Trump and Kim Jong Un summit

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Signa:
Funny, Trump almost does something good, and the whole thread has to pat eachother on the back because "phew, that was a close one"

Well, maybe.

Trump's ability to do anything is undermined by his nature and his attitude to and understanding of government. He has the arrogant, autocratic and capricious attitude of a man who owned and ran his own company, has taken that style into an institution and system that fundamentally does not run the same way and has not been interested in learning about how it works.

Not only will he not make proper use of his departments and executive staff, he frequently undermines them. He has a poor understanding of consensus and building support in a governmental system with division of powers and internal constraints on arbitrary rule. He is deeply untrustworthy, and it's not just his capriciousness. His view of a zero sum competitive world of winners and losers cripples his ability to deal effectively with domestic and international politics. His business history - all those stories about stiffing subcontractors and financial institutions (mainstream banks will no longer deal with him) - reveal him to be untrustworthy and disinterested in the concept of mutual gain. He's also, as we all know, a pathological liar.

Ultimately, Trump is unlikely to achieve much in any regard - although happily that means bad as well as good. But it also means if he achieves good, it's more likely to be by luck than design because he's sabotaging his own ability to carry out his job competently.

Chimpzy:

Palindromemordnilap:

Chimpzy:
So that was planned, eh? I was joking a little why ago about why Trump hadn't pushed yet to take Ben Franklin's face off the $100 note so it could be replaced with his own. This isn't quite the same, but still, kind of close.

Nah, Trump always has to be the biggerest so he's waiting until he can make a special $500 bill more impressive than all the others that he can have his face on

Those have actually existed in the past, as well as $1.000, $5.000 and $10.000 (also $100.000 but those were only for intragovernmental use, not public) notes. So there is historical precedent, even though they were rendered obsolete by electronic money systems and few people outside of banks and government institutions ever used them. They're technically also still legal tender.

Well, at the risk of derailing the topic a little, now I need to know whose faces were on them. They go with more of your founding fathers or someone more recent?

Palindromemordnilap:
Well, at the risk of derailing the topic a little, now I need to know whose faces were on them. They go with more of your founding fathers or someone more recent?

They've had various designs depending on where and when they were printed, so whose faces were on them wasn't consistent and could differ from region to region. But the last, final notes, printed in the late 20's and early 30's, had the following faces on them:

$500 - William Mckinley
$1.000 - Grover Cleveland
$5.000 - James Madison
$10.000 - Salmon P. Chase
$100.000 - Woodrow Wilson

Chimpzy:

Palindromemordnilap:
Well, at the risk of derailing the topic a little, now I need to know whose faces were on them. They go with more of your founding fathers or someone more recent?

They've had various designs depending on where and when they were printed, so whose faces were on them wasn't consistent and could differ from region to region. But the last, final notes, printed in the late 20's and early 30's, had the following faces on them:

$500 - William Mckinley
$1.000 - Grover Cleveland
$5.000 - James Madison
$10.000 - Salmon P. Chase
$100.000 - Woodrow Wilson

And of course the $1,000,000 bill had Flavor Flav.

So the meeting is back on, after Trump recieved a letter from Kim Jong Un. With 10 days left until the meeting, we can only hope he doesn't change his mind again. Some hotel manager in Singapore is probably getting pretty justifiably pissed off by this point

CyanCat47:
So the meeting is back on, after Trump recieved a letter from Kim Jong Un. With 10 days left until the meeting, we can only hope he doesn't change his mind again. Some hotel manager in Singapore is probably getting pretty justifiably pissed off by this point

It's like a bad romance anime
"Trumpy-kun, I made this letter just for you"
">///< B...baka, it's not like I want to nuke you or anything"

Kim should enter the negotiations with Elton John playing, like a pro wrestler. Talk about a power move.

CM156:

CyanCat47:
So the meeting is back on, after Trump recieved a letter from Kim Jong Un. With 10 days left until the meeting, we can only hope he doesn't change his mind again. Some hotel manager in Singapore is probably getting pretty justifiably pissed off by this point

It's like a bad romance anime
"Trumpy-kun, I made this letter just for you"
">///< B...baka, it's not like I want to nuke you or anything"

Kim should enter the negotiations with Elton John playing, like a pro wrestler. Talk about a power move.

Trump is definately a tsundere. Kim could qualify as one too, but we can't ship two tsunderes together. So far i'm torn between designating him as a bishonen or a loli

CyanCat47:

CM156:

CyanCat47:
So the meeting is back on, after Trump recieved a letter from Kim Jong Un. With 10 days left until the meeting, we can only hope he doesn't change his mind again. Some hotel manager in Singapore is probably getting pretty justifiably pissed off by this point

It's like a bad romance anime
"Trumpy-kun, I made this letter just for you"
">///< B...baka, it's not like I want to nuke you or anything"

Kim should enter the negotiations with Elton John playing, like a pro wrestler. Talk about a power move.

Trump is definately a tsundere. Kim could qualify as one too, but we can't ship two tsunderes together. So far i'm torn between designating him as a bishonen or a loli

Kim is a Yandere. Putin is a Bishonen. The EU is a baka hentai.

The #Resistance resists peace.

Telling that so many of the centrist, liberal attacks on Trump are essentially attacks from the right: jingoistic right-wing talking points.

If Trump actually manages to pull this off, he should win the noble peace prize!

WolvDragon:
If Trump actually manages to pull this off, he should win the noble peace prize!

Yes, give Trump a prize for his theatrics while South Korea has been laboring to do all the work and kissing both their dumb arses to get them to the table. If anyone should be given the prize, it should be South Korea. They have the most to lose here and have been the workhorse willing to deal with two imbeciles to help resolve this mess. All they need Trump to do is go there and agree to what the South Koreans have been busting their arses to make happen.

South Korea is just hoping putting the two of them in a room together will not unravel all of the progress they have made. Trump pulling off his theatrics is just him trying to say "see the posturing I did allowed this to happen" when on reality it would have happened either way if he just bothered to show up since South Korea already has everything handled for him.

WolvDragon:
If Trump actually manages to pull this off, he should win the noble peace prize!

Tragically, yes. I have serious concerns, however.

Firstly, Trump says he's going to swan in and instantly know whether there's a deal, because Trump fancies himself a guy who can just breeze in and work someone out in a jiffy. I doubt when FDR and Churchill met Stalin in the 40s they based their chances of success on a first impulse decision of whether they liked him. I suspect they worked out a detailed plan and worked very hard indeed. We know perfectly well that Trump doesn't do fine detail and complexity. I'm doubt he had a good idea of what NK might want from negotiations before he precipitously agreed to a meeting. Perhaps NK merely wanted a meeting, because it gives them credibility on the world stage to act as an equal partner in negotiation with the USA.

I am concerned that Trump's unpredictable conduct makes him deeply untrustworthy and in a poor position to negotiate.

I worry about Trump's temperament and narcissism. Whether he's going to be obsessed with any "deal" that he'll give NK too much just to come home or brag he made a deal, or whether he'll torpedo a fair deal because it won't allow him to pretend he got the better of his opponent (which he can easily defend with some jingoistic demagoguery).

I'm concerned he's not even good at deals. Perhaps he was in the 1970-80s, but step into the 1990s and beyond and his business history appears to mediocre deals, then stiffing people he makes deals with: not paying subcontractors, reneging on loans (no major commercial banks will deal with his businesses nowadays), etc.

* * *

Ideally, I'd hope some professional career diplomat runs the negotiations whilst Trump sits there and Tweets about "fake news" and does some sightseeing. Then at the end he just signs off whatever he's told to. If it's a decent deal he can share his Nobel with NK's and SK's leaders.

Lil devils x:

WolvDragon:
If Trump actually manages to pull this off, he should win the noble peace prize!

Yes, give Trump a prize for his theatrics while South Korea has been laboring to do all the work and kissing both their dumb arses to get them to the table. If anyone should be given the prize, it should be South Korea. They have the most to lose here and have been the workhorse willing to deal with two imbeciles to help resolve this mess. All they need Trump to do is go there and agree to what the South Koreans have been busting their arses to make happen.

South Korea is just hoping putting the two of them in a room together will not unravel all of the progress they have made. Trump pulling off his theatrics is just him trying to say "see the posturing I did allowed this to happen" when on reality it would have happened either way if he just bothered to show up since South Korea already has everything handled for him.

Sarcasm my friend, you really think this guy deserves the nobel peace prize for all the bombings he's done in the middle east?

WolvDragon:
Sarcasm my friend, you really think this guy deserves the nobel peace prize for all the bombings he's done in the middle east?

It's honestly hard to tell. Not just because it's text, but also because this is the Internet, and that is an opinion that people have expressed sincerely.

I really do hope that this meeting ends with something workable, mainly because North Korea having nukes legitimately keeps me awake at night. If anyone were to be awarded the prize, however, it would be Moon Jae-in. He's the guy responsible for pulling all this together. Trump is just a high-profile tagalong using it for ratings.

That said, there's a 99% chance that this will end in either an explosion or a puff of hot air.

bastardofmelbourne:
That said, there's a 99% chance that this will end in either an explosion or a puff of hot air.

Early news is that the USA is offering "unprecedented" security assurances.

I doubt NK will denuclearise for anything short of the USA departing the entire area (probably including Japan) down to the last military advisor.

WolvDragon:

Lil devils x:

WolvDragon:
If Trump actually manages to pull this off, he should win the noble peace prize!

Yes, give Trump a prize for his theatrics while South Korea has been laboring to do all the work and kissing both their dumb arses to get them to the table. If anyone should be given the prize, it should be South Korea. They have the most to lose here and have been the workhorse willing to deal with two imbeciles to help resolve this mess. All they need Trump to do is go there and agree to what the South Koreans have been busting their arses to make happen.

South Korea is just hoping putting the two of them in a room together will not unravel all of the progress they have made. Trump pulling off his theatrics is just him trying to say "see the posturing I did allowed this to happen" when on reality it would have happened either way if he just bothered to show up since South Korea already has everything handled for him.

Sarcasm my friend, you really think this guy deserves the nobel peace prize for all the bombings he's done in the middle east?

Not to, err, diminish the point but didn't Barack Obama also get a peace prize while increasing drone strikes?

Agema:
Early news is that the USA is offering "unprecedented" security assurances.

I doubt NK will denuclearise for anything short of the USA departing the entire area (probably including Japan) down to the last military advisor.

North Korea will not denuclearise at all. There's no chance of it.

The best deal anyone can hope for right now is a moratorium on the production of new bombs and a commitment to non-proliferation in exchange for a relaxation of economic sanctions, withdrawal of American forces from South Korea, and potentially a proper peace treaty. In other words: something a lot like the Iran deal.

TrulyBritish:
Not to, err, diminish the point but didn't Barack Obama also get a peace prize while increasing drone strikes?

He didn't deserve it either, to be quite frank.

Current indications from the White House have Trump meeting with Kim for a one-on-one sometime in the next twelve hours, followed by a larger meeting for lunch, at which point Trump will take questions in the evening and then head back to the US.

He only needs one day to resolve the most difficult foreign policy conundrum of the last seventy years, apparently.

WolvDragon:

Lil devils x:

WolvDragon:
If Trump actually manages to pull this off, he should win the noble peace prize!

snip

Sarcasm my friend, you really think this guy deserves the nobel peace prize for all the bombings he's done in the middle east?

Being that Fox News wasn't sarcastic when they said the exact same thing, I don't blame anyone for not realizing you actually were.

bastardofmelbourne:
North Korea will not denuclearise at all. There's no chance of it.

Nor should they. Nor should the United States have a significant presence in South Korea if South Korea doesn't want it there (or possibly even if it does). I'll be blunt: North Korea is no worse an entity to possess nuclear arms than the United States. If we want North Koreans not to be starving, we'll take the military pressure off so that North Korea doesn't justifiably think they need to devote more than 22% of their small GDP on military spending. North Korea lost close to 30% of its population to bombings by the United States during the 1950s, so it's completely understandable that their bureaucracy would put military readiness first and foremost as long as the United States is technically at war with them and flying provocative military exercises regularly.

TrulyBritish:
Not to, err, diminish the point but didn't Barack Obama also get a peace prize while increasing drone strikes?

And he probably shouldn't have got it. I'm not even sure Obama himself believed he should have got it.

bastardofmelbourne:
He only needs one day to resolve the most difficult foreign policy conundrum of the last seventy years, apparently.

If the aides and baseline functionaries have done their jobs properly, perhaps that's all they need. There's no reason stuff can't be all stiched up beforehand.

bastardofmelbourne:
North Korea will not denuclearise at all. There's no chance of it.

I think they could, but not at a price the USA would be willing to pay. Particularly they may long term, pending general military de-escalation and moving back into the respeccted global order.

The simple reason it's highly unlikely would be that were NK to get rid of its bombs, it would take a considerable amount of time to make new ones. Certainly a lot more time than it would take the USA to ferry a few hundred thousand troops into SK.

TrulyBritish:

WolvDragon:

Lil devils x:
Yes, give Trump a prize for his theatrics while South Korea has been laboring to do all the work and kissing both their dumb arses to get them to the table. If anyone should be given the prize, it should be South Korea. They have the most to lose here and have been the workhorse willing to deal with two imbeciles to help resolve this mess. All they need Trump to do is go there and agree to what the South Koreans have been busting their arses to make happen.

South Korea is just hoping putting the two of them in a room together will not unravel all of the progress they have made. Trump pulling off his theatrics is just him trying to say "see the posturing I did allowed this to happen" when on reality it would have happened either way if he just bothered to show up since South Korea already has everything handled for him.

Sarcasm my friend, you really think this guy deserves the nobel peace prize for all the bombings he's done in the middle east?

Not to, err, diminish the point but didn't Barack Obama also get a peace prize while increasing drone strikes?

Indeed, he shouldn't have gotten one.

Seanchaidh:
I'll be blunt: North Korea is no worse an entity to possess nuclear arms than the United States.

I...disagree.

I mean, I'm not a fan of anyone owning nukes, but if nukes are going to be owned, I'd rather they be owned by a mostly-democratic government that is answerable to its voters and which has a vested interest in maintaining global political stability.

I can trust the US to never use nukes, largely because the US is so powerful in terms of conventional force that it would never need to use the nukes short of going to war with China. But North Korea is very much the underdog compared to the US. Their conventional military force is capable of inflicting tremendous damage to South Korea and potentially Japan, but if they entered into a conventional war with the US or any other significant world power, their only option would be to use nukes.

That's not getting into the difficulties in getting North Korea to sign on to and actually abide by non-proliferation treaties.

Seanchaidh:
If we want North Koreans not to be starving, we'll take the military pressure off so that North Korea doesn't justifiably think they need to devote more than 22% of their small GDP on military spending. North Korea lost close to 30% of its population to bombings by the United States during the 1950s, so it's completely understandable that their bureaucracy would put military readiness first and foremost as long as the United States is technically at war with them and flying provocative military exercises regularly.

Look, it's a little silly that North Korea thinks it even needs nukes to ward off an American invasion. They have ten thousand howitzers pointed at Seoul at all times. If the US decided to invade, it would take a day for Kim to kill a million people. That's the deterrent right there.

If anything, North Korea obtaining nukes made an invasion more likely, because now they can plausibly threaten the United States. That changes the calculus. Before, it was a question of whether ousting Kim Jong-Un was worth millions of South Korean lives. Now, it's a question of balancing millions of South Koreans against the possibility of hundreds of thousands of Americans. That's a much more plausible exchange.

The blame for the lack of a peace agreement so far can be shared between two actors. The first is the US foreign policy consensus, which for a very long time held that merely meeting with the North Korean head of state represented a concession on the part of the US, and that a peace treaty would represent an even greater concession. That was a silly, proud position that has repeatedly sunk the possibility of a summit such as this one. It's one of the rare graces of Donald Trump that he was too stubborn to submit to that old orthodoxy.

The second part is, naturally, North Korea itself. North Korea has had multiple opportunities to open up to the international order, but has never been willing to make any serious commitments and has instead pursued a cyclical policy of brinkmanship intended to extract day-to-day concessions in exchange for promises that they will later break. That is not a policy that gives the US much faith in negotiations.

I agree with you about the sanctions. With autocratic societies, imposing usually just means that the leadership caste hoards a greater proportion of the resources while their people starve. And a peace treaty is a no-brainer considering that the actual military conflict ended almost seventy years ago. I think if the US foreign policy establishment had been more pliable or if prior presidents had been more forceful, this meeting could have happened a long time ago, and maybe North Korea might look a little more like Iran - an autocracy, but one that can be negotiated with and whose citizens aren't starving to death. But Bush kinda wrecked things with his "axis of evil" speech and neither Clinton or Obama was ultimately willing to take the flak from warhawks for meeting with the head of an enemy state.

Seeing Trump get praised by those same people for doing that same thing makes my hackles raise, but I can stomach a little hypocrisy from a band of notorious hypocrites if it changes the holding pattern.

Trump and Kim have apparently signed some kind of joint agreement, though the details haven't been made public yet.

Trump characterised the agreement as "pretty comprehensive" and the meeting as "really fantastic," and claims that North Korea denuclearisation will start very quickly. But, as said - no details yet.

bastardofmelbourne:
Trump and Kim have apparently signed some kind of joint agreement, though the details haven't been made public yet.

Trump characterised the agreement as "pretty comprehensive" and the meeting as "really fantastic," and claims that North Korea denuclearisation will start very quickly. But, as said - no details yet.

sounds like a lot of nothing as of yet. just a bunch of empty promises. although i am cautiously optimistic if they get someone competent to draft the agreement (as in not Trump) this might lead somewhere.

bastardofmelbourne:
though the details haven't been made public yet.
.

For what it's worth... (possibly nothing)
Joint Statement of President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea at the Singapore Summit

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.
President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new US-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Convinced that the establishment of new US-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:
The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.
The United States and DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula
The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.
Having acknowledged that the US-DPRK summit -- the first in history -- was an epochal event of great significance in overcoming decades of tensions and hostilities between the two countries and for the opening up of a new future, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un commit to implement the stipulations in the joint statement fully and expeditiously. The United States and the DPRK commit to hold follow-on negotiations, led by the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, and a relevant high-level DPRK official, at the earliest possible date, to implement the outcomes of the US-DPRK summit.
President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea have committed to cooperate for the development of new US-DPRK relations and for the promotion of peace, prosperity, and the security of the Korean Peninsula and of the world.
DONALD J. TRUMP
President of the United States of America
KIM JONG UN
Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
June 12, 2018
Sentosa Island
Singapore

bastardofmelbourne:

Trump characterised the agreement as "pretty comprehensive" and the meeting as "really fantastic," and claims that North Korea denuclearisation will start very quickly. But, as said - no details yet.

Kwak:
For what it's worth... (possibly nothing)

This smells to me like a heap of not that much. My prediction:

A few trivial concessions from NK where it winds down a certain amount of its nuclear program. Like for instance decommissioning its test area (which it had already started). In return, it gets a limited degree of presence on the world stage again - aid, trade, etc. Mostly it's a just a promise of and maybe even a framework for continued dialogue in the future. All meaningful denuclearisation, however, will be contingent on future negotiation.

If I'm right, that's progress, because all willingness to talk and ease tensions is progress. But in terms of practical denuclearisation it's more agreeing to kick the can down the road with no significant concessions or changes on either side. And NK has at least scored a minor moral win just by getting the USA to the negotiating table as an equal partner.

bastardofmelbourne:
I mean, I'm not a fan of anyone owning nukes, but if nukes are going to be owned, I'd rather they be owned by a mostly-democratic government that is answerable to its voters and which has a vested interest in maintaining global political stability.

This is not a description of the United States. Two parties and a media all which serve the same oligarchic interests with the paper-thin pretense of voting from the menu chosen by those interests is not democracy.

bastardofmelbourne:
I can trust the US to never use nukes, largely because the US is so powerful in terms of conventional force that it would never need to use the nukes short of going to war with China. But North Korea is very much the underdog compared to the US. Their conventional military force is capable of inflicting tremendous damage to South Korea and potentially Japan, but if they entered into a conventional war with the US or any other significant world power, their only option would be to use nukes.

The United States is literally the only nation on earth that has used nuclear weapons in a war and at a point in that war that they were under the least pressure. To be fair, I suppose it could have been more gratuitous if they had dropped a third bomb after signing the peace treaty with Japan. (I still mostly blame the Japanese leadership for those bombings, but let's be real: they weren't necessary.)

bastardofmelbourne:

Seanchaidh:
If we want North Koreans not to be starving, we'll take the military pressure off so that North Korea doesn't justifiably think they need to devote more than 22% of their small GDP on military spending. North Korea lost close to 30% of its population to bombings by the United States during the 1950s, so it's completely understandable that their bureaucracy would put military readiness first and foremost as long as the United States is technically at war with them and flying provocative military exercises regularly.

Look, it's a little silly that North Korea thinks it even needs nukes to ward off an American invasion. They have ten thousand howitzers pointed at Seoul at all times. If the US decided to invade, it would take a day for Kim to kill a million people. That's the deterrent right there.

That's not a reliable deterrent against the United States. The United States doing things that cause the deaths of millions is hardly unprecedented.

bastardofmelbourne:
If anything, North Korea obtaining nukes made an invasion more likely, because now they can plausibly threaten the United States. That changes the calculus. Before, it was a question of whether ousting Kim Jong-Un was worth millions of South Korean lives. Now, it's a question of balancing millions of South Koreans against the possibility of hundreds of thousands of Americans. That's a much more plausible exchange.

Except now the DPRK actually has a deterrent against the United States and not just South Korea.

bastardofmelbourne:
The blame for the lack of a peace agreement so far can be shared between two actors. The first is the US foreign policy consensus, which for a very long time held that merely meeting with the North Korean head of state represented a concession on the part of the US, and that a peace treaty would represent an even greater concession. That was a silly, proud position that has repeatedly sunk the possibility of a summit such as this one. It's one of the rare graces of Donald Trump that he was too stubborn to submit to that old orthodoxy.

The second part is, naturally, North Korea itself. North Korea has had multiple opportunities to open up to the international order, but has never been willing to make any serious commitments and has instead pursued a cyclical policy of brinkmanship intended to extract day-to-day concessions in exchange for promises that they will later break.

In a context of regular military provocations performed by the United States which go largely unreported because they are so regular (or our media has an interest in reporting the situation in North Korea in as biased as possible a manner it can).

A little wee summin' to get you all dabbing away your patriotic tears with emergency flags; Trump and Kim's hollywood-style promotion...or should I say Bromotion. Ahaha! *Le sigh*

Didn't make it past a minute though, I've serious allergies toward cliched vacuous nonsensical trollop, especially in patriotic format. If it gets better after that, I couldn't care less.

Well this ended up being a whole lot of empty nothing. Though I guess with Trump that's the best case scenario.

Oh, and he declared he was ending war games with South Korea. Without telling South Korea first. And now they're scrambling to figure out what he means by that.

It feels like if you want Trump to be nice to you, be his enemy, because he doesn't care about his allies.

Seanchaidh:
The United States is literally the only nation on earth that has used nuclear weapons in a war and at a point in that war that they were under the least pressure. To be fair, I suppose it could have been more gratuitous if they had dropped a third bomb after signing the peace treaty with Japan. (I still mostly blame the Japanese leadership for those bombings, but let's be real: they weren't necessary.)

Necessary to end the war? No. Necessary to end the war on the Allies terms and ensuring Japan didn't re-arm for another go a generation later like Germany did after WW1? Probably.

Otherwise, I agree, though.

erttheking:
Well this ended up being a whole lot of empty nothing. Though I guess with Trump that's the best case scenario.

Yep. Some trivial dismantling that can easily be restored on the part of NK, some military manoeuvers cancelled which can easily be restored by the USA. Everything else is just future talks. If, as Trump says, this is "better than anybody could imagine", everybody has a severe imagination deficit.

Oh, and he declared he was ending war games with South Korea. Without telling South Korea first....

It feels like if you want Trump to be nice to you, be his enemy, because he doesn't care about his allies.

Yep. The least you'd expect is to warn your allies of what might be signed when it affects them too. On the other hand, I suspect it's a relatively small cost. The joint exercises enrage NK, but aren't particularly crucial to the USA/SK. Mind you, I say that, but joint exercises are a way for different militaries to practice co-ordinated action, which I imagine is jolly useful experience if they need fight together at some point.

But, generally, this might be the start of a rapprochement, so let's take the positive at the core as the main thing.

* * *

I did also wonder about China's official comment that the two leaders "can sit together and have equal talks has important and positive meaning, and is creating a new history". I couldn't help but wonder, is that "equal" a subtle dig at the expense of the USA (/Trump)?

It seems that all accredited journalists in the submit were given free USB fans.

...maybe the fan is just a fan? Bad bet, though.

OT: That went better than expected. It seems Trump is competent enough to not escalate international conflicts into nuclear wars. Now if he just stopped treating allies as enemies, he'd be a decent diplomat.

So, my take:

Not a disaster. As expected, the joint agreement contained very few details and only vague promises of future talks being held. But, this is an important thawing in US-DPRK relations - and critically, it was done by a Republican president, so the usual right-wing warhawks can't moan about it. Hopefully Trump keeps his hands off the important parts - and off Twitter!

At the very least, it's broken the prior US foreign policy orthodoxy that believed just opening negotiations should be considered a "concession." That was always dumb.

***

And going slightly off-topic and nitty-picky, in response to Seanchaidh...

Seanchaidh:
This is not a description of the United States. Two parties and a media all which serve the same oligarchic interests with the paper-thin pretense of voting from the menu chosen by those interests is not democracy.

That's why I was careful to say "mostly democratic." A hell of a lot more than the DPRK, anyway.

Seanchaidh:
The United States is literally the only nation on earth that has used nuclear weapons in a war and at a point in that war that they were under the least pressure. To be fair, I suppose it could have been more gratuitous if they had dropped a third bomb after signing the peace treaty with Japan. (I still mostly blame the Japanese leadership for those bombings, but let's be real: they weren't necessary.)

It wasn't really necessary, but the situation was that they would either drop the bomb or put boots on the ground. And putting boots on the ground probably would've killed more people.

This was well before they understood the effects of radioactive fallout, mind you.

Seanchaidh:
That's not a reliable deterrent against the United States. The United States doing things that cause the deaths of millions is hardly unprecedented.

The United States doing things that cause the deaths of millions of allied citizens is largely unprecedented.

Think about it. Would the US have invaded Iraq if Saddam Hussein could credibly threaten Tel Aviv with annihilation within hours? That's the balance of power here. There is a US ally in an exceptionally vulnerable position - Seoul is laughably close to the border - and any US offensive would result in that ally suffering at least a million casualties. In one of the world's largest economies, no less - a country whose destruction would upend the world economy and, crucially, make a lot of very rich people much poorer overnight.

I mean, I can't trust in a lot of things, but I can trust in the self-preservation instincts of American oligarchs. They don't want a war in Korea. It would be bad for business.

Seanchaidh:
Except now the DPRK actually has a deterrent against the United States and not just South Korea.

I would dispute that. Specifically, I would dispute that the DPRK's nuclear program constitutes an full deterrent, as in an existential deterrent, against the United States. I do not believe it does that at this time. Worse, I believe it has accomplished the opposite - that it has made an invasion more likely rather than less likely, at least in the short term.

The fact is that mutually assured destruction does not yet apply, because the DPRK cannot assure the destruction of the United States in the event of a nuclear conflict. They have, at most, maybe a dozen bombs that can be fitted on ICBMs that can reach the US. That's enough to do a heck of a lot of damage, but to actually kill the US, they'd need ten times as many.

This is the real scary part; it's still possible for the US to "win" a nuclear exchange with the DPRK. They'd be hurt - probably crippled - but the US would still exist at the end of it, and Korea would not. The DPRK has gone unmolested for six decades largely because the costs of a war in Korea vastly outweighed the potential benefits. Now, that calculus is changing.

But anyway; this is a grim discussion to be having when all signs are that the summit has, at the very least, not been a disaster. I can't say that I think it's still going to turn out well, but at least it hasn't gotten worse.

bastardofmelbourne:
It wasn't really necessary, but the situation was that they would either drop the bomb or put boots on the ground. And putting boots on the ground probably would've killed more people.

IIRC, Macarthur favoured a horrific ground invasion, but a lot of other people favoured bombing Japan's agriculture and infrastructure until they were starved into submission.

The problem with either approach is that the US public's commitment to the war was shaky. If Japan could keep the fighting going, keep rocking up US casualties and offered to surrender on its terms, there was a very real worry that the US public would demand it, and like Germany, Japan could rebuild for another go. Oh, and Japan would keep bits of Asia it's conquered and were slaughtering the locals in.

The victory in Europe had to be carefully timed, because it was known that after the war there ending, the US public would not sit and wait too long for the war in the Pacific ending.

Getting very off-topic there, though, so:

bastardofmelbourne:
The fact is that mutually assured destruction does not yet apply, because the DPRK cannot assure the destruction of the United States in the event of a nuclear conflict. They have, at most, maybe a dozen bombs that can be fitted on ICBMs that can reach the US. That's enough to do a heck of a lot of damage, but to actually kill the US, they'd need ten times as many.

This is the real scary part; it's still possible for the US to "win" a nuclear exchange with the DPRK. They'd be hurt - probably crippled - but the US would still exist at the end of it, and Korea would not.

Does it have to be an existential threat to work as a deterrent? A single nuclear device initiated in a US city would end the US, at least the US as it currently is. Sure, some form of the country would survive, and most of the people, but few in the US would risk that.

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