Is North Korea the catalyst for World War III?

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Steve3007
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Re: Is North Korea the catalyst for World War III?

Post by Steve3007 » August 10th, 2017, 3:49 am

What about the widely discussed idea that Trump's approach to this is something similar to Nixon's "madman theory"? When faced the the entertaining and colourful OTT rhetoric that regularly comes from the North Korean regime, doesn't it make sense to maintain balance in a sort of rhetoric arms race? Isn't there something to be said for the notion that if the Trump administration appears to be unstable and dangerously unpredictable it will tend to discourage America's enemies from doing anything that they might no live to regret?

-- Updated Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:50 am to add the following --

(Sorry. Lots of typos there. Should have checked it.)

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Re: Is North Korea the catalyst for World War III?

Post by Greta » August 10th, 2017, 3:53 am

Trump certainly speaks like a man baby - the constant claims that nobody knows anything but him:
However, it's true that Kim is in a league of his own for babyish tantrums. There is no answer unless China helps, but they like having NK as a barrier between them and US troops in the south. I also doubt that the Chinese would much worry about any existential threats to the Japanese.

NK looks like a wicked problem to me. Let's hope all it's just words ...

Steve, they say that in prison, inmates tend to leave the "mad dog" types alone. I suppose the mad "dog stance" is akin to that of a porcupine - KEEP YOUR DISTANCE. A strong defensive stance, although "mad dogs" can be vulnerable if they are genuinely reflexive and thus not savvy enough to notice when they have been outnumbered or out-manoeuvred.

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Re: Is North Korea the catalyst for World War III?

Post by Steve3007 » August 10th, 2017, 4:13 am

Greta:
This tells us something important about reality. While we humans have long flirted with concepts such as merit and morality, unfortunately the world still operates on the basis that might is right.
I don't think it's particularly surprising that the threat of violence has always been and will always be one of the most effective ways for one person to persuade another person to act or speak in a certain way. But I don't think that excludes merit and morality as long as we're pragmatic and don't have the unrealistic idea that one day all of humanity will come together and cooperate for the benefit of all.

I think the challenge in trying to build working societies is fully recognising human nature, and what motivates us, and working with it.

It seems to me that the proper task of global diplomacy and politics probably lies in being able to lay out for people their options and making it clear that the option you want them to take is the one that is in their interests. i.e. you persuade people by making their interests align with yours. That's why a regime like the one in NK mustn't be backed into a corner with no way out. There must always be a way out. In the case of a self-regarding dictator it must be a face-saving one.

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Re: Is North Korea the catalyst for World War III?

Post by -1- » August 10th, 2017, 4:42 am

My favourite post in this thread is #3, by MazorRackhem. He explained, or she, very nicely, that the situation seems to be tenable and may be going on without much change for a long time. China wants to stop the Americans from too much influence, from "encircling" their power, and America can't reprehend North Korea without endangering SKorea and Japan's safety.

What may change this stalemate is the madmanship of the US president. I expect him to be indecisive and inactive; passing no major policy or policy changes. And he will be happy with that, given that he can make his speeches and get ego gratification in the ways he's accustomed to. But he might snap, not in a major way as in a nervous breakdown, but snap as in making a quick, hasty, and uninformed decision. This will mean trouble for some other country, and N Korea is on top of the list where the US might strike once it feels like acting out its aggression.

I like Mazor's theory of N Korea being a sour spot for China, but Ch draws more benefit than hindrance from the N Korean hubris in international politics. I like the dynamic Mazor depicts: the effect-counter-effect that plays out itself in international politics almost as cruelly precisely as in Newtonean physics.

Everyone stands to lose only, with a war against North Korea. The only sad or dangerous element in this standoff is the US, which may misjudge the situation, or else may see little risk for herself, and assume a devil-may-care-attitude for its allies, and upset the delicate imbalance of the situation.
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Re: Is North Korea the catalyst for World War III?

Post by UniversalAlien » August 10th, 2017, 6:33 am

Here is what we are dealing with:

"The people's army should always maintain a highly agitated state and be equipped with full fighting readiness so as to

smash the enemies with a single stroke if they make the slightest move and achieve

the historic cause of the fatherland's reunification."

- Kim Jong-un

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Re: Is North Korea the catalyst for World War III?

Post by Steve3007 » August 10th, 2017, 6:36 am

I suspect various people are right in saying that the situation will probably just go on as usual. I see in the news today that big rallies have been arranged in NK to express outrage and shake the collective fist at Trump. I suppose that'll probably keep them happy until September.

-- Updated Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:40 am to add the following --
"The people's army should always maintain a highly agitated state and be equipped with full fighting readiness so as to smash the enemies with a single stroke if they make the slightest move and achieve the historic cause of the fatherland's reunification."
The fact that all this smashing, and stroking and reunification hasn't happened and probably won't happen suggests that the purpose of this particular piece of rhetoric is simply the same as the purpose of all similar rhetoric - unite the people against against a common enemy who, for all intents and purposes, is imaginary. Shaking fists is an enjoyable and useful user of energy.

-- Updated Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:43 am to add the following --

(Shaking fists and blowing up some fish.)

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Re: Is North Korea the catalyst for World War III?

Post by Ranvier » August 10th, 2017, 2:40 pm

I perceive humans as children in their motives to achieve what they desire. Granted I'm no expert on children but there are only so many motives that drive human actions. Once we begin to understand such motive, it's much easier to rationalize what people say, their actions, and what will they do next. North Korea's motive is respect, in desire to be acknowledged as an equal that should be admired. The move to impose sanctions on such motive, the more desire there will be to prove to the "biggest" child in the play ground that condescending dismissal to irrelevance with public display of punishment will be met with the smaller kid taking more "steroids" to build more muscle (nuclear weapons). The next step is to look for other smaller kids to join the "steroid club", feared by Israel as N. Korea reaches out to Iran. There are other kids, not so small, that had been outside of the "cool kids" club that had their own motives violated. Now, Israel is driven by entirely different motive, where such steroid club must be met with uncompromising decisive actions that once and for all will prove that steroids are bad...mkay. I amuse myself with this reference from the "Wander Years" show but these are opposing motives that may not have a peaceful reconciliation in children's world.

-- Updated August 10th, 2017, 2:44 pm to add the following --

*I looked up, it's "The Wonder Years" show

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Re: Is North Korea the catalyst for World War III?

Post by Steve3007 » October 9th, 2017, 9:13 am

I did used to think that this situation with North Korea might be manageable using Trump's technique of matching Kim Jong Un's bizarre OTT rhetoric, word for word. As long as they're both happy promising to wipe each other off the map and calling each monsters then I thought they might both be happy and the rest of the world could just let them get on with it.

But recently I read that apparently North Korean government people have been trying to make back-door contacts with people in the US government to urgently find out how serious Trump is, and why he's so different from his predecessors. I have to say, I'm surprised by this. I had assumed that it was obvious to the whole world how the rules of this game work. It seemed surprising that the North Korean government, apparently, don't get it, given that they are such enthusiastic players.

So maybe there really is a danger here of a tragedy caused by a misunderstanding. Maybe one of Trump's trademark angry thought-free tweets about declaring war on North Korean really might goad them into detonating a nuclear weapon over Seoul or Tokyo.

Interesting times, coming right up. Maybe?

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Re: Is North Korea the catalyst for World War III?

Post by Steve3007 » September 19th, 2018, 5:48 am

Me wrote:Interesting times, coming right up. Maybe?
Maybe not, me. Maybe good times. Maybe sunlit uplands. What do we think? Have us Trump-sceptics got it wrong, on at least this issue? On this particular issue (North Korea) is Trump's simple big stick/big carrot approach going to work much better than anything has in the past? Go Trump? Make North Korea Great Again?

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Re: Is North Korea the catalyst for World War III?

Post by Greta » September 20th, 2018, 12:14 am

Hopefully it won't be a war started to boost popularity before an election.

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