing with NoKo–which no doubt is actually considerable, but not something they want publicly recognized.

  12. Fred says:

    kao_hsien_chih,
    “A nuclear armed North Korea is not a problem to US.”
    Your statement is incorrect.

  13. Eric Newhill says:

    Walrus,
    KJU is an isolated guy with unchecked power who killed his own brother, killed his uncle. He’s a tin horn nut job and he can’t be allowed to possess nuclear capabilities that threaten the US. It’s not just his own potential use of them against the US. There is also the potential for someone like him to pass the weapons to a third party that would do the job. Believing that KJU is a rational actor in the sense that the USSR was seems like a stretch.
    Three US Presidents have punted with regards to NoKo nukes. Clinton played nice with NoKo nuclear development. Did playing nice deter the regime? Nope. They steadily continued development.
    I don’t understand all the people here blaming Trump for what is happening and whatever will happen. It should be clear that NoKo would become a nuclear armed country regardless of US policy. I really don’t see how anyone can believe that is an acceptable – albeit less than optimal – state of affairs.
    Yes, a lot of Koreans will perish if war breaks out. That has to be balanced against the potential loss of a US city, like San Francisco or LA.
    Who can state with certainty that KJU doesn’t plan on invading SoKo anyhow once he has his nuclear arsenal ready to deter US involvement?
    This doesn’t look to me like a situation where we can afford to say, in retrospect, “Oops. Looks like we misjudged. Our analysis was off”.
    So yes. I think Trump is pushing KJU to jump bad; hoping that China realizes that he’s serious and steps in to take care of the mess they helped create before it all gets too out of hand. Otherwise, the war is on. A very tragic turn of events, but something that was probably inevitable and, at least, it will be over there as opposed to over here. Trump’s duty is to protect the US and not Koreans.

  14. Jack says:

    Fred,
    So you favor another Korean war. There are many who hold that opinion. You know that there will be US casualties in such a war. It will not be zero dead Americans. What do you believe will be the reaction of the rest of the world, especially the Chinese? Do you care?

  15. different clue says:

    ex-PFC Chuck,
    As I remember, Scott Adams called those “stick-in-the-mass-mind” verbal image-words by the name “verbal kill-shots”. He may have sometimes called them “verbal head shots”, but I believe he usually called them “verbal kill-shots”.
    Scott Adams is very proud of his own mastery of the persuasional arts and often has fun using them on his own readers ( including on me whenever i read his blog-entries).

  16. Babak Makkinejad says:

    China will do nothing.
    If Trump thinks that then he is very very seriously misinformed.
    What is he willing to offer China?
    And who would believe any commitment that he (or any US President makes) after he discards JCPOA?

  17. Fellow Traveler says:

    Can’t find a Korean version of Elton John’s song, so not really sure what Kim will think of it.
    I did read somewhere that Kim’s classmates said he was a big electropop fan.

  18. b says:

    All intelligence services and all who know the DPRK think the KJU is a rational actor.
    Clinton did not play nice with DPRK nuclear development. He made an agreement to restrict it in exchange for fuel deliveries and civil nuclear reactors. The DPRK held to its parts down to the last bit. The U.S. fudged from the beginning. Promised fuel deliveries were never on time and always short. The reactors were never build. Indeed not even the financing was arrange nor and order for the necessary equipment. Then the U.S. declared the DPRK to be part of the axis of evil.
    (The agreement btw did not cover Uranium enrichment. Some claim now that DPRK cheated on the agreement by doing enrichment research. That is wrong. Read the agreement, enrichment was not covered.)
    “Yes, a lot of Koreans will perish if war breaks out. That has to be balanced against the potential loss of a US city, like San Francisco or LA.”
    Nice racist attitude you have there. Why not let 10 millions South Korean gooks die. Better than maybe some 100,000 Americans …)
    “Who can state with certainty that KJU doesn’t plan on invading SoKo anyhow once he has his nuclear arsenal ready to deter US involvement?”
    No one can state anything with certainty. Can you state with certainty that Canada does not plan to invade the U.S.?
    Logic and economic facts apply to such estimates. North Korea simple does not have the resources needed for such a campaign.
    “This doesn’t look to me like a situation where we can afford to say, in retrospect, “Oops. Looks like we misjudged. Our analysis was off”.”
    The U.S. affords such with lots of issues. Ever thought about climate change? Can we afford to be wrong on that?
    If you think that a “war will be over there and not here” you have not be watching. The DPRK has intercontinental missiles and it has fission weapons it can put on top of them. If a war starts they will be in a “use them or lose them” situation. Off they go.

  19. charly says:

    NoKo nukes are not only useful against South Korea and Japan but also against Beijing. To lazy to look it up but Busan is probably father from North Korea than Beijing

  20. charly says:

    To make the statement correct.
    A nuclear armed Korea is not a problem for the US if it leaves Korea

  21. charly says:

    What proof have you of Kim being a nutter. Killing your half brothers/uncles etc. is (or was) standard procedure with hereditary rule. Especially if the rules of succession aren’t that strict.
    SoKo is much stronger military than NoKo so it is very unlikely that NoKo will invade the South.
    ps. I think Kutte is right in expecting that Trump is forcing the SoKo to kick the Americans out.

  22. Norbert M Salamon says:

    With respect,
    the perennial blame of others [in this case China] for the failure of US foreign policy [to wit: refusal to sign a peace treaty 60+ years after the end of war : which was a draw] and considering that the US was supposed to withdraw from the Korean Peninsula per end of WWII undertakings; is a laughable issue for others not resident of US nor her many vassals.
    It is notable that it is not China which had twice yearly pseudo invasion military exercises close to NK’s border, nor was it China which broke the last agreement with NK [honor belongs to President Bush].

  23. JJackson says:

    It would appear to me that there has been a conventional weapon state of MADness on the Korean peninsula for some time, given the relatively short DMZ and the quantity of Tanks, missiles and artillery facing off. However up until now NK has faced the possibility of destruction by the US at anytime without the ability to do much in return. The only brake was if the US were to act it would mean throwing SK under the bus. To remedy this the NK’s only recourse was nuclear weapons capable of inflicting enough damage to the US to make an attack prohibitively expensive. It is not MAD it is destruction for NK and potentially some damage for the US but it is deterance. My concern is the US’s track record in correctly anticipating the reactions of other states (Korea part 1, Vietnam, Iraq & Syria)is not confidence inspiring. Any miscalcuation in stunts like flying offensive bomber formations in a game of chicken and hoping a retaliation by NK is seen by China as offensive not defensive, on the part of NK, is a reckless gamble played with the entire worlds chips not just the US’s.
    There are lots of nuclear states and I do not like or trust a number of them but I do not see NK as a particular threat to anyone as long as no body is stupid enough to attempt regieme change. It is the threat of external regieme change that is driving proliferation.

  24. Kooshy says:

    She will do something, the usual lip service and, SANCTIONS that wouldn’t change nothing until US agrees to negotiate, actually like what happened with JCPOA. For years US refused to come to table. In Persian this kind of negotiation is called ( pressure from bellow (rectum) negotiation in top ( by mouth).

  25. Keith Harbaugh says:

    b, in what I have read from you,
    you have consistently claimed that
    the U.S. news media, when it quotes threats from the DPRK,
    omits the qualifiers which you have claimed preceded those threats,
    qualifiers which amount to “If the U.S. attacks us, this will be the response.”
    I.e., we won’t initiate hostilities,
    but if the U.S. is so foolish as to initiate them, there will be a painful response.
    But on Saturday, 2017-09-23, it looks like DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho made a statement that cannot be so justified, per
    http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=57707 and many other news sources:

    “Due to his lacking basic common knowledge and proper sentiment,
    he tried to insult the supreme dignity of my country
    by referring it to a rocket.
    By doing so, however, he committed an irreversible mistake of
    making our rockets’ visit to the entire US mainland inevitable all the more,

    So the DPRK justifies a nuclear attack on the U.S. simply because an American president
    “tried to insult the supreme dignity of my country
    by referring it to a rocket”.
    (Presumably Ri is referring to Trump using the phrase “Rocket Man” to refer to Kim.)
    Killing millions of people because Trump insulted Kim?
    I sure hope that you don’t believe nuclear war can be justified by an insult.
    Do you?
    And by the way, to those at SST who have tried to equate Trump’s statements to those coming from North Korea,
    I haven’t heard Trump threatening destruction on North Korea simply based on words coming from it.
    I think that proves that trying to make an equivalence between Trump and Kim is simply wrong.

  26. different clue says:

    charly,
    A nuclear-armed DPRK could still be a problem for the US even if the US left ROK because a nuked-up DPRK could sell or give nuke-stuff to al quaeda or ISIS or other very bad actors. ( Though we live with the potential of a nuked-up Pakistan able to do the very same thing).
    A nuked-up DPRK would also be such a threat to ROK and Japan as to induce ROK and Japan to nuke up for their own safety. This would then be a proliferation and destabilization problem for China and Russia.
    Perhaps these considerations might finally lead China and Russia to seek a Grand Bargain wherein ROK abolishes its Office of National Re-unification and recognizes the Nation of DPRK for ever and forever. The DPRK would recognize the Nation of ROK for ever and forever in return. The US would then leave entirely. China and Russia would then fill DPRK up with Chinese and Russian troops, officially to guarantee the safety of their treasured Client and Ally DPRK in return for DPRK de-nuking. ( The Chinese and Russian troops and other overseers would be a source of moderation and containment against DPRK re-nuking.)
    If ROK demanded the continued presence of American troops in ROK in order to agree with all of these other things happening, would it be worth it to us to disarm and dismantle this situation otherwise?

  27. Eric Newhill says:

    b,
    Yes I get it. All the America and Trump haters are finding a new best friend in KJU.
    Though your comment is so silly as to hardly merit reply, I will note that KJU’s desire to invade SoKo is infinitely more likely than Canada’s to invade the USA.
    As a rational actor it would appear to KJU that if he had effective nuclear capability first and then attacked SoKo, he could deter an American intervention by holding US cities hostage.
    What’s not rational about that?
    In fact, there an analysts in SoKo that think that is exactly what KJU is up to. Nice that you can sit back and enjoy the show from Germany.

  28. Kooshy says:

    For a second I can’t believe that the American side doesn’t know what is going on with NK and who holds the strings there, still Adminstration to Adminstration they are not willing to swallow the pride, the (lost) geostratgey, the empire tendencies, or whatever other terms one wants to name it today and come to terms with the changing times, IMO, there are few (many) countries are rising from different parts of globe against US hegemony any I don’t think US can fight or subvert all and I don’t think US’ European allies are willing or ready to pay any substantial price in money or blood to keep US as the world order maker. We all will pay for this, for what reason and who, I hope one day I can understand and be reasoned to understand.

  29. b says:

    Here is the English text of the full speech
    https://gadebate.un.org/sites/default/files/gastatements/72/kp_en.pdf
    I interpret the paragraph you quote differently. It comes in the beginning as an explicit direct response to Trump’s speech at the UN.
    The emphasis (message) of the sentence is in the “entire” U.S. mainland.
    So far the DPRK had demonstrated the capability of its ICBMs to reach Alaska and the north-western coast. These limits were pointed out in various reports.
    “making our rockets’ visit to the *entire* US mainland inevitable all the more,” is an announcement of a new ICBM test that will now prove an extended reach of DPRK ICBMs to cover all the U.S.
    Trump’s statement made the demonstration of the extended reach in an additional ICBM test inevitable.
    You will note that the DPRK foreign minister also says that it nukes are a deterrent (the word occurs 4(!) times) for defensive purpose and that it believes that this has now been achieved.
    /quote/
    Although they talk about “fire and fury”, “total destruction” and whatever, every time they have to add various conditions such as “hopefully this will not be necessary”, “that is not our first option” and so on.
    Accordingly, we are convinced that peace and security of the northeast Asia and the region as a whole have been as much consolidated.
    /endquote/

  30. Eric Newhill says:

    b,
    Furthermore, whether or not, in your estimation, the North has the resources to attack the South, is not entirely relevant.
    Did Japan have the resources to defeat the USA? It didn’t stop them from trying. Did your country have the resources to successfully invade Russia while fighting on a couple of other fronts? No. But it didn’t stop your countrymen from trying, did it?
    Shall I continue with a list of massive military resource mis-estimations that ultimately led to the aggressor’s defeat?

  31. Eric Newhill says:

    Norbert,
    I am blaming China b/c they stepped in to support the North during the war – being fellow communists and all. Something I imagine China regrets doing in retrospect. Now they can step in again and make things right.

  32. Dr.Puck says:

    Ahh, memories. One of the most amusing elements to the Dilbert blog while it allowed comments during the election season was the wide embrace of Adams’s practical theories of persuasion by his appreciative commentariat.
    Except one thing jumped out! There turned out to be two ways to come to support Trump. One, was the way the majority of the commentariat came to their conclusion and support: via rational and closely considered estimations of Trump’s capabilities and his aim to overturn the status-quo.
    The other way was to be one of those people vulnerable to kill shots and Trump’s jedi-level mastery of persuasion, and, the so-called confirmation bias, etc..
    In other words, Trump’s powers of persuasion based in the appeal to emotion was something that happened to ‘other people’ but not to one’s own (very smart) self.
    Nobody who supported Adams’s theories of persuasion ever confessed,
    “Yup, I just succumbed to a kill shot for sure. I from now on will let my emotions lead the way. And, now I am persuaded!”
    Rather, the persuasion was for ‘thee’ but not for ‘me.’

  33. Dr.Puck says:

    I always wonder about the testing of strategic and tactical nuclear and counter-nuclear forces under operational conditions.
    Of course I can only wonder ignorantly. Anyway, for one example, operational conditions means shooting multiple ICBM out of silos on expected short notice and having their MIRVs detonate within needed tolerances, given targets at the same distances as war planned targets. Then there are submarine-based strategic systems.
    Likewise, anti-missile systems could be tested with an order to conduct a live test in five minutes. I have no idea, but would hope this is how some tests are conducted–under the temporal constraints of likely scenarios.
    Hmmm, what would actually happen?

  34. Are we really to believe that Trump aims to bring us to the brink of nuclear war on the assumption that local parties (JP & SK) will demand our exit? That he simply wants us to stop having to babysit the neighbors awful (deadly) child and let someone who lives a little closer keep an eye on him?
    I think it boils down to something far less contrived and can be better attributed to a lack of concrete foreign policy.

  35. optimax says:

    Trump’s childish epithets can’t compare to W’s more creative nicknames. Turd Blossom being a good example.

  36. kao_hsien_chih says:

    different clue,
    Now we are talking. To clarify, as long as NoKos cannot attack us directly, a nuclear NoKo is not a problem to us as much as it is for its neighbors. If they can strike a grand bargain of the sort that you have described, all the better, as long as it gets us untangled from the sordid mess in East Asia. I remain steadfast in my view that, in absence of a direct threat aimed specifically at us, it is none of our business to “fix” the North Korean nuclear problem.

  37. JJackson says:

    “Something I imagine China regrets doing in retrospect.” I doubt that. Had they not acted they would probably now have US forces on their boarder a much greater threat than KJU.

  38. Mark Logan says:

    b:
    re:”Trump is trying to goad the DPRK into an openly hostile reaction. That would then justify a U.S. war of “self defense”.”
    Entirely plausible. However Trump acting in this way could be an effort to goad maximum effort out of those whom the DPRK must listen to. China, Russia, mainly. If the effort fails no one will blame Trump, if they remember it at all, but if it succeeds he can claim full credit.
    A third possibility: Trump has absorbed the lesson that, at least for him, there is no penalty for saying crazy things so he spouts them at will.

  39. different clue says:

    Dr. Puck,
    I only ever read a few of his posts. I also watched a few of his You Tubes. They were very entertaining and very persuasive. I eventually realized he was excercising his own persuasional arts on me the viewer/reader. And since he said openly that he was and he would, how could I object? But once I realized that, I saw the occasional opportunity and need to slow my thinking down and take a second looksniff at certain things he was saying. And then a third. And maybe a fourth.
    The inner essence of Adams’s argument was . . . Trump is a Master Persuader! And I can promise you that he is on the basis of being a Master Persuader myself! How can you not be persuaded? Let the Mastery of the Persuasion wash over you and remove all thought-based obstacles to belief! You will be persuaded to vote
    for Trump as a tribute to the persuasive mastery of his masterful persuasiveness!
    I remember reading in one of Adams’s posts where Adams wrote that ” no normal person knows anything about trade policy. I don’t and neither do you.” And I realized that he had created an artificial dilemma which he had then impaled himself upon the horns of. And it went like this. If he doesn’t know anything about trade policy, then he doesn’t know anything about the reality-based truth-content of anything I might say about trade policy. Because if he has no knowledge about the facts or theory of trade policy, then he has no knowledge base against which to measure the knowledge-content of anything I might say about trade policy. In other words, his proudly-claimed lack of knowledge about trade policy would include a lack of knowledge about the state of my knowledge or any else’s knowledge about trade policy, and his inability to assess my or anyone else’s knowledge based upon his own proudly-claimed inability to assess the truth-content of anything I or anyone else might say about trade policy. I wonder if he ever considered that?
    The other thing I noticed is that he has such a huge fan base and so many hundreds or thousands of comments per post that I wonder how many of them he can even read. I certainly wouldn’t even try to get heard or read over there.

  40. Kutte says:

    Are we really to believe that Trump aims to bring us to the brink of nuclear war on the assumption that local parties (JP & SK) will demand our exit? That he simply wants us to stop having to babysit the neighbors awful (deadly) child and let someone who lives a little closer keep an eye on him?
    YES
    Beat your enemy with his own weapons.

  41. Keith Harbaugh says:

    b wrote:

    I interpret the paragraph you quote differently. It comes in the beginning as an explicit direct response to Trump’s speech at the UN.
    The emphasis (message) of the sentence is in the “entire” U.S. mainland.

    “making our rockets’ visit to the *entire* US mainland inevitable all the more,” is an announcement of a new ICBM test that will now prove an extended reach of DPRK ICBMs to cover all the U.S.
    Trump’s statement made the demonstration of the extended reach in an additional ICBM test inevitable.

    No, b, I was not “interpreting” the paragraph.
    The paragraph has a clear and unambiguous meaning in the English language,
    which most certainly is not what you claim it is.
    Your “a new ICBM test that will now prove an extended reach of DPRK ICBMs to cover all the U.S.”
    is most definitely not the same as Ri’s
    “our rockets’ visit to the entire US mainland”.
    And as to your claim that
    “The emphasis (message) of the sentence is in the “entire” U.S. mainland.”,
    there is no evident evidence for that.
    Finally,
    the key point is that Ri’s statement links
    “our rockets’ visit to the entire US mainland”
    not to a possible retaliation for some hypothetical U.S. attack against the DPRK
    (i.e. the deterrence argument),
    but to a past act of Trump, and one which I cannot see possibly justifying such an act.
    How hypersensitive their regime is, per Ri’s statement.

  42. Eric Newhill says:

    PA,
    I’m sure the thought of America having its ass handed to it by Japan produces a near orgasmic experience for you. Your assertion that if only the attack on Pearl Harbor had destroyed the fuel depot there, they could have won the war is as unique as it is fallacious. Keep enjoying the thought though.
    However, you have unwittingly made my point. aggressors often calculate, “If we can accomplish this or that then we can win against a superior force”. They take a gamble.
    Just as KJU – rational actor or not – calculates that if he possesses a nuclear deterrent first, then attacks the South, the US will be threatened into non-intervention on behalf of the South.
    It’s one of those things, like “If we capture Asia’s resources and hit the fuel depot while crippling the US fleet, we can win”.
    Nah. That can’t be it. Truth is that poor little innocent oppressed fun loving KJU is being bullied by big bad running dog imperialist Amerika and he just wants to protect himself and his people like the noble and just leader that he is. It’s not the North has ever invaded the South before. Never could happen. Who’d a thunk such a perspective would come from a leftist.

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