North Korea

That Was Fast

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

South Korean and American officials kicked off a round of talks yesterday concerning the nearly 30-year old cost-sharing agreement that reimburses the United States for a portion of the cost of stationing forces in South Korea, but talks also collapsed yesterday.

In very Trumpian fashion, it appears that American officials walked away from talks because South Korea did not immediately agree to the 400 percent figure demanded by Trump.

Chief negotiator James DeHart says they walked away from talks to give the South Korea government "time to reconsider," but Korean officials say the Americans piled other new demands on top of the cost-sharing demands.

South Korea's chief negotiator Jeong Eun-bo, in his separate press briefing, said that Tuesday's negotiation could not proceed as planned, as the US team not only demanded a significant increase in burden for South Korea, but also added a new category.

"We couldn't conduct the talk as planned as the US team left the venue," Jeong said. "We maintain our current stance that the cost division (between the US and South Korea) needs to be decided based on the Special Measures Agreement frame in which we have agreed for the past 28 years."

It's not clear what the "new category" referred to by Eun-bo is, but in any case it looks like Trump is applying his signature, blundering "maximum pressure" style of negotiation to one of our closest allies in the world.

Telling the Trump regime to shove it up their ass is not as easy for the South Korean government as it is for us, but that's exactly what I believe they should do. They should dare Trump to say he's going to withdraw American forces over a few billion dollars. A bipartisan majority of Congress would almost certainly rebuke him and public opinion would turn sharply against it.

The only party that's winning right now is North Korea as Trump makes American forces look like neighborhood rent-a-thugs demanding protection money.

Our allies no longer see us as a reliable partner under Trump and I can't argue with them. We're not.

  • waspuppet

    You know who else tells themselves they’re maintaining “maximum pressure” and playing Michael Bay-movie music in their heads when in fact they’re running around screaming incoherently, demanding people do more for them? Addicts and abusers. Which we know Trump is.

  • muselet

    Maybe it’s just me, but this—

    “We cut short our participation in the talks today in order to give the Korean side some time to reconsider and I hope to put forward new proposals that would enable both sides to work towards a mutually acceptable agreement in the spirit of our great alliance,” DeHart added.

    —sounds an awful lot like, “Nice country you got here. Be a shame if anything happened to it.”

    It will take decades after Donald Trump is gone to convince the rest of the world the US isn’t still running his stupid and inept protection racket.


    • Draxiar

      I can hear the commercial in my head,
      “What kind of protection do you want for your democracy? We have the bronze, silver, gold, and for the those that are able, the platinum- we call it the Saudi Special.” No price is too high to save your democracy and prevent the bad actors from spoiling the scene. The only bad decision that can be made here is not buying one. Call 1-Buy-Freedom…you’ll be glad you did!”