Noth Korea ordered to pay $2.3 billion over Pueblo seizure

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Noth Korea ordered to pay $2.3 billion over Pueblo seizure

Postby Мастер » Fri Feb 26, 2021 2:02 am

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Re: Noth Korea ordered to pay $2.3 billion over Pueblo seizu

Postby Мастер » Fri Feb 26, 2021 2:14 am

Only about one month's GDP. They should be able to manage it.
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Re: Noth Korea ordered to pay $2.3 billion over Pueblo seizu

Postby Enzo » Fri Feb 26, 2021 5:15 am

Good, we can take their check down to the treasury along with the Mexican check for the wall, and deposit them at the same time.
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Re: Noth Korea ordered to pay $2.3 billion over Pueblo seizu

Postby Heid the Ba » Fri Feb 26, 2021 8:47 am

I'd forgotten the Pueblo.
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Re: Noth Korea ordered to pay $2.3 billion over Pueblo seizu

Postby Arneb » Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:23 pm

I think there is a way for the U.S. to legally seize North Koream assets in order to get the damages, but I suppose that would be murky both legally and politically.
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Re: Noth Korea ordered to pay $2.3 billion over Pueblo seizu

Postby Enzo » Fri Feb 26, 2021 12:41 pm

What North Korean assets would we have here in the USA?


We all remember the Alamo, and we should remember the Pueblo. Hardly anyone remembers the Maine.
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Re: Noth Korea ordered to pay $2.3 billion over Pueblo seizu

Postby Мастер » Fri Feb 26, 2021 2:07 pm

Well the Soviets started keeping their money in places where they thought the Americans couldn't get it in the 1950s, if not earlier. I'm sure they advised the North Koreans to do the same, if the latter hadn't already passed that particular intelligence test.

If they still hadn't gotten the message, the seizure of Iranian assets in the late 1970s or early 1980s should have been a wake-up call.

When Nicaragua won that judgement against the US at the ICJ, the US announced that they disagreed with the verdict and were therefore just going to ignore it, and Nicaragua had precisely zero luck collecting. Well, maybe. When a friendly (to Washington) government came into power in Managua, they effectively cancelled the debt. Now why did the only country in the Western Hemisphere that might actually be poorer than Haiti decline to collect a large amount of money from Washington? I'm only speculating here, but perhaps their allies in Washington were providing significant aid, although maybe less than they would have provided had the Soviet government not had its going-out-of-business sale. But if they did, then maybe the US in effect did pay the judgement in the form of military or other aid to Nicaragua, they simply had it relabelled so it didn't say "this is money the US owes Nicaragua because the ICJ found the US guilty of terrorism".

US courts have, bizarrely, found Iran responsible for the 9/11 attacks. I don't think anyone has been able to collect anything based on that judgement, but I might be mistaken there.

The State Department is no doubt advising the president (who may or may not listen - the last one wasn't exactly a listening sort of guy) that enforcing collection of the debt may not be a precedent the US really wants to set. Does the US really want families of prisoners tortured at Abu Ghraib to win judgements in Iraqi courts, and then collect from the US? How about prisoners held without charge for close to two decades now in Gitmo? Prisoners waterboarded, or killed in US custody during "enhanced interrogation"? After eight years of unapologetic unilateralism, followed by eight years of apologetic unilateralism, then another four years of unapologetic unilateralism (and then whatever we've got now), it might not be too hard to get judgements against the US in other countries' courts. I can't be arsed to look up the details right now, but didn't the US government stop collection on judgements against Saudi Arabia? The government can't really control what the courts do, but they can stop the collection.

Will every Indian tribe in the US start preparing their legal briefs if the US decides that court judgements against sovereign nations should be enforced?
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Re: Noth Korea ordered to pay $2.3 billion over Pueblo seizu

Postby Arneb » Fri Feb 26, 2021 3:06 pm

Yes, collecting might be difficult, too, besides being legally murky, and besides being politically murky.
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Re: Noth Korea ordered to pay $2.3 billion over Pueblo seizu

Postby Richard A » Sat Feb 27, 2021 6:24 pm

Politically and legally murky. Ah, Arneb, this question really makes me miss your dad! But some thoughts on it.

Politically, the US has never had a problem with double standards. Al Gore's dad dealing with Iran - wicked traitor dealing with terrorists. Who trashed our Embassy!
Bad! Reagan selling arms to Iran in order to raise money to give to the Contras. Helping people oppressed by the Communists fight for freedom. Good! And Iraq? Like the old Not The Nine O'Clock News song: "Though it seems a crime, we need arms from time to time To disarm the very people we've sold arms."

Legally, ah, well! The US basis is the Foreign Torts Act, which basically says, if some bastard foreign government ill treated you, you can sue them in the US courts for damages. It was of course designed for refugees from regimes of which the US disapproved - although I think there were a number of cases brought during the Clinton era against South American leaders whom Washington had declined to continue to prop up. What about the principle being turned against the US itself? In practice, I suspect it's like Mactep says: they'll apply the principle when it suits them and not when it doesn't. (Just like the US refuses to sign the ICC treaty because Washington did spot where that could lead.) But of course, that's not to stop other countries saying, you know, that's a good idea. And then an Abu Ghraib former detainee, say, suing the US Government in the NZ courts - could happen.

What about enforcement? Well, the point about North Korea not being stupid enough to leave assets where a US-friendly court can get its hands on them is a good one. Although it hasn't always worked - Macau was persuaded to freeze North Korean bank accounts in response to Kim testing a couple more missiles. You wouldn't have thought China would do that (I bet Kim thought that!) but Chinese patience had waned significantly with Kim Jong-un. But normally it works. The Turkish Republic of North Cyprus has for a while had a very nice approach to protecting people's money. (You want us to hand it over to you? Recognise that we exist and then we can talk about it.) The long arm of Uncle Sam is pretty long, but it's not infinitely long. Problem when the boot is on the other foot is that the US does like to be a global player and so it does have government assets scattered around the place that a court friendly to the plaintiff could decide to enforce against. All the more so when it had a President who never really got the concept of keeping public business and private business separate. It could have been amusing if someone had sued Trump in the Scottish courts and tried to enforce against Turnberry. Didn't happen, but not to say it never could.
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