Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 09, 2018

Trump Threatens Peace In Korea

The mainstream commentariat:

Then: Trump is a madman who wants to lead us into war against North Korea.

Now: Trump is a madman who wants to lead us towards peace with North Korea.

Rory Yeomans

I welcome the announced meeting of Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump.

The imperial military-industrial complex will do its best to sabotage it. Billions of dollars of planned revenue may soon evaporate.

Kim Jong Un has so far shown himself as an excellent strategist. He offered direct talks at the exactly right moment. Trump blindsided all the hawks, worrywards and bureaucrats in his staff by suddenly agreeing to them. If this brinkmanship succeeds the South Korean President Moon deserves a peace price for arranging it.

The best venue for the meeting is?

Posted by b on March 9, 2018 at 20:55 UTC | Permalink

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Probably the DMZ for both practicality and symbolism. I doubt the NKs or the Americans would except meeting in either SK or NK, respectively. As for China, NK doesn’t want to appear under tthe wing of a larger state. They want the optics of meeting on their own with heir own people. Logically, only the DMZ can provide the requisite neutrality.

Posted by: G | Mar 9 2018 20:58 utc | 1

Best venue is Pyongyang. For some bivouac reasons.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 9 2018 21:12 utc | 2

If would take an amazing, wheel-barrow amount of cajones for Trump to meet Kim at the DMZ. If he does, he is a lock for the 2020 race and that might shut up the naysayers for a long time.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 9 2018 21:14 utc | 3

North Korean Peace Museum in Panmunjom.

I suggest reading this short item; I agree with the author that Trump doesn't understand what he agreed in his tweet to negotiate: Total Denuclearisation.

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9 2018 21:29 utc | 4

Could successful talks with Kim Jong Un pave the way for talks with another dangerous and powerful head of state who is also considered an enemy of the US?

Posted by: WJ | Mar 9 2018 21:35 utc | 5

So the question is which empty-suit general told the president he's not allowed to agree to unconditional talks with Kim Jong Un? What a fucking pathetic nation we are.

Posted by: WJ | Mar 9 2018 21:51 utc | 7

Trump is pretending to agree. Whether the main goal is to provide cover for Moon, allowing him to pretend he's got some say, or whether the idea is to do propaganda on Kim, claiming he's the one reneging, or claiming he's cracking, just generally being unpredictable until campaign season is here, don't know. But the south will not become an independent state on a whim.

Posted by: steven t johnson | Mar 9 2018 22:04 utc | 8

DMZ would be the best place for this initial meeting.
Both men need to get to size up the other.

There will be 4-6 weeks for people to mess this up. Certainly, when it is clear that the conditions to be met are US withdrawal from South Korea, everything will get difficult.

This is the emancipation of South Korea from US yoke.

So, expect many setbacks and along process.

Posted by: Red Ryder | Mar 9 2018 22:26 utc | 9

IF it happens, I'll applaud it, and it's a huge IF. If this country follows its normal path, they'll set conditions the North can't except and save face, and then back to square one.

Posted by: ben | Mar 9 2018 22:40 utc | 10

P.S.--Distraction to get the Stormy Daniels affair off the News cycle? We'll see...

Posted by: ben | Mar 9 2018 22:44 utc | 11


Posted by: Robert Browning | Mar 9 2018 22:48 utc | 12

The best site? Anywhere, as long as it happens..

Posted by: ben | Mar 9 2018 22:54 utc | 13

The ass kissing junta surrounding the orange buffoon don't want to expose the illiterate imbecile to NoKo's leadership... They will chew him up and spit him out just like the russians at the G20. Chump was getting totally humiliated and his handlers had to bring his wife to ''exfiltrate'' him out of the room away from Putin and Lavrov. We're gonna start winning again. WWE and reality TV style #winning...

Posted by: Augustin L | Mar 9 2018 23:03 utc | 14

How about the VIP lounge at the Kuala Lumpur airport? Trump is already thinking legacy. He'll settle a 65-year-old frozen conflict, and then he'll split the Democrats right down the middle by successfully renegotiating NAFTA. All by November. I'm not saying he will pull it off, but he's thinking big. What's next, a free Palestine?

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Mar 9 2018 23:09 utc | 15

The best venue for the meeting is?

Vienna, Austria

Posted by: Mahab | Mar 9 2018 23:32 utc | 16

Yup. The best way for Trump to get a deal done is to come across as the biggest anti NK person in Washington. Then even those who hate NK (no one really cares, it is just an MIC marketing opportunity) can complain about Trump backing down. All Scot Adams says about Trump seems to be true.

4 "Secrets everyone knows, but no one is allowed to say"
The US killed 20+% of N Koreans in the 1950s - so "paranoia" is to be expected.
NK has from the start made it clear it is US activity around Korea that bothers them, without that they would not feel the need for nukes.
If US backs off their presence in the area, China is the big winner. (Hence China's pretence at sanctions for NK)
The US will make a promise and then break it - they always do.

Posted by: michael d | Mar 9 2018 23:56 utc | 17

I wonder how much impact Putin's March 1 speech had on timing of Kim's proposal? I'm sure it provided Kim with a boost in confidence.

If the Koreas, China, and Russia succeed in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, how long will Japan remain a US client-state?

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 10 2018 0:03 utc | 18

Ya know, b, you're take may be right, but to argue against (which you're clearly not) even potential reconciliation, even between two nuts (but with very real capabilities) is more nuts.

Posted by: ritzl | Mar 10 2018 0:16 utc | 19

you're = your

Posted by: ritzl | Mar 10 2018 0:17 utc | 20

Honestly I fear for Trump's continued existence if he makes real ground here. He seems to be so naive to think that the US war machine wants peace with NK, then what excuse would they have to have a massive troop presence to threaten China and Russia? I'm also worried about the generals doing something to cause a war if Trump gets too close to peace or actually makes a real deal. This would be high time for a false flag or a pre-emptive attack. Kim Jong and Trump will probably get along quite well while all of the war pigs are huddled up in the war room planning some sabotage. Incredible surreal to see the whole liberal press mock him for sitting down and talking to a nuclear power instead of just escalating tensions and driving for war. What a bunch of psychopaths!

Posted by: Jason | Mar 10 2018 0:22 utc | 21

Always hard to tell what's real from theater. Jason 21 makes valid points if that which appears to be is real.

If that's the real Eric Zuesse at 6, I bow to your greatness.

Posted by: fast freddy | Mar 10 2018 0:27 utc | 22

Mainstream pundits seem unanimous the proposed meeting is a "gamble", "unpredictable" and "risky" - although what really is at risk when the status quo already seems a short step from a devastating, and unpredictable, war? To the extent that the military and their civilian enablers see the armament systems in place around Korea as crucial to "contain" China and the profits gained selling ballistic missile defences to Japan as non-negotiable, then so will be the effort to attempt to shut this proposal down. Post WW2 American history features a number of deliberate manoeuvres designed to sabotage steps towards peaceful co-existence.

Another feature of the mainstream coverage are concerns that any such meeting might go off script or raise undo expectations, based on the peccadillos of the unpredictable leaders - which is presented as something terrible and without precedent. But the Reagan-Gorbachev meeting which led to major arms control agreements was something like an improvisation, and it was always considered a success and even a measure of Reagan's "greatness" (or so the mainstream hagiographers in America have rhapsodized).

Posted by: jayc | Mar 10 2018 0:50 utc | 23

Look up the website Another Voice as in the Book of Revelations 'there was another voice from heaven saying come out of her my people so that you do not receive her plagues." About Mystery, Babylon the Great.

Posted by: LydiaGorbik | Mar 10 2018 0:58 utc | 24

sure dmz...

@10/etc - ben - kinda see it like you, maybe a bit more scary like how jason sees it @21.. i like trumps unpredictability..screw teh status quo, lol..

Posted by: james | Mar 10 2018 1:05 utc | 25

What we don't have is complete information on is the maneuvering of the generals on Korea. We hear that Army general McMaster, the national security advisor, and an advocate of "fire and fury" and a "bloody nose attack" on North Korea, is apparently being bested by the two Marine generals Mattis and Dunford (SecDef and Chairman of Joint Staff) who counsel restraint in consideration of the destructive counterattack that North Korea is capable of. (And a third Marine general Kelly is Trump's C/S.) All of these Marine generals (Mattis and Kelly retired, Dunford active) outrank McMaster (active). So there is talk that McMaster is on his way out.
McMaster was never qualified for the position he's in, of course. He's good on army tactics, and wrote a book (based on a PhD thesis) on why the US lost Vietnam because the civilians didn't listen to generals, which is pure BS. The US national security advisor ought to have a broader education.
One of the problems with attacking North Korea is the presence of sizable US installations, with military and civilians, within rocket range of North Korea. That includes many Americans who would die.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 10 2018 1:28 utc | 26

ONLY site! That of the original "peace talks", at the exact same table the US refused to negotiate in good faith over half a century ago... but a Trump-Kim meeting will never happen, with the reinstatement of a precondition that NK must take undefined "concrete actions"for the meeting to take place.

And even if it did, it would be a short meeting.

Trump: When will NK get rid of its nukes?
Kim: When the US does.
Trump: That's not happening.

Kim will get up and walk out... Trump and the US will look like the intransigent asshole bullies they are.

Ah to dream... but even the Orange-genius-in-his-own-mind must realize that would be a diplomatic slap on the face heard around the world. The world would laugh with Kim.

Posted by: A P | Mar 10 2018 1:53 utc | 27

The US/UN is technically still at war with North Korea and China in Korea. . . .1953 Armistice Agreement

Agreement between the Commander-in-Chief, United Nations Command, on the one hand, and the Supreme Commander of the Korean People's Army and the Commander of the Chinese People's volunteers, on the other hand, concerning a military armistice in Korea.

. . .with the objective of establishing an armistice which will insure a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea until a final peaceful settlement is achieved

comment: The US continues to conduct large-scale military exercises -- "acts of armed force" -- in Korea with the 600,000 troops under its command. Exercises of the US and South Korea which have a combined armed force (commanded by a US general) many times more powerful than that of North Korea annually practice an invasion of the north. That's what pisses off North Korea, which was totally destroyed (cities, dams, etc) in the Korean War. China withdrew its forces long ago, US has 28,000+ troops there, and a US general commands the South Korea military, a unique one-of-a-kind relationship in the world.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 10 2018 1:58 utc | 28

Any 'preemptive' us strike on NK would most likely involve nukes to give best possible chance of destroying NK nukes. I guess now, the generals would be wondering if Russia considers NK an ally.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 10 2018 2:07 utc | 29

I see this as a ruse to take focus away from non-presidential things like Stormy Daniels.

DIdn't Trump put out a book about the Art of the Deal? So he should be inherently trained then for this event?

The reason NK is not in the big circus is because they would not agree to private finance running their country. Is Trump going to change that position? I doubt it but the image of change may occur if enough money is thrown at the optics.

How long can Trump milk this wag the dog capability of the presidency before it bites him in the ass?

Go long popcorn

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 10 2018 2:28 utc | 30

China has already said that if NK strikes any country first (nuke or otherwise), it is on it's own, or China may invade NK. If the US/NATO/Zionists strike first, in any way, China has said it will defend NK to the hilt.

So Trumpty Dumbdy is in another corner he and the Deep State have painted themselves into. Idiots.

Russia also borders and supports NK... Even Trumpy's Dumbest generals can work out that math.

US=0 vs. the rest of the same world.

Posted by: A P | Mar 10 2018 2:30 utc | 31

OOPS- last line should have been "sane world"

Posted by: A P | Mar 10 2018 2:31 utc | 32

The only thing US is interested in is for N.K to drop their gun so uncle Sclomo can shoot him down in cold blood in a spectacular sodomizing death for the cameras, like they did Gadaffi and Libya.

N.K won't of course but eventually US will be forced to sign that peace treaty. The meeting? Why not somewhere over the border in Russia like Vladivostok or Nakhodka.

Posted by: Keith | Mar 10 2018 2:45 utc | 33

I don't think that there can be much doubt-Russia does regard North Korea as an ally. So does China.
That means, in my view, that any talk of a nuclear strike against Pyongyang is just cheap, and nasty, boasting of the sort for which Americans are, I am sorry to have to say, famous.
Peace is so close, and so easy to achieve, and so clearly beneficial to everyone, and so obviously needed to clear the way for concerted action on such urgent matters as the Fukushima clean up, that it is difficult to believe that even the self interest of the 1%, combined with the docility of the taxpaying 99% of Americans (who transfer their wealth and labour to the MIC in the laughable belief that they are purchasing defence from actual threats), is enough to get in the way of putting an end to a war allegedly waged by the UN Security Council since North Korea, allegedly invaded the South.
I don't think that there will be a meeting between Kim and Trump.
It shouldn't be necessary-the real struggle is going to take place in South Korea. That is where the US will deploy all its forces of persuasion and corruption to weaken the position of the Moon government. On the other hand the Koreans have seen this before, they have seen honest governments removed and replaced by fascist dictators supported by the army commanded by a US General. They have seen the North provoked and punished simply to keep the ghost of a 'threat' alive, for, without a 'threat' from the North there would be no justification in maintaining high levels of military expenditure all of which is actually designed to threaten Korea's neighbours, China and Russia.
If the Koreans can outsmart the Pentagon and de-escalate all the artificial tension, the Chinese and Russians will be able to take over, guaranteeing Korean security and leaving the US in an untenable position.
Peace is a very popular policy everywhere, outside of the Military Industrial Complex. The problem is it is almost impossible to get it, or politicians committed to it, on the ballot.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 10 2018 2:57 utc | 34

Read the headline as Trump threatens Pence in Korea at first

Posted by: tg | Mar 10 2018 3:02 utc | 35

This might be the B option of US "foreign policy" at work:
1. Apply sanctions on an appointed US enemy.
2. Reach an agreement favorable to the enemy.
3. Claim that the sanctions "worked."
(The A option was invasion and occupation.)

The Bush "Axis of Evil" was Iran, Iraq and North Korea.
Iraq - A Option (big mistake)
Iran - B option (might be dumped, or Trumped - then what?)
North Korea - B option?

I tend to go with Mattis, a current voice of moderation. Sure, he once said "It's fun to kill Muslims" but there are few Muslims in North Korea, probably.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 10 2018 3:09 utc | 36

So implicitly I'm suggesting that Trump won't go up against Mattis, and I wouldn't blame him.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 10 2018 3:18 utc | 37

Beijing. Trump will need all the help he can get from the Chinese.

Posted by: Mark Thomason | Mar 10 2018 3:23 utc | 38

Dickerson: "What keeps you awake at night?"
Mattis: "Nothing, I keep other people awake at night."
and. . .
MATTIS: A conflict in North Korea, John, would be probably the worst kind of fighting in most people's lifetimes.
Why do I say this? The North Korean regime has hundreds of artillery cannons and rocket launchers within range of one of the most densely populated cities on earth, which is the capital of South Korea.
We are working with the international community to deal with this issue. This regime is a threat to the region, to Japan, to South Korea, and in the event of war, they would bring danger to China and to Russia as well.
But the bottom line is, it would be a catastrophic war if this turns into combat, if we are not able to resolve this situation through diplomatic means. here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 10 2018 3:24 utc | 39

Be interesting to see if the meet actually takes place. Whitehouse tried to prevent Trump from having an official meeting with Putin, but a quick meet turned into a two and half hour chin wag. Trump has said he is willing to meet with KJU a number of times.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 10 2018 3:25 utc | 40

We shouldn't expect that any meeting and talks would actually solve anything, because the DPRK and US positions are basically irreconcilable. DPRK wants the US out of Korea, US wants DPRK to denuke (disarm). The DPRK strategy, probably, is to spawn endless meetings for a long time. The Vietnam peace talks serve as a model, first with the parties discussing the shape of the table, etc. I look for DPRK to play this game.
It's a basic east vs. west gambit, where the east has the patience to endure years whereas the west expects quick results.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 10 2018 3:56 utc | 41

Good posts Don Bacon. I also read about McMaster’s potential dismissal with -gasp- Bolton being a potential replacement..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 10 2018 4:26 utc | 42


Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Mar 10 2018 4:27 utc | 43

Probably the best venue for such a meeting would be a third-party country not perceived to have an immediate interest in the issues involved.

North Korea will surely not agree to denuclearisation unless and until the US agrees it will no longer conduct twice-annual military exercises with South Korea close to the North Korean border during NK's rice-sowing and rice-harvesting seasons. On the other hand, the US is unlikely to give up such exercises as they are rehearsals for an eventual invasion of NK (which incidentally sits on several billion dollars' worth of valuable minerals) and northern China with its industry and minerals.

Such an invasion also brings war against Russia much closer and that country would be faced with a potential nightmare of eventually having to fight on two, even three widely separate fronts, in eastern Europe and Ukraine, in Syria and the Russian Far East region.

I plump for the negotiations to take place in Ulanbaatar in Mongolia.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 10 2018 4:30 utc | 44

On where the meeting would take place - NK, China or Russia. NK has been threatened with so many decapitating strikes that KJU would be foolish to go anywhere he did not have full protection from the US.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 10 2018 5:07 utc | 45

I believe we shouldn't expect that any meeting and talks would solve anything, because the DPRK and US positions are basically irreconcilable. DPRK wants the US out of Korea, US wants DPRK to denuke. The DPRK strategy, probably, is to spawn endless meetings for a long time. The Vietnam peace talks serve as a model. I look for DPRK to play this game.
It's a basic east vs. west gambit, where the east has the patience to endure years whereas the west expects quick results.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 10 2018 5:38 utc | 46

Best Venue = Incheon International Airport. They could land the planes and find a secluded corner .. minimum executive travel, minimum public disruption, minimum security overhead. South Korea would host - perfect.

Posted by: John Trudgian | Mar 10 2018 5:57 utc | 47

The best venue is Tel Aviv, bruh. Trump used the classic Netanyahu bait-and-switch, and you fell for it. No talks until North Korea disarms, and bows in fealty to the ZioUSAryan Satanic Axis of Oilvil.
Then KJU looks weak and posturing, he attempts in Mongolian fashion to show braggado, then Trump and his Deep State Mafiya of Wall Street-Pentagon profiteers demands another +$100B for National Security, after some Seattle DHS underling official accidentally broadcasts, "The North Korean missiles are inbound, shelter in place!"

Wash, rinse and mozel tuv!

Posted by: Chipnik | Mar 10 2018 6:16 utc | 48

Stockholm of course is the best venue since we do have an embassy in NK and are already involved:

North Korean foreign minister to visit Sweden, Swedish newspaper says

Sweden’s embassy in Pyongyang represents U.S. diplomatic interests in North Korea in the absence of U.S. diplomatic relations with the country.

Posted by: arbetet | Mar 10 2018 7:16 utc | 49

I'm sure Assange would agree that Sweden is neutral.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Mar 10 2018 7:37 utc | 50

Good stuff Don Bacon. The U.S. wants North Korea to strip itself of the main reason the U.S. hasn't invaded, which NK can't agree to, so the U.S. can't 'win' officially. But the meeting/negotiations can help Mattis avoid war (the more reality-connected among the deep state know this is the 'wrong war') and Trump look good.

IF (big IF) the deep state fails to block them, the negotiations will be managed so they provide both a quick but largely meaningless NK concession (suspension of missile tests) and, overall, a hopefully indefinite delay to final resolution of the disagreement. The face-to-face meeting of Presidents and the meaningless concession will allow SK's detente offensive to move forward, and China to quietly, unofficially and gradually lift sanctions.

Hope so.

Posted by: fairleft | Mar 10 2018 7:43 utc | 51

I have skimmed more of the intertubes and believe more strongly that this North Korea pivot is a key part of Trumps' strategy to suppress the Stormy Daniels sex scandal that has the potential to fracture his evangelical support, if not continued support for his presidency.

America has become a salacious soap opera as cover for the decline of empire......11 countries (and not US) just (yesterday) signed a revised TPP trade agreement (see recent Open Thread comment)

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 10 2018 8:07 utc | 52

psychohistorian: No. Absolutely in the U.S. including the most naive evangelical knew and knows Trump is a 'cheats on his wife' guy. In 2006 he did so so with Stormy. Small stuff except for her breasts, which keep the story going.

Posted by: fairleft | Mar 10 2018 9:08 utc | 53

Should be 'Absolutely everybody' ...

Posted by: fairleft | Mar 10 2018 9:08 utc | 54

Why is this website censoring comments presenting a different viewpoint?

Posted by: Lester | Mar 10 2018 9:09 utc | 55

I suggest Trump meets Kim Jong Un's sister. Better for the tabloids. Where? Some nice Caribbean island, one of those "billionaire's playground" places. (The island of "moustique" springs to mind.)
I think that both sides have got something to gain by talking - even if there is no complete outcome.

Posted by: stonebird | Mar 10 2018 9:22 utc | 56

1- Trump is studborn. People who think that he is suggestible are wrong.
2 - Everyday, as Russiagate is seen more and more as an hoax, Trump gain more liberty to act.
3 - Republicans need him to be reelect in november.
4 - At this moment the only guys he can trust are Matthis, Dunford and Kelly. Because they are from the military, speak straight and loyal to the president. (See Dunford testimonies before senate and HoR, in exemple).
5 - Trump will do what he promised, take the boy back and US top general probably agree, because too much bases abroad and operations everywhere is just killing slow US army capabilities. He is president for 3 or 7 more years, time is on his side.
6 - Meeting must be in Russia, it's the only place where CIA will not be able to kill both

Posted by: aleksandar | Mar 10 2018 9:31 utc | 57

"The best venue for the meeting is?"


Think about it: Trump gets free publicity for the place, he gets to make money from having the place booked out, and he gets an opportunity to clinch a deal that will forever be called the Mar-a-Lago-Accords.

Three for the price of one.

Nothing could stroke his ego more and, therefore, this is the venue most likely to lead to him clinching that deal.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 10 2018 9:41 utc | 58

@Don Bacon 41: For Kim and co - and for Moon too for that matter - stalling steadily is a good option, Don. It's what Russia/China are doing steadily too; the calculation being that the longer they stall, the further down the tubes USAmerica slides towards its very own collapse-of-USSR moment - lying as that does somewhere in the pretty near future. Time is not on the side of the DC Swamp. And none of the Swamp-creatures seem to be facing up realistically to what's happening to their dilapidating empire. (The delusionals-in-charge in the Kremlin weren't ready for the 1989 debacle either, when it finally broke.)

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | Mar 10 2018 9:54 utc | 59

@40 "Trump has said he is willing to meet with KJU a number of times."

He does indeed appear to have the infuriating habit of doing what he has said he would do.

I don't often *agree* with the things that he says - and even less with the things that he does - but it isn't in any way surprising to me when the former leads to the latter.

But that concept appears to be a source of utter bewilderment to an awful lot of people, and I don't really understand why.

He said he was agreeable to meeting with the North Korean leader and now (apparently) that meeting is "on", and people are shocked and outraged.

Why, exactly? Weren't they listening?

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 10 2018 9:54 utc | 60

@28 "The US/UN is technically still at war with North Korea and China in Korea"

Nah, that's pre-UN Charter thinking.

The "state of war" is a legal concept that was necessary during the pre-ww2 legal framework of the Formal Declaration of War and its obligatory book-end the Peace Treaty.

But that all ended with the UN Charter where all that formalized nonsense was tossed out the window.

Now there is only "armed conflict", and it is entirely fact-based i.e. once someone starts shooting at somebody else (aka "armed attack") then there is "armed conflict" and it continues until both sides Stop Shooting At Me!

This is because the UN Charter clearly forbids CHOOSING war as a instrument of foreign policy.

And - let's face it - a Congressional Declaration of War is a declaratory statement by the USA that is it *choosing* war as its means of settling some argument.

(That's the real reason why Congress hasn't Declared War on anyone since 1942 i.e. not because Congress is lazy but because Declaring War is utterly inconsistent with the USA's obligation under Article 2 of the UN Charter)

So, long story short: North Korea went *BANG* on South Korea in June 1950 (= "armed conflict"), and the Armistice in 1954 is the Stop Shooting At Me! moment.

There has been no "technically at war" since then, no "state of war".

No "peace" either, but that's another story.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 10 2018 10:22 utc | 61

@41 "because the DPRK and US positions are basically irreconcilable. DPRK wants the US out of Korea, US wants DPRK to denuke (disarm)."

Why are they irreconcilable?

It does no harm to the USA to agree not to have any permanent bases nor to conduct any military dills on the Korean Peninsula, and absent those it does no harm to the DPRK to agree to sign back onto the Non-proliferation Pact.

Essentially that will be the status-quo-ante pre-1950, with one important difference: this time the North Koreans will have no illusions about what will happen if they invade South Korea.

At the bare minimum the USA will raze every single North Korean city and town, and kill over 20% of the entire civilian population as they do so.

You know, exactly what the USA did in 1950....

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 10 2018 10:37 utc | 62

@peter AU #29....while the generals may wonder about Russia's status vis-a-vis NK, they may spare themselves such concern as it relates to China, since that country has already made it amply clear that, in the case of a first strike by the US, it would side with North Korea.

Posted by: rePete | Mar 10 2018 11:31 utc | 63

Interesting. Somewhat early on, the Trump presidency was seen as a battle of forces loyal to Trump (Marines) vs the deep state (CIA). What's actually happening? Syria is clearing terrorists out of East Ghouta while US and Israel basically stay on the sidelines. Peace seems possible in Korea.

To achieve similar goals on the domestic front he will have to overcome the banking and insurance industries to cancel student debt and install single payer medical care.

Posted by: financial matters | Mar 10 2018 11:32 utc | 64

Robert Browning @ 12

The Koreans hate Japan's guts for all its cruel and repressive colonising rule over 50 years. They will definitely not choose Tokyo as the venue for such a peace talk with Trump.

For his personal security reason, Kim probably will only agree to meet either in DMZ, Beijing or Moscow. Since US is in a status of Russiaphobia hysteria, Trump will not be allowed to go to Moscow.

I tend to agree with ben @11 that this could be a distraction manoeuvre from Trump.

Posted by: mali | Mar 10 2018 12:00 utc | 65

If the Koreas, China, and Russia succeed in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, how long will Japan remain a US client-state?

Posted by: karlof1 | Mar 9, 2018 7:03:35 PM | 18

So long it does not possess nuclear weapons, Japan will cling on US as long as it can. Because it is afraid the rest of Asian countries would avenge the war crimes it had committed to them during WWII.

During WWII Japan was as just vicious as the Nazi German, if not worse. It plundered gold, silver and resources from China, Korea, Malaysia and the rest of Asian countries it set its feet on, looted the artifacts and antiques, forced Chinese/Korean/other Asian women to prostitution for Japanese army, deliberately infected Chinese/Koreans/POWs with plague, anthrax, cholera and other pathogens. Japan 731 Project

Thanks to US' proction, Japan got away with all its war crimes without much punishment. Its biochemical experts from the infamous 731 went to work got US Army. CIA Document Suggests US Lied About Biological, Chemical Weapon Use in the Korean War

To say Japan committed Asian Holocausts is no exaggeration.

Posted by: mali | Mar 10 2018 12:36 utc | 66

@64 "I tend to agree with ben @11 that this could be a distraction manoeuvre from Trump."

Why do people not see that however much Trump carries on like a clown he is - for a politician, anyway - a very uncomplicated individual.

He said he would introduce tariffs, and now he is introducing tariffs.
He said he would move the embassy to Tel Aviv, and that's where the embassy is headed.

Why is to so difficult to understand that when Trumps says he is going to do something it is because he means to see it done.

And if you look at Trump's campaign speeches he said that he was agreeable to such talks.

Kim has asked and so Trump has agreed, just like he said he would agree. There is no need to look any deeper than that.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 10 2018 12:36 utc | 67

Of course the basic moral question is: Why is it okay for the US to have a nuclear deterrent, with three delivery means, and not okay for DPRK which has been destroyed before by the US and has been threatened with invasion by a large conventional force for over fifty years during a war which has never ended?

Also, this is not a Trump maneuver, he got trapped into it by smart politics practiced by the Koreans, north and south. Let's give credit where credit is due.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 10 2018 13:29 utc | 68

Trump lies, virtually at all times...says complete bullsh#t just for attention...until he actually does something...its all smoke and we can speculate forever...

personally dont think the MIC/finance crowd will ever let this happen...doubt that they will attack either...tension is profitable, peace is not...SK and NK should just cut the US out, if they want a real peace...



Posted by: oldenyoung | Mar 10 2018 14:05 utc | 69

The talks have become conditional on actions regarding "the promises they've made," whatever they are.
news report:
The White House appeared Friday to put conditions on a much anticipated meeting between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying it would only happen once the rogue nation takes "concrete and verifiable action" to demonstrate its commitment to denuclearization.
"We've accepted the invitation to talk based on them following through on concrete actions on the promises they've made," Sanders said Friday.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 10 2018 14:19 utc | 70


Who's the "rogue nation"?

Posted by: Captain Cook | Mar 10 2018 14:26 utc | 71

Trump Towers.

Posted by: Col. B. Bunny | Mar 10 2018 14:32 utc | 72

Who cares where this meeting will take place with very likely nothing forth coming as the result. Just as Trump answers to the deep state on up the food chain so does Un, but to a different branch of the same operation. This meeting has been contrived by agencies unknown for propaganda reasons. Enjoy.

Posted by: BRF | Mar 10 2018 14:46 utc | 73


Posted by: gdpbull | Mar 10 2018 14:50 utc | 74

The best venue for the meeting is? Finland

Posted by: Antti | Mar 10 2018 14:56 utc | 75

@b Best place for the meeting would be in the half geodesic dome greenhouse in the backyard. Seriously. In about a month the possibilities become almost endless.

@stormydaniels. You doth protest too much. Listen sister if slick willy can stain a dress and use a cigar for penetration in the OVAL OFFICE you got bubkiss. You shoulda got more upfront.... wait:)

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 10 2018 15:04 utc | 76

@CC 70
The DPRK "rogue nation" and "hermit kingdom" and "outlaw nation" has formal diplomatic relations with 164 countries, according to the U.S.-based National Committee on North Korea.
The US (all those things) is similar in that regard.

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 10 2018 15:06 utc | 77

@74 tannenhouser

I agree. The Stormy-Daniels thing is a nothing-burger. There are four reasons why red-staters could care less:

1) Trump is a republican...slick-willy wasn't.
2) A lot of red-staters watch pornography so can attest to the Donald's class for personally selecting Daniels.
3) Donald, unlike Clinton, espouses job creation and the growth of the manufacturing sector
4) it happened a decade ago...not in the Oral Office.

Summa Summarum: this is nowhere near a big deal. If I was to venture a guess, I would say that, with the Korean situation, he is attacking neocons like Lindsey Graham and McCain, and was pushed into this possibility by the South Koreans. To appear diplomatic-like would be another surprising and colorful feather in his tenure's cap.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 10 2018 15:24 utc | 78

Kim went to school in Switzerland. Seems like a comfortable choice, too. The DMZ means nothing to both Trump and Kim, both being so far removed from the horrors of the Korean War.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 10 2018 15:28 utc | 79

First idea was Moscow. Then I changed my mind, to Switzerland, because Russia while safe and no doubt splendidly comfortable for both involves a third party re. the "optics" of the scene - best as neutral as poss.

Also, CH gives Kim a small advantage, which is only fair, as he is the more junior, less powerful, person. Kim went to school in CH, it is known territory for him. (see Nemesis, others)

I know someone who went to school with him slightly, thru another person (can’t swear this is true, because I never met Kim myself, etc. but I don’t doubt it was him, it was an ‘open secret’ type thing..), and from that report and my ahem perception it is certain that Kim + Don will get on not just OK but like a house-on-fire.

Kim is keen-eyed, watchful, shy at first, a bit uncertain socially, unassuming, deferential, yet banged up with the proper panache, once he has a plan, he moves forward with the determination needed. Schooling in CH teaches biz practices and individualism plus the common good, this is all hyper-familiar territory for high-ups in the biz world. Plus Kim is a yuuuge Sports fan and is nuts about US sports champions etc. (I heard.) A biggly success on the personal level, these two are a match made in heaven.

I doubt the meet will happen though. If it does, good news all round.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 10 2018 15:44 utc | 80

...after some Seattle DHS underling official accidentally broadcasts, "The North Korean missiles are inbound, shelter in place!"
Posted by: Chipnik | Mar 10, 2018 1:16:16 AM | 47

Nice one!
They've already conducted two non-drill drills (in SK & Hawaii).

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 10 2018 16:08 utc | 81

Caution: Pedant Alert. I think "worrywards" should be "worry warts". wor·ry·wart
nounNorth Americaninformal
noun: worrywart; plural noun: worrywarts; noun: worry-wart; plural noun: worry-warts

a person who tends to dwell unduly on difficulty or troubles.

It is astonishing how easily Trump is both "goaded" and 'goated'

What's the meaning of the phrase 'Get your goat'? Make you annoyed or angry.....
There's another lesser known meaning for 'goat' which includes the sense of 'goad'. Which is to get the person annoyed enough to make mistakes that will work in favor of the "goader" or the 'goater':
verb: goad;
provoke or annoy (someone) so as to stimulate some action or reaction.
"he goaded her on to more daring revelations"
synonyms: provoke, spur, prod, egg on, hound, badger, incite, rouse, stir, move, stimulate, motivate, prompt, induce, encourage, urge, inspire; More
impel, pressure, dragoon
"we were goaded into action"
2. drive or urge (an animal) on with a goad.

noun: goad; plural noun: goads

a spiked stick used for driving cattle.
synonyms: prod, spike, staff, crook, rod
"he applied his goad to the cows"


Posted by: StephenLaudig | Mar 10 2018 16:59 utc | 82


Posted by: kemerd | Mar 10 2018 17:36 utc | 83


Posted by: financial matters | Mar 10 2018 18:05 utc | 84

Sorry, Volgograd.

Posted by: financial matters | Mar 10 2018 18:08 utc | 85

The msm hates Trump.stormy daniels is another tempest in a teapot,the way Russians were.
The NK talks;so far,for good.SK is ok.

Posted by: dahoit | Mar 10 2018 18:21 utc | 86

Oh,did hear what cnn did;the anti-globists are anti-semetic.

Posted by: dahoit | Mar 10 2018 18:37 utc | 87

If either side is truly serious about peace...a really good pub in New Zealand would be perfect...:>)


Posted by: oldenyoung | Mar 10 2018 18:41 utc | 88

Posted by: StephenLaudig | Mar 10, 2018 11:59:10 AM | 80
(Pedant alert "worrywards" should be "worry warts")

Are you a humorless twat?
If someone was reading the text to you, you'd be blissfully unaware of any 'error'.

Ask yourself why you wasted so much space stating the bleeding obvious?

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Mar 10 2018 18:54 utc | 89

and so it begins all leaders default back to the hitler positions
what with killing inncent russians on a park bench in the uk in front of mi5
how crude this big bully is

Putin Blames "Ukrainians Or Jews" For Election Meddling: "Maybe The US Paid Them"

Posted by: tony solomon | Mar 10 2018 21:37 utc | 90

Putin is stuck in a weird place with respect to the Jews. Obviously the movement that overthrew the legitimate Russian government in 1917 was run almost entirely by Jews, and once they took over, these Jews mercilessly slaughtered hundreds of thousands of white Orthodox Christians for really no reason other than they hated Russian Christians. The Russian white genocide continued under Lenin until Lenin died, and Stalin wrested control of the Soviet Communist party from the Jew Trotsky. WW2 was a war fought on behalf of Jews and as such, Stalin was basically acting as a tool of the Communist Jews even though his motivation wasn't necessarily pro-Jew as it was to use Jewish communist animosity against the Hitler--who had singlehandedly written the playbook on how a nation can seize control of a country back from Jews-- as fuel to assert Soviet dominance over Eastern Europe.

After the Soviets defeated Germany, the Soviet Jews invented the holohoax myth to justify the (literal) rape and destruction of Germany and to thoroughly demoralize Germans in particular, and whites in general, worldwide. Stalin went along with this as it served his needs but as the postwar years wore on, he realized that he would have to purge the Jews entirely from the Soviet Communist Party as he recognized that Jewish interests simply did not coincide with Russian white interests, and that Jews were ruining Mother Russia. Of course, the Jews didn't sit still for this, and the Jewish Doctors Plot to assassinate Stalin was eventually successful, but by this time it was too late for the Russian Jews. Their influence was on the wane, and of course they saw this happening and had already begun to move the locus of Jewish communist power from the Soviet Union to the United States. From the United States, the Jews then undermined and attacked the Soviet Union until it collapsed, at which point, the Jewish oligarchs, who with outside Jewish financing and support, seized the Soviet economic assets for themselves during the collapse. Putin saw all this firsthand, and his rise to power was in direct opposition to the international Jews who had used the collapse to reassert control in Russia. Putin has spent the last twenty years gradually clawing all that power back for white christian Russians.

So Putin now is stuck with the legacy of the holohoax that was invented by Russian Jews, even though he obviously knows its a complete lie. But, as anyone who has ever played Jenga knows, pulling out a foundation block from the bottom of a tower of lies is a tricky business, which is why he has paid lip service to the holohoax for so long. And of course, there is an element of Realpolitik involved-- given the total Jewish dominance of the United States and Western Europe, he knows that going hard against the Jew just makes his life that much harder given that Jews control the defense apparatus of the western world.

That is why today's events are so monumental. This is an unbelievably earth-shaking event that just occurred.

Posted by: buck turgidson | Mar 10 2018 21:40 utc | 91

For those who believe that only NK was demolished in the Korean War:
I spent 13 months in Taejon-ni SK in 62-63. Ten years after the war. There was one paved highway in the south...from Seoul City to Pusan-ni. Everything else was dirt and mud.
There was no building in Seoul City over 5 stories high. The Japanese were busy spending the 1st half of the century cutting down every tree in the country and otherwise plundering the place. It was one of the most backward and militarized places on earth. It was considered a hardship tour for GIs.
What was I doing you ask? Why the maintenance and servicing of tactical nuclear weapons.
Have a bit of sympathy for the long suffering folks in NK. Not only do the poor things have to spend a substantial amount of time foraging for grass to eat, but they have to live under the threat of annihilation. It's enough to make anybody crazy.

Posted by: chuck roast | Mar 10 2018 21:53 utc | 92

I think that this (see NYT part below) is very typical of the US, it plays the role of the hegemon with great planning and zest, but when it comes to actually sitting down and negotiating something (about which in this case it has had 65 years to consider), it doesn't know what to do.... all of the US real world options have been military options, more or less. it simply doesn't know how to negotiate, it part because like any imperial power, it wants to command

the one advantage at times of Trump is that he's something of a 'maverick' and rather impulsive as well, But he did seize the opportunity, without discussing it endlessly with 'aides' and 'advisors', and for that I give him credit

"...People briefed by the administration said it had done little planning for how a negotiation with the North would unfold.

North Korea, by contrast, appears to have planned its diplomatic overture methodically, starting with Mr. Kim’s conciliatory message toward the South in his New Year’s Day address, and continuing through the North’s charm offensive during the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea..."

Posted by: michaelj72 | Mar 10 2018 22:43 utc | 93

Talks will be in DMZ most likely.

I guess they will be difficult given that NK requires Mutually Assured Denuclearisation. It will take the USA a while to demolish their stockpile to result in 5 missiles each. Then the USA will have to remove a few bases from SK and an anti missile system or two.

On the economics side the talks will become interesting if NK insists on war reparations for the 1950's blitzkreig that was unleashed on the entire nation of Korea and insists reparations are due for the South as well as the North.

The bottom line in this entire theatre is that Kim is not going to take the Qaddafi bow and have his country slaughtered again and the USA will not pay one cent in reparations let alone decommission its absurdly deadly arsenal.

That is what Kim will achieve, peace with his fellow Koreans in the South and exposure of the Yankees for the warmongers they are. Pence totally f@cked up his attendance at the olympic games and demonstrated his idiocy before the world and Trump has a difficult task ahead (understatement) to create any momentum.

My guess is that Trump could play the aikido tactic relying on the NK and SK best intentions and agree to long term talks and efforts at confidence building bla bla bla. Trump just has to keep the ball in the air for 2018 to be a winner on his terms.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 10 2018 22:43 utc | 94

Remember that for US imperialists peace means to achieve the same goal as war on cheap, the ultimate goal is always absolute domination.

More people needlesly died during so called peace than in all hot wars.

Boy Un wants to join oligarchic country club of global ruling elite and to sell his nation to neoliberal exploitation on his terms. Why not tyrannical desert thief MbS joined.

I hope it does not pan out.

Posted by: Kalen | Mar 10 2018 22:48 utc | 95

the fact that the communist won the elections and pinochet like leaders of south korea managed to get the backing of japan and usa in preventing the communist dominos....has been largely forgotten.

The gull of USA to call for elections and democracy is the attempt to pull amnesia over the US populace. which works there. look at them still talk about the ceasefire as if it was a win and all that nonsense of hands tied behind its back... yet you have cowards asking to drop nukes on korea. is it tied?.... communism was used as the excuse to invade over korea, as well as it's own assumption of superiority in its forces from ww2 vets....they thought hopping islands was tough, the reality was the u.s. armed forced never entered asia theater the way they like to revise history like they were on the mainland taking out the core of japanese empire... with what less than a squadron of tigers... =)

anyways this same argument was used in vietnam. the south vietnamese were heavily invested in vote rigging (99% turnout.....), drug peddling, and other sorts of corruption now apparent in the USA. if the north vietnamese had elections, guess who would have won as well guess who didn't wait for that to happen. boom the fighting in the gulf of tonkan.

this is not to paint n korea as some kind of saint... but when yemen/libya/syria etc. etc. are shedding blood.... i am sure north korea remembers the calls for elections and human rights and democracy.

regardless, korea will be unified without usa. the rhetoric of brothers seem to be that usa is a divisive force and instigation of peace in asia. this is what is not printed in the western media.

Posted by: joe | Mar 10 2018 23:18 utc | 96

The DMZ is the only place to hold such talks.   It is both symbolic and secure for Kim, as he's not safe anywhere outside North Korea.   If Pyongyang agrees to meet outside of the DMZ / North Korea, then it would be Kim's sister "leading" the meeting.   The cynic in me agrees with others here that believes it's all a distraction from the problems on the home front.   There's no way Washington will let go of their foothold on the Korean peninsula, without shedding some blood.

I believe Xi's purging of certain PLA Generals and supporting UN sanctions, is to force North Korea to the table and link South Korea to the OBOR (or BRI).   I vaguely remember the former RoK President Park promoting China's OBOR project, but it can't happen as North Korea is in the way (i.e. rail link).   Notice how she got ousted shortly afterwards?   Guess who leaked Park's email about that ferry accident to the public?   I believe the original plan was a simple joint venture between Pyongyang and Seoul.   Now Beijing and Seoul is trying another tactic (i.e. official peace treaty with Pyongyang) to get that rail link setup, which will end Washington's excuse for keeping USFK around.   IMO, the beating of the war drums is coming from both Tokyo and Washington, desperately trying to keep South Korea from falling into the Sino-Russian camp.

I would like to believe there is sincere gestures towards peace, but nothing significant will happen until after the following:

  • Japan's rearmament is (nearly) complete.   Similar to the US, Abe needs to keep the threat alive to justify their record $279 Billion Yen for the 2018 military budget.   IIRC, they're building (and or refitting) their LHD's, *cough* carriers *cough*, for their F-35s.   There's no way the US will withdraw from Japan until they are confident that Japan have the means to carry out their policies.

  • China military modernization is nearly complete.   Beijing needs a distraction.

  • RoK President Moon gets more political support from the coming 2018 elections for the OBOR project, and peace treaty with North Korea.

+mali, you got trolled.   LOL   Serious question for you, how much do you think Shinzo Abe and his backers are driving the "bomb North Korea" narrative?

Posted by: Ian | Mar 10 2018 23:29 utc | 97

chuck roast @92

Hi chuck roast, Thanks and sharing your experienced after Korean war. What prompt me to write you said: "The Japanese were busy spending the 1st half of the century cutting down every tree in the country and otherwise plundering the place."

The Jap did many awful things before and during the wars besides mass killing and comfort women in Korea, China and countries they occupied. What make me mad Japan are rearming to confronts China...

Posted by: OJS | Mar 10 2018 23:49 utc | 98

Anadyr, an Asian city that is closest to America. Mild climate, every month there are days above freezing. No need for air conditioning in summer. Vibrant local culture (Koryaks and Eskimo). Ocean views. Terrorists woul have hard time getting there.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 10 2018 23:53 utc | 99

Taipei, Hanoi, or Disneyland

Posted by: sleepy | Mar 11 2018 1:49 utc | 100

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