Breaking News: Republic of Korea Announcement Regarding Bilateral Meetings With The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

A representative from the Republic of Korea delegation that has come to DC to brief the President, National Security Advisor, etc on the results of the recent ROK-DPRK bilateral meetings. The announcement is expected momentarily. The live feed is below.

It is expected that the announcement will include a readout of a letter from Kim Jong Un to the President regarding reestablishing talks with the US in exchange for freezing the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program. This would be an important step. As Cheryl has covered here and at her own site, the DPRK has reached breakout. The issue is no longer preventing them from developing a nuclear weapon, rather it is keeping them from finishing the miniaturization process, as well as preventing proliferation and moving towards positive containment and deterrence.

Voice of America published an interesting analytical piece detailing the problems facing the US in dealing with the DPRK. Specifically, the US’s dearth of expertise.

Aaron David Miller, a senior analyst at the Wilson Center, has advised a number of Republican and Democratic secretaries of state.

Miller told VOA he believes if this recent offer of direct talks does represent a transformative change in North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s position, then it is too valuable an opportunity to waste, and the U.S. should test it — first through discreet dialogue before any structured negotiations take place.

Asked who in the Trump administration could prepare and conduct sensitive, complicated and grueling direct talks with North Korea, Miller drew a blank.

“Right now, it is hard to identify any single individual or team of individuals that has both the negotiating experience and knowledge of the history, the cultural and political sensitivity, and knowledge of how the North Koreans behave and how they see the world,” he said.

He added: “In this republic, you might have to reach for people who have had experience and who are part of another administration. This administration may not be willing to do that.”

Miller said if this offer of talks becomes serious, it would mean months, if not years, of negotiations. He said the president has created some “running room” for diplomacy, and that all sides are in a better position than they were before.

Updated at 7:12 PM EST:

Kim Jong Un is offering a freeze in the DPRK’s nuclear weapons program in exchange for talks. Kim is also offering denuclearization as an outcome of the negotiations and that he recognizes and accepts that ROK-US bilateral military exercises will continue.

This is a very important development. Time will tell what it actually leads to.

Updated at 10:30 PM EST:

Now that more details about the communication from Kim Jong Un, that it was an oral offer, not in writing, there is both more and less here than meets the eye. As Cheryl rightly points out in comments, the DPRK puts everything in writing, that they didn’t do so here tells us that this is just the opening of the gambit. Since nothing is in writing, it is actually unclear what the President has agreed to in exchange for meeting with Kim. What I mean by unclear is that there is what Kim has verbally offered via the ROK – a freeze on his nuclear weapons program, recognition that the US-ROK bilateral military exercises will continue, and an invitation for talks about denuclearization – and what he is actually willing to negotiate. What he’s already gotten, with the President’s quick acceptance of the verbal offer is an elevation of status for himself and the DPRK. Moreover, it is unclear whether any of this was staffed through the Interagency. So I’m not really sure what, if anything, is going to come of this invitation. I am sure that what was verbally offered by Kim via the ROK is much less than first met the eye.

For instance:

Stay tuned! And frosty!

Open thread!

209 replies
  1. 1
    TenguPhule says:

    The issue is no longer preventing them from developing a nuclear weapon, rather it is keeping them from finishing the miniaturization process, as well as preventing proliferation and moving towards positive containment and deterrence.

    /Looks at North Korea

    /Looks at White House

    WASF.

  2. 2
    debbie says:

    Asked who in the Trump administration could prepare and conduct sensitive, complicated and grueling direct talks with North Korea, Miller drew a blank.

    Doesn’t Jared have Thursday afternoons open?

  3. 3
    Corner Stone says:

    This is ridiculous. KJU is not going to give up his nuclear program.

  4. 4
    Baud says:

    I suppose this postpones nuclear war for a bit. I’ll take it.

  5. 5
    Jeffro says:

    The one thing we can be sure of is that this will be blown all out of proportion.

    Evelyn Farkas on MSNBC right now getting paid to essentially say the same thing.

  6. 6
    Baud says:

    @Jeffro: Peace in our time.

  7. 7
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: As long as it moves the possibility of war further off, then you take your short to medium term profits where you can.

  8. 8

    @debbie: I don’t think Jared’s been to Korea, but Ivanka has.

  9. 9
    Jeffro says:

    @Corner Stone: exactly

    Don’t they pull this on a regular two year cycle or so ?

  10. 10
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Baud:
    If this goes South and Trump gets a lot of people killed, could he be declared a war criminal? Then again, if Bush wasn’t, I don’t see Trump getting the Hague treatment.

  11. 11
    debbie says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I bet he’s gambling that Trump will chicken out of face-to-face talks.

  12. 12
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Baud:

    Peance in our time.

    Fixed it for you!//

  13. 13
    Corner Stone says:

    @Jeffro: Once every different presidential term.

  14. 14
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: KJU: “he’s thinking of making WHO his national Security Advisor? BOLTON? Oh shit…”

    ‘Madman Theory’ on steroids

  15. 15
    Chet Murthy says:

    Adam, ISTR that NK offered “direct bilateral talks” previously — many times in fact. And we always countered with “we’ll only talk with you if all the parties (JP, CN, SK) are at the table.”

    What’s changed? I mean, other than “we’ll stop (pinky swear, b/c you’re not gonna be able to send in inspectors to verify) our nuke program”.

  16. 16
    Corner Stone says:

    @debbie: KJU will demand to meet in NK.

  17. 17
    Brachiator says:

    @debbie:

    Asked who in the Trump administration could prepare and conduct sensitive, complicated and grueling direct talks with North Korea, Miller drew a blank.

    Doesn’t Jared have Thursday afternoons open?

    We still don’t have an ambassador to South Korea. But right now, it doesn’t matter.

    This will be promoted as a tremendous diplomatic victory for Trump and a vindication of his hard line approach to North Korea.

  18. 18
    Jeffro says:

    @debbie: DJT: “they don’t have a McDonald’s near the summit site? OR a KFC?? Absolutely fucking not! Deal’s off”

    More seriously, Kim just knows Trumpov is desperate for a PR win

  19. 19
    Yutsano says:

    @Adam L Silverman: What’s weird is I don’t even think we can pin this sudden whiplash on the Chinese. Even Xi was willing to go along with some sanctions (with Vladdie boy making up some slack but that’s a subject for another time) but that probably has more to do with Xi not having the connections Jiang did. Kim Jong Un is crafty but not suicidal. I wonder if the famine got so bad Un can’t even feed troops anymore.

  20. 20
    evodevo says:

    Stumpy as usual is trying to take credit …well, in a twisted way he’s right … countries all over the world have seen what a sh&*show this admin is, and have concluded they are on their own. So S. Korea has decided it will have to do the diplomatic work they used to depend on the US to do lol, and seek to normalize relations.

  21. 21
    Baud says:

    Three words. Trump Tower Pyongyang.

  22. 22
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It just allows NK breathing room to continue miniaturizing the payload.

  23. 23
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Baud: Good point, but what happens when the talks fail and Trump’s ego is damaged?

  24. 24
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Hopefully, by then, Mueller will have done his thing.

  25. 25
    Cheryl Rofer says:

  26. 26
    Mike J says:

    Jeffrey Lewis @ArmsControlWonk 14m
    North Korea has been seeking a summit with an American president for more than twenty years. It has literally been a top foreign policy goal of Pyongyang since Kim Jong Il invited Bill Clinton. (1/3)

  27. 27
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    I suppose this postpones nuclear war for a bit.

    What would you like to wager that Trump thinks attacking North Korea before or during the meeting would be a brilliant negotiating tactic?

  28. 28
    debbie says:

    @Jeffro:

    Kim just knows Trumpov is desperate for a PR win

    So why help him?

  29. 29
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jeffro: Farkas is correct to be skeptical. But again, we are playing for time. If we can buy some, that is a good thing.

  30. 30
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    has forced the United States to treat him as an equal.

    With Trump as president, aren’t we in fact more equal?

  31. 31
    joel hanes says:

    The Olympics did it: the nearly unprecedented opportunity for Koreans to make friendships accross the DMZ, and for the North to find out that the South still considered them brothers and sisters and wants to help.

    Trump will take credit, and some will believe him.

  32. 32
    Brachiator says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Good point, but what happens when the talks fail and Trump’s ego is damaged?

    Trump’s ego comes pre-damaged. If the talks fail, it wasn’t Trump’s fault, he never wanted them, never had anything to do with them.

    Trump only takes credit. He never accepts blame. That’s how he rolls.

  33. 33
    mad citizen says:

    We don’t enough expertise!?! Pish posh. I’m quite comfortable with a negotiating team led by Dennis Rodman and Gary Busey.

  34. 34
    GOVCHRIS1988 says:

    Ok, I’ll tell you how this will goddamn go.
    Trump wants to be seen as the greatest diplomat, EVER! Un wants something for his poor dictatorship + the legitimacy of his country being recognized by America. Trump’s dumbass will go over to North Korea. Un will flatter his ass off, say that if he gets what he wants from the U.S., he will halt his nuclear program. Trump will vociferously agree to whatever, say this is a win for him, and he should get the Nobel for it. Then when he’s out of North Korean airspace, Un reneges on that policy, because whose gonna check him boo, and start up the program again. Yep, see it now. Gonna happen. Big Orange Fatass fail coming again.

  35. 35

    Nixon went to China. We still went after him for criminal activity and nailed his ass.

    I’m all in favor of peace as opposed to nuclear war, but this sounds like another “Oh, look at the kitty!” moment.

  36. 36
    Corner Stone says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Exactly. Iraq and Libya, anyone?

  37. 37
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Chet Murthy: What’s changed is this President hates multilateral talks. He only likes bilateral negotiations. He thinks it gives him an advantage.

  38. 38
    Cermet says:

    Well, if anyone but the rump was president, this could be a great opening; well, bloody hands bush the sock puppet would be just as bad. Freezing their weapons in-exchange for lifting sanctions and maybe making peace would be worth the effort. No further testing of warhead nor missiles is worth providing them both access to the world and some bribery (heavy fuel oil.) They do keep treaty obligations but also are careful to exploit any loop holes or fine print so one must be careful. Like we have anyone left in State that could handle such negotiations.

  39. 39
    TenguPhule says:

    @debbie:

    So why help him?

    Throwing a drowning man a life jacket laced with explosives is a time tested strategy.

  40. 40
  41. 41
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    I figure with trump in office, and Lindsey Graham whispering in his ear, our chances are: 1) war 2) China wins 3) some combination of 1&2

  42. 42
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:

    during the meeting would be a brilliant negotiating tactic?

    Preferably during. He’d be executed on the spot. Of course, then a lot of innocent people would then die, which would be awful.

  43. 43
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    But again, we are playing for time. If we can buy some, that is a good thing.

    Adam, look who’s doing the shopping. We’ll be lucky if we still have all of our fingers and toes left at the end of this.

  44. 44
    Corner Stone says:

    @joel hanes: Oh, come on.

  45. 45
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I figure with trump in office, and Lindsey Graham whispering in his ear, our chances are: 1) war 2) China wins 3) some combination of 1&2

    You know what would be something even stupider Trump could do at this point?

    Pick a fight with Iran at the same time.

  46. 46
    Jeffro says:

    @debbie: the better to manipulate him, eventually humiliate him, or just buy time to make more weapons ?

    Or as someone said up thread just the spectacle of an American president meeting with the North Korean leader as an equal is an achievement in itself and an incentive for them to keep going

  47. 47
    Starfish says:

    @debbie: Ambassador Dennis Rodman

  48. 48
    TenguPhule says:

    @GOVCHRIS1988:

    Then when he’s out of North Korean airspace,

    You are unduly optimistic that he’d ever leave alive.

    If they don’t kill him at the meeting, they’ll take him hostage.

  49. 49
    mad citizen says:

    I have a work friend who came here from Korea when he was 17, about 30 years ago. He told me during the Olympics that a S Korean professor he knew predicted this path–North Korea would make a lot of noise leading up to the Olympics, stay quiet during the Games, and then be ready to talk. It sounds like you guys are right, treat him like an equal, etc. I say normalize as much as possible and swarm the north with K Pop. Eventually the regime will collapse. I’m not sure what’s taking so long with China to turn. Russia seems like a lost cause.

  50. 50
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    Do you seriously think they’d do that?

  51. 51
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Yutsano: My guess is that Kim and his folks have been observing how the President negotiates, which is badly. And that they can get him tied up into knots, so that when things fall apart he’ll be left holding the blame. Leave Kim’s overdeveloped sense of grandiosity aside, North Koreans are still Koreans. They are high context communicators. They are an honor/shame society. Then remember who the president is right now: a diplomatic incident waiting to happen.

  52. 52
    TenguPhule says:

    @Baud:

    aren’t we in fact more equal?

    No, North Korea has better healthcare then we do. //

  53. 53
    GOVCHRIS1988 says:

    @Mustang Bobby: Richard Nixon, while paranoid and racist, was very adept with policy, foreign and domestic, At least he knew what the fuck he was doing. This is Trump were talking about here. He may watch the documentary on Nixon going to China, but he has the inability of recreating it with North Korea.

  54. 54
    Brachiator says:

    Jeffrey Lewis

    @ArmsControlWonk

    PS: To be clear — we need to talk to North Korea. But Kim is not inviting Trump so that he can surrender North Korea’s weapons. Kim is inviting Trump to demonstrate that his investment in nuclear and missile capabilities has forced the United States to treat him as an equal.

    This is a damned good point. Conservatives will still sell this as a Trump victory.

  55. 55
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷:

    Do you seriously think they’d do that?

    Yes. If Trump is stupid enough to enter North Korea, he’s never leaving. His value as a hostage or an example is simply too tempting to pass up for them.

  56. 56
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    I don’t think Jared’s been to Korea, but Ivanka has.

    For that matter, so has Jethrene.

  57. 57
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: yeah, true…

  58. 58
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @TenguPhule:
    That could be the best thing that could come out of this mess.

  59. 59
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: … and one desperate for what he perceives as a win

  60. 60
    CarolPW says:

    @Cermet: State has them, but they have all been sent to the FOIA basement so are not available.

  61. 61
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: The devil, as always, will be in the details. Kim will have to agree to allow the IAEA inspectors in and cooperate with the inspection regime that will be put in place. I doubt he will. But things have been pushed back at least another 60 days. So take the immediate gift of time and go from there.

  62. 62
    mike in dc says:

    @TenguPhule: That would be a terrible move by them. 30 nukes later though, they wouldn’t be around to regret it.

  63. 63
    TenguPhule says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) 🗳 🌷: No, because then we’d have to deal with Pence and Ryan.

  64. 64
    mad citizen says:

    Just to pile on to “Trump is a bad negotiator” and his ability to keep a poker face–I was listening to the Siruis POTUS channel around 5 eastern, and the WH pool reporter said Trump poked his head in the briefing room to tell them that South Korea was going to make a major annoucement shortly. The host, who was in the white house press during W and Obama said “That never happens!”

  65. 65

    @SiubhanDuinne: The Possum Queen is merely a mouthpiece, not a Trump.

  66. 66
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Or the President offends Kim and the North Koreans?

  67. 67
    TenguPhule says:

    @mike in dc:

    That would be a terrible move by them. 30 nukes later though, they wouldn’t be around to regret it.

    There is no way Pence or Ryan is going to nuke NK on Trump’s behalf and risk the end of the world.

  68. 68
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Baud: With this move, it’s clear that Kim is a whole lot smarter.

  69. 69
    tobie says:

    Is it too soon to speculate that Vlad had a hand in arranging this meeting? Today feels like that day during the campaign when intelligence chiefs announced Russia was interfering in the election and then the Access Hollywood tape dropped that completely grabbed the attention of the press. For the past two weeks, the wheels have been coming off the Trump administration and suddenly this story of an unprecedented summit with the North Korea breaks. The fact that no one in the administration seems to have known about these negotiations suggests that this just fell into Trump’s lap via the South Koreans. Who was North Korea secretly negotiating with all this time before extending this invitation? My money’s on Russia.

  70. 70
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I am in violent agreement with this analysis.

  71. 71
    Patricia Kayden says:

    And to celebrate International Women’s Day, Mississippi enacts a repressive anti-choice bill. How nice. No gun-related legislation is allowed but let’s force women to give birth regardless of their needs and wishes.

  72. 72
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: This is literally how the North Korean film “The Country I Saw” ends. An American President visits Pyongyang, compelled by North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs to treat a Kim as an equal.

    Wow. On domestic policy, he’s Archie Bunker, on FP, a character from a tinpot dictator’s propaganda.

  73. 73
    mike in dc says:

    @TenguPhule: If they kill an American president, we will end their regime. Whether it takes weeks and months, or minutes and hours, depends on what NK does next. China isn’t going to have their back if they take 45 hostage or kill him.

  74. 74
    WereBear says:

    @TenguPhule: But we don’t want him back.

  75. 75
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @TenguPhule: I know you like your cynicism chic, but this falls over into the dumb category.

  76. 76
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    My guess is that Kim and his folks have been observing how the President negotiates, which is badly. And that they can get him tied up into knots, so that when things fall apart he’ll be left holding the blame. Leave Kim’s overdeveloped sense of grandiosity aside, North Koreans are still Koreans. They are high context communicators. They are an honor/shame society. Then remember who the president is right now: a diplomatic incident waiting to happen.

    Trump is not an honor/shame kind of guy. This could end up being a situation in which one side, or both, is screwed over because they are operating on one set of cultural assumptions and do not understand that these are absolutely irrelevant to the other side.

    Also, as I noted earlier, Trump always deflects blame or failure onto someone else. He is only about taking credit for what goes his way. He never accepts blame. Even if he blatantly lies about it.

    Trump never fails. He can only be failed (in his own little mind).

    ETA: Trump wants a May meeting with Kim because he has not been invited to Prince Harry’s wedding.

  77. 77

    @Adam L Silverman: Violence will get you no where, young man.

  78. 78
    Aleta says:

    Announcements aren’t developments any more. It used to be true for the WH, but now no.

    Calling their announcements ‘developments’ is like believing someone who has announced 100 times in the last year that they’re going to stop drinking, but so far has never taken one step past the liquor store or put down the drink for even half a day. (Those would count as effort. The WH makes no effort.)

    Something has to happen that’s in line with what the announcement said. Then it’s a development. If something different happens, that’s a development too. Like P going to NK instead of T, and being thrown in jail for proselytizing his ideas about Mother.

  79. 79
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: No arguments from me. That was my point.

  80. 80
    TenguPhule says:

    @mike in dc:

    If they kill an American president, we will end their regime.

    For anyone other then Trump, this would be true.

    If they take Trump alive, they’ll get everything from him. They won’t even have to torture him much for it.

    And we won’t nuke them for it. At best we could write him off, but I sincerely doubt a single Republican would raise a finger to rescue or avenge him.

  81. 81
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That’s an interesting thought. Although I think that Kim and company are willing to put up with a lot. They can mock him after he leaves.

  82. 82
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA: Actually it got me two masters degrees, a joint PhD, a bunch of publications, and two related, but distinct careers. Pretty much everything in my personal and professional life is the result of violence getting me somewhere.

    If humanity ever gets serious about peace, I’m gonna be saying: “want fries with that?” a lot!//

  83. 83

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: It’s kind of amazing how much he fulfills the stereotype of a below-average American.

  84. 84
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @tobie: I’ve been wondering if Russia had a part in this.

  85. 85
    GregB says:

    @TenguPhule:

    Pence fully expects to ascend tonHeaven on wings of angels.

    Apocalyptc fulfillment seems to be in his wheel house.

  86. 86
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: But you still believe the possibility that Trump is not a traitor?

  87. 87
    Aleta says:

    @Baud: Has the clock changed?

  88. 88
    Jeffro says:

    @Brachiator: he most certainly is a shame kind of guy

  89. 89
    TenguPhule says:

    @GregB: I think they’d try a conventional response. And botch it badly.

  90. 90
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @🐾BillinGlendaleCA:

    I know that. Trump family wasn’t specified; Trump administration was.

  91. 91
    hellslittlestangel says:

    Kim: Let’s discuss disarmament.

    Trump: OK. Hey, did you know I beat the shit out of Crooked Hillary Clinton?

    Kim: We need the lifting of sanctions.

    Trump: Uh-huh Could you see the way to lending my son-in-law a billion or so?

  92. 92
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @TenguPhule: When did you stop beating your spouse?

  93. 93
    Mary G says:

    This is a great idea. Kim can throw Twitler a big parade with all the missiles and troops and things, and Twitler will take it as an honor demonstrating how seriously they respect him. Meanwhile our armed forces can continue to do their usual useful work. Win-win!

  94. 94
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: There is going to need to be a ton of focus on the minutiae of this. Every little detail is going to be important. You know as well as I do that high context communicators don’t negotiate directly. The principals meetings are all ceremonial – to kick things off and to bring them to a conclusion in announcing the agreement. The President is not going to like this dynamic.

  95. 95
    Brachiator says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Actually it got me two masters degrees, a joint PhD, a bunch of publications, and two related, but distinct careers. Pretty much everything in my personal and professional life is the result of violence getting me somewhere.

    I don’t know. You explain complex topics with ease, and clearly have synthesized a ton of learning. This works a lot of places.

  96. 96
    Origuy says:

    @TenguPhule:

    If they take Trump alive, they’ll get everything from him.

    What’s “everything”? He doesn’t pay attention to the intelligence briefings. They can get everything he knows by watching Fox and Friends.

  97. 97

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The principals meetings are all ceremonial – to kick things off and to bring them to a conclusion in announcing the agreement. The President is not going to like this dynamic.

    The president is not going to be aware of this dynamic.

  98. 98
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The principals meetings are all ceremonial – to kick things off and to bring them to a conclusion in announcing the agreement.

    Yeah, that’s not gonna end well.

  99. 99
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: I think you missed my point. All of my professional work, both when I thought I was going to be a research and teaching academic, and when I became a practitioner (operator) for the military, has focused on violence of one type or another. Understanding it, explaining it, countering it, preventing it, etc.

    But I do appreciate the kind words.

  100. 100
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Which means we will need more popcorn!

    ALEXA!!!!!!!

  101. 101
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @TenguPhule: If they take Trump alive, they’ll get everything from him. They won’t even have to torture him much for it.

    “OK, American dog. How exactly does one grab ’em by the pussy?”

  102. 102
    lamh36 says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    SMH….and already… some media (Tweety’s round table) using terms like “progress” on this agrees to meet w/Korea talk…smh

    Apparently, they want this to happen at the end of May…smh… Damnit…if/when this blows up in his face, this better NOT affect my Australia trip (May 19-May 31)…muthaphuck!

    FUQ this shit…nothing Chump does can ever get the MSM folks to not wag their tails in excitment…smh.

    I am seriously tired of hearing anything else bout Chump and his administration…just FUQN tired. Just tired of it entirely…so I’m gonna try my best to completely ignore it all…focus on things I can change locally and how best to contribute nationally…otherwise, call me when Chump’s term is cut short by either Mueller or some other circumstances…until then…FUQ the entire lot of em…

    I’m off to live my best life.

    Anyhoo… The final half of my sign-on bonus came in early!!!

    Time for some light reading😉😁😁

  103. 103
    JR says:

    I’m just going to hope for the best. Good news is hard to find these days.

  104. 104

    @Adam L Silverman: Aren’t nuclear missiles too hot to make popcorn with?

  105. 105
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    ALEXA!!!!!!!

    She is chuckling evilly while plotting your demise with butter flavored oil.

  106. 106
    ruemara says:

    @debbie: Because we’ve lost a lot of credibility with him in charge and can always lose even more. He will starve us, poison us, bankrupt us and leave us susceptible to disease. He hands out our secrets and has emptied the halls of our institutions. He’s the ideal candidate for anyone who hates America.

  107. 107
    WaterGirl says:

    @ruemara: And people worried that Obama might be the AntiChrist.

  108. 108
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule:

    My desires are unconventional…

  109. 109
    tobie says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: It’s the theatricality of this announcement that makes me most suspect Russia’s hand. Trump’s people couldn’t organize a piss-up in a brewery. Heaven help us when his administration actually gets to the negotiating table.

  110. 110
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @lamh36: Pack the SPF 50,000 in case of nuclear attack.

  111. 111
    Jamey says:

    This is not Nixon goes to China; this is Sideshow Bob goes to rake on ground.

  112. 112
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Major Major Major Major: As long as you wear your eye protection you’re fine.

  113. 113

    @Jamey: One of the most audaciously funny gags in television history!

  114. 114
    Mike J says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    There is going to need to be a ton of focus on the minutiae of this. Every little detail is going to be important.

    Trump has not held a single state dinner.

  115. 115
    The Dangerman says:

    @TenguPhule:

    WASF

    Got it at 1; the NK problem has vexed Presidents for decades. The chance of Trump – the one that thinks trade wars are a good thing and easy to “win” – being the one to un-vex it is zero. Unless the NK leader wants to trade phone numbers of porn stars with Trump, this is going nowhere fast.

  116. 116
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @tobie: I wonder if Putin will lend Kim some of his special chefs to help in preparing Trump’s dinner.

  117. 117
    tobie says:

    @JR: I think we should ask the kids from Parkland, FL to organize the Dem response. They’re really good at this whole media-strategy-thingee. Think of them. They’re a great ray of hope.

  118. 118
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    There is going to need to be a ton of focus on the minutiae of this. Every little detail is going to be important. You know as well as I do that high context communicators don’t negotiate directly. The principals meetings are all ceremonial – to kick things off and to bring them to a conclusion in announcing the agreement. The President is not going to like this dynamic.

    You are thinking about how we used to do diplomacy. All bad deals, the worst! Trump will make a great deal, a beautiful deal!

    I agree with you, on Earth 1. (This is Earth 2, right? I can never get that straight.) But I’ve been thinking that kind of thing through, and it isn’t going to happen that way.

    There is going to need to be a ton of focus on the minutiae of this. Every little detail is going to be important.

    We no longer have the people in the State Department to do the protocol details, nor the details of any agreement. For an agreement, Commerce, Treasury, and Energy will also be needed, and probably others I’m not thinking of at the moment. There is nobody to distribute the tasks, or to decide what those tasks should be.

    You know as well as I do that high context communicators don’t negotiate directly. The principals meetings are all ceremonial – to kick things off and to bring them to a conclusion in announcing the agreement.

    I think you provided the answer to that.

    The President is not going to like this dynamic.

    Trump’s fantasy is that he and Kim will sit down, man to man, and work things out. Trump will (as he has suggested others do in other negotiations) jab his finger into Kim’s chest and scream “Fuck you” to start the negotiations off. No interpreters or other helpers will be necessary, because Real Men™ understand each other.

  119. 119
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike J: The 4th Geneva Convention prohibits serving Big Macs, Quarter Pounders with Cheese Filet-o-Fish, Original Recipe and/or Extra Tasty Crispy, fries, and fried apple pies for dinner. As a result, the US will not host any state dinners for the foreseeable future.

  120. 120
    tobie says:

    @hellslittlestangel: He’s such a dope that they don’t need to administer any agent to dull his wit. He has none.

  121. 121
    Dave says:

    @TenguPhule: Dude other than the crazy pantsuits (woman’s day) of this what would they get? He doesn’t actually have much rattling around in his head. Seriously there are a great many bad many of them even exceptionally stupid outcomes of this. No need to go with this one.

  122. 122
    TenguPhule says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Trump will (as he has suggested others do in other negotiations) jab his finger into Kim’s chest and scream “Fuck you” to start the negotiations off.

    And how does this scenario not end with Trump dead or imprisoned?

  123. 123
    Timurid says:

    This is the essence of a no win situation. Every possible outcome is bad. In ascending order of dreadfulness:

    1. The actual talks end in a stalemate, but North Korea still wins by appearing as an equal of the US on the world stage.
    2. Trump makes big concessions to Kim. An emboldened North Korea immediately starts stirring the shit, fishing for more handouts.
    3. Kim makes big concessions to Trump, who gets a literal “Get Out Of Jail” card. The Village, Republican pols and even a few centrist Democrats will close ranks behind him and Mueller can start looking for his shinebox.
    4. Trump loses it and provokes Kim into doing something irrevocable.

  124. 124
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Earth 3 – home of the Crime Syndicate of America. Or the anti-matter universe of Qward.

  125. 125
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @tobie: I was thinking more stop his heart than dull his wit.

  126. 126
    Dave says:

    @Adam L Silverman: And let’s be honest all that careful work and thought will be thrown completely out the window as soon as the event occurs. The President not only won’t like but is constitutionally incapable of adhering to that sort of program.

  127. 127
    TenguPhule says:

    @Dave:

    what would they get?

    Russia got Israeli intelligence from him just by asking and probably a complete list of US assets in Russia.

    Despite his ignoring the written daily briefs, they’re still telling him verbally a lot of sensitive information.

    I think you might be surprised what Trump could remember when properly motivated..

  128. 128
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Trump might scream “fuck you” at Kim over the phone. But face to face? He’ll be too strained trying to control his bladder to raise his voice.

  129. 129
    joel hanes says:

    @Cermet:

    Freezing their weapons in-exchange for lifting sanctions and maybe making peace would be worth the effort.

    We could call it the “Framework”, and seal some of their nuclear facilities, and install inspection cameras to monitor the seals.

    … and I feel
    Like I’ve been here before

  130. 130
    TenguPhule says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Beer flavored popcorn?

  131. 131
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @Timurid:

    5. Kim agrees to let him build Trump Hotel Pyongyang. To seal the deal, Kim gifts him a beautiful little statuette that he can place on his desk in the Oval Office, right next to the phone.

  132. 132
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Kim Jung Un just became president.

  133. 133
    joel hanes says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    The President is not going to like this dynamic.

    The President may not even be able to perceive this dynamic;
    he certainly won’t understand it if he does.

  134. 134
    Mary G says:

    @lamh36: It’s the FTFNYT, so click at your peril, but I am so excited for this:

    WASHINGTON — Former President Barack Obama is in advanced negotiations with Netflix to produce a series of high-profile shows that will provide him a global platform after his departure from the White House, according to people familiar with the discussions.

    Under terms of a proposed deal, which is not yet final, Netflix would pay Mr. Obama and his wife, Michelle, for exclusive content that would be available only on the streaming service, which has nearly 118 million subscribers around the world. The number of episodes and the formats for the shows have not been decided.

    Mr. Obama does not intend to use his Netflix shows to directly respond to President Trump or conservative critics, according to people familiar with discussions about the programming. They said the Obamas had talked about producing shows that highlight inspirational stories.

    But the Netflix deal, while not a direct answer to Fox News or Breitbart.com, would give Mr. Obama an unfiltered method of communication with the public similar to the audiences he already reaches through social media, with 101 million Twitter followers and 55 million people who have liked his Facebook page.

  135. 135
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I think this is germane. From here:
    https://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/how-trump-learned-to-be-a-predator

    We now know Trump’s modus operandi intuitively. But it helps to understand where it came from, the logic of it and how it’s succeeded for Trump again and again over decades.

    There is a personality type with a New York developer, one Donald learned from Fred when he carried his dad’s briefcase to acquisition meetings out in the boroughs and it goes like this:

    Donald contracts for a service or good, or the acquisition of a piece of land for $1 million.

    He then does not pay you

    You ask Donald for your million dollars

    Donald yells at you, basely, abusively, wholly out of character to the rich gentleman you broke bread with and made the deal with. He tells you that no, YOU owe him $200,000. Gives you no reason but screams how can you be such a son of a bitch to rip him off, how he’s going to sue you, expose you as a cheat, etc.

    You’re off your pins, defensive. How could this be the guy who was so nice when he picked up the check at Per Se?

    So, you compromise, because human nature avoids conflict, right? This is what he’s gaming you for because once you compromised, you’ve lost. You’ve inferred his premise that you have some complicity in the matter otherwise why would you compromise? You are on the defensive and will never get it back.

    You offer $750,000 as a settlement, angry but want it over and done with. He then sues you. Why, because you’ve already committed yourself to the loss. You volunteered to surrender your position and what will stop you from keeping going?

    I’ve seen many a New Yorker settle things like this with Trump people for 5-10 cents on the dollar and then happy, even eager to keep doing business with them. Why? Because he got in their heads with this aggressively counterintuitive behavior.

  136. 136
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TenguPhule: Not that unconventional.

  137. 137
    Lapassionara says:

    @Mary G: wooh!

  138. 138
    trnc says:

    @debbie:

    I bet he’s gambling that Trump will chicken out of face-to-face talks.

    Or maybe he saw that several countries are bragging about how they played Kushner, etc for suckers and thought, “How do I get a piece of the action?”

  139. 139
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I was thinking today about this dynamic. He’s doing it to all of us.

    1. TARIFFS ON ALL STEEL AND ALUMINUM, NO EXCEPTIONS
    2. General confusion among staff and agencies.
    3. No tariffs on Canada and Mexico, everyone else negotiable.

    (Or I think the result is something like that. My head is ringing from today.) Number 3 would be disturbing and unacceptable, but it’s better than number 1.

    Likewise,
    1. NUKE NORTH KOREA! KILL THEM ALL!
    2. Fear in the country, confusion among staff and agencies.
    3. That nice Mr. Kim invited me to a meeting.

    Once again, an unacceptable result that is tolerable only because it is less worse than number 1.

    And so Donald Trump wears us all down. Oh, and did I mention that his friends get to play the stock market with every upset?

  140. 140
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Chris Hayes @ chrislhayes
    My early bet is that the meeting w Kim Jong-Un will be like the DACA bill the president was going to sign with no questions asked and the interview with Mueller he was so excited to have.

  141. 141
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    Uh-oh

  142. 142
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Under US Federal law he can’t place a tariff on Canadian steel. Federal law makes Canadian, British, and Australian steel domestic for national security reasons. So he can say he’s going to put a tariff on all three all he wants, it is illegal and can’t go into effect.

    That’s how dumb these guys are. They couldn’t even review the US code to see if what they were doing is legal.

  143. 143
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: By tomorrow it will be more like a notion or a suggestion.

  144. 144
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I think Trump did that all by his lonesome. Is the US code something that NSA does?//

  145. 145
    lamh36 says:

    @Mary G:

    Oooh…if Netflix, makes this happen…it’d be a BIGGGGG win for them and maybe the country!!!

    And Chump would HATE IT!!!

  146. 146
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Well, North Korea does things in writing. If this wasn’t in writing, then it’s the first move in playing him. A functioning State Department would have told him (maybe they did, and he didn’t listen) that replying to an oral message is very weak. But I think Big Don really wants the meeting.

  147. 147
    trnc says:

    @Mary G: If DT really only ran for pres to gin up his tv brand, and the Obamas wind up with a global tv presence while DT’s entire brand goes south, someone better start lining the oval office with plastic.

  148. 148
    MJS says:

    Let’s see if Trump can keep from insulting KJU for the next two months. I bet he can’t, at least not if he has one of his campaign rallies coming up. He loves the response he gets from his idiots when he calls him “Little Rocket Man”. He won’t be able to resist.

  149. 149
    geg6 says:

    @Corner Stone:

    That’s what I think, too. They know he’s an idiot, that Atillerson is an idiot and that the best and brightest on NK are purged or left State in disgust. They can roll him and they know it.

  150. 150
    Baud says:

    I wonder if Kim will sign the NDA.

  151. 151
    JPL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: It’s apparent that SK will pacify him, because they view him as the real threat. Is it possible that Trump is trying to change the subject.

  152. 152
    Mary G says:

    I think they are going to do it somewhere, because the article also says:

    Several people familiar with the Netflix discussions said that executives from Apple and Amazon, which have their own streaming services, have also expressed interest in talking with Mr. Obama about content deals.

    So I presume there is a bidding war going on. It says the Obamas are particularly close to people that work at Netflix, and I am pretty sure they have the most subscribers, so I imagine they will end up there. But to see Barack and Michelle talking about anything again, or just reading a phone book, would be so good for my heart.

    And, yes, Twitler would pitch the hissy fit to end all hissy fits and the whole White House will leak it, and we will just laugh.

  153. 153
    Baud says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Are we 100% sure it wasn’t some radio shock jock?

  154. 154
    JMG says:

    Any other American President, even Buchanan, you’d say, hey, maybe this will work out. But not this one.

  155. 155
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Isn’t there a law preventing US presidents from meeting dictators during their last year in office?

  156. 156
    Baud says:

    @JMG: Maybe Kim will have mercy on us.

  157. 157
  158. 158
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Jess Dweck
    ‏ @TheDweck

    I don’t think it’s a good idea to let a deranged dictator meet with Kim Jong Un

    91 replies 484 retweets 2,556 likes

  159. 159
    Mary G says:

    @lamh36: @trnc: I know! Remember Twitler’s real passion for running was to lose, start “Trump TV,” rant and rave half an hour Mon-Thurs about “Crooked Hillary” and watch the money roll in.

    I think the Obamas know streaming is the future, and are actually going to do it, because the article also says:

    Several people familiar with the Netflix discussions said that executives from Apple and Amazon, which have their own streaming services, have also expressed interest in talking with Mr. Obama about content deals.

    I read this between the lines as a bidding war going on, but the article talks about specific people at Netflix the Obamas already know and like, and Netflix has the most eyeballs available, at a lower price point, so I think they will win.

    And Twitler will indeed throw the hissy fit to end all hissy fits and we will all be vastly entertained. The end. I hope.

  160. 160
    lamh36 says:

    Eric Hartmane
    @erichartmane
    Erin Burnett on CNN: If Trump solves the North Korea problem he “would be going down as a great president, and there’s no getting around that.”

    6:45 PM – Mar 8, 2018

  161. 161
    Baud says:

    OT. The lawyers win one.

    The Trump administration is stepping in to stop Idaho’s plan to allow non-Obamacare insurance coverage back onto the market, in a rebuke of the conservative state’s brazen flouting of the health care law.

    In a letter to Idaho Gov. Butch Otter, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services warned that the state would not be substantially enforcing the Affordable Care Act if it allowed insurance plans that did not adhere to the law’s protections for preexisting conditions to be sold. CMS Administrator Seema Verma wrote that if Idaho wouldn’t enforce Obamacare, then the federal government would be obligated to.

    Vox

  162. 162
    Baud says:

    @JPL: What is this? 2006?

  163. 163
    lamh36 says:

    Lindsey Graham out with a statement…the final paragraph warning NK not to “play” the President…smh…talk about a ringing endorsements of Chump’s diplomatic skills…smh

    @joshtpm
    Lol. What the F does this even mean?

    7:32 PM – Mar 8, 2018

    https://twitter.com/joshtpm/status/971921555419779072

  164. 164
    Baud says:

    @lamh36: I’ll take those odds.

  165. 165
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I don’t know if this is a significant difference, but I think that what these guys actually believe is that the law suggests, but they decide; that if they choose to, they get to overrule the law. I remember a story from last year, where Trump told a meeting of Native American tribal leaders to feel free to disregard Federal law and extract mineral resources from tribal lands as they saw fit, because he was in charge now.

  166. 166
    JPL says:

    @Baud: lol It’s what happens when you live in trumpland.

  167. 167
    Jeffro says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: hey so he jumped on it at the first opportunity in order to try and change the conversation what a surprise

  168. 168
    Mary G says:

    I was at the doctor most of the day, and know this has probably already been covered in a thread I missed, but it made me laugh, so I’m posting it again for anyone else who missed it:

    “Your father is looking down on you, he’s very proud,” Trump tells steel worker at his press conference.“He’s still alive,” the guy responds.— Paul McLeod (@pdmcleod) March 8, 2018

    What a maroon.

  169. 169
    Another Scott says:

    @Timurid: I think you’re looking too many steps ahead.

    As Adam says, delaying tests is a good thing. Even if there isn’t an immediately sensible deal at the end of the delay.

    I really don’t care, myself, if Kim puffs himself up as an equal of the USA and Donnie meets with him and shakes his hand. Kim’s family has been telling the DPRK that they are great and powerful and an equal of anyone for decades. It’s pretty much the state religion.

    Kim can continue to say how great and powerful he is, and show pictures of Donnie with him if it happens, but it’s not going to reduce the DPRK’s pariah status without them actually implementing different policies. Nuclear inspections, stopping murdering and kidnapping Korean nationals in other countries, demonstrating that they can obey trade rules, human rights for the DPRK people, etc., etc.

    Honestly, I expect little to come from this proposed meeting. Remember how he was going to bend Mexico to his will and everything was going to be “great”… :-/ Instead, it’s just a continuing stalemate about trade and NAFTA.

    The Korean War should have ended decades ago. The longer the official conflict exists, the higher the price for actually ending it. I don’t care who gets the credit if something good happens, myself.

    My $0.02.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  170. 170
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Richard M. Nixon @ dick_nixon
    Trump will go expecting SALT. He won’t get it. He will leave embarrassed and that is a hell of a bad thing for all of us.

    (I know I’m kind of arguing with a fictional character, but…) I don’t think he knows what SALT is, and if the meeting takes place, trump will leave the equivalent of a selfie, trumpet it as if it’s the greatest triumph of diplomatic history, and champagne corks will be popping all through the corridors of government buildings in Beijing, where the South Koreans will increasingly turn, and North Korea’s nuke program will be largely unaffected

    ETA: another POV, from somebody who probably knows more than I do

    Rick Wilson @ TheRickWilson
    It’s cool the President is going to negotiate with Putin.

    I mean Kim.

    No, I really mean Putin.

    where would/does Putin fit into this equation? America distracted while he increases his influence in the Balkans and central Europe?

  171. 171
    Lizzy L says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I’m inclined to agree with Chris Hayes; it won’t happen.

  172. 172
    David 🎅🎄Merry Christmas🎄🎅 Koch says:

    Dr. Dena Grayson
    ‏ @DrDenaGrayson

    DPRK has made similar overtures before, but no POTUS took the bait. Kim Jong Un has NO intention of giving up his nukes. What he wants is to be treated as an equal on the world stage.

    47 replies 174 retweets 299 likes

    Holly Figueroa O’Reilly
    ‏ @AynRandPaulRyan

    Prediction:

    Kim Jong Un will never give up his nuclear program.

    If a meeting happens, he’ll spend several hours humiliating Trump in front of news cameras and play the hero in NK.

    108 replies 426 retweets 1,482 likes

    Twilight Zone
    ‏ @DaTwilightZone

    Big win for Kim Jong Un ! It shows the people of North Korea that #Trump considers NK to be an equal on the world stage.

    1 reply 2 retweets 1 like

  173. 173
    Amir Khalid says:

    @lamh36:
    And pigs might fly. To put it mildly, that is not the most plausible hypothetical I have ever heard.

  174. 174

    @Mary G: How are you doing, Mary? I hope the day long doc visit was mostly routine.

  175. 175
    Citizen_X says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: You know, in a way, North Korea has been playing this same game on a much bigger stage for decades. Of course, when they play, they are willing to back it up for real, occasionally sinking South Korean ships, shelling their troops, attacking US troops, etc.

    I have a feeling Kim and Co. are all cracking their knuckles, coming up with all kind of ways that they can game Trump. Who, as people have pointed out, would be pretty much going at the problem without knowledgable backup. They would have him completely outgunned.

  176. 176
    Elizabelle says:

    Watching High Noon. We’re at 11:58.

    Always an apropos movie, but especially now.

  177. 177
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I meant Baltic states, but I guess “Balkans” might work, too, also….

  178. 178
    hellslittlestangel says:

    @lamh36: Don’t fuck with military veteran Lindsay Graham, who can field-strip a pair of tasseled loafers in 45 seconds.

  179. 179
    Fair Economist says:

    @TenguPhule:

    If they don’t kill him at the meeting, they’ll take him hostage.

    Even the North Koreans must realize how useless Trump would be as a hostage. The vast majority of the country would be delighted to leave him there.

  180. 180
    germy says:

    SEOUL — Even before he was elected South Korea’s president eight months ago, Moon Jae-in was vowing to take the “driver’s seat” in global efforts to deal with North Korea.

    But as the inter-Korean talks have shown this week, it’s clearly Kim Jong Un who’s steering, although Moon could fairly claim to be riding shotgun. It’s Kim who’s decided when the Koreas will talk and what they will talk about.

    As for President Trump? Well, he could be said to be in the back, going along for the ride.

    As South Korea presses ahead with efforts to bring a large North Korean delegation to the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang next month, it is willingly agreeing to North Korea’s demands.

    But Trump, a former businessman who prides himself on being a masterful negotiator, is claiming — and getting — most of the credit for the sudden burst of Olympics-related diplomacy between the two Koreas.

    During a Jan. 4 phone call in which the South Korean leader briefed the American president on the plans for talks with North Korea, Trump asked Moon to publicly give him the credit for creating the environment for the talks, according to people familiar with the conversation.

  181. 181

    @Elizabelle: ah, a classic.

    I feel like the doomsday clock loses a lot of its effect when it’s just constantly almost midnight, though. They should recalibrate it. “We’re moving the clock ahead three hours!” or whatever is much more dramatic.

  182. 182
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Sounds like the State and Defense Departments were pretty much out of the loop, which I’m sure is fine

    Josh Lederman @ joshledermanAP 1h1 hour ago
    State Department spokeswoman from the podium today: “We are not going to schedule talks about talks or any kind of chat or anything like that at this point.”

    23m23 minutes ago
    Tillerson said today US was “long ways” from talks with NKorea.

    Undersecretary of State UnderSecPD Goldstein tells AP of Tillerson: “He’s a very careful speaker. He knew exactly what he was saying today.”

  183. 183
    Elizabelle says:

    @Major Major Major Major: The train has arrived. The bad ones are in the town square.

    Hadleyville. Coward’s Creek.

  184. 184
    B.B.A. says:

    Trump will agree to recognize DPRK as the sole legitimate government of the entire Korean peninsula, in exchange for rebranding the Ryugyong Hotel as the Trump International Hotel Pyongyang.

  185. 185
    Mary G says:

    @Dorothy A. Winsor (formerly Iowa Old Lady): Oh yeah, no biggie. Every so often I have to make the rounds of the specialists who treat me. Today was particularly good, I went to the dermatologist because a mole had turned crusty. Growing up at the beach means skin cancer quite often, because we all used baby oil in my day rather than something with SPF.

    Turns out after looking at it with the magnifying glass he is 99% certain it is not a melanoma, he just measured it for the chart and we will watch it. I have developed something call Sjogren’s Syndrome which comes with RA and lupus and dries up tears, saliva, etc.; pretty much everything that should be moist goes dry. It makes moles crusty too. Fortunately it is in a place where no one can see it in public, so I was relieved.

    ETA: Sorry, started babbling and forgot to mention that I hope you and Mr. DAW aren’t stressing too much waiting for his test.

  186. 186

    @Elizabelle:

    The train has arrived. The bad ones are in the town square.

    Movie or news? 🧐🤔

  187. 187
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Yep.

  188. 188

    @B.B.A.: oh that’s actually a cool building.

  189. 189
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: They’re more like guidelines really.

  190. 190
    tobie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Federal law makes Canadian, British, and Australian steel domestic for national security reasons.

    Thanks for this. I’ve been wondering how the US can impose retaliatory tariffs on a nation like Canada that doesn’t impose import duties on US goods because the US, Canada and Mexico are in a free trade zone. Now I learn the provision for free trade on steel extends to Australia and the UK. Whoo boy. These executive orders are not worth the paper they are printed on.

  191. 191
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Brachiator:

    Trump wants a May meeting with Kim because he has not been invited to Prince Harry’s wedding.

    Trump is entirely capable of insisting on May 18-19 for his meeting with Kim. He’d be gleeful to take world attention away from the royal wedding (and the likely presence of the Obamas) and force the despisèd media to have to split their news coverage between Windsor and Pyongyang.

  192. 192
    B.B.A. says:

    @Major Major Major Major: Looks cool on the outside. I think the inside is just bare concrete. Apparently it’s so shoddily built that it’s unlikely to ever open – which means it’ll fit just fine into the Trump portfolio.

  193. 193
    Corner Stone says:

    @hellslittlestangel:

    Don’t fuck with military veteran Lindsay Graham, who can field-strip a pair of tasseled loafers in 45 seconds.

    His rentboy will high polish a pair of loafers faster than you can say Yeah-uh.

  194. 194
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: The Russians have maintained formal relations with the DPRK. Lavrov made the statement in December 2017 that they would not break those relations. This was a few weeks after Russia finished installing upgraded high speed Internet access for the Kim government.

  195. 195
    Corner Stone says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I doubt he will. But things have been pushed back at least another 60 days. So take the immediate gift of time and go from there

    It’s a ruse, not a gift.

  196. 196
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @hellslittlestangel: Blind folded!

  197. 197
    hilts says:

    @lamh36:

    Erin Burnett proves once again that she’s dumber than a horse’s ass.

  198. 198
    MomSense says:

    Well this is a clever excuse for trump to travel to a non extradition treaty country.

  199. 199
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: The Interagency process appears to have completely broken down on this.

    If LTG McMaster didn’t read Secretary Mattis in on this before it happened, he’s playing with fire. He should have also read Secretary Tillerson on as well, so that neither were surprised, but Secretary Mattis has most of the control over LTG McMaster’s fate.

  200. 200
    trollhattan says:

    @Citizen_X:
    Think Trump went all apeshit crazy with the French military parade, wait ’til he gets his own arirang!

    “Greatest thing, ever. I want one in front of the White House!”

  201. 201
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @tobie: It’s actually in a separate part of the Federal code from the NAFTA stuff. But it’s in there.

  202. 202
    Calouste says:

    Wasn’t it reported a month or two back that there was an earthquake at the North Korean nuclear test side that collapsed a tunnel and killed 200 of their staff? Kim could do with buying time while that gets fixed.

  203. 203
    Corner Stone says:

    @hilts: You can take the girl out of CNBC but you can’t take the CNBC out of the girl.

  204. 204
    Another Scott says:

    @Calouste: (Dunno about the numbers, but) Yup. It’s kinda hard to have nuclear tests when you’ve blown up your test site.

    Of course, Kim could do something else to gain attention – if he wants. And I don’t doubt that he’s working on having the capability to do more testing if he thinks he needs it…

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  205. 205
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Calouste: @Another Scott: We covered this here on the front page!

  206. 206
    vhh says:

    @Brachiator: Yes, one can explain the menu choices very articulately.

  207. 207
    Chet Murthy says:

    @TenguPhule:

    And we won’t nuke them for it. At best we could write him off, but I sincerely doubt a single Republican would raise a finger to rescue or avenge him.

    TP, for the sake of our democracy, you better -pray- that nothing you’re fantasizing about happens. And it won’t, so rest easy. Let me explain: If something happened to our head of state while on an international trip, if that something were fomented by a state to which he’d been invited, EVERY DEMOCRAT would line up with every GrOPer to demand retaliation. -I- would do the same. I want Putinfelcher behind bars for the rest of his long, long natural life.
    But he’s ours to prosecute and ours to run out of office. This is our democracy, our Republic, and not somebody else’s to run for us.

    Dude, get a grip.

  208. 208
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    This this this.

  209. 209
    celticdragonchick says:

    @Chet Murthy:

    Exactly.
    If something did happen to POTUS over in Korea….I would be screaming for retaliation also. I loathe the man…but as you said, he is ours to prosecute. Nobody else gets to touch him or violate the integrity of the office. No way in hell would we want that precedent set.

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