1. Post #1
    Gold Member
    Kecske's Avatar
    October 2010
    2,068 Posts
    Despite the bombastic rhetoric exchanged between North Korean and American leaders this week, the Trump administration has been quietly engaged in back-channel diplomacy with North Korea for several months, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.

    The ongoing talks, which were first reported by The Associated Press, included discussions about U.S.-North Korean relations and Americans imprisoned in North Korea, the source said.

    [...]

    According to the source, the talks are being held between Ambassador Joseph Yun, the U.S. special representative for North Korea policy, and Pak Song Il, a senior North Korean diplomat at the country's U.N. mission, using what’s known as the “New York channel,” which has been an avenue of communication between the U.S. and North Korea throughout the years.

    [...]

    But Mattis said Thursday that the American effort was "diplomatically led."

    "What I would say here ladies and gentleman, my portfolio, my mission, my responsibility is to have military options should they be needed," he said.

    "However, right now Secretary [of State Rex] Tillerson and [United Nations] Ambassador [Nikki] Haley, you can see the American effort is diplomatically led, it has diplomatic traction it is gaining diplomatic results, and I want to stay right here, right now. The tragedy of war is well known. It would be catastrophic."
    http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/us-co...ry?id=49165520
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  2. Post #2
    rogasm
    Rolond Returns's Avatar
    May 2010
    4,650 Posts
    its effectiveness has been questionable in light of recent events, but that's not to say it still ain't worth trying
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  3. Post #3
    Gold Member
    Sableye's Avatar
    October 2009
    21,222 Posts
    headline, tillerson and haley have been acting like responsible diplomats, meanwhile on twitter...

  4. Post #4
    Faunze's Avatar
    October 2005
    369 Posts
    its effectiveness has been questionable in light of recent events, but that's not to say it still ain't worth trying
    You have to differentiate whats in the headlines and whats actually happening. Public comments from politicians are not reality, unfortunately.
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  5. Post #5
    Gold Member
    Daemon White's Avatar
    July 2010
    10,738 Posts
    You have to differentiate whats in the headlines and whats actually happening. Public comments from politicians are not reality, unfortunately.
    If public comments aren't reality, then that would actually be fortunate for us, wouldn't it?
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  6. Post #6
    OvB
    Facepunch resident scientist
    OvB's Avatar
    March 2007
    18,503 Posts
    its effectiveness has been questionable in light of recent events, but that's not to say it still ain't worth trying
    It's a display. Nothing will happen with North Korea. Korea will get to tell it's people they scared the American Imperialists into submission, and Trump will get to tell his followers he scared the Koreans into submission. The two power heads both want to get a win out of it. Neither wants a war.
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  7. Post #7
    Spirit Guide
    Big Dumb American's Avatar
    March 2009
    23,417 Posts
    It's a display. Nothing will happen with North Korea. Korea will get to tell it's people they scared the American Imperialists into submission, and Trump will get to tell his followers he scared the Koreans into submission. The two power heads both want to get a win out of it. Neither wants a war.
    Call me a cynic, but I think a war is exactly what Trump wants. I think that Trump wants a war because he sees it as the only viable vehicle for winning public support to his side.

    This 2012 Tweet sums up Trump's like of thinking regarding this exact subject:

    Polls are starting to look really bad for Obama. Looks like he'll have to start a war or major conflict to win. Don't put it past him!
    Trump's recent comment promising "fire and fury," followed by doubling down on it when he received positive feedback from his cult fanbase, only seems to further cement his line of reasoning. I sincerely worry that Trump wants to take military action against "America's Enemies" to rally the hawks in the right wing around him. Any way you cut it, war with North Korea is going to be seen as a positive by almost the entirety of his voterbase.
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  8. Post #8
    OvB
    Facepunch resident scientist
    OvB's Avatar
    March 2007
    18,503 Posts
    Trump likes to say that military options are not off the table for everything because it makes him feel big and unpredictable. (To an extent, it's true, military options are never off the table for any President. We have plans to invade Canada, if we need to) Trump likes to feel big and powerful and will threaten war with anything. Which is why he said the use of nuclear weapons is not off the table during the campaign. It's the ultimate show of power. Does Trump actually want to use nukes? Or declare war on North Korea? I don't think so... He's an egotistical narcissist for sure, but he knows that a war with North Korea would be extremely costly both in money and man power. Which will detract from the things he actually cares about like his stupid wall. Trump will only use weapons if there is no repercussions for doing so, and if it makes him look tough. Like increased bombings against ISIS, an enemy virtually unable to conventionally attack us. Or the Syrian air strip missile strikes, in which case we gave them a heads up and bombed an almost empty air Base.

    The one thing it all has in common is it's all for show.

    Edited:

    War or diplomacy, the result is the same. Trump supporters will make "LIBS BTFO/GET CUCKED TRUMP BEATS KOREA" memes on Facebook. One option costs less than the other.

    Edited:

    Another thing to consider: if you think Trump is in bed with Russia, do you think Russia would let him bomb away Korea? If you believe Trump is a Russian puppet, than diplomacy is the only possible outcome. You cannot have both Russia shilling and war with Korea. Russia will not allow it.

    Russia, China, North Korea and South Korea, do not want a war.
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  9. Post #9
    Spirit Guide
    Big Dumb American's Avatar
    March 2009
    23,417 Posts
    I don't believe that Trump considers consequences at all when making his decisions, and thus have no faith in him to consider the consequences of war compared to the benefit of looking like a Big Tough Winner for his voterbase. In fact, I believe that Trump actively disregards the possibility of consequences in his decisionmaking process, as evidenced by the revolving door of advisers surrounding him from the moment he launched his presidential campaign. Trump does not care for the advice of people more intelligent or qualified than him, and chooses to ignore the possibility that his own judgment may be lacking.

    If this were any other president, I would say that you're probably right, but given just how unhinged and irrational Trump's general thought processes seem to be, I have no confidence in "common sense" winning the day with him.

    As for the "Russian Puppet" line, your reasoning only makes sense if Trump is knowingly reporting directly to Putin as an extension of the Kremlin's will, and I don't believe that this is what is going on here. Trump likely doesn't consider himself a puppet at all, and would almost certainly throw a red-faced temper tantrum at the thought of Putin "ordering him around" as you're implying. The more likely case here is one of manipulation and trading.

    Trump is also one of the most easily manipulated people I have ever seen in my life. Trump very likely thinks that he is the one who was using Russia, and is simply too fucking dense to realize that he's just their favorite fool. Trump will weigh the decision on whether or not to enter a war with Korea, despite protests from Russia, with the same rationale that he makes every other decision: what makes me feel like the biggest winner right now?" They may successfully manipulate him to their way of thinking, or he may change his mind on his own. If that fails, they may attempt to trade "favors" with him, offering to discredit his political opposition with propaganda, Twitter bots, and acts of cyberterrorism and information warfare as seen during the election.

    It's no guarantee that Trump won't act against their interests anyway, of course. Trump choosing to act against the interests of relationships that have previously benefited him are not proof that he never colluded with them and/or was manipulated by them. So, the argument that Trump doing anything to oppose Russian interests is proof that there could have been no collusion between Trump and Russia doesn't hold much water.
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  10. Post #10
    CAPT Opp4's Avatar
    August 2011
    1,154 Posts
    watching two mods debate is like watching two green titans battle for the fate of the universe
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  11. Post #11
    OvB
    Facepunch resident scientist
    OvB's Avatar
    March 2007
    18,503 Posts
    watching two mods debate is like watching two green titans battle for the fate of the universe
    There's nothing really to debate here. I don't think Trump wants to/is willing to restart the Korean war. BDA disagrees. There's no points to debate. I just hope I'm not wrong.

  12. Post #12
    Gold Member
    Sableye's Avatar
    October 2009
    21,222 Posts
    Another thing to consider: if you think Trump is in bed with Russia, do you think Russia would let him bomb away Korea? If you believe Trump is a Russian puppet, than diplomacy is the only possible outcome. You cannot have both Russia shilling and war with Korea. Russia will not allow it.

    Russia, China, North Korea and South Korea, do not want a war.
    Russia really doesn't have any skin in the game, they sell stuff to NK, they use their slave laborers, but they don't have any real obligations or social connections to them. The USSR always kept them at arms length, russia has been willing to join the US at times in criticizing them, and certainly, putin probably doesn't like the idea of a rogue nuclear state with missiles that can hit him, because he doesn't have any fancy anti ballistic missile shield, and russia is a hell of a lot closer than any major US targets.

    China really holds the cards here and they've made it clear, if trump does something stupid they'll react, but if north korea does something stupid, they're on their own.

    i don't think trump wants to start a war either but i really do think he may accidentally kick one off simply because he's incapable of backing down from anything.

  13. Post #13
    RockyTV's Avatar
    February 2014
    524 Posts
    There's nothing really to debate here. I don't think Trump wants to/is willing to restart the Korean war. BDA disagrees. There's no points to debate. I just hope I'm not wrong.
    Why is the US so "smart" to not reboot the Korea war but too dumb to get involved, back in the 2000s, in a bunch of wars in the Middle East?

  14. Post #14
    Spirit Guide
    Big Dumb American's Avatar
    March 2009
    23,417 Posts
    There's nothing really to debate here. I don't think Trump wants to/is willing to restart the Korean war. BDA disagrees. There's no points to debate. I just hope I'm not wrong.
    Me too, of course.

  15. Post #15
    Gold Member
    glitchvid's Avatar
    December 2008
    6,178 Posts
    Another thing to consider: if you think Trump is in bed with Russia, do you think Russia would let him bomb away Korea? If you believe Trump is a Russian puppet, than diplomacy is the only possible outcome. You cannot have both Russia shilling and war with Korea. Russia will not allow it.

    Russia, China, North Korea and South Korea, do not want a war.
    I think the US getting into a war with NK is a great idea for Russia. Time and Time again the US has shown how willing it is to blow money on wars, and especially when trying to clean up its messes. The US taking down NK will also put a severe chill on US-china relations, slowing down our economy. It's also a chance for China and Russia to go to the UN and get sanctions against the US, which is both an economic dampener, but also a bit of a slap in the face to how the US has used the UN the same way before.

  16. Post #16
    OvB
    Facepunch resident scientist
    OvB's Avatar
    March 2007
    18,503 Posts
    Why is the US so "smart" to not reboot the Korea war but too dumb to get involved, back in the 2000s, in a bunch of wars in the Middle East?
    Because we were attacked in 2001 by terrorists under command of them terrorist led Islamic State of Afghanistan. The war in Afghanistan made sense at the time, it lasted a few weeks, then we stayed for the after party for a decade and a half... Iraq made less sense in hindsight but made sense to many during the anti-terror fervor of the early 2000's. Both Iraq and Afghanistan had no real threatening stance to our allies, and their fighting force was vastly under skilled compared to ours.

    North Korea on the other hand, is within striking distance to our allies and other super powers. War with NK becomes everyone's problem. It will result in the death of millions of our allies civilians. It will be the bloodiest war in modern history. Not to mention the actual possibly of North Korea using nukes defensively, and their huge number of troops. Simply put, war with Korea will make the wars in the middle East look like a minor incident.

    Edited:

    I think the US getting into a war with NK is a great idea for Russia. Time and Time again the US has shown how willing it is to blow money on wars, and especially when trying to clean up its messes. The US taking down NK will also put a severe chill on US-china relations, slowing down our economy. It's also a chance for China and Russia to go to the UN and get sanctions against the US, which is both an economic dampener, but also a bit of a slap in the face to how the US has used the UN the same way before.
    I think that is true, but I also think Russia would want to keep NK around for awhile as a bargaining chip for Syria. Syria is a lot more important to Russia than NK is, so Russia is going to want to be concern for the west in regards to NK so they can make a deal with the US to loosen NK relations in exchange for the US being softer on Syria.

  17. Post #17
    RockyTV's Avatar
    February 2014
    524 Posts
    Because we were attacked in 2001 by terrorists under command of them terrorist led Islamic State of Afghanistan. The war in Afghanistan made sense at the time, it lasted a few weeks, then we stayed for the after party for a decade and a half... Iraq made less sense in hindsight but made sense to many during the anti-terror fervor of the early 2000's. Both Iraq and Afghanistan had no real threatening stance to our allies, and their fighting force was vastly under skilled compared to ours.

    North Korea on the other hand, is within striking distance to our allies and other super powers. War with NK becomes everyone's problem. It will result in the death of millions of our allies civilians. It will be the bloodiest war in modern history. Not to mention the actual possibly of North Korea using nukes defensively, and their huge number of troops. Simply put, war with Korea will make the wars in the middle East look like a minor incident.

    Edited:



    I think that is true, but I also think Russia would want to keep NK around for awhile as a bargaining chip for Syria. Syria is a lot more important to Russia than NK is, so Russia is going to want to be concern for the west in regards to NK so they can make a deal with the US to loosen NK relations in exchange for the US being softer on Syria.
    Okay so...
    - US seeks aid from Bin Laden in the Afghanistan war (pre-2000s)
    - USSR loses the war, Bin Laden turns on the US
    - 9/11 happens
    - US calls Bin Laden, former US hired mercenary, as terrorist to justify the invasion of Afghanistan

    I can't understand you americans. I can't understand how Iraq invasion is also justified. Saddam Hussein became the president/dictator because the US helped him (afaik Hussein was an ally until he decided to say fuck it and disobey US orders), but later they invaded Iraq again. I just can't understand how justifiable those wars are.

    EDIT: I just hope Trump isn't a trigger happy like Bush was, so the Korea War won't have reboot

  18. Post #18
    OvB
    Facepunch resident scientist
    OvB's Avatar
    March 2007
    18,503 Posts
    Well good thing that has nothing to do with the topic of the thread then
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  19. Post #19
    hippowombat's Avatar
    March 2014
    3,467 Posts
    I can't understand you americans.
    FWIW we were more or less duped into "supporting" troop deployment in Iraq, and even then a lot of us didn't support it.