Trump Cancels Summit With Kim Jong Un

Seemingly out of the blue, the June 12th summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been canceled by the United States.

Seemingly out of the blue, but at the same time consistent with recent news that has shown the talks between the United States and DPRK, President Trump has sent a letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un canceling the summit that was scheduled to take place in Singapore on June 12th:

WASHINGTON — President Trump has notified Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, that he has canceled their much-anticipated meeting, which was set for June 12.

In a letter dated Thursday to Mr. Kim, the American president said he would not attend the summit due to “tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement.”

He was referring to recent comments from a North Korean official who described Vice President Mike Pence as “ignorant and stupid.”

In an interview on Monday with Fox News, Mr. Pence said relations with North Korea “will only end like the Libyan model ended if Kim Jong-un doesn’t make a deal.”

He was referring to the fate of the government of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, the former Libyan dictator. Colonel Qaddafi gave up his nuclear program in 2003 in the hope of negotiating with the West, but was killed by rebels in a 2011 uprising after his government was weakened during military action from the United States and its European allies.

More from The Washington Post:

President Trump on Thursday canceled a planned summit next month with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, citing “tremendous anger and open hostility” from the rogue nation in a letter explaining his abrupt decision.

“I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump said to Kim in a letter released by the White House on Thursday morning.

The summit had been planned for June 12 in Singapore.

South Korea’s government seemed blindsided by Trump’s announcement.

“We are attempting to make sense of what, precisely, President Trump means,” said government spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom.

In his letter, Trump held open the possibility that the two leaders could meet at a later date to discuss denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, which Trump has been pushing.

The decision came amid hostile warnings from North Korea in recent days that it was reconsidering participation, including a statement that the United States must decide whether to “meet us in a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown.”

A close aide to Kim unleashed a torrent of invective against the Trump administration Thursday morning, calling Vice President Pence a “political dummy” for remarks he made Monday in a television interview that made reference to the downfall of the late Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi.

North Korea has bristled at Trump administration suggestions that it follow the “Libyan model” to abandon its nuclear efforts. Gaddafi was killed in 2011 during anti-government chaos.

“I was very much looking forward to being there with you,” Trump said in his letter. “Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting.”

Here’s the text of the letter that Trump has sent to Kim Jong Un:

Dear Mr. Chairman:

We greatly appreciate your time, patience, and effort with respect to our recent negotiations and discussions relative to a summit long sought by both parties, which was scheduled to take place on June 12 in Singapore. We were informed that the meeting was requested by North Korea, but that to us is totally irrelevant. l was very much looking forward to being there with you. Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting. Therefore, please let this letter serve to represent that the Singapore summit, for the good of both parties, but to the detriment of the world, will not take place. You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used.

I felt a wonderful dialogue was building up between you and me, and ultimately, it is only that dialogue that matters. Some day, I look very much forward to meeting you. In the meantime, I want to thank you for the release of the hostages who are now home with their families. That was a beautiful gesture and was very much appreciated.

If you change your mind having to do with this most important summit, please do not hesitate to call me or write. The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth. This missed opportunity is a truly sad moment in history.

Sincerely yours,

Donald J. Trump
President of the United States of America

And here’s the President’s tweet on the matter:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, meanwhile, happened to be on Capitol Hill this morning for what was supposed to be a hearing about the State Department budget, but which obviously quickly veered off into discussions about this latest development. In his early testimony, Pompeo offered some clues about what led to the announcement:

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday said that President Trump canceled his planned summit with North Korea in part because the United States did not receive replies from Pyongyang on preparations for the meeting.

“I don’t believe in that sense that we’re in a position to believe that there could be a successful outcome,” Pompeo said. “I think that’s what the president communicated pretty clearly in his letter.

“I can add to that. Over the past many days, we have endeavored to do what Chairman Kim and I had agreed, which was to put teams, preparation teams together to begin to work to prepare for the summit and we have received no response to our inquiries from them.”

Pompeo was testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee moments after the White House released a letter from President Trump to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un canceling the summit that was planned for June 12 in Singapore.

“I feel it is inappropriate, at this time, to have this long-planned meeting,” Trump wrote in the letter.

The Washington Post has some more detail about Pompeo’s remarks about the cancellation of the summit:

In reaction to the canceled summit, Sen. Robert Menendez (N.J.), the top Democrat on committee, admonished the Trump administration for a “lack of deep preparation.”

“It’s pretty amazing that the administration might be shocked that North Korea is acting as North Korea might normally act,” he said.

Menendez also questioned why U.S. officials repeatedly raised the prospect of the “Libya model” as a roadmap for denuclearization the Korean Peninsula.

“I’m not sure that constantly quoting the Libya model is the diplomatic way to try to get to the results that we try to seek in North Korea,” he said.

Pompeo objected to Menendez’s characterization of a lack of planning, saying the U.S. negotiation team was “fully prepared.”

“We were fully engaged over the past weeks to prepare for this meeting,” he said.

In explaining the summit’s demise, Pompeo noted that in recent days, there was a breakdown in communication between the U.S. and North Korean preparation teams. On Tuesday, The Washington Post reported that North Koreans missed a scheduled meeting in Singapore last week between the preparation teams.

In a statement after Trump’s announcement, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) said it was important for the United States to maintain pressure on North Korean through economic sanctions.

“We must continue to work with our allies toward a peaceful resolution, but that will require a much greater degree of seriousness from the Kim regime,” Ryan said. “At the same time, Congress has provided significant tools to hold North Korea accountable, and it is important that the United States not relent in this maximum pressure campaign.”

This somewhat surprising statement came after a period of a few weeks or less during which it appeared that the path to Singapore might not be as smooth as it appeared to be on the surface. Late last month, for example, the new National Security Adviser John Bolton appeared on several Sunday morning talk shows and suggested that the United States was looking at the “Libya model” for the upcoming talks with the DPRK and the means by which to achieve the goal of “denuclearization” that the Administration has said was at the center of its approach to the upcoming summit. As I noted at the time, Bolton’s reference to Libya was obviously referring to the events of 2003 when, largely in response to the American invasion of Iraq, Libya’s Muammar Qaddafi approached the United States and its allies with a proposal to give up its “weapons of mass destruction” research program. Less than ten years later, of course, Qaddafi ended up dead on the side of a road at the hand of his own people during the climax of a civil war in which the United States, United Kingdom, and France chose to intervene.

Needless to say, the North Koreans did not react very well to this allusion, but nonetheless, it seemed on the surface that things were moving forward. Just over a week after Bolton’s comments, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled to North Korea and met not only with top North Korean officials but also with Kim Jong Un himself. At the end of those meetings, Pompeo returned home with three Americans who had been held in North Korean prisons for, in some cases, more than a year. Additionally, it was just two weeks ago that the summit itself was officially announced as being set for June 12th in Singapore. Additionally, in a meeting earlier this week with South Korean President Moon Jae-In the President seemed confident that the meeting would go forward. Furthermore, this announcement came just hours after North Korea announced to the world that it had officially dismantled the last elements of its nuclear test site, an event that was witnessed by thirty foreign journalists who were allowed in the country to report on the event. Finally, in an interview that was apparently recorded last night but aired this morning on Fox And Friends, Trump said that the United States might be willing to accept a phased-in path toward denuclearization by the DPRK rather than a plan under which the North Koreans give up all of their nuclear weapons at once.

At the same time that we were seeing these positive developments, there were also signs behind the scenes and in public that were at the very least indicating that the talks between the United States and the DPRK were had hit something of an impasse. Needless to say, for example, the North Korean reaction to John Bolton’s invocation of the so-called “Libya model” was, as you would expect, less than positive. This became even more apparent when Trump himself seemed to countermand his National Security Adviser and suggest that the “Libya model” is what would happen to North Korea if they didn’t agree to give up their nuclear weapons. At that point, many foreign policy advisers observed that Trump’s remarks could easily be interpreted as a threat and that it could lead to a cancellation of the summit. Additionally, we learned this week that the North Koreans had failed to appear for a pre-summit meeting in Singapore, although it was unclear what that might mean. Last week, I noted that the North Koreans were appearing to move the goalposts and specifically pushed back against the idea of Libya being a model for how things would proceed with the DPRK. Things unraveled even further when Vice-President Pence doubled down on Trump’s allusions to Libya in saying that the DPRK would end up like Libya if it didn’t agree to the terms demanded by the United States. This led a North Korean official to respond with a statement calling Pence “ignorant and stupid,” and threatened to cancel the summit. Given all of that, the President’s decision to pull the plug on the summit may have been a preemptive move on the Trump Administration’s part.

Perhaps the most surprising thing about this announcement is the fact that it was made without any prior consultation with either the South Koreans or the Japanese. Even though the news broke close to midnight in Seoul, it was reported that South Korea’s President had called an emergency meeting of his cabinet to discuss this matter and no doubt how the country will respond to the announcement. The fact that the South Koreans were apparently caught blindsided by the announcement is even more surprising given the fact that President Moon was in Washington, D.C. meeting with Trump just about 48 hours ago to discuss the summit and the approach to Kim and the DPRK between now and then. Suffice it to say, though, that the idea that an announcement of this type was made without consulting with our two most important allies tin the region is at the very least puzzling.

At this early time, it’s difficult to say what this means going forward. This could end up being a permanent break in a dialogue that began with a conciliatory speech by Kim Jong Un on New Year’s Day which led to a lessening of tensions between North and South Korea, North Korean participation in the Winter Olympics, President Trump’s agreement in March to meet with Kim some time later in the year, and a late April summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae In that appeared to be successful. During that period it also appeared that the North Koreans had agreed to the idea that the goal of any future talks would be denuclearization, although it quickly became apparent that the North Koreans have a very different idea of what that means than the United States does. On the other hand, this could end up being just a temporary bump in the road and that we’ll see talks between the U.S. and the DPRK resume and possibly even lead to a Kim-Trump summit at some other time this year. That will depend largely on how things unfold over the coming days and weeks now. For the time being, though, this is clearly a setback and may mean that tensions on the Korean Peninsula are about to rise again after what may have been a temporary suspension.

Update: President Trump made public remarks about the cancelation early this afternoon:

President Trump on Thursday left open the possibility his nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will still take place, just hours after cancelling it.

“It’s possible that the existing summit could take place, or a summit at some later date,” Trump said during a bill signing ceremony at the White House.

Trump added that if Kim takes “constructive actions” before the scheduled June 12 meeting in Singapore, “I am waiting,” but also that “we have to get it right.”

Trump’s comments added even more confusion to his whirlwind attempt to end a nuclear standoff with North Korea with diplomacy.

Even as he kept the door open to talks, Trump threatened a military response if Kim resumes his nuclear activities, saying the U.S. armed forces are “ready if necessary.”

Trump also said his administration’s “maximum pressure campaign” of sanctions against North Korea “will continue as it has been continuing.”

So, there you have it. Where things go from here depends as much on what we hear from North Korea as anything else.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, National Security, North Korea, Politicians, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. michael reynolds says:

    So. . . no Nobel Prize?




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  2. PJ says:

    I’m SHOCKED!




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  3. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @michael reynolds:

    So. . . no Nobel Prize?

    And you’ll have to give back those commemorative coins you bought.




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  4. Kathy says:

    “Missed it by that much.”




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  5. CSK says:

    @michael reynolds:

    Well, the Peace Prize may be on permanent hold, but he can always hope for the Pee Prize from Putin.




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  6. CSK says:

    @Kathy:

    Hey, great allusion to Robin Hood: Men in Tights.




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  7. Neil Hudelson says:

    You don’t see it do you? The deal is done. NK is chomping at the bit. The meeting will be the ribbon cutting. Things will happen fast after that.

    -JKB, May 9, 2018. Two weeks and one day ago.




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  8. michael reynolds says:

    How this plays out now depends I suspect on South Korea’s reaction. I don’t know anything about SK’s politics but I cannot imagine that this chaotic bait-and-switch will play well.




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  9. Yank says:

    The spin from Trump hacks on this will be stuff of legends.




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  10. PJ says:

    So, we can add Trump Coins to Trump University, Trump Steaks, Trump Vodka, Trump Shuttle, Trump Mortage, and so on…




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  11. Mister Bluster says:

    JKB
    Just Kidding Because I don’t know what I’m talking about!




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  12. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @CSK: I thought it was from Get Smart (the TV show) but since both are from Mel Brooks, it could be either one.

    In fairness, Pence IS ignorant and stupid AND a political dummy–in every sense of what “dummy” means (including contract bridge). Still, it’s probably least further damaging to the US that Trump cancel the meeting compared to giving Kim the grandstand play of not showing up unless Pence apologizes on NK television or something similar. Still, it was badly played and low energy. Sad. Pathetic.




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  13. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Yank: Well, legends in their own minds at least.




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  14. Gustopher says:

    @CSK: Get Smart I think.




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  15. teve tory says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    You don’t see it do you? The deal is done. NK is chomping at the bit. The meeting will be the ribbon cutting. Things will happen fast after that.

    -JKB, May 9, 2018. Two weeks and one day ago.

    I was contemplating when and how to take a look back at our gullible Trumpers. I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg. 😛




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  16. CSK says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: @Gustopher:

    When the Sheriff of Rottingham accidentally falls into Latrine’s bed, she leaps on him. He pushes her off in horror, and she sighs: “Missed it by that much.”

    But Mel was famous for reusing lines–“Walk this way,” “It’s good to be the king”–so it could have been used in Get Smart.




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  17. teve tory says:

    @Yank: Like I said on an earlier thread: “It’s going to be at least a few hours before the propagandists come up with an explanation of how this is Trump #WINNING and accomplishing (something). I expect to be entertained this afternoon/evening when they decide on the particular lie, and later today and tomorrow when the Trumpers start repeating it around the InterTubes.”

    FWIW my current guess is they’re gonna say this is trump walking away from the deal to show Kim who’s boss and eventually get a better deal.




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  18. Kathy says:

    @Neil Hudelson:

    -JKB, May 9, 2018. Two weeks and one day ago.

    To quote that great GOP philosopher (according to Ted Cruz): “Well, of course, everything looks bad if you remember it” –Homer Simpson




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  19. I suspect this was Trump breaking up with Kim before Kim could break up with Trump.




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  20. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Thanks, but the allusion is from “Get Smart.” I can assure you of that, because I didn’t see “Men in Tights.” But, as has been noted, Mel Brooks was involved in the “Get Smart” TV show.

    Or we could go with:

    Trump: We have denuclearization all lined up to take place June 12th. JUNE 12th. Would you believe that?

    Pool reporter: I find that hard to believe.

    Trump: Would you believe a high level summit?

    Pool reporter: I don’t think so.

    Trump: How about a bunch of worthless coins no one wants?




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  21. Slugger says:

    In 2013, Kim Jong Un met with Dennis Rodman. Then he got nuclear weapons. In the last few weeks, he has met with Chairman Xi, President Moon Jae In, and Mike Pompeo. When threatened with the Libya option, he told the US to go fly, and got a p*ssyfied letter from Trump. I fear that evil dictators all over the world will draw the obvious conclusion and start refining uranium.




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  22. teve tory says:

    @Kathy: Post of the Week 😛




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  23. CSK says:

    @Kathy:

    Yes, indeed; what happens to all those commemorative coins?




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  24. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I suspect this was Trump breaking up with Kim before Kim could break up with Trump.

    Right? Did that letter read like an adolescent break-up, or what??? I’m sure Dennison thinks Kim will just come running back to him.

    Meanwhile South Korea’s President has just convened an emergency meeting with his CoS, Nat’l Security Adviser, Foreign Minister, Unification Minister, and Intelligence Chief. It’s after midnight in Seoul.




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  25. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Kathy:

    How about a bunch of worthless coins no one wants?

    Are you kidding? I want one of those, yuuugely!!!




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  26. teve tory says:

    I bet $10 they try to say it’s Obama’s/Liberals’ fault.




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  27. wr says:

    @teve tory: Bungles was also lecturing us all on how superior Trump is to everyone here and among his mightiest accomplishments was bringing peace to the Korean peninsula, even though all others before had failed.

    I’m sure he’ll be here soon to say that this only proves Trump’s genius further.




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  28. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    All jokes aside, we are still talking about nuclear confrontation and Dennison just is not up to the task.
    From Dennison’s letter to Kim:

    I felt a wonderful dialogue building between you and me, and ultimately, it is the only dialogue that matters

    With that Dennison makes clear that this is not a negotiation between two countries, but a negotiation between the US President and Kim. Dennison, with that single sentence, gives Kim everything he wants…he has given him the same status as the POTUS.
    World’s greatest negotiator, indeed.
    We are so lucky that nothing has really happened that would require Dennison to fulfill his role as CiC.




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  29. wr says:

    @CSK: “so it could have been used in Get Smart.”

    Yeah, it was one of Max Smart’s primary taglines, right after “would you believe…”




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  30. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: @Kathy: That was a great comment. But in trying to think of one to continue the meme, I thought of a very scary allusion that took the wind out of my sails:

    “Not THAT button!!!”




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  31. TM01 says:

    A better President, more versed in the norms of traditional diplomacy, would have capitulated to NK, offering up something, anything, just to gain the prestige of making a deal, any deal, regardless of the longer term consequences to the US.




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  32. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @TM01:
    Your man-crush gave Kim everything he wanted…and only got some worthless coins to show for it.
    I wonder if, someday, you’ll be able to see how misplaced your fealty is?




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  33. Lynn says:

    “We are attempting to make sense of what, precisely, President Trump means,” said government spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom.

    I know the feeling.




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  34. Kylopod says:

    Mel Brooks recycles so much he should be an EPA spokesman. He recycles his own gags, and he recycles gags even more ancient than that. “Walk this way” from Young Frankenstein (reportedly the inspiration for the Aerosmith song) was already an old joke when he included it in the film.

    Truth be told, when it comes to comedy there’s nothing new under the sun. Recently I’ve been hearing references to the Pee Wee Herman line “I meant to do that,” but Inspector Clouseau had a similar line, and the basic idea almost certainly goes back a lot further.

    Over the years I’ve noticed that many common gags have a vaudevillian origin. I remember watching the “Niagara Falls” sketch from a Three Stooges short as a kid. Naturally I assumed the sketch was original to the film, but later I saw more or less the same bit on I Love Lucy. At that point I suspected it went back to vaudeville, and looking it up, I was right. (The name of the sketch is actually “Slowly I Turned.”) Vaudevillian humor is exactly of the kind that Mel Brooks dwells in. As late as the 1990s his films still have a distinctly retro feel.




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  35. Joe says:

    Am I the only one who thinks the letter looks like it was written by a high school freshman? It’s certainly an odd mash up of actual diplo-speak and far less-literate Trump-speak. This letter really represents the U.S. Government? Ughhhh! To the point Daryl and his brother Darryl is making about serious diplomatic errors, doesn’t someone more than 5′ from Trump’s desk proof this stuff?




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  36. MarkedMan says:

    @TM01: What Trump gave up, getting nothing in return:
    1) For decades NK has desperately wanted the various Kims to be treated as equals to the American President. Trump gave Kim that in return for nothing.
    2) For decades NK has demanded an end to joint military exercises between the US and SK. Trump gave Kim that in return for nothing.
    3) For decades NK has demanded that the US acknowledge that the various Kims are the “Supreme Leaders” of NK. Trump gave Kim that in return for nothing.

    There are others, but I think you see the trend here. Your hero negotiates like someone who had gone bankrupt multiple times and makes his living by scamming gullible buffoons who are only marginally more clueless than he is.




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  37. teve tory says:

    @MarkedMan: Trump was demanding denuclearization, we at least got that, didn’t we?




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  38. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    Mel Brooks recycles so much he should be an EPA spokesman.

    Well, he recycled his early hit, “The Producers,” into a Broadway musical and then a whole other movie, coincidentally entitled “The Producers.”

    I wonder why he hasn’t done the same with “Spaceballs.”




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  39. KM says:

    @teve tory:

    FWIW my current guess is they’re gonna say this is trump walking away from the deal to show Kim who’s boss and eventually get a better deal.

    The current BS over at Breitbart is he did it to get the hostages and was always intending to pull a Lucy so Kim would come crawling back. They allege the YOINK! was very much intentional and part of the greater master plan.




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  40. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Kathy:
    @CSK:
    well I had no idea Men in Tights was a Mel Brooks film…so I learned something today (I already knew Dennison is incompetent).




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  41. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    I wonder why he hasn’t done the same with “Spaceballs.”

    The Producers always lent itself to Broadway, first because it’s one of his few films that contains an “original” storyline and isn’t a spoof of other movies, and second because it’s about Broadway. Spaceballs, on the other hand, is one of the farthest things he’s done from a Broadway show. It’s not only a spot-the-reference-style spoof with nods to everything from Planet of the Apes to Alien (with a cameo by John Hurt), it’s one of the few films he’s done that doesn’t include at least one old-fashioned Hollywood musical number, and most of the music in it is just generic ’80s rock. It’s also amazingly childish (a clue to why I love it so much–it came out when I was a 10-year-old boy).

    Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, heck even Men in Tights I could potentially see adapted for Broadway. Spaceballs, not so much. Let’s keep the Schwartz in its proper place.




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  42. It just seems to me that the world needs Spaceballs II: The Search for More Money




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  43. wr says:

    @Kathy: “I wonder why he hasn’t done the same with “Spaceballs.””

    There actually is a Spaceballs 2 under construction — don’t know what it’s status is — that Brooks is producing, although not directing or writing last that I heard…




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  44. wr says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: “well I had no idea Men in Tights was a Mel Brooks film…”

    And actually his second time around with Robin Hood — the first was an early 70s TV series called When Things Were Rotten.




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  45. Franklin says:

    @TM01: That the best you got?




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  46. Kylopod says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: What I heard was that there was going to be a sequel called Spaceballs 3: The Search for Spaceballs 2.




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  47. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    All that may be so, but Spaceballs is my favorite. For one thing it’s science fiction, for another, there are plenty of 4th wall breaks that are hilarious.




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  48. Kathy says:

    @wr:

    There actually is a Spaceballs 2 under construction — don’t know what it’s status is — that Brooks is producing, although not directing or writing last that I heard…

    Really? Wow.

    I was about to comment that I don’t recall Mel Brooks ever doing a sequel, though he has teased about it. There’s the line of Hopefully we’ll all be reunited in Spaceballs 2: the Search for More Money,” but also the preview at the end of History of the World Part I for History of the World Part II.




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  49. Joe says:

    @Kathy:

    Blazing Saddles! Nothing better than Blazing Saddles

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    I was not aware that Get Smart was a Mel Brooks production. This is a very informative group, no matter what Bunge says.




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  50. Kathy says:

    @Joe:

    I was not aware that Get Smart was a Mel Brooks production.

    He has a “created by” credit on the show. I don’t know how involved he was in the overall production and writing.

    I like Blazing Saddles, too.




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  51. CSK says:

    @Joe:

    There’s a quote from Blazing Saddles that’s apropos for almost any situation.




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  52. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    What if Dennison made these Summit Coins part of a commemorative collection?
    Stuff he promised, that’s never gonna happen?
    The Wall Coin
    The Mexicans Are Going To Pay For It Coin
    The 25 Million Jobs Coin
    The 4% Growth Coin
    The Tax Returns Coin
    The I’ll Confront a Perp Brandishing an AR-15, Bare-Handed, Coin
    The Really Strong Gun Control Coin
    The Really Beautiful Health Care Coin
    The No Collusion Coin
    The All 19 Women Are Lying Coin




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  53. Daryl and his brother Darryl says:

    @Kathy:
    From Wikipedia:

    Brooks had little involvement with the series after the first season, but Buck Henry served as story editor through 1967.




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  54. Kathy says:

    @CSK:

    Yes, indeed; what happens to all those commemorative coins?

    This

    Scroll to the end of the article for the NBC graphic of the “revised” coin 🙂

    I think it’s ugly. It looks like a politicized version of an old-fashioned Coca Cola bottle cap. It’s an aesthetic crime against numismatics.

    The plus side of this whole fiasco is Mangolini and his entourage don’t get to come home in mid June sporting T-shirts printed with “I went to Singapore for a summit meeting with Kim Jong Un and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.”




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  55. teve tory says:

    Imagine if Trump had gone ahead with the summit, which was scheduled for June 12 in Singapore, and Kim hadn’t shown up, still protesting Bolton’s remarks. Trump could have touted himself as the real peace-seeker. He could have invited the leaders of South Korea, Japan, and perhaps China to come along and, in lieu of the scheduled summit, held a security conference, to discuss further steps to contain and isolate Kim’s regime. It would have been a double win for Trump.

    No doubt Bolton and Pompeo are relieved, and may have prompted, Trump’s cancellation. They never wanted a summit to begin with. Bolton had said, as a guest on Fox News before he was hired by Trump, that he hoped the summit would end badly and quickly, so Washington could proceed with ousting Kim’s regime by force if necessary. Bolton had also written op-eds arguing that a preventive strike against North Korea was legal and necessary.

    https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/05/north-korea-summit-in-calling-off-meeting-with-kim-jong-un-trump-again-shows-his-lack-of-skill-as-a-negotiator.html




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  56. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Kathy:Boom!




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  57. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: No, he’ll never get it, doesn’t want to either.




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  58. Kylopod says:

    @Kathy:

    but also the preview at the end of History of the World Part I for History of the World Part II.

    I thought that overall that was one of his weaker films, but I absolutely loved the “Jews in Space” bit from that post-credits “preview.” I remember the first time I saw the film and thinking how ironic it was that one of the best scenes was in the credits.

    All his films have a hit-or-miss quality, where it’s just a matter of how many jokes happen to work. That’s part of why he’s so shameless about stealing old gags or sticking in groan-worthy puns (“I didn’t say ‘Abe Lincoln,’ I said “Hey Blinken!'”). It’s almost like he sets up his films as these fill-in-the-blank exercises and then proceeds to insert into them whatever strikes his fancy. But when I listened to his DVD commentary for Spaceballs, I also got the sense that he puts more thought into his films than might seem obvious; they’re not just random stream-of-consciousness operations. He definitely pays attention to the technical aspects of his movies: Young Frankenstein used the lab from the original Karloff film, and he actually consulted George Lucas for the light-saber sequence in Spaceballs (which in fact has very good special effects for its time, something that did not occur to me until I watched the DVD). It’s kind of like the way Weird Al’s music parodies always take pains to sound like the original song; they’re never just about the funny lyrics.




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  59. Moosebreath says:

    Leave it to The Onion:

    “Leaping at the chance to never again deal with the U.S. after North Korea’s disparaging remarks towards the Vice President, leaders from the other 193 nations of the world began insulting Mike Pence Thursday in hopes of avoiding future meetings with President Donald Trump. “Mike Pence is just a dumbfuck partisan hack who doesn’t have the faintest clue about international relations or running a country,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel, joining nearly 200 other presidents and prime ministers who mercilessly degraded Pence as “cowardly,” “full of crap,” and “repulsive” in a concerted effort to stave off any more direct contact with Trump or have him ever visit their countries.”




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  60. CSK says:

    @Kathy:

    So…the coin will be sold whether or not the summit occurs. Great. We are now, in TrumpWorld, commemorating events that never happened.




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  61. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Joe: Brooks and Buck Henry created the characters and wrote for the show but were not producers. The executive producer was Leonard Stern, by that time, an old hand at producing comedies for TV. The other producers were also old hands from I Love Lucy and other 50s era comedies. The directors for the show include James Komack, famous later for Welcome Back Kotter.




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  62. Guarneri says:

    Thanks for the entertainment.

    He walked when it was obvious it was going nowhere. Your hero would have flown a plane load of money over, along with promises to cave left and right. Perhaps even declared “ this is a good deal for the American people”.

    Back to your sandbox, now.




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  63. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    Bolton had said, as a guest on Fox News before he was hired by Trump, that he hoped the summit would end badly and quickly, so Washington could proceed with ousting Kim’s regime by force if necessary. Bolton had also written op-eds arguing that a preventive strike against North Korea was legal and necessary.

    And they wonder why NK shows “anger and open hostility?” Really?




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  64. Kylopod says:

    @Guarneri:

    Your hero would have flown a plane load of money over, along with promises to cave left and right.

    What do you mean “would have”? Obama’s presidency wasn’t some hypothetical construct. Obama repeatedly refused to enter talks with NK. The only thing Trump did differently in terms of US policy was that he stopped refusing. That’s it. And you and other supporters deluded yourselves into thinking he’d broken new ground, and you got played for suckers.




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  65. michael reynolds says:

    @Guarneri:
    Maybe your dumbest remark ever. It’s like Trump is lowering your IQ.




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  66. Kathy says:

    @Kylopod:

    I beg to differ. The sequence set in Rome was amazingly well done. “Stand-up Philosopher,” “You’re nuts, N-V-T-S, nuts!” The triumphal procession of the general, presenting the war booty to the emperor. The centurion telling the apothecary he’s looking for a pack of Trojans. The big joint in the road. Even Moses parting the waters.

    The latter was badly anachronistic, but we also had da Vinci show up at the Last Supper to paint “The Last Supper.” 🙂




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  67. teve tory says:

    What do you mean “would have”? Obama’s presidency wasn’t some hypothetical construct. Obama repeatedly refused to enter talks with NK. The only thing Trump did differently in terms of US policy was that he stopped refusing. That’s it. And you and other supporters deluded yourselves into thinking he’d broken new ground, and you got played for suckers.

    In 6 months when trump gives them a pile of cash it’ll become “If only Obama had given them financial incentives… 😛




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  68. Kathy says:

    @Moosebreath:

    “Mike Pence is just a dumbfuck partisan hack who doesn’t have the faintest clue about international relations or running a country,” said German Chancellor Angela Merkel,

    Now, that’s defamatory, libelous, slanderous, outrageous!

    Merkel should hire Michael Cohen to sue the Onion and get a big, big, yuge payday. The article is an absolutely disgusting piece that lacks any place in journalism; even in your Onion. 😛




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  69. Monala says:

    @Neil Hudelson: You called it, Neil! All the Internets for you.




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  70. @Guarneri:

    He walked when it was obvious it was going nowhere.

    You are giving him credit from walking away from a mess that he created in the first place. It has been clear from the beginning that “it was obvious it was going nowhere.”




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  71. wr says:

    @Joe: “I was not aware that Get Smart was a Mel Brooks production.”

    Mel Brooks AND Buck Henry…




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  72. wr says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: “The executive producer was Leonard Stern, by that time, an old hand at producing comedies for TV. ”

    Glad to see a shout out for Leonard Stern, one of the great gentlemen of the TV business, and an executive producer — if only in name and the occasional drop-in — of the first show on which I ever staffed.




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  73. An Interested Party says:

    And you and other supporters deluded yourselves into thinking he’d broken new ground, and you got played for suckers.

    Apparently they have no problem being played for suckers…if they haven’t wised up by now, they never will…




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  74. teve tory says:

    @An Interested Party: “People will just believe you. You just tell them and they believe you.” -Donald Trump, 2015




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  75. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod:

    What do you mean “would have”? Obama’s presidency wasn’t some hypothetical construct. Obama repeatedly refused to enter talks with NK.

    Excellent, insightful point. I wonder what our resident Trumpoids response will be?

    Oh, wait. “It doesn’t look like anything to me”*

    *Unfortunately I couldn’t find anything but a parody segment. But you get the idea.




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  76. gVOR08 says:

    I’m so old that I remember Maxwell Smart saying “Missed it by that much.” in pretty much every episode. I will never forget Max walking into a bus station and opening a locker to find a speaker. He opens another locker with another speaker, and finally the locker between them to find a reel to reel tape deck, “Your mission, should you choose to accept it….”




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  77. Kylopod says:

    @teve tory: @MarkedMan:

    “People will just believe you. You just tell them and they believe you.” -Donald Trump, 2015

    I decided to look up that quote to find out when he said it, and I was led to an interesting Kevin Drum post from a few months ago:

    In surveys, huge majorities say that politicians are horribly untrustworthy charlatans, but in real life they uncritically accept nearly anything they say. Their past records don’t matter much. The unlikelihood of what they’re promising doesn’t penetrate. Even fairly obvious insincerity isn’t a deal killer….

    Or maybe not. It’s also possible that they don’t believe so much as they simply discount everything and treat promises as mere declarations of a candidate’s values.

    I think the bottom line is that for many people, hard, concrete facts can never penetrate the general abstract “truths” they think they know. So Guarneri here, for example, talks as though the question of how Obama would have handled the current situation is purely hypothetical–as if to suggest NK’s offer to engage in denuclearization talks began with Trump, presumably as a result of his tough talk about “fire and fury” which scared Kim into compliance. (It’s similar to the mythological belief on the right that the collapse of the Soviet Union had something to do with St. Ronnie’s “tear down this wall” speech.) The fact that NK has been making these offers for decades only to be rebuffed by previous presidents, and that the only thing Trump did differently from his predecessors was to soften American demands on NK, doesn’t matter. Guarneri “knows” that Obama was a weak, capitulating leader, and therefore he “knows” that Obama “would have” made all these concessions. No amount of facts can shake his certainty that that’s a correct reading of the situation, not even the actual record of how Obama did handle NK while he was president, a matter Guarneri seems to know nothing about.

    It’s a notion that goes all the way back to 2008, when the right had a meltdown over Candidate Obama’s expressed willingness to enter into talks with hostile foreign powers such as NK and Iran. It was the subject of Chris Matthews’ famous smackdown of the radio host who called Obama a Neville Chamberlain-style appeaser then couldn’t identify what Chamberlain actually did that earned him that reputation in the first place. The facts didn’t matter; all that mattered was the image of Obama as a weak appeaser who gave things away to enemy countries. And it’s an image that followed him through his entire presidency, the culmination being the Iran Deal that for many Obama critics confirmed what they’d been saying all along.

    When Trump became president, it didn’t matter that many of the specific types of policies they’d once attacked Obama for (such as sitting down with a foreign nation in an attempt to trade denuclearization for dropping of sanctions) were being eagerly adopted by Trump, only he was being exactly as reckless and gullible about it as they’d wrongly accused Obama of being. None of that mattered; all that mattered was that Obama was the pansy “appeaser” and Trump was the tough guy who said “fire and fury.” Everything comes down to image, and “facts” are irrelevant.




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  78. Kylopod says:

    Mods, please rescue my comment from moderation.




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  79. teve tory says:

    Somebody should watch Fox and Friends tomorrow. If Trump gets criticised for cancelling the meeting, he’ll try to reschedule it.




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  80. JKB says:

    This is CNN:

    North Korea says Kim Jong Un is still willing to meet Donald Trump “at any time,” despite the US President’s abrupt cancellation of what would have been a historic summit between the two leaders, scheduled for June 12.

    Kim Kye Gwan, a top official at North Korea’s Foreign Ministry, said Trump’s decision to cancel the talks runs counter to the global community’s wishes for peace on the Korean Peninsula.

    “We would like to make known to the US side once again that we have the intent to sit with the US side to solve problem(s) regardless of ways at any time,” said Kim in comments published by the country’s state-run news agency KCNA Friday.

    Of course, the raising Libya also raises the issue of how to craft and agreement where the next Democrat in the White House and State Department can’t just decide to support the killing the leader and then cackle about it on international television. And all in a “war” to get France and Britain better terms on oil contracts.




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  81. Guarneri says:

    Well, well, well. In comes groveling back.

    Looks like Trump knows how to negotiate. You folks, and Dems in Congress, well, not so much.

    Who’s surprised?




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  82. michael reynolds says:

    @JKB: @Guarneri:

    You can’t possibly be stupid enough not to see that Trump is being played. Moon Jae In (SK) says they received no notice and are ‘perplexed’ which would be the Asian equivalent of What the Holy Fck? Moon and the SK people will now see Kim as a more reliable partner for peace than Trump. Score 1 for Kim.

    Of course Kim announces he’d love to go on negotiating. That’s not a win for Trump, duh, it’s score 2 for Kim who – again – comes off as the more rational of the two men.

    Meanwhile the Dotard’s clueless negotiators have wandered all over the map on whether denuclearization means now, later, total, partial, maybe this, maybe that. Score 3 for Kim.

    And of course Trump brilliantly chose the very day when Kim ‘destroyed’ his testing facility. No, I don’t believe he destroyed his facility but we won’t know unless we have inspectors which we aren’t getting now, are we? So the impression – one more time – is that Kim is the one interested in peace while Trump is staggering around like a downer cow. Score 4 for Kim.

    And let’s not forget that Trump early on was ready to announce unilateral withdrawal of all US troops and had to be restrained by his dwindling crew of grown-ups. Score 5 for Kim.

    Trump has given Kim international standing, made him appear more rational than the US, signaled a willingness to surrender unilaterally, gave Kim a meeting with the SecState and got what in return? Nada.

    In the course of his 15 months Trump has brilliantly managed to demonstrate to the world that the President of the United States is a wee bit less stable and a whole lot dumber than the latest scion of the Kim dynasty. The US looks ridiculous. The whole world is torn between derisive laughter and fear that the orange clown might start a war. To which the Trumplaoons cry, “Yay!”




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  83. michael reynolds says:

    By the way, if you want to know the state of the negotiation, it’s pretty simple:

    Q: Does Kim still have nukes?
    A: Yes.

    Q: Are we closer to or further from agreement with our allies the South Koreans?
    A: Further from.

    Q: Is US prestige in Asia higher or lower?
    A: Lower.

    Q: Has Kim gotten something for nothing?
    A: Clearly.

    Q: What has Kim offered to give up?
    A: Only the weapons he used to bully us into negotiation.

    Q: What have we signaled a willingess to give up?
    A: All US forces in SK.

    Winning!




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  84. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @CSK: My favorite quote is, after the old prospector’s harangue to the townspeople gathered in the church, one of the town fathers says, “Now WHO can argue with that?”




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  85. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Guarneri: @JK “It’s a done deal, the meeting will be a ribbon cutting’ B:

    So let me get this straight. Moon Jae In casually mentions to Trump that NK would be willing to meet with U.S. officials as has been the case for 50 years.

    Trump takes this as an invitation to meet, and accepts without ever stopping to ask what the parameters of the meeting will be.

    The Trump admin then spends 2 weeks spinning their wheels, unable to even coherently state how they define ‘denuclearization.’

    Trump then cancels the meeting because a NK official hurt Mike Pence’s fee-fee’s.

    And when North Korean mentions that they are still willing to meet as was the case for the last 50 years, you view this as a victory.

    Heckuva ribbon cutting.




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  86. MarkedMan says:

    @michael reynolds:

    No, I don’t believe he destroyed his facility but we won’t know unless we have inspectors which we aren’t getting now, are we?

    Actually, reports seem to show that his nuclear test site IS destroyed. But not as a concession. Before the last test, there was a flurry of reports on signs of instability in the mountain housing the test site. This was caused by, you guessed it, setting of a half dozen or more nuclear explosions inside of it. At that time, there was a lot of speculation as to whether tests could continue. But there was one more explosion and after that one it was obvious from photos that the mountain had suffered severe structural damage.

    That was when Kim announced that his nuclear testing program had achieved its goal. And that was the facility Kim recently announced they were closing down. Kim may be a half mad bloody handed dictator, but he is at least marginally more cunning than Trump – faced with an inability to keep testing he presents it as a concession while he no doubt is having another site built.




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  87. @JKB: @Guarneri:

    Are you two seriously impressed that Kim said that he is still willing to talk? You think this is a surprising twist that validates this entire ill-conceived affair?




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  88. Kylopod says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Are you two seriously impressed that Kim said that he is still willing to talk? You think this is a surprising twist that validates this entire ill-conceived affair?

    What I find particularly intriguing is that they both ignored how their arguments were utterly obliterated earlier in this thread. JKB ignored how ridiculous his earlier statement that “The deal is done” and that all that remains is “ribbon cutting” looks now. Guarneri ignored my comment pointing out that his statements about what Obama “would have” done show a complete ignorance of the fact that Obama actually made tougher demands on NK than Trump. To them, they have no need to address any of the criticisms to their thin arguments; everything is peachy now, just because of a single news report that Kim says he wants to resume talks.

    We need to step back and realize how totally brainwashed they have to be, to be this oblivious to getting destroyed in an argument. This isn’t just a question of being convinced. When I’m at a loss to come up with a rebuttal to someone’s argument, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’m going to rethink my entire point of view–but at least I’m aware I did a poor job communicating it. The right-wing trolls here don’t show any such awareness. They come here, recite their rote talking points, watch them get blown apart by other commenters here, and then act like they’ve accomplished something other than getting their asses handed to them. It’s a level of delusion that’s almost psychotic.




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  89. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @JKB:

    North Korea says Kim Jong Un is still willing to meet Donald Trump “at any time,” despite the US President’s abrupt cancellation …

    This is why I characterized Trump’s move as the least bad choice earlier. Even so, the North Koreans are characterizing the move as a “the US is the reason we can’t have peace and denuclearization” scenario. Perhaps as his next move the “great dealmaker” should instruct his diplomatic and national security staff to stop describing the deal that his Trumpiness wants as a “Libyan solution.” Frankly, considering how that one turned out, I wouldn’t want that deal either.




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  90. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @michael reynolds:

    No, I don’t believe he destroyed his facility but we won’t know unless we have inspectors which we aren’t getting now, are we?

    IIRC, there were 30 international observers for this event. Using the same bloviation tactics as Drew and JKB does nothing for the force of your argument or as a statement of your character.




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  91. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: It’s not that. They have some notion that continuing a 50-some year offer represents “crawling back” to quote Mr.G.

    I don’t follow it either.




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  92. @Just nutha ignint cracker: I will say this: I would be more convinced if they had allowed actual inspectors and not just journalists.

    Having said that, I suspect that this facility was no longer useful and therefore this was all a show.




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  93. MarkedMan says:

    @Kylopod: You think they are psychotic because you think you are having a discussion, or at least an argument. But really this is really just an example of normal communication with someone whose only goal is to show how tough they are by not backing down, and never letting you get an advantage by forcing them to admit something is wrong. Words don’t represent truth or even opinions, they are only used in a dominance game.

    Seriously. If you read their comments from this perspective, they make perfect sense and are perfectly predictable.




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  94. Kylopod says:

    @MarkedMan:

    You think they are psychotic because you think you are having a discussion, or at least an argument. But really this is really just an example of normal communication with someone whose only goal is to show how tough they are by not backing down, and never letting you get an advantage by forcing them to admit something is wrong. Words don’t represent truth or even opinions, they are only used in a dominance game.

    I have a somewhat different take, but I am not sure if we are disagreeing or simply describing it in a different way.

    Basically, they come to this forum without the slightest trace of doubt in the rightness of their opinions, which consist mostly of things they’ve been told to believe by Fox, Breitbart, and so on. It’s not so much they’re “convinced” of their views–that would suggest they’ve gone through some kind of process to reach their conclusions, when in fact the notion that we might have a point is completely absent from their minds even as a conceptual possibility. They don’t simply believe in their views, they unreflectively take for granted at the outset that every single word we utter is nothing more than laughable libtard noise. They aren’t coming here to persuade anyone. They’re coming here to point and laugh.

    So I agree that it’s a dominance game they are playing, but it’s a dominance game based on living in a fantasy world that keeps them from understanding what has actually happened in the discussion. It’s like we’re playing chess, and they think they’re playing tic-tac-toe–and winning every time. Yes, it’s essentially a form of psychosis. Their behavior makes “sense” in that it can be explained, but that doesn’t mean it’s rational or that it materially benefits them in any way.




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  95. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: I only gave passing thought to the journalist aspect of who the observers were because I was already working from the assumption that NK was closing down a useless facility–damaged by testing beyond recovery. Still, everything the constitutes an obstacle to continued testing and development is good in the short run.




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  96. An Interested Party says:

    I’d like to thank Guarneri and JKB for beautifully illustrating the point that some people have no problem being played for suckers…great job, fellas…




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  97. DrDaveT says:

    @Kathy:

    All that may be so, but Spaceballs is my favorite.

    I am so sorry.

    (Spaceballs over Young Frankenstein!? I don’t even…)




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  98. DrDaveT says:

    @wr:

    Yeah, it was one of Max Smart’s primary taglines, right after “would you believe…”

    “Missed it by that much.”

    “Would you believe…?”

    “I asked you not to tell me that.”

    “And… loving it.”

    “I hope I wasn’t out of line with that crack about…”

    “Shouldn’t we use the Cone of Silence?”

    “Shtarker! Zis is KAOS! We do not ___ !”

    “Sorry about that, Chief.”

    “That’s the second-biggest ___ I ever saw!”

    “The ooooold ___ trick…”

    I think the show was about 40% catch-phrases. Hilarious all the same.




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