Trump goes it alone on North Korea. What could go wrong, other than nuclear war?

Trump goes to north Korea…what could go wrong? I get images of a herd of Meth fueled Chimpanzees with AR15’s trying to make nice their counterparts of red assed baboons…or something similarly reasonable

Means that they join a small club of countries.

For instance, the only country in Europe that’s self-sufficient in food is France.


Welcome to BoingBoing!


Exactly. It is like Trump has not been reading or watching the news for the last 30 years.

Except we know he has. Even if it is Fox News.

Maybe he ignored a bunch of it because he was friends with the Clintons and didn’t hate Bush? I have no other explanation. Because NK is nothing if not consistent; same shit, different day.

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Those countries don’t have to. They have access to international markets - including the common European market, which for all practical purposes counts as a single agricultural area. But if you view the Kim dynasty primarily as brave warriors against capitalism, there isn’t much we have to say to each other.

…because they haven’t been under siege for seventy years.

It is possible to have a nuanced view of North Korea without subscribing to Juche.


So which interventions did you NOT want, before they happened?


28 at most, when USSR stopped propping them up. And China is hardly besieging them.

“an economic system with severely limited scope for profit-takers and rent-seekers” doesn’t count as a nuanced view of North Korea in my book.

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“if you view the Kim dynasty primarily as brave warriors against capitalism” Now that’s ‘verbaling’.

Now have a think about why Nth Korea is such a ‘problem’ for the U.S. and the role the U.S. has played in creating the conditions as they currently exists on the Korean peninsula.

I have no idea what your knowledge of Korean history or the history of the ‘cold-war’ and U.S. foreign policy is but the situation with Nth Korea is not a simple ‘good vs evil’ scenario - as President Truman claimed when he committed U.S. troops to the Korean conflict in 1950 (in support of one dictatorship against another) . A National Security Council report in April 1950 (2 months before Nth Korean troops crossed the border) known as NSC-68, had recommended that the United States use military force to “contain” communist expansionism anywhere it seemed to be occurring, “regardless of the intrinsic strategic or economic value of the lands in question.”

Five million civilians killed in Korea and over one million deaths in Vietnam in the cause of preventing the implementation of an economic system? (The U.S. after all has allowed the continuance of non-communist dictatorships in various parts of the world.)

A big re-think beyond demonizing the Nth Korean regime is needed.


I was born under a - comparably very mild - version of the North Korean “economic system”. I can’t view it’s containment and elimination as anything but an unalloyed good and an entirely correct and prescient strategy.

What is needed is a reminder of the utter practical monstrosity of communism.

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Which one?

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Brave warriors against communism!

Would you say America killed too many people in Vietnam, or not enough?


What. Last I read they were literally cutting fetuses out of pregnant women in their camps. And, in those same camps, executing women for being pregnant, who became pregnant after being raped by the guards.

I mean, the US’ hands aren’t lily white–droning innocents, detaining at least some people at Gitmo for being brown at the wrong time and place–but I could prattle on and on about the “wonders of communism” in the center of the National Mall and no one would relocate me to the flippin’ gulag.

It may be counter-productive for the US to officially demonize the DPRK in any discussions / negotiations, but I’m going to continue demonizing the DPRK’s leadership all the same.


So where would this meeting take place? Because if Trump is stupid enough to go to N.Korea then why would rocket man not fire at the US in the mistaken belief that we would not vaporize Trump by firing back.

No, no, despite Foggy Bottom’s best endeavour, US foreign policy has always been a simple ‘good vs evil’ scenario.

But I digress from the real topic at hand: what can we offer North Korea to make sure that they keep Trump?

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That is such an oddly phrased and loaded question that I am unable to answer.

But trying to guess what you are going for: I think the military intervention in South Korea during the Korean war was absolutely necessary. South were being invaded by foreign backed North, and the whole country was overrun besides Jeju and Busan. US troops re-established the border. I think this was acceptable.

But for example the Cuban embargo for all these decades? I think that’s nothing but schoolyard bullying. The big kid US doesn’t like what clothes that new kid Cuba is wearing or the friends he has, and tells all their buddies to pick on Cuba. Not cool.

Similarly with NK these days: the US worked with South Korea to construct a naval base capable of serving US nuclear warships. Now let’s think for a minute if for example Russia decided to do the same just across the border from the US. Hmm. Why do I have a feeling we’ve seen this before…

But as I said, I’m not an analyst or a politician. This is just my impressions of the situation. Quite frankly I don’t know everything that’s involved. Based on the interviews we did with North Korean refugees, and what I heard from crew who had filmed in NK, it appeared that the situation and living standards were quite dreadful. The black market trade across the Chinese border alleviated that, and they could do subsistence farming (illegal but not policed). In Pyongyang I think the situation isn’t quite so bad but most of the country is not Pyongyang.

So, sorry man. Dunno?

That is a somewhat misleading picture of what happened.

Before the war, there was no North and South Korea; there was just Korea, occupied by Japan. After WWII, it ended up with the USSR occupying the north and the USA occupying the south.

The US installed Syngman Rhee as the head of a right-wing puppet government in the south. Rhee had spent WWII hiding in the USA (after being thrown out of a prewar Korean government for corruption), and immediately set about imprisoning/killing the South Korean left.

The government of the north did not accept the legitimacy of the partition, and eventually invaded the south (mostly on their own; the Chinese weren’t in it yet) in an attempt to reunify the country. Although they nearly succeeded early on, MacArthur’s Inchon counterattack forced them into retreat.

Rather than reestablishing the partition, MacArthur instead chased the North Koreans all the way to the Chinese border, all the while loudly discussing his desire to continue the attack into China. Then the Chinese got involved, and fought the boundary back to where it remains today.

During this process, the US and allied forces killed twenty percent of the North Korean population (and quite a few South Koreans as well).


Very good clarification, thanks.

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Fewer than the communists.

I’m not here to defend and exalt every US Cold war move and decision. The practical methods of both sides were comparably brutal - but the the end-states they wished to bring about differed markedly.