Trump, Korea, and Geopolitical Brinkmanship

By all means, watch the video. Tim Shorrock has the general history (related with plenty of important specifics) very correct.

However, I want to point out 2 major things not in the video.

1st, brinkmanship is a trick. It means the US is threatening and may be bluffing. The DPRK and Kim know that.

2nd, Kim is highly trained to negotiate from strength and to also engage in brinkmanship but to also come to agreements with the US when there is no choice (when the US is bluffing or not but with total destruction, which is never known beyond a tiny circle with the final arbiter being the US President, hopefully subject to congressional oversight/approval for war except for retaliatory strikes).

No place on Earth has been subjected to more brinkmanship than Korea. No President before Trump has ever played the total-destruction card at this level: the DPRK didn't have nukes before Bush-43 but mostly came of age during the Obama administration due to Bush-43 administration provocations, such as moronically naming the DPRK on the "axis of evil" list in 2002, far predating the DPRK's 1st nuclear-weapons test in 2006 (mentioned in the video), which test was due to other regime changes, and which stated list was a target list for "regime change."

In other words, George W. Bush caused the entire thing: hands down, the dumbest and, therefore, the most dangerous President during my life (so far).

That doesn't let Barack Obama off the hook though, because he handled the aftermath in a way that only allowed the matter to become worse (also mentioned in the video).

As for Trump, he's gambling as nobody ever has but he truly believes he has no choice. He thought, and still thinks, he has no choice because he doesn't know the history well enough and has idiots and morons as advisors.

Trump is too superficial while thinking of himself as deep and appears sometimes to still think his business experience readily totally translates to the geopolitical sphere. It translates only to a degree. It's also not easy to get up to speed on the subtleties. One needs to be a deep reader or be willing and able to be puppet-mastered by a master in those subtleties: not Trump's style.

Unlike Trump, Kim is extremely well trained in exactly this geopolitical-brinkmanship "game." He could very easily call Trump's bluff, whether Trump thinks Trump is bluffing or not. Trump could not attack North Korea with impunity. Xi knows the history too. So does Putin, who's been under regime-change-prep attack now for many years.

Kim and the others will make that clear to Trump. Kim can bluff with the best of them and is in a good position to do that. He can get up from the table because he will have back-channel backing that will leak out on purpose and only to come right back to the table when things are right for that in his mind.

South Korea knows all of this well and is also in a power position because it is no longer a dictatorship and Kim has nothing to fear from the current South Korean government.

It's the perfect time for reunification, for which Trump would take credit but might not get his way regarding the nukes. Personally, I think he will, but that won't be a bad thing for the Koreans as a whole or even for Kim individually.

It's time for both the North and South to move on from the 1940s-50s. There can be prosperity for all Koreans without being taken over by the US or China or anyone else and without the North having to give up socialism and without Kim having to step down if the people in the North weren't to want him to.

Total war is extremely nasty: the nastiest. WWIII? We do not want to go there.

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  • Tom Usher

    About Tom Usher

    Employment: 2008 - present, website developer and writer. 2015 - present, insurance broker. Education: Arizona State University, Bachelor of Science in Political Science. City University of Seattle, graduate studies in Public Administration. Volunteerism: 2007 - present, president of the Real Liberal Christian Church and Christian Commons Project.
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