[East Asia] - Year of the Plague

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  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Kaputa wrote: »
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/08/us/politics/north-korea-kim-jong-un-trump.html
    Behind the scenes, events unfolded even more haphazardly. Mr. Trump was not scheduled to meet Mr. Chung until Friday, but when he heard that the envoy was in the West Wing seeing other officials, the president summoned him to the Oval Office, according to a senior administration official.

    Mr. Trump, the official said, then asked Mr. Chung to tell him about his meeting with Mr. Kim. When Mr. Chung said that the North Korean leader had expressed a desire to meet Mr. Trump, the president immediately said he would do it, and directed Mr. Chung to announce it to the White House press corps.

    Mr. Chung, nonplused, said he first needed approval from Mr. Moon, who quickly granted it in a phone call. Mr. Trump later called Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, and the two discussed coordinating diplomatic efforts. Mr. Trump also plans to call President Xi Jinping of China.

    By day’s end, dazed White House officials were discussing whether Mr. Trump would invite Mr. Kim to come to the United States. That seemed entirely likely, the senior administration official said, though American officials doubt the North Korean leader would accept.
    This is not remotely a good start that should leave people optimistic.

    We are getting the case study in how not to open official relations with a difficult country which you have had no official communications with for decades.

    I feel like we should sit Trump and his White House down to watch a documentary on Nixon and China and how that is the case study on how you open relations with this type of country.
    I really don't see the problem. Like a little haphazard but so what? All I'm seeing in those paragraphs is good news.

    You don't see the problem in the complete lack of preparation and process involved?

    MrVyngaardMayabird
  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited March 2018
    shryke wrote: »
    Kaputa wrote: »
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/08/us/politics/north-korea-kim-jong-un-trump.html
    Behind the scenes, events unfolded even more haphazardly. Mr. Trump was not scheduled to meet Mr. Chung until Friday, but when he heard that the envoy was in the West Wing seeing other officials, the president summoned him to the Oval Office, according to a senior administration official.

    Mr. Trump, the official said, then asked Mr. Chung to tell him about his meeting with Mr. Kim. When Mr. Chung said that the North Korean leader had expressed a desire to meet Mr. Trump, the president immediately said he would do it, and directed Mr. Chung to announce it to the White House press corps.

    Mr. Chung, nonplused, said he first needed approval from Mr. Moon, who quickly granted it in a phone call. Mr. Trump later called Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, and the two discussed coordinating diplomatic efforts. Mr. Trump also plans to call President Xi Jinping of China.

    By day’s end, dazed White House officials were discussing whether Mr. Trump would invite Mr. Kim to come to the United States. That seemed entirely likely, the senior administration official said, though American officials doubt the North Korean leader would accept.
    This is not remotely a good start that should leave people optimistic.

    We are getting the case study in how not to open official relations with a difficult country which you have had no official communications with for decades.

    I feel like we should sit Trump and his White House down to watch a documentary on Nixon and China and how that is the case study on how you open relations with this type of country.
    I really don't see the problem. Like a little haphazard but so what? All I'm seeing in those paragraphs is good news.

    You don't see the problem in the complete lack of preparation and process involved?
    I mean in the general sense I see how lack of preparation and process can be problematic and how this is often a problem with the Trump administration. But in this instance I don't see what bad things are happening/likely to happen as a result.

    Kaputa on
  • MazzyxMazzyx Comedy Gold Registered User regular
    Kaputa wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Kaputa wrote: »
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/08/us/politics/north-korea-kim-jong-un-trump.html
    Behind the scenes, events unfolded even more haphazardly. Mr. Trump was not scheduled to meet Mr. Chung until Friday, but when he heard that the envoy was in the West Wing seeing other officials, the president summoned him to the Oval Office, according to a senior administration official.

    Mr. Trump, the official said, then asked Mr. Chung to tell him about his meeting with Mr. Kim. When Mr. Chung said that the North Korean leader had expressed a desire to meet Mr. Trump, the president immediately said he would do it, and directed Mr. Chung to announce it to the White House press corps.

    Mr. Chung, nonplused, said he first needed approval from Mr. Moon, who quickly granted it in a phone call. Mr. Trump later called Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, and the two discussed coordinating diplomatic efforts. Mr. Trump also plans to call President Xi Jinping of China.

    By day’s end, dazed White House officials were discussing whether Mr. Trump would invite Mr. Kim to come to the United States. That seemed entirely likely, the senior administration official said, though American officials doubt the North Korean leader would accept.
    This is not remotely a good start that should leave people optimistic.

    We are getting the case study in how not to open official relations with a difficult country which you have had no official communications with for decades.

    I feel like we should sit Trump and his White House down to watch a documentary on Nixon and China and how that is the case study on how you open relations with this type of country.
    I really don't see the problem. Like a little haphazard but so what? All I'm seeing in those paragraphs is good news.

    You don't see the problem in the complete lack of preparation and process involved?
    I mean in the general sense I see how lack of preparation and process can be problematic and how this is often a problem with the Trump administration. But in this instance I don't see what bad things are happening/likely to happen as a result.

    So to tell an easy way to understand why this is a problem listen to Pod Save America from today as you get a few folks from the Obama administration talking about who would of done this work.

    To have a good outcome and more than giving NK a great photo op and a bunch of PR and us getting nothing but lower our status, which is important, takes a shit ton of planning.

    There needs to be goals set up. Talks and planned out and set up. Probably meetings before the President and Kim by Tillerson and other State officials to set up where, how, and what is discussed. And to reach the best outcome, a joint statement probably, requires a lot of foundation setting.

    People believe diplomacy at this level is talking but really it is huge amounts of work and planning lifts. This to me is that Trump made a decision because he wanted to. There was no thought security and economic outcomes. There was no consultation with allies, especially those who can be directly affected like SK and Japan. There are hopefully months they do some make up work and get the entire admin and executive branch on a single message and build out expectations and goals.

    But this is the Trump admin, I expect that all to occur then Trump walks in, ignores it all, and comes out saying "Kim is a great guy and is totally misunderstood and really likes me and said nice things and wants me to open a golf course in NK."

    03x29di.png
    SleepKanaRchanenFencingsaxshrykeVeagleMvrckMayabird
  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    Remember that scene in The West Wing, when the government's shut down, and Bartlett is losing the media war, so he walks over to Congress to meet with the Republicans, but they're too busy arguing among themselves to meet him, so he just walks back to the White House?

    Yeah, that whole thing plays out a lot differently if the Republicans open the door.

  • emnmnmeemnmnme Registered User regular
    hippofant wrote: »
    Remember that scene in The West Wing, when the government's shut down, and Bartlett is losing the media war, so he walks over to Congress to meet with the Republicans, but they're too busy arguing among themselves to meet him, so he just walks back to the White House?

    Yeah, that whole thing plays out a lot differently if the Republicans open the door.

    There was also a West Wing episode where talks with North Korea fell apart because the miniature flags at the negotiating table were the wrong type, giving the North Koreans an excuse to leave.

  • MeeqeMeeqe Lord of the pants most fancy Someplace amazingRegistered User regular
    Can we not use a TV show as the basis of understanding international relations? I get that it was a solid show, but come on people. We mocked the right wingers for understanding counter intelligence work through the lens of 24, can we try for a higher bar?

    Styrofoam SammichJragghenTryCatcherFencingsaxshrykeSmrtnikDongs GaloreknitdanKetBra
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Shocking that this turned out to be exactly like basically everything else this government does.

    wq09t4opzrlc.jpg
  • TraceTrace GNU Terry Pratchett; GNU Gus; GNU Carrie Fisher; GNU Adam We Registered User regular
    I sincerely hope NK doesn't troll Trump so hard he decides to declare war.

  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    Kaputa wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Kaputa wrote: »
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/08/us/politics/north-korea-kim-jong-un-trump.html
    Behind the scenes, events unfolded even more haphazardly. Mr. Trump was not scheduled to meet Mr. Chung until Friday, but when he heard that the envoy was in the West Wing seeing other officials, the president summoned him to the Oval Office, according to a senior administration official.

    Mr. Trump, the official said, then asked Mr. Chung to tell him about his meeting with Mr. Kim. When Mr. Chung said that the North Korean leader had expressed a desire to meet Mr. Trump, the president immediately said he would do it, and directed Mr. Chung to announce it to the White House press corps.

    Mr. Chung, nonplused, said he first needed approval from Mr. Moon, who quickly granted it in a phone call. Mr. Trump later called Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, and the two discussed coordinating diplomatic efforts. Mr. Trump also plans to call President Xi Jinping of China.

    By day’s end, dazed White House officials were discussing whether Mr. Trump would invite Mr. Kim to come to the United States. That seemed entirely likely, the senior administration official said, though American officials doubt the North Korean leader would accept.
    This is not remotely a good start that should leave people optimistic.

    We are getting the case study in how not to open official relations with a difficult country which you have had no official communications with for decades.

    I feel like we should sit Trump and his White House down to watch a documentary on Nixon and China and how that is the case study on how you open relations with this type of country.
    I really don't see the problem. Like a little haphazard but so what? All I'm seeing in those paragraphs is good news.

    You don't see the problem in the complete lack of preparation and process involved?
    I mean in the general sense I see how lack of preparation and process can be problematic and how this is often a problem with the Trump administration. But in this instance I don't see what bad things are happening/likely to happen as a result.

    So to tell an easy way to understand why this is a problem listen to Pod Save America from today as you get a few folks from the Obama administration talking about who would of done this work.

    To have a good outcome and more than giving NK a great photo op and a bunch of PR and us getting nothing but lower our status, which is important, takes a shit ton of planning.

    There needs to be goals set up. Talks and planned out and set up. Probably meetings before the President and Kim by Tillerson and other State officials to set up where, how, and what is discussed. And to reach the best outcome, a joint statement probably, requires a lot of foundation setting.

    People believe diplomacy at this level is talking but really it is huge amounts of work and planning lifts. This to me is that Trump made a decision because he wanted to. There was no thought security and economic outcomes. There was no consultation with allies, especially those who can be directly affected like SK and Japan. There are hopefully months they do some make up work and get the entire admin and executive branch on a single message and build out expectations and goals.

    But this is the Trump admin, I expect that all to occur then Trump walks in, ignores it all, and comes out saying "Kim is a great guy and is totally misunderstood and really likes me and said nice things and wants me to open a golf course in NK."
    What about talks between our leader and that of another UN-recognized nation-state lowers our status? Just that NK's government is mean and people don't like them? Meh, the same is true of King Salman of Saudi Arabia, but everyone seems to think it's fine when Trump chats with him (even me, and I'm pretty anti-KSA).

    I just don't really see the downside of leaders of hostile states talking to each other; worst case scenario it goes nowhere and we're back where we started. It's plausible that haphazardness and lack of planning could result in a less than optimal result here, and the Trump admin aren't exactly the group of people I'd like in charge of any diplomacy, but so far I'm just pleasantly surprised that this is even happening. War seems less likely today than it did last week! That is good! Is the level of bureaucratic process involved really what we should be focusing on here, or are we just obsessing on that aspect because we need to contrive a way to attack Trump for something we'd otherwise like (deescalation)?

    TryCatchergrumblethorn
  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    edited March 2018
    Also, so far, nothing has happened. Mentioned it in other thread, but, since words are cheap, Trump, Xi and Moon Jae-in all said that they weren't dropping any sanctions whatsoever just for this meeting. So everybody is just waiting to see how this goes.

    TryCatcher on
  • MazzyxMazzyx Comedy Gold Registered User regular
    Kaputa wrote: »
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    Kaputa wrote: »
    shryke wrote: »
    Kaputa wrote: »
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    Couscous wrote: »
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/08/us/politics/north-korea-kim-jong-un-trump.html
    Behind the scenes, events unfolded even more haphazardly. Mr. Trump was not scheduled to meet Mr. Chung until Friday, but when he heard that the envoy was in the West Wing seeing other officials, the president summoned him to the Oval Office, according to a senior administration official.

    Mr. Trump, the official said, then asked Mr. Chung to tell him about his meeting with Mr. Kim. When Mr. Chung said that the North Korean leader had expressed a desire to meet Mr. Trump, the president immediately said he would do it, and directed Mr. Chung to announce it to the White House press corps.

    Mr. Chung, nonplused, said he first needed approval from Mr. Moon, who quickly granted it in a phone call. Mr. Trump later called Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, and the two discussed coordinating diplomatic efforts. Mr. Trump also plans to call President Xi Jinping of China.

    By day’s end, dazed White House officials were discussing whether Mr. Trump would invite Mr. Kim to come to the United States. That seemed entirely likely, the senior administration official said, though American officials doubt the North Korean leader would accept.
    This is not remotely a good start that should leave people optimistic.

    We are getting the case study in how not to open official relations with a difficult country which you have had no official communications with for decades.

    I feel like we should sit Trump and his White House down to watch a documentary on Nixon and China and how that is the case study on how you open relations with this type of country.
    I really don't see the problem. Like a little haphazard but so what? All I'm seeing in those paragraphs is good news.

    You don't see the problem in the complete lack of preparation and process involved?
    I mean in the general sense I see how lack of preparation and process can be problematic and how this is often a problem with the Trump administration. But in this instance I don't see what bad things are happening/likely to happen as a result.

    So to tell an easy way to understand why this is a problem listen to Pod Save America from today as you get a few folks from the Obama administration talking about who would of done this work.

    To have a good outcome and more than giving NK a great photo op and a bunch of PR and us getting nothing but lower our status, which is important, takes a shit ton of planning.

    There needs to be goals set up. Talks and planned out and set up. Probably meetings before the President and Kim by Tillerson and other State officials to set up where, how, and what is discussed. And to reach the best outcome, a joint statement probably, requires a lot of foundation setting.

    People believe diplomacy at this level is talking but really it is huge amounts of work and planning lifts. This to me is that Trump made a decision because he wanted to. There was no thought security and economic outcomes. There was no consultation with allies, especially those who can be directly affected like SK and Japan. There are hopefully months they do some make up work and get the entire admin and executive branch on a single message and build out expectations and goals.

    But this is the Trump admin, I expect that all to occur then Trump walks in, ignores it all, and comes out saying "Kim is a great guy and is totally misunderstood and really likes me and said nice things and wants me to open a golf course in NK."
    What about talks between our leader and that of another UN-recognized nation-state lowers our status? Just that NK's government is mean and people don't like them? Meh, the same is true of King Salman of Saudi Arabia, but everyone seems to think it's fine when Trump chats with him (even me, and I'm pretty anti-KSA).

    I just don't really see the downside of leaders of hostile states talking to each other; worst case scenario it goes nowhere and we're back where we started. It's plausible that haphazardness and lack of planning could result in a less than optimal result here, and the Trump admin aren't exactly the group of people I'd like in charge of any diplomacy, but so far I'm just pleasantly surprised that this is even happening. War seems less likely today than it did last week! That is good! Is the level of bureaucratic process involved really what we should be focusing on here, or are we just obsessing on that aspect because we need to contrive a way to attack Trump for something we'd otherwise like (deescalation)?

    Okay, I am going to break this down piece by piece.

    1)The reason we do not talk directly to North Korea is the US does recognize their actions as having enough merit due to the treatment of their people and their hostile actions as worthy of a leader to leader negotiations. Getting these negotiations is a big thing and has a lot of norms standing behind it. By agree directly to this with no precursor or demands means we just gave them something for free. It may seem small it is not in the land of IR.

    2)That bureaucratic process you are scowling at has a purpose. And that is to prevent actions that cause harm to the US and its allies by being prepared especially in complex and fraught negotiations such as with NK. It isn't bureaucracy for bureaucracy's sake. It is there to make sure the US goes into these things knowledgeable, with a game plan, and the ability to get to the details or talk high level without giving things up for free. Trump basically gave Kim what he wanted no questions asked. This not an attack on Trump this is me being a person who a) works in the bureaucracy and b)has a master's in this exact thing and know folks who work on this issue who are just watching someone hand over the farm.

    We on the surface seem farther from war, but we are not due to Trump's nature, lack of message control, and the fact the war wasn't coming from NK's side anyway. In fact a failure at these talks could make the chance of war dramatically go up.

    Do not be hopefully when the very system we have built to head off war are under funded and unheeded by those in charge.

    03x29di.png
    KanaRchanenFencingsaxshrykeHarry DresdenMrVyngaardVeagleMvrckMayabirdGiggles_Funsworth
  • ProhassProhass Registered User regular
    Oh man Im not looking forward to all the "Man twirls around with eyes closed in the middle of a street firing machine gun, is a hero because the only person he hit was a mugger" think pieces

  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    Nobody is scowling against the bureaucratic process, we just disagree on the "status" thing. Mainly because a)Is not that big of a deal since both Xi and Moon Jae-in are all in on this plan (and doing most of the work) and b)Is Trump. And people voted for him. And is not even the first time that he blew off everybody else and did as he pleased, see: The Jerusalem embassy.

  • MazzyxMazzyx Comedy Gold Registered User regular
    TryCatcher wrote: »
    Nobody is scowling against the bureaucratic process, we just disagree on the "status" thing. Mainly because a)Is not that big of a deal since both Xi and Moon Jae-in are all in on this plan (and doing most of the work) and b)Is Trump. And people voted for him. And is not even the first time that he blew off everybody else and did as he pleased, see: The Jerusalem embassy.

    The Jerusalem Embassy was passed by Congress decades ago and was just delayed every year by the President. It is not equivalent. It is a very very different beast.

    03x29di.png
  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited March 2018
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    Okay, I am going to break this down piece by piece.

    1)The reason we do not talk directly to North Korea is the US does recognize their actions as having enough merit due to the treatment of their people and their hostile actions as worthy of a leader to leader negotiations. Getting these negotiations is a big thing and has a lot of norms standing behind it. By agree directly to this with no precursor or demands means we just gave them something for free. It may seem small it is not in the land of IR.
    You really think the NK government's domestic repression is why we're hostile toward them? Not, like, Cold War history and geopolitics? I disagree. Humanitarianism is such an inconsistently applicable explanation for the US government's foreign policy that I'm honestly surprised when people still invoke it in these discussions.
    2)That bureaucratic process you are scowling at has a purpose. And that is to prevent actions that cause harm to the US and its allies by being prepared especially in complex and fraught negotiations such as with NK. It isn't bureaucracy for bureaucracy's sake. It is there to make sure the US goes into these things knowledgeable, with a game plan, and the ability to get to the details or talk high level without giving things up for free. Trump basically gave Kim what he wanted no questions asked. This not an attack on Trump this is me being a person who a) works in the bureaucracy and b)has a master's in this exact thing and know folks who work on this issue who are just watching someone hand over the farm.
    Talking to Un is not handing over the farm. No concessions have been made by the US. "Preconditions" for talks in this instance serve little perceivable purpose and appear to me to be foolish barriers in place of deescalation more than anything. I'm not really trying to insult bureaucracy in general so much as expressing surprise that that's what we're focusing on in that discussion. Yes, the Trump administration is disorganized, we know this and have known this for some time.
    We on the surface seem farther from war, but we are not due to Trump's nature, lack of message control, and the fact the war wasn't coming from NK's side anyway. In fact a failure at these talks could make the chance of war dramatically go up.
    I agree that the the US seems the more likely party to start a war (not an infrequent feeling). I agree that the Trump administration's chaos is concerning and makes diplomacy in general more of a dangerous crapshoot. The idea of a failed talk increasing tensions is concerning, that's a fair point - but I don't think that risk is more worrisome than the tough-guy contest we were seeing previously.
    Do not be hopefully when the very system we have built to head off war are under funded and unheeded by those in charge.
    I have been given no reason for hope regarding NK-US relations in the last year. Each Trump and Un statement has seemed more bellicose and ominous than the last. This is the first hint of anything other than despair-inducing brinkmanship that we've seen so far. Even if they don't handle it well, it sounds better than what they were doing before.

    edit - I wished that the US and NK would attempt direct leadership talks throughout Obama's entire presidency. And if you were to argue that it would be better if it had occurred then, I'd agree. Given the Iran deal's success and other factor's I'd be more hopeful in the preceding US president (hell, most preceding US presidents) conducting talks than in the current one doing so. But this is still a good thing overall.

    Kaputa on
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited March 2018
    So I'm super new here and fully hope to be wrong, but like, doesn't the north Korean government hold that the Kims are like... God kings? Like straight up Divine beings? Maybe that's some bullshit propaganda they sell here that I'm just outright falling for, but isn't that like...a thing.

    Maybe the president getting a meaningless photo op with the God king, just because the God king expressed interest... isn't the best look.

    Sleep on
  • MazzyxMazzyx Comedy Gold Registered User regular
    Sleep wrote: »
    So I'm super new here and fully hope to be wrong, but like, doesn't the north Korean government hold that the Kims are like... God kings? Like straight up Divine beings? Maybe that's some bullshit propaganda they sell here that I'm just outright falling for, but isn't that like...a thing.

    Maybe the president getting a meaningless photo op with the God king, just because the God king expressed interest... isn't the best look.

    Ehhh, god kings yes kind of. Its complicated. More like a Mao but hereditary.

    03x29di.png
    QuidKanaRchanenshrykeMvrckMayabird
  • emnmnmeemnmnme Registered User regular
    I think this thread once described the Kims as ancient pharaohs, complete with monuments and slave labor.

  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    Mazzyx wrote: »
    Sleep wrote: »
    So I'm super new here and fully hope to be wrong, but like, doesn't the north Korean government hold that the Kims are like... God kings? Like straight up Divine beings? Maybe that's some bullshit propaganda they sell here that I'm just outright falling for, but isn't that like...a thing.

    Maybe the president getting a meaningless photo op with the God king, just because the God king expressed interest... isn't the best look.

    Ehhh, god kings yes kind of. Its complicated. More like a Mao but hereditary.

    There're studies of the Kim family propaganda which argue (convincingly, to me) that the closest analogue to the Kim's status in NK is Imperial Japan. Grandpa Kim borrowed a lot of imperial propaganda and symbolism about the Emperor for his own purposes, and his successors have very much based their legitimacy on a semi-divine inheritance.

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
    SleepRchanen
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited March 2018
    Kana cleared me up

    Sleep on
  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited March 2018
    Sleep wrote: »
    So I'm super new here and fully hope to be wrong, but like, doesn't the north Korean government hold that the Kims are like... God kings? Like straight up Divine beings? Maybe that's some bullshit propaganda they sell here that I'm just outright falling for, but isn't that like...a thing.

    Maybe the president getting a meaningless photo op with the God king, just because the God king expressed interest... isn't the best look.
    spoilered for size:
    Teodoro_Obiang_Nguema_Mbasogo_with_Obamas.jpg

    That's Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea and long-ruling brutal dictator, who has in the past been known to proclaim himself God and whose state media have done the same. US presidents haven't been all that shy about meeting with deranged autocrats so long as they're on our side.

    Kaputa on
    Synthesis
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited March 2018
    Kaputa wrote: »
    Sleep wrote: »
    So I'm super new here and fully hope to be wrong, but like, doesn't the north Korean government hold that the Kims are like... God kings? Like straight up Divine beings? Maybe that's some bullshit propaganda they sell here that I'm just outright falling for, but isn't that like...a thing.

    Maybe the president getting a meaningless photo op with the God king, just because the God king expressed interest... isn't the best look.
    spoilered for size:
    Teodoro_Obiang_Nguema_Mbasogo_with_Obamas.jpg

    That's Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, President of Equatorial Guinea and long-ruling brutal dictator, who has in the past been known to proclaim himself God and whose state media have done the same. US presidents haven't been all that shy about meeting with deranged autocrats so long as they're on our side.

    And the Obama administration was panned for that meeting because it included a bunch of dictators, and they did nothing to address those guy's human rights violations, and mainly talked about security from terrorism and economic advancement in western Africa.

    And at least that meeting had a tangible purpose and goal.

    Trump meeting Un is just him being happy an important person wants to meet him. Theres no reason for the proposed meeting outside of the president liking folks that like him.

    Sleep on
  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited March 2018
    I guess I agree with many of the criticisms but still consider it an improvement over "we will rain fire and hell upon you and destroy the country" or whatever the last talking point was.

    edit - also the fact that this could happen in the context of a deescalation between the North and South (if that process continues) is good

    Kaputa on
    Gvzbgul
  • SleepSleep Registered User regular
    edited March 2018
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I guess I agree with many of the criticisms but still consider it an improvement over "we will rain fire and hell upon you and destroy the country" or whatever the last talking point was.

    edit - also the fact that this could happen in the context of a deescalation between the North and South (if that process continues) is good

    I'm not going to totally disagree that our president getting played by the leaders of north Korea is better than him consistently threatening them with nuclear winter, but I'm also not going to consider it fucking great. And I most certainly hope folks don't give him credit for a thing he didn't do as that deescalation seems very much a thing north and south Korea are managing in spite of us rather than because of us, but he's an old white guy so they are definitely going to.

    Sleep on
    shrykeVeagle
  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited March 2018
    I'm more curious as to what dynamic in Pyongyang induced the change in tone than in whatever the Trump admin is thinking.

    Kaputa on
    Sleep
  • RchanenRchanen Registered User regular
    edited March 2018
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I'm more curious as to what dynamic in Pyongyang induced the change in tone than in whatever the Trump admin is thinking.

    Money concerns, plus buying enough time to create a real and effective ICBM?

    Also the bolded is patently false. They never think.

    Edit: Damn Acronyms.

    Rchanen on
    spool32 wrote:
    he pops this cobalt blue tetrahedron like he's thought of something. I'm like son, you know that's just a reskinned fireball, right?
  • emnmnmeemnmnme Registered User regular
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I'm more curious as to what dynamic in Pyongyang induced the change in tone than in whatever the Trump admin is thinking.

    http://www.atimes.com/article/kim-jong-un-ill/
    A just-released official photo of Kim Jong-un is stirring speculation on whether the North Korean leader is ill and if his previously reported health problems have returned ... “Possibly they are hugging him, but it really looks like they are holding him upright to prevent him from falling over. His face also seems rather bloated. Both of these features suggest a return of the health problems that have bedeviled him since coming to power,” John Pike, a Washington, DC-based military intelligence expert told Asia Times.

  • hippofanthippofant ティンク Registered User regular
    Rchanen wrote: »
    Kaputa wrote: »
    I'm more curious as to what dynamic in Pyongyang induced the change in tone than in whatever the Trump admin is thinking.

    Money concerns, plus buying enough time to create a real and effective ICBM?

    Also the bolded is patently false. They never think.

    Edit: Damn Acronyms.

    The Olympics also just happened. North Korea has a pretty good bank of goodwill right now. (Relatively speaking.)

  • Harry DresdenHarry Dresden Registered User regular
    Kaputa wrote: »
    What about talks between our leader and that of another UN-recognized nation-state lowers our status? Just that NK's government is mean and people don't like them? Meh, the same is true of King Salman of Saudi Arabia, but everyone seems to think it's fine when Trump chats with him (even me, and I'm pretty anti-KSA).

    I just don't really see the downside of leaders of hostile states talking to each other; worst case scenario it goes nowhere and we're back where we started. It's plausible that haphazardness and lack of planning could result in a less than optimal result here, and the Trump admin aren't exactly the group of people I'd like in charge of any diplomacy, but so far I'm just pleasantly surprised that this is even happening. War seems less likely today than it did last week! That is good! Is the level of bureaucratic process involved really what we should be focusing on here, or are we just obsessing on that aspect because we need to contrive a way to attack Trump for something we'd otherwise like (deescalation)?

    That's with standard world leaders, this is with Trump. Trump is not an experienced or knowledgable negotiator, he is severely impulsive and anything can set him off into spiteful rages due to his fragile psych. He will not go into this with a plan, and whatever his underlings do tell him he'll likely ignore and/or forget very quickly.

    It's incredibly early to rule out war entirely from this encounter, as well. This could very easily ramp up hostilities, even if it occurs after he meeting ends because Trump thought he looked like a loser when he thought about it for two seconds over minor things because Kim isn't a complete moron.

    You're giving Trump too much benefit of a doubt during something like this here. He's notorious for being terrible and uncouth in social situations.

    This event may have been a turning point under President Obama, or even Bush, but not Trump. I'll be shocked if this doesn't descent into a train wreck.

    De-escalation is also not something Trump does.

    MayabirdMrVyngaard
  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    For an overview of what has been going behind the scenes, here's an interview with Tim Shorrock, correspondent for The Nation and the Korea Center for Investigative Journalism in Seoul. Here's some choice paragraphs:
    TIM SHORROCK: The South Korean president, who was elected in May. And Mr. Moon told me that, you know, in reference to the criticism from people in Washington that he would divide the U.S. and South Korea by pushing for peace engagement with North Korea, he said, “Well, in my view, if we can resolve the situation between North and South Korea and resolve the tensions between North Korea and the United States, that would be good for the United States, and that would be good for President Trump.” And his gamble was correct. He took it, and it worked. And we now have the situation where Moon has helped negotiate a move toward talks that are going to lead to a conclusion to this crisis. And I think it’s a really terrific day for Korea and for peace in the world.
    Moon is a massive goverment change from the previous SK goverments all too happy to let the DC consensus on the driver's seat. And what Shorrock is saying, in few words, is that Moon realized that if he did all the work in cooperation with the US intelligence and let Trump take the credit, this would roll without issue and, you know, would keep Seoul on the map. And so far, it seems to be working. The timeline fits:
    TIM SHORROCK: Well, the significance is that when President Moon took office last May, he said South Korea should be in the driver’s seat of the Korea peace initiative and in engagement with North Korea. South Korea should be in the driver’s seat. And he has remained there, and he has stayed there. He made offers last year to North Korea to meet. They rejected it. They didn’t respond for over a year, as they kept going on their nuclear and missile program to defend themselves against what they believe is a threat from the United States. And finally, on January 1st, Kim Jong-un said he would send a high-level delegation to the Olympics and would engage with talks with South Korea. And this is a result of the South Korean initiative.

    And so, you know, the fact that Trump may have poked his head in there and may have heard about the meeting, briefing, at the last minute, shows that South Korea is in fact in the driver’s seat. And I think that’s very important. And, you know, the United States has been supporting these initiatives, despite the fact that Vice President Pence went to the Olympics and completely ignored the North Koreans behind him and was very rude to his Korean hosts. They know that these talks have been going on. And so, I think we really need to focus on the role that South Korea has played and the historical—you know, the history of North-South engagement and talks.

  • DeadWarDeadWar Registered User regular
    It seems Trump's tactics of getting a Kim to the table is working.

  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    Max Fisher in the NYT has a good overview on the NK talks, with both negatives and positives. He makes a good point on the problems of the Trump approach to diplomacy.

    2. Mismatched signals may have set up the talks to fail.

    Usually, before high-level talks like these, both sides spend a long time telegraphing their expected outcomes.

    Such signals serve as public commitments, both to the other side of the negotiation and to citizens back home. It’s a way for both sides to test one another’s demands and offers, reducing the risk of surprise or embarrassment.

    That is not really how things have proceeded with the United States and North Korea. Mr. Trump has already committed to granting North Korea one of its most desired concessions: a high-level meeting between the heads of state.

    In exchange, North Korea has not publicly committed to anything. It has, quite cannily, channeled its public communications through South Korea, making it easier to renege.

    Further, Mr. Trump has declared “denuclearization” as his minimal acceptable outcome for talks, making it harder for him to accept a more modest (but more achievable!) outcome and costlier for him to walk away.

    The table is now set in such a way that virtually any outcome is a win for North Korea, but only a very narrow and difficult range of outcomes will save the United States from an embarrassing failure.

    The North Koreans can walk away more freely, while the Americans will be more desperate to come home with some sort of win. It’s a formulation that puts the Americans at significant disadvantage before talks even begin.
    3. The sides do not agree on the point of talking.

    It’s worth belaboring the costs of skipping the usual process of mutual public signaling.

    South Korean officials have said that Mr. Kim is willing to enter talks for “denuclearization” — there’s that word again — which is perhaps why Mr. Trump seems to believe this will happen.

    But Duyeon Kim, a Seoul-based analyst, writes in a column in the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists that “denuclearization” means vastly different things to the United States and North Korea.

    Americans understand the word as describing North Korea’s full nuclear disarmament, which is very difficult to imagine happening.

    But North Koreans, she writes, tend to mean it as a kind of mutual and incremental disarmament in which the United States also gives up weapons.

    Normally, the United States and North Korea would have issued months, even years, of public statements on their goals for direct talks, to clear all this up.

    But, again, the Americans have made splashy public commitments while letting the North Koreans get by without doing the same.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/09/world/asia/trump-kim-north-korea-explainer.html?smid=tw-share

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    DeadWar wrote: »
    It seems Trump's tactics of getting a Kim to the table is working.

    Getting the NK leaders to the table without any conditions was never hard.

    IlpalaDark Raven XFencingsaxEnc
  • EncEnc A Fool with Compassion The Land of Flowers (and Dragons)Registered User regular
    DeadWar wrote: »
    It seems Kim's tactics of getting a Trump to the table without stopping nuclearization in a meaningful way is working.

    Rchanen
  • KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited March 2018
    "We will temporarily stop missile tests and also your military exercises with the south are acceptable this time" seem like concessions relative to their normal position. Minor ones, but simply setting up a meeting probably shouldn't require major concessions, or talks will never happen.
    shryke wrote: »
    DeadWar wrote: »
    It seems Trump's tactics of getting a Kim to the table is working.

    Getting the NK leaders to the table without any conditions was never hard.
    Then why the hell didn't we do it? Why let decades of idiocy progress to a nuclear standoff if holding talks was never difficult? Imperial stubbornness?

    Alternatively, what preconditions do you believe NK should have to meet for the US to talk with them?

    Kaputa on
  • MazzyxMazzyx Comedy Gold Registered User regular
    Kaputa wrote: »
    "We will temporarily stop missile tests and also your military exercises with the south are acceptable this time" seem like concessions relative to their normal position. Minor ones, but simply setting up a meeting probably shouldn't require major concessions, or talks will never happen.
    shryke wrote: »
    DeadWar wrote: »
    It seems Trump's tactics of getting a Kim to the table is working.

    Getting the NK leaders to the table without any conditions was never hard.
    Then why the hell didn't we do it? Why let decades of idiocy progress to a nuclear standoff if holding talks was never difficult? Imperial stubbornness?

    Alternatively, what preconditions do you believe NK should have to meet for the US to talk with them?

    The preconditions were really straight forward and not a simple imperial stubbornness. Since you don't seem to believe a meeting is worth thing though not sure will agree with me on this. The standard Obama one was provable freeze of all weapon development while the conference was planned and outline for later agreements was drawn up with the goal of the meeting the beginning to talk of the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

    This was the basis pretty much for 8 years and neither Kim in charge would say yes to it and said they would only meet us on their terms of no preconditions at all.

    And really the freeze is less because of wanting a meeting more lacking the resources at the moment if intel reports on their finances are right.

    03x29di.png
    Fencingsaxshryke
  • KanaKana Registered User regular
    Just having a face-to-face meeting, by itself, doesn't gain the US anything

    Is is, however, a big goal of the NK regime, it's a huge propaganda win for domestic consumption.

    Lower-level diplomacy is fine and desirable

    But now all Kim has to do is show up, have a few photos taken, and then tell Trump to fuck off. He heads back home with a pile of photos demonstrating how he's elevated NK's standing and his weapons program has forced the US to treat his NK regime as equals.

    Not only does it give Kim a free win with no cost, it potentially escalates the risk of war afterwards. Because at this point the Trump admin is absolutely desperate for some sort of policy win, and they're also pretty stupid, and if diplomacy falls through - and they're not really setting it up for success - then it takes a lot of non-war resolutions off the table.

    Best case is probably just that absolutely nothing happens and Trump comes home declaring victory, and then just refuses to acknowledge NK threats for a few years, because that would undercut their own claimed victory.

    A trap is for fish: when you've got the fish, you can forget the trap. A snare is for rabbits: when you've got the rabbit, you can forget the snare. Words are for meaning: when you've got the meaning, you can forget the words.
    FencingsaxshrykeVeagleSkeithMazzyxCouscousQuidJusticeforPluto
  • shrykeshryke Member of the Beast Registered User regular
    Yeah. Meeting with the President is itself a goal for the NK regime but gains the US nothing. A meeting with the President is the end of a long line of diplomatic work, not the start. (see - Obama and Cuba) Without that, and especially with Trump at the helm, it's basically nothing getting done but a photo-op for NK.

    Fencingsax
  • Styrofoam SammichStyrofoam Sammich WANT. 5386-8443-8937Registered User regular
    Kaputa wrote: »
    "We will temporarily stop missile tests and also your military exercises with the south are acceptable this time" seem like concessions relative to their normal position. Minor ones, but simply setting up a meeting probably shouldn't require major concessions, or talks will never happen.
    shryke wrote: »
    DeadWar wrote: »
    It seems Trump's tactics of getting a Kim to the table is working.

    Getting the NK leaders to the table without any conditions was never hard.
    Then why the hell didn't we do it? Why let decades of idiocy progress to a nuclear standoff if holding talks was never difficult? Imperial stubbornness?

    Alternatively, what preconditions do you believe NK should have to meet for the US to talk with them?

    Getting NK to the table without conditions is a win for NK. It shows the West views them as peers but doesn't advance our interests. Noncommital meetings with a US president has been a NK goal for decades.

    wq09t4opzrlc.jpg
  • TryCatcherTryCatcher Registered User regular
    So, someone has high expectations of the meeting. Bloomberg:
    North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un wants to sign a peace treaty and establish diplomatic relations with the U.S., including allowing an embassy in Pyongyang, according to the Seoul-based Dong-A Ilbo newspaper, which cited an unidentified senior official with South Korea’s presidential office.

    Kim is likely to raise the possibility of a peace treaty as well as denuclearizing his country during a meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, the newspaper said, citing an official in the office of South Korean leader Moon Jae-in. Trump last week agreed to meet Kim, although when and where the summit would take place has yet to be decided.

    In a separate summit between Kim and Moon scheduled for next month, the North Korean leader is also expected to raise resuming cultural exchanges and reuniting separated families.

    Kaputa
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