New York Times Report: From North Korea, With Dread

Submitted by: squrlz4ever 1 week ago in Lifestyle News & Politics


Nicholas Kristof recently visited North Korea and found the situation worse than he's ever seen it. War with the U.S., and quite possibly nuclear war, seems increasingly likely.
There are 60 comments:
Male 8,203
There are no easy answers here.  I don't know  what will happen first, desperation pushes them to war or their inability to keep society controls and civil war.  If there's one thing history shows us, Asian people have a tendency to be placated through "emperor's leader's whatever)  Asian Dynasties lasted hundreds of years, it is not uncommon in their culture.  I'm believing that NK will need to be dealt with militarily, I write this with the most  serious of thought, Millions are going to die.  Maybe tens of millions....The gravity of this decision is incredible.  I just hope  it's not under the buffoon we have as President now.
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Male 1,833
It amazes me how misinformed about North Korea politics the people  in this thread are.  North Korea was ruled with an Iron first by Japan until world war II, after that it was USSR they were forced out in 1948. They were ruled by a out side government from about 1910 till 1948. In 1948 Kim ll-sung took over then his son then his son, the venerable Kim Jong-un. They have had some trading with USSR and China, and then the now Russia with this trade swinging in scope as the wind blows, but to call them trading partners would be a reach. Truth is this country (some times called the hermit country) has been the playground of the Park family for the last 69 years (no snickering here) each more bat shit crazy then the last. This is the result of rulers that have slowly isolated there country more and more each year. If you were a reasonable person why would you keep your country so isolated even into the starvation of your people, (note in the vid. that there were no fat people not one only Un, even his generals in his army screamed low calorie intake and remember form the vid this is the capital only the most ardent followers are aloud in there), the country is in this state because this is not a Communist country it is probably the strictest dictator ship in the world (as stated in the vid too). With each leader going farther an farther down the rabbit hole. I truly believe that Un thinks he can win a war and will with the least provocation carry out this believe. Could a different president stop this decline maybe, there is no guarantee that any one not even the venerable Hillary could stop this. Don't forget there first nuke and first a temps to develop ICBM were not on the present President but the last. And before him Bill Clinton kowtowed to him and claimed that the nuclear work on a bomb was over, "claimed peace in our time" (maybe not in those exact words) just like Neville Chamberlain and the League of Nations or as some people call him Nevill Chamberland and the League of Extraordinary Gentleman. What did it get us World War II. Obama tried to talk to him and applied sanctions to what effect? Ge here we are anyway. As unfortunate as it is to say some times you can not talk and kowtow out of war some people are never going to be satisfied and will keep taking the next step, blame it on the nature of man if you like, I do. And as far as the Korean war is concerned China won the war for North Korea, When the U.N. neared the Yalu river (most norther border of Korea and China's border with North Korea) China intervened not to protect North Korea but to stop a preciseved threat by the United States, General MacArthur (Yes the one who said "I will return" to free the Philippines and orchestrated the defeat of Japan in W.W.II) Remember we were the only one with nukes at the time. He had gone to Truman the then president and and basically said don,t stop at the Yalu river keep going and nuke China until they glow, we will have to deal with them eventually and right now we have a large standing army and the nukes to do it. His so long speech had the often quoted line "Old soldiers never die they just fade away" Truman would have no part of it and gave him the boot. The country (Korea) was split down the middle at the 38th parallel.  And now this is what we have, a very uncomfortable stalemate. My heart goes out the North Korean people who will and have stood the brunt of all of this. "Death to the Tyrant" who ever he is? 
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Male 5,427
casaledana All right, Casa. Since you didn't insert those paragraphs, I went ahead and did it for you, mainly to satisfy my own curiosity. I wanted to see how much better the text would look. Lemme know what you think. (Please don't be annoyed. I'm an ex-copyeditor, and old habits die hard.)
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It amazes me how misinformed about North Korean politics the people in this thread are.

North Korea was ruled with an iron first by Japan until World War II. After that, it was the USSR and they were forced out in 1948. They were ruled by an outside government from about 1910 till 1948. In 1948 Kim ll-sung took over, then his son, then his son, the venerable Kim Jong-un. They have had some trading with USSR and China, and then the now Russia with this trade swinging in scope as the wind blows, but to call them trading partners would be a reach.

Truth is this country (sometimes called the hermit country) has been the playground of the Park family for the last 69 years (no snickering here), each more batshit crazy than the last. This is the result of rulers who have slowly isolated their country more and more each year. If you were a reasonable person, why would you keep your country so isolated, even into the starvation of your people? (Note in the vid that there were no fat people--not one--only Un. Even the physiques of his generals screamed low-calorie intake. And remember, this is the capital, where only the most ardent followers are allowed in.) The country is in this state because this is not a Communist country. It is probably the strictest dictatorship in the world (as stated in the vid, too), with each leader going farther and farther down the rabbit hole. I truly believe that Un thinks he can win a war and will, with the least provocation, act on this belief.

Could a different president stop this decline? Maybe, but there is no guarantee that anyone, not even the venerable Hillary, could stop this. Don't forget their first nuke and first attempts to develop an ICBM were not on the watch of the present president but the last. And before him, Bill Clinton kowtowed to North Korea and claimed that the work on a nuclear bomb was over, claimed "peace in our time" (maybe not in those exact words), just like Neville Chamberlain and the League of Nations (or as some people call him, Nevill Chamberland and the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen). What did it get us? World War II. Obama tried to talk to them and applied sanctions--to what effect? Here we are anyway. Unfortunately, sometimes you cannot talk and kowtow your way out of war. Some people are never going to be satisfied and will keep taking the next step. Blame it on the nature of man if you like; I do.

And as far as the Korean War is concerned, China won the war for North Korea. When the U.N. neared the Yalu River (the northern border of Korea and China's border with North Korea), China intervened not to protect North Korea but to stop a perceived threat by the United States. General MacArthur (yes, the one who said "I shall return" to free the Philippines and orchestrated the defeat of Japan) had gone to Truman, the then president, and and basically said, "Don't stop at the Yalu River--keep going and nuke China until they glow. We'll have to deal with them eventually and right now we have a large standing army and the nukes to do it." Remember we were the only one with nukes at the time. His so-long speech had the oft-quoted line, "Old soldiers never die, they just fade away." Truman would have no part of it and gave him the boot. The country (Korea) was split across the middle at the 38th parallel.

And now this is what we have, a very uncomfortable stalemate. My heart goes out the North Korean people who will and have stood the brunt of all of this. "Death to the Tyrant," whoever he is?
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Male 5,427
casaledana Thanks for the comment, Casa. (One request: Throw in an occasional paragraph break for your readers' sake.)

I wasn't aware of just how long Korea had been under Japan's heel (if I'd once learned it, I'd long forgotten). Yes, per your comment, Korea was brutally occupied by Japan from 1910 until the end of the Second World War.
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Male 1,833
squrlz4ever   Paragraph I don,t need no stinking Paragraph
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Male 3,830
casaledana i like quantumraphs
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2,920
casaledana Yea, you need a pair of giraffes. 

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Male 5,427
casaledana LOL. Yes you do. I'm only trying to be a helpful squirrel here. Insert a blank line after the following sentences and you'll be amazed at how much better your comment looks.

  1. After 1st sentence ("... in this thread are.").
  2. After "... would be a reach."
  3. After " ... out this believe."
  4. After  "... if you like, I do."
  5. After "... the 38th parallel."

Try it. You'll see!
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Male 347
Thanks for this posting. Very informative. I agree that Trump and Company are creating serious problems.  Issues could be solved with negotiation. If war should occur, then this should be our response to Trumpco.

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Male 5,427
mentott510 Thanks for commenting. I'm glad you liked it.

The story is incredibly important, for obvious reasons--we're on the brink of a war that would be worse than the Vietnam War--and I'm trying to learn more about it. To that end, I thought I'd engage in discussions here with anyone who's interested.

Until a couple hours ago, I was on the fence as to whether something needs to be done about North Korea or whether they should simply be left alone. The latter argument is based on the idea that North Korea has developed nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles simply as a form of regime protection---insurance, if you will, that a hostile nation (namely, the United States) won't invade them.

But having read a bit more tonight, I'm now thinking that's a naive view. If North Korea gets a functioning nuclear arsenal in place, I think it's probable it will use that arsenal to hold its neighbors hostage.

For over fifty years, the North Koreans have refused to accept the concept of a divided Korea. (Visitors to North Korea are not even allowed to use the term North Korea since it's an expression that acknowledges two Koreas; instead, they insist that their country be referred to as the DPRK.) Once they think they have a nuclear deterrent in place, I think it's a near certainty that North Korea would attempt another invasion of South Korea, betting that the United States would not intervene against a state that has ICBMs aimed at Washington.

At the same time as I write this--I don't know. If war breaks out, the loss of life that would occur in Seoul in unconscionable. What a mess. It seems like we're on a train that's headed off a cliff and I don't see any good options.
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Male 2,720
Again the IAB stupid brigade is on the march.  *facepalm*
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Male 5,427
dromed Can you explain a bit? I see a lot of different opinions, but I wouldn't call any of them stupid. It's a complicated situation.
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Male 4,392
or the USA could just leave them alone
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Male 5,427
dm2754 Maybe you're right about that. I'm trying to decide. (See discussion with Layla below.)
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Male 4,392
squrlz4ever North Korea does not want to conquer the world. They've merely want to be able to protect themselves from The Americans.
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Male 5,427
dm2754 While I don't think the North Koreans want to conquer the world, I'm pretty sure that they'd like to re-invade South Korea a second time and unify the Korean peninsula. Once they've got a functioning nuclear arsenal, there will be a lot of North Korean hardliners urging an invasion on the theory that the United States won't intervene and risk a nuclear war.
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Male 1,031
Hopefully the military is taking NK seriously.  Obviously, the White house "management" isn't.
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Male 3,830
punko football players protesting rules my day to day activites
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599
Even if they strike first, I'll still blame the U.S. for instigating it. This whole situation is completely possible to deal with peacefully and avoid entirely. But no. The U.S. Wants to instigate war(or have the threat of it) to sell "the best" military equipment to everyone else.
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Male 3,351
layla_wilson 
If North Korea wanted - or truly felt they needed - to deter any nation, it would be Japan, South Korea, Russia, China, the U.K., or France. All of whom have invaded Korea. The U.S. Merchant Marines had a comparatively small incident in the 19th century, but later signing a treaty with Korea.
As with post war Germany, the Russians fucked things up for the West, with regards to the Koreas, post WW2. China has influence as well, and one can imagine they did not have positive things to say about America either.
Mostly, the anti-american rhetoric espoused by North Korean leaders is a unifying device to gain and keep control over the general population. Most of the claims North Korea yammers on about are fabrication, many are exaggerated, some are true.
While Obama was president he attempted a conciliatory tone with North Korea, which they rightly took for weakness, and for which Obama was reviled here at home. 
The current maniac in chief has the people skills of lobotomized rodent, and is, as well, unhelpful in the field of foreign affairs and diplomacy. 
Fact is, North Korea is gonna do what North Korea is gonna do, no matter what the United States does or does not do.
I would suggest you read up on Korean history, both pre and post WW2, as you seem to be forming your perceptions and opinions from MSM sources, which are ALL highly ... fluid  ... with truth, and heavily burdened by opinion and agenda.
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Male 8,792
layla_wilson This whole situation is completely possible to deal with peacefully and avoid entirely

Not really familiar with North Korea, are you?  
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599
megrendel Why do they want nukes? Nuclear deterrent. What do they want to deter? America. 
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Male 8,792
layla_wilson  What do they want to deter? America. 

Yeah, because the U.S. has wanted to conquer North Korea.....for what reason, exactly?  They have nothing the U.S. wants, nor cares about.
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Male 4,392
megrendel apparently you need to read about the Cold War. Yes America is a threat to North Korea not the other way around.
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Male 8,792
dm2754 I remember my history week, and recall the only actions the U.S. took against North Korea was after North Korea invaded South Korea (our allies, btw), and subsequent actions since. 
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Male 441
dm2754 Yes, but North Korea is a threat to South Korea as well as North Korea being a threat to the North Korean people themselves.
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Male 5,427
johncourage It's rare that I agree with one of your comments, John, but I certainly agree with this one. 
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Male 4,211
megrendel That's not true at all.  NK has a veritable SHITLOAD of precious resources; gold, rare earth metals, copper, magnesite, zinc, et al.

The sanctions, keep them from getting the equipment needed to extract and profit from most of those materials tho.

To be honest, If NK didn't have nukes, there is a strong chance they would catch some missiles just like syria did, for shits and giggles if nothing else.

If I was a despot, I would rush to get nukes too, if only to keep the US from beating my ass whenever it felt like it.
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Male 5,427
layla_wilson This is a great topic for civil debate. 

It is such a complex mess, Layla. Regardless of how the outside world comported itself, I think North Korea would likely have become the dangerous, rogue nation it is today. The leadership has maintained its power solely by convincing their populace that they are on the brink of war and cultivated a siege mindset for generations. As Kristof mentions in the video, what often happens in such circumstances is that the dictators become convinced by their own propaganda, become more and more belligerent, and more and more delusional, until they lash out at their neighbors, as Saddam Hussein did to Kuwait.
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599
squrlz4ever it was Americas intent to destroy communism that caused this mess in the first place :/
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Male 441
layla_wilson It would have been so much simpler if the US just minded its own business and let people be murdered all across the rest of the world. I mean screw those foreigners, right? Why should we care if they are all slaughtered by communists? It's not like standing by and watching other nations amass power has ever led to some sort of global conflict before.
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599
johncourage so America murdering millions of innocent people is ok, but if someone else sped it it's wrong? Get a grip.
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Male 441
layla_wilson Americas intent to save millions of lives from the tyranny of communism
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599
johncourage let's take Americas intent to "save" Afghanistan from communism as an example. Their answer was funding and arming separatist Islamist rebels to overthrow the commie leaning government. These people became Al-Qaeda/the Taliban. That definitly saved millions of lives didn't it?
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Male 441
layla_wilson They actually did save all those peoples lives. Just because their leaders used lies about the US to create a hatred to unify those people doesn't mean that intervention by the US didn't save their lives.
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599
johncourage that is one of the most rediculous things I've ever read. Had the U.S. not intervened there wouldent have been
Anywhere close to the amount of lives taken in that are of he world, and you are justifying that saving the lives of terrorists meant more than protecting innocents.
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Male 441
layla_wilson Classic progressive thought pattern, projecting current events onto past decisions. Let me help you again with history, Communists round up and murder people. It is what they do. They do it very well. Any area that is overrun by communists will be subject to mass murder.

Further more, any lives lost in that area do to current conflicts there are not the results of the US saving those people from communists in the 80s. The US is not responsible for the creation of those terrorists. Those people made their own decision focus their hatred on free societies in an effort to subjugate their own people.
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599
johncourage actually it is America that is responsible for them. America helped them organise, funded them, armed them and empowered them. If America hadent intervened there wouldent be a Taliban or Al-Qaeda. Your knowladge of the whole situation is purely based on what is essentially pro-US propoganda.
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Male 441
layla_wilson LOL, they would mostly all be dead. Just because they choose violence now doesn't mean the US is responsible. There is absolutely no logic in your reasoning.
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Male 441
layla_wilson From the wiki page: "Taraki's efforts to improve secular education and redistribute land were accompanied by mass executions "
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599
johncourage from the wiki page: the U.S. government has been criticized for allowing Pakistan to channel a disproportionate amount of its funding to the controversial Hekmatyar,[49] who Pakistani officials believed was "their man".[50] Hekmatyar has been criticized for killing other mujahideen and attacking civilian populations, including shelling Kabul with American-supplied weapons, causing 2,000 casualties. Hekmatyar was said to be friendly with Osama bin Laden, founder of al-Qaeda, who was running an operation for assisting "Afghan Arab" volunteers fighting in Afghanistan, called Maktab al-Khadamat. Alarmed by his behavior, Pakistan leader General Zia warned Hekmatyar, "It was Pakistan that made him an Afghan leader and it is Pakistan who can equally destroy him if he continues to misbehave."[51]

The CIA and State Department have been criticized for their direct relationship with Hekmatyar, beyond ISI contact,[31][32] in spite of his being one of the leading heroin smugglers in the region.[52]

In the late 1980s, Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto, concerned about the growing strength of the Islamist movement, told President George H. W. Bush, "You are creating a Frankenstein."[53]
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Male 441
layla_wilson Oh I get it, so the US was friendly with someone that was friendly with Osama bin Laden so that means the US is responsible for everything bad and that is why Osama bin Laden hated the US. LOL. Your logic is nonexistent.

The US is not responsible for the worlds problems. Stop drinking the flavor-aid.
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Male 5,427
layla_wilson In part. But let's not forget it was North Korea that started the war by invading South Korea. Don't you think the South Koreans had a right to live under a government of their own choosing?

I'm no expert of the Korean War. Perhaps if the U.S. had simply withdrawn, and all of Korea went communist, they would have moderated themselves by now and the world would be a better place. Perhaps.
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599
squrlz4ever before Japanese rule, Korea was one country with close ties to Russia, and bad relations with the U.S. after ww2, it should have been solely left to Russia to support. America didn't like this, they wanted influence over the people they liberated from the Japanese. It also ment they had a western leaning influence in East Asia.
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Male 5,427
layla_wilson That's interesting. I wasn't aware that prior to the Japanese occupation, Korea had a good relationship with the Soviet Union. I'll have to look into it some more.

My take on that period is this: The U.S. had just defeated two non-democratic powers--Nazi Germany and Tojo's Japan (three, of course, if we're counting Mussolini's Italy, but I'm focusing on the ones that did the lion's share of the invading). Your own country came within a hair's breadth of being invaded by Germany and was nearly starved into submission by the U-boats. As a result, the U.S. was on a hair-trigger when it came to expansive non-democratic powers. This was not irrational; the Soviets clearly had their sights on communist expansion as the histories of East Germany, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Finland show.

In that environment, you could argue that it would have been irresponsible for the U.S. to have not responded when the North Korean communist forces invaded South Korea.
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599
squrlz4ever but if the Americans never got involved with in Korea after WW2, there would have been no invasion of the South/no Korea war and the North wouldent have have hermited for 67 years due to sanctions and threats from external powers. The North was mainly industrial and the South was mainly agricultural. Keep the 2 together and the country functions. The U.S. supplemented the industry for the South, but Russia and China were unable to supplement the lack of food in the North, American sanctions make this situation even worse.
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Male 40
layla_wilson  lmao russia and china couldnt feed a tiny NK? NK cant grow their own food? 

please, russia and china could easily have helped NK, they just didnt want to because they are not allies with NK. they just wanted to fuck with america. 
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Male 441
layla_wilson If Americans had never gotten involved then communism would have taken over all of Korea and millions of people would have been murdered and all of Korea would be under totalitarian rule.
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599
johncourage not quite, I would say more people have died globally as a result of Americas attempt at global control rather than the attempted spread of communism. 
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Male 441
layla_wilson Are you joking? The soviets murdered more people in Russia alone than Nazi Germany. They had mobile gas chambers on buses that drove around and picked up the "guilty". When America pulled out of Vietnam, the first thing the commies there did was murder millions of people. Murdering millions of people is what communists do!!!
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599
johncourage let's not forget that democratic americans have killed millions of innocent people Aswell.
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Male 441
layla_wilson The soviet union murdered millions of people. The US has not ever murdered millions of people.
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599
johncourage remind me of what happened to the native Americans when the settlers arrived? Let's also remember that very senior officials in the US supported and funded the nazi party, my main example is the Bush family. You have to be a deluded prick to think America is so innocent.
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Male 441
layla_wilson Whatever the Bush family may or may not be guilty of does not translate to America being guilty.

Well, when the settlers arrived, they mostly met with the current residents of the area and exchanged goods and services. Sometimes there was violence, mostly from what you call 'Native Americans', a super racist term, attacking settlers for their goods and to get slaves.
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599
johncourage native Americans is not a racist term in any way at all. 

From what you've said here, it's blatant that you beleive all the pro-America anti-everyone else bullshit that gets taught there.

The settlers were the aggressors, they took the natives land and massacred them. Don't even start accusing them of taking slaves as a reason to hate/kill them considering the horrific scale of slavery the settlers used to create America in the first place.
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Male 441
layla_wilson native american is a racist term that lumps several different nationalities into one, it is offensive

I believe communism is evil

I said sometimes there is violence when two different societies clash. I didn't say there was an acceptable reason for the violence. But retaliation for violence done against you is as old as time itself. Both sides are responsible for the violence. The various tribes are not wholly innocent.
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Male 441
layla_wilson still racist
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Male 5,427
layla_wilson Couldn't you say the same about the Soviets? If the Soviets hadn't rushed into northern Korea to stake a claim as the U.S. was finishing the job of defeating the Japanese, the country would never have been split.

For comparison's sake, the occupation of Japan after the war was done unilaterally by the Americans and it worked out very well for the Japanese.
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