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Donald Trump isn’t going to start a war with North Korea. That’s just not going to happen.

Not only does the United States not have the ground forces for such a massive operation but, more important, a war with the North would serve no strategic purpose at all. The US already has the arrangement it wants on the Peninsula. The South remains under US military occupation, the economic and banking systems have been successfully integrated into the US-dominated western system, and the strategically-located landmass in northeast Asia provides an essential platform for critical weapons systems that will be used to encircle and control fast-emerging rivals, China and Russia.

So what would a war accomplish?

Nothing. As far as Washington is concerned, the status quo is just dandy.

And, yes, I realize that many people think Trump is calling the shots and that he is an impulsive amateur who might do something erratic that would trigger a nuclear conflagration with the North. That could happen, but I think the possibility is extremely remote. As you might have noticed, Trump has effectively handed over foreign policy to his generals, and those generals are closely aligned to powerful members of the foreign policy establishment who are using Trump’s reputation as a loose cannon to great effect. For example, by ratchetting up the rhetoric, (“fire and fury”, “locked and loaded”, etc) Trump has managed to stifle some of the public opposition to the deployment of the THAAD missile system which features “powerful AN/TPY-2 radar, that can be used to spy on Chinese territory, and the interceptors are designed to protect US bases and troops in the event of nuclear war with China or Russia.”

THAAD is clearly not aimed at North Korea which is small potatoes as far as Washington is concerned. It’s an essential part of the military buildup the US is stealthily carrying out to implement its “pivot to Asia” strategy.

Trump’s belligerence has also prompted a response from the North which has accelerated it ballistic missile and nuclear weapons testing. The North’s reaction has stirred up traditional antagonisms which has helped to undermine the conciliatory efforts of liberal President Moon Jae-in. At the same time, the North’s behavior has strengthened far-right groups that –among other things– want to deploy tactical nuclear weapons in the South. By playing to the right wing and exacerbating hostilities between North and South, Trump has helped to fend off efforts to reunify the country while creating a justification for continued US military occupation. In other words.

The crisis has clearly tightened Washington’s grip on the peninsula while advancing the interests of America’s elite powerbrokers. I seriously doubt that Trump conjured up this plan by himself. This is the work of his deep state handlers who have figured out how to use his mercurial personality to their advantage.

A Word About North Korea’s Nukes

Leaders in North Korea don’t want to blow their money on nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles when their people are on the brink of starvation. But what choice do they have? The primary responsibility of every government is to provide security for their people. That’s hard to do when the nation is still technically at war with a country that has toppled or tried to topple 50 sovereign governments in the last 70 years. The Korean War did not end with a treaty, it ended with an armistice which means the war is ongoing and could flare up at any time. And Washington won’t sign a treaty with the North because it despises their form of government, and is just waiting for the opportunity to force them from power. Trump is no different from most of his predecessors in this regard. He hates the leadership in Pyongyang and makes no bones about it.

Bottom line: The US refuses to provide the North with any written guarantees that it won’t resume hostilities, kill its people and blow their cities to smithereens. So, naturally, the North has taken steps to defend itself. And, yes, Kim Jong-in fully realizes that if he ever used his nukes in an act of aggression, the United States would –as Colin Powell breezily opined– “turn the North into a charcoal briquette.” But Kim is not going to use his nukes because he has no territorial ambitions nor does he have any driving desire to be subsumed into a fiery ball of ash. His nukes are merely bargaining chits for future negotiations with Washington. The only problem is that Trump doesn’t want to bargain because US geopolitical interests are better served by transforming a few pathetic missile tests into an Armageddon-type drama. No one knows how to exploit a crisis better than Washington.

Does Trump know anything about the history of the current crisis? Does he know that North Korea agreed to end its nuclear weapons program in 1994 if the US met its modest demands? Does he know that the US agreed to those terms but then failed to hold up its end of the bargain? Does he know that the North honored its commitments under the agreement but eventually got tired of being double-crossed by the US so they resumed their plutonium enrichment program? Does he know that that’s why the North has nuclear weapons today, because the United States broke its word and scotched the agreement?

That’s not conjecture. That’s history.

Here’s a clip from an article in the Independent that provides a brief outline of the so called Framework Agreement:

“Under the terms of the 1994 framework, North Korea agreed to freeze and ultimately dismantle its nuclear programme in exchange for “the full normalisation of political and economic relations with the United States”. This meant four things:

By 2003, a US-led consortium would build two light-water nuclear reactors in North Korea to compensate for the loss of nuclear power.

Until then, the US would supply the north with 500,000 tons per year of heavy fuel.

The US would lift sanctions, remove North Korea from its list of state sponsors of terrorism, and – perhaps most importantly – normalise the political relationship, which is still subject to the terms of the 1953 Korean War armistice.

Finally, both sides would provide “formal assurances” against the threat or use of nuclear weapons.” (“Why America’s 1994 deal with North Korea failed – and what Trump can learn from it”, The Independent)

ORDER IT NOW

It was a totally straightforward agreement that met the requirements of both parties. The North got a few economic perks along with the security assurances they desperately wanted and, in return, the US got to monitor any and all nuclear sites, thus, preventing the development of weapons of mass destruction. Everyone got exactly what they wanted, right? There was only one glitch: The US started foot-dragging from Day 1. The lightwater reactors never got beyond the foundation stage and the heavy fuel deliveries got more and more infrequent. In contrast, the North Koreans stuck religiously to the letter of the agreement. They did everything that was expected of them and more. In fact, according to the same article, four years after the agreement went into effect:

“both the US and the international atomic energy agency were satisfied that there had been ‘no fundamental violation of any aspect of the framework agreement’ by North Korea. But on its own pledges, Washington failed to follow through.” (Independent)

There you have it: The North kept its word, but the US didn’t. It’s that simple.

This is an important point given the fact that the media typically mischaracterizes what actually took place and who should be held responsible. The onus does not fall on Pyongyang, it falls on Washington. Here’s more from the same article:

“On its own pledges, Washington failed to follow through. The light-water reactors were never built. …Heavy fuel shipments were often delayed….North Korea was not removed from the state department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism until 2008, though it had long met the criteria for removal….Most importantly, no action was taken to formally end the Korean War – which was never technically ended – by replacing the 1953 ceasefire with a peace treaty. The “formal assurances” that the US would not attack North Korea were not provided until six years after the framework was signed.” (Independent)

When Bush was elected in 2000, things got much worse. The North was included in Bush’s the Axis of Evil speech, it was also listed as a “rogue regime against which the US should be prepared to use force”, and the Pentagon stepped up its joint-military drills in the South which just added more gas to the fire. Eventually, Bush abandoned the agreement altogether and the North went back to building nukes.

Then came Obama who wasn’t much better than Bush, except for the public relations, of course. As Tim Shorrock points out in his excellent article at The Nation, Obama sabotaged the Six-Party Talks, suspended energy assistance to pressure the North to accept harsher “verification plans”, “abandoned the idea of direct talks” with Pyongyang, and “embarked on a series of military exercises with South Korea that increased in size and tempo over the course of his administration and are now at the heart of the tension with Kim Jong-un.”

So although Obama was able to conceal his cruelty and aggression behind the image of “peacemaker”, relations with the North continued to deteriorate and the situation got progressively worse.

Check out these brief excerpts from Shorrock’s article which help to provide a thumbnail sketch of what really happened and who is responsible:

“The Agreed Framework led North Korea to halt its plutonium-based nuclear-weapons program for over a decade, forgoing enough enrichment to make over 100 nuclear bombs. “What people don’t know is that North Korea made no fissile material whatsoever from 1991 to 2003.”

“…the framework remained in effect well into the Bush administration. In 1998, the State Department’s Rust Deming testified to Congress that “there is no fundamental violation of any aspect of the framework agreement.”

“…Pyongyang was prepared to shut down its development, testing, and deployment of all medium- and long-range missiles.”

“By 1997…the North Koreans were complaining bitterly that the United States was slow to deliver its promised oil and stalling on its pledge to end its hostile policies…”

“It was against this backdrop—Pyongyang’s growing conviction the US was not living up to its commitments—that the North in 1998 began to explore” other military options.”

“Bush tore up the framework agreement, exacerbating the deterioration in relations he had sparked a year earlier when he named North Korea part of his “axis of evil” in January 2002. In response, the North kicked out the IAEA inspectors and began building what would become its first bomb, in 2006, triggering a second nuclear crisis that continues to this day.” (“Diplomacy With North Korea Has Worked Before, and Can Work Again”, Tim Shorrock, The Nation)

Now the North has hydrogen bombs and Washington is still playing its stupid games. This whole fake crisis is a big smokescreen designed to conceal Washington’s imperial machinations. Trump is using Kim’s missile tests as a pretext to extend the Pentagon’s military tentacles deeper into Asia so the US can assume a dominant role in the world’s fastest growing region. It’s the same game Washington has been playing for the last hundred years. Unfortunately, they’re pretty good at it.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

(Republished from Counterpunch by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. Sean says:

    Countries of a billion hard working people are not so easily encircled. Britain could not maintain its supremacy with a strategically positioned basing system and the US will not be able to either.

    The danger to American supremacy is from China’s economic growth. Given the trajectory of Japan (only a tenth the size) China’s economies of scale will make it capable of supplanting the US in about a generation.. The US should try and slow China’s economic growth down by restricting Chinese access to the US market and technology. Trump was talking about doing that. North Korea suddenly makes giant strides in both H bomb and ICBMs.

    Lo and behold, China is needed by the US generals and diplomatic clowns to solve the North Korean “problem”, while amid the high level strategy the very much greater problem of China gets forgot.The Chinese penetration of the US will proceed apace and the end result will be a Sacculinised US, Chinamerica.

    Read More
    • Replies: @dearieme
    "Britain could not maintain its supremacy with a strategically positioned basing system": its what? I don't think a few harbours for the squadrons of the Royal Navy is comparable to what the US is currently attempting. A naval empire is a plain different thing from a military/naval empire.
    , @KA
    What is not possible can be made likely May be that's why the different and advanced military gadgets
    That's what explains the 1 trillion dollar defense budget .
    ( is it really trillion ?)
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc.
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  2. dearieme says:
    @Sean
    Countries of a billion hard working people are not so easily encircled. Britain could not maintain its supremacy with a strategically positioned basing system and the US will not be able to either.

    The danger to American supremacy is from China's economic growth. Given the trajectory of Japan (only a tenth the size) China's economies of scale will make it capable of supplanting the US in about a generation.. The US should try and slow China's economic growth down by restricting Chinese access to the US market and technology. Trump was talking about doing that. North Korea suddenly makes giant strides in both H bomb and ICBMs.

    Lo and behold, China is needed by the US generals and diplomatic clowns to solve the North Korean "problem", while amid the high level strategy the very much greater problem of China gets forgot.The Chinese penetration of the US will proceed apace and the end result will be a Sacculinised US, Chinamerica.

    “Britain could not maintain its supremacy with a strategically positioned basing system”: its what? I don’t think a few harbours for the squadrons of the Royal Navy is comparable to what the US is currently attempting. A naval empire is a plain different thing from a military/naval empire.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean

    http://www.gaborsteingart.com/opeds/we-need-a-nato-for-the-western-economy/

    We should finally wake up and see that, in the world war for prosperity, a rival has emerged that uses the full array of state protection. China’s economy is irrigated by a banking system that functions on principles other than those of profitability. Tariffs seal off entire industries like a high wall. Foreign companies‘ intellectual property is expropriated blithely and without compensation. China’s monetary policy works like a huge export subsidy because it keeps the prices of goods to be sold abroad artificially low. More than any other country, China knows how to talk about market economics while operating as a directed economy.

    It was disputed for 50 years but today every school kid knows: without NATO there would be no free Europe today. Had the Atlantic Alliance not resolutely demonstrated, updated, and sometimes augmented its fighter-bombers and armored divisions, Soviet Communism would have expanded westward instead of imploding. At the end of the Cold War, even the last of the skeptics had acknowledged the lesson of history that the dove had survived because, up on the battlements, the eagle stood guard.

    The world war for prosperity requires a different, but no less paradoxical response. The vexing part, which cripples the West’s determination, is the soundlessness of the opponent’s approach. Asians are the friendliest aggressors in all history. Free unions are not banned, but neither are they permitted. The environment is extolled as a treasure worth saving while it is cannibalized like a junk car. Child labor is condemned and tolerated. To protect Western inventions, there are extensive laws that, unfortunately, are not enforced. Everything we consider important – the social framework of daily work, for example – the Asian elite just politely smiles at.

     

    The US is the one being subjected to (economic) encirclement. The US is the one being contained. Trump's planned planned trade barriers wont be happening now. Eamonn Fingleton pointed out that the the Eastern countries have repeatedly used North Korea to nullify US economic self defence are mercantilism. The difference with China (apart from it becoming increasingly obvious of that they are actually assisting the North Koreans to pose a threat to the American mainland) is that China possess unbeatable economies of scale. Just as Britain's pure science world lead plus military global projection of military and naval was less than effective in preventing it being overtaken by German technic and industirial might , the US will be overtaken by China unless it takes action to choke off Chinese growth. But unfortunately there are a lot of corporations who want to make money in China and are willing to see America borged.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  3. North Korea was keeping pretty good pace (I’m not saying they were an economic powerhouse, but the country did develop significantly in the years following the war) with the western world right up to the fall of the Soviet Union, but having lost one of its major benefactors, it had little choice but to focus on building up national defence at all costs to ensure its independence in what was starting to look like a unipolar world dominated by the country that has operated sgainst it since, and even before, its inception. If the people are starving, it’s not the military buildup per se, though that isn’t helping, rather it is the increasing lock-out from the world’s markets.

    Like Cuba, the policies being promoted to “liberate” the people from a government we find distasteful are instead starving those very people. At what point does it become criminal?

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  4. KA says:
    @Sean
    Countries of a billion hard working people are not so easily encircled. Britain could not maintain its supremacy with a strategically positioned basing system and the US will not be able to either.

    The danger to American supremacy is from China's economic growth. Given the trajectory of Japan (only a tenth the size) China's economies of scale will make it capable of supplanting the US in about a generation.. The US should try and slow China's economic growth down by restricting Chinese access to the US market and technology. Trump was talking about doing that. North Korea suddenly makes giant strides in both H bomb and ICBMs.

    Lo and behold, China is needed by the US generals and diplomatic clowns to solve the North Korean "problem", while amid the high level strategy the very much greater problem of China gets forgot.The Chinese penetration of the US will proceed apace and the end result will be a Sacculinised US, Chinamerica.

    What is not possible can be made likely May be that’s why the different and advanced military gadgets
    That’s what explains the 1 trillion dollar defense budget .
    ( is it really trillion ?)

    Read More
    • Replies: @Sean
    Missiles cannot get China's hand out of America's pants.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  5. Sean says:
    @dearieme
    "Britain could not maintain its supremacy with a strategically positioned basing system": its what? I don't think a few harbours for the squadrons of the Royal Navy is comparable to what the US is currently attempting. A naval empire is a plain different thing from a military/naval empire.

    http://www.gaborsteingart.com/opeds/we-need-a-nato-for-the-western-economy/

    We should finally wake up and see that, in the world war for prosperity, a rival has emerged that uses the full array of state protection. China’s economy is irrigated by a banking system that functions on principles other than those of profitability. Tariffs seal off entire industries like a high wall. Foreign companies‘ intellectual property is expropriated blithely and without compensation. China’s monetary policy works like a huge export subsidy because it keeps the prices of goods to be sold abroad artificially low. More than any other country, China knows how to talk about market economics while operating as a directed economy.

    It was disputed for 50 years but today every school kid knows: without NATO there would be no free Europe today. Had the Atlantic Alliance not resolutely demonstrated, updated, and sometimes augmented its fighter-bombers and armored divisions, Soviet Communism would have expanded westward instead of imploding. At the end of the Cold War, even the last of the skeptics had acknowledged the lesson of history that the dove had survived because, up on the battlements, the eagle stood guard.

    The world war for prosperity requires a different, but no less paradoxical response. The vexing part, which cripples the West’s determination, is the soundlessness of the opponent’s approach. Asians are the friendliest aggressors in all history. Free unions are not banned, but neither are they permitted. The environment is extolled as a treasure worth saving while it is cannibalized like a junk car. Child labor is condemned and tolerated. To protect Western inventions, there are extensive laws that, unfortunately, are not enforced. Everything we consider important – the social framework of daily work, for example – the Asian elite just politely smiles at.

    The US is the one being subjected to (economic) encirclement. The US is the one being contained. Trump’s planned planned trade barriers wont be happening now. Eamonn Fingleton pointed out that the the Eastern countries have repeatedly used North Korea to nullify US economic self defence are mercantilism. The difference with China (apart from it becoming increasingly obvious of that they are actually assisting the North Koreans to pose a threat to the American mainland) is that China possess unbeatable economies of scale. Just as Britain’s pure science world lead plus military global projection of military and naval was less than effective in preventing it being overtaken by German technic and industirial might , the US will be overtaken by China unless it takes action to choke off Chinese growth. But unfortunately there are a lot of corporations who want to make money in China and are willing to see America borged.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Grandpa Charlie

    "[A] rival has emerged that uses the full array of state protection. China’s economy is irrigated by a banking system [of three main state-owned banks controlled by the People's Bank of China that issues RMB just as the Fed issues $USD] that functions on principles [of monetarism that are very similar to those advocated by Modern Monetary Theory as studied and taught at UMKC and not at all like economics as taught at nearly all departments of economics in the USA nor in any way resembling or following the bogus self-proclaimed "libertarian" dogmas of the Mises Inst. of Alabama that has totally brainwashed Ron Paul, among others] ... Tariffs [and other trade barriers] seal off entire industries like a high wall. Foreign companies‘ intellectual property is expropriated blithely and without compensation. China’s monetary policy works like a huge export subsidy [supposedly outlawed by the neo-mercantilist WTO global trade system] because it keeps the prices of goods to be sold abroad artificially low. More than any other country, China knows how to talk about market economics while operating as a directed [centrally planned] economy." -- http://www.gaborsteingart.com/opeds/we-need-a-nato-for-the-western-economy/ by way of comment by Sean
     
    What's amazing is how many self-styled "libertarians" here in the USA actually have been taken in by the show put on by the Peoples' Bank of China that RMB is about to go over to a gold standard, as though we will soon be able to take our paper RMB to the gold window at the San Francisco branch of the Bank of China and exchange it for gold according to weight. Some rich America-hating Americans actually believe the Mises Institute dogma that since China has become a "capitalist" country, it has of course, automatically, become a bastion of personal liberty and political freedom!

    But, Sean, your quote from GaborSteingart is beautifully accurate about China ... although I'm not so sure about the idea that, were it not for NATO, Western Europe would have been overrun by Stalin's Soviet Union in the late 1940s into the 1950s. I got my skepticism from A Foreign Policy for Americans by Senator Robert A. Taft -- candidate opposing Eisenhower (supported by New York banking interests) for the 1952 GOP presidential nomination, known before his death in 1953 as "Mr. Republican" -- who resolutely opposed the formation of NATO in the late 1940s (NATO was formed in 1949) and who saw through the whole conspiracy to ship the gold from Fort Knox to European central banks. Yes, the Marshall Plan may have saved Europe from Communism ... but NATO? I don't think so, even if that has been the conventional wisdom for decades ... and what better proof that NATO had a different purpose all along than the fact that it did not dissolve after Germany was reunited and the Soviet Bloc (Warsaw Pact) collapsed and has been used to somehow justify the Yugoslav War and the continuing $Trillion intervention in Afghanistan?

    But I really do admire the paragraph that lays out how the People's Republic of China actually works today! Thank you for that!

    BTW: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/12/us-hails-china-trade-deal-as-sign-relations-are-hitting-a-new-high
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  6. Sean says:
    @KA
    What is not possible can be made likely May be that's why the different and advanced military gadgets
    That's what explains the 1 trillion dollar defense budget .
    ( is it really trillion ?)

    Missiles cannot get China’s hand out of America’s pants.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  7. Anon says: • Disclaimer

    It’s simple, really. The US never attacks anyone who actually has WMDs. The US can use WMD hoax as a pretext, like in Iraq or Syria, but the very fact that the US invaded Iraq and launched Tomahawks into Syria clearly shows that the US intelligence was 100% sure that those countries did not have any WMDs at the time of attack. North Korean Kim understands that: he acquired nuclear capabilities to avoid the fate of Saddam and Gaddafi, who were naïve enough not to have WMDs.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Grandpa Charlie

    "North Korean Kim ... acquired nuclear capabilities to avoid the fate of Saddam and Gaddafi, who were naïve enough not to have WMDs." -- anon
     
    There you go again, repeating Whitney's big lie, that Kim Jong-un needs nukes to defend against an American invasion. There is no parallel with Saddam or Gaddafi. Neither Iraq nor Libya had China, the big brother next door to protect them, but Kim Jong-un has exactly that. Just as South Korea never needed nukes to protect itself, because USA has that covered for them, so did North Korea never need nukes to protect itself, because China has that covered. All that is accomplished by North Korea developing nukes is to increase tensions in the world and cut off any possibility of reunification of Korea.

    The truth is obvious: South Korea has tried repeatedly to get a peace treaty to reunite Korea and the Korean people, something like how Germany was reunited after the fall of the Berlin Wall. But the Kim dynasty dictatorship of the North will not agree, because without the border, if people could come and go as they pleased, there would soon be no DPRK, which serves no useful purpose for the Korean people or for the world.
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter This Thread Hide Thread Display All Comments
  8. The article provides a lot of important accurate information regarding this issue. In addition, as I remember, Kim Dae Jung, the Korean president of around 2000, a member of the same party as the present recently elected South Korean president, had almost negotiated a solution to the whole problem when the Bush regime was installed after the 2000 election controversy. His new secretary of state, Colin Powell, basically nixed the agreement. The problem was that, without the Korean problem, there is no rationale for the yankees to have occupation forces in Northeast Asia.

    This is the same reason the crisis has to be kept at a slow boil. I find Mr. Whitney’s reasoning to generally be correct, as it is in this instance again. I also doubt that the yankee imperium would go all out because the damage to its vassal states would be massive, and the risk of nuclear war would be major. In addition, even if North Korea doesn’t have missiles which could reach the US, it has nukes which somehow might find their way here once they had been destroyed. Also, the destabilisation caused by such a war would have unintended consequences which might cause economic collapse even if they did not result in armageddon.

    Read More
    ReplyAgree/Disagree/Etc. More... This Commenter Display All Comments
  9. @Sean

    http://www.gaborsteingart.com/opeds/we-need-a-nato-for-the-western-economy/

    We should finally wake up and see that, in the world war for prosperity, a rival has emerged that uses the full array of state protection. China’s economy is irrigated by a banking system that functions on principles other than those of profitability. Tariffs seal off entire industries like a high wall. Foreign companies‘ intellectual property is expropriated blithely and without compensation. China’s monetary policy works like a huge export subsidy because it keeps the prices of goods to be sold abroad artificially low. More than any other country, China knows how to talk about market economics while operating as a directed economy.

    It was disputed for 50 years but today every school kid knows: without NATO there would be no free Europe today. Had the Atlantic Alliance not resolutely demonstrated, updated, and sometimes augmented its fighter-bombers and armored divisions, Soviet Communism would have expanded westward instead of imploding. At the end of the Cold War, even the last of the skeptics had acknowledged the lesson of history that the dove had survived because, up on the battlements, the eagle stood guard.

    The world war for prosperity requires a different, but no less paradoxical response. The vexing part, which cripples the West’s determination, is the soundlessness of the opponent’s approach. Asians are the friendliest aggressors in all history. Free unions are not banned, but neither are they permitted. The environment is extolled as a treasure worth saving while it is cannibalized like a junk car. Child labor is condemned and tolerated. To protect Western inventions, there are extensive laws that, unfortunately, are not enforced. Everything we consider important – the social framework of daily work, for example – the Asian elite just politely smiles at.

     

    The US is the one being subjected to (economic) encirclement. The US is the one being contained. Trump's planned planned trade barriers wont be happening now. Eamonn Fingleton pointed out that the the Eastern countries have repeatedly used North Korea to nullify US economic self defence are mercantilism. The difference with China (apart from it becoming increasingly obvious of that they are actually assisting the North Koreans to pose a threat to the American mainland) is that China possess unbeatable economies of scale. Just as Britain's pure science world lead plus military global projection of military and naval was less than effective in preventing it being overtaken by German technic and industirial might , the US will be overtaken by China unless it takes action to choke off Chinese growth. But unfortunately there are a lot of corporations who want to make money in China and are willing to see America borged.

    “[A] rival has emerged that uses the full array of state protection. China’s economy is irrigated by a banking system [of three main state-owned banks controlled by the People's Bank of China that issues RMB just as the Fed issues $USD] that functions on principles [of monetarism that are very similar to those advocated by Modern Monetary Theory as studied and taught at UMKC and not at all like economics as taught at nearly all departments of economics in the USA nor in any way resembling or following the bogus self-proclaimed "libertarian" dogmas of the Mises Inst. of Alabama that has totally brainwashed Ron Paul, among others] … Tariffs [and other trade barriers] seal off entire industries like a high wall. Foreign companies‘ intellectual property is expropriated blithely and without compensation. China’s monetary policy works like a huge export subsidy [supposedly outlawed by the neo-mercantilist WTO global trade system] because it keeps the prices of goods to be sold abroad artificially low. More than any other country, China knows how to talk about market economics while operating as a directed [centrally planned] economy.” — http://www.gaborsteingart.com/opeds/we-need-a-nato-for-the-western-economy/ by way of comment by Sean

    What’s amazing is how many self-styled “libertarians” here in the USA actually have been taken in by the show put on by the Peoples’ Bank of China that RMB is about to go over to a gold standard, as though we will soon be able to take our paper RMB to the gold window at the San Francisco branch of the Bank of China and exchange it for gold according to weight. Some rich America-hating Americans actually believe the Mises Institute dogma that since China has become a “capitalist” country, it has of course, automatically, become a bastion of personal liberty and political freedom!

    But, Sean, your quote from GaborSteingart is beautifully accurate about China … although I’m not so sure about the idea that, were it not for NATO, Western Europe would have been overrun by Stalin’s Soviet Union in the late 1940s into the 1950s. I got my skepticism from A Foreign Policy for Americans by Senator Robert A. Taft — candidate opposing Eisenhower (supported by New York banking interests) for the 1952 GOP presidential nomination, known before his death in 1953 as “Mr. Republican” — who resolutely opposed the formation of NATO in the late 1940s (NATO was formed in 1949) and who saw through the whole conspiracy to ship the gold from Fort Knox to European central banks. Yes, the Marshall Plan may have saved Europe from Communism … but NATO? I don’t think so, even if that has been the conventional wisdom for decades … and what better proof that NATO had a different purpose all along than the fact that it did not dissolve after Germany was reunited and the Soviet Bloc (Warsaw Pact) collapsed and has been used to somehow justify the Yugoslav War and the continuing $Trillion intervention in Afghanistan?

    But I really do admire the paragraph that lays out how the People’s Republic of China actually works today! Thank you for that!

    BTW: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/12/us-hails-china-trade-deal-as-sign-relations-are-hitting-a-new-high

    Read More
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  10. “The problem [is] that, without the Korean problem, there is no rationale for the yankees [sic] to have occupation forces in Northeast Asia.” — comment by “exiled off mainstreet”

    Yeah, “yankees” … that’s a dead give away as to the source of this boilerplate propaganda! We really don’t need you and Whitney to copy what you get from Kim Jong-un’s Korean Central News Agency (official organ of the Kim family dictatorship) and spit it back up here at UR …. all you need to do is give us a link to Kim Jong-un’s KCNA.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah … you guys and your hero Whitney … it’s real easy … “USA is bad, very bad … Kim Jong-un very good” … but you know we’ve heard it all before.

    BTW: the rationale for the UN forces (USA”s forces) … (and it’s pure propaganda at this point to call them “occupation forces”) … the rationale is a little old thing called UNSC Resolution 82, plus the reality that the US Army and South Korea were both attacked by North Korea in 1950, and. DPRK has renounced the cease-fire (North Korea has announced that it will no longer abide by the armistice at least 6 times, in the years 1994, 1996, 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2013) so that USA has no option but to accept that we are still at war with North Korea.

    Read More
    • Replies: @RadicalCenter
    We have a choice.

    Withdraw our troops from South Korea. Bring them back home to guard our border, where they belong.

    Declare victory and an end to the Korean War.

    Actually honor the nuke power agreement that the us gov made with North Korea years ago.

    Stop threatening North Korea publicly. Tell Kim, only privately, that if he attacks the USA or our people anywhere, we will kill him and everyone around him.

    Done.
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  11. @Anon
    It’s simple, really. The US never attacks anyone who actually has WMDs. The US can use WMD hoax as a pretext, like in Iraq or Syria, but the very fact that the US invaded Iraq and launched Tomahawks into Syria clearly shows that the US intelligence was 100% sure that those countries did not have any WMDs at the time of attack. North Korean Kim understands that: he acquired nuclear capabilities to avoid the fate of Saddam and Gaddafi, who were naïve enough not to have WMDs.

    “North Korean Kim … acquired nuclear capabilities to avoid the fate of Saddam and Gaddafi, who were naïve enough not to have WMDs.” — anon

    There you go again, repeating Whitney’s big lie, that Kim Jong-un needs nukes to defend against an American invasion. There is no parallel with Saddam or Gaddafi. Neither Iraq nor Libya had China, the big brother next door to protect them, but Kim Jong-un has exactly that. Just as South Korea never needed nukes to protect itself, because USA has that covered for them, so did North Korea never need nukes to protect itself, because China has that covered. All that is accomplished by North Korea developing nukes is to increase tensions in the world and cut off any possibility of reunification of Korea.

    The truth is obvious: South Korea has tried repeatedly to get a peace treaty to reunite Korea and the Korean people, something like how Germany was reunited after the fall of the Berlin Wall. But the Kim dynasty dictatorship of the North will not agree, because without the border, if people could come and go as they pleased, there would soon be no DPRK, which serves no useful purpose for the Korean people or for the world.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    Neither Iraq nor Libya had China, the big brother next door to protect them
     
    Maybe, just maybe, he doesn't want to be a protectorate of China? Being a loosely aligned vassal is enough for him?
    , @Anon
    Your argument would have sounded plausible, but for the hard facts. The US is the only country that in the last ~25 years committed aggression against other countries (blatantly trampling international law ever since its totally illegal interference in former Yugoslavia), engaged in “regime changes” under laughable pretexts (the vial with “Saddam WMDs” shown at the UN being an example), etc. Yes, obedient vassals of the US empire (like South Korea) do not need protection against the US, as long as they remain obedient vassals. When anybody rebels, the US is ready to “bring democracy” by carpet-bombing the country to utter destruction (Libya, anyone?). Neither China, nor any other country did anything like that, so nobody needs protection from other players. Yet any country that has the audacity to have its own policy different from what the US elites consider the defense of the US interests needs to protect itself. The simplest insurance policy is WMDs. Thus, the US actions in the last decades de facto promote the acquisition of WMDs by anyone unhappy with the US domination. That’s what the youngest Kim did, and what Iran and many others will undoubtedly do. The worst thing is, the US actions undermine Pax Americana more than any US enemy possibly can. Talk of unintended consequences.
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  12. @Grandpa Charlie

    "North Korean Kim ... acquired nuclear capabilities to avoid the fate of Saddam and Gaddafi, who were naïve enough not to have WMDs." -- anon
     
    There you go again, repeating Whitney's big lie, that Kim Jong-un needs nukes to defend against an American invasion. There is no parallel with Saddam or Gaddafi. Neither Iraq nor Libya had China, the big brother next door to protect them, but Kim Jong-un has exactly that. Just as South Korea never needed nukes to protect itself, because USA has that covered for them, so did North Korea never need nukes to protect itself, because China has that covered. All that is accomplished by North Korea developing nukes is to increase tensions in the world and cut off any possibility of reunification of Korea.

    The truth is obvious: South Korea has tried repeatedly to get a peace treaty to reunite Korea and the Korean people, something like how Germany was reunited after the fall of the Berlin Wall. But the Kim dynasty dictatorship of the North will not agree, because without the border, if people could come and go as they pleased, there would soon be no DPRK, which serves no useful purpose for the Korean people or for the world.

    Neither Iraq nor Libya had China, the big brother next door to protect them

    Maybe, just maybe, he doesn’t want to be a protectorate of China? Being a loosely aligned vassal is enough for him?

    Read More
    • Replies: @Grandpa Charlie

    "Maybe, just maybe, he doesn’t want to be a protectorate of China? Being a loosely aligned vassal is enough for him?" -- reiner Tor
     
    Thanks for your remarks, 'reier Tor'!

    There are problems with that whole idea, as with all of Whitney's ideas about North Korea and Kim. First, Kim has no choice but to be a "protectorate" whether he has nukes or not.

    Consider the case of the Vietnamese, who had to fight a brutal although short war with China in 1979 to assure their independence. I guess you are saying that Kim figures that if Vietnam had only had nukes, Ho Chi Minh would have automatically been independent from Beijing with no kind of bloody war necessary? Three problems: (1) China's nukes did not obviate the necessity of a brutal ground war for the PRC versus Vietnam, and Kim's nukes could never obviate the necessity of a brutal ground war necessary to obtain the independence of DPRK from PRC. (2) Because of the border between China and Vietnam and the intermingling of populations, there would still have been a war of infiltration. (3) If China saw any possibility of Vietnam using nukes against it, the PRC would preemptively have nuked Hanoi in a New York minute.

    What made Vietnam independent of China was and is that Ho Chi Minh and his home-grown independence movement took on the Japanese Imperial Army and the French and finally the USA all on his (their) own, with some assistance from the Soviets late in the game (SAMs to shoot down B-50s flying out of Thailand), but with ZERO assistance from China, because attempts to make Vietnam a part of the Chinese empire go back about a thousand years and the Vietnamese people have always managed to remain independent. Independence of Vietnam from China -- conflict between Vietnam and China -- goes far beyond any superficial union based on 'Communism'! This is one of many things that the Pentagon and John Foster Dulles failed to understand about Southeast Asia. Kissinger understood it, which is why when he met with Chou En Lai in 1971, part of what he arranged was to assure that the USA would continue in Vietnam as long as possible, in order for him (Kissinger) to begin acting as an agent of PRC in USA. ("Yet none dare call it treason!")

    Maybe all this history is getting too complicated, so let's just cut to the chase. The Kim dynasty from the very beginning was brought into Korea after WW II, it never headed up a partisan rebellion against the Japanese Imperial Army in World War II. It never had any support among Koreans. Such support as it had was entirely based on fear, and nothing else. DPRK was and is more-or-less a comprador regime. The Kims were always stooges of either Russia or China. Like Whitney,' reiner tor', you have apparently gone for the manufactured vision of Kim as populist leader of North Korea -- such vision is the version of the KCNA and you are a fool, like Whitney, if you believe anything from KCNA. The Kim family has always been and still is anything but independent of the CCP. Anyway, Kim is totally one of them, one of the Communist Party billionaires who run China. He cannot be and really he doesn't want to be independent of China ... doesn't even know what that would mean.

    China makes use of Kim to devil Japan without consequences ("OMG, he actually bombed Kyoto. we are so sorry, we'll give him a lecture about that!") And even after Kyoto takes a nuke, Whitney would find some way to blame it on the USA, and would continue to spout the KCNA version of it.
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  13. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Grandpa Charlie

    "North Korean Kim ... acquired nuclear capabilities to avoid the fate of Saddam and Gaddafi, who were naïve enough not to have WMDs." -- anon
     
    There you go again, repeating Whitney's big lie, that Kim Jong-un needs nukes to defend against an American invasion. There is no parallel with Saddam or Gaddafi. Neither Iraq nor Libya had China, the big brother next door to protect them, but Kim Jong-un has exactly that. Just as South Korea never needed nukes to protect itself, because USA has that covered for them, so did North Korea never need nukes to protect itself, because China has that covered. All that is accomplished by North Korea developing nukes is to increase tensions in the world and cut off any possibility of reunification of Korea.

    The truth is obvious: South Korea has tried repeatedly to get a peace treaty to reunite Korea and the Korean people, something like how Germany was reunited after the fall of the Berlin Wall. But the Kim dynasty dictatorship of the North will not agree, because without the border, if people could come and go as they pleased, there would soon be no DPRK, which serves no useful purpose for the Korean people or for the world.

    Your argument would have sounded plausible, but for the hard facts. The US is the only country that in the last ~25 years committed aggression against other countries (blatantly trampling international law ever since its totally illegal interference in former Yugoslavia), engaged in “regime changes” under laughable pretexts (the vial with “Saddam WMDs” shown at the UN being an example), etc. Yes, obedient vassals of the US empire (like South Korea) do not need protection against the US, as long as they remain obedient vassals. When anybody rebels, the US is ready to “bring democracy” by carpet-bombing the country to utter destruction (Libya, anyone?). Neither China, nor any other country did anything like that, so nobody needs protection from other players. Yet any country that has the audacity to have its own policy different from what the US elites consider the defense of the US interests needs to protect itself. The simplest insurance policy is WMDs. Thus, the US actions in the last decades de facto promote the acquisition of WMDs by anyone unhappy with the US domination. That’s what the youngest Kim did, and what Iran and many others will undoubtedly do. The worst thing is, the US actions undermine Pax Americana more than any US enemy possibly can. Talk of unintended consequences.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    But, think of the gays! Who will further the rights of gays and transsexuals if it isn't the United States to preserve the dignity of anal intercourse and genital mutilation? People simply seeking to pretend to be another sex are having their illusions violated and the US must surely go out to protect such noble, brave and dignified examples of human beings of various genders!
    , @Grandpa Charlie
    anon,

    People like you and Whitney always try to frame me as an apologist for USA imperialist/Zionist policies, but I'm not that! So, thanks for all that, but NO THANKS. "It ain't me your looking for, anon!" So go peddle your KCNA BS somewhere else, okay?

    I have advocated for USA to withdraw from NATO since the reunification of Germany, if not longer. (Senator Taft led opposition to the formation of NATO way back before 1950, and I supported Taft in 1952.) I opposed the Vietnam War from the very day that Senator Fulbright made his statement about the phony Gulf of Tonkin incident. I have never supported any of the imperialist wars in the Middle East nor NATO's war in Yugoslavia. I fully understand that 9-11 was an inside job, meaning that the WTC was brought down by planted demolition, not by jet planes crashing into it.

    And, yet, you see, I can walk and chew gum at the same time. I understand that while the Syngman Rhee government committed crimes against humanity, I also understand that even the Rhee government of South Korea was better than the Communist government of the North, especially if you are talking about political atrocities and violations of human rights. I understand that the Kim dynasty from the first was something imported into Korea by Stalin, it was a phony thing, it never had and doesn't have the support of the Korean people. I also understand something that you and Whitney do not, namely, that the Korean people in the South have fought long and hard both for their democracy in the South (including their independence from any so-called US "occupation," if any such independence was needed) and against the Communist invasion and war against them.

    You and Whitney have just one narrative and you don't mind distorting the reality about Korea to make it fit into that one narrative: "USA bad, very bad. Kim Jong-un very good." Sorry but this time the glove don't fit.

    I choose freedom over Communism!
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  14. Anonymous says: • Disclaimer
    @Anon
    Your argument would have sounded plausible, but for the hard facts. The US is the only country that in the last ~25 years committed aggression against other countries (blatantly trampling international law ever since its totally illegal interference in former Yugoslavia), engaged in “regime changes” under laughable pretexts (the vial with “Saddam WMDs” shown at the UN being an example), etc. Yes, obedient vassals of the US empire (like South Korea) do not need protection against the US, as long as they remain obedient vassals. When anybody rebels, the US is ready to “bring democracy” by carpet-bombing the country to utter destruction (Libya, anyone?). Neither China, nor any other country did anything like that, so nobody needs protection from other players. Yet any country that has the audacity to have its own policy different from what the US elites consider the defense of the US interests needs to protect itself. The simplest insurance policy is WMDs. Thus, the US actions in the last decades de facto promote the acquisition of WMDs by anyone unhappy with the US domination. That’s what the youngest Kim did, and what Iran and many others will undoubtedly do. The worst thing is, the US actions undermine Pax Americana more than any US enemy possibly can. Talk of unintended consequences.

    But, think of the gays! Who will further the rights of gays and transsexuals if it isn’t the United States to preserve the dignity of anal intercourse and genital mutilation? People simply seeking to pretend to be another sex are having their illusions violated and the US must surely go out to protect such noble, brave and dignified examples of human beings of various genders!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    That’s right. I like best the “right” to visit any bathroom, depending how you feel. I’ve always wondered, if I feel like a dog, can I pee in the street? Would the cops accept that explanation?
    , @Grandpa Charlie
    Anonymous,

    "But, think of the gays!" -- Anonymous
     
    You and anon seem to badly want to change the subject away from the facts about Korea. And why is that? Could it be that you and anon and Whitney are full of crap? Could it be that you are all effectively - wittingly or unwittingly - agents of Kim Jong-un's KCNA?

    BTW: what do you think Kim Jong-un and Dennis Rodman do when they are off camera?
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  15. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Anonymous
    But, think of the gays! Who will further the rights of gays and transsexuals if it isn't the United States to preserve the dignity of anal intercourse and genital mutilation? People simply seeking to pretend to be another sex are having their illusions violated and the US must surely go out to protect such noble, brave and dignified examples of human beings of various genders!

    That’s right. I like best the “right” to visit any bathroom, depending how you feel. I’ve always wondered, if I feel like a dog, can I pee in the street? Would the cops accept that explanation?

    Read More
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  16. @reiner Tor

    Neither Iraq nor Libya had China, the big brother next door to protect them
     
    Maybe, just maybe, he doesn't want to be a protectorate of China? Being a loosely aligned vassal is enough for him?

    “Maybe, just maybe, he doesn’t want to be a protectorate of China? Being a loosely aligned vassal is enough for him?” — reiner Tor

    Thanks for your remarks, ‘reier Tor’!

    There are problems with that whole idea, as with all of Whitney’s ideas about North Korea and Kim. First, Kim has no choice but to be a “protectorate” whether he has nukes or not.

    Consider the case of the Vietnamese, who had to fight a brutal although short war with China in 1979 to assure their independence. I guess you are saying that Kim figures that if Vietnam had only had nukes, Ho Chi Minh would have automatically been independent from Beijing with no kind of bloody war necessary? Three problems: (1) China’s nukes did not obviate the necessity of a brutal ground war for the PRC versus Vietnam, and Kim’s nukes could never obviate the necessity of a brutal ground war necessary to obtain the independence of DPRK from PRC. (2) Because of the border between China and Vietnam and the intermingling of populations, there would still have been a war of infiltration. (3) If China saw any possibility of Vietnam using nukes against it, the PRC would preemptively have nuked Hanoi in a New York minute.

    What made Vietnam independent of China was and is that Ho Chi Minh and his home-grown independence movement took on the Japanese Imperial Army and the French and finally the USA all on his (their) own, with some assistance from the Soviets late in the game (SAMs to shoot down B-50s flying out of Thailand), but with ZERO assistance from China, because attempts to make Vietnam a part of the Chinese empire go back about a thousand years and the Vietnamese people have always managed to remain independent. Independence of Vietnam from China — conflict between Vietnam and China — goes far beyond any superficial union based on ‘Communism’! This is one of many things that the Pentagon and John Foster Dulles failed to understand about Southeast Asia. Kissinger understood it, which is why when he met with Chou En Lai in 1971, part of what he arranged was to assure that the USA would continue in Vietnam as long as possible, in order for him (Kissinger) to begin acting as an agent of PRC in USA. (“Yet none dare call it treason!”)

    Maybe all this history is getting too complicated, so let’s just cut to the chase. The Kim dynasty from the very beginning was brought into Korea after WW II, it never headed up a partisan rebellion against the Japanese Imperial Army in World War II. It never had any support among Koreans. Such support as it had was entirely based on fear, and nothing else. DPRK was and is more-or-less a comprador regime. The Kims were always stooges of either Russia or China. Like Whitney,’ reiner tor’, you have apparently gone for the manufactured vision of Kim as populist leader of North Korea — such vision is the version of the KCNA and you are a fool, like Whitney, if you believe anything from KCNA. The Kim family has always been and still is anything but independent of the CCP. Anyway, Kim is totally one of them, one of the Communist Party billionaires who run China. He cannot be and really he doesn’t want to be independent of China … doesn’t even know what that would mean.

    China makes use of Kim to devil Japan without consequences (“OMG, he actually bombed Kyoto. we are so sorry, we’ll give him a lecture about that!”) And even after Kyoto takes a nuke, Whitney would find some way to blame it on the USA, and would continue to spout the KCNA version of it.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh

    Anyway, Kim is totally one of them, one of the Communist Party billionaires who run China. He cannot be and really he doesn’t want to be independent of China … doesn’t even know what that would mean.
     
    As noted many times before, that's a fantasy. Kim has repeatedly murdered people that the CCP does not want him to kill, in a pretty explicit insult to the current CCP and in a complete rejection of what China wants him to become. Whatever their original relationship, Kim has clearly managed to defy China at this point.

    China is no longer communist in anything but name, having essentially returned to the Eternal Bureaucracy, and Kim embraces "Juche" at any rate, which means whatever he wants to mean.

    , @reiner Tor
    What Daniel Chieh wrote, plus of course Kim Il Sung was indeed a significant guerilla leader. The dynasty's popularity is difficult to measure, but it's kind of a state religion, so they may (or may not) have some genuine level of popularity. Vietnam just recently had to accept the loss of part of its territory because of the threat of Chinese military power. Kim wouldn't want that, I guess.
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  17. @Anon
    Your argument would have sounded plausible, but for the hard facts. The US is the only country that in the last ~25 years committed aggression against other countries (blatantly trampling international law ever since its totally illegal interference in former Yugoslavia), engaged in “regime changes” under laughable pretexts (the vial with “Saddam WMDs” shown at the UN being an example), etc. Yes, obedient vassals of the US empire (like South Korea) do not need protection against the US, as long as they remain obedient vassals. When anybody rebels, the US is ready to “bring democracy” by carpet-bombing the country to utter destruction (Libya, anyone?). Neither China, nor any other country did anything like that, so nobody needs protection from other players. Yet any country that has the audacity to have its own policy different from what the US elites consider the defense of the US interests needs to protect itself. The simplest insurance policy is WMDs. Thus, the US actions in the last decades de facto promote the acquisition of WMDs by anyone unhappy with the US domination. That’s what the youngest Kim did, and what Iran and many others will undoubtedly do. The worst thing is, the US actions undermine Pax Americana more than any US enemy possibly can. Talk of unintended consequences.

    anon,

    People like you and Whitney always try to frame me as an apologist for USA imperialist/Zionist policies, but I’m not that! So, thanks for all that, but NO THANKS. “It ain’t me your looking for, anon!” So go peddle your KCNA BS somewhere else, okay?

    I have advocated for USA to withdraw from NATO since the reunification of Germany, if not longer. (Senator Taft led opposition to the formation of NATO way back before 1950, and I supported Taft in 1952.) I opposed the Vietnam War from the very day that Senator Fulbright made his statement about the phony Gulf of Tonkin incident. I have never supported any of the imperialist wars in the Middle East nor NATO’s war in Yugoslavia. I fully understand that 9-11 was an inside job, meaning that the WTC was brought down by planted demolition, not by jet planes crashing into it.

    And, yet, you see, I can walk and chew gum at the same time. I understand that while the Syngman Rhee government committed crimes against humanity, I also understand that even the Rhee government of South Korea was better than the Communist government of the North, especially if you are talking about political atrocities and violations of human rights. I understand that the Kim dynasty from the first was something imported into Korea by Stalin, it was a phony thing, it never had and doesn’t have the support of the Korean people. I also understand something that you and Whitney do not, namely, that the Korean people in the South have fought long and hard both for their democracy in the South (including their independence from any so-called US “occupation,” if any such independence was needed) and against the Communist invasion and war against them.

    You and Whitney have just one narrative and you don’t mind distorting the reality about Korea to make it fit into that one narrative: “USA bad, very bad. Kim Jong-un very good.” Sorry but this time the glove don’t fit.

    I choose freedom over Communism!

    Read More
    • Replies: @Levelheaded
    I don’t know your personal history, I wasn’t even born in 1952, so I only speak of the last ~50 years. Your argument would have made sense if the US hysterics about North Korea were something isolated and atypical. However, it is a bead on a string, not the first and likely not the last one. Young Kim is likely a moron and a brutal dictator, but he is in his own country, whereas the US is thousands of miles away. What’s more, he is not sending warships to the US shores, he is not conducting military games near the US, whereas the US was constantly provoking NK for decades.
    Yes, Tonkin incident was a false flag fake, but the war that followed was quite real. The use of chemical weapons (napalm and agent orange) against civilians was also real, and so were over a million Vietnamese dead. Not to mention Laos and Cambodia, which were also attacked by the US and its vassals for no legitimate reason whatsoever. Vietnam defeat (remember rooftop evacuation, if you are as old as you claim?) brought the US to its senses for some time. However, the wounded American ego eventually healed, and a string of atrocities (all illegal under the international law) followed: Grenada, Somalia, Panama, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, to name just the best known ones. Mind you, the last time NK engaged in aggression was in 1953, sixty four (!) years ago. Thus, there is no reason to believe a word State Department is saying about NK, just like there is no reason to believe that NK will be the last. Russia, China, Iran, and many others clearly understand that. That is the main reason they side with NK against the US, not because any of them likes the Kim dynasty. Personally, I am saddened by the glee 4/5th of the world expresses whenever the US is punched in the face. But we can’t complain, as a country we are bringing it on ourselves all the time. The saddest thing is that the tiny greedy elites dictate this suicidal foreign policy, yet all of us will suffer because of it. One of my friends says that while traveling abroad it’s best to pretend you are a Canadian, so that you are not blamed for everything.
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  18. @Grandpa Charlie

    "Maybe, just maybe, he doesn’t want to be a protectorate of China? Being a loosely aligned vassal is enough for him?" -- reiner Tor
     
    Thanks for your remarks, 'reier Tor'!

    There are problems with that whole idea, as with all of Whitney's ideas about North Korea and Kim. First, Kim has no choice but to be a "protectorate" whether he has nukes or not.

    Consider the case of the Vietnamese, who had to fight a brutal although short war with China in 1979 to assure their independence. I guess you are saying that Kim figures that if Vietnam had only had nukes, Ho Chi Minh would have automatically been independent from Beijing with no kind of bloody war necessary? Three problems: (1) China's nukes did not obviate the necessity of a brutal ground war for the PRC versus Vietnam, and Kim's nukes could never obviate the necessity of a brutal ground war necessary to obtain the independence of DPRK from PRC. (2) Because of the border between China and Vietnam and the intermingling of populations, there would still have been a war of infiltration. (3) If China saw any possibility of Vietnam using nukes against it, the PRC would preemptively have nuked Hanoi in a New York minute.

    What made Vietnam independent of China was and is that Ho Chi Minh and his home-grown independence movement took on the Japanese Imperial Army and the French and finally the USA all on his (their) own, with some assistance from the Soviets late in the game (SAMs to shoot down B-50s flying out of Thailand), but with ZERO assistance from China, because attempts to make Vietnam a part of the Chinese empire go back about a thousand years and the Vietnamese people have always managed to remain independent. Independence of Vietnam from China -- conflict between Vietnam and China -- goes far beyond any superficial union based on 'Communism'! This is one of many things that the Pentagon and John Foster Dulles failed to understand about Southeast Asia. Kissinger understood it, which is why when he met with Chou En Lai in 1971, part of what he arranged was to assure that the USA would continue in Vietnam as long as possible, in order for him (Kissinger) to begin acting as an agent of PRC in USA. ("Yet none dare call it treason!")

    Maybe all this history is getting too complicated, so let's just cut to the chase. The Kim dynasty from the very beginning was brought into Korea after WW II, it never headed up a partisan rebellion against the Japanese Imperial Army in World War II. It never had any support among Koreans. Such support as it had was entirely based on fear, and nothing else. DPRK was and is more-or-less a comprador regime. The Kims were always stooges of either Russia or China. Like Whitney,' reiner tor', you have apparently gone for the manufactured vision of Kim as populist leader of North Korea -- such vision is the version of the KCNA and you are a fool, like Whitney, if you believe anything from KCNA. The Kim family has always been and still is anything but independent of the CCP. Anyway, Kim is totally one of them, one of the Communist Party billionaires who run China. He cannot be and really he doesn't want to be independent of China ... doesn't even know what that would mean.

    China makes use of Kim to devil Japan without consequences ("OMG, he actually bombed Kyoto. we are so sorry, we'll give him a lecture about that!") And even after Kyoto takes a nuke, Whitney would find some way to blame it on the USA, and would continue to spout the KCNA version of it.

    Anyway, Kim is totally one of them, one of the Communist Party billionaires who run China. He cannot be and really he doesn’t want to be independent of China … doesn’t even know what that would mean.

    As noted many times before, that’s a fantasy. Kim has repeatedly murdered people that the CCP does not want him to kill, in a pretty explicit insult to the current CCP and in a complete rejection of what China wants him to become. Whatever their original relationship, Kim has clearly managed to defy China at this point.

    China is no longer communist in anything but name, having essentially returned to the Eternal Bureaucracy, and Kim embraces “Juche” at any rate, which means whatever he wants to mean.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Interestingly, Juche literally includes the eternal rule of the Kim dynasty...

    In 2013, Clause 2 of Article 10 of the new edited Ten Fundamental Principles of the Korean Workers' Party states that the party and revolution must be carried "eternally" by the "Baekdu bloodline".[1]
    , @Grandpa Charlie

    "Whatever their original relationship, Kim has clearly managed to defy China at this point"

    "China is no longer communist in anything but name, having essentially returned to the Eternal Bureaucracy, and Kim embraces “Juche” at any rate, which means whatever he wants to mean"

    --- Daniel Chieh
     
    Thank you very much for commenting, since you are someone who knows much about China!

    First, about the extent to which Kim has actually defied the CCP's Standing Committee, my guess is that he pushed it as far as he could, and now he is working his way back into their good graces. The thing is that, for Kim, regardless of generations working together with the CCP, doing their bidding, there is no way that he can be as independent of China as he would like, so he has had to convince Beijing that he is useful to them. He is useful as long as he can front his North Korea as a way for China to get at Japan without China having to risk anything. That's valuable, even if it complicates Beijing's long-range plans for expansion and domination of Asia.

    The billionaires of the CCP probably have been cutting Kim some slack, considering his youth, and also he has presented them with a new element, namely a Korean Communist who is at least trying to build actual popularity with the people. Of course, Kim's Juche is a big bluff insofar as it means that North Korea can be self-sufficient. In general, Kim's posturing as powerful and popular with "his" people -- as independent of China -- brings to mind Sun Tzu's admonition: "When strong appear weak: when weak appear strong." What does that say about someone who appears always to be desperately trying to appear strong?

    Another factor is that in Beijing they are moving away from assassination as a means to resolve internal conflict, so to the extent that they see Kim as an internal problem, to that extent they would like to avoid having him assassinated. Another factor is that, probably, the Chinese view Koreans somewhat as the Japanese do (or did), namely as barbaric and crude. The bottom line is that Beijing believes in postponing executions, as the hexagram for Kung Fu (# 61) says: "enlightened men discuss criminal cases in order to delay executions." So we are a long way from Beijing ordering the execution of Kim Jong-un, but that doesn't mean it can't be done.

    As for the PRC being "communist only in name," of course, everyone knows about that, about the state capitalism. But they still have some of that Marxism-Maoism-Sun Yat Sen stuff in their psyches, you know, and their state neo-mercantilist capitalism is very different from what Americans like to think capitalism is (according to Adam Smith). In any case, they are all Communist Party members even if they are also Communist Party billionaires, and the Party is alive and well. Except Kim, who has his own Korean Workers Party .. and that may make Beijing even more suspicious of Kim.

    But if the little fox, after nearly completing the crossing,
    Gets his tail in the water,
    There is nothing that would further.
    , @Grandpa Charlie
    Daniel Chieh,

    Thank you for correcting me when I said: "Kim is totally one of them, one of the Communist Party billionaires who run China."

    What I meant is that they are all grandchildren of the Maoist Communist Revolution. E.g., Kim Il-sung when employed within the Red Chinese Army in Manchukuo before World War II, reported to someone who reported to Mao himself. While they are all Communist billionaires, and thus members of the same club, there are important differences. The greatest difference is in that, as I understand it, members of the Standing Committee in Beijing all have come up through what you call "the Eternal Bureaucracy," they have all been raised in, usually if not always born into the Communist party, but they have had to compete and prove themselves against others like themselves. That's very different from the distinctly non-Communist inheritance of Kim through his membership in the Kim dynasty - although certainly Kim had to somehow prove himself better than his rivals within the family, or kill his rivals. Maybe comparable in that way to Saudi Arabia. In this respect, North Korea has never been "Stalinist":

    http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/2230736-a-cursed-legacy-the-sad-lives-of-stalins-children/

    I think that in Chinese culture everything is about family, that's Confucius.

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  19. @Anonymous
    But, think of the gays! Who will further the rights of gays and transsexuals if it isn't the United States to preserve the dignity of anal intercourse and genital mutilation? People simply seeking to pretend to be another sex are having their illusions violated and the US must surely go out to protect such noble, brave and dignified examples of human beings of various genders!

    Anonymous,

    “But, think of the gays!” — Anonymous

    You and anon seem to badly want to change the subject away from the facts about Korea. And why is that? Could it be that you and anon and Whitney are full of crap? Could it be that you are all effectively – wittingly or unwittingly – agents of Kim Jong-un’s KCNA?

    BTW: what do you think Kim Jong-un and Dennis Rodman do when they are off camera?

    Read More
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  20. @Grandpa Charlie
    anon,

    People like you and Whitney always try to frame me as an apologist for USA imperialist/Zionist policies, but I'm not that! So, thanks for all that, but NO THANKS. "It ain't me your looking for, anon!" So go peddle your KCNA BS somewhere else, okay?

    I have advocated for USA to withdraw from NATO since the reunification of Germany, if not longer. (Senator Taft led opposition to the formation of NATO way back before 1950, and I supported Taft in 1952.) I opposed the Vietnam War from the very day that Senator Fulbright made his statement about the phony Gulf of Tonkin incident. I have never supported any of the imperialist wars in the Middle East nor NATO's war in Yugoslavia. I fully understand that 9-11 was an inside job, meaning that the WTC was brought down by planted demolition, not by jet planes crashing into it.

    And, yet, you see, I can walk and chew gum at the same time. I understand that while the Syngman Rhee government committed crimes against humanity, I also understand that even the Rhee government of South Korea was better than the Communist government of the North, especially if you are talking about political atrocities and violations of human rights. I understand that the Kim dynasty from the first was something imported into Korea by Stalin, it was a phony thing, it never had and doesn't have the support of the Korean people. I also understand something that you and Whitney do not, namely, that the Korean people in the South have fought long and hard both for their democracy in the South (including their independence from any so-called US "occupation," if any such independence was needed) and against the Communist invasion and war against them.

    You and Whitney have just one narrative and you don't mind distorting the reality about Korea to make it fit into that one narrative: "USA bad, very bad. Kim Jong-un very good." Sorry but this time the glove don't fit.

    I choose freedom over Communism!

    I don’t know your personal history, I wasn’t even born in 1952, so I only speak of the last ~50 years. Your argument would have made sense if the US hysterics about North Korea were something isolated and atypical. However, it is a bead on a string, not the first and likely not the last one. Young Kim is likely a moron and a brutal dictator, but he is in his own country, whereas the US is thousands of miles away. What’s more, he is not sending warships to the US shores, he is not conducting military games near the US, whereas the US was constantly provoking NK for decades.
    Yes, Tonkin incident was a false flag fake, but the war that followed was quite real. The use of chemical weapons (napalm and agent orange) against civilians was also real, and so were over a million Vietnamese dead. Not to mention Laos and Cambodia, which were also attacked by the US and its vassals for no legitimate reason whatsoever. Vietnam defeat (remember rooftop evacuation, if you are as old as you claim?) brought the US to its senses for some time. However, the wounded American ego eventually healed, and a string of atrocities (all illegal under the international law) followed: Grenada, Somalia, Panama, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, to name just the best known ones. Mind you, the last time NK engaged in aggression was in 1953, sixty four (!) years ago. Thus, there is no reason to believe a word State Department is saying about NK, just like there is no reason to believe that NK will be the last. Russia, China, Iran, and many others clearly understand that. That is the main reason they side with NK against the US, not because any of them likes the Kim dynasty. Personally, I am saddened by the glee 4/5th of the world expresses whenever the US is punched in the face. But we can’t complain, as a country we are bringing it on ourselves all the time. The saddest thing is that the tiny greedy elites dictate this suicidal foreign policy, yet all of us will suffer because of it. One of my friends says that while traveling abroad it’s best to pretend you are a Canadian, so that you are not blamed for everything.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Grandpa Charlie
    Hello, Levelheaded,

    You make all the same points that Whitney and others like yourself have made over and over and over, but all that repeating doesn't make it true. "USA is bad, very bad." However often you say that, it never makes Kim Jong-un anything but an evil-hearted billionaire dictator. In an excellent recent article here at UR, Sjursen made all the points about USA's sins, basing his analysis on combat command experience in the ME, without once mentioning Korea.

    Please read my comments above #16 and #17.

    Nice analogy about the "string of beads." Reminds me of the old domino theory. You know the string (the grand narrative), once it breaks, the beads go all over the place. At that point, we can examine each of them separately ... and that's what I try to do about Korea ... forget about the State Department's grand narrative, forget about Whitney's grand narrative.

    Here's the thing: if USA would exit NATO, which we should, and would exit all the ME imperialist/Zionist wars, which we should, what would be the result of that for the Korean people? The result would be to strengthen South Korea and USA in Korea, USA in general. But if, thinking it is for the sake of the string, that you will somehow break the string, you smash the Korea bead, what have you done to be helpful to Korea or to the USA or to the world?

    What more can I say? Let the string break, let the beads go whither they may. But don't smash the Korea bead, it's a real pearl.
    , @Grandpa Charlie

    "I don’t know your personal history, I wasn’t even born in 1952." -- Levelheaded
     
    I don't put any of my personal info out on the internet, for obvious reasons. But I can see where you would wonder about how old I must be if I "supported Taft in 1952." To clarify, I don't claim to have been eligible to vote in 1952, when voting age was 21, but I did read his book on foreign policy sometime around 1950 and I did support him in the 1952 primary, in the sense that I talked him up some and I think I even had a Taft button.
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  21. @Daniel Chieh

    Anyway, Kim is totally one of them, one of the Communist Party billionaires who run China. He cannot be and really he doesn’t want to be independent of China … doesn’t even know what that would mean.
     
    As noted many times before, that's a fantasy. Kim has repeatedly murdered people that the CCP does not want him to kill, in a pretty explicit insult to the current CCP and in a complete rejection of what China wants him to become. Whatever their original relationship, Kim has clearly managed to defy China at this point.

    China is no longer communist in anything but name, having essentially returned to the Eternal Bureaucracy, and Kim embraces "Juche" at any rate, which means whatever he wants to mean.

    Interestingly, Juche literally includes the eternal rule of the Kim dynasty…

    In 2013, Clause 2 of Article 10 of the new edited Ten Fundamental Principles of the Korean Workers’ Party states that the party and revolution must be carried “eternally” by the “Baekdu bloodline”.[1]

    Read More
    • Agree: Grandpa Charlie
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  22. @Grandpa Charlie

    "Maybe, just maybe, he doesn’t want to be a protectorate of China? Being a loosely aligned vassal is enough for him?" -- reiner Tor
     
    Thanks for your remarks, 'reier Tor'!

    There are problems with that whole idea, as with all of Whitney's ideas about North Korea and Kim. First, Kim has no choice but to be a "protectorate" whether he has nukes or not.

    Consider the case of the Vietnamese, who had to fight a brutal although short war with China in 1979 to assure their independence. I guess you are saying that Kim figures that if Vietnam had only had nukes, Ho Chi Minh would have automatically been independent from Beijing with no kind of bloody war necessary? Three problems: (1) China's nukes did not obviate the necessity of a brutal ground war for the PRC versus Vietnam, and Kim's nukes could never obviate the necessity of a brutal ground war necessary to obtain the independence of DPRK from PRC. (2) Because of the border between China and Vietnam and the intermingling of populations, there would still have been a war of infiltration. (3) If China saw any possibility of Vietnam using nukes against it, the PRC would preemptively have nuked Hanoi in a New York minute.

    What made Vietnam independent of China was and is that Ho Chi Minh and his home-grown independence movement took on the Japanese Imperial Army and the French and finally the USA all on his (their) own, with some assistance from the Soviets late in the game (SAMs to shoot down B-50s flying out of Thailand), but with ZERO assistance from China, because attempts to make Vietnam a part of the Chinese empire go back about a thousand years and the Vietnamese people have always managed to remain independent. Independence of Vietnam from China -- conflict between Vietnam and China -- goes far beyond any superficial union based on 'Communism'! This is one of many things that the Pentagon and John Foster Dulles failed to understand about Southeast Asia. Kissinger understood it, which is why when he met with Chou En Lai in 1971, part of what he arranged was to assure that the USA would continue in Vietnam as long as possible, in order for him (Kissinger) to begin acting as an agent of PRC in USA. ("Yet none dare call it treason!")

    Maybe all this history is getting too complicated, so let's just cut to the chase. The Kim dynasty from the very beginning was brought into Korea after WW II, it never headed up a partisan rebellion against the Japanese Imperial Army in World War II. It never had any support among Koreans. Such support as it had was entirely based on fear, and nothing else. DPRK was and is more-or-less a comprador regime. The Kims were always stooges of either Russia or China. Like Whitney,' reiner tor', you have apparently gone for the manufactured vision of Kim as populist leader of North Korea -- such vision is the version of the KCNA and you are a fool, like Whitney, if you believe anything from KCNA. The Kim family has always been and still is anything but independent of the CCP. Anyway, Kim is totally one of them, one of the Communist Party billionaires who run China. He cannot be and really he doesn't want to be independent of China ... doesn't even know what that would mean.

    China makes use of Kim to devil Japan without consequences ("OMG, he actually bombed Kyoto. we are so sorry, we'll give him a lecture about that!") And even after Kyoto takes a nuke, Whitney would find some way to blame it on the USA, and would continue to spout the KCNA version of it.

    What Daniel Chieh wrote, plus of course Kim Il Sung was indeed a significant guerilla leader. The dynasty’s popularity is difficult to measure, but it’s kind of a state religion, so they may (or may not) have some genuine level of popularity. Vietnam just recently had to accept the loss of part of its territory because of the threat of Chinese military power. Kim wouldn’t want that, I guess.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Grandpa Charlie

    "Kim Il Sung was indeed a significant guerilla leader." -- reiner Tor
     
    Although Kin Il-sung may have planned or possibly actually led (we will never know) the raid on Poch’onbo, 4 June 1937, the total effect of that raid was to capture that small border town for only a few hours. That has been built up by DPRK propagandists into some kind of big deal. Other than the Poch'onbo incident, Kim's military career was as an officer in the Red Chinese Army and was probably entirely within Manchukuo (Manchuria). Ultimately, Kim led a retreat from the Imperial Japanese Army ("Kwantung Army" in Manchukuo), which ended when Kim managed to cross the Amur River into the Soviet Union, because the Soviet Union was still neutral and Japanese forces respected that neutrality as long as it lasted. According to Wikipedia, "Kim was sent to a camp at Vyatskoye near Khabarovsk, where the Soviets retrained the Korean Communist guerrillas. Kim became a Major in the Soviet Red Army and served in it until the end of World War II in 1945."

    Stalin also had a camp in Russia where children of martyred German Communists were trained to become the leaders of East Germany after the war ended. Kim's rise to be head of North Korea was partly like the specially trained German youth (who became top members of the government of East Germany, see Wolfgang Leonhard's Die Revolution Entlasst Ihre Kinder) and Walter Ulbricht, who was installed by Stalin as head of the government of East Germany and who had already been one of Stalin's agents in Western Europe , e.g., in Spain.

    The point is that Kim really cannot be compared as a home-grown popular guerilla leader either to Tito in Yugoslavia or to Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. Yugoslavia retained its independence from the Soviet Union and was never occupied by the Red Army, and the same was true for Vietnam maintaining its independence from China. While John Foster Dulles and the CIA understood the case of Yugoslavia, they never did grasp the situation in the case of Vietnam ... or they were overly influenced by the old China Lobby and the KMT.

    So, clearly, Kim entered Korea as an agent of Stalin, who had him appointed to be chairman of the North Korea section of the Korean Communist Party (i.e., chief stooge for the Soviet occupation of North Korea). According to Wikipedia: "Kim arrived in [Korea] September 1945 after 26 years in exile [i.e., outside of Korea]. According to Leonid Vassin, an officer with the Soviet MVD, Kim was essentially "created from zero". For one, his Korean was marginal at best; he had only had eight years of formal education, all of it in Chinese. He needed considerable coaching to read a speech (which the MVD prepared for him) at a Communist Party congress three days after he arrived. ... In December 1945, the Soviets installed Kim as chairman of the North Korean branch of the Korean Communist Party."
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  23. @Daniel Chieh

    Anyway, Kim is totally one of them, one of the Communist Party billionaires who run China. He cannot be and really he doesn’t want to be independent of China … doesn’t even know what that would mean.
     
    As noted many times before, that's a fantasy. Kim has repeatedly murdered people that the CCP does not want him to kill, in a pretty explicit insult to the current CCP and in a complete rejection of what China wants him to become. Whatever their original relationship, Kim has clearly managed to defy China at this point.

    China is no longer communist in anything but name, having essentially returned to the Eternal Bureaucracy, and Kim embraces "Juche" at any rate, which means whatever he wants to mean.

    “Whatever their original relationship, Kim has clearly managed to defy China at this point”

    “China is no longer communist in anything but name, having essentially returned to the Eternal Bureaucracy, and Kim embraces “Juche” at any rate, which means whatever he wants to mean”

    — Daniel Chieh

    Thank you very much for commenting, since you are someone who knows much about China!

    First, about the extent to which Kim has actually defied the CCP’s Standing Committee, my guess is that he pushed it as far as he could, and now he is working his way back into their good graces. The thing is that, for Kim, regardless of generations working together with the CCP, doing their bidding, there is no way that he can be as independent of China as he would like, so he has had to convince Beijing that he is useful to them. He is useful as long as he can front his North Korea as a way for China to get at Japan without China having to risk anything. That’s valuable, even if it complicates Beijing’s long-range plans for expansion and domination of Asia.

    The billionaires of the CCP probably have been cutting Kim some slack, considering his youth, and also he has presented them with a new element, namely a Korean Communist who is at least trying to build actual popularity with the people. Of course, Kim’s Juche is a big bluff insofar as it means that North Korea can be self-sufficient. In general, Kim’s posturing as powerful and popular with “his” people — as independent of China — brings to mind Sun Tzu’s admonition: “When strong appear weak: when weak appear strong.” What does that say about someone who appears always to be desperately trying to appear strong?

    Another factor is that in Beijing they are moving away from assassination as a means to resolve internal conflict, so to the extent that they see Kim as an internal problem, to that extent they would like to avoid having him assassinated. Another factor is that, probably, the Chinese view Koreans somewhat as the Japanese do (or did), namely as barbaric and crude. The bottom line is that Beijing believes in postponing executions, as the hexagram for Kung Fu (# 61) says: “enlightened men discuss criminal cases in order to delay executions.” So we are a long way from Beijing ordering the execution of Kim Jong-un, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be done.

    As for the PRC being “communist only in name,” of course, everyone knows about that, about the state capitalism. But they still have some of that Marxism-Maoism-Sun Yat Sen stuff in their psyches, you know, and their state neo-mercantilist capitalism is very different from what Americans like to think capitalism is (according to Adam Smith). In any case, they are all Communist Party members even if they are also Communist Party billionaires, and the Party is alive and well. Except Kim, who has his own Korean Workers Party .. and that may make Beijing even more suspicious of Kim.

    But if the little fox, after nearly completing the crossing,
    Gets his tail in the water,
    There is nothing that would further.

    Read More
    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    First, about the extent to which Kim has actually defied the CCP’s Standing Committee, my guess is that he pushed it as far as he could, and now he is working his way back into their good graces. The thing is that, for Kim, regardless of generations working together with the CCP, doing their bidding, there is no way that he can be as independent of China as he would like, so he has had to convince Beijing that he is useful to them.
     
    So first you guess that he's totally dependent on China, then you work backwards from that assumption to guess why he's doing what he's doing, and assume that he wants to convince Beijing that he's useful to them. You could be right, of course but that's not the way to bet.
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  24. @Levelheaded
    I don’t know your personal history, I wasn’t even born in 1952, so I only speak of the last ~50 years. Your argument would have made sense if the US hysterics about North Korea were something isolated and atypical. However, it is a bead on a string, not the first and likely not the last one. Young Kim is likely a moron and a brutal dictator, but he is in his own country, whereas the US is thousands of miles away. What’s more, he is not sending warships to the US shores, he is not conducting military games near the US, whereas the US was constantly provoking NK for decades.
    Yes, Tonkin incident was a false flag fake, but the war that followed was quite real. The use of chemical weapons (napalm and agent orange) against civilians was also real, and so were over a million Vietnamese dead. Not to mention Laos and Cambodia, which were also attacked by the US and its vassals for no legitimate reason whatsoever. Vietnam defeat (remember rooftop evacuation, if you are as old as you claim?) brought the US to its senses for some time. However, the wounded American ego eventually healed, and a string of atrocities (all illegal under the international law) followed: Grenada, Somalia, Panama, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, to name just the best known ones. Mind you, the last time NK engaged in aggression was in 1953, sixty four (!) years ago. Thus, there is no reason to believe a word State Department is saying about NK, just like there is no reason to believe that NK will be the last. Russia, China, Iran, and many others clearly understand that. That is the main reason they side with NK against the US, not because any of them likes the Kim dynasty. Personally, I am saddened by the glee 4/5th of the world expresses whenever the US is punched in the face. But we can’t complain, as a country we are bringing it on ourselves all the time. The saddest thing is that the tiny greedy elites dictate this suicidal foreign policy, yet all of us will suffer because of it. One of my friends says that while traveling abroad it’s best to pretend you are a Canadian, so that you are not blamed for everything.

    Hello, Levelheaded,

    You make all the same points that Whitney and others like yourself have made over and over and over, but all that repeating doesn’t make it true. “USA is bad, very bad.” However often you say that, it never makes Kim Jong-un anything but an evil-hearted billionaire dictator. In an excellent recent article here at UR, Sjursen made all the points about USA’s sins, basing his analysis on combat command experience in the ME, without once mentioning Korea.

    Please read my comments above #16 and #17.

    Nice analogy about the “string of beads.” Reminds me of the old domino theory. You know the string (the grand narrative), once it breaks, the beads go all over the place. At that point, we can examine each of them separately … and that’s what I try to do about Korea … forget about the State Department’s grand narrative, forget about Whitney’s grand narrative.

    Here’s the thing: if USA would exit NATO, which we should, and would exit all the ME imperialist/Zionist wars, which we should, what would be the result of that for the Korean people? The result would be to strengthen South Korea and USA in Korea, USA in general. But if, thinking it is for the sake of the string, that you will somehow break the string, you smash the Korea bead, what have you done to be helpful to Korea or to the USA or to the world?

    What more can I say? Let the string break, let the beads go whither they may. But don’t smash the Korea bead, it’s a real pearl.

    Read More
    • Replies: @Anon
    Don’t you feel like asking yourself why the US did not withdraw from NATO? Why NATO was not disbanded after the Warsaw Treaty was, but kept creeping eastwards instead, provoking Russia? Net result is, in place of weak and fairly friendly Russia of the 1990s the US now got a strong rival prepared to foil US attempts to grab more vassals (like in Syria and Ukraine).
    Or you can ask yourself why the US is meddling in so many Middle Eastern countries (Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, to name just a few). Why our warships are in the Persian Gulf? Did Iran ever send its warships to the Gulf of Mexico? Why our troops are in the ME, in many cases (like Syria) against the international law? Why are we selling billions $ worth of weapons to the most obnoxious regimes, like Saudi Arabia, that even kills people exactly the same way as ISIS, by public beheading with a curved sword? Of course, we are inundating our main rival, the EU, with millions of “refugees”, but by doing so we are destroying quite a few American allies. We can’t afford that, considering how few we have and how tenuous our grip on them is.
    Also, why should anyone consider US aggression against each country separately? Being a scientist, I believe that reproducibility proves that something is true. The US is reproducibly interfering in numerous countries, destroying their infrastructure, state institutions, and economy. The NK is still there for one reason only: it has nukes.
    Any psychiatrist would tell you that seeing each part of the whole as separate and independent is a symptom of schizophrenia.
    Korea is a nice country. I was in South Korea not so long ago and I liked it. However, we should not forget that the US murdered ~20% of Korean population in 1953-56, in the process of its “liberation”. Koreans do remember that.
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  25. @Grandpa Charlie

    "Whatever their original relationship, Kim has clearly managed to defy China at this point"

    "China is no longer communist in anything but name, having essentially returned to the Eternal Bureaucracy, and Kim embraces “Juche” at any rate, which means whatever he wants to mean"

    --- Daniel Chieh
     
    Thank you very much for commenting, since you are someone who knows much about China!

    First, about the extent to which Kim has actually defied the CCP's Standing Committee, my guess is that he pushed it as far as he could, and now he is working his way back into their good graces. The thing is that, for Kim, regardless of generations working together with the CCP, doing their bidding, there is no way that he can be as independent of China as he would like, so he has had to convince Beijing that he is useful to them. He is useful as long as he can front his North Korea as a way for China to get at Japan without China having to risk anything. That's valuable, even if it complicates Beijing's long-range plans for expansion and domination of Asia.

    The billionaires of the CCP probably have been cutting Kim some slack, considering his youth, and also he has presented them with a new element, namely a Korean Communist who is at least trying to build actual popularity with the people. Of course, Kim's Juche is a big bluff insofar as it means that North Korea can be self-sufficient. In general, Kim's posturing as powerful and popular with "his" people -- as independent of China -- brings to mind Sun Tzu's admonition: "When strong appear weak: when weak appear strong." What does that say about someone who appears always to be desperately trying to appear strong?

    Another factor is that in Beijing they are moving away from assassination as a means to resolve internal conflict, so to the extent that they see Kim as an internal problem, to that extent they would like to avoid having him assassinated. Another factor is that, probably, the Chinese view Koreans somewhat as the Japanese do (or did), namely as barbaric and crude. The bottom line is that Beijing believes in postponing executions, as the hexagram for Kung Fu (# 61) says: "enlightened men discuss criminal cases in order to delay executions." So we are a long way from Beijing ordering the execution of Kim Jong-un, but that doesn't mean it can't be done.

    As for the PRC being "communist only in name," of course, everyone knows about that, about the state capitalism. But they still have some of that Marxism-Maoism-Sun Yat Sen stuff in their psyches, you know, and their state neo-mercantilist capitalism is very different from what Americans like to think capitalism is (according to Adam Smith). In any case, they are all Communist Party members even if they are also Communist Party billionaires, and the Party is alive and well. Except Kim, who has his own Korean Workers Party .. and that may make Beijing even more suspicious of Kim.

    But if the little fox, after nearly completing the crossing,
    Gets his tail in the water,
    There is nothing that would further.

    First, about the extent to which Kim has actually defied the CCP’s Standing Committee, my guess is that he pushed it as far as he could, and now he is working his way back into their good graces. The thing is that, for Kim, regardless of generations working together with the CCP, doing their bidding, there is no way that he can be as independent of China as he would like, so he has had to convince Beijing that he is useful to them.

    So first you guess that he’s totally dependent on China, then you work backwards from that assumption to guess why he’s doing what he’s doing, and assume that he wants to convince Beijing that he’s useful to them. You could be right, of course but that’s not the way to bet.

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    reiner Tor,

    Basically, you accuse me of this: Two guesses plus one assumption equals a conclusion, or maybe a surmise.

    You could surmise my comment in that way ... or not. In any event, as you say, I could be right.

    In any event, this Korea stuff is bound to simmer down to near-zero soon. As the I Ching says, "When talk of revolution has gone the rounds three times," where 'revolution' doesn't mean political revolution so much as it means any very big change, like the 'computer revolution'.

    So, if the revolution is the revolution to be wrought by North Korea developing strategic nuclear weapons, well, talk has gone around once now.
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  26. Anon says: • Disclaimer
    @Grandpa Charlie
    Hello, Levelheaded,

    You make all the same points that Whitney and others like yourself have made over and over and over, but all that repeating doesn't make it true. "USA is bad, very bad." However often you say that, it never makes Kim Jong-un anything but an evil-hearted billionaire dictator. In an excellent recent article here at UR, Sjursen made all the points about USA's sins, basing his analysis on combat command experience in the ME, without once mentioning Korea.

    Please read my comments above #16 and #17.

    Nice analogy about the "string of beads." Reminds me of the old domino theory. You know the string (the grand narrative), once it breaks, the beads go all over the place. At that point, we can examine each of them separately ... and that's what I try to do about Korea ... forget about the State Department's grand narrative, forget about Whitney's grand narrative.

    Here's the thing: if USA would exit NATO, which we should, and would exit all the ME imperialist/Zionist wars, which we should, what would be the result of that for the Korean people? The result would be to strengthen South Korea and USA in Korea, USA in general. But if, thinking it is for the sake of the string, that you will somehow break the string, you smash the Korea bead, what have you done to be helpful to Korea or to the USA or to the world?

    What more can I say? Let the string break, let the beads go whither they may. But don't smash the Korea bead, it's a real pearl.

    Don’t you feel like asking yourself why the US did not withdraw from NATO? Why NATO was not disbanded after the Warsaw Treaty was, but kept creeping eastwards instead, provoking Russia? Net result is, in place of weak and fairly friendly Russia of the 1990s the US now got a strong rival prepared to foil US attempts to grab more vassals (like in Syria and Ukraine).
    Or you can ask yourself why the US is meddling in so many Middle Eastern countries (Libya, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, to name just a few). Why our warships are in the Persian Gulf? Did Iran ever send its warships to the Gulf of Mexico? Why our troops are in the ME, in many cases (like Syria) against the international law? Why are we selling billions $ worth of weapons to the most obnoxious regimes, like Saudi Arabia, that even kills people exactly the same way as ISIS, by public beheading with a curved sword? Of course, we are inundating our main rival, the EU, with millions of “refugees”, but by doing so we are destroying quite a few American allies. We can’t afford that, considering how few we have and how tenuous our grip on them is.
    Also, why should anyone consider US aggression against each country separately? Being a scientist, I believe that reproducibility proves that something is true. The US is reproducibly interfering in numerous countries, destroying their infrastructure, state institutions, and economy. The NK is still there for one reason only: it has nukes.
    Any psychiatrist would tell you that seeing each part of the whole as separate and independent is a symptom of schizophrenia.
    Korea is a nice country. I was in South Korea not so long ago and I liked it. However, we should not forget that the US murdered ~20% of Korean population in 1953-56, in the process of its “liberation”. Koreans do remember that.

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  27. we should not forget that the US murdered ~20% of Korean population in 1953-56, in the process of its “liberation” … comment by ‘anon’

    So you, anon, are saying that USA “murdered” approximately one-fifth of the Korean population after the cease-fire that was worked out in Panmunjeon and came into effect in 1953, but ending in 1956, as part of the liberation of Korea?

    I can only suppose that you got that “history” from Kim Jong-un’s Korea Central News Agency.

    Less biased sources like Wikipedia discuss it very differently:

    National Liberation Day commemorates Victory over Japan Day, in which the United States and the Soviet Union liberated Korea from Imperial Japanese colonial rule which lasted from 1910 to 1945. The National Liberation Day of Korea, is celebrated annually on August 15 in both North and South Korea. — wikipedia article, ‘National Liberation Day of Korea’

    So you just had to take one of the few things that “the two Koreas” have in common – thus something that actually might further reunification – and turn it into a piece of anti-American propaganda!

    What kind of demon are you?

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  28. @reiner Tor
    What Daniel Chieh wrote, plus of course Kim Il Sung was indeed a significant guerilla leader. The dynasty's popularity is difficult to measure, but it's kind of a state religion, so they may (or may not) have some genuine level of popularity. Vietnam just recently had to accept the loss of part of its territory because of the threat of Chinese military power. Kim wouldn't want that, I guess.

    “Kim Il Sung was indeed a significant guerilla leader.” — reiner Tor

    Although Kin Il-sung may have planned or possibly actually led (we will never know) the raid on Poch’onbo, 4 June 1937, the total effect of that raid was to capture that small border town for only a few hours. That has been built up by DPRK propagandists into some kind of big deal. Other than the Poch’onbo incident, Kim’s military career was as an officer in the Red Chinese Army and was probably entirely within Manchukuo (Manchuria). Ultimately, Kim led a retreat from the Imperial Japanese Army (“Kwantung Army” in Manchukuo), which ended when Kim managed to cross the Amur River into the Soviet Union, because the Soviet Union was still neutral and Japanese forces respected that neutrality as long as it lasted. According to Wikipedia, “Kim was sent to a camp at Vyatskoye near Khabarovsk, where the Soviets retrained the Korean Communist guerrillas. Kim became a Major in the Soviet Red Army and served in it until the end of World War II in 1945.”

    Stalin also had a camp in Russia where children of martyred German Communists were trained to become the leaders of East Germany after the war ended. Kim’s rise to be head of North Korea was partly like the specially trained German youth (who became top members of the government of East Germany, see Wolfgang Leonhard’s Die Revolution Entlasst Ihre Kinder) and Walter Ulbricht, who was installed by Stalin as head of the government of East Germany and who had already been one of Stalin’s agents in Western Europe , e.g., in Spain.

    The point is that Kim really cannot be compared as a home-grown popular guerilla leader either to Tito in Yugoslavia or to Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam. Yugoslavia retained its independence from the Soviet Union and was never occupied by the Red Army, and the same was true for Vietnam maintaining its independence from China. While John Foster Dulles and the CIA understood the case of Yugoslavia, they never did grasp the situation in the case of Vietnam … or they were overly influenced by the old China Lobby and the KMT.

    So, clearly, Kim entered Korea as an agent of Stalin, who had him appointed to be chairman of the North Korea section of the Korean Communist Party (i.e., chief stooge for the Soviet occupation of North Korea). According to Wikipedia: “Kim arrived in [Korea] September 1945 after 26 years in exile [i.e., outside of Korea]. According to Leonid Vassin, an officer with the Soviet MVD, Kim was essentially “created from zero”. For one, his Korean was marginal at best; he had only had eight years of formal education, all of it in Chinese. He needed considerable coaching to read a speech (which the MVD prepared for him) at a Communist Party congress three days after he arrived. … In December 1945, the Soviets installed Kim as chairman of the North Korean branch of the Korean Communist Party.”

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  29. @Daniel Chieh

    Anyway, Kim is totally one of them, one of the Communist Party billionaires who run China. He cannot be and really he doesn’t want to be independent of China … doesn’t even know what that would mean.
     
    As noted many times before, that's a fantasy. Kim has repeatedly murdered people that the CCP does not want him to kill, in a pretty explicit insult to the current CCP and in a complete rejection of what China wants him to become. Whatever their original relationship, Kim has clearly managed to defy China at this point.

    China is no longer communist in anything but name, having essentially returned to the Eternal Bureaucracy, and Kim embraces "Juche" at any rate, which means whatever he wants to mean.

    Daniel Chieh,

    Thank you for correcting me when I said: “Kim is totally one of them, one of the Communist Party billionaires who run China.”

    What I meant is that they are all grandchildren of the Maoist Communist Revolution. E.g., Kim Il-sung when employed within the Red Chinese Army in Manchukuo before World War II, reported to someone who reported to Mao himself. While they are all Communist billionaires, and thus members of the same club, there are important differences. The greatest difference is in that, as I understand it, members of the Standing Committee in Beijing all have come up through what you call “the Eternal Bureaucracy,” they have all been raised in, usually if not always born into the Communist party, but they have had to compete and prove themselves against others like themselves. That’s very different from the distinctly non-Communist inheritance of Kim through his membership in the Kim dynasty – although certainly Kim had to somehow prove himself better than his rivals within the family, or kill his rivals. Maybe comparable in that way to Saudi Arabia. In this respect, North Korea has never been “Stalinist”:

    http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/2230736-a-cursed-legacy-the-sad-lives-of-stalins-children/

    I think that in Chinese culture everything is about family, that’s Confucius.

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    • Replies: @Daniel Chieh
    No problem and well, its not entirely true. The "Red Generation" is a large power within Communist Party but it isn't the entire part at all; Hu Jintao is unrelated to them, for example, and became paramount leader of China through the Chinese Youth Party. Its all called "Communist Party" but its really large with lots of factions, so its as solid as saying that all Republicans and Democrats are the same. They're all part of the US government, and they likely all have some connection, but there are viable differences.

    At any rate, the Kim Dynasty has separated themselves from the Chinese one pretty radically. If Confucianism is about family, murdering your uncle is really beyond words, especially when you could have exiled him or so on. Since his uncle was someone the Party wished to advise him to gain maturity(as the Chinese saw it), its an even greater insult.

    The Party really doesn't like him, but really, what can they do at this point?

    I suggest “The Party” by Richard McGregor btw for a pretty good idea of how the CCP works these days.
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  30. @reiner Tor

    First, about the extent to which Kim has actually defied the CCP’s Standing Committee, my guess is that he pushed it as far as he could, and now he is working his way back into their good graces. The thing is that, for Kim, regardless of generations working together with the CCP, doing their bidding, there is no way that he can be as independent of China as he would like, so he has had to convince Beijing that he is useful to them.
     
    So first you guess that he's totally dependent on China, then you work backwards from that assumption to guess why he's doing what he's doing, and assume that he wants to convince Beijing that he's useful to them. You could be right, of course but that's not the way to bet.

    reiner Tor,

    Basically, you accuse me of this: Two guesses plus one assumption equals a conclusion, or maybe a surmise.

    You could surmise my comment in that way … or not. In any event, as you say, I could be right.

    In any event, this Korea stuff is bound to simmer down to near-zero soon. As the I Ching says, “When talk of revolution has gone the rounds three times,” where ‘revolution’ doesn’t mean political revolution so much as it means any very big change, like the ‘computer revolution’.

    So, if the revolution is the revolution to be wrought by North Korea developing strategic nuclear weapons, well, talk has gone around once now.

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  31. @Levelheaded
    I don’t know your personal history, I wasn’t even born in 1952, so I only speak of the last ~50 years. Your argument would have made sense if the US hysterics about North Korea were something isolated and atypical. However, it is a bead on a string, not the first and likely not the last one. Young Kim is likely a moron and a brutal dictator, but he is in his own country, whereas the US is thousands of miles away. What’s more, he is not sending warships to the US shores, he is not conducting military games near the US, whereas the US was constantly provoking NK for decades.
    Yes, Tonkin incident was a false flag fake, but the war that followed was quite real. The use of chemical weapons (napalm and agent orange) against civilians was also real, and so were over a million Vietnamese dead. Not to mention Laos and Cambodia, which were also attacked by the US and its vassals for no legitimate reason whatsoever. Vietnam defeat (remember rooftop evacuation, if you are as old as you claim?) brought the US to its senses for some time. However, the wounded American ego eventually healed, and a string of atrocities (all illegal under the international law) followed: Grenada, Somalia, Panama, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Ukraine, to name just the best known ones. Mind you, the last time NK engaged in aggression was in 1953, sixty four (!) years ago. Thus, there is no reason to believe a word State Department is saying about NK, just like there is no reason to believe that NK will be the last. Russia, China, Iran, and many others clearly understand that. That is the main reason they side with NK against the US, not because any of them likes the Kim dynasty. Personally, I am saddened by the glee 4/5th of the world expresses whenever the US is punched in the face. But we can’t complain, as a country we are bringing it on ourselves all the time. The saddest thing is that the tiny greedy elites dictate this suicidal foreign policy, yet all of us will suffer because of it. One of my friends says that while traveling abroad it’s best to pretend you are a Canadian, so that you are not blamed for everything.

    “I don’t know your personal history, I wasn’t even born in 1952.” — Levelheaded

    I don’t put any of my personal info out on the internet, for obvious reasons. But I can see where you would wonder about how old I must be if I “supported Taft in 1952.” To clarify, I don’t claim to have been eligible to vote in 1952, when voting age was 21, but I did read his book on foreign policy sometime around 1950 and I did support him in the 1952 primary, in the sense that I talked him up some and I think I even had a Taft button.

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  32. @Grandpa Charlie

    "The problem [is] that, without the Korean problem, there is no rationale for the yankees [sic] to have occupation forces in Northeast Asia." -- comment by "exiled off mainstreet"
     
    Yeah, "yankees" ... that's a dead give away as to the source of this boilerplate propaganda! We really don't need you and Whitney to copy what you get from Kim Jong-un's Korean Central News Agency (official organ of the Kim family dictatorship) and spit it back up here at UR .... all you need to do is give us a link to Kim Jong-un's KCNA.

    Yeah, yeah, yeah ... you guys and your hero Whitney ... it's real easy ... "USA is bad, very bad ... Kim Jong-un very good" ... but you know we've heard it all before.

    BTW: the rationale for the UN forces (USA''s forces) ... (and it's pure propaganda at this point to call them "occupation forces") ... the rationale is a little old thing called UNSC Resolution 82, plus the reality that the US Army and South Korea were both attacked by North Korea in 1950, and. DPRK has renounced the cease-fire (North Korea has announced that it will no longer abide by the armistice at least 6 times, in the years 1994, 1996, 2003, 2006, 2009, and 2013) so that USA has no option but to accept that we are still at war with North Korea.

    We have a choice.

    Withdraw our troops from South Korea. Bring them back home to guard our border, where they belong.

    Declare victory and an end to the Korean War.

    Actually honor the nuke power agreement that the us gov made with North Korea years ago.

    Stop threatening North Korea publicly. Tell Kim, only privately, that if he attacks the USA or our people anywhere, we will kill him and everyone around him.

    Done.

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  33. @Grandpa Charlie
    Daniel Chieh,

    Thank you for correcting me when I said: "Kim is totally one of them, one of the Communist Party billionaires who run China."

    What I meant is that they are all grandchildren of the Maoist Communist Revolution. E.g., Kim Il-sung when employed within the Red Chinese Army in Manchukuo before World War II, reported to someone who reported to Mao himself. While they are all Communist billionaires, and thus members of the same club, there are important differences. The greatest difference is in that, as I understand it, members of the Standing Committee in Beijing all have come up through what you call "the Eternal Bureaucracy," they have all been raised in, usually if not always born into the Communist party, but they have had to compete and prove themselves against others like themselves. That's very different from the distinctly non-Communist inheritance of Kim through his membership in the Kim dynasty - although certainly Kim had to somehow prove himself better than his rivals within the family, or kill his rivals. Maybe comparable in that way to Saudi Arabia. In this respect, North Korea has never been "Stalinist":

    http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/2230736-a-cursed-legacy-the-sad-lives-of-stalins-children/

    I think that in Chinese culture everything is about family, that's Confucius.

    No problem and well, its not entirely true. The “Red Generation” is a large power within Communist Party but it isn’t the entire part at all; Hu Jintao is unrelated to them, for example, and became paramount leader of China through the Chinese Youth Party. Its all called “Communist Party” but its really large with lots of factions, so its as solid as saying that all Republicans and Democrats are the same. They’re all part of the US government, and they likely all have some connection, but there are viable differences.

    At any rate, the Kim Dynasty has separated themselves from the Chinese one pretty radically. If Confucianism is about family, murdering your uncle is really beyond words, especially when you could have exiled him or so on. Since his uncle was someone the Party wished to advise him to gain maturity(as the Chinese saw it), its an even greater insult.

    The Party really doesn’t like him, but really, what can they do at this point?

    I suggest “The Party” by Richard McGregor btw for a pretty good idea of how the CCP works these days.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor

    murdering your uncle is really beyond words, especially when you could have exiled him
     
    Exiling him would never have taught half the lesson to potential enemies of Kim or potential pretenders to his throne.

    Khrushchev mildly forced his enemies into retirement or demoted them from the Politburo to directorships of mid-sized companies. His enemies concluded that conspiring to remove him would have relatively little downside. So he had to face such a conspiracy within half a decade. Stalin murdered his enemies (including potential and past enemies), so he didn't face any serious attempt to remove him for the last several decades of his life.
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  34. @Daniel Chieh
    No problem and well, its not entirely true. The "Red Generation" is a large power within Communist Party but it isn't the entire part at all; Hu Jintao is unrelated to them, for example, and became paramount leader of China through the Chinese Youth Party. Its all called "Communist Party" but its really large with lots of factions, so its as solid as saying that all Republicans and Democrats are the same. They're all part of the US government, and they likely all have some connection, but there are viable differences.

    At any rate, the Kim Dynasty has separated themselves from the Chinese one pretty radically. If Confucianism is about family, murdering your uncle is really beyond words, especially when you could have exiled him or so on. Since his uncle was someone the Party wished to advise him to gain maturity(as the Chinese saw it), its an even greater insult.

    The Party really doesn't like him, but really, what can they do at this point?

    I suggest “The Party” by Richard McGregor btw for a pretty good idea of how the CCP works these days.

    murdering your uncle is really beyond words, especially when you could have exiled him

    Exiling him would never have taught half the lesson to potential enemies of Kim or potential pretenders to his throne.

    Khrushchev mildly forced his enemies into retirement or demoted them from the Politburo to directorships of mid-sized companies. His enemies concluded that conspiring to remove him would have relatively little downside. So he had to face such a conspiracy within half a decade. Stalin murdered his enemies (including potential and past enemies), so he didn’t face any serious attempt to remove him for the last several decades of his life.

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    An interesting thought, thanks for relating.
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  35. @reiner Tor

    murdering your uncle is really beyond words, especially when you could have exiled him
     
    Exiling him would never have taught half the lesson to potential enemies of Kim or potential pretenders to his throne.

    Khrushchev mildly forced his enemies into retirement or demoted them from the Politburo to directorships of mid-sized companies. His enemies concluded that conspiring to remove him would have relatively little downside. So he had to face such a conspiracy within half a decade. Stalin murdered his enemies (including potential and past enemies), so he didn't face any serious attempt to remove him for the last several decades of his life.

    An interesting thought, thanks for relating.

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    • Replies: @reiner Tor
    Another aspect is that North Korea is now almost formally a monarchy ("In 2013, Clause 2 of Article 10 of the new edited Ten Fundamental Principles of the Korean Workers' Party states that the party and revolution must be carried "eternally" by the "Baekdu bloodline".[1]"), and monarchy unfortunately has a perverse incentive for members of the royal family to murder each other. The probably worst example is the Ottoman fratricide, but fratricide frequently happened in other monarchies. The fact that family members are way more viable as pretenders to the throne makes them potentially dangerous to the king. It's also important to teach them a lesson by showing that you don't refrain from murdering family members either.

    I don't know Chinese history well enough for this, but I'd be surprised if it turned out that no Chinese emperor ever had a family member executed.

    Usually as the succession gets more formalized and the monarchy stabilizes, fratricide gets less frequent, it's more a sign of a not yet stable order of succession.

    Regarding my point in the previous comment about murdering your enemies pour encourager les autres, it has a corollary: should your deterrence prove insufficient, then it's best to have a mild deterrence. Khrushchev paid the price for not being cruel enough, but he was rewarded by not being executed either. He was just forced into retirement. Had Stalin been removed, he'd have been executed immediately. It's even arguable that he was simply allowed to die when he had that stroke. So by murdering his family members (besides his uncle also his half-brother), he also made sure that he'd be unlikely to survive his fall from power. He's now all-in into ruling North Korea until old age. That kind of risk-taking certainly has some admirable qualities to it, even if murdering family members in itself is certainly not something to admire.

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  36. @Daniel Chieh
    An interesting thought, thanks for relating.

    Another aspect is that North Korea is now almost formally a monarchy (“In 2013, Clause 2 of Article 10 of the new edited Ten Fundamental Principles of the Korean Workers’ Party states that the party and revolution must be carried “eternally” by the “Baekdu bloodline”.[1]“), and monarchy unfortunately has a perverse incentive for members of the royal family to murder each other. The probably worst example is the Ottoman fratricide, but fratricide frequently happened in other monarchies. The fact that family members are way more viable as pretenders to the throne makes them potentially dangerous to the king. It’s also important to teach them a lesson by showing that you don’t refrain from murdering family members either.

    I don’t know Chinese history well enough for this, but I’d be surprised if it turned out that no Chinese emperor ever had a family member executed.

    Usually as the succession gets more formalized and the monarchy stabilizes, fratricide gets less frequent, it’s more a sign of a not yet stable order of succession.

    Regarding my point in the previous comment about murdering your enemies pour encourager les autres, it has a corollary: should your deterrence prove insufficient, then it’s best to have a mild deterrence. Khrushchev paid the price for not being cruel enough, but he was rewarded by not being executed either. He was just forced into retirement. Had Stalin been removed, he’d have been executed immediately. It’s even arguable that he was simply allowed to die when he had that stroke. So by murdering his family members (besides his uncle also his half-brother), he also made sure that he’d be unlikely to survive his fall from power. He’s now all-in into ruling North Korea until old age. That kind of risk-taking certainly has some admirable qualities to it, even if murdering family members in itself is certainly not something to admire.

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    Usually as the succession gets more formalized and the monarchy stabilizes, fratricide gets less frequent, it’s more a sign of a not yet stable order of succession.
     
    I should also have mentioned that in such monarchies the king is usually less competent (being solely a king due to having inherited his title, absolutely regardless of competence or the lack thereof), and so has usually less de facto (and often de iure) power. For example the Ottomans often had extremely powerful grand viziers after they stopped the practice of fratricide. Constitutional monarchy is a more formalized version of the same thing.
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  37. @reiner Tor
    Another aspect is that North Korea is now almost formally a monarchy ("In 2013, Clause 2 of Article 10 of the new edited Ten Fundamental Principles of the Korean Workers' Party states that the party and revolution must be carried "eternally" by the "Baekdu bloodline".[1]"), and monarchy unfortunately has a perverse incentive for members of the royal family to murder each other. The probably worst example is the Ottoman fratricide, but fratricide frequently happened in other monarchies. The fact that family members are way more viable as pretenders to the throne makes them potentially dangerous to the king. It's also important to teach them a lesson by showing that you don't refrain from murdering family members either.

    I don't know Chinese history well enough for this, but I'd be surprised if it turned out that no Chinese emperor ever had a family member executed.

    Usually as the succession gets more formalized and the monarchy stabilizes, fratricide gets less frequent, it's more a sign of a not yet stable order of succession.

    Regarding my point in the previous comment about murdering your enemies pour encourager les autres, it has a corollary: should your deterrence prove insufficient, then it's best to have a mild deterrence. Khrushchev paid the price for not being cruel enough, but he was rewarded by not being executed either. He was just forced into retirement. Had Stalin been removed, he'd have been executed immediately. It's even arguable that he was simply allowed to die when he had that stroke. So by murdering his family members (besides his uncle also his half-brother), he also made sure that he'd be unlikely to survive his fall from power. He's now all-in into ruling North Korea until old age. That kind of risk-taking certainly has some admirable qualities to it, even if murdering family members in itself is certainly not something to admire.

    Usually as the succession gets more formalized and the monarchy stabilizes, fratricide gets less frequent, it’s more a sign of a not yet stable order of succession.

    I should also have mentioned that in such monarchies the king is usually less competent (being solely a king due to having inherited his title, absolutely regardless of competence or the lack thereof), and so has usually less de facto (and often de iure) power. For example the Ottomans often had extremely powerful grand viziers after they stopped the practice of fratricide. Constitutional monarchy is a more formalized version of the same thing.

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  38. Halcyon37 says:

    >Leaders in North Korea don’t want to blow their money on nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles when their people are on the brink of starvation. But what choice do they have?

    God, another moron who doesn’t know anything about North Korea. In case you haven’t noticed North Korea hasn’t been invaded in the 70 years or so since the Korean War ended because they still have massive conventional weapons that would destroy a good portion of South Korea and Japan. Nukes are just a prestige item (because this will be a total mystery if you don’t know anything about Korea) to gain the mantle of “The Real Korea” since they lost the battle for material legitimacy around the 1980′s. Racial purity + nuclear weapons are the only claim NK has to being “The Real Korea”. And this is almost too obvious to point out but the North Korean regime doesn’t give a shit about its people. Not that it makes America the good guys but its always sad when people can only see this in a binary way. Either North Korea is pure evil or they’re the plucky underdogs who haven’t been co-opted by the Jews.

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  39. Halcyon37 says:

    >Does Trump know anything about the history of the current crisis? Does he know that North Korea agreed to end its nuclear weapons program in 1994 if the US met its modest demands? Does he know that the US agreed to those terms but then failed to hold up its end of the bargain?

    Half truths. First do YOU know the history of the current crisis? Why did North Korea go out of its way to sabotage every peace overture by the South during the Sunshine Policy days? Why did they shoot a unarmed south korean tourist during the height of engagement during the Roh administration?

    The Bush admin didn’t like the deal Clinton made so they were very late with shipments. I can’t say I defend that decision but to make North Korea as the well meaning character who was double crossed by the evil Bush regime is laughable.

    What you and most carpetbag North Korea experts never mention is the Sunshine Policy and how North Korea has been given opportunity after opportunity (even accounting for the uneven and belligerent US approach) by Japan and South Korea which they have repaid with by lying about Japanese abductees being dead while they were alive and attacking a civillian island, attacking a SK patrol boat because they were jealous the World Cup was being held in South Korea among many many MANY other incidents.

    I can understand people are sick of the hubris and war crimes of the US government but they have a stupid way of making it binary so that excuses North Korea’s massive crimes against its own people (and vice versa from the American ultrapatriots and neocons).

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