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North Korea Returns To The Table 315

EmperorKagato writes, "North Korea has agreed to rejoin the Six Party Talks on its nuclear weapons program. The sanctions placed against North Korea on October 9, 2006 will remain in place; however, financial sanctions will be addressed by the group of the six nations: North Korea, China, Japan, United States, Russia, and South Korea."
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North Korea Returns To The Table

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  • China's Trump Card (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Phoenixhunter ( 588958 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @03:49PM (#16662983)
    I really don't understand the intricacies of international diplomacy, but from what I gather (as well as what has been presented) China has almost complete control over North Korea's wellbeing in every respect. Are these six-way talks really just another way of saying China + North Korea versus Japan, USA, South Korea, and Russia?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by stoolpigeon ( 454276 ) *
      i don't think so. i think that china is more motivated to play nice with the rest of the world. they wont just follow the lead of the other nations, but i think having them involved certainly raises the chances of success in these talks.
      • by Kelson ( 129150 ) *
        Yep. China's got business reasons to interact with other nations. North Korea is pretty much isolated (mostly by choice). As long as Tony Soprano^W^WKim Jong Il can bring in enough through the black market to keep himself and his lieutenants happy, they have nothing to lose by pissing off the rest of the world.
      • but i think having them involved certainly raises the chances of success in these talks.
        I'd say they make the chances of success about five times as likely. Of course, five times zero is still zero.
        • that's what i'm afraid of. i think they'll get this worked out the day after the peace process is succesful in the middle east -- which is highly rumored to coincide with the release of duke nukem forever.
    • Actually, Koreans and Japanese do not get along very well.

      China and Russia kinda do, kinda don't, leaning towards do.

      Japan and USA have decent relations.

      Japan and Russia are mixed as well, tending towards not more than do.

      China and USA have mixed relations, tending towards not, except for trade.

      USA and Russia have mixed relations, tending towards strained.

      North Korea is an island. China has the most control, but is reluctant to deal with NK mainly to keep the hordes of refugees from crossing into China. Wha
      • Actually the problem is that we can't really offer or threaten anything, which is why they want to only negotiate with us. The only thing we can offer is aid that we probably wouldn't give anymore, and we can't really threaten anything less than total annihilation. China can make all sorts of economic modifications relative to North Korea though, and that could actually matter to them.
    • It amazes me to see China dumping so much money into North Korea so that proxy militants can build bombs in Iran. The end result will speed the planet to the Hydrogen Dollar, Robotic Farms, Robotic Factories, and Cheaper Internet Connections. China should not fear nationalistic aggreassors, but the Cell Phone, a pair of Levis, and the MG Model F.
      • Jesus, it's a Friedman cultist. Look, the almighty dollar will not make verything better. I'll agree it smooths things over, but International free trade is not going to save the world.
        • Look, the almighty dollar will not make verything better. I'll agree it smooths things over, but International free trade is not going to save the world.

          It will in one sense:

          People who are wealthy enough to live in safety and comfort will develop an aversion to violence, all else being equal. It's the guy who's got nothing to lose who is the most dangerous.

    • China is the closest thing to a friend North Korea has but they don't seem to have a lot of practical influence. China doesn't want to shut off power, food, or whatnot because then they'd have a failed state and a refugee problem on their border.

      North Korea's usual demand has been bilateral talks, just NK and the US. If there's a rational reason, something you should never take for granted with those people, the reason would be that they'd feel more pressure if all the neighbors were on one side of the tabl
    • by Yvanhoe ( 564877 )
      I really don't understand the intricacies of international diplomacy

      Diplomats are useful when the weather is fine. When it rains, however, they tend to drown in every raindrop.
      Charles de Gaulle
  • by eldavojohn ( 898314 ) * <eldavojohn AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @03:50PM (#16662993) Journal
    The sanctions placed against North Korea on October 9, 2006 will remain in place ...
    That's just super. Because, Kim Jong Il's about to crack. That's what everyone's saying. And that's what they've been saying for the past fifteen years--any minute now. Who's really hurting in the meantime? The people.

    Economic sanctions aren't going to hurt him, they're just going to make the poor poorer. Kim Jong Il keeps his Generals and powerful friends happy with presents and they, in turn, keep him in power despite the stupid things he's doing and preaching. Do you hope to restrict trade so far that he can't give the top dogs presents and they take him out with a coup? Good luck.

    So what effect will our sanctions have?

    Oh, they'll destabilize a nation that has nuclear weapons. Great idea.

    It'll give people and nations an example of us starving another nation. Another great idea.

    I'm not saying the sanctions are a bad idea, I'm just saying that there's gotta be a better way to pressure this guy--and I don't mean militarily. How about we increase worthless goods like blankets & food & water and only keep out things like cognac & caviar? How about we freely distribute unbiased publications of the history of Asia and the Korean peninsula? Come on, use your imagination here, you're a freaking government!
    • by ConceptJunkie ( 24823 ) * on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @04:00PM (#16663189) Homepage Journal
      But wait, if you are arguing that sanctions won't work against North Korea, you'd have to conclude they wouldn't have worked against places like Iraq or Cuba.

      Oh, wait, they didn't...

      • by Kelson ( 129150 ) * on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @04:11PM (#16663401) Homepage Journal
        Sanctions only seem to work if the people in charge of the target country give a damn about the citizenry or economy. If all they care about is being in control, rather than being in charge of a nation that actually has some prestige, they'll just siphon off the country's own supplies to make up the difference.

        And then there's the rhetorical win: "See, that country is trying to prevent you from having food and shelter! Aren't they evil!"
        • I think the ultimate goal with sanctions is to make the North Korean people suffer now so that they will take control of their government through revolution. If their leadership is clearly not taking care of them the North Korean people should get pissed off.

          Although the approach makes logical sense it seems as though revolution isn't really possible these days especially in a place like NK. Sanctions end up only harming the people you are ultimately trying to push to help themselves. Of course sanctions

          • I think the ultimate goal with sanctions is to make the North Korean people suffer now so that they will take control of their government through revolution

            The NK people are already suffering more than just about any nation in the world.

            If they haven't done this already, then I think it's fair to say they can't.

            I don't have an answer either, but penalizing starving peasants is never the right thing.
            • I totally agree, as I said, revolution in NK is not possible. The problem is that you have to retaliate in some form otherwise NK will spin even further out of control. So far the only solution I think that is even remotely sustainable is for China to annex NK but that brings a whole host of problems too. I'm not sure how that would pressure South Korea either.

              Something needs to be done. Targeted sanctions could work but are nearly impossible to enforce.

            • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

              by Moofie ( 22272 )
              "but penalizing starving peasants is never the right thing."

              Neither is subsidizing their dictator.
            • Have they tried offering to let him direct a live action Daffy Duck feature length movie? From everything I have heard, this guy just want's to be an American mover and shaker. One movie deal, and we just might have him distracted for a couple of years.
        • Indeed. Which is why the sanctions against South Africa worked. Actually, they're the only time I can think of where they did work.
        • It depends on the sanctions. A simple economic blockade is collective punishment. It's applied on the theory that the people, under pressure, will rebel against the rulers causing the sanctions, who will be weaker, because they won't be as rich, well-supplied, or motivated to keep their hold on a broken country.

          It's a stupid theory, like all collective punishment, especially one that conflicts with patriotism, especially under totalitarian regimes which keep the people misinformed about why the economics ar
        • Also the fact that Saddam for example came into power within his lifetime, while Kim is a second generation nutjob and most of the population are drinking the koolaid at this stage.

          Sanctions in such a case probably wouldn't work against NK as many believe already that NK is the best country in the world and it is only the Evil third world country the USA run by an evil dictator that is stopping the rest of the world from giving NK food.

          with that mindset it is doubtful they would back down because of sanctio
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by argStyopa ( 232550 )
          Of course, the problem is that 'sanctions' as a concept, are a POLITICIAN'S response to a DIPLOMATIC issue.

          If the government you're dealing with is vulnerable to sanctions, i.e. they give a shit about their populace like France, Germany, Japan, etc. they are PROBABLY already amenable to negotiation and diplomacy. Sanctions just become the 'biggest hammer in the toolbox' of diplomacy between what I'd call 'reasonable' nation/states.

          But if you have rogue states, dictatorships, or thugocracies (as you state)
    • by ArcherB ( 796902 )
      You are correct, sanctions do not work, they never do. As far as NKorea goes, diplomacy does not work either, the Clinton admin tried it and it didn't work. What does that leave us? I'm afraid that military may be the only option left in NK. Unfortunately, it seems as if they are begging for it.

      • We tried the military option before and failed.

        Next

        • On the contrary, the military campaign was incredibly successful, with almost all of North Korea in the hands of UN forces a mere two months after it seemed that Pusan might become an Alamo. Then ChiCom troops began to pour over the border. The UN mandate for the war did not cover dealing with China, and Truman and Eisenhower had no desire to turn it into a pan-Asia war, possibly involving the Soviets more directly, and leading to World War III less than a decade after the last great war had been conclude
          • That is true, I was being a little unfair to the situation but the war never ended and the conflict was never resolved. The military solution has not worked thus far. The world has changed quite a bit in that time so it might be more successful now.
      • If you had to worship a dwarf with a bad hairdo who uses human beings as pixels in his giant-screen TV set as a required state religion, you might be wishing for the ICBMs to deliver you from this hellhole too.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by timeOday ( 582209 )
        I'm afraid that military may be the only option left in NK. Unfortunately, it seems as if they are begging for it.
        What outcome worse than war would be prevented by starting one?
        • Arguments for war (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Kadin2048 ( 468275 )
          Depends on your definition of "worse."

          If you believe that a nuclear North Korea really would use a weapon against a populated area (either in the U.S., or South Korea, or Japan), and that the odds of them doing this only increase with time until it becomes a near certainty, and you also believe that it is the duty of governments to protect the lives of their own citizens first, and enemy states' citizens second, then there is an argument for a first strike against North Korea.

          I wouldn't necessarily call it
    • by rlp ( 11898 )
      How about we freely distribute unbiased publications of the history of Asia and the Korean peninsula?

      In a country where radios can only tune in Government run stations, I'm sure Kim will allow foreign publications to be freely distributed. Damn unlikely.
    • Economic sanctions will do nothing, since his entire country is funded by heroin, and other illegal trafficking

      Basically Butterball's country is the equivalent of a nation state run by the sopranos.

      Why doesnt China simply kill him, and his top echelons of leadership.
    • by lixee ( 863589 )
      Economic sanctions aren't going to hurt him, they're just going to make the poor poorer.
      Exactly! Pretty much in the same way the sanctions didn't hurt Saddam Hussein.

      The US must take this opportunity to show a bit of good will. Remember, the Iranians are watching...
    • Economic sanctions cut Idi Amin's ability to buy the loyalty of Uganda's armed forces. He was out of power shortly thereafter.

      I hope someone is making realistic calculations about how many people Mr. Kim needs to keep sweet, how much hard currency that requires, and how much hard currency would come in with trade shut off and ships getting searched for drugs, counterfeit money, and exported weapons.
    • Bless your heart for sharing some truth in a thoughtful manner.

      The idea that our leaders can just give the Big Fungoo to any country that's not behaving the way we like is a demonstrably stupid one, which George Bush has turned into a specialty. But that's just how he sees the world: It's US and THEM. And if you're not US, well, then you exist only at our pleasure. It's a surefire recipe to turn us into the Cylons.

      I pray that at the very least, a week from now he's have a little oversight for a change.
  • We're dicks! We're reckless, arrogant, stupid dicks. And the Film Actors Guild are pussies. And Kim Jong Il is an asshole. Pussies don't like dicks, because pussies get fucked by dicks. But dicks also fuck assholes: assholes that just want to shit on everything. Pussies may think they can deal with assholes their way. But the only thing that can fuck an asshole is a dick, with some balls. The problem with dicks is: they fuck too much or fuck when it isn't appropriate - and it takes a pussy to show them that

  • by noewun ( 591275 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @03:55PM (#16663103) Journal
    when there is no earth shattering kaboom.
  • Ironic (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Original Replica ( 908688 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @03:57PM (#16663139) Journal
    North Korea returns to the table, we (Team America) make even more powerful nukes. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/artic le/2006/10/19/AR2006101901863.html [washingtonpost.com] Why do we need even more powerful weapons that we never want to use? How is doing this going to encourage any other country to disarm?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by dsanfte ( 443781 )
      Disarmament solves nothing. It is impossible to put the genie of nuclear weapons back in the bottle, and even assuming we managed to officially "disarm" every nation of nukes, it is still impossible to be certain no "rogue state" is secretly working on one... and what a coup that would be! Iran with the only nuke program in the world!

      There is no going back. There is only going forward. Nukes are not going away despite the elaborate fantasies of a few.
      • what a coup that would be! Iran with the only nuke program in the world!

        How's that a problem? Iran hasn't attacked another country in over one hundred years. Sounds like a defensive policy to me. Oh, that's right, they are a different religion from you and therefore are eeeeevil.

      • Well, first off, of the nations that currently possess nukes, most of them wouldn't attack the US for a variety of reasons, most of them economic (Russia, China, UK, France, India, probably Pakistan). The rest don't have the capability to deliver the payload directly to US soil (Pakistan (I think) and NK).

        This leaves two options: concealed or otherwise disguised weapons (eg, the oft-cited cargo-container-bomb), or "rogue states". And tell me, how, exactly, does the US building more nukes protect it from e
        • What you don't realize is nuclear weapons, over time, loss their ability to sustain critical mass. That's why we have some many nuclear simulations (previously done with below ground testing) which verify specific categories of different ages can still do their thing. Their goal is to maintain viable weapons (repair or replace) and destroy the old weapons which will no longer be effective. In the long run, the US winds up with fewer, more reliable weapons.

          The US has a long history of owning nukes and a s
    • by rblum ( 211213 )
      Which part about "smaller, more reliable arsenal" in the article you cite makes you think we're making even more powerful nukes? I know this is slashdot, but could you at least read the fine articles you quote yourself?
    • by eingram ( 633624 )
      You obviously just made it into THE country (U.S.A.) recently (illegally, no doubt). By having more powerful nukes, we can effectively destroy any country (or planet) that decides to use, threatens to use, or test a significantly weaker nuke.

      Thousands of dead people and five armed babies are the perfect reason to not have nukes.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by ClickOnThis ( 137803 )
      North Korea returns to the table, we (Team America) make even more powerful nukes. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/arti c [washingtonpost.com] le/2006/10/19/AR2006101901863.html Why do we need even more powerful weapons that we never want to use? How is doing this going to encourage any other country to disarm?

      I'm no fan of nuclear weapons, but I saw nothing in the article you linked that said the administration was planning to build more powerful nukes. Rather, as I read it, they were planning eventually to repla
      • There you go trying to confuse the disarmament crowd with actual facts! Shame on you!

        Seriously though, anyone who thinks that EVERYONE would agree to disarm needs to send me some of what they are smoking. As another poster put it, the genie is out of the bottle and there is no going back.
  • The US is the only nation to have ever used a nuke on another. Who the hell can actually have any trust in us when it comes to nuclear weapons?

    This whole (queue scare quotes...) "WMD" thing is just silly. Sovereign nations should be able to do whatever the hell they want in their own borders w/o the meddling of other nations. Sure, it may be an eventual problem for other nations, but any nation should realize that the retaliation they would incur should they use those weapons in this modern time would

    • by rblum ( 211213 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @04:13PM (#16663437)
      Oh my, where to begin...

      The problem with NK is that they sell their tech to anybody who's willing to pay. That would include terrorists. And it's kind of hard to retaliate against them, as we're finding out. So it seems a wise idea to stop the spread of nuclear weapons to more countries. I believe if you looked for "non-proliferation treaty" you might find that pretty much everybody is trying to do exactly that.

      Next up - China. They're not exactly "pursuing" nuke tech - they have it for quite some time. They just have less than we do. I'm sure you meant India & *Pakistan*. We're not happy about either, but neither is run by somebody who's completely insane. As a result, their economy is healthy enough that we simply can't pressure them. Hence, less efforts. (Plus, we need Pakistan for the War On Terror - of course we're making deals when it's in our best interests. Or at least, when we think so)

      Let's go to the "who would trust us with nukes" bs. The rest of the world pretty much does, because we've so far shown a remarkable constraint when using them. Yes, we used them at the end of WW2 - to spare a couple of hundred thousand lives a traditional invasion would've cost. Was it a nice thing to do? No, but war is never nice. We haven't done so since then, and up until a few years ago we had fairly sane leaders. That, I think, makes the US a bit more trustworthy than NK. If this was really a US problem only, why do you think China and Russia are in the negotiations?

      • Ignore the BS of sparing a couple hundred thousand lives at the expense of a couple hundred thousand lives argument and stick with the reality that the world including the U.S. did not know the horror dropping such a weapon would cause and how long it's effects would linger. Yes, you can argue they knew a little about radiation but at the time radiation poisoning will still a new condition and they didn't know much about it. Now they know it will affect the children and their children's children.

        I agree t

      • I'm sure you meant India & *Pakistan*. We're not happy about either, but neither is run by somebody who's completely insane.

        Musharraf is a warlord. He is an ally the way Saddam was an ally in the 70s. Saddam wasn't 'insane' either.

        • by rblum ( 211213 )
          Yes, he is. Don't debate that he a warlord, or an "ally". I am referring to Kim Jong Il. (Who from here certainly *looks* like he's certifiable...)
    • by Kelson ( 129150 ) *
      Sovereign nations should be able to do whatever the hell they want in their own borders w/o the meddling of other nations.

      Like Sudan [wikipedia.org]?

      • by Deagol ( 323173 )
        How many natives of this continent has the US government killed? How about imported slaves?

        Do you think we would have looked kindly about other countries telling us how to handle internal issues such as those above?

        I'm certainly not playing down the massive attrocities that people in *many* countries endure at present. But the US is no shining beacon of morality, be it now or 200 years ago.

        I tend to think we (the international community) should proceed *very* carefully when meddling with another cul

        • by Shihar ( 153932 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @07:17PM (#16666155)
          How many natives of this continent has the US government killed? How about imported slaves?

          If you look back far enough into any nations history, I can almost promise you that one group of people was beating the piss out of another group of people. The point of looking into the past isn't to remove all moral authority from everyone. I am Jesus, the fucking Norwegians who are easily one of the most peaceful people in this world sent Viking raiders against England, that doesn't make Norwegians blood thirsty savages. The Germans committed horrible acts of genocide a scant 65 years ago, and they too qualify as one of the most peaceful nations on this world. Everyone has done something "bad", get over it.

          The point is that you can try and prevent such horrible mistakes from happening again. Yes, the US used to import slaves and slaughter its natives. The US now actively seeks to shut down the remaining slave trade in this world and was one of the many nations instrumental in helping the racist South African out of power. That is a *good* thing. If anything, the US with its sullied past on racial equality was a shinning example of how you can reverse the tied in a relativity short period of time.

          This whole historical relativism crap is the bane of peace in this world. Every group in the world points to some historical injustice that explains why it is okay for them to commit atrocities they now seek to commit. The Israelis and Palestinians will probably both cease to exist as nations with their fingers still securely wrapped around each other's throats, all the while screaming that the other one started it.

          Fuck the past.

          I'll happily trust Germans to broker peace deals and safe guard the peace even though they were once raced armies around the world dishing out genocide. I'll merrily trust that a Japanese navy has only peaceful intentions, despite the fact that Japanese ships used to once terrorized the entire pacific. I will also happily trust the Americans to not use their pile of nukes as they did throughout the entire Cold War, even though they once nuked another nation at the height of a genocidal war over 60 years ago. North Korea on the other hand I do not trust with a fucking pocket knife, much less a nuke. I don't have a lack of trust in North Korea because of some ancient wrong they did, but because RIGHT NOW, they are a brutal totalitarian dictatorship that visits unimaginable suffering upon its own people. This is a nation that tests fucking chemical weapons on its own people. This is a nation that steals food from its own starving populace to maintain a massive military. This is nation that, regardless of past deeds or misdeeds, is completely unworthy of our trust RIGHT NOW.

          So cram all your historical finger pointing. The simple fact of the matter is that RIGHT NOW, North Korea is roughly the last nation in the world that should be playing with nukes, and it is a damn fine thing that the rest of the world is trying to keep them from doing so.
    • The US is the only nation to have ever used a nuke on another. Who the hell can actually have any trust in us when it comes to nuclear weapons?

      Yeah, and white people owned slaves. We should be ashamed of ourselves (if we're white) for being slave owners even though no one who will read this has ever owned a slave (legally).

      The argument of the US being the ones who used the bomb is old. The guys who had the power to make that decision have been worm food for longer than most posters here have been alive.
    • by stubear ( 130454 )
      "Who the hell can actually have any trust in us when it comes to nuclear weapons?"

      Perhaps because only two nuclear weapons have ever been used at a time of war and none have been used since then? Despite the Cold War and Russia threatening to park nuclear weapons off our souther coast, we managed to keep the finger off the trigger and wiping the Soviet Union off the face of the map. Imagine that. Perhaps the U.S.,of all countries, is in the best position to make that choice BECAUSE we have made the decis
    • by IflyRC ( 956454 )
      nations should be able to do whatever the hell they want in their own borders w/o the meddling of other nations.

      1 name, Hitler
    • by SnowZero ( 92219 )
      That said, leaders who fold under international pressure against nukes (like, Kadafi, for example) are lame.

      Why? Because they are uncool? Let's see which nation is the most successful in the next 50 years; Libya, North Korea, or Iran. I know who my money is on. Kadafi did the smart thing, dropping his program in return for every other nation dropping whatever international beef it had with Libya. It's good for the people, and its good for stability in the government. Having nukes or a nuke program sim
  • by 8127972 ( 73495 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @04:00PM (#16663199)
    .... The fact that they kind of need food?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6069606.st m [bbc.co.uk]

    Just a thought.
  • by The Mgt ( 221650 ) on Tuesday October 31, 2006 @04:50PM (#16664027)
    see here [exile.ru]
  • As much as I'd like to see KJI push up the daisies, I'm afraid the options of all major players are limited.

    Economic sanctions are the only real cards left worth playing, and they're still dicey. Let's assume they actually work. You have a number of scenarios to deal with afterward:

    • Military response from NK. Not likely, but it would devastate the South if it did happen. Seoul could cease to exist. Japan would probably be fired upon as well. And the global economy might not be able to endure the str
  • Kim Jong-il wants to DM this time...
  • It's a much better idea to get NK involved, integrated and dependant on trade with the world. Try to build up a wealthy middle class in the country, they're the ones who have their sights set on political power. America can dump it's unwanted excess agricultural capacity there, subsidise businesses who are able to get in to do business.

     

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