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The Military Politics

Two Koreas Agree To End War This Year, Pursue Denuclearization (bloomberg.com) 368

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed Friday to finally end a seven-decade war this year, and pursue the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula. Kim and Moon embraced after signing the deal during a historic meeting on their militarized border, the first time a North Korean leader set foot on the southern side. They announced plans to replace the 1953 armistice that ended hostilities with a peace treaty by year's end. Their statement on a "common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula," stopped short of the "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization" long sought by the U.S. and its allies. The statement didn't elaborate on what the term meant and Kim didn't personally utter the word during remarks Friday. "We have agreed to share a firm determination to open a new era in which all Korean people enjoy prosperity and happiness on a peaceful land without war," Kim told reporters, without taking questions. President Trump hailed the move, declaring "KOREAN WAR TO END!" on Twitter. He has agreed to meet with Kim at a time and place yet to be determined.
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Two Koreas Agree To End War This Year, Pursue Denuclearization

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  • by Tulsa_Time ( 2430696 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @07:14PM (#56516527)

    If Obama can get one for doing nothing... this should be a slam dunk.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I think you'd have to show there was some intent. If two people are arguing, then a third person runs through the room flinging their poop at the walls and gibbering like a madman, it doesn't automatically mean the poop flinger is a master negotiator just because the argument gets cut short.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27, 2018 @08:16PM (#56516801)

        While I don't think the tweets were helpful, Trump did push for tougher sanctions against North Korea. Meanwhile, Trump also offered to engage in direct talks with North Korea, something past presidents have refused to do. North Korea has walked to negotiate directly with the United States, while previous presidents have insisted that any negotiations should be part of the six party talks. Trump stepped up the pressure, calling it "maximum pressure", while offering North Korea something the direct negotiations they wanted and a possible way out of the sanctions. Both the United States and South Korea have been clear that denuclearization is necessary to get the sanctions lifted. That is a substantial difference from the strategy of past presidents, and is a logical approach to foreign policy.

        The tougher sanctions likely had a significant impact on North Korea [washingtonpost.com] and made them more willing to negotiate. Trump's willingness for direct talks signaled a willingness for unprecedented direct talks. The tweets weren't helpful, but Trump's foreign policy did influence North Korea to make real concessions. Trump should get credit for that, and you're ignoring the real substance of his foreign policy.

        When the policies of several past presidents haven't worked, it's time to try something different. That's the same logic that Obama used to justify normalizing relations with Cuba, which is also a reasonable decision. Let's just hope that Trump's threats to about the Iran nuclear deal are an effort to get Iran to extend their promises past 2025 and not a sincere intent to withdraw. If Trump is taking the role of the bad cop while Macron has the role of the good cop to negotiate more with Iran, it may be effective. If Trump actually withdraws, that's incredibly foolish. Trump is just so erratic that it's hard to distinguish legitimate foreign policy from outbursts and uninformed bluster.

        • While I don't think the tweets were helpful, Trump did push for tougher sanctions against North Korea. Meanwhile, Trump also offered to engage in direct talks with North Korea, something past presidents have refused to do. North Korea has walked to negotiate directly with the United States, while previous presidents have insisted that any negotiations should be part of the six party talks. Trump stepped up the pressure, calling it "maximum pressure", while offering North Korea something the direct negotiations they wanted and a possible way out of the sanctions. Both the United States and South Korea have been clear that denuclearization is necessary to get the sanctions lifted. That is a substantial difference from the strategy of past presidents, and is a logical approach to foreign policy.

          The tougher sanctions likely had a significant impact on North Korea [washingtonpost.com] and made them more willing to negotiate. Trump's willingness for direct talks signaled a willingness for unprecedented direct talks. The tweets weren't helpful, but Trump's foreign policy did influence North Korea to make real concessions. Trump should get credit for that, and you're ignoring the real substance of his foreign policy.

          I was thinking that originally but now I'm not sure it has anything to do with Trump.

          NK is pursuing the same thing now it's always pursued, survival.

          Previously this took the form of gaining deterrence, first artillery, then Nukes, and finally Nukes that can hit the US. Until they had those things they were never going to engage in serious negotiations.

          But now they have all those things their deterrence is kinda maxed out, they can always improve their long range delivery, but realistically they've done the

          • by fatwilbur ( 1098563 ) on Saturday April 28, 2018 @10:44AM (#56519051)
            Trump has no leverage?? He played his cards perfectly here - even looking at his "worst" tweets, he was basically calling Kim's bluff. This was literally a country that can't even provide electricity for it's citizens trying to act tough against the world's largest military power. He got China to back off from NK's support by trying to provoke the US. Only NK is that stupid, and perhaps Russia as well but they actually have some power to back up their words.

            And most (Chinese) companies violating the sanctions quickly realize the US is a far, far, far more valuable trading partner than NK ever will be if they were called out on their actions.

            It finally took someone to play hardball to solve the problem. Same thing will happen with Palestine.
        • Trump should get credit for that, and you're ignoring the real substance of his foreign policy.
          No he should not.

          Despite your "insightful" rant, Trump has nothing to with it. And referring to north Korea as "they" when it is only one single person we are talking about, makes clear you have no clue.

          The only two persons deserving credit for this is Kim Jong Un from NK and Moon Jae-in from SK. Unless I miss something and other negotiators are involved.

          Hint: NK agreed to this despite of the US sanctions, not bec

      • The sad thing is that you probably really believe this.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @08:34PM (#56516879) Homepage

        More like two people arguing whether Kiss or AC/DC is better with Trump coming in as the crazy friend high on LSD asking if he should bash the other guy's skull in. And then it's like "Uh no we're good, they're both good bands... we're friends, see" because I don't think this happened on its own. I think they realized that Trump might actually set off a new Korean war, regardless if that'd fuck both North and South Korea hard. So when push comes to shove they'd rather come to terms, at least while the crazy guy is in the room...

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        I think you'd have to show there was some intent. If two people are arguing, then a third person runs through the room flinging their poop at the walls and gibbering like a madman, it doesn't automatically mean the poop flinger is a master negotiator just because the argument gets cut short.

        Notwithstanding Korea, in your example, success speaks for itself.

      • I do not think the analogy is correct here.

        There is one unique quality in Trump is that he is willing to think out of the box. Thinking out of the box most of the time stupid, but without that some problems will just remain unsolved.

        • He's willing to act outside the box. I don't think thinking comes into it very much.

          • He's willing to act outside the box. I don't think thinking comes into it very much.

            Thinking without acting sure got Obama a long way towards solving the Korean Peninsula situation didn't it?

            You're the one stuck in the box, unable -- no, unwilling -- to consider that Trump's tactics, while distasteful and odious to you, worked whereas the more genteel, cultured, thoughtful Obama didn't. To consider Trump successful would endanger your worldview. Hence you must assume Trump is a lunatic who by complete accident managed to bring NK to heel after decades worth of other administrations had f

      • by shanen ( 462549 )

        Good metaphor and I wish I someday saw a mod point to give you.

      • Trump surrounded NK with carriers and flew bombers off the coast. Moreover there are hard hitting sanctions that are harming Kim's ability to keep bribing his generals. This could have been done decades ago, but globalists find North Korea useful as a source of tension. The fact that millions suffer means nothing to them. Trump brought Kim to the table, but naturally nobody wants to give him credit because he's Hitler.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If Obama can get one for doing nothing... this should be a slam dunk.

      I believe he threatened nuclear war over twitter if he didn't get his way. I'm not certain Obama earned the peace prize, but giving one to this? I think not.

      What is this a I'm crazier than you and just stupid enough to actually press the button so do what I want or else?

      Sorry, if this works out well great, but I see nothing worth praise here. Most likely they simply don't need to be so overt about testing anymore and their program will go underground. We don't test live nuclear weapons any more either,

    • You try being black. No, I mean try it. See?? Not so easy...
    • Knowing the Nobel committee, they'll give it to the Dear Leader for having his mountain collap--I mean having the courage to move mountains for peace.
    • by poity ( 465672 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @08:31PM (#56516875)

      [x] Not be Bush.
      [_] Chant "Yes we can" during a campaign.
      [_] Drone strike a bunch of people.

      Trump hasn't met all the criteria for the Peace Prize yet, I'm afraid.

    • , and holds onto it despite continuing and expanding many of Bush's policies and wars while in office..

    • Yes, Xi Jiping will be happy to receive it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 27, 2018 @07:16PM (#56516539)

    Awesome job Dennis! Thanks for your help!

  • Camp Humphries (Score:4, Insightful)

    by PopeRatzo ( 965947 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @07:23PM (#56516575) Journal

    It'll be interesting to see how they negotiate the removal of US forces from South Korea. The US has its biggest bases and airfields in all of Asia over there, and I can't imagine removing them is going to sit well with the Pentagon.

    • Modern day gulag? check
      Starving citizens? check
      Brutal, oppressive and tyrannical dictatorship? check.

      (replying with snarky whataboutism -- "oh but the US blah blah" -- changes nothing, is utterly irrelevant to discussing NK, and absolutely means your mother will contract cancer within the next year. Caution is urged!)

      But once the heat ratchets down a little bit, the norks will go right back to the status quo. This changes nothing, other than a few BFF photo-ops.

      Wake me when it's unification time.

    • Why? They had no problem closing the German bases fairly recently.
      • Why? They had no problem closing the German bases fairly recently.

        The US still has lots of bases and airfields on the European mainland, though, doesn't it?

        • I think the main one left in Europe is in Italy. The US still has lots of bases and airfield in Asia, but they are less important now. For a couple decades now, the US has had the ability to launch planes from Missouri, bomb a target in the middle east (or anywhere else in the world, really), and return home so the pilot can sleep in America after the mission. With that kind of projection ability, foreign bases are a lot less important, and to some degree all you need is refueling stations. Of course troop
          • The US still has about 40 bases in Germany. Also a base in Kosovo, Camp Bondsteel, that is surprisingly big.

            Even though a bunch of bases in Germany closed, we have a lot of "co-bases" with NATO left where the main force is American.

    • It'll be interesting to see how they negotiate the removal of US forces from South Korea. The US has its biggest bases and airfields in all of Asia over there, and I can't imagine removing them is going to sit well with the Pentagon.

      Who cares what the pentagon thinks. If we would focus on US citizens, not other countries and illegals, we could make at least our corner of the world a better place. Foreign wars only make well connected people rich while the common man on both sides dies.

    • The US will not agree, unless South Korea wants to get cut off..
    • The biggest U.S. military presence in Asia is in Japan [wikipedia.org]. The treaties which ended WWII prohibited Japan from building up a military which it could project overseas. They're only allowed to have a self-defense force (which is why that name often shows up in Japanese anime). In exchange, the U.S. is responsible for protecting Japan from foreign attack. So by necessity it has a large military presence in Japan (though Japan has shoved most of it into Okinawa, whose people are discriminated against by mainla [wikipedia.org]
      • The biggest U.S. military presence in Asia is in Japan

        That's true, but it's not the same as saying the biggest US bases and airfields are in South Korea. Desiderio Army Airfield is listed as the biggest and busiest US airfield in Asia. Maybe my information is out of date though.

        Either way, we've got a lot of personnel and materiel over there. It'll be interesting to see what losing those bases does to those South Korean local economies.

    • by schwit1 ( 797399 )

      Won't happen. The Chinese now control the South China Sea [theguardian.com] which means the US will want to keep its options available.

      • They built an artificial island. Their Navy is still relatively weak, just not as weak as it was 10 years ago. In a 'shooting war' they are toast.

    • any more than we pulled out of Japan. NK is still a military threat to SK anyway. And why would SK spend money on defense when we're doing it for them?
      • any more than we pulled out of Japan. NK is still a military threat to SK anyway. And why would SK spend money on defense when we're doing it for them?

        Asian press has been reporting that the US out of South Korea will be one of Kim's conditions. It's not unprecedented. In 1991, Bush Sr removed all US nukes from South Korea.

    • Adding: one of the largest US _tank_ brigades in the world is in South Korea.

      Trump is cracking on China, America's enemy number one, and it brings the fruits.

  • Trust, but verify (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TomR teh Pirate ( 1554037 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @07:23PM (#56516577)
    Kim has made a lot of commitments, none of them worth the paper they were printed on. I'll believe it when the inspectors believe it.
    • Kim won (Score:5, Insightful)

      by rsilvergun ( 571051 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @07:31PM (#56516615)
      we've acknowledged him as the legitimate ruler of North Korea. That's what this was about. As soon as Trump said he'd meet with Kim, Kim won. He doesn't need the nukes any more. He's still got enough firepower to flatten South Korea, so he's still got his hostage situation. The nukes were just a trick to get us to the table and to get us to legitimize his reign. Worked too.

      On the one hand I should be upset we're giving approval to yet another dictatorship. On the other hand NK is hardly the first [youtube.com] and Trump just got outmaneuvered and lost his shot at an Iraq style war. On the other other hand there's still Iran, and they don't have a hostage to protect them.
      • North Korea is ripe for unfettered capitalism and indentured slave labor, though. Surely that has to factor in somehow.

        So the Job Creators get to fatten themselves that much more, Kim skims off the top and stays in power to live like a Saudi prince, this frees us up for a war with Iran to the delight of the military industrial complex, and Trump gets to crow that he accomplished something. What's wrong with that plan?

    • You do not need a commitment to flick up an underground nuclear testing site. You just flick it up and, voila.

  • by Mystiq ( 101361 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @07:27PM (#56516593)

    I'm still confused how this even happened. Is Trump such a dick that North Korea wants to be the good guys again because they're afraid for their safety? What is the state media narrative in North Korea right now?

    • I'm still confused how this even happened

      Someone gave Kim a ride in a TR-3B and it went down something like this. [youtube.com]

    • It wouldn't have happened if North Korea didn't want it, so they deserve credit. Kim Jong Un has spent a lot of time outside North Korea so he knows how things are.

      Beyond that, Trump talks like the "internet tough guy." You know how when someone threatens to punch your face on the internet, you just laugh? Once North Korea realized that Trump's threats ("I have a BIGGER nuclear button!") were just noise, they gained confidence that he wasn't actually trying to destroy them. This contrasts with Bush's way
    • With Trump making noises about putting tariffs on Chinese imports and adding to the cooling off of Chinese growth, support for North Korea may have come up on the bargaining table.

      There is also the matter of the collapse of the nuclear test facility [businessinsider.com] with unknown repercussions within N Korea.

      It didn't seem clear that appeasement through saber rattling was going to work with Trump. With peaceful overtures comes a way to ease sanctions and dependence on Chinese support.

    • by Junta ( 36770 )

      There's a lot of evidence that their nuke testing went badly (cave in destroying the site) and thus they may feel the need to give up on it. They may be trying to suddenly cash in their chips before everyone is 100% certain that they stopped testing because they had to. They presumed a successful nuclear program was within reach and the key to dominating through intimidation, and they had a reality check. Pivoting to saying "well.. we proved ourselves and we don't have anything to prove to anyone, so...

    • It's a combination of factors. Trump and his hardline stance [cnn.com] giving Kim no room for belligerent talk. South Korea recently electing a very liberal President (some even call him communist). And Kim still being relatively new to the reins of power in North Korea (2011).

      The combination of the three has produced a unique situation where the political stances which had been the status quo for over 50 years can be thrown out without anyone losing face. The long-term North Korean stance has been that South
  • US has been in conflict with North Korea beginning 1866 with the current Korean War de jure dating back from present to 1950. A decade would be about right to de-escalate, de-nuclear, disentangle the peninsula from the source of conflicts that remain.

  • Wow (Score:5, Insightful)

    by 93 Escort Wagon ( 326346 ) on Friday April 27, 2018 @08:05PM (#56516751)

    People are really over-reacting to this - on both sides. It's certainly better news than if the two presidents had walked away from the table shouting "LOCK AND LOAD!" - but, right now, it's just words, and there have been plenty of words before.

    Moon isn't an idiot - he's well aware he's got 25 million of his people living in and around a city that's only 35 miles from North Korea. He hasn't committed to much of anything... nor has Kim. "Ending" a war which has effectively been over for 70 years is a symbolic gesture, but little more than that.

    • Because of Trump's sanctions, Kim has only three choices open to himself: (1) attack the US or South and die the same day, (2) ride his Communist economy down to zero without the outside world and be killed by his own people within two years, or (3) become a globe-trotting elite rock star who oversees the strongest growth his people have ever known. Which would you choose? "Wow" is a tell-tale sign of cognitive dissonance.
    • by guruevi ( 827432 )

      Talk to people in Korea before you say the war has been over. Just because people aren’t continuously exchanging gun fire doesn’t mean there are no people dying in war zones.

    • People should wise up and watch a good old movie to get some apparently new thoughts:
      https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0... [imdb.com]

      NK has been saying stuff about deals forever; plenty of informed people realized that they didn't have a nutcase leader and they were going to get a position of power and some form of equality (nukes) so they could negotiate as one of the "big boys." The Iraq war only proved what a lot of smart people thought since the cold war. When they could theoretically nuke US leaders back, I expected

      • by Uberbah ( 647458 )

        NK has been saying stuff about deals forever; plenty of informed people realized that they didn't have a nutcase leader and they were going to get a position of power and some form of equality (nukes) so they could negotiate as one of the "big boys."

        North Korea's threats are retaliatory - "we can hit you back if you strike us" - and their nuclear weapons program is pure regime change insurance. Americans may have forgotten that they killed three million Koreans in an illegal war, flattening every city in t

  • Having trouble trying to imagine the technology-based link of this article. How SNS run amok allows super-liars to take over countries and cling to power? Doesn't seem to apply very well to North Korea, especially back when Kim's grandfather became dictator.

    Big picture context: China does NOT want a strong and unified Korea. That could be quite troublesome. China would probably prefer an extremely weak and unified Korea, but if they can't get that, then the current divided mess is acceptable. There isn't go

    • by Mashiki ( 184564 ) <mashikiNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Saturday April 28, 2018 @12:15AM (#56517749) Homepage

      You should probably pay more attention to S.Korean politics. They just finished having an election there after the previous president was impeached and was a batshit crazy feminist that believed she was the reincarnation of a god and actively operated drugging dens for teen girls and the head of one of their largest multinational companies was directly bribing the president for policy. And, illegally destroyed documents(server wipes) tying all of this together. But was too stupid to destroy handwritten notes. Her daughter is singing like a bird and so loudly that it's damn right hilarious to save herself from life imprisonment. The two other options between Moon were, soft-China and soft-Japan neither won. Moon on the other hand has had a reunification desire after a friend of his was assassinated by Park's father in the 1960's for pushing for reunification.

      In the end it doesn't matter what China wants, or even Japan, or the US. It's S.Korea and N.Korea's choice, and it looks like finally it might just happen with help from all parties involved.

  • I'm sure this has nothing to do with the fact that NK has to take a break from Nuclear tests since they literally nuked their Nuclear test site into oblivion.

    The thing to remember is that NK cares about the survival of the regime above all else. Kim Jong Un has no intention of denuclearization or re-unification.

    I suspect his end game is Nukes, a mostly closed border, no US army on his doorstep, and no one trying to orchestrate regime change.

    If the US, South Korea, and China are happy with that the war can p

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