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The Deal With North Korea

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Ariana Binetta
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What does everybody think of the new deal with North Korea?

Evidently the six-part talks have an agreement "in principle" for America to semi-recognize the sovereignty of the North Korean dictatorship and not to invade it. We also have to give them massive amounts of energy and some financial aid right away. The dictatorship, in turn, vaguely agrees to abandon its nuclear weapons program sometime in the future with verification processes and timetables very obscure and still to be negotiated.

Personally, I think this is the hardest diplomatic problem in the world. :) But that won't stop me from criticizing it! :( The US seems to be bribing a terrible tyrant and giving in to sheer blackmail. We also seem to be wantonly abandoning the 23 million semi-innocents of North Korea who are suffering beyond all description.

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The US seems to be bribing a terrible tyrant and giving in to sheer blackmail. We also seem to be wantonly abandoning the 23 million semi-innocents of North Korea who are suffering beyond all description.

That's about right, but I would have used harsher words. There is absolutely NO excuse whatsoever for sending them a single red cent of resources.

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What does everybody think of the new deal with North Korea?

Evidently the six-part talks have an agreement "in principle" for America to semi-recognize the sovereignty of the North Korean dictatorship and not to invade it. We also have to give them massive amounts of energy and some financial aid right away. The dictatorship, in turn, vaguely agrees to abandon its nuclear weapons program sometime in the future with verification processes and timetables very obscure and still to be negotiated.

Personally, I think this is the hardest diplomatic problem in the world. :) But that won't stop me from criticizing it! :( The US seems to be bribing a terrible tyrant and giving in to sheer blackmail. We also seem to be wantonly abandoning the 23 million semi-innocents of North Korea who are suffering beyond all description.

North Korea wants the US to follow through on the commitments it made back in 1994 (?) under the deal brokered by Carter which probably stopped a second Korean war.

The US hasn't bothered to follow through on most of its promises (which included giving them a light water nuclear reactor).

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North Korea wants the US to follow through on the commitments it made back in 1994 (?) under the deal brokered by Carter which probably stopped a second Korean war.

The US hasn't bothered to follow through on most of its promises (which included giving them a light water nuclear reactor).

Are you implying that the US has an obligation to keep idiotic promises? :)

Edited by Inspector
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North Korea wants the US to follow through on the commitments it made back in 1994 (?) under the deal brokered by Carter which probably stopped a second Korean war.

That statement would require a lot of backup.

The US hasn't bothered to follow through on most of its promises (which included giving them a light water nuclear reactor).

Did the North Korean government follow through on its end? I thought that the US government's "promises" were made conditionally. My recollection could be wrong, of course, and so I would welcome the opportunity to examine whatever backup detail you can present for your position.

Of course, I'm not arguing that our government should have made or kept such a suicidal bargain.

--Schefflera

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If North Korea has ever honored one of their promises, I do not know what it is. There is nothing to be gained from negotiating with someone who is untrustworthy.

In any case, it is immoral to reward their threats by giving or offering to give them things. We should respond to force with force; and to threats with threats. We should be prepared to annihilate them if they attack: the United States, Japan, South Korea, or any of our other allies.

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Did the North Korean government follow through on its end? I thought that the US government's "promises" were made conditionally. My recollection could be wrong, of course, and so I would welcome the opportunity to examine whatever backup detail you can present for your position.

Of course, I'm not arguing that our government should have made or kept such a suicidal bargain.

--Schefflera

What's in doubt?

That there was some sort of agreement which defused hostilities a decade ago?

Or that current North Korean demands are related to that past agreement?

Anyway, anything I am asserting is based on my recollection of what I read in John Feffer's "North Korea/South Korea":

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detai...=glance&s=books

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Punk points out that the US brazenly violated Bill Clinton's 1994 agreement to give them light-water nuclear reactors. Inspector asks if we need honor such foolishness. And others note that the North Koreans have violated all of their agreements.

But I think America has to be true to its word or we lose moral authority and give the bad guys moral fuel. It's important we not give the dictators anything legit to complain about or to be honestly indignant over: this is a kind of wind underneath their wings without which they crash and burn IMHO.

What makes this problem so hard is South Korea and Japan are very determined appeasers. And at the six-part talks China, and even Russian, are very happy to use North Korea as a sharp stick in our side. Thus at the six-country talks the US has about five enemies. Nice, eh? :D

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...America has to be true to its word or we lose moral authority and give the bad guys moral fuel...
What was the context of such an agreement? Why did America agree to provide the North Koreans with some value? What value was America seeking from the North Koreans in return?
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Punk points out that the US brazenly violated Bill Clinton's 1994 agreement to give them light-water nuclear reactors. Inspector asks if we need honor such foolishness. And others note that the North Koreans have violated all of their agreements.

But I think America has to be true to its word or we lose moral authority and give the bad guys moral fuel. It's important we not give the dictators anything legit to complain about or to be honestly indignant over: this is a kind of wind underneath their wings without which they crash and burn IMHO.

First, Clinton (and others before him) should never have engaged in appeasement to begin with. Second, Clinton never bothered to verify that NK did its part, so blame him for being serious about appeasement. Third, there is no such thing as an obligation to be honest with a dictator - we should lie with impunity if it gives us the upper hand. Fourth, to hell with NK and any other country that condemns us for the quite proper act of lying to a dictator. The U.S. should literally not give a damn what other countries think of it.

What makes this problem so hard is South Korea and Japan are very determined appeasers. And at the six-part talks China, and even Russian, are very happy to use North Korea as a sharp stick in our side. Thus at the six-country talks the US has about five enemies. Nice, eh? :P

What makes this problem hard is that the U.S. has no backbone: it is afraid to do the right thing and terminate the threat from NK using as much force as is necessary to leave no doubt that the threat has been obliterated. The same lack of backbone is evident in our fight against radical Islam.

I think the U.S. has the might and the right to terminate both threats in short order.

Mark Peters

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My understanding of the situation is that this is just another step in the same game the North Koreans have been playing for over a decade. I remember reading a news article from the Drudge Report recently that was right next to an article about Iran. Both article titles read something like "[iran/North Korea] abandons nukes."

Does anyone really believe either country is abandoning its pursuit of nuclear weaponry? I don't. I remember reading another thread in this forum that commented on the assertion by Ahmadinejad that Iran will share nuclear technology, and I think both should be unified under the heading "US Appeasement of Opponents."

The deal that we are pursuing with North Korea is a part of the same diplomatic strategy that the Clinton administration took. It is a Cold War strategy only appropriate to nations that already have nuclear arms. It is debatable whether or not we should conduct negotiations with North Korea now that they have nukes. I am not a military strategist, but I think the US would be able to cripple the delivery capability of North Korea if it were to strike first.

Worse than our situation with North Korea, the US is taking the same "Cold War" strategy with Iran. Unless I am mistaken, our current stance will only lead to a nuclear armed Islamic theocracy. For the record, I think negotiations with either country are doomed. I don't think the current administration has the moral authority to assert our inalienable right to self defense, or the conviction to back that right up with force. Without these, all negotiations are prone to failure.

Edited by FeatherFall
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What a hand-wringing U.S. government won't address is the fact that North Korea and Iran want nukes because they actually want to use them, not to have 6,000 of them sitting in silos and submarines that have as much chance of being used as I have jumping into orbit with my feet. It would not have taken more than a small handful of targets obliterated with thermonuclear weapons on 9/12/01 in order to make clear that it's a Really Bad Idea to attack the U.S. - anywhere, anytime. But in 2005, almost 2,000 American soldiers have died so that Iraq can become a theocratic dictatorship, cozy with Iran, amplifying the terrorist problem rather than converting it into radioactive plasma.

The sad thing is that it's unlikely that even the detonation of a terrorist nuke in America, which seems depressingly inevitable, would result in proper retaliation. Why would it, when a direct assault on New York and an almost successful attempt at annihilating the military headquarters of this country, have led to a pathetically weak response.

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The US seems to be bribing a terrible tyrant and giving in to sheer blackmail.

Yes. Makes me ill.

North Korea wants the US to follow through on the commitments it made back in 1994 (?) under the deal brokered by Carter which probably stopped a second Korean war.

Appeasing a dictator and offering them gifts is not going to stop a war, it will only make them stronger when the war finally comes. We are talking about a country that launches missiles over other countries for NO REASON other than to threaten. It is a paranoid country that the world couldn't care less about throwing around its weight around to prop up its dictator's popular image and extort aid from the world because it is ruining itself with its policies.

The US hasn't bothered to follow through on most of its promises (which included giving them a light water nuclear reactor).

Tough. We don't have any moral obligation to keep agreements with a government of this kind. It's like negotiating with a kidnapper: say what you can to get the hostage out, then take them down.

We should not be giving that government anything under any circumstances.

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But I think America has to be true to its word or we lose moral authority and give the bad guys moral fuel. It's important we not give the dictators anything legit to complain about or to be honestly indignant over: this is a kind of wind underneath their wings without which they crash and burn IMHO.

I would agree with you IF we were talking about moral equals, with partners we respect and who respect us, but we aren't. Once it is determined that a government has no moral legitimacy (and the dictatorship in N Korea does not) all bets are off and we owe them nothing. Should I tell a murderer where his victim is because it is wrong to lie? Should we give a kidnapper $1 million because that's what we said we'd do, and then let him go? No. We shouldn't do this with countries either. They cannot be trusted and we should only have our own safety in mind in deciding how to deal with them.

We also should not care what the bad guys think about us. They are in no position to judge us. Our only concern should be to keep them from harming us.

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My understanding of the situation is that this is just another step in the same game the North Koreans have been playing for over a decade. I remember reading a news article from the Drudge Report recently that was right next to an article about Iran. Both article titles read something like "[iran/North Korea] abandons nukes."

Does anyone really believe either country is abandoning its pursuit of nuclear weaponry? I don't. I remember reading another thread in this forum that commented on the assertion by Ahmadinejad that Iran will share nuclear technology, and I think both should be unified under the heading "US Appeasement of Opponents."

The deal that we are pursuing with North Korea is a part of the same diplomatic strategy that the Clinton administration took. It is a Cold War strategy only appropriate to nations that already have nuclear arms. It is debatable whether or not we should conduct negotiations with North Korea now that they have nukes. I am not a military strategist, but I think the US would be able to cripple the delivery capability of North Korea if it were to strike first.

Worse than our situation with North Korea, the US is taking the same "Cold War" strategy with Iran. Unless I am mistaken, our current stance will only lead to a nuclear armed Islamic theocracy. For the record, I think negotiations with either country are doomed. I don't think the current administration has the moral authority to assert our inalienable right to self defense, or the conviction to back that right up with force. Without these, all negotiations are prone to failure.

North Korea and Iran would be insane to *not* develop nukes.

North Korea has been able to deter an American invasion due to its large army and its proximity to Seoul. This is expensive. It would be easier just to have the nukes and reduce the expenditure on the army.

Iran is in a position to become a second Iraq and knows it. At this point its only sure defense against that would be a nuclear deterent.

If I were in charge of either of them I'd be developing nukes as fast as I could.

The point of the nukes isn't to attack the US mainland, that would be ridiculous, and would invite massive retaliation in kind wiping out the entire country. But using the nukes to wipe out an invasion force or a couple aircraft carriers and their task forces, that would probably be enough to deter the invasion.

I don't see why people try to make out the desire of North Korea or Iran to develop nukes to be somehow *pathological*.

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What was the context of such an agreement [in 1994]? Why did America agree to provide the North Koreans with some value? What value was America seeking from the North Koreans in return?

The bargain was completely corrupt. They implicitly threatened to go nuclear, and indirectly threatened to nuke America after they did. To forestall this America gave in to blackmail and gave them a massive bribe in order to save our hyde.

But the deal was even worse than that because the American nation was not negotiating with the North Korean nation but rather their evil "leader" slave-masters. Thus the bargain was: You monsters who hideously violate the rights of 23 million can go ahead with our blessing provided you don't hideously violate our rights. What you demons do with "your" people is not our concern -- so torture away, boys!

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They implicitly threatened to go nuclear, and indirectly threatened to nuke America after they did. To forestall this America gave in to blackmail ...
If this is your assessment, how could you earlier have said:
...America has to be true to its word or we lose moral authority and give the bad guys moral fuel...
Suppose I agree to give a kidnapper money when he is holding someone I love to ransom. Do I lose moral authority if I am not "true to my word"?
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North Korea and Iran would be insane to *not* develop nukes.

They are insane anyway.

If I were in charge of either of them I'd be developing nukes as fast as I could.

If I were in charge of them, I would introduce capitalism, become an ally of America, and then--after having made sure that the country was going to stay pro-freedom--develop nukes.

You talk as if these countries had legitimate governments. They don't, and I don't consider it legitimate to post on this forum under that premise, either.

If this is your assessment, how could you earlier have said:

My thoughts exactly. Are Ariana and Binetta two different persons? ;)

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It is right to recognize that America should keep its word when dealing with other nations. When dealing with just nations, this is a matter of recognizing the other nation's sovereignty. When dealing with dictatorships, keeping one's word can only be a matter of practicality. However, it is foolhardy to maintain a diplomatic stance with a dictatorship when that stance is failing.

America would only gain the moral high ground by reversing diplomatic course with North Korea. North Korea would certainly be offended and threatened by this.

I don't think there is any conflict in recognizing that it is appropriate for a nation to keep its word, while also recognizing that a nation's word is only to be kept when dealing with proper sovereigns. A proper sovereign, North Korea is not.

Edited by FeatherFall
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SoftwareNerd asks:

Suppose I agree to give a kidnapper money when he is holding someone I love to ransom. Do I lose moral authority if I am not "true to my word"?

No, but somehow this appears to be a different a situation. For America to be an open fraud seems damaging. Keeping international agreements and maintaining a reputation for honesty seem important even when dealing with horrific miscreants.

But no one seems to be picking up on my main point: these North Koreans--who admittedly bear some responsibility for their sorry state--are suffering worse than any other large group in the history of man. Every time I study this closely I just want to cry. :P It isn't "altruism" to acknowledge their unprecedented agony and is an evasion to completely ignor it. How many people does Kim Jong-Il have to starve before America does something here?

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How many people does Kim Jong-Il have to starve before America does something here?

Maybe only one or two - Americans.

Reports of what North Korea does shocked me more than any other atrocities I know of. While I empathize with the plight of North Korean citizens, I cannot justify altruistic US military action. Fortunately, when it comes to North Korea, I don't have to. Kim Jong-Il's crimes against his own people simply underscore the danger he is to the United States and it's allies.

I don't think America needs any further justification for a pre-emptive strike against North Korea. But how will the rest of America be convinced of this?

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Maybe only one or two - Americans.

Reports of what North Korea does shocked me more than any other atrocities I know of. While I empathize with the plight of North Korean citizens, I cannot justify altruistic US military action. Fortunately, when it comes to North Korea, I don't have to. Kim Jong-Il's crimes against his own people simply underscore the danger he is to the United States and it's allies.

I don't think America needs any further justification for a pre-emptive strike against North Korea. But how will the rest of America be convinced of this?

America doesn't need any further justification. The rest of America won't be convinced of this until a critical mass of them reject altruism ... because they have rejected subjectivism and intrinsicism.

I think that the good people in NK would welcome an American removal of their government ... but that is a side effect of what is in America's self interest.

Mark Peters

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The United States should not deal with barborous thugs that hold an entire country hostage. The only proper way to deal with countries like North Korea is to ignore their entreaties until they are asertained to be a likely threat in the future.

At which point, war is the obvious answer to that. Thugs do not retain their rights while in the midst of thuggery. They have no claim to sovreignty, or respects, or recognition, or aid. They can only hope to squeeze a bit more while moral countries are busy taking care of more immediate threats.

The US has the power to do all of this, despite Russia, China, S. Korea or Japan's appeasement. What it has ceded (long ago) was the moral authority (and ideological fire) to take such a course of action.

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  • 1 year later...
Today, the Washington Post has posted a really good, concise article on the history of conflict with North Korea over the past fifty years. I found this to be very informative.
The chronology in the article is somewhat helpful, however, the writer's basic premise seems to be that US nuclear threats against NK caused that country's dictator(s) to pursue a nuclear weapons program. There isn't any mention of the North's agression that caused the Korean conflict, nor does the article discuss the North's subsequent threatening actions or its horrible mistreatment of its own people. In other words, the article omits a lot of context surrounding our actions.

I distinctly remember when Clinton, Carter and Madeleine Halfbright signed their deal with the scoundrels running NK. A number of commentators remarked that it was only delaying the day of reconning and that the Communists would begin cheating almost immediately. Of course, that is exactly what happened.

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