Saturday, March 10, 2018

seen on ROK Drop

ROK Drop embeds a Bruce Klingner tweet that includes this satirical pic:

Robb Stark (pictured above, with beard) was the winningest battle commander in the War of Five Kings until he was betrayed by the Frey and Bolton families. I'm pretty sure that Kim Jeong-eun isn't planning to riddle Donald Trump with crossbow quarrels and knife wounds, but it's nice to see other doubters as to the success of the upcoming US/NK summit. Again, I'll be happy to be proven wrong, but for the moment, the policy is Wait and See.

Just to be clear: the reason most of these attempts at conciliation fail has to do with verification: North Korea might make a concession, but then it gets antsy about having foreign inspectors on its soil, looking over its shoulder. Until we can get around this verification problem, there's little hope of anything more than a one-way flow of money, supplies, and privileges to the North, with nothing substantive flowing back to the the US, the UN, and South Korea.

Keep in mind, too, that North Korea, by having nukes, doesn't even need to project force across the Pacific to be a threat to the world economy: all it has to do is destroy Seoul and Busan. Theoretically, it can already do this, and has arguably been able to do this for a long time, since even before it bulked up on nukes. Seoul will continue to act as if it's a partner with North Korea and not its de facto hostage, but the reality of the situation is starkly simple. (See what I did there, GoT fans?)

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