What did Trump mean when he mentioned "extortion money" for North Korea?

  • In a recent tweet, Trump said:

    The U.S. has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years. Talking is not the answer!

    But I don't get it, what does he mean with "extortion money"?

    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because the only person that knows what Trump Tweets mean is Trump.

    @blip and Casey: In many cases, you'd be right, but it's pretty clear what the meaning was in this case (or at least it is to anyone who has been following U.S./N.K. relations for the last couple of decades or so.)

    @blip although I upvoted you, I suspect that your list of people who understand what Trump means is too lone by one

  • James K

    James K Correct answer

    4 years ago

    Extortion is a crime in which a criminal threatens to harm someone, unless they pay an amount of money: "Give me £1000, or you will get beaten up".

    In the Early 90s, North Korea indicated its withdrawal from the Nuclear non-poliferation treaty. This treaty allowed inspector to visit nuclear facilities to confirm that they weren't being used to develop Nuclear weapons. In 1994, the US and North Korea signed an agreement that North Korea would freeze operation and construction of nuclear reactors (that the US believed were actually intended for the production of plutonium), and in return the US would aid North Korea to build two new reactors that couldn't be used to create weapon grade plutonium. The US would also provide fuel oil as aid until the reactors were ready.

    A similar agreement was discussed at the 6 nation talks in 1997: NK stops developing nuclear technology, in return for energy aid

    This is an example of what Donald Trump means by "extortion": North Korea obtains aid in the form of fuel oil by agreeing not to develop nuclear technology.

    -1 Your premise is inaccurate. What you describe is "I am going to buy a knife;" "How about I give you $1000 instead;" "OK." I fail to see how that qualifies as extortion.

    Since I wasn't trying to engage in discussion, I'm unclear what you think my "premise" is. The question was "what was Trump referring to". I have attempted to answer that question. I do not state in my answer whether the actions of NK are or are not extortion. So if you can state what you mean by "premise" I will attempt to make my answer clear. However, if you want me to engage in discussion in my answer, you will be disappointed.

    You describe extortion quite accurately; then you describe a different situation. My comment is intended to point out that if you were to describe the NK situation in terms of street-level thuggery with increased accuracy, it would sound like quite a different situation compared with extortion.

    That maybe so. In my answer I don't claim that NK's actions are or are not "extortion". Are you suggesting that Trump was referring to something other than the "energy aid in return for freeze on Nuclear tech development" deals in '94 and '07 when he wrote about "extortion" in his tweet, whether or not **his** use is correct.

    @Cuadue The point is that it doesn't matter whether NK's action is extortion, all that matters is whether Trump *considers* it to be extortion. And it's hardly uncommon for politicians to exaggerate like this (Trump is just much more blatant about it than many). And while buying a knife is not an actual threat, in the proper context it can be an implied threat.

    @Cuadue, James_K thanks to Brythan below Extortion claim in the mediaFor starters, North Korea’s latest threat takes it place in a long line of attempts to extort aid and concessions from South Korea and the United States. Such extortion — often successful in the past

    To be fair, with only 140 characters you sometimes have to be creative with your words. The exact situation described might not be summed up properly as extortion, but it sort of works for a single word description. I guess I mean to say, listing the president's tweets and sorting them by their ascending accuracy, this probably isn't even in the top 50.

    @Cuadue; It's more like "I'll give you $1000 if you promise not to buy the knife." *takes money and buys the knife anyway*

    "Say, that sure is a nice island in the south Pacific you've got there [Guam]. It'd be a shame if something bad were to happen to it" is also a form of extortion.

    @corsiKa: So Trumps inaccuracy isn't the problem here, but more his 140 character limitation per statement to reach the public? Never looked on it from there. Now I have to say "Poor misunderstood Trump :(" #pmTrump xD

    @user16567, "I am going to buy a knife..." analogy is wildly inaccurate. NK put out videos glamorizing the idea of nuking the US. A more accurate analogy would be "I am going to build a gun, but while I am figuring out how to build, I am going to make Youtube videos about shooting you." A reply of "how about I give you $1000 instead" does seem like responding to extortion.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM