N Korean nuclear strike could cause chaos in US

You it seems put a great deal of thinking into your flip-flops.
You, on the other hand, put very little thinking into your thinking.
They're still experts coming out openly and staking their reputations on their assessments.

The article quotes the opinions of anonymous sources in unspecified intelligence agencies that the North Koreans have more facilities than the west were previously aware of.

If you think about that for a moment, you can see why the two are not contradictory.
This seems to be the original news report that everyone is referencing.
North Korea has increased nuclear production at secret sites

Despite what Trump may have put out on Twitter, there is no deal yet and the North Koreans aren't going to concede in advance what they will be asked to negotiate at the table, if and when the negotiations materialise.

Going by past performance, the "five U.S. officials" are probably White House staff members whose faction lost on this issue and are busy leaking like mad to try to undermine their mortal enemies - the other factions in the White House.

I'll take the word of someone who is willing to put his name and reputation on the line a lot more seriously than that of someone who isn't.
And after all the frantic signaling from behind the scenes, the US finally admits what their problem is. U.S. has plan to dismantle North Korea nuclear program within a year | CBC News

As is usual when there is a major policy disagreement in the US, the losing side will write up their own opinions, dress them up as a "secret intelligence report", take a friendly journalist out for drinks, and ask him to publish it without revealing who he got it from. That was previously covered here: https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/t...e-could-cause-chaos-in-us.265770/post-8654763 and in other posts.

With this new news report (first link above) we finally see what the disagreement is about.

Apparently the latest US national security advisor to emerge from the "Game of Thrones" struggle in the White House, Ramsay John Bolton, has a plan to effectively "denuclearise" North Korea in one year.
White House national security adviser John Bolton has said he believes the bulk of North Korea's weapons programs could be dismantled within a year, as the United States and North Korea resumed working-level talks.
The timing of that strikes me as a bit ambitious, to put it mildly. No doubt though it dovetails quite nicely with Trump's re-election schedule.

The experts quoted by @smartascarrots thought that 10 years was a more realistic time horizon to completely finish the job.

Some other observers in the news story are similarly skeptical.
Some experts disputed Bolton's optimistic time frame for decommissioning the North's weapons.

"It would be physically possible to dismantle the bulk of North Korea's programs within a year," said Thomas Countryman, the State Department's top arms control officer under former president Barack Obama.

"I do not believe it would be possible to verify full dismantlement within a year, nor have I yet seen evidence of a firm DPRK decision to undertake full dismantlement."
One of the observers quoted in the present news story also cited 10 years as a realistic time frame.
Siegfried Hecker, a nuclear scientist and Stanford University professor, has predicted it would take around 10 years to dismantle and clean up a substantial part of North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear site.
I am of the opinion that just negotiating and mutually agreeing upon an actual plan in a year would be very ambitious.

The US will also face the hurdle that they have little credibility with anyone at the moment when it comes to honouring agreements that they've made. That will likely be a major sticking point that may require a creative solution.
[QUOTE="terminal, post: 8656003, member: 88377”]...
The US will also face the hurdle that they have little credibility with anyone at the moment when it comes to honouring agreements that they've made. That will likely be a major sticking point that may require a creative solution.[/QUOTE]

There is of course the other side of this particular coin...NK has abrogated just about every ‘treaty/agreement’ they ever made on this subject.

This isn’t a major sticking point with a creative solution, its a major problem that isn’t solvable with the present leaders... nor was it with previous US and NK leaders.
The US has backed further away from the hard line they had previously taken in negotiations with North Korea. U.S. softens North Korea approach as Pompeo prepares for more nuclear talks | CBC News

The US has binned what was being called the "all or nothing" approach to negotiating with North Korea.
The United States appears to have shelved an "all or nothing" approach to North Korean denuclearization as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo prepares to head back to North Korea this week hoping to agree a road map for its nuclear disarmament.
The "all or nothing" appears to refer to North Korea getting nothing until after the US gets all that it wants.
The U.S. administration has previously demanded that North Korea agree to abandon its entire nuclear program before it could expect any relief from tough international sanctions. Ahead of the Singapore summit, Pompeo said Trump would reject anything short of "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization."
However, the South Koreans told the US that this was a non-starter, as the North Koreans would see it as a prelude to "regime change".
A senior South Korean official told U.S. officials in a meeting in Washington last month that the U.S. side should stop pressing for CVID, which North Korea saw as a recipe for unilateral disarmament that would leave it vulnerable to regime change, according to a source familiar with the discussions.
There was also the realisation that maintaining the cooperation of China and Russia was unlikely unless the US changed their tack.
There was also a realization, one official said, that maintaining Chinese and Russian cooperation over North Korea would be "more problematic if the U.S. stuck to an all-or-nothing posture." The official said that the North Koreans had largely refused in talks with Sung Kim to respond to attempts to define the key terms of an eventual agreement, including the words complete, verifiable and irreversible.

"The choice was either bend it or break it," one of the officials said.
The South Koreans have persuaded the US to instead follow a path of "mutual threat reduction". The idea is to make mutual incremental changes on both sides to ratchet down the tension and achieve the end goal gradually.
The South Korean official suggested that the U.S. instead refer to "mutual threat reduction," the source said. The official also argued that it would be difficult to inspect North Korean nuclear and missile facilities in a conventional way involving "hundreds" of international investigators, as Pyongyang would be unlikely to accept.
The one year goal previously referred to by the White House has also faded away to be replaced by a less definite time frame.
However, on Tuesday, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert declined give a timeframe for North Korea's denuclearization.

"I know some individuals have given timelines; we're not going to provide a timeline for that," she said. "A lot of work is left to be done, certainly. We go into this eyes wide open."
Overall, it looks like the South Koreans are very active behind the scenes in this and are quietly shifting Washington and Pyongyang in a direction which suits South Korea's own strategy. I suspect that truly understanding the development of this process will not be possible without understanding South Korea's own quiet diplomacy.


Book Reviewer
So the whole thing is not going anywhere and has made Trump look stupid. SK's strategy is appeasement and cross-subsidising the army which is created to destroy them.
So the whole thing is not going anywhere and has made Trump look stupid. SK's strategy is appeasement and cross-subsidising the army which is created to destroy them.
I guess the SK, with their decades of dealings and close cultural understanding of the North, must just be so much stupider than random folk off the internet.
US foreign minister Pompeo was in Pyongyang on Friday conducting negotiations. Pompeo in North Korea vows to nail down details of denuclearization deal | CBC News
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began his first trip to Pyongyang since President Donald Trump's summit with leader Kim Jong-un last month with a vow to nail down the specifics of the commitments Kim made on denuclearization.
He met with Kim Yong-chol, who appears to be Pyongyang's lead negotiator on this issue.
He was met at the Pyongyang airport by Kim Yong-chol, a senior ruling party official and former intelligence chief, and Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho.

Soon afterward, he and Kim Yong-chol, who has been something of a point-man on Washington negotiations for Kim Jong-un, sat down for their first talks.
After this meeting Pompeo will go on to Japan, Vietnam, the UAE, and then to the NATO summit in Belgium.
Pyongyang is the first stop on his first around-the-world trip as the top U.S. diplomat. He will then travel to Japan, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates before heading to Belgium, where he will accompany Trump to the NATO summit in Brussels.
Most of the rest of the new story is either speculation or a re-hash of previous reports, and so the rest of the report is probably not worth reading.
Apparently the US and North Korea did not see eye to eye on a lot of issues during Pompeo's meeting there.
North Korea says Pompeo made 'gangster-like' demands but he calls talks 'productive' | CBC News

Leaving aside the overly dramatic language (which probably means little), the main issue seems to be that what Trump said when he was there and what Pompeo said when he visited do not line up very well.

This doesn't mean that negotiations are at an end, it just means that they will take a while.

In criticizing the talks with Pompeo, however, the North carefully avoided attacking Trump, saying "we wholly maintain our trust toward President Trump," but also that Washington must not allow "headwinds" against the "wills of the leaders."
North Korea says resolve for denuclearisation may falter but Pompeo...
Mixed messages coming from the talks. Pompeo sounding upbeat. DPRK officials not so much:
But the result of the negotiations was that “We can’t but be very apprehensive,” and Pyongyang was “regretful” about the attitude and position presented by the U.S. side, a North Korean foreign ministry spokesman said in a statement carried by the official KCNA news agency.
The US demands are apparently ‘gangster like’, calling for CVID (complete, verifiable, irreversible, denuclearisation):
“We expected that the U.S. side would bring itself with a constructive proposal,” the spokesman said, without elaborating.

“But, the U.S. side came up only with its unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearisation just calling for CVID, declaration and verification.”

The North Korean spokesman said a “shortcut” to a nuclear-free Korean peninsula was through a step-by-step approach under which both sides took steps at the same time.
Their ‘unshakable will’ may be shaken:
“The high-level talks this time brought us in a dangerous situation where we may be shaken in our unshakable will for denuclearisation, rather than consolidating trust between the DPRK and the U.S.”

There was no immediate comment on the KCNA statement from the State Department
Pompeo thinks they’ve made progress though, ‘on almost all of the central issues’:
As Pompeo departed Pyongyang, he said he had made progress “on almost all of the central issues” in the talks, though more work remained to be done.

Pompeo said he spent “a good deal of time” discussing a denuclearisation timeline and the declaration of the North’s nuclear and missile facilities.
According to a pool report by US reporters accompanying Pompeo, the US must give up more for the DPRK to accede:
“These are complicated issues but we made progress on almost all of the central issues. Some places a great deal of progress, other places there’s still more work to be done,” he said, according to a pool report from U.S. reporters who accompanied him to Pyongyang.

“This is classic North Korean negotiating tactics: Pocket concessions from the United States while stringing our discussions on their own commitments,” said Abraham Denmark, a senior defense official for East Asia under former President Barack Obama.

“This is a rejection of U.S. demands for unilateral denuclearisation by North Korea, and a clear message that the U.S. will need to give up more to make progress.”
The letter to Trump from Tubby III seems to blame the US for past failures but maintains his faith in Trump. Some ego stroking I believe:
In the letter, Kim Jong Un expressed his “expectation and conviction” that the sentiments of good faith between the two leaders would be further consolidated through future dialogue, KCNA said.

“We still cherish our good faith in President Trump,” the spokesman said, while warning against repeating past failures.

“The United States should make a serious consideration of whether the toleration of the headwind against the wills of the two top leaders would meet the aspirations and expectations of the world’s people as well as the interests of its country.”
Pompeo on the alleged US Int that he is continuing to develop his capability:
“We talked about what the North Koreans are continuing to do and how it’s the case that we can get our arms around achieving what Chairman Kim and President Trump both agreed to, which is the complete denuclearisation of North Korea.

“There is no — no one walked away from that, they’re still equally committed, Chairman Kim is ... still committed,” he said.
Next meeting 12th July to include the repatriation of US soldiers remains from the war:
Pompeo said the two sides agreed to hold discussions on July 12 on the repatriation of remains of Americans killed in the 1950-53 Korean War, and also discussed “modalities” for the destruction of a missile engine testing facility.

KCNA said in addition to the missile engine site and return of remains of U.S. soldiers, the North offered to discuss declaring an end to war marking next month’s anniversary of the armistice agreement, but the U.S. side showed little interest, giving “certain conditions and excuses.”
Last edited:
US foreign minister Pompeo said that talks in North Korea were "detailed and substantive". Pompeo shrugs off North Korea's 'gangster' rebuke, cites progress | CBC News
He anticipates the talks will be will be difficult, and that critics will downplay any successes.
"The road ahead will be difficult and challenging and we know critics will try to minimize the work that we have achieved," he said. He added that his two days of talks with senior North Korean officials had "made progress," and included a "detailed and substantive discussion about the next steps toward a fully verified and complete denuclearization."
He also isn't too concerned about North Korean press references to "gangster-like" demands.
"If those requests were gangster-like, the world is a gangster," Pompeo said
I will add to this that as well as the problems posed by translation, North Korean rhetoric will include a lot of classical communist stock phrases that may mean something to them, but aren't meant to be taken literally. In other words, take it with a grain of salt.

One of the things which needs to be addressed is setting up a working group to determine how to verify whatever is agreed upon.
Those include the formation of working group to determine exactly how North Korea's denuclearization will be verified
There apparently will be a meeting on Thursday to discuss the return of remains of American soldiers killed in the Korean War.
and a Thursday meeting with Pentagon officials to discuss the return of remains of Americans soldiers killed during the Korean War.
The South Korean foreign minister said that some of North Korea's objections are based on how the American demands are being worded, rather than necessarily on the substance of them.
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said that North Korea had balked at a written pledge for "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization" for historical reasons but stressed that the goal remained the same whether or not that exact phrase was used. Fully verified, final denuclearization "isn't any softer in stating our shared goal of complete denuclearization," she said.
From what the North Korean's actually said though, it appears they are looking for a multi-stage process with mutual actions from each side. They said that this is what they have been led to believe by Trump is what would happen, but that now Pompeo has arrived with a different agenda.
In a statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency, the foreign ministry said the outcome of Pompeo's talks with senior official Kim Yong-chol was "very concerning" because it has led to a "dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearization that had been firm."

"We had expected that the U.S. side would offer constructive measures that would help build trust based on the spirit of the leaders' summit ... we were also thinking about providing reciprocal measures," it said. "However, the attitude and stance the United States showed in the first high-level meeting (between the countries) was no doubt regrettable. Our expectations and hopes were so naive it could be called foolish."
North Korea also said they had proposed formally ending the Korean War, but the US came up with a variety of excuses to avoid that.
It said the North had raised the issue of formally ending the Korean War, which concluded with an armistice and not a peace treaty, but the U.S. came up with a variety of "conditions and excuses" to delay a declaration.
They avoided criticizing Trump personally, saying that they maintain their trust in him, and are apparently blaming the problems on Pompeo.
In criticizing the talks with Pompeo, however, it carefully avoided attacking Trump personally, saying "we wholly maintain our trust toward President Trump," but stressed that Washington must not allow "headwinds" against the "wills of the leaders."
From this it would appear that the North Koreans want to keep negotiating, but are not accepting the opening proposal from the US.
U.S., North Korea to resume search for remains from Korean War
Meeting today on the border, carrying on from Trump and Tubby III regarding finding the remains and repatriation of 7.700 missing US servicemen from the Korean War:
It was the first time in nine years that U.S. and North Korean generals held talks. The two sides met on the inter-Korean border and agreed to resume joint field activities to search for the remains of Americans missing from the war, Pompeo said in a statement.

“Today’s talks were productive and cooperative and resulted in firm commitments,” he said.

The repatriation of U.S. remains was one of the agreements reached during an unprecedented summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in June in Singapore.
Working meetings carry on from Monday. Pentagon believes the north have over 200 remains, but what they consist of is unknown:
The Pentagon has said North Korean officials have indicated in the past they have the remains of as many as 200 U.S. troops. But a U.S. military official familiar with the matter said last month it was not clear what North Korea might hand over.

U.S. forces brought some 100 wooden coffins into the Demilitarized Zone {DMZ) last month, which will be used to transport the remains, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.
North Korea has reported begun dismantling missile test site facilities. North Korea begins dismantling test-site facilities, U.S. think-tank says | CBC News
This is being perceived as a confidence building measure to keep the negotiations going.
Satellite images indicate North Korea has begun dismantling key facilities at a site used to develop engines for ballistic missiles, a first step toward fulfilling a pledge made to U.S. President Donald Trump, a Washington-based think-tank said on Monday. (...)

"Since these facilities are believed to have played an important role in the development of technologies for the North's intercontinental ballistic missile program, these efforts represent a significant confidence-building measure on the part of North Korea," it said in a report.
After his meeting with Kim in Singapore, Trump said that Kim had promised to dismantle major missile engine testing facilities. This action is apparently in fulfilment of that promise.
Trump said after his unprecedented June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore that Kim had promised that a major missile engine testing site would be destroyed soon.
Unrelated to the above, South Korea has announced they will be trying out a reduction of security at the border with the North.
Separately on Tuesday, South Korea's Defence Ministry said it was planning "a test reduction of some guard post troops and equipment" along the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that divides North and South Korea.
This is apparently a follow up to discussions between North and South Korea.
Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agreed at a summit in April to reduce tensions along the border with an eye to turning the DMZ into a "peace zone."
On Friday North Korea returned the remains of what are believed to be US soldiers killed during the Korean War. Remains said to be U.S. war dead repatriated from North Korea | CBC News
North Korea on Friday returned the remains of what are believed to be U.S. servicemen killed during the Korean War, the White House said, with a U.S military plane making a rare trip into North Korea to retrieve 55 cases of remains.
This is a follow-through on a promise that Kim made to Trump during their meeting in June.
The handover follows through on a promise North Korean leader Kim Jong-un made to U.S. President Donald Trump when the leaders met in June and is the first tangible result from the much-hyped summit.
Trump thanked Kim in a Tweet.
Trump welcomed the repatriation and thanked Kim in a tweet.
North and South Korean generals will meet on Tuesday for talks to reduce tensions along the border. Rival Korea's generals meet at shared border | CBC News
Generals from the rival Koreas met Tuesday at their shared border for talks meant to ease a decades-long military standoff, Seoul officials said.
The discussion covers non-nuclear issues. No dramatic announcements are expected.
The general-level officers were discussing ways to implement April's inter-Korean summit agreements on non-nuclear military issues, but no huge announcement is expected from the talks at the border village of Panmunjom.
Matters to be discussed will likely include:
  • Reducing the number of guards at Panmunjom,
  • withdrawing heavy weapons from the area,
  • pulling some guard posts away from the DMZ,,
  • measures to ensure that fishing along the sea border occurs peacefully.
The generals will likely discuss dropping the number of military guards at Panmunjom, withdrawing heavy weapons from the area and pulling some army guard posts away from the Demilitarized Zone, a buffer zone that separates the two countries. They may also talk about ways to make sure their fishermen peacefully operate along the Korean sea boundary, the site of several bloody naval skirmishes in recent years.
Generals from both sides made positive sounding noises.
Chief North Korean delegate Lt.-Gen. An Ik San said he feels a "sense of mission" to contribute to peace and co-prosperity between the Koreas. His South Korean counterpart Maj.-Gen. Kim Do Gyun said he's confident the talks would produce "achievements that South and North Korea and the international community want," according to South Korean media pool reports from the venue.
Another item that may come up is raising the issue of concluding a peace treaty to end the Korean War. North Korea wants a peace treaty to formally end the war.
The Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty, leaving the peninsula in a technical state of war. North Korea has long argued its nukes are aimed at coping with U.S. military threats, saying it wants to sign a peace treaty with the United States to formally end the war.
Whether the last item (a peace treaty) will be raised in other than a pro-forma manner is much more speculative as it doesn't fit in with the rest of the agenda and is likely outside the sphere of responsibility for the attendees.
US foreign minister Pompeo said that there is a way to go yet before the US can realise their objectives in negotiations with North Korea.
Pompeo says 'still a ways to go' on North Korea nuclear issue, but Trump sees progress | CBC News
"Chairman Kim made a commitment to denuclearize," Pompeo told reporters accompanying him to Singapore from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. "The world demanded that [he] do so in the UN Security Council resolutions. To the extent they are behaving in a manner inconsistent with that, they are in violation of one or both the UN Security Council resolutions, we can see we still have a ways to go to achieve the ultimate outcome we're looking for."
Trump struck a more positive note in on Twitter when he said:
Thank you Chairman Kim Jong Un for keeping your word & starting the process of sending home the remains of our great and beloved missing fallen! I am not at all surprised that you took this kind action. Also, thank you for your nice letter - I lok forward to seeing you soon!
It is not known exactly what was in this letter that Trump referred to, but the US did say that it addressed North Korea's commitment to "complete denuclearization".
White House spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the letters addressed their commitment to work toward North Korea's "complete denuclearization."
Trump also said that he believed that progress was going well, and in particular noted that North Korea had not tested missiles in nine months.
Trump has sought to show progress from his June 12 summit with Kim at rallies this week in Florida and Pennsylvania that the U.S. was "doing well" with North Korea and noted the return of detained Americans and Pyongyang's ceasing of nuclear testing and missile tests.

"They haven't had a test in nine months," Trump said Thursday night in Wilkes-Barre, Pa. "They're not sending rockets over Japan."

Similar threads

Latest Threads