N Korean nuclear strike could cause chaos in US

South Korea switches off propaganda broadcasts, Moon upbeat on...
A few things ongoing at the moment. RoK loudspeakers have been turned off for the first time in two years. Moon is praising Tubby III for saying publicy what he's been doing for months;
“North Korea’s decision to freeze its nuclear programme is a significant decision for the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula,” South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a regular meeting at the Blue House on Monday.

“It is a green light that raises the chances of positive outcomes at the North’s summits with South Korea and the United States. If North Korea goes the path of complete denuclearisation starting from this, then a bright future for North Korea can be guaranteed.”
According to the Global Times, the US can't take all of the praise for the meeting:
The Global Times, a hawkish tabloid newspaper run by the ruling Communist Party’s official People’s Daily, said all parties “should cherish this hard-won state of affairs” and continue to make efforts towards peace and denuclearisation.

“Washington should not regard North Korea’s halt to nuclear and missile tests as a result of its maximum pressure,” the Global Times wrote.

“It must be attributed to multiple factors, one of which is that Pyongyang has mastered certain advanced nuclear technologies and successfully launched an intercontinental ballistic missile with a range of more than 10,000 km.”
03.09.2017, DPRK's last nuclear test (alleged thermonuclear)
28.11.2017, DPRK's last missile test
02.12.2017, earthquake reported in the region of the DPRK test site.

North Korea agrees to let South Korean media broadcast part of...
Tubby III is allowing part of the bilateral meeting to be filmed between him and Moon on Friday:
North Korea has agreed to a live broadcast by South Korean media of part of Friday’s summit, as well as summit coverage by the South’s reporters in the North’s part of the Joint Security Area at the border, Seoul’s presidential Blue House said on Monday.

The two sides held working-level talks at the Tongil Pavilion on the North Korean side of the border truce village of Panmunjom to discuss matters of protocol, security and press coverage ahead of the summit.
China says 32 nationals killed when bus falls off bridge in North...
Tourism still seems to appeal to some. $44M revenue per annum apparently:
Thirty-two Chinese tourists and four North Koreans died when a bus crashed off a bridge in North Korea, China’s foreign ministry said on Monday, with two Chinese nationals in critical condition.

Chinese tourists make up about 80 percent of all foreign visitors to North Korea, says a South Korean think-tank, the Korea Maritime Institute, which estimates that tourism generates revenue of about $44 million each year for the isolated country.

Chinese diplomats visited the scene of Sunday’s crash in North Hwanghae province, the foreign ministry said.


State television’s main Chinese-language news channel showed images of a crashed blue bus with its wheels in the air, in footage taken in pouring rain in the dark.
 
The following is a story by the CBC on what the US and North Korea might negotiate about. Trump says North Korea agreed to 'denuclearization'? Not so fast, say experts | CBC News

To summarise the story in as few words as possible, the two sides may not at this point be on the same wavelength when it comes to what the issues are. The US may want to limit talks to the North's nuclear weapons and missiles, while the North may wish to include broader issues involving the entire Korean peninsula and overall relations with the US.

However, the policy experts interviewed in the story feel that talking is a sign of progress and that we are in a better situation now than when both sides were talking about annihilating each other.
 
It has historically always been considered a most positive step when NK agrees to talk.

It has always then been a slight disappointment, when, after the talks and the NK have obtained concessions for promises, they get the concessions and their promises somehow evaporate like early morning mist in sunshine.

(If it wasn’t so late I could do a haiku on that, but that would be as pointless as the meetings. Makes people feel good though, so not all bad.)
 
It has historically always been considered a most positive step when NK agrees to talk.

It has always then been a slight disappointment, when, after the talks and the NK have obtained concessions for promises, they get the concessions and their promises somehow evaporate like early morning mist in sunshine.

(If it wasn’t so late I could do a haiku on that, but that would be as pointless as the meetings. Makes people feel good though, so not all bad.)
Which particular instances were you thinking of?
 
Which particular instances were you thinking of?
Just from recent events. The Bush administration removed North Korea from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terror in 2008 in a bid to salvage international talks aimed at halting its nuclear efforts.

Following his presidency, Bush said “we must do more to improve the human condition in North Korea.”

During his presidency, Bill Clinton approved a plan which would provide more than $4 billion in energy aid to North Korea over 10 years. In return, North Korea was expected to disband and dismantle its nuclear weapons program.

At the time, Clinton heralded the program as a “good deal.”

“The United States and international inspectors will carefully monitor North Korea to make sure it keeps its commitments,” Clinton said. “Only as it does so, will North Korea fully join the community of nations.”

Funnily enough Obama couldn’t seem to stand them and ignored them.

Very effective!!!!!!
 
Just from recent events. The Bush administration removed North Korea from the State Department’s list of state sponsors of terror in 2008 in a bid to salvage international talks aimed at halting its nuclear efforts.

Following his presidency, Bush said “we must do more to improve the human condition in North Korea.”

During his presidency, Bill Clinton approved a plan which would provide more than $4 billion in energy aid to North Korea over 10 years. In return, North Korea was expected to disband and dismantle its nuclear weapons program.

At the time, Clinton heralded the program as a “good deal.”

“The United States and international inspectors will carefully monitor North Korea to make sure it keeps its commitments,” Clinton said. “Only as it does so, will North Korea fully join the community of nations.”

Funnily enough Obama couldn’t seem to stand them and ignored them.

Very effective!!!!!!
I can't tell if you are referring to one instance or several. However, with respect to the one that I can distinguish, it was the US who reneged on the agreement, not North Korea. The White House signed an agreement but didn't have the domestic political support to carry out their side of the deal. The US then tried to unilaterally alter the terms of the agreement to encompass more issues after having originally insisted on a very narrowly focused treaty. That treaty had a set of mutual milestones which each side had to meet before the other side would proceed with the next step. Everything stopped once the US failed to meet their commitments (because of the aforementioned domestic political opposition blocking it).

I had the above in mind when I said that for the current talks to amount to anything, the two sides will need to cover a broad range of issues with mutually agreed upon milestones. Kim and Trump may come to an agreement in principle, but nailing down the details may take years. Even then, it is quite probable that the political opposition to Trump in the US will try to undermine it just because it was "his" treaty.

The major stumbling blocks that I can see are:
  1. Too narrow of a focus. Like the previous attempt, a narrowly focused treaty which doesn't attempt to deal with the overall relationship will fall down when Washington comes to the realisation that they've just addressed one of the manifestations of the underlying problem and haven't prevented some new manifestation that the treaty doesn't cover.
  2. Political opposition from a few elements in the US to any treaty or negotiations at all due to dislike of North Korea or due to a belief that the US should dictate to small countries, not than negotiate with them.
  3. Political opposition from a wider set of elements in the US to the treaty simply because it will be seen as "Trump's" treaty and they don't want to give him anything that looks like a success. The combination of this and the previous reason could make for some very strange bedfellows.

If Trump follows the same sort of negotiating path that he has taken with Canada over the past year, he will say positive things when he meets Kim and then his staff will issue multiple contradictory statements afterwards. The US foreign minister will then visit his counterpart in Pyongyang to try to straighten out any "misunderstandings" while Trump tweets threats about what will happen if he doesn't get exactly what he wants. Following this Trump's "non-negotiable" demands will get whittled back by the professional diplomats on both sides to something closer to what he is actually willing to accept. Etc.

In other words, there will be much noise in public which means little while the real negotiations take place behind closed doors.

Something in particular to keep an eye on is what role the new president of South Korea takes in this. He (or his staff) has shown a deft hand so far, and if he takes a leading role as interlocutor he may secure a degree of influence in these events for South Korea which they have not had in the past.
 

AlienFTM

MIA
Book Reviewer
This doesn't seem to have broken on Arrse. Kim stops nuclear testing because his test site has collapsed and there's a serious risk of radiation leakage.
 
This doesn't seem to have broken on Arrse. Kim stops nuclear testing because his test site has collapsed and there's a serious risk of radiation leakage.
I think it may have been discussed on this thread several months ago. There's nothing stopping them from simply moving over to the next mountain and using that as a test site.

However, a news article that I read recently said that North Korea has conducted half a dozen nuclear tests. That's the same number that India and Pakistan conducted before they too suspended testing. The article stated that after half a dozen tests enough data has been collected that further testing is not necessary to know that they have a reliable working design.

I can't recall if I posted the following article before: Trump says North Korea agreed to 'denuclearization'? Not so fast, say experts | CBC News

Skeptics suspect Kim's willingness to forgo further nuclear tests likely means he feels happy enough with the development of his nuclear stockpile, Hanham said.

"They've had six nuclear tests, and so have Pakistan and India, for example. So they may feel they have enough advancement, having tested later than those countries, and benefited from the advancements in technology to help them build those weapons."
and also:
"Other nuclear powers have stopped at six tests. India and Pakistan both had six tests, so they don't need to keep blowing up nuclear weapons to know they work," Kazianis said. "You can model this through computer systems."
 
This doesn't seem to have broken on Arrse. Kim stops nuclear testing because his test site has collapsed and there's a serious risk of radiation leakage.
This has mentioned on ARSE numerous times, and as a reason for China to have summoned Kim for ‘talks’.

China has been well aware of the dangers posed by NK’s nuclear testing and of the degradation of the test site, as have been the Arseratae.
 
Present Chinese concerns are based upon studies which both makes sense and well understood research, authored by a team led by Liu Junqing at the earthquake bureau in Jilin province along the border with North Korea. Kim’s nuclear tests have been of special concern to Beijing, since the test site near the town of Kilju is less than 60 miles) from the Chinese border.

Previous tests have caused seismic events in Chinese border towns and cities, and forced evacuations of schools and offices. There are also fears of wind-born radiation which has led to a backlash among some Chinese against their unpredictable traditional ally. Ties have been deteriorating for years, although Kim has made a long-anticipated visit to Beijing last month, this was after China's implementation of United Nations economic sanctions which had reduced their trade by as much as 90 percent.

Kune Yull Suh, a professor of nuclear engineering at Seoul National University, had also warned last year further tests could possibly cause a volcanic eruption at Mount Paektu, about 60 miles away, yet another cause for Chinese concern.

Kim has been certainly been left with no illusions about his present global popularity
 
The two Koreans have agreed to work towards peace and complete denuclearisation.
Koreas agree to work toward peace and 'complete denuclearization' | CBC News
The leaders of North and South Korea signed a declaration on Friday agreeing to work for the "complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula."
The goal is to have a Korean Peninsula which is free of nuclear weapons.
"The joint goal is to agree to have a Korean Peninsula without any nuclear arsenal," South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in a joint news conference in Panmunjom, the border truce village
They also said they will jointly push for talks with the US and possibly China to bring an official end to the Korean War (there is currently only an armistice, not a peace treaty).
North and South Korea say they will jointly push for talks with the United States and also potentially China to officially end the 1950-53 Korean War, which stopped in an armistice and left the Koreas still technically at war.
They will also pursue conventional arms reduction, stop "hostile acts", turn the border into a "peace zone", and seek multilateral talks with other countries, such as the US.
The declaration included promises to pursue military arms reduction, cease "hostile acts," turn their fortified border into a "peace zone," and seek multilateral talks with other countries, such as the United States.
Kim said some nice things, quoted below.
"When we met each other, we realized — we cannot be separated," said Kim. "We are one nation and that's how I felt. We are living next door to each other, there's no reason we should fight each other."
High level military talks will take place in May. Moon will visit the North in the autumn. They also promised to maintain contact through the new hot line.
The two countries have agreed to hold high-level military talks in May to reduce tensions, with South Korea's president scheduled to visit the North sometime in the autumn. The leaders were also said to pledge to maintain contact through a newly established hotline between the countries.
The propaganda speakers that shout at each other across the border will stop and be dismantled.
Propaganda broadcasts that the countries have been blaring at each other across their heavily armed border will cease next week, they said, with the broadcasting equipment to be dismantled.
They will hold cross-border family re-unions in August, set up a permanent communications office (not clear what this is), and connect some roads and railways.
The sides also agreed to:

Hold family reunions in August of those separated by the war.
Set up a permanent communications office.
Work toward connecting some roads and railways.
Kim said he wants to make sure the agreements signed today will not end like the previous ones.
"We will make efforts to create good results by communicating closely, in order to make sure our agreement signed today before the entire world, will not end as just a beginning like previous agreements before today," Kim said after the agreement was signed.
The former US ambassador to South Korea and former negotiator with North Korea said that the recent events are significant.
Christopher Hill, a former U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Korea and a former negotiator with North Korea, told CBC News there's still a long way to go to realize the goals outlined.

"But nonetheless, I don't see how anyone can ignore the significance of what happened."



 
North Korea's Kim to invite U.S. experts for nuclear site shutdown...
Tubby III is inviting western journalists to see the ‘decommissioning’ of his nuke test site which reportedly suffered an earthquake on 02.12.2017. Some tunnelling by reported earlier this year:
Kim told Moon that he would soon invite the experts and journalists to “open to the international community” the dismantling of the facilities, the Blue House said.
The sentence picked up by western media:
“The United States, though inherently hostile to North Korea, will get to know once our talk begins that I am not the kind of person who will use nuclear weapons against the South or the United States across the Pacific,” Moon’s press secretary Yoon Young-chan quoted Kim as saying.
It would appear as I mentioned above, the sanctions and their implementation/upholding are having an effect. What guarantees he will expect and what inspection regime he will allow, remains to be seen:
“There is no reason for us to possess nuclear weapons while suffering difficulties if mutual trust with the United States is built through frequent meetings from now on, and an end to the war and non-aggression are promised.”
There’s an admittance that much of the site has been rendered useless:
Kim said there were two additional, larger tunnels that remain “in a very good condition” at the Punggye-ri test site beyond the existing one, which experts have said had collapsed after repeated explosions, rendering much of the site useless.
Even a change in time zones is promised, Pyongyang being 1/2 hour behind Seoul. He will not use military force against the south and a ‘hotline’:
To facilitate future cross-border cooperation, Kim pledged to scrap the unique time zone Pyongyang created in 2015. He said the North would move its clocks forward 30 minutes to be in sync with the South, nine hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

Kim also reaffirmed that he would not use military force against the South and raised the need for an institutional mechanism to prevent unintended escalations, Yoon said.
Early days but it certainly looks like progression albeit we only have what RoK say Tubby III has said
 
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The west thinks that by offering aid or reducing sanctions, Kim can be persuaded to give up his WMDs.

Kim sees possession of nuclear weapons as all that is standing between him and the type of regime change faced by Col. Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein. He will die before he gives up his nukes. I would think he views the current talks with the South Koreans and the upcoming talks with the Americans as a response to western concern about his shiny new arsenal.

The only outcome Kim will be interested in is anything that will increase his grip on power. Food aid will be earmarked for the starving peasants who are, once again, reduced to eating grass. In fact it will go to the army just like last time. NK is desperately short of fuel due to the oil embargo. Fuel aid will be touted as being for agricultural machinery. In fact, it will go to the army, same as the food.

Trump may view himself as the great negotiator but he should remember what happened to Hans Blix when he visited North Korea. Eaten by frikkin' sharks with lasers on their heads according to the World Police division of the CIA. If only Hans was still with us, these negotiations might get somewhere.
 
South Korea's spy chief plays key role in historic meeting with North
An article on one of the people behind the current DPRK and RoK meeting. Appointed by Moon, spent a couple of years in the north:
Nearly 18 years after Suh Hoon, a South Korean intelligence official, traveled to Pyongyang to persuade reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to hold an unprecedented first summit in the North Korean capital in 2000, he watched Kim’s son pledging peace on the Korean peninsula on Friday - this time just south of the heavily militarized border.

Friday was the first time any North Korean leader set foot on South Korean soil since the 1950-53 Korean War left the country divided and the two neighbors in a technical state of conflict.
A bit too early to talk about the next summit, from somebody viewed as an expert on DPRK by RoK:
“It is too premature to talk about a next inter-Korean summit,” Suh told reporters last year after his appointment was announced, returning him to the agency he quit in 2008 when a conservative government was elected. “But we need it.”

Suh, who personally helped arrange two previous inter-Korean summits in 2000 and 2007, is viewed as the country’s top expert on North Korea. He is known as the South Korean who met with late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il the most.
 
Putin: Russia ready to help North-South Korea cooperation -Kremlin
#metoo!
President Vladimir Putin has told his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in that Russia is ready to facilitate cooperation between North and South Korea, the Kremlin said on Sunday.

In a telephone call with Moon, Putin said Russia was ready to help with trilateral infrastructure and energy projects on the Korean peninsula.

On Friday Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un embraced after pledging to work for the “complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula”.
 
Some clues have emerged at to what North Korea will be looking for in negotiations with the US. North Korea to close nuclear test site in May, Seoul says | CBC News

Moon's spokesman Yoon said that Kim said the following:
"If we maintain frequent meetings and build trust with the United States and receive promises for an end to the war and a non-aggression treaty, then why would we need to live in difficulty by keeping our nuclear weapons?" Yoon quoted Kim as saying.
Note the specific references to:
  • an end to the war
  • a non-aggression treaty
In other words, North Korea want the armistice replaced by a wide ranging and all encompassing peace treaty that lays out the nature of future relationships. They won't be interested in talking only about missiles and nukes.

Whether the Americans will be willing to put everything on the table remains to be seen. There has been no suggestion of this from them so far, as their statements have just focused on "de-nuclearisation" and not on achieving a general peace treaty.

I suspect that Moon (South Korea) will also be interested in an all-encompassing peace treaty. Whether he will be willing to break with the US over that issue however is yet another good question. Going by his current track record though, he may be willing to work around the Americans and conduct an independent diplomatic effort with the various other parties and then present the Americans with a fait accompli.

Regardless of the latter however, we can already see how history may be repeating itself here. In the 1990s and 2000s, previous negotiations between the US and North Korea foundered on the rocks of differing expectations between the two sides. The US wanted a very narrowly focused treaty, while the North Koreans wanted an all-encompassing one which covered the overall relationship between the two parties. Present efforts may fail in the same way.

What is different this time though is a South Korea which may be more wealthy, more confident, and more able to push the two parties in a direction which suits South Korean interests.
 
http://www.rodong.rep.kp/en/
In the absence of ‘official’ statements by Tubby III it’s often useful to see what ‘the Party’ are telling their populace. Denuclearisation, peace and reunification appear in what the party says he’s been up to during his meeting with Moon:
http://www.rodong.rep.kp/en/index.php?strPageID=SF01_02_01&newsID=2018-04-28-0013
Talks between the respected Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un and President Moon Jae In took place at the "House of Peace" in the south side portion of Panmunjom.

Present at the talks from the north side were Kim Yong Chol, vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, and Kim Yo Jong, first vice department director of the C.C., WPK.

Present from the south side were Im Jong Sok, presidential chief of staff at Chongwadae, and So Hun, director of the Intelligence Service.

At the talks both sides had a candid and open-hearted exchange of views on the matters of mutual concern including the issues of improving the north-south relations, ensuring peace on the Korean Peninsula and the denuclearization of the peninsula.

Referring to the very significant meeting with Moon Jae In at Panmunjom, a symbol of division and confrontation, Kim Jong Un said that the meeting at such special place would mark an occasion of giving once again hope and dream for the future to all people.

He said he felt once again the national mission and duty to usher in a new era of peace and reunification after putting an end to the history of division and confrontation and that he came today with the thought that he would fire a signal flare at the starting line writing a new history.

Moon Jae In said the weather was nice as if it congratulated today's meeting and that the moment Chairman of the State Affairs Commission Kim Jong Un crossed the Demarcation Line, Panmunjom became a symbol of peace, not a symbol of division.

Paying deep respects to the great decision of Kim Jong Un who produced the significant meeting like today, Moon Jae In hoped that open-hearted dialogue would be continued to build confidence between themselves.

Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae In reached a consensus of views on the agenda items and agreed to meet often and sincerely discuss the pending issues and the important matters for the nation in the future and thus make joint efforts to wisely open up a new history of the north-south relations and further develop the good trend for peace, prosperity and reunification of the Korean Peninsula.

Before the start of the talks, in commemoration of the historic north-south summit meeting Kim Jong Un wrote in a visitor's book at the "House of Peace" that "A new history begins now - at the starting point of history, an era of peace.
 
Trump has said he favours the border between North and South Korea as the site for his upcoming meeting with Kim.
Trump favours demilitarized zone for meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong-un | CBC News
U.S. President Donald Trump says he may favour the heavily fortified border between North and South Korea for his proposed summit with the North's dictator, Kim Jong-un.
This is the same location where Moon (South Korea's president) met with Kim.
That's where South Korean President Moon Jae-in met Kim on Friday, the first time a North Korean leader has visited south of the demarcation line that divides the rival nations.
Trump said something about holding a "celebration" at the border. It's not clear what he meant by that. Given certain other things he said, it is possible he is looking for a trip which involves a lot of pomp and ceremony.
"There's something that I like about it because you are there, you are actually there," Trump said at a news conference in the White House Rose Garden. "If things work out there's a great celebration to be had on the site, not in a third-party country."

The president also said that if the talks were successful, the "celebration" at the border would be memorable.
A variety of other locations in Europe, Southeast Asia, and Mongolia has been suggested by some as a suitable location.
There's been rampant speculation since Trump accepted the offer from Kim for direct talks on where would be an acceptable venue to both sides. Countries in Europe, Southeast Asia, and Mongolia or even a ship in international waters have all been suggested as possible venues.
Given the logistics involved, the border does sound like the best location from a practical perspective.
 

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