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Solon

The Threat of Nuclear War Is Real

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With the report of the Defense Intelligence Agency that North Korea has miniaturized a nuclear weapon for emplacement in a long range missile, Trump responded with the bombast and irrationality of a Kim Jong-un. “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” he said, leaving no doubt that he was threatening nuclear war if North Korea didn't stop making threats. Calling his bluff, the North Koreans let be known that they were considering a strike on Guam.

 

The logic of the president's escalation of threats is difficult to fathom. Previously, Trump has gone on record that he thinks we should be willing to use nuclear weapons, so his words already demonstrate a gross misunderstanding of the dangers he courts. A preemptive strike on North Korea would result in a million casualties, mostly in Seoul, South Korea, given the massive artillery arsenal North Korea has assembled on the border, and a trillion dollar hit to the world economy. The catastrophe only expands from there. I am currently reading Destined for War by Graham Allison and an attack on North Korea is one of the scenarios that military experts believe could readily lead to war with China. North Korea has never been considered a rational player. By putting himself on the same level, Trump has called down on himself and the United States the condemnation of the world. 

 

North Korea has cut through Trump's red lines like an ax through hot butter. Trump's credibility is already on life support. This is an astonishing display of incompetence. Never has  Trump's incapacity for the office of president been more evident.

 

God help us all.

 

North Korea says considering missile strike on Guam

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-40871416

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If Trump didn't say anything about North Korea you would him want him to be impeached for being weak.

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North Korea could be Trump's Grenada.....and don't think his team is not discussing it in those terms either.  Grenada created big political gains for Reagan if you don't remember.  And North Korea could do the same for Trump. There's nothing like a little bit of war and killing to make even the hardest liberal become an American Flag waving, beer swilling, pledge of allegiance reciting, scouts honor saluting, veteran honoring, rebel yell yelling, gun toting Nationalist!!  ;)

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Something already happened last weekend that wasn't good for North Korea. The UN Security Council unanimously voted to enforce crippling sanctions on the country. That is what triggered the latest round of threats from Kim and Trump. Kim threatened the US in particular over the new international restrictions, although its neighbor and sometimes ally, China, promised to rigorously enforce them. Trump, never to be outbullied, responded in kind. This is old hat with the North Korean government. Most people have learned to ignore it. Trump, who evidently feels as insecure as Kim Jong-un, responded in kind.

 

As the Chinese foreign minister noted, the US usually allows sanctions to play out over time rather than reacting so quickly with hyperbolic language.

 

Tillerson hastened to assure us that there is no immediate threat to the US. He should have added, except from the president's ignorance, insecurity and bombast.

 

Tom Freidman says it best in today's commentary...

 

I was talking the other day to a wise executive friend and he recalled for me something his favorite boss liked to say: When people rise to the top of an organization and get power, they usually do one of two things: “They either swell or they grow.”

 

Donald Trump has swollen.

 

Every character flaw he had before taking office — from his serial lying to his intellectual laziness to his loyalty just to himself and his needs — has grown only larger and more toxic as he has been president. He seems not to have grown a whit in the job. He has surprised only on the downside...

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/08/opinion/donald-trump-gut-democrats.html?action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=opinion-c-col-right-region&region=opinion-c-col-right-region&WT.nav=opinion-c-col-right-region

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Who cares what Tom Freidman has to say - you might but I don't. And I don't care what Rush Limbaugh has to say either.

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I would like the President to GET OFF HIS PHONE AND STOP TWEETING FOREIGN POLICY AND MILITARY ACTIONS TO THE ENTIRE WORLD.

 

Chief of Staff John Kelly needs to step up and take his damn phone away. He's like a junior high school girl who doesn't do her homework and tweets selfies all night.

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The threat North Korea now poses with the capability of putting a nuclear warhead inside an ICBM and the ability to get that to U.S. territory is a result of appeasement by the Clinton and Obama regimes. None of those deals worked. It only bought the North Korean military time to develop their nuclear capabilities and now President Trump has to deal with the direct threat Kim Jon Un poses to this country and our allies. Left wing appeasement has proven not to work.

 

Trump and Mattis will put the safety of this country first. If China does not want war on their doorstep they need to step up and intervene in North Korea. They have been warned.

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According to this historian of Korea, the Reagan invasion of Grenada, which seems like a minor side show compared to other US interventions, was the trigger for North Korea's nuclear program. Kim Jong-un is following the program laid down by his grandfather. The North Koreans have believed from that time that the US was capable of invading and destroying the regime and that only the acquisition of a nuclear deterrent could save them.

 

 

Few Americans will recall the 1983 invasion of a small Caribbean nation thousands of miles from North Korea. But in fact, this conflict set the stage for the nuclear standoff today. It intensified the animosity between the two countries, sending North Korea on a quest for nuclear weapons to combat what it saw as a looming American threat.

 

In October 1983, the United States invaded Grenada. The Kim family regime that controls North Korea saw this invasion as an early warning sign: If the United States could perceive even a small spice island as a threat, so too could it eventually train its sights on North Korea. Without an effective deterrent, any regime perceived as a threat would be little match for American military might.

 

The Reagan-era invasion that drove North Korea to develop nuclear weapons

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/made-by-history/wp/2017/08/09/the-reagan-era-invasion-that-drove-north-korea-to-develop-nuclear-weapons/?hpid=hp_hp-cards_hp-posteverything%3Ahomepage%2Fcard&utm_term=.8df59fe22f0c

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So says Solon and the Bezos Post. If it were up to the left wingers in this country we would sit and wait for North Korea to drop a nuclear warhead on this country and then think about a military response.

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Your history lesson is based on North Korea's opinion. In your quote above you failed to mention all the weapons NK gave to Grenada. Maybe we need Obama to draw another line in the sand. When someone openly threatens the lives of millions of people and has the weapons to do it - thanks to Obama - you can't ignore it. So what is your answer Solon? Do they all need jobs? Should we allow North Korea to walk across our borders and give them free housing and free healthcare and free college? Let me ask you this - if a thief breaks into your house in the middle of the night -would you politely ask them to stop or would you call the police?

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A good read:

 

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/timeline-of-the-north-korean-nuclear-threat-w496701

 

 

China is only willing to try so hard. Although the Chinese are often dissatisfied with their troublesome ally, they are not eager to see North Korea badly destabilized. If North Korea collapses because of outside pressures, the most likely result is that it would merge with South Korea, much as East Germany merged with West Germany after the Berlin Wall came tumbling down in 1989. This would put a pro-American Korea right on the Chinese border: not a result the Chinese government is eager to bring about.

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A good read:

 

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/features/timeline-of-the-north-korean-nuclear-threat-w496701

 

 

China is only willing to try so hard. Although the Chinese are often dissatisfied with their troublesome ally, they are not eager to see North Korea badly destabilized. If North Korea collapses because of outside pressures, the most likely result is that it would merge with South Korea, much as East Germany merged with West Germany after the Berlin Wall came tumbling down in 1989. This would put a pro-American Korea right on the Chinese border: not a result the Chinese government is eager to bring about.

 

 

...and a real contribution to the discussion. Unless we understand the views of other nations, including our opponents, how can we possibly devise a wise policy?

 

Kim Jong-un had his apolitical brother brutally assassinated in public, in an airport, to send a message. Some have thought it was to the Chinese. Were they conspiring to put a more cooperative Kim in power? There is no evidence, only speculation. Clearly, the "Great Leader" has fears for his position. Secretary of State Tillerson tried to assuage the dictator's concerns last week when he assured North Korea that the United States was not its enemy and the US did not seek regime change. That was as conciliatory as the US has ever been in public, but Trump walked all over that effort to move Kim to the negotiating table with his "fire and fury" comments.

 

We have three choices:  war, negotiations, acquiescence. Since WWII, we have engaged in all three. If you regard sanctions as a form of low grade war designed to push a nation to negotiate, you could argue that this has been the most consistent modus operandi. But, let's face it: such a policy involves a certain level of acquiescence. Clinton negotiated a deal which George Bush broke off because the North Koreans were cheating. His administration tried to restart negotiations after North Korea made gains in creating bomb grade uranium, but the North Koreans weren't interested. Obama followed the pattern of sanctions for negotiations while pushing the Chinese to help. Trump has done the same with wildly mixed messages. All along the UN has passed sanction after sanction to no avail. The Chinese and Russians have opposed really biting sanctions until last week. Even they are finally frightened. The sanctions passed last Sunday are really tough and, if implemented over a long period will have terrible consequences for the North Korean economy.  Maybe they will have the desired result; maybe they are too late. Still, they represent the best opportunity to get North Korea to stand down. Threats and insults won't get the job done. 

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i dont think trump needs to sell a lot of wolf tickets to this crazy bastard,i think he is the most unstable

world leader we have had since stalin,worse than khadafi,hussein,and khomehini combined.he is just mentally unstable enough to push that nuke button. i gurantee the us has a plan to shoot the missles down far away to impact anybody.

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Basing his proposal on George Kennan's famous X Article in Foreign Affairs, Jeffrey Bader of the Brookings Foundation offers an exploration of the options and concludes:

 

 

The United States should simultaneously gear up for the long-term efforts that will likely be required to contain, deter, and isolate a nuclear-capable North Korea for years to come, until the North either reforms or cracks. The North can choose between the two paths of negotiation and isolation. It is unlikely to find a third.

 

...An assertive policy of deterrence and containment of North Korea could involve the following elements:

 

Military pressure on North Korea through exercises, modernization of weapons systems deployed in the area, and willingness by the United States and South Korea to respond forcefully to North Korean military provocations as we have not done in the past;

Development and deployment of anti-ballistic missile capabilities to defend the U.S. homeland, U.S. forces in the region, and our Japanese and South Korean allies;

Imposition of as close to an international embargo on trade and investment relations with North Korea as we can persuade the international community to adopt;

A three-way dialogue among the United States, South Korea, and China about how we would react to various contingencies in North Korea, such as instability or breakdown;

Understanding that the United States cannot achieve its objectives without close collaboration with both South Korea and China, North Korea’s land neighbors. In the case of China, we should be prepared to sanction Chinese entities that engage illicitly with Pyongyang in order to demonstrate we’re serious, but not go so far as to alienate China from the overall effort against North Korea;

No assurances to North Korea of acceptance of its regime prior to agreement to denuclearize. Covert actions against the North should be part of a deterrence and containment strategy; and/or

Strengthened political and military alliances with South Korea and Japan. We should not encourage either to develop nuclear weapons, which would make an already fragile regional security situation more unstable, but we should take steps to provide unmistakable assurance to both that the full range of U.S. military retaliatory options and protection would be available if either were threatened.

 

...But before we accept the necessity of such an approach, we could offer the North Koreans—both directly and through the South Koreans and the Chinese—one last chance for them to turn away from the disastrous course they are on. We could propose a deal that would offer them much of what they say they want in return for their complete denuclearization and dismantling of their missile program, namely:

 

Establishment of full diplomatic relations;

End of the economic embargo and sanctions, economic assistance, and investment; and

A peace treaty to replace the 64 year-old armistice agreement.

In such an agreement, both sides would need to undertake carefully staged and backloaded steps, since trust is nonexistent. Each side could commit to these objectives at the outset, with the timeline and key implementing framework to be negotiated. There would be nothing in such an agreement that would be contrary to U.S. national security interests, and it would provide to North Korea the security that it claims justifies its nuclear weapons programs. Such a package would provide assurance to Pyongyang that any collapse of its system would be due to its own failings, not the actions of outside powers.

 

Why deterring and containing North Korea is our least bad option

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/order-from-chaos/2017/08/08/why-deterring-and-containing-north-korea-is-our-least-bad-option/

 

It's worth the read if you are serious about understanding the options.

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This one is a nasty, dangerous affair - no doubt - and one that has been escalating for years. The North Korean regime is writing their own history. Russia, China, the US... and pretty much everyone else knows this is could end badly.

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The AP reports that there have been ongoing back channel talks between the US and North Korea at the UN. At least there is more going on than the exchange of belligerent threats. Whether this leads to a more substantive engagement to reduce tensions and even reach some kind of agreement seems remote, but at least there is a rudimentary conversation that could help avoid a grave miscalculation.

 

 

People familiar with the contacts say the interactions have done nothing thus far to quell tensions over North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile advances, which are now fueling fears of military confrontation. But they say the behind-the-scenes discussions could still be a foundation for more serious negotiation, including on North Korea's nuclear weapons, should President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un put aside the bellicose rhetoric of recent days and endorse a dialogue.

 

Trump refused to discuss the diplomatic contacts. "We don't want to talk about progress, we don't want to talk about back channels," Trump told reporters Friday.

 

The diplomatic contacts are occurring regularly between Joseph Yun, the U.S. envoy for North Korea policy, and Pak Song Il, a senior North Korean diplomat at the country's U.N. mission, according to U.S. officials and others briefed on the process.

APNEWSBREAK: BEYOND BLUSTER, US, NKOREA IN REGULAR CONTACT

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_NORTH_KOREA_QUIET_DIPLOMACY_ASOL-?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2017-08-11-18-56-16

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  This is comingoff as a measuring stick between trump and kimjumg ding dong or whatever his name is.two world egos of the worst kind calling the shots.what an awful situation for the whole world.

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Maybe North Korea needs to have a democratic election. So let's send them all of our democratic and republican politicians and within 5 years the government won't have any money left to buy weapons. Then we can send them illegal handguns from Chicago  and give them to all of the criminals and we can call it freedom.

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Maybe North Korea needs to have a democratic election. So let's send them all of our democratic and republican politicians and within 5 years the government won't have any money left to buy weapons. Then we can send them illegal handguns from Chicago  and give them to all of the criminals and we can call it freedom.

 

And we can add the local legend in his own mind who relocated to save them all.only problem is he has a bigger ego than the psycho running the country. ;D

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I'm curious of that one myself, Steven.

 

Lost admist the rise of Nazis has the potential nuclear threat from North Korea. I'm glad the General Mad Dog Mattis has stood up and grew his line in the sand against the emperial narcissistic threat in the far east. So now he's baiting us by threatening Guam??

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Trump's threat to rain "fire and fury" down on North Korea if Kim Jong-un makes another threat has disappeared in the fog of another of his self-induced crises. The incoherence of his administration, however, remains as evident in foreign as in domestic affairs.

 

Bannon, Trump's alt-right brain, was quoted that North Korea's nuclear program was a done deal and that the US could negotiate a freeze on its further development in exchange for US withdrawal of troops from South Korea. Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, denied the possibility of such a US withdrawal while in China to discuss closer military cooperation to avoid conflict if war broke out on the Korean peninsula. Dunford still considers US military action a possibility. This can only raise the fears of our South Korean allies that they could be abandoned to face the North Koreans without the umbrella of US protection--a promise we made half a century ago, or suffer the destruction of Seoul and a million casualties resulting from a US military strike against the North. The public contradiction between two top administration figures should be resolved in private debate within the government, but the dysfunction of the Trump White House has exposed the confusion and conflict that reigns between factions and individuals.

 

This policy incoherence undermines the ability of the US to deal clearly and reliably with allies and foreign foes alike. Bush and Obama were open to criticism for their decisions, but the policies were well-defined and understood by all sides. The administration has shown consistency in its pursuit of ISIL, but, in other prominent areas, it appears confused in the eyes of the world.

 

The solution is evident: the appointment of missing foreign policy deputies in the State Department. The Secretary of State needs the assistance of Republican foreign policy experts who opposed Trump during the presidential campaign. Trump's personal pique should not damage US foreign policy, but it is. The president will not agree to the appointment of people, even Republicans, who opposed him. This must change. Four years of policy incoherence will leave us permanently diminished where issues of vital national security are concerned.

 

Contradictory Remarks by Bannon and Dunford Deepen Confusion Over U.S. Strategy for North Korea

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/16/world/asia/north-korea-trump-moon-jae-in-south.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&clickSource=story-heading&module=second-column-region&region=top-news&WT.nav=top-news

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So, aside from "The Donald" and his temper tantrum with trying to deny white supremacy and Nazi impact....whats new with our friend over in North Korean and what does everything think is the next move?

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