June 30, 2019

Trump pays a spontaneous visit to Kim Jong-Un, who, with one day's notice, comes to meet him at the DMZ.

From the Bloomberg raw footage (which is replete with photographers jockeying for position and expressing annoyance at each other), there's the moment when Trump pats Kim on the back and Kim lights up the DMZ with his smile...



Here's the whole 10 minutes:



TRUMP: "I didn't really expect it. We were in Japan for the G20 — we came over — and I said, hey, I'm over here, I want to call up the Chairman, Kim, and we got to meet, and stepping across that line was a great honor. A lot of progress has been made. A lot of friendships have been made. And this has been, in particular, a great friendship. So, I just want to thank you. That was very quick notice, and I want to thank you."

Kim, hearing the translation, breaks into a (seemingly) natural smile:



Kim makes no statement at that point, but we did hear him speak, at the point where Trump stepped across the border. You know how important borders are to Trump. The translator called out the words: "I never expected to meet you — at this place.... You'll be the first U.S. President to cross the border."

As I watched, I noticed that I was smiling.

I'm fascinated by the mixture of spontaneity and stateliness. There's the symbolism of friendship we know from childhood — you're near your friend, so that's a reason to ask if he can come out, and he does. Simultaneously, there's the grand symbolism of meeting on this dire borderline. Here they are, really there, and we know they are both men of the theater, striving to look natural on the unfathomably big stage — that narrow, pebbled alleyway.

316 comments:

1 – 200 of 316   Newer›   Newest»
Humperdink said...

MSLSD ripping Trump up one side and down the other this morning. Every expert guest they had on, like a chorus. "Trump got a photo op, Kim got everything he wanted." Huh?

wendybar said...

Where's his Nobel Peace Prize?

iowan2 said...

President Trumps foreign trips are all grand slam home runs. Leftists hacks work overtime for something to find denigrating the President. In spite of the LLR talking points, The Presidents interactions with leaders of other Nations comes to him naturally. It comes across as sincere, honest, and caring.

traditionalguy said...

Best politics seen since FDR worked to get his big three photo taken with Stalin at Yalta, which by the way was in Soviet territory.The Photo op IS the accomplishment. World Peace takes photo ops.

Boy is the Shadow Government howling. Without a continuous war to hide their mega thefts inside , their power base is rendered useless to them.

Wince said...

...there's the moment when Trump pats Kim on the back and Kim lights up the DMZ with his smile...

"You're gonna make it after all... MEOW."

(Trump's face in that picture reminds me of the woman in the kerchief looking askance at MTM.)

narciso said...

Well yalta was not a good look, tradguy, the intelligence community is not that sharp, I'm not so sanguine about this turn of events, but it beats missiles flying

Howard said...

Good for Trump. I hope he's successful in cooling down the Norks. Sure, he is giving the tyrant a photo opportunity, but nothing else has worked out over the last 70-years, so it makes sense to switch it up. It's too bad he's not playing the same game with the mad mullahs in Persia. Unfortunately the USA is Israel and Saudi Arabia's cuck

narciso said...

Think of it like the laser pointer and cats

https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/06/babble_the_debates_and_the_scotus.html

Dust Bunny Queen said...

President Trumps foreign trips are all grand slam home runs. Leftists hacks work overtime for something to find denigrating the President

Exactly! The media will try to hide most things that Trump is accomplishing and diminish, denigrate, and deny everything that they can't hide.

In his economic policies and his foreign policies Trump has been 'hugely' successful. Instead .....they want to complain that he talks differently from the lifetime politicos, wears long ties, eats two scoops of ice-cream and was (in his youth)a handsome,rich,young man with a sex life. Oh yeah. Funny hair, orange skin.... Impeach him!!!!

Birkel said...

I wonder if this makes the Sunday shows.
Or China's capitulation on trade issues?

The two are related and both enormous feathers in Yankee Doodle's hat.
Let's see if the press calls in macaroni.

Susan said...

This is all about showing China that North Korea is no longer their hostage.

Trade negotiations with China will proceed differently now.

DimWhit said...

Trump is just full of surprises....

Jersey Fled said...

The man is absolutely brilliant.

That's what drives the left nuts.

Tank said...

Fun !

Fun is good.

Lyle Smith said...

The media has less maturity than Kim Jung Un. Wow!

Birkel said...

Trump's message:
Nothing to fear with North Korea from an international perspective.
It would be glorious if he's right.

I wonder if a future president will be give the credit in a decade or two.

stevew said...

Trump uses that old salesman's trick to get a meeting with someone he's been looking to meet: "Hey, Kim, it just so happens I'll be in your area tomorrow, what you say we meet up, say at the DMZ?". Love it.

He's focused on the goal but gets some nice political mileage out of this sort of thing.

Beasts of England said...

That's one small step for [a] man...

traditionalguy said...

Now on to making Iran into a friend. They are very similar cases. Both North Korea and Iran have been puppet states causing continuous near wars and chaos. And again Trump is using plan A which backs them down and offers them a share in our prosperity if they will change sides.

And Hillary's Globalists weep and gnash their teeth.

sykes.1 said...

Trump is hands down the smartest man to be President in my life time of 76 years. While many people dislike his NYC abrasiveness, his authenticity and honesty shine through.

PS. Stop the stupid tests!

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

A lot of the Washington establishment seems to think: our old friends the democrats in South Korea should be treated like big shots; Kim should be treated like a nobody. I like the story that Trump responded at one point: that might have made sense when the Norks had no chance to get nukes; but now the old approach would amount to sacrificing Chicago to save South Korea. Trump is not the crazy one in this conversation.
The whole file would be difficult to explain to the person from Mars. The old truce line from 1945; now one of the most impenetrable borders in the world. The vastly different trajectories of North and South. (It hasn't all been a picnic for the South; a huge part of their GNP, well into the 60s, came from running a huge bordello for Americans and others--sexual exploitation on a national and institutional scale). I give full credit to Trump for doing what he can to "normalize," even though I suspect it is largely still up to Kim whether normalization happens or not. It was always interesting that Scott Adams regarded this as a top-three issue; the progressives would rarely even mention it.

rehajm said...

Somewhere Hillary's morning scowl passes unrecorded.

Craig Howard said...

A treaty to end the Korean War would be a nice, logical, next step.

narciso said...

Well for good or Ill moon jae in, believes in this approach, think of it like willy Brandt's approach to the east

roesch/voltaire said...

This is a historic move and symbolic gesture that could lead to more substantial agreements, but let’s see what unfolds before we erect the Trump sign over the DMZ.

traditionalguy said...

This Truce Line is from 1953.It was a 3 year moving front line going south, then north, then south, then north in a meat grinder war that was only ended when Eisenhower compromised with the ChiCom Mao.

MikeR said...

@Howard "It's too bad he's not playing the same game with the mad mullahs in Persia." He's playing a different game there, for good and sufficient reasons. He saw a unique opportunity in North Korea, and is seeing if he can use it.
My gosh, what he's doing in North Korea has the "experts"' heads spinning. You want to change it into establishment standard, this is exactly what must be done for every international situation, one size fits all?

rehajm said...

It isn't difficult to imagine the scenario where the media fawns, interrupting the women's world cup quarterfinal to bring us unblinking coverage of Hillary standing there with Kim (coincidentally, both wearing the same outfit) while A team cable anchors tearily and breathlessly compare this moment to major peaceful historical events, ranking it near the top if the list.

Kevin said...

There's the symbolism of friendship we know from childhood — you're near your friend, so that's a reason to ask if he can come out, and he does.

Can Kim come out and play?

JML said...

wendybar said...
Where's his Nobel Peace Prize?

Trump has the wrong color hair for that. And oh yeah, he isn't a dem.

Swede said...

Stolen, but:

Trump cures cancer.

CNN: Trump puts thousands of doctors in unemployment line.

narciso said...

Kim's senior negotiator the ex?? Spy master is schrodinger, he may or may not be dead.

Kevin said...

Simultaneously, there's the grand symbolism of meeting on this dire borderline.

The negotiations are stuck on lines they will not cross.

Trump is showing Kim they can cross any barrier if they do it together.

doctrev said...

It's really not possible to unpack this single moment enough. People could talk endlessly about the Secret Service having kittens, and for once I agree. The President would have to hold extraordinary control over the entire operation to feel that confident in doing this. Replacing Randolph Alles there was speculated on earlier this year: was it for this reason, or something like it? Entirely possible. As a billionaire Donald Trump has always enjoyed a substantial security force, as most billionaires require.

But this minor detail pales compared to the major point: to Donald Trump, a united Korea is a high priority. Higher even than destroying the EU, which I have long maintained is a personal project of his. In terms of international reputation, nationalist ideology, confronting China all combined... peeling North Korea out of the Chinese orbit is so ambitious as to be borderline insane. But President Donald Trump is doing it. I would laugh uproariously if Dennis Rodman turns out to have done more for a united Korea than the entire worthless State Department, which Trump obviously and hilariously sidelines at every opportunity, but those are the breaks.

Anonymous said...

Great stuff. Moving toward a goal that Trump has identified. This is not the goal this is just a step in that direction. The visuals are incredible.

Chuck said...

Has Otto Warmbier commented on this latest visit?

gilbar said...

Oh BIG Deal!
So what? So he walked across the DMZ and shook hands with Kim,
Every President in my lifetime has done that! It's a standard photo op thing

Well, Every President except maybe Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush, and O'Bama. But, except for Those guys, it's a thing every President in my Lifetime has done at least once

rehajm said...

I'm fascinated by the politics and protocol of it all. I mean which country's contractors got the contract for the hardscape? Clearly it was one outfit- the same style of aggregate, the same make of sewer covers. With all the red tape you can't even get two towns in Massachusetts to agree on that much.

doctrev said...

I'm sure Chuck was incredibly disappointed that no one tried taking a shot at the President, as we all know his objection to assassination relies solely on the basis of petty politics, but please try to look like less of a chuckservative.

Quayle said...

Speaking as someone who lived in South Korea for 2 years as a missionary when I was 20, and as someone who has lived with Koreans in their towns and neighborhoods, and has been at Panmunjom a few times, and speaks Korean)

You smiled; I wept for joy.

AllenS said...

The next meeting that Trump has with Kim Jong-Un, I hope he has Moon Jae-in the President of South Korea with him. The situation has to be resolved between the two Koreas, and Trump is the only man who can swing this event into reality.

Humperdink said...

No Chuck, Otto is dead. Glad you are suggesting by your inane comment we should keep the world on edge forever and not try to get a nuclear tyrant to disarm.

You are a bitter man.

jaydub said...

Chuck is the only argument for abortion that makes me think twice.

doctrev said...

Watching the video is hugely amusing as the reporters act like sheep. Some trying to break away from the herd in the name of getting better photographs, most pushed around by the sheepdog Secret Service based on the whims of two world leaders. Donald Trump clearly has zero fear of death, which may explain the willingness to enact his grand plans for the world: the rise of united nations and the shattering of the globalist consensus. There is considerable irony that this was a far briefer visit than Nixon going to China, and yet the impact may be similar- maybe even greater.

Narayanan said...

!How India Pakistan do it!

https://youtu.be/9fbrH7XOuLY

https://youtu.be/n9y2qtaopbE

alanc709 said...

Chuck said...
Has Otto Warmbier commented on this latest visit?

Correct, Chuck. He's more dead than the filmmaker Obama railroaded into prison as an excuse for Benghazi. More dead than your intellect. Please let the adults continue discussing this without interruption. Your childish verbal ejaculations are embarrassing.

steve uhr said...

Docrev — when has trump ever that a united Korea is a high priority?

Browndog said...

I watched the NBC live feed that was uploaded to Youtube this morning. Watching Trump walk over there all by himself blew me away. Watching the greeting, I too smiled. A lot.

At one point Trump said something, then Kim burst out laughing. It was at that point I came to believe real peace is possible.

Trump doesn't have to do this. He could maintain the status quo and no one would bat an eye.

Tommy Duncan said...

Otto Warmbier was arrested in January, 2016. That was on Obama's watch. But Chuck is pretty sure Otto Warmbier's arrest and death were Trump's fault. So tell us, Chuck, how Trump's negotiations with North Korea are related to Otto Warmbier?

Fernandistein said...

It's a dirty job, but somebody has to do it.

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

quick, Trump - kill him!

Phil 314 said...

Could someone please tell me now after three meetings with Kim, what is measurably different in North Korea or with the International community and North Korea?

Pretty pictures and smiling faces are nice and all but what’s different in the long run?

Lyle Smith said...

Hey everybody... if Kim Jung Un somehow killed Chuck (poisoned him or something), should we invade and/or nuke the DPRK?

BleachBit-and-Hammers said...

Note that the leftwing media CNN and MSNBC are not covering the violence perpetrated by their creations called antifa.

Humperdink said...

"Pretty pictures and smiling faces are nice and all but what’s different in the long run?"

The long run is still running. This has to be 'splained to you?

DVSONE said...

Yes!!! TRiUMPhant times we live in!!! https://i.redd.it/sikl7kzpu3411.jpg

Humperdink said...

"Pretty pictures and smiling faces are nice and all but what’s different in the long run?"

The long run is still running. This has to be 'splained to you?

Chuck said...

Tommy Duncan said...
Otto Warmbier was arrested in January, 2016. That was on Obama's watch. But Chuck is pretty sure Otto Warmbier's arrest and death were Trump's fault. So tell us, Chuck, how Trump's negotiations with North Korea are related to Otto Warmbier?


LOL. We're all laughing at Trump on that one. Trump said that he took Kim Jong Un at his word, when Kim said that he didn't know anything about any mistreatment of Warmbier, or what happened to him. Nobody believes Trump's lying about that. Or maybe Trump wasn't lying. Maybe, Trump is really that stupid.

But Otto's family isn't having any of it. They have condemned Trump for his reckless, feckless credulity.

Trump wanted to claim credit for getting Otto out of the North Korean gulag. Uh, okay. But when that happened, and Otto was returned, in a condition that was virtually d.o.a., the reaction isn't to exculpate Kim Jong Un and to share "beautiful letters" with him. The correct reaction is to condemn Kim as a murderous tyrant, for what was done to Otto, and to tens of millions of Koreans.

doctrev said...

Trump and Kim are playing off each other intensely in this video. Both have a considerable amount of resources invested in their relationship: there is an irony in that North Korea has been used as an unstable element by China to win a variety of concessions from hapless American Presidents like Clinton and Bush. Now Trump is turning that instability back on them. Losing North Korea would be absolutely disastrous for China's regional ambitions if it was not balanced by something.

steveuhr: please don't tell me you believe all of this effort is being done merely for denuclearization. While that would be a major step towards world peace, leaving North Korea as a Chinese satellite means the job is only half done. If anything, having a united and nuclear armed Korea means that any attempt by China to simply push towards Pyongyang might be met with annihilation. A free and united nuclear-armed Korea is not even China's second worst nightmare, that would be a nuclear armed Taiwan, but it is third place. What Donald Trump has stressed is his deep belief in peace, the extraordinary risks required to attain it, and this:

"This city and this assembly are living proof that a free and independent Korea not only can, but does stand strong, sovereign, and proud among the nations of the world."Note well that this line was delivered in a speech under dramatically different relations with North Korea: "The sinister regime of North Korea is right about only one thing: The Korean people do have a glorious destiny, but they could not be more wrong about what that destiny looks like. The destiny of the Korean people is not to suffer in the bondage of oppression, but to thrive in the glory of freedom."

Not the South Korean people, but the Korean people. Yes, Donald Trump wants unification, and the advantages of a united Korea for his policy are so obvious they shouldn't need belaboring.

Narayanan said...

Chuck said ...
But Otto's family isn't having any of it. They have condemned Trump for his reckless, feckless credulity.

How would you have advised Otto if he told about going to DPRK?

Chuck said...

doctrev; This is a serious question. Do you know who the speechwriter was, who wrote that for Trump? Because it is great speechwriting. I think that the pool of speechwriters in this White House is very uneven. There have been a small handful of wonderful portions of speeches by Trump. Which he read off a teleprompter, of course. And there have been some clunkers. Nothing so outrageous or reckless as when Trump is extemporizing on his own, of course.

gspencer said...

"Hey, Kim, whassup? I'm gonna be in the neighborhood sometime this week. You know, hobnobbing with Abe, Vlad, and some of the other big shots. And I thought I'd drop by. You gonna be around? I could just stop by, It'd only be a short business. Lemme know."

MikeR said...

@Phil "Could someone please tell me now after three meetings with Kim, what is measurably different in North Korea or with the International community and North Korea?" Very important question. What is different is attitude. No one actually cares if North Korea has nukes, just as no one really cares that India has nukes. The reason we do care is because the Norks are crazy.
North Korea doesn't really need nukes, any more than India or Russia really need nukes for protection. Only three countries in the world really need nukes as a deterrent: US, Israel, North Korea's Kim. Huh? Yeah, Kim does need nukes for the same reason that Gaddafi should have kept his nukes: so that no one would dare to smash him and remove him from power.
What's the solution? Stop being crazy. Letting us all get used to the idea that North Korea is no longer crazy. If they aren't crazy, we won't care so much about their nukes. If they aren't crazy, the rest of the world won't rise up in wrath and remove Kim from power - any more than we are going to rise up in wrath and remove MbS from power in Saudi Arabia. Whatever he does, he doesn't strike us as scary, so we let him do as he wants. Kim could be like that, has made steps in that direction.

Narayanan said...

How soon before academy projects on advice about avoiding mistakes of German unification? Smart money should start now.

Freeman Hunt said...

Wow! There's something I would never have guessed could happen.

jaydub said...

Okay, Chuck is also an argument for post birth abortion.

Chuck said...

Narayanan said...
Chuck said ...
But Otto's family isn't having any of it. They have condemned Trump for his reckless, feckless credulity.

How would you have advised Otto if he told about going to DPRK?


I don't know. What would Trump say now, if Jared Kushner wanted to go to the DPRK?

All that I know for sure is that if I were President and Otto had been returned to the U.S. near death and with unmistakable signs of having been tortured, I wouldn't be personally friendly with Kim Jong Un.

Chuck said...

jaydub said...
Okay, Chuck is also an argument for post birth abortion.


What a charming, stimulating comments page. You must be so pleased, Althouse.

Gahrie said...

All that I know for sure is that if I were President and Otto had been returned to the U.S. near death and with unmistakable signs of having been tortured, I wouldn't be personally friendly with Kim Jong Un.

Well yes, your obsession with form over substance is one of the few reasons I almost believe you're an Establishment Republican.

chickelit said...

Oh yeah. Funny hair, orange skin.... Impeach him!!!!

They judge him on the color of his skin!

Gahrie said...

What a charming, stimulating comments page. You must be so pleased, Althouse.

We'd all be a lot more pleased if you honored her request and stopped posting here.

Narayanan said...

Chuck - here is your Diploma for Master of Deflection and Squirrel Release.

Gahrie said...

There have been a small handful of wonderful portions of speeches by Trump. Which he read off a teleprompter, of course.

Of course he is the first president or politician to ever do this. It's not like his predecessor's claim to fame that brought him into the national spotlight was a speech he read off of a teleprompter.

Browndog said...

Aaand....Chuck manages to drag the Althouse commentary down another rabbit hole, deflecting positive feedback from this historic event.

What an asshole.

doctrev said...

Chuck: seriously, it really doesn't matter who the speechwriter is. For what it is worth, I believe the "Korean people" line was Trump himself: the style of disguising the Great Plan in a seeming throwaway line is vintage Trump.

Have you ever tried to command the attention of tens of thousands of people with spontaneous remarks? Ever watched it be done? I don't think even Billy Graham, Hitler, or Mao managed to effortlessly mind surf their crowds with impromptu remarks, but President Trump does it, and on a regular basis.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Narciso, i appreciated the sly cat reference re schroedinger. Nice.

chickelit said...

The Sunday morning talk shows will be all aflutter about how great Kamala Harris is instead of this story.

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

Don’t feed the trolls. Just. Don’t. Do. It.

doctrev said...

MikeR: Russia would have long since become a NATO vassal without nuclear weapons, and everyone knows it. I honestly don't think that Kim wants to give up his nukes and remain independent- even if he trusted all future American governments to never invade, which he shouldn't, he certainly shouldn't trust China to show the same forbearance. Historically, North Korea was never primarily guarded by nukes: the last time the "entire world" invaded North Korea, China proceeded to shove them back up against the ocean. And that was when China was in a far weaker position internationally.

jaydub said...

"All that I know for sure is that if I were President and Otto had been returned to the U.S. near death and with unmistakable signs of having been tortured, I wouldn't be personally friendly with Kim Jong Un."

No, what is known for sure is that because TRUMP is president you are only interested in sliming him. We know that because you've said it repeatedly. You can't say that repeatedly and expect anyone to give due consideration to anything else you say. Which is why no one does.

rhhardin said...

Completely unsurprising. Trump doesn't hate anybody. Zingers are a public tool.

Chuck said...

Gahrie said...
What a charming, stimulating comments page. You must be so pleased, Althouse.

We'd all be a lot more pleased if you honored her request and stopped posting here.


Then, the comments pages would operate as smoothly and as efficiently, in a unified way, as... the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"Beautiful."

Howard said...

Chuck is being Chuck. He's adorable.

Gahrie said...

Then, the comments pages would operate as smoothly and as efficiently, in a unified way, as... the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Get over yourself.

Ann Althouse said...

"(Trump's face in that picture reminds me of the woman in the kerchief looking askance at MTM.)"

Am I the only one who would like to watch a TV show all about that lady?

I want something like "Wicked," developing the sympathetic backstory of the person we're just expected to disapprove of. Note that we, looking at her, are LIKE her. She's disapproving, and we're disapproving.

Also... thanks for getting my reference and fleshing it out! Always appreciated.

Birkel said...

Smear Merchants smears.
News at 6 and 11.

Ann Althouse said...

Stop the personal back and forth. Don't you see you are causing clutter and enabling dilution of the thread. You are making it unreadable. I don't want to spend my time right now deleting. Just stop. And don't comment on this comment of mine. That would be the same problem. Wake up and smell the upchuck.

Narayanan said...

*obsession with form over substance* ==>>> Platonic

*obsession with process over substance* ==>>> Kantian

*Insistence on form congruent, causally connected with substance* ==>>> Rational for Human

Derek Kite said...

Phil: there aren't missiles being shot over japan. Japan isn't setting up a launch on warning nuclear arsenal. This situation was lining up to be worse than the short range nukes in Europe during the cold war.

The Chinese are losing their attack dog that was useful in many ways. It was an object lesson in the fecklessness of US policy, driving Japan and other nations in the region out of the US orbit. If Althouse was smiling the Japanese are quiet and watching, putting off hard decisions that they really don't want to make.

Kim may also need some backing within his own country. He is as expendable as anyone there.

Nothing is certain, but shaking hands and smiling is better than the alternative. Reagan managed to change the course of history by personal interaction. No one at the time trusted him either.

JAORE said...

Those that knock President Trump on the middle east, Korea, NAFTA, China, etc never, and I mean NEVER admit there was a long standing problem and compare the (oft incomplete) results Trump has to his credit with decades of failure by prior administrations.

Charlie Eklund said...

Condemning the president for trying a new page from the diplomatic playbook is akin to suggesting that there’s something wrong with the police since, after all, coppers are often seen in the company of murderers, rapists and other villains. If it in our national interest to at least try to steer the Norks in a different direction than the one travelled since Truman was president, then the flies, honey and vinegar rule would appear to be worth a shot.

DavidUW said...

Besides the journalists' hatred, Trump continues to lay bare just how utterly incompetent our "elites" are, even politicians' are terrible salesmen (you'd think they'd at least have that skill), but he's showing that yeah, even a hack private sector showman has sales skills light years ahead of slimy Shumer etc etc.

So basically, our next president should be a car dealer. Actually I'm certain it'd be an improvement.
Done.

Ken B said...

I await Chuck or Elizabeth Warren telling me how awful it is to meet with Kim, and why is Trump such a war monger.

Michael McNeil said...

1986: Could someone please tell me now after three meetings between Reagan and Gorbachev, what is measurably different in the Soviet Union or with the International community and the USSR?

Pretty pictures and smiling faces are nice and all but what’s different in the long run?


FIFY.

buwaya said...

Speechwriters are tools. They are high level servants. They do as they are told, produce text as required for the purposes indicated. They dont make policy, unless the leadership that employs them is far gone into incompetence.

Some speechwriters have acquired high opinions of themselves - Arthur Schlesinger, Peggy Noonan.

The implications inserted all over Trumps speech indicate deliberate messaging. This is what speechwriters are told to do.

gilbar said...

What a charming, stimulating comments page. You must be so pleased, Althouse.

Speaking of charming,
Remember that one guy that used to Brag about sexually assaulting newswomen? He'd talk about how much he was into tittie twisting or something?
And that Same Guy used to ALL THE TIME BRAG about how his sole goal, was to CONSTANTLY SMEAR the President if the United States?

This place sure is a LOT more charming now that He's gone; or would be, if...

Francisco D said...

Wake up and smell the upchuck.

I am starting to appreciate your sense of humor, Althouse.

Back to the topic (before Chuckles) - Trump is trying to slowly change his image to that of a serious world leader. The MSM would like to create the narrative, but Trump's showmanship is tough for them to handle.

That is bad news for the Democrat clown show.

Narayanan said...

Charlie Eklund said...
If it in our national interest to at least try to steer the Norks in a different direction than the one travelled since Truman was president, then the flies, honey and vinegar rule would appear to be worth a shot.


Any AltHistory where Truman impeached for firing MacArthur etc?

We're witness to real history of what could have been 60+ years later

Birkel said...

The Sunday shows have given barely a mention of Trump's accomplishments with China and improved relations with North Korea.

Michael K said...

They dont make policy, unless the leadership that employs them is far gone into incompetence.<

Ben Rhodes, for example.

Narayanan said...

I've heard that Mr. Thompson, Head of Government in Atlas Shrugged was model after Truman.

(Never called by Constitutional title President in the book)

Iman said...

narciso is correct, better than missiles flying... if it helps, in the long run, to provide relief to the long-suffering North Korean people, it should make freedom loving people proud.

Derek Kite said...

Who was the older gentleman that shook hands with Kim near the end of the clip? A south korean politician?

Michael K said...

Kim does need nukes for the same reason that Gaddafi should have kept his nukes: so that no one would dare to smash him and remove him from power.
What's the solution? Stop being crazy. Letting us all get used to the idea that North Korea is no longer crazy.


Yes, Hillary sure poisoned that well. I think it applies to Iran, as well.

J. Farmer said...

I'm all for a broader detente with North and some kind of arranged deal that places some limitations on North Korea's nuclear weapons program, but I don't see how this meeting (for all its symbolic power) is really going to move the needle much in one direction or the other. The NoKo nuclear program continues, and just last month the North tested their so called KN-23 solid fuel rocket. I have to admit I find it odd to hear the word "unification" invoked in regards to this meeting. I'm not sure how this meeting is supposed to lead Kim to voluntarily dismantle his own regime.

If this meeting increases trust on both sides and opens the door to more productive diplomacy, that will be a good thing. It's wait and see at this moment, but so far the high level meetings between the US and North Korea have not born a great deal of fruit.

Lyle Smith said...

J. Farmer,

When is the last time North Korea fired a missile over Japan?

The Opinionated Bastard said...

Headline: Trump invades North Korea, NorKs retaliate by invading South Korea
Reality: Trump meets Kim Jong in the DMZ, they have a friendly handshake walk across each other’s borders while laughing at the clowns.

Birkel said...

Well if Smug can't see it then my needle moves not at all.

Did you see it, even placing yourself there in hindsight, with Reagan at Reykjavic?
Then quit pretending your crystal ball is useful.

Birkel said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Quayle said...

“Who was the older gentleman that shook hands with Kim near the end of the clip? A south korean politician”

The President of South Korea was there with Trump. Korea Times is showing a picture of Kim and the S. Korean President hugging.

Birkel said...

Also, and just to bust chops, you seem not to understand the concept of born.
Perhaps your husband can explain.

Michael K said...

Sorry, Althouse. Perhaps I shouldn't have participated in this particular "personal back and forth."

A little late to start telling the truth,.

J. Farmer said...

Also, and just to bust chops, you seem not to understand the concept of born.
Perhaps your husband can explain.


I'm immune to criticisms over spelling errors and typos. I simply can't muster enough energy to care.

Chuck said...

Francisco D said...
Go back to bed and sleep it off, Chuckles.

The adults are trying to have a discussion of the Trump-Kim meeting.


And now, here you are, doing more of what Althouse said to please refrain from doing.

My first comment, at 8:10 am was one sentence aimed at the substance of Trump and Kim Jong Un's relationship.

I did not name, address or reference any other commenter.

After that, there were personal attacks on me, by name, by the following commenters:
doctrev
Humperdink
jaydub
alanc709
Lyle Smith

And later personal attacks on me by name from:
Gahrie
Narayanan
Browndog
Birkel

And now you, Francisco D.

Yeah, Althouse, you've got a moderation problem.

But that problem doesn't begin with me. Not as long as the real problem is "avoiding personal; back-and-forth" as you say. I didn't start the personal back-and-forth on this page. I ignored most of the personal attacks made against me on this page.

Now, if the real problem is viewpoint censorship, that's another matter.

I agree that this comments page has been derailed to a great extent. I see why. I think I just described it. It's a moderation problem. You have too many commenters who engage in personal attacks, and who cannot give up on personal back-and-forth. Personal back-and-forth that I find distasteful and undesirable. And where I am, by a factor of about 10 or 20 or 100, the leading subject of personal attacks and not an attacker.

Bob Boyd said...

Good job, Trump.

Birkel said...

You should have paid attention to where that joke landed, J Farmer.

Birkel said...

Smear Merchant cries.
News at never o'clock.

J. Farmer said...

@Lyle Smith:

J. Farmer,

When is the last time North Korea fired a missile over Japan?


September 2017. Prior to that it was in August 2017. Prior to that it was in April 2009. Do the lack of missiles flying over Japan between April 2009 and August 2017 indicate that our strategy vis-à-vis North Korea was working during that time?

Narayanan said...

Suppose a game of musical chairs. Music stops.

Players Scrambling for chairs to stay in game lest kicked off the stage. ==>>> Usual politics and diplomacy.

Suppose now music stops.

One smart player ropes in another to continue in a dance to music only he plays in his head or both have agreed. Others scrambling for chairs per usual habit.

Who do you kick off the stage? Rule allowed for one! Habit precludes innovation. Also poses problem of legitimacy of Chair Winners in academy, politics, diplomacy etc.

Francisco D said...

I don't see how this meeting (for all its symbolic power) is really going to move the needle much in one direction or the other.

I agree. Trump is putting on a show and trying to create a new narrative about his presidency. However, that is better than tossing a lot of angry words back and forth. One never knows what will happen under those circumstances.

As an example, Chuckles has promised to beat me up and have my license revoked. I suspect he would try to do that if he had the means.

Yancey Ward said...

Trump represents a change in tactics over tactics that clearly haven't worked. Will this work? Probably not, but it also can't hurt to try.

Birkel said...

No, Francisco D.
Chuck would not attempt to beat you up.
He's a liar.

Ray - SoCal said...

Amazing photo.

The US has dealt with lots of horrible people, historically.

“He May Be An SOB But He’s Our SOB”
Franklin Roosevelt

J. Farmer said...

@Francisco D:

However, that is better than tossing a lot of angry words back and forth. One never knows what will happen under those circumstances.

Agreed. From my perspective, it isn't much to get excited about or to get upset about. It's still wait and see. I'm guessing strong reactions on either side are driven largely by partisan concerns.

daskol said...

J. Farmer, try to cast your memory back 18 months or so ago. There was a feeling in the air that escalation with N. Korea, whether involving regional players or even the US, was quite possible. Then Trump and Kim had a first summit. That feeling dissipated. With each "photo op" like this, it becomes more difficult to imagine such a military escalation, because the feeling of being on the precipice has been replaced by a feeling of being on the verge of a major, stable breakthrough in relations. This isn't merely about number of rockets over Japan/year.

Birkel said...

That stupid Reagan.
What did he accomplish at Geneva?

readering said...

Well, Pope thinks it was a good thing.

Narayanan said...

https://www.hudson.org/research/8765-obama-s-victory-with-north-korea

Birkel said...

I just cannot see what Reagan has accomplished.
Somebody play that Genesis song.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Yq7FKO5DlV0

J. Farmer said...

@daskol:

This isn't merely about number of rockets over Japan/year.

I brought up missiles over Japan because I was asked about it.

With each "photo op" like this, it becomes more difficult to imagine such a military escalation, because the feeling of being on the precipice has been replaced by a feeling of being on the verge of a major, stable breakthrough in relations.

The "feeling of being on the verge of a major, stable breakthrough in relations" is precisely what I'm cautioning against. The US and North Korea are still very far apart on the nuclear question, and isn't likely those differences will be solved by this impromptu meeting.

Ray - SoCal said...

Agree with Yancey Ward, it’s a refreshing change in tactics by Trump, attempting to solve an almost 70 year old problem.

And at the same time Trump is tightening the economic embargo against North Korea.

And the country keeping North Korea’s economy going, on life support is China.

And Trump is in a trade war / high pressure economic negotiations with a China.

Interesting that China’s President just visited North Korea.

China seemed to be using North Korea as a cat’s paw.

wildswan said...

It may be just a picture but it isn't a picture of a rocket launch. It's a picture of something that was not done before during our war with North Korea, a picture of an American President visiting North Korea and obviously wishing for peace. And we don't know - it may be that Trump spoke to President Xi about such a visit at the G20. Or maybe Kim sent a message to Trump by Xi. And Trump responded by visiting Kim. Anyhow, stepping over the Demarcation line has to help toward peace. And if this effort doesn't work - well, then we can say that it was just a picture, not a pallet load of untraceable cash.

Birkel said...

I believe China will release North Korea from its hegemony.
Free Tibet will have to wait.

The Cracker Emcee Refulgent said...

Trump is personally reducing Kim’s paranoia. It’s as simple as that. It’s a process but it’s also a necessary prelude to real diplomatic progress, not just the usual Nork shakedown.

Chuck said...

Francisco D said...
I don't see how this meeting (for all its symbolic power) is really going to move the needle much in one direction or the other.

I agree. Trump is putting on a show and trying to create a new narrative about his presidency. However, that is better than tossing a lot of angry words back and forth. One never knows what will happen under those circumstances.

As an example, Chuckles has promised to beat me up and have my license revoked. I suspect he would try to do that if he had the means.


If I had the information to accomplish it, I would seek to have you professionally disciplined for your repetitive, false, unprofessional personal attacks on me where you have said that I was a drunk. Et cetera. Yes, I'd do that. I'd do it tomorrow.

And here you are again, continuing the personal attacks on me despite Althouse's admonition. Back and forth. Althouse won't like my responding in this way. But she should be outraged at your having attacked me personally. I didn't derail this page. You and your fellow Trumpist commenters did.

doctrev said...


"Wake up and smell the upchuck."

That's damn near Trumpian in being a relatively crude reference (at least compared to Althouse's normal tone), veiled personal attack with deniability, and an Twitter-style order all in one. I didn't want to be the first to discuss the thing, but it's such clever wordplay that it begs to be applauded.

Anyways, Farmer, you can deny what's in front of you if you insist, but for most of my lifetime North Korea has been portrayed as a "crazy" state that's going to do terrible things unless the United States funds its commitment to old school Stalinism. Kim can go back on his overtures, as he was doing before the friendship started in 2018, but he isn't. This is partly because he and Trump have found a system that works, but also because Trump is increasingly likely to punish China for its vassal's misbehavior, which is a strong disincentive for North Korea.

Maybe you're right and there is no implication for future behavior from North Korea's unprecedented friendly overtures towards America. But China has misjudged Trump before, to their enormous cost, and they have to be having nightmares about what Trump ushering Korea towards unification will mean for their broader Asia strategy.

D 2 said...

I can agree with Farmers caution for too much optimism - history suggests it may be good to keep an eye to being on guard - but I also think Farmer should read Cracker Emcees astute comment. Sometimes these things are about keeping momentum going in the right direction.

J. Farmer said...

@doctrev:

Kim can go back on his overtures, as he was doing before the friendship started in 2018, but he isn't. This is partly because he and Trump have found a system that works, but also because Trump is increasingly likely to punish China for its vassal's misbehavior, which is a strong disincentive for North Korea.

Pentagon Idles Program To Recover Troops' Remains As North Korea Goes Silent

"While Trump and Kim seem to have taken an affection for one another, a friendly relationship at the individual level does not automatically filter to the lower rungs of the US and North Korean negotiating teams. Trump continues to believe that by getting on Kim’s good side, enough trust will be created between the two men to assure the North Korean leader that nuclear weapons are not necessary for his regime’s survival and prosperity.

Kim, however, has demonstrated repeatedly throughout the past year that he is not operating on the same wavelength. Amicable personal interactions between the senior leaders may help set the table for a negotiation, but they don’t produce a mutually-agreeable outcome on their own. The more important factor in determining whether a negotiation succeeds or fails is each party’s ability to put compromise above maximalism."

-One Year After the Singapore Summit: Lessons Learned

John henry said...

This press conference was 6/15/17 just after Otto Warmbier arrived home:

At the same press conference, Warmbier’s father, Fred, said that he didn’t think the Obama administration had done enough to bring his son back home. Asked to compare the Obama administration's efforts to the Trump administration's, the elder Warmbier replied, “I think the results speak for themselves.”


https://www.vox.com/world/2017/6/15/15808810/north-korea-pyongyang-otto-warmbier-torture-abuse-coma

Action talks, bullshit walks. I think we know who is president git 'er done and who was president pretty bullshit.

John Henry

Fernandistein said...

Trump's pretty ballsy; I would've thought the possibilities of assassination or even kidnapping were non-trivial.

John henry said...

Famous words:

"Don't be such a dick"

John Henry

Hagar said...

Iran has that old-time religion of triumphing over the Sunnis and then leading a united Islam to victory over the infidel in the final Armageddon.

North Korea does not have any of that. It is just about survival of the Kim family and the regime.

pacwest said...

I would love to see the psychological profile they have worked up on Kim. I know that face saving is a big deal in Korea, and that Kim reportedly executed his negotiators after Trump walked out of the last meeting. I expect they would have something firm in hand before another face to face to avoid Kim having to execute another negotiating team.

One of the things that Trump keeps repeating over and over that no one wants to pay attention to is that this is a process that will take awhile.

Birkel said...

A whole year of Reagan at Geneva, nothing had changed.
Let the wringing of hands and stroking of beards commence.

History started anew.
Some remember.

Oso Negro said...

This is a big deal in my household. My family has suffered from the Korean War all of my life. My poor old Dad, at 89, expects the Chinese coming into the trenches of Outpost Harry every night when the sun goes down.

Roy Lofquist said...

In the real world this situation is far more complex than is recognized in this comment thread. There are factions within China, North Korea, South Korea, the US, Japan, Taiwan and other regional states that are jockeying for advantage. Right now I think the best assessment is to quote Winston Churchill: "To jaw jaw is better than war war".

Narayanan said...

Anyone other than me (?I?) Wondering if Kim also have Deep State problem?

Earnest Prole said...

Which Nobel Peace Prize will prove to be most deserved, Obama’s for occupying the White House, or Trump’s for bringing peace to the Korean Peninsula?

Ray - SoCal said...

Michael K is so right about Libya poisoning the well.

It’s seen as the us went back on it’s word to leave Libya alone, if they gave up their nukes.

I’m still amazed that decision was made.

And that France, UK, and Italy pushed for it.

J. Farmer said...

@Earnest Prole:

Which Nobel Peace Prize will prove to be most deserved, Obama’s for occupying the White House, or Trump’s for bringing peace to the Korean Peninsula?

Obama's was a joke, and if Trump brought peace to the Korean Peninsula, his would be well deserved (as far as these things go, that is). But there hasn't even been much progress on the issues identified in Singapore, and the sides don't even seem to agree on what was agreed to. The chasm between the two countries is still huge.

Narayanan said...

Oso Negro said
My poor old Dad, at 89, expects the Chinese coming into the trenches of Outpost Harry every night when the sun goes down.

Please let ut know if he sleeps better tonight and after. Also if the video eases PTSD if he recurs.

That would be wonderful positive to record.

Jeff said...

After what happened to Gadaffi, Kim would be a fool to give up his nukes. The only path to a stable long-term peace on the peninsula is reunification of the two Koreas. That seems to be what Trump is aiming for. There's going to have to be some kind of a deal that buys off Kim and his top military supporters and guarantees their safety. Maybe a certain number of lifetime seats in the Senate of Reunified Korea for the supporters, along with a figurehead Presidency for Kim while a Prime Minister actually runs things.

The Southerners are richer and more populous, so there's no way they don't end up running the show, no matter how things are structured initially. But it will not be easy. The South does not want to see a huge influx of poor and uneducated refugees come pouring in from the North, but once the barbed wire and minefields are taken down, there's probably no way to avoid that. It will take 50 years or more of sustained effort by the South to bring the North up to acceptable standards of governance and living conditions, and they can expect the Chinese to foment as much unrest as possible during that time.

Birkel said...

Ray - SoCal,

Obama believed America couldn't drill its way out of oil dependence.
He did believe France, Italy, and UK could steal their way out of oil dependence.

Caveat: with America's bombs.

And isn't 30-50 million refugees worth it?
After all, those guns weren't going to run themselves to Syria.

doctrev said...

Well yes, Farmer, there are quite a few people in North Korea and the United States who would love to see the peace process fail for their own reasons. That's not surprising. Getting the remains of dozens of American servicemen was important to President Trump and the American people more generally: but both sides need to deliver things in order for progress to be made. The Democrats are bleating that Trump isn't making progress on denuclearization, but as ever they are missing the point. North and South Korea have never been closer, following large cultural and political gestures towards reunification in 2018 and beyond, and this historic moment happened -after- North Korea executed officials that supposedly failed it after Hanoi.

Now, if those officials were friendly to America, wouldn't it be strange that the United States would take FIRMER steps towards North Korean friendship after their execution? Or is it entirely possible that the officials were responsible for the summit not succeeding, that they had at least some friendliness towards China, and were executed as a confidence-building measure for America?

For years, we were assured that North Korea- and President Trump- were "crazy" and unpredictable. This is proving increasingly untrue, as long as you pay attention to reality.

hombre said...

Flash: NYT and WaPo report that unnamed sources “close to Trump” say Trump is colluding with Kim to help him steal the 2020 presidential election. The allegation is confirmed by several anonymous members of the “intelligence community” and Jimmy Carter.

Drago said...

Birkel: "Smear Merchant Chuck, you're a drunk."

More precisely: Smear Merchant Chuck, you're a racist-posting pro-non-martyr-creating-political-assassination-advocating child-attacking women-threatening bad-faith-arguing pathetic drunk liar of the first order.

But enough about your "good" features, lets talk about your more significant flaws!...LOL

I warned you Chuckles that once the faux conservative veneer was stripped away your fundamental and undeniable and irrefutably complete operational alignment with the far far left would render you useless at swaying opinion at Althouseblog.

Welcome to the rest of your existence at Althouseblog for all of eternity...or until you accept the moderators wishes and depart.

Not to worry though Smear Merchant, many of your lefty allies will still be here fighting for the lunatic leftist cause to which you have devoted yourself.

Thoughts and prayers for your future unavoidable substance abuse therapies.

narciso said...

Let me be blunt, Truman should have let MacArthur go all the way, so there wouldn't be 60 million dead in Mao's ledger so the people of North Korea shouldn't dine on bark while Kim dines on lobster and cristal, his butchers bill was right up 5here with hongqqing, the leader of the Taipei rebellion

Birkel said...

Anybody else love a certain unnamed Smear Merchant's claim that he could affect professional licensure because of comments made about an anonymous internet commenter?

Any lawyers want to step forward and whack that argument with a truth stick?

Narayanan said...

I’m still amazed that decision was made.

And that France, UK, and Italy pushed for it.

Better to put person-names behind the decision rather than burden Nation-s with the guilty.

narciso said...

Now Libya doesn't really fit the bill, Its more like the diem coup, is the west really going to challenge Kim, no it's more about a larger ransom like the framework with Kim responded with bring aq Khans network into the country.

Drago said...

You can just smell the panic on the part of the dems/LLR's as Trump runs rings around them and all that after 3 straight years of East Germany-like legal abuse and intelligence services weaponization against Trump.

Simply astonishing.

My sense today is that LLR-lefty Chuck is at LLR-Democrat-Defense Condition (LLR-DEM-DEFCON) 3.

Feels like a 3.

Once we get a better sense of what Durham is doing Chuck will move rapidly to 2.

narciso said...

Cameron Sarkozy and Berlusconi allowed themselves to be fooled into thinking the ali Salem prison riot was indicative of a real grassroots movement, within a year Qatar was the big winner, with bel hadj as the puppet

narciso said...

Master, jalil was the puppet, magarief was the odd man out that Hillary humiliated with her fairy tale.

J. Farmer said...

@doctrev:

Getting the remains of dozens of American servicemen was important to President Trump and the American people more generally:

And even that commitment is having trouble being fulfilled. It's currently stalled.

North and South Korea have never been closer, following large cultural and political gestures towards reunification in 2018 and beyond, and this historic moment happened -after- North Korea executed officials that supposedly failed it after Hanoi.

A lot of that effort has been driven by Moon Jae-in, who ran specifically on better relations with North Korea and policies that were all but the Sunshine Policy in name, in contrast to Park Geun-hye and the Liberty Korea Party's generally more skeptical approach to the North.

For years, we were assured that North Korea- and President Trump- were "crazy" and unpredictable. This is proving increasingly untrue, as long as you pay attention to reality.

The notion that North Korea was ever "crazy" was always a crazy idea. It was mostly used to push the notion that nuclear deterrence somehow could not work against the North. But that is not why talks have stalled. They have stalled because there is an impasse. The US is demanding that North Korea give up all its nuclear weapons and the means to produce them. The North Koreans are unwilling to do this.


Drago said...

And who could forseen LLR Chuck going Full Madame DeFarge with his Bill of Particulars against those who see Chuck for who he really is?

Besides everyone, I mean.

Birkel said...

I ask again, what did Reagan accomplish in 1985 or 1986.
Just talk.

Vote for Bernie and STFU already.

Birkel said...

North Korea was the large chained dog that China used to keep away door-to-door salespeople.
Trump wants desperately to give the dog a bone and offer its belly for petting.

Or let's pretend the million Chinese soldiers didn't take over North Korea.

Drago said...

I would be remiss if I did not point out that R/V had a perfectly reasonable take on this event early in this thread which recognized the historic nature of this act without going crazy with expectations.

Well done.

J. Farmer said...

@Birkel:

I ask again, what did Reagan accomplish in 1985 or 1986.
Just talk.


If you can think of a summit in which the USSR agreed to give up all its nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and missiles and the means to produce them, let's talk. And a year after Reykjavík, the INF treaty was signed. Compare that to a year after Singapore.

Drago said...

I would strongly advise Chuck to devote himself and the rest of this day to intensely analyzing via TV whatever PGA event is live in order to identify PGA infractions and calling those horrific perpetrators to account...

....which Chuck swears has occurred and for which Chuck claims he was profusely thanked.

Literally.

LOL

doctrev said...

Blogger J. Farmer said...
@doctrev:

"A lot of that effort has been driven by Moon Jae-in, who ran specifically on better relations with North Korea and policies that were all but the Sunshine Policy in name, in contrast to Park Geun-hye and the Liberty Korea Party's generally more skeptical approach to the North."

Moon Jae-in is incredibly admiring of President Trump in all of their public interactions together, and why wouldn't he be? American skepticism could make overtures towards North Korea very politically risky, as it arguably was in 2017. On the contrary, the South has a very enthusiastic partner in Donald Trump, and the 2017 crisis could not have been resolved successfully with a simple pacifist approach. No doubt the Nobel Prize committee will inevitably snub Trump when the process succeeds, but who cares? That will only make the Nobel Prize poorer, and it was already bankrupt since the Obama farce.

As for the nuclear talks stalling, I've outlined above why Kim would keep his nukes, and why Trump would probably help him. Denuclearization is just the excuse the Americans need to keep negotiating with North Korea behind closed doors for peace and/ or reunification.

Birkel said...

They agreed but then didn't.
Go ahead and compare, whippersnapper.

Achilles said...

J. Farmer said...

Obama's was a joke, and if Trump brought peace to the Korean Peninsula, his would be well deserved (as far as these things go, that is). But there hasn't even been much progress on the issues identified in Singapore, and the sides don't even seem to agree on what was agreed to. The chasm between the two countries is still huge.


You are totally right Smug.

Trump totally sucks. If they would just put Farmer and Ann Coulter in charge all of these problems would be solved in a couple days.

You don't look like a jackass at all in the peanut gallery.

Shit forget all of this. It is too hard. Lets just get a ClintonBushObama back in charge.

If we didn't know better we would think Farmer liked it better when we were bombing Libya and sending piles of money/oil to Iran and North Korea.

J. Farmer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
J. Farmer said...

@Achilles:

Shit forget all of this. It is too hard. Lets just get a ClintonBushObama back in charge.

If we didn't know better we would think Farmer liked it better when we were bombing Libya and sending piles of money/oil to Iran and North Korea.


Please go away and come back when you have something worth saying.

J. Farmer said...

@doctrev:

As for the nuclear talks stalling, I've outlined above why Kim would keep his nukes, and why Trump would probably help him. Denuclearization is just the excuse the Americans need to keep negotiating with North Korea behind closed doors for peace and/ or reunification.

I'm sorry, but I find this utterly unbelievable. If the United States is "negotiating with North Korea behind closed doors for peace and/ or reunification," then we really are wasting our time. The US isn't even competent to negotiate reunification. That would essentially mean that the US was negotiating with North Korea to dismantle their regime. Reunification is by orders of magnitude a more complex issue than the nuclear problem.

narciso said...

Reunification on whose terms, you obviously dont see anything wrong about Kim's regime, where millions starve while a tiny clique dines out

Rusty said...

but not an unsolvable one.

doctrev said...

"The US isn't even competent to negotiate reunification. That would essentially mean that the US was negotiating with North Korea to dismantle their regime. Reunification is by orders of magnitude a more complex issue than the nuclear problem."

In one sense, reunification will be much more costly to South Korea and the United States than denuclearization. Yet denuclearization would make North Korea vulnerable to both China and America, which is why it's not likely.

It's possible that Trump and Moon are pushing for cultural unification without any clear purpose besides denuclearization, but I don't buy it. Integrating East Europe and East Germany specifically was also incredibly difficult. Still, it was done. China may dislike it, but if there's one thing North Korea is good at, it's counter-espionage. And a land invasion might go up in a pillar of nuclear fire, which is why China won't take that route either. I'm not saying that reunification will definitely take place before 2024, but China's under real pressure and releasing Korea as a vassal might be a way to relieve the diplomatic and economic burden.

This is why Trump's strategy looks like maniac poker: the last three years seemed like unconnected events, up until the picture became clear.

doctrev said...

I see a lot wrong with a lot of regimes, including fat leaders while their people are oppressed. Nonetheless, most of the problems with North Korea applied to some degree in East Germany. Yet that integration worked well. Too well, say the nationalists of Europe, but set that aside for now.

J. Farmer said...

@narciso:

Reunification on whose terms, you obviously dont see anything wrong about Kim's regime, where millions starve while a tiny clique dines out

Oh yes, I "obviously don't see anything wrong about Kim's regime." Why do you insist on framing disagreements in such ridiculous terms? There are plenty of regimes around the world I have problems with and would never want to live under. But that's what national borders are for. I wouldn't want to live under an absolute Arab monarch, but I don't want the US to try to change regimes in Saudi Arabia and the UAE and Qatar and Brunei.

daskol said...

The feeling is important because indeed there are factions here, in N. Korea and in China who would like to prevent a rapprochement in the Koreas with the US in the center of it. That’s why direct contact at the level of the chiefs is significant. The notion, propounded explicitly by Trump’s Dem opponents and implicitly here by some commenters, that real progress is about peons meeting and agreeing on explicit measures misses the way current affairs shift. That talk of specifics is memorializing matters, not creating them.

Jeff said...

Reunification is by orders of magnitude a more complex issue than the nuclear problem.
Indeed it is. But after Hillary's attack on Gaddafi, it's the only option. What kind of fool would give up his only high card and trust the United States to keep its word after that? It's hard to believe that Clinton and Obama didn't realize that. They just didn't care. Short-term political crowing ("We came, we saw, he died.") was more important to them than the much more important long term damage to our ability to negotiate any future disarmament deals.

J. Farmer said...

@doctrev:

Yet denuclearization would make North Korea vulnerable to both China and America, which is why it's not likely.

I agree 100%. But reunification would make North Korea, as a political entity, cease to exist. It's hard to imagine a scenario where Kim sees that as in his best interest. Not impossible. But very very very hard.

narciso said...

That is exactly what Iran is doing through the Houthi, now if I was that particular denomination, I would agree with what they're doing

JackWayne said...

Dictators have made deals in the past to abdicate and relax on a beach in France...... You never know until you know.

J. Farmer said...

@doctrev:

The notion, propounded explicitly by Trump’s Dem opponents and implicitly here by some commenters, that real progress is about peons meeting and agreeing on explicit measures misses the way current affairs shift. That talk of specifics is memorializing matters, not creating them.

It's hard to argue if your position that denuclearization is just a sideshow to some secret negotiations that nobody knows about but that you suspect are occurring. Let's just say, for a second, that your instincts are correct. Given your point of view, what would you suspect North Korean behavior to look like over the next year or two?

bagoh20 said...

The hope and expectation is that Kim will gain an affinity for what we can do for him and his interests compared to what the Chinese offer. One big step in that is gaining trust and friendship. Trump is working that hard, because that is the key that will open it up. I'm betting that the Chinese do not have a warm personal relationship with Kim, and are probably just not capable of doing what Trump can in that regard. Hopefully Kim understands the truth and history which shows pretty definitively that friendship with the U.S. is always far more profitable and rewarding than being in the Chinese circle, or with any other communists, or totalitarians. I know it would be an easy decision for me. Hook up with the U.S. get everything you need, eliminate an enemy, and go to Disneyland as often as you like. What is the downside for Kim and the Koreans once you get past the distrust. That's what Trump is working. We are tough, we will not be suckers any longer, but we can be best friends too.

Birkel said...

Smug misunderestimates Trump.
Smug misoverestimates himself.

daskol said...

I would expect increased contact between North and South, increased American public support for said contacts. N. Korea will be developing alternatives to Chinese hegemony, slowly.

J. Farmer said...

Dictators have made deals in the past to abdicate and relax on a beach in France...... You never know until you know.

I am just trying to follow doctrev's reasoning here. Kim won't give up nuclear weapons because they are too important to his regime, but he will give up his regime?

Lyle Smith said...

J. Farmer,

That is my point... since Trump has engaged with Kim, the missiles over Japan have stopped. You asked what have we gotten from engaging Kim... well, no missiles over Japan.

Birkel said...

Politics is the art of the possible.
It's funny to me that self-styled intellectuals believe their fringe minority positions are possible.

daskol said...

Basically more of what we’ve already seen developing over the last 18 months. I imagine that will also mean more people meeting unfortunate ends within N Korea as factions there consolidate around a rapprochement.

Jeff said...

the truth and history which shows pretty definitively that friendship with the U.S. is always far more profitable and rewarding than being in the Chinese circle, or with any other communists, or totalitarians.
Gaddafi being the counter example.

Francisco D said...

The notion that North Korea was ever "crazy" was always a crazy idea.

Running a country is a very profitable business for Kim, his father and grandfather, just as it has been for the Assad family. They have billions in the bank, but nowhere to go except to stay in their countries. If they give up power without ironclad protection agreements, they would be assassinated in 6 months.

One could say the same about Putin, Abbas, Arafat and many others.

Follow the money. It is not about "crazy".

rehajm said...

Yay bagoh20!

All y'all go read his post. You too, Smug.

JackWayne said...

Anything can happen. If the Chinese think Kim will make a deal with Trump that they don’t like, they could be the ones to move Kim out. The thing that is important here is Movement. Clinton, Bush and Obama were stuck on stupid. Trump is trying. Maybe he fails, maybe not. But he’s got the Chinese thinking very hard right now and I bet they are uncomfortable. This is smart negotiating. It’s not smart to be credulous, but try to be a little less pessimistic.

J. Farmer said...

Lyle Smith:

That is my point... since Trump has engaged with Kim, the missiles over Japan have stopped. You asked what have we gotten from engaging Kim... well, no missiles over Japan.

I never asked that. What I said was: "If this meeting increases trust on both sides and opens the door to more productive diplomacy, that will be a good thing. It's wait and see at this moment, but so far the high level meetings between the US and North Korea have not borne a great deal of fruit."

North Korea has sporadically fired rockets and missiles over Japan in 1998, 2009, and 2017. Of course North Korea is going to dial back highly provocative behavior while in negotiations. The point of the highly provocative behavior in the first place was to get negotiations going.

J. Farmer said...

Politics is the art of the possible.

That and $3 will get you a gallon of milk.

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