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North Korea and the Trump Administration’s Disdain for Diplomacy

Rex Tillerson poured [1] cold water on the possibility of talks with North Korea:

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Monday it was “too early” to discuss direct negotiations with North Korea, after Vice-President Mike Pence said the US was open to talks.

Tillerson had previously been the top administration official to float the possibility of talking to North Korea, but the White House contradicted and shot him down enough times over the last year that he has learned not to do that anymore. The Secretary of State’s remarks confirm that there has been no meaningful change in the administration’s position, and their idea of a diplomatic solution to the standoff continues to be negotiating the terms of North Korea’s capitulation. Much like their approach to Iran, the Trump administration has handled North Korea as if the adversary doesn’t get to have a say in what will be negotiated. U.S. officials keep insisting that North Korea must take “clear steps toward denuclearization,” but they ought to know that North Korea has absolutely no intention of doing any such thing. If North Korea’s willingness to agree to something it has repeatedly said it will never do is the condition for beginning talks, the U.S. is guaranteeing that there will never be any talks.

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4 Comments To "North Korea and the Trump Administration’s Disdain for Diplomacy"

#1 Comment By b. On February 13, 2018 @ 12:50 pm

The US has been obsessed with “unconditional surrender” from WW2 onwards, if not before. The insistence that talks begin with the opponent admitting that they “have no say” in the “talks” was, ultimately, the reason the US decided it could not possible blockade the Japanese mainland and negotiate, that it absolutely had to invade the mainland and was not willing to suffer the resulting “cost” – even at “favorable exchange rates” and “acceptable casualties” – and ultimately, that the US absolutely “had to” use nuclear weapons in strategic bombing against civilian targets to maximize the suffering of the population…

… all to avoid “negotiations”.

Idiots like Keith Payne claim “approximately 20 million people” dead in the US in a “winnable” nuclear war to be “a level compatible with national survival and recovery”, and a nation that had half a million dead in WW2 – few of them civilians – felt it had to incinerate 200,000 civilians in two days, with nuclear weapons, because it felt that too many of their own had died already, yet it could not possible accept the idea that maybe, negotiations would be a good beginning – regardless of outcome.

This sickness goes all the way back to Roosevelt and even Wilson. The US has strained so mightily to “get the politics out of war”, war has become the end towards which all means are directed.

#2 Comment By Clyde Schechter On February 13, 2018 @ 1:09 pm

I don’t believe the neocons actually care how many people they kill, as long as they get to bully the world.

Do you know of any evidence to the contrary?

#3 Comment By a spencer On February 13, 2018 @ 8:30 pm

Brain teaser!

This is a long list, but look it over and speculate:

>> Iraq War Coalition troop deployment
US 150,000
UK 46,000
South Korea 3600
Italy 3200
Australia 2000
Georgia 2000
Ukraine 1650
Netherlands 1345
Spain 1300
Romania 730
Japan 600
Denmark 545
Bulgaria 485
Thailand 423
El Salvador 380
Honduras 368
Dominican Republic 302
Hungary 300
Czech Republic 300
Azerbaijan 250
Albania 240
Nicaragua 230
Poland 200
Mongolia 180
Singapore 175 offshore
Norway 150
NATO 150 advisers
Latvia 136
Portugal 128
Lithuania 120
Slovakia 100
Bosnia/Herzegovina 85
Macedonia 77
New Zealand 61
Tonga 55
Philippines 51
Armenia 46
Estonia 40
Kazakhstan 29
Moldova 24
Iceland 2

What sort of additional deployments the US could expect to attract if it goes to war with North Korea or Iran?

You’ll notice Montenegro didn’t bother to show up but still managed to get admitted into NATO last year!

Reminder that some Americans actually stopped using the term “French Fries” over this. Infantile, to be sure, but you’d think the French, if nothing else, would have been interested in testing/showing off its own machinery. After all, they were happy to do so in Libya, six months after trying to sell the same fighter aircraft to Qadafi.

Seriously, who do you think would join? I’ll be busy learning more about His Majesty’s Armed Forces of Tonga. Apparently Tonga’s military consists of 450 troops, half of which have been to Afghanistan. Also, it was reported that during a 2012 Helmand night raid, they were perimeter guards “without any night vision devices”. They might think twice before getting involved again.

#4 Comment By Andrew On February 19, 2018 @ 12:46 am

Although a completely inept and unstable country like North Korea shouldn’t get right to dictate terms of a possible peace treaty or an agreeable “stalemate” of no hostilities, that exact thinking doesn’t get the world or us anywhere with NK. No matter how sadistic and backwards Little Kim is, with nukes being there only way of getting an imperialist-ridden world to listen thinking denuclearization will happen is poppycock.