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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

North Koreans think they can not only survive a nuclear war with U.S. but win it: N.Y. Times columnist

North Koreans think they can not only survive a nuclear war with U.S. but win it: N.Y. Times columnist

Tens of thousands attend an August rally in yongyang in support of North Korea's stance vis-à-vis the U.S.
Nicholas Kristof, the veteran New York Times columnist, has returned from a North Korea reporting trip in a pessimistic mood.

“I came back,” he said on MSNBC early Tuesday, “really feeling that we are not going to be able to stop them.”

One reason is a yawning perception-vs.-reality gap, he said, offering this evidence:

‘They are steeped in a narrative in which they have repeatedly defeated the U.S. [and] may believe these astonishing things that they tell me about not only surviving a nuclear conflict with the U.S. but [prevailing].’
The current atmosphere in North Korea is decidedly more martial than he’d witnessed in the past, Kristof observed, among both officials and the citizenry. “In Pyongyang,” he wrote in a recent Times column, “officials also express little interest in the kind of tough compromises that would be necessary to resolve the crisis.”

In other, arguably more hopeful, news, Jimmy Carter reportedly has offered to represent the U.S. in presumably face-to-face peace talks with Kim Jong Un, while Defense Secretary James Mattis said at an Association of the U.S. Army event Monday in Washington that the U.S. effort to ease tensions with North Korea remained diplomatically led.

That, against a backdrop of President Donald Trump’s having enthused on Twitter that he’d become convinced “only one thing!” would be understood by the Pyongyang regime.

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