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Old 20th September 2018, 07:07 AM   #1
Undesired Walrus
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What does North Korea want and what will happen?

Is this grounds for optimism and does the Trump administration deserve credit, and do the North mean it this time?

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-45583586

Honest question.


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Old 20th September 2018, 09:01 AM   #2
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I've been following the news on this and am left with questions. Kim has stated that he wants to proceed with denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, and is hopeful that negotiations with the South and the US will allow this.

The question that this leaves is: "Why wait?" The North has the only nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula. They could unilaterally denuclearize. What does Kim want in exchange? Certainly lifting of sanctions, but that has already been agreed to. The emphasis on "complete denuclearization", I suspect, may reflect a desire that the South, and US Forces in the South, remove all nuclear capable weapons systems. That would include the Air Force F-16s and Army 155mm artillery, as well as port visits by most Navy ships.

He may even demand that all US Forces withdraw from South Korea, or the whole region, including Japan, Okinawa and Taiwan.

Last edited by Pope130; 20th September 2018 at 09:04 AM.
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Old 20th September 2018, 09:16 AM   #3
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The whole world including South Korea should have only one aim when it comes to North Korea and that is regime change and the unification of Korea as a democratic, liberal state. Anything else is pandering to a totalitarian regime.
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Old 20th September 2018, 09:21 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
The whole world including South Korea should have only one aim when it comes to North Korea and that is regime change and the unification of Korea as a democratic, liberal state. Anything else is pandering to a totalitarian regime.
Which hands NK the narrative of evil westerners coming to eradicate their way of life. More importantly, perhaps, it hands China the narrative of no longer being able to remain stoic in the face of blatant western imperialism.
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Old 20th September 2018, 09:34 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
Which hands NK the narrative of evil westerners coming to eradicate their way of life. More importantly, perhaps, it hands China the narrative of no longer being able to remain stoic in the face of blatant western imperialism.
Their way of life? What kind of life is it for most North Koreans?
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Old 20th September 2018, 02:26 PM   #6
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In terms of the latest denuclearization news, it seems more of the same.

Quote:
The steps that the deal demands North Korea take toward disarmament are negligible at best. Kim expresses his willingness to dismantle the nuclear facility at Yongbyon. But that reactor was used mainly to reprocess plutonium more than a decade ago. North Korea’s main facilities for enriching uranium—the process by which it makes nuclear weapons today—are elsewhere.

Kim also says he will permanently shut down the launch pad at Tongchang-ri, where his scientists have tested intercontinental ballistic missiles, and would do so under the watch of international inspectors. But North Korea’s past few missiles have been tested from mobile launchers, so this too is a fairly meaningless concession.

More (or less) than this, the declaration states that North Korea will take these steps only if the United States responds with corresponding measures. It is unclear what these measures are, but some reasonable guesses are in order. For one thing, there’s been a slight shift in terminology. The declaration calls not merely for the “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” as in past documents, but a Korean Peninsula “without nuclear weapons and nuclear threats (italics added).” This suggests that North Korea is now demanding a certain amount of denuclearization on the part of the United States.
Linky.

Kim wants the same as always, status as a nuclear power to get sanction relief and security. "Peace" means lessening threats to his dictatorship.

Moon and Trump both want to do "something like peace" to boost their domestic political statuses, but that's always going to end up running up against the US military umbrella.

I don't think anyone wants regime change or unification anytime soon. Neither China nor South Korea want to deal with the masses of deprived and brainwashed refugees, or the risk from the military during a destabilized period. And for the "slow" vision of building up North Korea before unification, the problem is that the young in South Korea increasingly don't want unification.
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Old 20th September 2018, 03:20 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Their way of life? What kind of life is it for most North Koreans?
The only life they've ever known.
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Old 21st September 2018, 04:52 AM   #8
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If the North's nuclear weapons are based around enriched uranium then they must be pretty big. It takes more uranium to make a nuclear bomb than it does plutonium.
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Old 21st September 2018, 06:59 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
If the North's nuclear weapons are based around enriched uranium then they must be pretty big. It takes more uranium to make a nuclear bomb than it does plutonium.
More fissile material, but the weapons themselves can be simpler, smaller and lighter.
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Old 21st September 2018, 01:20 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by rjh01 View Post
If the North's nuclear weapons are based around enriched uranium then they must be pretty big. It takes more uranium to make a nuclear bomb than it does plutonium.
The volume of the fissionables is a tiny part of a weapon.
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Old 27th September 2018, 05:27 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
The whole world including South Korea should have only one aim when it comes to North Korea and that is regime change and the unification of Korea as a democratic, liberal state. Anything else is pandering to a totalitarian regime.
South Korea certainly wants regime change, but they have good reason to be hesitant about unification. Germany's was incredibly expensive. Korea's would be far more. South Korean standard of living would take a significant hit.
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Old 27th September 2018, 05:39 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
South Korea certainly wants regime change, but they have good reason to be hesitant about unification. Germany's was incredibly expensive. Korea's would be far more. South Korean standard of living would take a significant hit.
Indeed. The devil is in the implementation. Of course, North Korea has essentially the same goal, although ultimately the reunification is on North Korea's terms and the regime change occurs in Seoul.
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Old 27th September 2018, 06:02 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
The whole world including South Korea should have only one aim when it comes to North Korea and that is regime change and the unification of Korea as a democratic, liberal state. Anything else is pandering to a totalitarian regime.
What does China say about that though? Presumably they'd rather not have that happen?
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Old 27th September 2018, 06:19 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by LTC8K6 View Post
What does China say about that though? Presumably they'd rather not have that happen?
Maybe they wouldn't. But morally, I think they should.
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Old 27th September 2018, 07:09 AM   #15
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Why would South Korea want to unify, when the North has twice the number of soldiers?
Any attempt to merge the armies would give the North controlling power unless the North dismantles most of its forces first (not likely).
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Old 27th September 2018, 08:03 AM   #16
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I think the North's regime will only change following a revolution. Otherwise we're talking a pretty bloody, international war.
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Old 29th September 2018, 02:36 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by The Great Zaganza View Post
Why would South Korea want to unify, when the North has twice the number of soldiers?
Any attempt to merge the armies would give the North controlling power unless the North dismantles most of its forces first (not likely).
Germany reduced its armed forced to a unified total BELOW the headcount of West Germany alone, because, obviously, much of the threat that was the reason for the Cold War troop strength had gone.

Same would happen in Korea, where both side's military expenses and sizes are determined to a significant extent by the threat they pose to one another.
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Old 29th September 2018, 07:09 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Ziggurat View Post
South Korea certainly wants regime change, but they have good reason to be hesitant about unification. Germany's was incredibly expensive. Korea's would be far more. South Korean standard of living would take a significant hit.
Yeah. I think SK is just hoping for a much less hostile relationship with the North.
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Old 29th September 2018, 08:41 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Yeah. I think SK is just hoping for a much less hostile relationship with the North.
For the South, the best result would be an end to hostilities, and open trade and investment. South Korean companies could take advantage of cheap labor for new factories in the North to undercut Chinese exports. The North would gradually improve economically and educationally to a point where an open border or federation arrangement would work, and eventual re-unification. This would require a radical re-working of the North's policies and practices. Glasnost and perestroika, which, it has been held, resulted in the eventual dissolution of the Soviet Union.

I don't think the Kim family will go along with that. I see conflict as much more likely.
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Old 29th September 2018, 09:34 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post
For the South, the best result would be an end to hostilities, and open trade and investment. South Korean companies could take advantage of cheap labor for new factories in the North to undercut Chinese exports. The North would gradually improve economically and educationally to a point where an open border or federation arrangement would work, and eventual re-unification. This would require a radical re-working of the North's policies and practices. Glasnost and perestroika, which, it has been held, resulted in the eventual dissolution of the Soviet Union.

I don't think the Kim family will go along with that. I see conflict as much more likely.
Sounds like exactly the kind of bilateral cooperation Moon and Kim were moving forward with.

Well, until Trump showed up and made it all about himself, that is.
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Old 29th September 2018, 04:10 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Delphic Oracle View Post
Sounds like exactly the kind of bilateral cooperation Moon and Kim were moving forward with.

Well, until Trump showed up and made it all about himself, that is.
People in SK are just amused by Trump's irrelevant presence, like he's just the weird guy who showed up for a photo op.
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Old 29th September 2018, 04:15 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post

I don't think the Kim family will go along with that. I see conflict as much more likely.
Maybe. He spent so many of his formative years in Switzerland:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Jong-un#Early_life

He might think it really is time that NK became something of a more normal country.

No way of knowing, really.
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Old 29th September 2018, 06:33 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Maybe. He spent so many of his formative years in Switzerland:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Jong-un#Early_life

He might think it really is time that NK became something of a more normal country.

No way of knowing, really.
My view is that his own behaviour in terms of his purging of the party, his involvement in assassination, and attacks on South Korea, as well as some of the insane rhetoric about nuclear strikes on the US and the continuation of North Korean gulags suggests he very much accepts the abnormality of his country, and wants it to continue with the goal of bringing the whole peninsula in under North Korean control. Thatís what all his actions are consistent with.
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"Evolution and Ethics" T.H. Huxley (1893)
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Old 29th September 2018, 06:52 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
My view is that his own behaviour in terms of his purging of the party, his involvement in assassination, and attacks on South Korea, as well as some of the insane rhetoric about nuclear strikes on the US and the continuation of North Korean gulags suggests he very much accepts the abnormality of his country, and wants it to continue with the goal of bringing the whole peninsula in under North Korean control. Thatís what all his actions are consistent with.
Maybe. It's essentially impossible to even speculate with even a tiny chance of being accurate, because of how closed off the country is. I only know that people in SK are largely feeling really optimistic about the potential for improved relations, at least.
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Old 30th September 2018, 04:45 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Maybe. It's essentially impossible to even speculate with even a tiny chance of being accurate, because of how closed off the country is. I only know that people in SK are largely feeling really optimistic about the potential for improved relations, at least.
Is it really that difficult to speculate?

We don't need to peer inside the country to know that Kim Jong-Nam was assassinated in Malaysia.

We can be pretty sure that a number of the ruling party have been purged and executed.

We know that soldiers who dash across the DMZ are shot at and would be killed.

We do know that North Korea runs gulags, etc...
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Old 30th September 2018, 06:59 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
Is it really that difficult to speculate?

We don't need to peer inside the country to know that Kim Jong-Nam was assassinated in Malaysia.

We can be pretty sure that a number of the ruling party have been purged and executed.

We know that soldiers who dash across the DMZ are shot at and would be killed.

We do know that North Korea runs gulags, etc...
Meh.

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Old 30th September 2018, 08:56 AM   #27
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There was a piece of Japanese comedy some years ago about a Korean unification and blending the government.

In the skit SK controlled the entire government except for trash collection which was done by NK. Yeah they had armed trash cans with soldiers guarding each one, concentration camps for trash offenders, Trash cans with the then dictators face on it, armed trash trucks, etc., very funny and sad at the same time.
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Old 30th September 2018, 10:58 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
My view is that his own behaviour in terms of his purging of the party, his involvement in assassination, and attacks on South Korea, as well as some of the insane rhetoric about nuclear strikes on the US and the continuation of North Korean gulags suggests he very much accepts the abnormality of his country, and wants it to continue with the goal of bringing the whole peninsula in under North Korean control. Thatís what all his actions are consistent with.
My view is that while we can certainly observe the behavior of the regime as a whole, it's impossible to tell how much of that is Kim, or even how much Kim actually knows about what is going on.
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Old 30th September 2018, 12:13 PM   #29
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All Kim wants is legitimacy. He wants to shake hands with world leaders so that he can show his people video of him shaking hands with world leaders. If it makes the NK people love him more, he wants it.

Building nuclear missiles was a central part of that strategy until recently. It looks like he's shifted away from that strategy a little bit, but not away from his goal of being a god to the NK people.

As to why he's shifted his strategy, I'm not certain. Maybe the explosion at the research lab last year really set the program back significantly. Maybe he's now built facilities that are so well-hidden that he thinks he can get away with it. Maybe world condemnation and sanctions actually worked. Maybe its a combination of all of this.
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Old 1st October 2018, 06:10 AM   #30
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
My view is that while we can certainly observe the behavior of the regime as a whole, it's impossible to tell how much of that is Kim, or even how much Kim actually knows about what is going on.
I'm not sure where this determined radical skepticism is supposed to take us unless we are going to end up concluding we may only be brains in vats or that we should all embrace solipsism. Obviously it is true that we cannot know things for certain, but we can make common sense judgments about things that are going on.

For example, we may believe that Kim Jong-un, because of his education in Switzerland and his apparent fondness for Swiss cheese and Eric Clapton is a peace-loving guy who really wants just to get along with everyone and is completely ignorant of what goes on in his country (i.e. even more ignorant than we are apparently!) despite there being absolutely no evidence for this conjecture.

Or we could, like I said, make a common sense judgment about say, the assassination of Kim Jong-nam, being orchestrated by his half-brother, Kim Jong-un who has the greatest motive for wanting him dead, and probably less compassion for him than his father, Kim Jong-il. The fact that he seems very much photographed and filmed going about on trips around North Korea and abroad, and how he is pictured in photographs of rocket launches and appearing with heads of state such as Xi Jingping, Trump and Moon suggests he knows full well the image North Korea is attempting to portray. I don't see any reason to believe he is in the dark about any of the country's direction. Indeed, I am pretty sure he and a few other members of his family who he hasn't killed off, are in charge there.
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Old 1st October 2018, 07:03 AM   #31
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What would peace in Korea even look like?

Obviously Kim wants to stay in power and won't willingly agree to relinquish his authority over the North. I imagine some sort of legitimacy and acceptance on the world stage would be something he wants. I doubt there would be any reprieve for the people of North Korea. I imagine there would be a mass exodus to the South if the people were given the opportunity to move freely. The people of NK getting free access to the culture of SK or the West generally would be a disaster for the current regime.

Peace on the peninsula would be a good thing, but I don't see authoritarianism ending for the people of North Korea without some outside intervention.
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Old 1st October 2018, 11:18 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
As to why he's shifted his strategy, I'm not certain. Maybe the explosion at the research lab last year really set the program back significantly.
The main driver in this regard is probably not the tunnel collapse itself, but the general seismic instability at the test site. This is something that China has publicly voiced concern about: further testing could cause the whole mountain to basically collapse. That in turn could launch radioactive dust into the atmosphere which could cross the border into China, causing significant contamination.
https://www.businessinsider.com/nort...ploding-2017-9
China's concerns about this are probably genuine (satellite imagery suggests the mountain has already had some smaller landslides due to this instability), and the fact that they were voiced publicly is probably part of the message China sent to knock that **** off before it causes a problem to China. The implicit threat there is probably a bigger motive than any setback caused by the tunnel collapse.
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Old 1st October 2018, 12:30 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by Pope130 View Post
This would require a radical re-working of the North's policies and practices. Glasnost and perestroika, which, it has been held, resulted in the eventual dissolution of the Soviet Union.

I don't think the Kim family will go along with that. I see conflict as much more likely.

It would also require a significant shift in our own policies. We've invested a lot in the "Crazy NK" position, and demanding complete elimination of their nuclear program as a precondition for easing of sanctions. It's plainly obvious to me that NK will never willingly give up its nukes, and so, if we want to move forward on making NK somewhat less of a dumpster fire, we'll need to back off a bit ourselves. But far too many people would see that as "losing", so it's very unlikely to happen.


Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
My view is that while we can certainly observe the behavior of the regime as a whole, it's impossible to tell how much of that is Kim, or even how much Kim actually knows about what is going on.

Kim is in a bit of a "riding a tiger" position. He inherited a mess from his father, and any attempt to clean up that mess risks his own life if he loses control. It's no surprise that he'd crack down on any possible threat, even if hs really wants to improve NK's position in the world. He's got to play the hand he's been dealt.

I suppose he could try the old standard of looting the treasury and fleeing the country, but I suspect that it's harder to do that these days than it used to be.
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Old 1st October 2018, 12:40 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by angrysoba View Post
I'm not sure where this determined radical skepticism is supposed to take us unless we are going to end up concluding we may only be brains in vats or that we should all embrace solipsism. Obviously it is true that we cannot know things for certain, but we can make common sense judgments about things that are going on.
I think my skepticism is quite common-sensical.

We know that North Korea is a secretive totalitarian dictatorship. We know that it tightly controls the information it publishes, both internally and externally.

We also know that a typical failure mode of dictatorships is that the dictator himself is at the mercy of information controls exercised by his subordinates.

Therefore it seems to me that it's common sense not to assume that Kim Jong-Un is actually running the country. We should in fact maintain a healthy skepticism towards whatever appearances the North Korean regime presents to us.

Quote:
The fact that he seems very much photographed and filmed going about on trips around North Korea and abroad, and how he is pictured in photographs of rocket launches and appearing with heads of state such as Xi Jingping, Trump and Moon suggests he knows full well the image North Korea is attempting to portray.
To me, this is begging the question. Those photos and film clips are, first and foremost, propaganda. They reinforce the idea that Kim is in charge, but that's all they do. The North Korean regime lacks transparency, and that undermines the truth value of the information they publish.

What does Kim actually know about running a country like North Korea? What has he been told about running the country, by those actually engaged in the day-to-day work of running the country? What resources does he have to audit what he's been told? Are those audit trails themselves susceptible to tampering? Etc.

The US presidency, by comparison, is an open book. Some would say it's an open wound. But it is at least open. The North Korean regime is very much closed off to outside examination. Therefore I think common sense dictates that we maintain a healthy skepticism about the information the regime chooses to publish.

Maybe the CIA knows whether Kim thinks he's running the country, and whether he actually is running the country. But we don't know, and so I think we should not talk as if we do.

I think that especially with secretive totalitarian regimes, it's very important not to be complacent about the information they publish, and not to take it for granted that things are as they seem.

I'm not saying maybe we're brains in vats. I'm saying that when it comes to such regimes, even a little trust is probably a little too much.
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Old 1st October 2018, 12:49 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
Kim is in a bit of a "riding a tiger" position. He inherited a mess from his father, and any attempt to clean up that mess risks his own life if he loses control. It's no surprise that he'd crack down on any possible threat, even if hs really wants to improve NK's position in the world. He's got to play the hand he's been dealt.
I think this begs the question that he actually has control to lose.

He's stepped into the nominal leadership role of an established totalitarian regime. But is he actually in control of the regime?

There's been two generations of underlings laboring to establish and maintain the regime. They're the ones responsible for keeping it going, and telling him what's going on. We don't know what checks and balances were established by his father and grandfather, to stay in control of the various factions. We don't know if those checks and balances are still working.

We don't know how much insight Kim actually has into the inner workings of his government. We don't know who in his government is in a position to manage Kim's perception of what's going on. For all we know, Kim could have all kinds of great ideas for internal reform and external diplomacy, but his 'advisors' keep telling him "any attempt to clean up this mess risks your own life if you lose control." And what they're not telling him is that the mess suits them just fine, and that he's not actually in control to begin with.

The assassinations and grisly executions - are these the willed actions of a dictator? Or are they bread and circuses given to a figurehead to distract him from the question of who's really running things?
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Old 1st October 2018, 12:57 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
All Kim wants is legitimacy. He wants to shake hands with world leaders so that he can show his people video of him shaking hands with world leaders. If it makes the NK people love him more, he wants it.
I think that is true but first and foremost he wants/needs to retain power and loyalty of everyone. He needs to not be the one getting poisoned by nerve agents or tied to the muzzle of a cannon.(citing his methods of executing his relatives that we know of).
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Old 1st October 2018, 01:01 PM   #37
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Originally Posted by Horatius View Post
It would also require a significant shift in our own policies. We've invested a lot in the "Crazy NK" position, and demanding complete elimination of their nuclear program as a precondition for easing of sanctions. It's plainly obvious to me that NK will never willingly give up its nukes, and so, if we want to move forward on making NK somewhat less of a dumpster fire, we'll need to back off a bit ourselves. But far too many people would see that as "losing", so it's very unlikely to happen.





Kim is in a bit of a "riding a tiger" position. He inherited a mess from his father, and any attempt to clean up that mess risks his own life if he loses control. It's no surprise that he'd crack down on any possible threat, even if hs really wants to improve NK's position in the world. He's got to play the hand he's been dealt.

I suppose he could try the old standard of looting the treasury and fleeing the country, but I suspect that it's harder to do that these days than it used to be.
I'm thinking there's a reasonable chance you're right. Re: the highlighted...the one and only good thing about Trump is that he does not seem to see it that way. He's not listening to those voices, I don't think.
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Old 1st October 2018, 01:44 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by theprestige View Post
I think my skepticism is quite common-sensical.

We know that North Korea is a secretive totalitarian dictatorship. We know that it tightly controls the information it publishes, both internally and externally.

We also know that a typical failure mode of dictatorships is that the dictator himself is at the mercy of information controls exercised by his subordinates.

Therefore it seems to me that it's common sense not to assume that Kim Jong-Un is actually running the country. We should in fact maintain a healthy skepticism towards whatever appearances the North Korean regime presents to us.



To me, this is begging the question. Those photos and film clips are, first and foremost, propaganda. They reinforce the idea that Kim is in charge, but that's all they do. The North Korean regime lacks transparency, and that undermines the truth value of the information they publish.

What does Kim actually know about running a country like North Korea? What has he been told about running the country, by those actually engaged in the day-to-day work of running the country? What resources does he have to audit what he's been told? Are those audit trails themselves susceptible to tampering? Etc.

The US presidency, by comparison, is an open book. Some would say it's an open wound. But it is at least open. The North Korean regime is very much closed off to outside examination. Therefore I think common sense dictates that we maintain a healthy skepticism about the information the regime chooses to publish.

Maybe the CIA knows whether Kim thinks he's running the country, and whether he actually is running the country. But we don't know, and so I think we should not talk as if we do.

I think that especially with secretive totalitarian regimes, it's very important not to be complacent about the information they publish, and not to take it for granted that things are as they seem.

I'm not saying maybe we're brains in vats. I'm saying that when it comes to such regimes, even a little trust is probably a little too much.
I'm with you on all of that. None of us actually know how the NK government actually works.

One other thing to add. In my all time favorite documentary, "The Fog of War", Robert S. McNamara said "LeMay said, "If we'd lost the war, we'd all have been prosecuted as war criminals." And I think he's right. He, and I'd say I, were behaving as war criminals. LeMay recognized that what he was doing would be thought immoral if his side had lost. But what makes it immoral if you lose and not immoral if you win?"

IIRC, he was talking about the Korean war there, when we carpet bombed innocent civilians in mass. He was just a fighter pilot in that time, just taking orders, dropping the bombs.

Quote:
Atrocities

The killing of civilians during the Korean War are attributable to a wide variety of situations, actors, and intentions. Based on existing analyses of Korean War atrocities, these methods are best categorized into the following groupings[i]:

Civilians deaths caused by North or South Korean state-directed executions for the purposes of internal control, typically because state troops or officials believed the civilians to be enemy collaborators and/or failed to adequately support their state.
Civilian deaths that occurred during perpetratorsí combat operations (including bombings) by Chinese, South Korean, North Korean, and American troops, typically due to troopsí negligence of civilian life during the pursuit of their operations and indiscriminate bombing campaigns.
State-sponsored inter-village reprisal killings by civilians.
Killings of American and ROK prisoners of war by North Korean forces.
Quote:
Armed forces were frequently responsible for civilian deaths, either through apparent disregard or deliberate targeting due to policies to treat civilians fleeing areas of combat operations like combatants (in response to alleged DPRK infiltration tactics). The infamous No Gun Ri Massacre of July 1950 allegedly resulted in the deaths of hundreds of civilians,[vii] with troops sometimes opening fire at advancing refugees, as dictated by explicit U.S. policies, outlined in a memo from U.S. Ambassador to Korea John J. Muccio.
Quote:
Fatalities

1948 Ė 1951: Rough minimal estimate of 1.75 million people, including pre-war period, civilians killed during the war and POWs killed while in captivity.
Has the US government ever apologized for the indiscriminate killing of civilians? If not, we should.
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Old 1st October 2018, 03:10 PM   #39
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Michael Palin recently did a travel monologue (surrounded by 5 film crew and a similar number of minders). It was a very interesting view on the mindset in NK.

(Episode 1 - one hour long...)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kk_8bxG9INg

(episode 2 - again, another hour)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rj4J2mPGPHU

It was, I think, quite interesting to see the constraints on reporting and the language used when filming with and without the minds and also how human the minders could be when relaxing and how up-tight they got when questioned about questioning their society and leaders.

For a reunification to go ahead Kim would have to relax this mental stranglehold and allow time for it to spread without exploding in the way that the USSR collapsed. That's never going to happen while he's alive
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Old 1st October 2018, 08:45 PM   #40
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No matter how, re-unification is going to be a complete mess for at least 30 years. It will take a new generation of North Korean children being born without malnutrition, for starters.
In the meantime, a significant chunk of the North's population would move South.
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