What’s Wrong with Talking to North Korea?

Exclusive: President Trump fancies himself a crafty, zigzagging negotiator, but his pride in his bellicose unpredictability has brought the North Korean crisis to the edge of a horrific calamity, as Jonathan Marshall explains.

By Jonathan Marshall

Anyone who says talk is cheap hasn’t tried getting President Trump to talk with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Jong Un. Not even the specter of a war that could kill millions of people on the Korean peninsula, Japan and now even the continental United States seems sufficient to push the two leaders into negotiations. Both sides insist on unacceptable preconditions before they will even consider holding formal talks to reach a peaceful settlement.

Map showing North Korea’s proximity to Japan, South Korea and China.

Successful negotiations might end Washington’s economic sanctions and military preparations against North Korea, but Pyongyang demands that outcome before it even starts talks. Two weeks ago, North Korea’s ambassador to the United Nations, Han Tae Song, said, “As long as there is continuous hostile policy against my country by the U.S. and as long as there are continued war games at our doorstep, then there will not be negotiations.”

On the other hand, the fact that South Korea sent seven warships in mid-November to join three U.S. aircraft carriers for war games off the coast of the Korean Peninsula almost seemed calculated to keep Pyongyang away from the bargaining table. U.S. and South Korean plans to start a massive five-day air force exercise on Dec. 4 will doubtless do the same. And the Trump administration’s recent designation of North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism only reinforced Pyongyang’s suspicion that “the United States is not serious about negotiations,” in the words of one former Korea expert at the State Department.

As for U.S. demands, Defense Secretary James Mattis said recently of North Korea, “So long as they stop testing, stop developing, they don’t export their weapons, there would be opportunity for talks.” In other words, if they capitulate first, we will be happy to negotiate the terms of their surrender. Needless to say, North Korea’s latest test launch of its Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile gave the middle finger to Mattis’s demands.

Trump’s About-Face

Last year, the man who prides himself as the world’s greatest deal maker raised hopes of peace by saying he would “absolutely” speak to Kim, even if there were only a “10 percent or a 20 percent chance that I can talk him out of those damn nukes.” Trump told a campaign rally in Atlanta, “What the hell is wrong with speaking? . . . We should be eating a hamburger on a conference table.”

President Trump in front of the Russian, Mexican and South Korean flags at the G-20 summit on July 7, 2017. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

A year later the President was no longer in the mood for a hamburger, well done or otherwise. “Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid,” Trump tweeted. “Hasn’t worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, making fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!”

No one in their right mind believes what his tweet implied — that war could solve the security issues raised by North Korea’s nuclear program.

Even before that country demonstrated the potential ability to hit the continental United States with a nuclear-tipped ballistic missile, it had the capacity to wipe out major U.S. coastal cities like New York, Houston, or Los Angeles with ship-borne nuclear bombs. North Korea’s massed artillery, chemical weapons, and nuclear bombs could also wreak havoc on South Korea and Japan, including U.S. civilians and military forces stationed there.

The result would be “tragic on an unbelievable scale,” in the words of Defense Secretary Mattis.

Under these circumstances, setting unacceptable preconditions for talks between the United States and North Korea is as self-defeating as the refusal of North Vietnam and the United States to hold peace talks until 1968 — after which they spent eight months arguing over the shape of the conference table. According to one researcher, nearly 1,600 U.S. soldiers lost their lives over those eight months of pointless maneuvering. Orders of magnitude more Americans could die if talks don’t begin soon to reduce the growing danger of preemptive or accidental war with North Korea.

Negotiations Can Work

Contrary to Trump’s tweet — if anyone in Washington will take the time to study some history — past negotiations with North Korea did succeed dramatically in slowing down its nuclear program.

North Korean missile launch on March 6, 2017.

Thanks to citizen diplomacy by former President Jimmy Carter, and President Bill Clinton’s realization that preemptive war was not an option, Washington and Pyongyang negotiated a “landmark deal” in 1994. North Korea agreed to shut down its plutonium production in return for promises of help with its civilian nuclear energy infrastructure.

Over the next several years, the United States was able to inspect some of North Korea’s nuclear facilities — an unheard-of concession — and also negotiate a freeze on its missile-testing program.

Although North Korea shared in the blame, the deal eventually unraveled in no small part because a Republican-dominated Congress refused to allow the Clinton administration to keep its commitments. The incoming George W. Bush administration then canceled all further talks and condemned North Korea as part of the “axis of evil.” Said Vice President Dick Cheney, “We don’t negotiate with evil. We defeat it.”

Eventually, multi-party talks resumed and North Korea pledged to abandon “all nuclear weapons and existing nuclear programs.” This time, a blatantly hostile move by Bush’s Treasury Department to freeze North Korean assets prompted Pyongyang to resume missile tests and trigger its first underground nuclear explosion.

The Obama administration, for its part, foolishly abandoned any hope of negotiations in favor of a policy of “strategic patience” — assuming that steady application of economic sanctions would bring Pyongyang to heel. If North Korea has proved anything, it’s that it will accept any level of suffering to achieve security.

All those failed opportunities leave the United States and South Korea only one real option with North Korea: to live with mutual nuclear deterrence, as we do with China and Russia, two far stronger nuclear powers that were once deeply hostile to the United States. It’s time — really, long past time — for both sides to drop their preconditions and start talking about how our countries can learn to live rather than die with each other.

Jonathan Marshall is author or co-author of five books on international relations and history. His recent contributions to Consortiumnews.com on Korea include “Trump’s North Korea Delusions,” “Hurtling Toward Fire and Fury,” “Risk to US from War on North Korea,” “North Korea Fears ‘Regime Change’ Strike,” “The Negotiation Option With North Korea,” and “Behind the North Korean Nuke Crisis.”

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70 comments for “What’s Wrong with Talking to North Korea?

  1. Zachary Smith
    November 30, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    Over the next several years, the United States was able to inspect some of North Korea’s nuclear facilities — an unheard-of concession — and also negotiate a freeze on its missile-testing program.

    The “unheard-of concession” in this case was also quite useless in halting North Korea’s nuclear program. Take a look at the timeline of events, and note that when North Korea had something to hide, inspections were not allowed.

    h**ps://www.armscontrol.org/factsheets/dprkchron

    It’s easy to demonstrate that the US has displayed bad faith the entire time. It’s equally easy to show that North Korea was also using the “negotiations as a stalling tactic.

    North Korea’s massed artillery, chemical weapons, and nuclear bombs could also wreak havoc on South Korea and Japan, including U.S. civilians and military forces stationed there.

    Before the nukes existed, North Korea had all that artillery and their chemical weapons and other “stuff” to inflict enormous casualties on South Korea and the US troops there. Since 1,000,000 is a nice round number, it is often used as the death totals in the South. The artillery loaded with chemicals along with other weapons North Korean possessed meant it had all the “deterrence” it needed against an attack from the US or South Korea.

    Therefore the nukes and the missiles have been built for some other reason. In the absence of any other reasons, I deduce they are going to be a masterstroke of Big Business. The North Koreans have a very large investment in the nukes and their delivery systems, and they are not going to give them up. Hence their refusal to negotiate. Selling ICBMs and their nuclear warheads promises to make North Korea a very wealthy nation. In their place, would you give them up?

    In my opinion the inconsistent lunacy displayed by the US is quite irrelevant.

    • Sam F
      November 30, 2017 at 7:16 pm

      Without the US there would be no threats against NK, and the conventional weapons of NK are not an effective deterrent against a US attack. Because the US bombed NK after the Korean War killing roughly two million civilians, and has never stopped threatening NK militarily, NK can be expected to feel a very strong need for nuclear deterrence, more than they would dare reduce by selling them in any quantity.

      Both NK and Iran want nuclear weapons primarily to deter US attacks, which caused enormous suffering in the memory of living people. The best solution may be to simply let them have deterrents, and advise them of ours if they seem inclined to abuse theirs. The US is the cause of these problems and will have to live with deterrence.

      • cbrown
        December 1, 2017 at 12:21 pm

        The funny things were there’s still people defended US action against NK arguing that SK govt are the legitimate unifiers. They weren’t unless they can rid themselves off their vassal status. Their position don’t change much and stand at the highest level destruction by acting as US mil base and it’s strike platform against China or Russia.

      • December 1, 2017 at 2:23 pm

        Before destroying NK in the Korean Police Action, even destroying Dams and causing famine, the USA stabbed it’s ally Korea in the back by condoning Japan’s pre WWII attack on Korea.

        • Sam F
          December 1, 2017 at 7:19 pm

          The US does have a history of complete misunderstanding and lack of sympathy with N Korea, quite appalling to read. The policies were made with almost no thought, no real debate, no understanding of the history, no concern for the people, just political gestures by anti-populist halfwits. Now it would take one or two generations to calm them down, even if the US were thoroughly reformed to be rational and trustworthy, of which we have not even any positive signs.

          Bibliography for those interested:

          1. Cumings, Bruce, Korea’s Place in the Sun, A Modern History, WW Norton 1997
          2. Halberstam, David. The Coldest Winter: America and the Korean War, 2008.
          Excellent narrative of character, circumstances, and errors of decision makers.
          3. Prados, John. Presidents’ Secret Wars, Morrow, 1986 (see entry above)
          Details CIA insurgencies in China 1949-1952 and then in North Korea
          4. Stone, I.F. Hidden History of the Korean War. 1952. Argues that SK dictator Rhee
          provoked NK, and that Dulles, MacArthur, and anti-communist media led
          Truman to war. Evidences US bombing that killed 2 million civilians.
          5. Ulam, Adam. The Communists: The Story of Power And Lost Illusions. 1992.
          Detail of leadership cults, economic stagnation, and failure of reforms.

      • Gazza
        December 1, 2017 at 11:01 pm

        Iran doesn’t want nukes. They have a BINDING fatwa against nuclear weapons, claiming they are “offensive to God” (I wouldn’t debate that point…). Iran cannot violate its own fatwa as it would open them up to accusations of hypocrisy, likely result in punishment under Sharia, and undermine their authority to govern.

        Most Americans seen to be utterly unaware of this, probably because their corporate-owned elite-controlled MSM never mentions that Iran has banned nukes for MORAL and RELIGIOUS reasons. After all, this fact is inconsistent with US insistence that Iran is a “rogue terror state”…

        • Sam F
          December 2, 2017 at 9:09 am

          Yes, it would be more accurate to say that Iran has the motive of nuclear deterrence (rather than wanting the weapons) but has not pursued that development.

          The relationship of sunni Iran and shiite Pakistan is interesting, as both border unstable Afghanistan with conflicting sunni/shiite forces. Pakistan has nuclear weapons as does India, and is afraid of India setting up a second front in Afg; Iran has had good relations with India so this feeds conflict. But Iran and Pakistan are proceeding with a pipeline from Iran to India across Af/Pak. The lesson may be: when surrounded, allow pipelines for peace.

    • David A Hart
      December 2, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      And no comment about the positioning of nuclear weapons in South Korea pointed at Pyongyang, from 1958-the mid-90’s? No admission that the North Koreans suspended their nuclear ambitions for 8 years, waiting for the US to live up to even ONE of its promises? No pointing out that the failure of promised oil, promised light-water nuclear reactors for heating and electricity purposesand promised aid to the country helped facilitate the horrendous famine that killed hundreds of thousands of North Koreans? North Korea has plenty to answer for concerning their use of funds for military purposes, but they were acting in good faith in their negotiations with the United States. Thanks to our antiquated and undemocratic form of government, the incoming majority of GOP reps in Congress were in no way going to hand Bill Clinton a major foreign policy victory, especially concerning North Korea. From the time we killed up to 30% of the civilian population in the Korean war, purposely bombing the dikes and causing massive flooding and famine, we have sanctioned and thwarted that country from even being allowed to honestly provide for its people. And why? Because, like Cuba, they had the audacity to thumb their noses at the US interference and insistence that they follow the Washington economic blueprint for their country.

  2. Praman
    November 30, 2017 at 5:22 pm

    Escalating anxiety about nuclear confrontation could culminate in a little-discussed eventuality. SK President Moon could talk directly with President Xi about Korean reunification under a one-state, two-systems transition plan, to be negotiated, managed and defended by China. Presented at the UN a half minute to nuclear midnight, it might make for a compelling resolution.

    Otherwise phrased, is the US willing to wage nuclear war to continue its post-WWII dominance of the West Pacific?

    • Adrian
      December 3, 2017 at 6:22 am

      Problem is that China does not trust SK and vice versa.

  3. Joe Tedesky
    November 30, 2017 at 5:26 pm

    All nations on earth should give up it’s nuclear weapons. I fail to see the importance of intimidation, by either side. The more the U.S. continues to rattle the sabers of war, the more Russia and China gain prominence among the many nations attempting to escape the U.S. hegemon. Just like the U.S. adventures of the Middle East that only inflamed more militants to join the terrorist squads, the actions of the U.S., or the mean spirited tweets aimed at Kim Jung un’s stature and personality, only strengthen the very adversary the U.S. is trying to defeat. It’s one thing when it ain’t broke not to fix it, but it’s a whole other thing when it is broke and you continue to try and use it. None of this diplomacy of ignorance makes any sense, what so ever.

    • mike k
      November 30, 2017 at 5:56 pm

      Agreed Joe. The only real solution is to put the nuclear genie back in the ground where it safely belonged. ALL use of nuclear energy has been a huge unnecessary mistake. This stuff is too toxic to fool with. It’s bad enough to continue dreaming up nonnuclear ways to destroy each other’s cities, without developing weapons that can end humankind entirely.

      • Broompilot
        November 30, 2017 at 6:48 pm

        We seem to forget the impact all the warmongering has on all the creatures, and flora, on the globe. Earth would probably applaud the end of humans on the globe for the benefit of everything else. People still suffer injuries from WWI ordinance out there, not to mention WWII and all the other conflicts.

      • cbrown
        December 1, 2017 at 12:30 pm

        The nuclear is the epitome of doom that denied the survivors to live or to continue habitation in the vicinity of it’s detonation. It’s destructive effect are so long lasting in addition to it’s quick acting radiation effect that they are the bane of civilization metropolis. I’d say let every country have one. Without one could only hope to challenge the industrialized warmongering nation in the same hopeless conventional war. Let it be mutually assured destruction or peace.

    • Realist
      December 1, 2017 at 1:20 am

      Your solution would be right, of course, if world governments, especially the one in Washington, had a shred of honesty, integrity and were good for their word. I wouldn’t trust any of the major powers, especially not Washington, not to cheat even if they signed a pile of treaties, official documents, solemn oaths and other sundry promises a mile high. If only there were a way to invent some sort of electronic jamming device that would selectively inactivate every nuclear trigger device on the planet, but I’m unaware of any such science. The day will eventually come when, due to resource depletion, it becomes impossible to build any more of these menaces to existence. However, I suspect that well before then we will have used them in a contest for those waning resources. Sadly, the culprits most likely to employ them will probably be the country already in the most advantageous position, which it will never cede. I’ll let you guess which one that might be. It’s not North Korea. It’s a country with the most exceptional abilities in self-deception and false rhetoric, where reality is allegedly created with words and images rather than objective observation. The world is clearly on a collision course with such a future. What does anyone see that would change the scenario?

      • Sam F
        December 1, 2017 at 7:30 pm

        Collision may be averted by economic isolation and military containment of the US despite all provocations.

        But other nations may then supersede the US in military power, and develop their own bully class. The US set the worst possible example of leadership in its era of dominance, and may reap what it has sown. But it has the most defensible borders in the world, so it could become civilized if it could destroy its oligarchy and protect democratic institutions from economic power.

    • Piotr Berman
      December 1, 2017 at 10:07 am

      Before destruction of Libya, I would agree.

      • cbrown
        December 1, 2017 at 12:22 pm

        Exactly

    • rosemerry
      December 2, 2017 at 2:39 pm

      Unfortunately now that most of the nations in the UN have made an agreement to push for abolition of nukes, the “legal nuke States” especially the USA are not only keeping away and mocking the idea, but trying to stop other nations from joining in this laudable and necessary step.

  4. Delia Ruhe
    November 30, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    Trump, like Baby Bush, is just an exaggerated version of a type of person that Americans love to elect to both Houses of Congress, i.e., someone devoted to the corporate sector. For Trump, as for many in Congress, diplomacy doesn’t do anything for anyone’s profit line. So long as Trump can sell the rhetoric of “fire and fury,” Rayethon, Grummen, Boeing, GE, and their like will continue to do very nicely. So long as China and Japan keep underwriting US loans, American war-related corporations and government agencies will get bigger and better budgets to keep the shareholders of the Perpetual War Portfolio up to their armpits in money. And the more wild Trump’s war rhetoric gets, the more guns will be sold to terrified Americans, who already have enough guns to arm every man, woman, child, and infant under their roofs, and still have many left over for arming their like-minded neighbours.

    Behind the campaign to Make America Great Again is a terrified, obedient, fully armed American populace because what’s good for the violence industries is good for Amerika.

    • mike k
      November 30, 2017 at 5:58 pm

      Yes. How does a love affair with weapons and violence end? Guess…….

    • evelync
      December 1, 2017 at 12:08 pm

      Delia Ruhe, your answer is the Occam’s Razor explanation for me of how all our foreign policy works, namely to feed the MIC multi headed beast.

      Because most of our foreign policy seems insane.

      Our tough talk rhetoric whether it be from a GWB or a HRC seems to set bars that are unacceptable to the regime change target and therefore assured to bring us to the point where we launch the intended aggression. I keep seeing it again and again – against the Taliban in Afghanistan 2001 (remember carpet of bombs ‘cause they wouldn’t agree to a pipeline?), Saddam Hussein in Iraq 2003, etc etc. It’s like TPTB have a preplanned move and they just need a little bit of propaganda to convince the rest of us at home that all the due diligence has been done and it’s the target’s fault that we failed to “negotiate”.

      (Remember Chuck Todd catching Barack Obama with the “Red Line” crossing question on Syria? Who persuaded Todd to plant that question? Fortunately Obama that one time didn’t get pushed into what he clearly didn’t want to do, for the moment.)

      We keep fighting their Cold War. Their ideological fear of “Communism” seems to be that if Americans figure out that trickle down doesn’t benefit us very well we’ll choose another option. They are unwilling to consider that a fair economy that works for everyone would work very well for most people. Instead, Big Oil, the MIC and their “appointed” politicians craft foreign policy to serve the short term interests of TPTB.

      These greed wagons who feed off of oligopoly – controlling the use of resources to rip most of us off by wasting our hard earned tax dollars on unproductive but very profitable wars for oil are willing to wreak havoc to grab what they can.
      Indigenous people are expendable and so are our soldiers and the stability around the world.

      If they would only allow our economy to work properly here at home to serve all of us – educate everyone, provide affordable health care (Medicare for all would work nicely, given my experience with Medicare), infrastructure maintenance – their fear mongering over Domino Effects and Communism and other nonsense would be seen as ridiculous.

      I sometimes wonder whether they convince themselves that only an economy that they control can work instead of understanding they they may be the greediest SOB’s on the planet but not the smartest. The rest of us can do quite nicely, if we have the chance, to support ourselves and contribute to a multifaceted functioning whole economy.
      A few Elon Musk’s scattered among us doesn’t hurt, although there are really many creative hard working people who can help us all solve problems at the local level and we can cooperate with others at regional levels to have things work well.
      It’s so much better to have an economic environment that is flexible and can make changes as change is needed, instead of serving just a few behemoths.

      Trickle down is an illusion.

      Pas bon

  5. November 30, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Absolutely this N Korea thing has gone on Way too long. It was completely destroyed during the Korean war, only China saved it. It is interesting how inconsistent it has been with its missile program. It makes one wonder if their progress is due to some help from someone? Nonetheless it would be suicide for N Korea to attack anyone and its autocracy does not want to give up its power.

    • mike k
      November 30, 2017 at 5:59 pm

      We are scared of our own shadow. (Jung)

  6. elmerfudzie
    November 30, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    Un expects us to believe that both his father and grandfather saw no political or environmental advantage(s) to invest in alternative electrical power sources other than nuclear? It’s an established fact that the North is not the sunniest, windiest nation in the world. It does not have coal, gas or oil reserves either but does have an ample supply of domestic Uranium ore. A competent North Korean leadership would have carefully weighed the decision to “go nuclear” before venturing into the Plutonium/Uranium cycle for commercial electrical generation. A competent North Korean leadership would have taken time to carefully examine those reactions of envy and hate, Israel’s Dimona reactor stirred throughout the GCC countries and beyond. The Kim’s failed to realize? that whatever the energy option to embrace, it would strongly impact on the entire Geo-political and military balance among the four regional “dragon economies” (nuclear weapons research, development and use) . The Kim’s did not foresee that using domestic Uranium ore would precipitate stronger alliances between the USA and their Asian brothers nearby. I have no sympathy for such an incompetent leadership and or decision-making(s) to pursue nuclear energy. In my estimation, it’s far more practical to be beholden to brothers of the same race and religious persuasion(s) rather than the Western Occident white man (aside from the small contingent of Christians in North Korea) I’m afraid, Un, in light of these facts, you must now acknowledge your family error(s) and kneel to the West or be beheaded-the choice is entirely yours! You do not have very long to say, yes or no….Our new POTUS may indeed enjoy gambling and rolling dice BUT he definitely is a man of action-Not a talker. I hope our military can limit the destruction (with supremely accurate targeting) to weapons bunkers and uniformed soldiers along the battlefront.

    • Anon
      November 30, 2017 at 10:00 pm

      This is a foolish statement about North Korea. Do you not even know of the genocide inflicted in NK by the US after the Korean War? About two million civilians were killed for nothing. How would the constant military threats against NK by the US not lead them to want and insist upon a nuclear deterrent? What would you think if the US had been treated that way by another country?

      You see defense as offense. You want to see death and ruin. This is the pathology of foreign relations.

      • elmerfudzie
        November 30, 2017 at 10:28 pm

        Anon, your recalcitrant responses, do not address those specific issues raised in my commentary. Genocide?- war is always genocide- ask the survivors of Dresden, Germany. The United Nations, the Asia Pacific nations in particular, had better than sixty years to help bring the Kim family into the fold. No such luck! now it’s up to us-the U.S. We WILL honor our commitments to Japan and South Korea and dare i say, all eyes are on us to do so..

        • mike k
          December 1, 2017 at 7:57 am

          Honor our commitments? The greatest terrorist nation on Earth is now going honor something?? You must be kidding elmer.

        • Anon
          December 2, 2017 at 9:29 am

          No, “elmerfudzie”, you did not raise any issues, you spouted antique warmonger trash. You foolishly blame NK for wanting a deterrent, and for the US bullying. You foolishly resort to threats against NK.

          No eyes are on the US to do anything but idiotic threats and blaming like your comments. The world sees through your scam to scare up money for the MIC. You should be deeply ashamed of the six million innocent civilians your kind has killed since WWII and still seek to kill.

    • mike k
      December 1, 2017 at 8:00 am

      You are living in troll city fudzie.

      • elmerfudzie
        December 1, 2017 at 3:00 pm

        Mike K, perhaps you’d prefer China or Russia (Putin’s too smart to fall for this one) to militarily (by naval forces) and economically (by a gold backed Yuan) dominate the entire Asian region? Have you seen Xi’s first step forward, towards this maritime agenda? That gargantuan slice of the Pacific Ocean, China now claims is (suddenly) theirs? Whatever happened to the ten to two hundred mile coastal sovereign water limit, most of the world has historically agreed to? South China sea theirs? !; the Karimata and Malacca Straits, the Strait of Taiwan all totaling some 1,400,000 sq mi of surface and ocean floors below !! WAKE UP WILL YOU! The Australians, Japanese, Philippines and Vietnamese will, with our help, prevent China from doing so. As President Duterte said in a recent televised interview, “it’s going to be a blood bath”. Xi is deliberately using the North Korean crisis as bait, to stir up frictions, a ploy to increase panic within our Pacific alliances. Xi continues to use the North as a tool for muscling us out of his long range, regional domination plans. I won’t dignify your terrorist allegation/comment with a response!

        • Anon
          December 2, 2017 at 9:20 am

          You are spouting old warmonger tricks. Who would “dominate” in Asia other than China and Russia? Do China and Russia dispute US “dominance” in our region? Why do you need to dominate?

          In case anyone is fooled by this antique fearmongering of “elmerfudzie”, you will find that China’s moves to protect its trade routes reflect and occur after US attempts to militarize and threaten these faraway waters. No one has threatened trade in those areas except scattered pirate boats. If those waters were under threat, international response would be immediate and sufficient.

          But these antique warmongers cannot stop bullying faraway nations in hope of whomping up a dispute to rationalize demanding ever more money. It never occurs to them to negotiate agreements.

        • David A Hart
          December 2, 2017 at 1:08 pm

          OMG…China and Russia (which has the majority of its land mass in Asia) controlling and dominating the entire Asian region? Do you even know what China and Russia are doing and proposing with their One Road One Belt initiative? They are looking to help other contributing economies actually provide benefits to their own people. Not quite the same as the US, which demands that every country accept our economic blueprint or face the consequences, which usually means overthrow of their government and harsh austerity programs, taking years to repay and keeping these countries wedded to the west. The nerve, really, of China and Russia wanting to call the shots in Asia, I mean, who do they think they are?

    • Zachary Smith
      December 1, 2017 at 8:44 pm

      It’s an established fact that the North is not the sunniest, windiest nation in the world. It does not have coal, gas or oil reserves either but does have an ample supply of domestic Uranium ore.

      From a wiki:

      In 2013, North Korea surpassed Vietnam to become the global top exporter of anthracite, generating $1.4 billion in revenue for the DPRK (10% of the country’s GDP). Another estimate puts the nation’s 2015 coal exports at 19.7 million tonnes, worth $1.1 billion.[8] The regime relies on these profits to procure much of what it needs the most.[9]

      So North Korea has plenty of coal. That they don’t have any oil or natural gas seems to be correct. Regarding the wind energy, the Internet Tubes seem to have a huge hole about information on potential North Korean wind sites. It stands to reason they’re like everywhere else – some spots reliably windy and some not. I was surprised to learn that northern Indiana is one of the better wind places.

      Speaking of Indiana, a quick check showed that Pyongyang is essentially at the same latitude as Indianapolis, so I doubt if there is any particular shortage of potential solar sites in NK.

      Finally, North Korea’s nuclear power plants. They have precisely zero of them. Since electrical power generation is the most expensive and most dangerous of all sources, this makes sense. If your read my first post you’ll see my belief that if and when NK starts selling turn-key A-bomb/ICBM packages, they’ll be able to buy all the nice things fairly soon.

      NK is using their uranium for making bombs. Anybody who thinks there won’t be a market for these bombs needs to remember this:

      In the 1970s, the then prime minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, famously declared that, “We will eat grass, even go hungry, but we will have our own,” while referring to the attainment of nuclear weapons.

      If North Korea is immune to attack now, imagine the situation in the future. Nations will start “whacking” smaller ones to destroy enough of their economies to prevent them from having enough money to buy the bombs. It’ll be a grand new excuse for “pre-emptive” war.

      Cuba might buy a bomb? Bomb/Invade. Hezbollah might buy a bomb? Bomb/invade. Perfect excuse. Imagine the size of the list of the nations where this might apply.

      • elmerfudzie
        December 1, 2017 at 11:03 pm

        Zachary, I stand corrected about the coal, somehow, I missed that one-altogether! Thanks for pointing it out-we all need the facts. In any case, dependence on possessing the a-bomb for a (poorer) country’s sovereign security is a myth. Cuba hasn’t had any, South Africa gave them up, Israel is such a geographically tiny nation, and consequently can’t use them against it’s neighbors (without destroying themselves), Japan and Australia can manufacture but won’t because they’ve come to realize the bombs’ many limitations. An a-bomb can destroy economies just by detonation from high altitudes and not necessarily by conflagration and incineration. I refer to the EMP effect which does not require a special re-configuration of missile warheads in order to sustain their chain reaction during the end-trajectory of high reentry G- forces. After Fukushima, the Japanese economy teetered and has yet to recover (despite all the positive economic forecasts) One EMP blast high above Tokyo could collapse Japans weakened economy thus create a cascade effect throughout the international federal reserve banking systems. Un has yet to realize his fragile place in the big picture, he’ll need more reliance on China for it’s nuclear umbrella just as the Japanese, New Zealanders and Australians rely on the U.S. to do. An unanticipated and highly accelerated spread of nuclear proliferation technology was brought the fore via a Pakistani physicist, Dr Khan and his nuclear network. For the Western Occident military, things were made all the worse following the collapse of the USSR, thus with the aid of Khan and a few ex-pat Russian nuclear physicists who migrated to North Korea, a new problem arose, a nuclear armed Kim dynasty. Many nations looked the other way when Un’s scientists fashioned a few battlefield nukes, this was understandable however when he moved toward medium to long range missile technology, and took down those United Nations monitoring cameras situated at the Yongbyon reactors, that was it….Finally, in light of your (corrective) statements, I renew my accusation that the Kims didn’t think twice before “going nuclear” especially since they had enough coal for electrical energy needs.

        • Zachary Smith
          December 2, 2017 at 12:05 am

          In any case, dependence on possessing the a-bomb for a (poorer) country’s sovereign security is a myth. Cuba hasn’t had any, South Africa gave them up, Israel is such a geographically tiny nation, and consequently can’t use them against it’s neighbors (without destroying themselves), Japan and Australia can manufacture but won’t because they’ve come to realize the bombs’ many limitations.

          Cuba was a bad example for me to offer. The only reason South Africa gave up their Bomb was that apartheid was failing, and they were not going to allow Blacks to have their own Bombs. Your statement about Israel doesn’t compute – the neighbors are far away. Besides, I suspect the Zionist Bomb is meant more for blackmail. Russia is the only nation on the planet which has a realist chance of stopping an Israeli IRBM. The rest of the world is simply helpless. Message: if you don’t support us, we’ll take you down with us. Which is basically the Samson Option. If you have snake-navel morality, it IS a reasonable doctrine.

          Regarding China and Australia, I fully expect Japan to “go nuclear” in the near future. I’d predict the handling would be like with Israel – coy non-denial/no comment. The American Empire is plainly failing, and Australia is coming to be easy pickings. If they don’t become allies with either Japan or China, I expect them to get the Bomb too.

          I can’t imagine why North Korea wouldn’t sell to any and all customers. Wealthy gangs. Well-heeled terrorists like ISIS. Wealthy individuals! Except for an outburst of self-restraint, what would stop them? Anyhow, does anyone believe there aren’t factions in Ukraine which wouldn’t buy a Bomb in a heartbeat?

          After the first sales, I’d expect another dam to break. Lots of corporations around the world have the capability of making nuclear weapons. Lots of them now have the capability and are actually constructing huge rockets. Competition! The earnest folks at the Conservative Think Tanks would argue that North Korea could be curbed by price reductions which would undermined their economy. A hypothetical new NRA – Nuclear Rocket Association would argue that the only way Bad Guys With Nukes can be stopped would be by Good Guys With Nukes.

          • elmerfudzie
            December 2, 2017 at 12:39 am

            Zachary, you have the last word-I’m tired…prep for across the board disaster, its long overdue anyway….wondering exactly what world I’ll be waking up to in the morning…..no use buying bitcoin or hiding under the bed, neither one has anything to do with safety.

    • rosemerry
      December 2, 2017 at 2:41 pm

      Well, befuddled “un”, I hope nobody agrees with you or we are really in trouble.

  7. Karl Sanchez
    November 30, 2017 at 9:36 pm

    The author seems to fail to recognize the two sets of sanctions: international UNSC sanctions and unilateral Outlaw US Empire sanctions. It is the latter DPNK demand being canceled prior to negotiations. The sorts of operations envisioned and articulated by the Outlaw US Empire against DPNK are War Crimes of the First Order–Aggressive War–even uttering them is actually a violation of International Law AND domestic US Law; but the Outlaw US Empire hasn’t given a fig about the Rule of Law since 1945, thus its moniker. The two-track policy suggested by Russia and China is agreeable to DPNK; the reason its opposed by the Outlaw US Empire is that it will eventually lead to its having to vacate the Korean peninsula and also lose the raison d’etre for all its Western Pacific bases and occupation of Japan. Better to have constant crisis in the eyes of the War Pigs and their sponsors. Besides, what’s a few more millions killed after the 20+ millions killed since 1945. The Koreans are quite correct that only directly threatening North America with nuclear destruction will deter the terrorist monstrosity that’s the Outlaw US Empire.

  8. Pft
    November 30, 2017 at 11:36 pm

    Real enemies like NK and Cuba are in short supply. You can’t give them up and jeapordize the funding for the War Machine, which keeps our Capitalism going and opens Free Markets (lol).

    When enemies are in short supply they are created by arming Islamist terror groups or creating them out of thin air with propaganda like with Iran and Russia (and Afgansistan, Iraq, Syria, etc, etc). Sometimes they have to stage events to support the rhetoric.

    The war with Vietnam was able to end only because drilling that was going on during the War found much less oil than expected. NK has no oil but as enemy has value mainly in allowing us to maintain bases at the door step of China and Russia.

    • mike k
      December 1, 2017 at 7:50 am

      Right on.

  9. Lee Shepherd
    December 1, 2017 at 1:25 am

    We are a war based economy nation that’s heading for a overwhelming confrontation with a deranged pigeon. Under the present circumstances, with the current “leadership” it’s inevitable.

  10. Realist
    December 1, 2017 at 1:55 am

    Which regime is really a greater threat to the continued existence of most American citizens: the one in Pyongyang or the one in Washington? Which one threatens far more military confrontations across the globe, many of which have the possibility of going full scale nuclear? Which one has nuclear weapons actually deployed around the entire globe and on air-trigger alert, some in the bellies of deep water submarines hiding within every ocean, some on nuclear tipped ICBMs safe within hardened silos, some on cruise missiles arming a fleet of aircraft carriers, destroyers, frigates, and corvettes all randomly sailing about the entire surface of the seven seas, and even some on stealth bombers making endless runs from places like Barksdale or Incirlik and other redoubts within modern-day Mordor’s world empire? Basically, North Korea has got nothing in comparison to Washington. Yet the American media, fronting for thugs in the White House, Capitol Hill, Langley and the Pentagon, pretends otherwise. All those presstitutes should be fired quicker than you can say Charlie Rose, Matt Lauer or Mark Halperin for effing with our heads and actually threatening the lives of every person on the planet with their outrageous rhetoric and bombastic false narratives. These people know the truth, and you can handle it, but they refuse to tell it because that would set you free from the nightmare they purposely make you inhabit. It is THEY who hate you for your (potential) freedom.

    • mike k
      December 1, 2017 at 7:48 am

      Amen. Excellent post Realist. Our paranoid culture sees enemies everywhere, but cannot see the enemies within it’s own thinking. We accuse others of harboring the violent intentions which are actually our own ideas. Paranoid projection is our insane game. Kim Jong In is not nearly as crazy as Donald Trump and his team of mad dog war addicts.

  11. Kozmo
    December 1, 2017 at 2:34 am

    Ooh, better stop making sense!

  12. john wilson
    December 1, 2017 at 5:19 am

    I can only assume Mr Marshall lives in a world of Alice-in-wonderland fantasy. “Whats wrong with talking to North Korea” ? Why everything is wrong with talking to North Korea just as it was wrong to talk to Iran and its Nuclear programme. If you talk and come to an amicable agreement you can’t have a war and that means no profit for the stinking war mongers. The notion that America would want to talk about peace is laughable. The American war machine is now so big and so entrenched into the psyche of the people that it can’t be stopped, if it did then America would go into a terrible decline. North Korea has already been ear marked for destruction by the Neocons and it is designed to serve as an example to any other small nation that refuses to bow down before the US.

    • mike k
      December 1, 2017 at 7:37 am

      Yes John, we are a nation of war and violence addicts. Every basic system in our sick society encourages us to fight, compete, grab all you can get. Our sense of national pride is in our ability to destroy others. Our idea of diplomacy is ” gimmie what I want, or I’ll kill you.” We stand by and remain silent while our country kills millions, whose only crime was being unwilling to give us everything we demanded. There are processes for overcoming addiction and recovering our true selves, but they require a willingness by the addict to admit their problem, and be willing to work on it. The American Consciousness is unfortunately far from taking these first steps to recovery.

    • Virginia
      December 2, 2017 at 1:02 pm

      No, John, the USA wants nothing more than to “talk” peace with other nations and, after establishing friendlier relations, come in for the kill (i.e., regime change, resulting in chaos). Think Lybia. But, I do hope there will be a diplomatic solution in the case of NK ending in deterrence on all sides. And hopefully a world wide pull back on earth/life ending nuclear weapons will eventually come about, but I don’t think it will as long as one nation bows to another.

  13. bozhidar balkas
    December 1, 2017 at 10:51 am

    At present time, Jong would waste time talking to any US official. I advise Kim Jong-un not to talk to US unless US army evacuates S. Korea and lifts all sanctions imposed on Korean people.

    • mike k
      December 1, 2017 at 12:19 pm

      The Irresistible force (USA) meets the immovable object (NK). Reminds me of the situation in the early moments of our Universe’s birth, when the forces of matter and antimatter were almost perfectly equal, and thus doomed to annihilate each other. Our present life friendly Universe depends on one particle in a billion tipping the scales in favor of matter. In the current standoff – would somebody please blink – just a tiny little blink?

      If Trump fires Tillerson, then it’s up to General Mad Dog to have a moment of sanity……..

  14. Don Bacon
    December 1, 2017 at 11:45 am

    Looks like the US shows of force, with bombers dropping bombs near the border and aircraft carriers assembling off shore, accomplished nothing except probably to spur the North Koreans to develop an impressive deterrence.

    The US will have to negotiate now, to offer something in return for DPRK concessions. For one thing, the US is held hostage to its own imperialism and forward basing. The largest US overseas military base, Camp Humphreys, with tens of thousands of American soldiers and civilians, is within DPRK rocket range. (google: Camp Humphreys: Life in America’s largest overseas military base)

    news report: What is new with the 300mm mobile multiple rocket launcher is its accuracy, its mobility, and ability to rapidly fire multiple projectiles at the target (1 truck x 8 rockets x 6 launchers in a battery=48 rockets impacting…then 18 launchers in a BN =864 rounds on target), and the difficulty of shooting down a rocket vs shooting down a ballistic missile. Probability hitting the a rocket is a lot lower, and then try hitting 864 as they rain down. Warheads vary from HE, ICM to Chemical. The KN-09 is reported to have a range of up to 190 kilometers, 118 miles. Camp Humphreys is 57 mi S of DMZ.

    • mike k
      December 1, 2017 at 12:25 pm

      Interesting point about the rockets and our military encampment. When you threaten a small nation’s existence, they are driven to devise ways to threaten you back. Good for them. I love to see a bully have to back down.

  15. December 1, 2017 at 7:45 pm

    Dear Mr. Marhsall: You say, “Both sides insist on unacceptable preconditions before they will even consider holding formal talks to reach a peaceful settlement.” I know that the US has said the talks have to be about “denuclearization of the Korean peninsula” which translates to unilateral nuclear disarmament by NK. What are the unacceptable preconditions that NK has imposed? I am not aware of any, but, of course, I don’t know everything. Thanks in advance for any new information you can provide.

    • Zachary Smith
      December 1, 2017 at 9:43 pm

      From 2013:

      North Korea’s release of its preconditions for talks on defusing tensions on the peninsula is perhaps the best indication yet of the manufactured nature of the latest Korean crisis. Released April 18, the demands are that the United States and South Korea cease all provocations and apologize for them; that they pledge not to hold nuclear war exercises that threaten Pyongyang; and that all weapons systems that could be used to carry or deliver nuclear weapons are withdrawn from South Korea.

      That may have changed to something else. Point is this: the North Koreans will negotiate if they want to, and I have reason to believe they don’t want to. Just because everybody is sitting at a table together doesn’t mean anything is going to happen. Unless both sides want something to happen.

      It’s my belief that stalling is very much in NK’s interest. At some point they’ll settle for nothing less than full recognition of their new status. Why shouldn’t they?

      • cbrown
        December 2, 2017 at 7:08 pm

        Libya and Iraq shelved it’s programs. Syria shelved it’s chemical weapon. Anything changed ? As in the USA posture and action ? None i can find.

  16. david
    December 1, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    that’s détente comrade: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fSkuC8lxXSQ
    well… opposite scenario

  17. JOHN L. OPPERMAN
    December 1, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    “BOTH sides insist on…”
    That’s the same bullshit as Trump’s ”both sides are bad…”
    What a lame piece, Marshall.
    The US under all administrations have been surrounding NK with verbal and actual destructive threats for decades after entering into Korea illegally day one, as we have been on Russia’s-USSR’s-Russia’s ass since 1917 with only a brief almost time out during WW2

    Will you faux ‘experts’ never get it right???

  18. Babyl-on
    December 2, 2017 at 5:32 am

    Tensions and aggravation of tensions is the strategy used by the arms industry for decades. Tensions sell arms and use bombs which must be replaced. This is a significant reason for the belligerence against NK.

    Additionally, the big geopolitical fight is for the Eur-Asian land mass. Iran on one side of Russia/China NK on the other side and now India on the US side provoking China on its border, all while NATO advances its nuclear missals to Russia’s border on the West.

    “Global full spectrum domination.”

    That is the heart and soul of US policy toward the world – we own the world get used to it. And make no mistake about it the American people voters and non voters have supported every single war the US has entered (usually started).

    Today, the US is fully involved in the starvation of 20 million people in Yemen the US is directly responsible for the deaths of 130 children at day from cholera – deliberately denied medicine by the US. A majority of the American people support this action.

    The American people by a wide margin and repeatedly supported Vietnam, Nicaragua (illegal) Yugoslavia, Iraq, Syria and all military conflicts the US is involved in.

    There has never been a majority consensus in the US for peace and coexistence the American consensus is for war.

    Sure there is all kinds of propaganda but it really does not take much to get the American people worked up into a frenzy of slaughter.

    Might after night on the news throughout the Vietnam war body bags, people being burned alive by napalm villages burned children slaughtered – reported right there every night. Suicides among solders the destroyed lives of the homeless veterans people saw every day in their communities.

    In this atmosphere, the US voted over and over – in fact at every opportunity – elected more and bigger warmongers and voted for continuation of the slaughter.

    The American people don’t give a damn about the 130 children they will be responsible for murdering today they don’t even know and can’t be bothered.

  19. geeyp
    December 2, 2017 at 6:03 am

    What on earth is wrong with full cooperation with Russia and why can’t we have peace? We know the MIC is thwarting this. Look what they spread to the fake media regarding President Trump. This is the question staring Mr. Marshall in the face first. I have not read anything written with his name attached on this topic. Most journalists these days are afraid to agree with that ’cause it makes them look like they are on Trump’s side. Thanks to these clueless individuals, we are all in peril. You won’t support him on that, and then he scares you with talk against North Korea?

  20. December 2, 2017 at 12:41 pm

    Looking at it intelligently what possible better deterrent could North Korea have than the ability to strike the mainland US with nuclear weapons. Looking back at 9 11 everyone could see just how frietened Americans are of war on their own turf. The sight of the Government buildings with people streaming out of them in total panic says a lot about just how Americans would handle such a war. The country was brought to ,s knees with that minor attack only three thousand American died as a result. Yet the Federal Government disappeared for three whole days. In fact the only government official in any capacity, anywhere in sight was Gulliani, the mayor of New York. The country was completely parallized .

    The US has a love of wars because it is always fought in other people,s countries and other than a few body bags coming home there are no ill effects of the many foreign wars on the Continental USA. In that vein the Beltway Warriors like Lindsay Graham could not care less about the catastrophies that would result in Japan, South Korea or any where else in Asia if the US decided to attack North Korea. But North Korea correctly calculated that if they could wipe out New York, Washington, Chicago San Diego and San Francisco That would make even the Beltway Warriors back off. They of course are right in that assumption.If 9 11 brought the US to it,s knees just imagine what would happen there if it were to lose 8 or 10 of it,s major cities. To even contemplate saying that that would be acceptable would make Lindsay Graham look like a raving lunatic. No American is willing to risk such an outcome.

  21. rosemerry
    December 2, 2017 at 2:35 pm

    Always the US position is “we are right, we are big and powerful, give in at once”. Negotiations, talks, agreements which the USA would have to keep to, any understanding of a reasonable position taken by “an enemy” is off the table.
    The USA under WBush pulled out of an important ICBM Treaty, yet now the USA is upset about ICBMs in Iran.
    The frantic anti-Russian behavior now is like the McCarthy era, which to outsiders and even within the Homeland was a disgrace. When will we ever learn???

    • Zachary Smith
      December 3, 2017 at 9:19 pm

      You left out “exceptional”. The US doesn’t have to obey international laws or honor the treaties we’ve made because we’re so darned “special”. Regarding the laws, we torture people, both internationally and in US prisons. It’s illegal to do either, but the laws are ignored. Giving Israel money is illegal. SO WHAT? Invading other nations on imaginary grounds to destroy them for Israel is both illegal and immoral. SO WHAT? I’m sure the list is lots longer.

      Treaties are another one. I’m on record of being mighty suspicious of North Korea’s motives for getting nukes and missiles, but if they somehow “got religion”, why on earth would they negotiate?

      US Has a Well-Deserved Reputation for being Duplicutious, Untrustworthy and Treaty-Incapable

      Washington’s chronic deceit—especially towards Russia—has sabotaged US foreign policy

      Having established global hegemony, the US treats every deal as an Indian treaty — to be binding only for the other side

      The consequences of previous deceit are most evident in the ongoing effort to achieve a diplomatic solution to the North Korean nuclear crisis. During his recent trip to East Asia, President Trump urged Kim Jong-un’s regime to “come to the negotiating table” and “do the right thing”—relinquish the country’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. Presumably, that concession would lead to a lifting (or at least an easing) of international economic sanctions and a more normal relationship between Pyongyang and the international community.

      Unfortunately, North Korean leaders have abundant reasons to be wary of such U.S. enticements. Trump’s transparent attempt to renege on Washington’s commitment to the deal with Iran known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)—which the United States and other major powers signed in 2015 to curb Tehran’s nuclear program—certainly does not increase Pyongyang’s incentive to sign a similar agreement. His decision to decertify Iran’s compliance with the JCPOA, even when the United Nations confirms that Tehran is adhering to its obligations, appears more than a little disingenuous.

      North Korea is likely focused on another incident that raises even greater doubts about U.S. credibility. Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi capitulated on the nuclear issue in December of 2003, abandoning his country’s nuclear program and reiterating a commitment to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. In exchange, the United States and its allies lifted economic sanctions and welcomed Libya back into the community of respectable nations. Barely seven years later, though, Washington and its NATO partners double-crossed Qaddafi, launching airstrikes and cruise missile attacks to assist rebels in their campaign to overthrow the Libyan strongman. North Korea and other powers took notice of Qaddafi’s fate, making the already difficult task of getting a de-nuclearization agreement with Pyongyang nearly impossible.

      It’s a mess of our own making by all-American vermin like Clinton the Depraved, Bush the “Texas Torturer”, and Saint Obama of the Dark Skin.

      h**p://russia-insider.com/en/us-has-well-deserved-reputation-being-duplicutious-untrustworthy-and-treaty-incapable/ri21802

      North Korea has been working on miniature atomic bombs since the very start of their nuclear program. It stands to reason that the years of their own research combined with technical renegades from assorted places has enabled them to progress to the fabled “suitcase bombs”. If the Trumpies have a lick of sense they’ll consider that as a high-probability event. Unfortunately they haven’t till now shown they have any sense at all.

  22. December 2, 2017 at 5:50 pm

    The USA’s government has no reason to talk to Korea, only destroy it. Peace makes no money for the MIC. Therefore Peace is the enemy of the USA’s government. Only destruction and invasions fit the USA’s agenda to make money for those taking part, nothing else matters, obviously, including We The People of the USA. Cheney and his CIA massacred over 3000+ of us by demolishing the Twin Towers in the blatant false flag to justify invading Iraq. Trivial compared to what they’ll do next to us to justify nuclear war against all life on planet Earth.

  23. cbrown
    December 2, 2017 at 7:08 pm

    Libya and Iraq shelved it’s programs. Syria shelved it’s chemical weapon. Anything changed ? As in the USA posture and action ? None i can find.

    • Zachary Smith
      December 3, 2017 at 9:27 pm

      Syria shelved it’s chemical weapon.

      Actually Syria gave up the chemical weapons because they’re essentially useless in most cases. I suspect deterring Israel from using nukes was the original goal of the chemical arsenal, but when Syria was on the very edge of a final bombing campaign by the US, they became a positive liability, and the Syrians didn’t waste any time giving them up for destruction. As you say, nothing changed. The US is so darned Exceptional anymore that we can conjure up another reason for doing whatever it is we want to do right out of thin air. And we do.

      Iraq has been making a very slow and halting recovery, and Obama turned ISIS loose on them. He was almost successful. The faux Nobel guy DID manage to destroy Libya, and came within a hair of doing the same to Syria.

  24. Superman
    December 5, 2017 at 12:51 am

    What’s Wrong with Talking to North Korea? You make some valid points sir but if the US signs a peace treaty with North Korea that would be bad for defense budgets. One must remember that the US uses “Devil Theory Foreign Policy” tactics that allow the US to over inflate defense budgets so that rich people can build bombs and make money or better yet use those bombs to conquer foreign lands and set up puppet governments so that a different set of rich people can make money thought commerce and trade. One must remember that without some kind of boogeyman the military industrial complex can not exist. Any fool has looked into the Korean War knows that war was with China and we should stop kidding ourselves about North Korea and start looking behind them. Any war with China would be catastrophic in nature and would present a real threat of little nuclear droppings flying on the head of the American public. Until the public realizes we are run by crazy people… I expect this to continue.

  25. Brady
    December 5, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    Does N Korea have supporting ties to Hezbollah, Iran or to a lesser degree Hamas?
    Is that the answer to some of the many questions posed here?
    If Russia supports Iran and Syria, doesn’t Russia have to be attacked to cut off the head, and who benefits? The US taxpayer?

  26. George Rizk
    December 6, 2017 at 11:29 am

    It is common to say that Pakistan needed to have nukes because they don’t like India. No one is asking Pakistan to disarm. Similarly Israel needed nukes because they don’t like the Arabs. Therefore, if the logic dictates such acceptable reasonings, where is the logic today that even raise such potential point of discussion? N. Korea has been targeted by the Americans for decades, and any effort made by S.Korea to reunite with the North is met with CIA hostility. We know that the narratives of the government and its lapdog press is void of logics, but, the people need to think on their own.

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