Tuesday, January 19, 2016

NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER #3, JANUARY 19, 2016

OMNI
NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER #3, January 19, 2016.
Seeing the World As Others See It

Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace and Justice.
(#1 July 19, 2012; #2 April 13, 2012).


"To initiate a war of aggression is not only an international crime, it is the supreme international crime. . . .”  -- Robert H. Jackson, Chief U.S. Prosecutor, Nuremberg Military Tribunal 

What are the causes, consequences, and cures of the US empire?  Specifically:  What are the causes and what the cures for the hostility between NK and US?   Clearer thinking is possible when we return to the original name of the WAR DEPARTMENT.   



What’s at Stake:
J. William Fulbright during the height of the Cold War attempted to extend his Exchange Program to the Soviet Union, but his plan to acquire a part of WWII Lend Lease money the Russians were repaying was scuttled by US Sovietphobes, esp. by Senator “Scoop” Jackson of Washington State.  But aren’t some nations Evil?  What about President Bush’s “Axis of Evil”?    “The depiction of [the Soviet Union] as evil releases some of our worst, not our best, qualities.”  J. William Fulbright, The Price of Empire (199).  Another Arkansas native, Betty Bumpers, wife of then Senator Bumpers, created the women’s organization, Peace Links, to exchange women from the US and Russia and other countries.   Today we urgently need direct nonviolent citizen contact with “enemy” nations, including particularly exchanges with all nations our leaders perceive to be “evil.” 


In the long run, Richard Seymour writes, “It has been a mainstay of this book that successful antiwar movements are those that have been able to make direct links with those in the flight path of US aggression and to bring their struggles and concerns directly into the US political arena.  Indeed, direct comprehension of their urgent struggles has often been a radicalizing factor in antiwar campaigns.””   American Insurgents: A Brief History of American Anti-Imperialism (2012),  p. 193.  After decades of unceasing hostility by the US toward Iran, finally our government changed course and Secretary Kerrry negotiated a peace plan.  We should be trying to do the same with North Korea, instead of threatening nuclear war. How many of you know why the leaders of NK might be so suspicious and hostile?  Do you know the history of the Japanese occupation?  Do you know how many cities the US levelled during the Korean War?  Can you name the cities?  Do you know the name of even one NK civilian killed during the bombings?   Let us do all we can to imagine the lives of the leaders and people labeled our “enemy,” if we are to have the empathy necessary to enable us at last to create amity between us.




Contents North Korea Newsletters Nos. 1 and 2 at end

Contents North Korea Newsletter  #3

Peace Movement Teaching History and Striving for Empathy and Peace, Not Preparing for War 

Who Is threatening whom? Who is endangering the world?  The Zeese and Flowers essay offers an introduction and confirmation of the thesis that the US is the problem.  For a rationale for not also presenting the Pentagon complex’s perspective see my essay “National Power and Objectivity in the Classroom,” College English (December 1989) 805-824.

 

 And See OMNI’s US Westward Imperialism Newsletters.  Here is the link for the latest, #18, December 19, 2015.  http://jamesrichardbennett.blogspot.com/2015/12/us-westward-imperialism-pacific-e-asia.html   Imagine what we would think if N. Korea had moved across the Pacific establishing military bases with our firepower.

NK Newsletter #3 is mostly organized chronologically to remind us, even though it is a small sample, of the depth and duration of US peace perspectives.  That they have been generally invisible we can attribute to US mainstream media alignment with official doctrine of NK Evil.

2013

Zeese and Flowers, The Real Aggressor, 2013

Swanson, US and West Bound and Blinded by Armed Force,

       Peace Movement Striving for Peace, 2013

Stansfield Smith, NK’s Perspective, Justifiable Anger, 2013

Castro, Avoid War in Korea

VFP, Peace Vigil

7 articles discuss US violent threats intended to stop NK’s missile test. 

 

2015

United For Peace and Justice (UFPJ), Support Nuclear Diplomacy 2015

US/S. Korea’s War Games: Annoy the Enemy Today2015

The Washington Post on US Crimes in NK 2015

Ann Wright, Women Walk for Peace on Korean Peninsula, Spring 2015

VFP, Reducing Tensions 2015

Reducing Tensions Between N. and S. Korea, August 2015

Global Research Publications 2015-16

2016

AFSC, No More Sanctions, Keep Open Humanitarian Behavior, January 2016

Johnson, Global Zero, Eliminate Nuclear Weapons Crises, January 2016

Chossudovsky, Pentagon’s WWIII Plans, 2016

Giroux, America’s Addiction to Terrorism, 2016.

 

North Korea’s Peace Feelers

Congressional Research Service, North Korea: U.S. Relations, Nuclear Diplomacy, and
     Internal Situation, 2015

NK to Send Athletes and Cheering Squad to Asian Games—for Peace, 2014

NK’s Military Visits SK, 2014

NK Offers to Negotiate, 2015

 

Reading North Korea in US Mainstream, Corporate Newspapers

Greenwald: US Mainstream Media Regurgitations

Dick:  Analysis of Lee on N. Korea Teaching Youth to Hate USA, 2013

Ten  Reports of NK’s Jan. 6, 2016 Hydrogen Bomb Test

Dick:  Hydrogen Bomb Test: UN and West Condemn and Threaten,
        January 7 

Dick:  S. Korea Warns N. Korea and Resumes Broadcasts, Jan. 8

China Blames Us, Jan. 9

Bans Have Not Been Enforced, Jan. 11

Dick:  AD-G Editorial

Kim Jong Un Urges Scientists to Boost Nuclear Research To Prevent
     US Invasion, Jan. 12, 2016

SK Fires on NK Drone, Jan. 14

NK’s Deal for Stopping Nuclear Testing, Jan. 16

US Dep. Sec’t. of State Blinken Urges Stronger Sanctions, Jan. 17

Dick: David E. Sanger, New York Times, “Containing Pyongyang: The Problem is North Korea.”  Jan. 17

 

Contact Your Congressional Delegation and the President

OMNI Newsletter, Index, Blog

Contents #1 and #3

ANTI-NK REPORTING IN US MAINSTREAM MEDIA: A FEW EXAMPLES EXAMINED from 2013 to present
Contents

Glenn Greenwald, Reading North Korea in US MEDIA

Glenn Greenwald: “North Korea/Sony Story Shows How Eagerly US Media Still Regurgitate Government Claims,” Jan. 1, 2015

 

Reading North Korea in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette by Dick Bennett.  Reports by newspapers like the AD-G reflect a national mainstream perspective because this newspaper employs both signed articles and articles drawn from other mainstream media compiled by AD-G staff. I have not analyzed (given an alternative account for) all of the reports, but I wanted to show the uniformity of the larger sample.  Analyzed reports are indicated by an asterisk.

*Jean H. Lee (AP).  “N. Korean Kids Learn Early to Hate U.S.”  ADG (June 24, 2013).  Analysis of Lee on N. Korea Teaching Youth to Hate USA.

Ten Reports Jan. 7-17 of NK’s Nuclear Test of January 6, 2016.

*AD-G Staff.   “Nuke Test Sets off Boos, Doubts.  North Korea Blast Said Not Up
     To the Level of an H-bomb.”  UN and West Condemn and Threaten NK’s
     Hydrogen Bomb Test.  January 7

*Staff.  “S. Korea Cautions N. Korea,”  SK Resumes Cross-Border Propaganda
      Broadcasts and Warns It Will Respond Sternly To Provocations.   January 8,
     2016.

Staff.  “China: Not Responsible for N. Korea.  It Blames U.S. for Destabilizing
     Region, Lays Burden for Change on All Nations.  January 9, 2016. 

Staff.  “U.N. Bans on N. Korea Unenforced.”  Of the 193 U.N. member states “fewer than 40” have turned in its reports on the 2013 sanctions.  Jan. 11, 2016.

*AD-G Editorial.  “No Surprises: Climax, Anti-Climax, Ka-boom.”  Jan. 12, 2016.

Staff.   “Kim Tells North Koreans to Develop Weapons,” Kim Jong Un Urges
     Scientists to Boost Nuclear Research To Prevent US Invasion, Jan. 12, 2016

Hyung-Jin Kim (AP/AD-G).  “N. Korean Drone Prompts Warning.  “20 Machine-Gun Rounds Reportedly Fired as Flight Veers South of Border.”  Jan. 14, 2016.

Sam Kim (Bloomberg News/AD-G).  “N. Korea States Terms to Halt Nuke Tests,”
  
    NK’s Deal for Stopping Nuclear Testing, Jan. 16, 2016   

*Isabel Reynolds (Bloomberg News/AD-G).  “China Urged to Support Sanctions on       North Korea.”   US Dep. Sec’t. of State Blinken Urges Stronger Sanctions,
     Jan. 17, 2016

David E. Sanger (New York Times/AD-G).  “Containing Pyongyang: The Problem is
      North Korea.”  Jan. 17, 2016.

 

   Go to my nuclear weapons newsl and docs and see below and nos. 1-2

North Korea and the United States: Will the Real Aggressor Please Stand Down?

http://truth-out.org/opinion/item/14813-north-korea-and-the-united-states-will-the-real-aggressor-please-stand-down

Thursday, 28 February 2013 10:21 by Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers, Truthout | Op-Ed
Korean War.Troops land at P'ohang-Dong, Korea during the Korean war. (Photo: Expert Infantry / Flickr)    
US political leaders and media pundits trumpet North Korea's recent testing of missiles and nuclear weapons as a great threat. But the US mass media do not tell the whole story. Without the context of history and current events, the actions of North Korea look insane, but when put in context we find that the United States is pushing North Korea on this path. North Korea is really not a significant threat compared to what the United States is doing with nuclear weapons, the Asia Pivot and war games off the Korean coast. In this article, we seek greater understanding by putting ourselves in the place of North Korea.
Historical Context: Korea, a Pawn for Big Power, Brutalized by the United States
The history between Korea and the United States goes back to the late 1800s when the US had completed its manifest destiny across North America and was beginning to build a global empire.  In 1871, more than 700 US marines and sailors landed on Kanghwa beach in west Korea, seeking to begin US colonization (a smaller US invasion occurred in 1866).  They destroyed five forts, inflicting as many as 650 Korean casualties. The US withdrew, realizing it would need a much larger force to succeed, but this was the largest military force to land outside the Americas until the 1898 war in the Philippines. S. Brian Willson reports that this invasion is still discussed in North Korea, but it has been erased from the history in South Korea as well as in the United States.
Korea succumbed to Japanese rule beginning in 1905, often serving as a pawn between Japanese conflicts with China and Russia. This was a brutal occupation. A major revolt for Korean democracy occurred on March 1, 1919, when a declaration of independence was read in Seoul. Two million Koreans participated in 1,500 protests. The Koreans also appealed to major powers meeting in Versailles after World War I, but were ignored as Japan was given control over the East. The Japanese viciously put down the democracy movement. Iggy Kim, in Green Left, reports they "beheaded children, crucified Christians and carried out scores of other atrocities. More than 7,500 people were killed and 16,000 were injured."
Near the end of World War II, as Japan was weakened, Korean "People's Committees" formed all over the country and Korean exiles returned from China, the US and Russia to prepare for independence and democratic rule. On September 6, 1945, these disparate forces and representatives of the people's committees proclaimed a Korean People's Republic (the KPR) with a progressive agenda of land reform, rent control, an eight-hour work day and minimum wage among its 27-point program.
But the KPR was prevented from becoming a reality. Instead, after World War II and without Korean representation, the US quite arbitrarily decided with Russia, China and England, to divide Korea into two nations "temporarily" as part of its decolonization. The powers agreed that Japan should lose all of its colonies and that in "due course" Korea would be free. Korea was divided on the 38th parallel.  The US made sure to keep the capital, Seoul, and key ports.  Essentially, the US took as much of Korea as it thought the Russians would allow. This division planted the seeds of the Korean War, causing a five-year revolution and counter-revolution that escalated into the Korean War.
Initially, the South Koreans welcomed the United States, but US Gen. John Hodge, the military governor of South Korea working under Gen. Douglas MacArthur, quickly brought Koreans who had cooperated with the Japanese during occupation into the government and shut out Koreans seeking democracy. He refused to meet with representatives of the KPR and banned the party, working instead with the right wing Korean Democratic Party - made up of landlords, land owners, business interests and pro-Japanese collaborators.
Shut out of politics, Koreans who sought an independent democratic state took to other methods and a mass uprising occurred.  A strike against the railroads in September 1946 by 8,000 railway workers in Pusan quickly grew into a general strike of workers and students in all of the South's major cities. The US military arrested strike leaders en masse. In Taegu, on Oct. 1, huge riots occurred after police smashed picket lines and fired into a crowd of student demonstrators, killing three and wounding scores. In Yongchon, on Oct. 3, 10,000 people attacked the police station and killed more than 40 police, including the county chief. Some 20 landlords and pro-Japanese officials were also killed.  A few days later, the US military declared martial law to crush the uprising. They fired into large crowds of demonstrators in numerous cities and towns, killing and wounding an unknown number of people.

Syngman Rhee, an exile who had lived in the US for 40 years, was returned to Korea on MacArthur's personal plane. He initially allied with left leaders to form a government approved of by the US. Then in 1947, he dispensed with his "left" allies by assassinating their leaders, Kim Ku and Kim Kyu-Shik. Rhee consolidated power and the US pushed for United Nations-sponsored elections in May 1948 to put a legal imprimatur on the divided Koreas.  Rhee was elected at 71 years old in an election boycotted by most parties who saw it as sham. He came to power in the midst of an insurgency.
On Jeju Island, the largest Korean island lying in a strategic location in the Korea Strait, there continued to be protests against the US military government. It was one of the last areas where people's committees continued to exist. Gen. Hodge told Congress Jeju was "a truly communal area that is peacefully controlled by the People's Committee," but he organized its extermination in a scorched-earth attack. In September, Rhee's new government launched a massive counterinsurgency operation under US command.  S. Brian Willson reports it resulted in the killing of "60,000 Islanders, with another 40,000 desperately fleeing in boats to Japan. Thus, one-third of its residents were either murdered or fled during the 'extermination' campaign. Nearly 40,000 homes were destroyed and 270 of 400 villages were leveled." It was an ugly attack, Iggy Kim notes: "Torture, mutilation, gang rape and arbitrary execution were rife. . . a quarter of the Jeju population had been massacred. The US embassy happily reported: 'The all-out guerilla extermination campaign came to a virtual end in April with order restored and most rebels and sympathizers killed, captured, or converted.'" This was the single greatest massacre in modern Korean history and a warning of what was to come in the Korean War. As we will see, Jeju is part of the story in today's US Asian escalation.
More brutality occurred on mainland Korea. On October 19, dissident soldiers in the port city of Yosu rose up in opposition to the war in Jeju. About 2,000 insurgent soldiers took control of the city. By Oct. 20, a number of nearby towns had also been liberated and the People's Committee was reinstated as the governing body. People's courts were established to try police officers, landlords, regime officials and other supporters of the Rhee dictatorship. This rebellion was suppressed by a bloodletting, planned and directed by the US military.
The Korean War followed. S. Brian Willson summarizes the war: 

"The Korean War that lasted from June 1950 to July 1953 was an enlargement of the 1948-50 struggle of Jeju Islanders to preserve their self-determination from the tyrannical rule of US-supported Rhee and his tiny cadre of wealthy constituents. Little known is that the US-imposed division of Korea in 1945 against the wishes of the vast majority of Koreans was the primary cause of the Korean War that broke out five years later. The War destroyed by bombing most cities and villages in Korea north of the 38th Parallel, and many south of it, while killing four million Koreans – three million (one-third) of the north's residents and one million of those living in the south, in addition to killing one million Chinese. This was a staggering international crime still unrecognized that killed five million people and permanently separated 10 million Korean families."
Bragging about the massacre, USAF Strategic Air Command head General Curtis LeMay, who blanket-bombed Japan in World War II and later ran for vice president with segregationist George Wallace, summed it up well, "Over a period of three years or so we killed off - what - twenty percent of the population."  Willson corrects LeMay, writing "it is now believed that the population north of the imposed 38th Parallel lost nearly a third its population of 8-9 million people during the 37-month long 'hot' war, 1950-1953, perhaps an unprecedented percentage of mortality suffered by one nation due to belligerence of another."
Context Today: Korea Targeted, Mock Attacks, Learning from Iraq and Libya and the Asia Pivot
This historical context results in North Korea taking the threats of the United States very seriously. It knows the US has been willing to kill large portions of its population throughout history and has seen what the US has done to other countries.
In 2002, President George W. Bush labeled North Korea part of the "axis of evil" along with Iraq and Iran.  S. Brian Willson traveled 900 ground miles through six of North Korea's nine provinces, as well as Pyongyang, the capital, and several other cities, talking with dozens of people from all walks of life; all wanted to know about the "axis of evil" speech.  He found that North Koreans "simply cannot understand why the US is so obsessed with them."
Of course, the North Korean government witnessed the "shock and awe" campaign of bombardments against Iraq and the killing of at least hundreds of thousands (credible research shows more than 1 million Iraqis killed, 4.5 million displaced, 1-2 million widows and 5 million orphans). They saw the brutal killing by hanging of the former US ally, now turned into an enemy, Saddam Hussein.
And, they can look to the experience of Libya. Libya was an enemy but then began to develop positive relations with the US. In 2003, Libya halted its program to build a nuclear bomb in an effort to mend its relations with the US.  Then last year Libya was overthrown in a US-supported war and its leader Moammar Gadhafi was brutally killed. As Reuters reports, "'The tragic consequences in those countries which abandoned halfway their nuclear programs... clearly prove that the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) was very far-sighted and just when it made the (nuclear) option,' North Korea's KCNA news agency said."
The United States stations 28,500 troops in South Korea. In November 2012 the US upgraded its weapons systems and announced an agreement with Japan that would allow South Korea to bomb anywhere in North Korea.  In June 2012 the Pentagon announced that Gen.l Neil H. Tolley would be removed as commander of US Special Operations in South Korea after he revealed to a Japanese foreign affairs publication that American and South Korean troops had been parachuting into North Korea on spy missions.
US troops and bases are not popular. Protests erupted in 2002 after two Korean woman were killed and a court martial found the US soldiers not guilty of negligent manslaughter.  Several pubs and restaurants put up signs saying "Americans Not Welcome Here." In an August 2005 protest against US troops by 1,100 people, 10 were injured by police. One month before that, 100 were injured in a protest.  In2006 protesters occupied land on which the US planned to expand a base, resulting in a conflict and their eviction followed by installing barbed wire around the area to protect it from South Koreans.  The South Korean government banned a rally that was expected to draw more than 10,000 protesters.
South Korea and the US regularly hold military exercises off the Korean coast, which North Korea describes as planning for an invasion. The United States claims these exercises are defensive in nature to assure preparedness.  Prior to the recent nuclear test, Seoul and Washington conducted a joint naval exercise with a US nuclear submarine off South Korea's east coast, followed by a joint air force drill as well aslive weapon exercises near a disputed sea boundary between North and South Korea.
These drills have gotten more aggressive during the Obama administration and since the death of Kim Jong-il, as outlined by geopolitical analyst Jen Alic here:
•"The first joint military exercises between the US and South Korea since Kim Jong-il's death suddenly changed their nature, with new war games including pre-emptive artillery attacks on North Korea.
• Another amphibious landing operation simulation took on vastly larger proportions following Kim Jong-il's death (the sheer amount of equipment deployed was amazing: 13 naval vessels, 52 armored vessels, 40 fighter jets and 9,000 US troops).
• South Korean officials began talking of Kim Jong-il's death as a prime opportunity to pursue a regime-change strategy.
• South Korea unveiled a new cruise missile that could launch a strike inside North Korea and is working fast to increase its full-battery range to strike anywhere inside North Korea.
• South Korea openly began discussing asymmetric warfare against North Korea.
• The US military's Key Resolve Foal Eagle computerized war simulation games suddenly changed, too, simulating the deployment of 100,000 South Korean troops on North Korean territory following a regime change.
• Japan was brought on board, allowing the US to deploy a second advanced missile defense radar system on its territory and the two carried out unprecedented war games.
• It is also not lost on anyone that despite what on the surface appears to be the US' complete lack of interest in a new South Korean naval base that is in the works, this base will essentially serve as an integrated missile defense system run by the US military and housing Aegis destroyers."
North Korea has shown anger at these drills.  In response to the announcement of the  largest annual joint exercises for US and South Korean troops scheduled for March and April of this year, in a rare direct message to US Gen. James Thurman, North Korea warned the top American commander in South Korea on Feb. 23 of "miserable destruction" if the US military presses ahead with the joint drills with South Korea set to begin next month.
Add to these drills the "Asia Pivot" President Obama is implementing, which will result in 60 percent of the US Navy being moved to Asia, and one can understand why North Korea believes that it is necessary to have nuclear weapons.  Part of this Asia Pivot includes Jeju Island, where the US military is trying to install a massive Navy base.  The village of Gangjeong, where the base is to be built, and the elected assembly of Jeju Island have voted to stop the naval base construction. The people of Jeju have mounted protests and resistance efforts against the base. But the base is a key location for the Asia Pivot.  Jeju faces Shanghai across the East China Sea, the South China Sea lies south of the island, and the mainland of South Korea lies to the north.
Jeju - designated as the "Peace Island" as part of an apology for the 1948 massacre - is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is a destination for honeymooners. BruceGagnon visited Jeju Island twice and reported on the protests there, which include the mayor of Gangjeong being arrested in protest and Professor Yang Yoon-Mo, who is now in jail on a hunger strike.  This is his third hunger strike. The previous one lasted 74 days and he almost died. Gagnon works with the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space.
Beyond that, as S. Brian Willson points out, the US is remaking its nuclear arsenal so that nuclear weapons can be used in a war. Three weeks before his "Axis of Evil" speech, President Bush presented a "Nuclear Posture Review" report to Congress that ordered the Pentagon to prepare contingency plans for use of nuclear weapons. The first designated targets for nuclear attack were the "axis of evil" members - along with Syria, Libya, Russia, and China.  The US remains the only country to have used nuclear weapons against another nation. The US has approximately 5,113 nuclear warheads, including tactical, strategic, and non-deployed weapons. According to the latest official New START Treaty declaration, the United States actively positions 1,722 strategic nuclear warheads on 806 deployed ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bombers.  
While calling for a world without nuclear weapons, President Obama has instead continued Bush's plan and  has increased the budget for nuclear weapons. He has been giving the nuclear arsenal a massive and costly overhaul, modernizing the land-sea-air combination of planes, submarines and missiles that deliver nuclear bombs and warheads. Obama made a commitment in a letter to the Senate in February 2011 to accelerate, "to the extent possible," the design and engineering of a new plutonium facility at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico while sustaining a facility in Tennessee.  What would a North Korean leader think of all this?
And when it comes to talks with North Korea, there is no progress. As our guests on "Clearing the FOG" - Bruce Gagnon and Elliot Adams, both active with Veterans for Peace - pointed out: China encourages talks, but the US refuses.  Gagnon and Adams suggest a first step would be a peace treaty with North Korea - an end to the Korean War, something that was never agreed because the fighting ended in a truce. The US needs to stop boxing North Korea into a corner with escalating rhetoric, military actions off its coast and crippling sanctions, and allow North Korea into the community of nations.
Once again, Korea is a pawn in a bigger battle between the US and China and Russia. Countries like Australia and Japan have joined the US and NATO, which has also been brought into the Asian Pivot. As Gagnon points out, North Korea is very independent and does not want to be anyone's puppet and feels it must always show it is ready to defend itself. Adams adds, the US military does not fear "pipsqueak" North Korea with their low tech missiles and bombs, but in the media they use every test by North Korea as an excuse to escalate. Adams clarifies, "the US military needs a bogeyman to justify spending 60 percent of US discretionary spending on an insane, incompetent and bloated military."
The solution begins with the American people understanding what is really going on in Asia and the Koreas. When the context is examined, and Americans try to stand in the shoes of North Korea, a different picture emerges. This is not easy with the misinformation and inadequate reporting by the mass media, which is complicit with the escalation, but this contextual understanding is essential as the US increases military action in Asia, threatens China and uses North Korea as an excuse.
You can hear our interview with Bruce Gagnon and Elliott Adams on North Korea, Nuclear Weapons and US Expansion into Asia and Space on Clearing the FOG Radio (podcast).

 

 

SWANSON

There will always, always, always be another North Korea that's supposedly about to kill us. We don't need rapid-response fact corrections. We need citizens with some understanding of history, with knowledge of the Other 95%, with the capacity to resist terrorism-by-television, and capable of independent thought. To get there, we need a peace movement that moves us, at whatever pace it can, toward peace -- toward the popular demand for the absolute abolition of all war

 

North Korea’s Justifiable Anger

by STANSFIELD SMITH, Counterpunch, April 10, 2013
The corporate media reduces the DPRK (North Korea) to the Kim family and prefaces their names with the terms “madman”, “evil” and “brutal”. Such vilifications of foreign leaders are used here not only to signify they are target for US overthrow. They are meant to intimidate and isolate anti-war activists as being out in left field for ever wanting to oppose a war against countries ruled by “madmen” – be they Saddam, Fidel, Hugo Chavez, Ahmadinejad, Qaddaffi.
Yet to a sensible person, it is crazy that the US, with nuclear weapons thousands of miles from home, in South Korea, denies North Korea has a right to have its own nuclear weapons on its own land – particularly when the North says it is developing nuclear weapons only as a deterrent because the US won’t take its own weapons out of the Korean peninsula.
Missing in what passes for discourse on the DPRK in the corporate media is that the US was conducting month-long war maneuvers last March in Korea, now extended into April, using stealth bombers, undetectable by radar, capable of carrying nuclear weapons. And this year these are not “deterrent” war maneuvers, but “pre-emptive war” maneuvers.
Would the US government and people get a little “irrational” if a foreign country that previously had killed millions of our people, sent nuclear capable stealth bombers off the coasts of New York City, Washington DC, Houston, Miami, Los Angeles, San Francisco, there to fly around for a month in preparation for a possible nuclear attack on us? For what is called, in warped US language, war “games”?
The US may have killed 20% of the population of Korea, said General Curtis Lemay, who was involved in the US air war on Korea. If so, that is a higher rate of genocidal slaughter than what the Nazis inflicted on Poland or the Soviet Union. The Korean War may be unknown ancient history to us, but it is no more ancient history to Koreans than the Nakba is to Palestinians.
North Korea knows that history, and it is warning the US they know what to expect and are arming themselves to prevent it. Are the DPRK leaders “paranoid” or taking justifiable precautions?
What kind of deranged people call war preparations a “war game”? North Korea doesn’t think it’s a “game.” Over 4 million died in the last war to reunify their country that the US divided. If men had an annual rite called “group rape games” wouldn’t we think it a criminal misogynist pathology, and wouldn’t women be justified in being outraged and arming themselves in self-defense?
An accurate reading of the events leading up to the present situation shows that North Korea is responding to US military escalation, and in particular to US refusal to negotiate. This includes a peace treaty to end the Korean War, any steps towards reunifying Korea, the end to the US occupation of South Korea and ending the annual month-long US-South Korean war maneuvers. Even today, it includes US refusal to talk in order to lower the tensions.
North Korea was hit with US/UN Security Council sanctions for a missile launch last year. South Korea sent off a missile this year; were there any sanctions?
Since World War II there have been 9000 missile launches. 4 were by the DPRK. There have been 2000 atomic bomb tests. 3 were by DPRK. No country was sanctioned by the UN Security Council for this. No country except the DPRK. Why wouldn’t the North Koreans be incensed by this double standard, especially when the US has nuclear weapons in South Korea?
The US kill rate in the 1950-53 Korean War equaled more than one 9-11 every day, day after day, for the whole 1100 day war. US people had a scar from one 9-11.  So what kind of war scars do Koreans have?
Korea is divided because our country invaded and divided it after the Japanese surrender. The leaders of the DPRK had been fighting the Japanese since the early 1930s, and 200,000 had lost their lives. When Korean liberation was at hand in 1945, the US intervened and blocked it.
The US was supposed to leave in 1948, along with the Soviet Union, but because Kim Il Sung was likely to win planned nation-wide elections, the US made the division permanent and blocked national elections, just as it did later in Vietnam. This lead to the Korean War, the cause of the present militarization: A foreign country divided and occupied their country against their will.
We should play our part to improve the human rights situation in Korea, not only in the North but in the South as well. Both societies are more closed and controlled than our own. Whether being occupied by foreign troops, threatened with war and war maneuvers, or subjected to harsh economic sanctions, this does not facilitate free and open societies.
If we really want more rights for the people of the DPRK then we should stop pointing a gun at their head. If we listened to Kim Jong Un’s message delivered a month ago, ignored by President Obama, “We don’t want war. Let’s talk,” that would only foster a more open society there – and in South Korea, just as we know it would  here in the US.
Stansfield Smith is an anti-war and Latin America solidarity activist in Chicago who recently returned from a trip to North Korea [Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (DPRK)], with Koryo Tours. He can be reached at: stansfieldsmith@yahoo.com


If war breaks out there, the peoples of both parts of the Peninsula will be terribly sacrificed, without benefit to all or either of them. It would be unjust to forget that such a war would particularly affect more than 70% of the population of the planet.

VFP,
Peace Vigil for Korea

 Fri Apr 19, 2013 7:18 am (PDT) . Posted by:
This is a good news. We urge VFP chapters to hold peace vigils too.
Thanks, 
VFP-KPC
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‘No new Korean war’ is the message from Twin Cities peace vigil
Fightback News, April 12, 2013

St Paul, MN - On a cold and rainy April 10, several dozen people joined a
Minneapolis-Saint Paul peace vigil to speak out against the danger of a new
Korean war.

Every Wednesday, a peace vigil is held on the Lake Street/Marshall Avenue
Bridge over the Mississippi River between Minneapolis and Saint Paul. Due
to the urgent situation in Korea, the organizers of the vigil designated
April 10 as a day to focus on the crisis with an anti-war response.

Participants held signs as busy rush hour traffic went by. Many people
waved and honked their car horns in support of the anti-war message.

Signs carried by participants included slogans such as: “No new Korean
War,” No U.S. war in Korea,” and “Stop war games in Korea,” referring to
the ongoing war games conducted by the U.S. and south Korea. Another sign
read, “Say no to war – let DPRK live.” DPRK is the Democratic Peoples
Republic of Korea, the name of the northern Korean state.

Women Against Military Madness End War Committee and the Twin Cities Peace
Campaign organize the weekly vigil.

On short notice, several other organizations signed on to the call for the
April 10 vigil to respond to the Korea crisis and helped publicize the
event. Groups endorsing the event included Anti-War Committee, Emergency
Committee to Stop U.S. War in Korea, Minnesota Peace Action Coalition and
Veterans for Peace.

A statement issued by organizers says in part, “The Korean peninsula is at
a flash point. U.S. war games, including sending nuclear bombers on a
mission simulating the bombing of North Korea, only serve to bring Korea to
the brink of a new war. We call for an end to the U.S. war games, for the
U.S. to make a peace treaty to end the Korean War, and for an end to the
sanctions on North Korea.”

At the end of the vigil participants gathered to hear brief remarks from
organizers.

Chris Getowicz of the University of Minnesota chapter of Students for a
Democratic Society said, “The government and the media in the U.S. continue
to beat the war drums of agitation on the Korean peninsula. The government
and media are building and maintaining the myth of North Korean hostility,
when it is in fact the U.S. military presence that has maintained a divided
Korean peninsula for 60 years.
It is U.S. imperialism that has provoked
hostilities on the Korean peninsula and we must challenge the notion that
anyone other than the U.S. is maintaining a militarized and divided Korea.”

http://www.fightbacknews.org/2013/4/12/no-new-korean-war-message-twin-cities-peace-vigil
APRIL 10, 2013

The following 7 entries from 2013 discuss US violent threats intended to stop NK’s missile test.  NK argues they possess the right to test missiles as much as the US (from Vandenburg to Kwajalein), and they must test and succeed if they are to defend themselves from attack like the US invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq.  --Dick
01 April ,2013
American F-22 stealth warplanes arrived in South Korea yesterday, placing East Asia on hair-trigger alert as Washington escalated its confrontation with North Korea, ostensibly over the country’s nuclear program

 

08 April , 2013
Over the weekend, US officials continued to threaten North Korea with war, demanding that China cut off its support to the regime in Pyongyang. This comes after weeks of US threats aimed at Pyongyang’s nuclear program, during which Washington flew nuclear-capable bombers to Korea to demonstrate its capacity to wage nuclear war against the North.

Kerry Issues War Threat Over Korea By Alex Lantier, April 8, 2013
US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in the South Korean capital, Seoul, yesterday on the first leg of a three-nation East Asian tour dominated by escalating US threats against North Korea over its nuclear program. Kerry arrives for talks today in China and is traveling on to Japan tomorrow.   http://www.countercurrents.org/
[From a 2016 perspective of the successful nuclear agreement with Iran, Kerry seems to have developed from a typical US warrior to a statesman using all the tools of diplomacy to avoid war and danger of war.  –Dick]

12 April ,2013
Far from attempting to lower temperatures on the Korean Peninsula, the Obama administration has been deliberately stoking the crisis. Over the past month, the Pentagon has flown nuclear-capable B-52 and B-2 strategic bombers to South Korea to send a message to Pyongyang, and its ally Beijing, that the US is capable of destroying North Korea’s military and industrial infrastructure.   http://www.countercurrents.org/
11 April ,2013
Unnamed officials in the US Department of Defense announced today that they are “highly confident” that North Korea intends the imminent launch of a medium-range missile, according to NBC News. This statement follows two days of speculation in the world press that Pyongyang would order the launch of a Musudan missile from its east coast by April 10—a deadline that has now passed

This dictator in North Korea, while he may not realize it, is laying right into America’s hands. He has probably done more for the defense industry in the United States than any publicity they could have imagined

06 April ,2013
Fears of war remained high on the Korean peninsula, amid continuing military exercises by both the United States and North Korea, after revelations Thursday that the crisis was following a “playbook” of US escalations prepared months ago by the Obama administration

2015

Support US Nuclear Diplomacy with North Korea and Give Peace a Chance!

UFPJ info@unitedforpeace.org via uark.edu 

9:14 AM (1 hour ago)
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to James  1-30-15
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United for Peace & Justice

The US should negotiate with North Korea on its proposal to cancel nuclear tests in exchange for a US suspension of joint military exercises with South Korea. Click here to sign the petition.
The North Korean (DPRK) government disclosed on January 10 that it had delivered to the United States an important proposal to “create a peaceful climate on the Korean Peninsula.
https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?hl=en&shva=1#inbox/14b3b76c48b40f6c
This year, we observe the 70th anniversary of the tragic division of Korea in 1945. The US government played a major role in the arbitrary division of the country, as well as in the horrific Korean civil war of 1950-53, wreaking catastrophic devastation on North Korea, with millions of Korean deaths as well as the deaths of 50,000 American soldiers. The US still keeps nearly 30,000 troops in South Korea today, even though the Armistice Agreement was signed in 1953.
According to KCNA, the North Korean news agency, the DPRK’s message stated that if the United States “contribute(s) to easing tension on the Korean Peninsula by temporarily suspending joint military exercises in South Korea and its vicinity this year,” then “the DPRK is ready to take such responsive steps as temporarily suspending the nuclear test over which the US is concerned.”
Unfortunately, it is reported that the US State Department rejected the offer immediately, claiming that the two issues are separate. Such a quick spurning of the North’s proposal is not only arrogant but also violates one of the basic principles of the United Nations Charter, which requires of its members to “settle their international disputes by peaceful means.” To reduce the dangerous military tensions on the Korean Peninsula today, it is urgent that the two hostile States engage in mutual dialogue and negotiation for a peaceful settlement of the lingering Korean War, without any preconditions.
The winter US-ROK (South Korea) war drill usually takes place in late February. On such occasions in the past DPRK has put its troops on high military alert and conducted its own war drills in response. Pyongyang regards the large-scale joint war drills as a US rehearsal for military attacks, including nuclear strikes, against North Korea. In last year’s drill, the US flew in B-2 stealth bombers, which can drop nuclear bombs, as well as bringing in US troops from abroad. These threatening moves not only provoke the North but also violate the Korean War Armistice Agreement of 1953.
Instead of intensifying further sanctions and military pressures against the DPRK, the Obama administration should accept the recent offer from the North in good faith, and engage in negotiations to reach positive agreements to reduce military tensions on the Korean Peninsula.
It is high time for the American people to heal the old wounds in Korea by ending the lingering Korean War with a peace treaty, so that the Korean people can also enjoy, at last, their basic human rights to peace, self-determination, and development. The least the United States can do now is to accept the North’s moratorium offer and enter into talks. Stop demonizing the DPRK and start engaging it for the sake of peace in Korea, Northeast Asia, and the world.
All we are saying, is give peace a chance! If you appreciate receiving timely action alerts like this, please make a donation to UFPJ so that we can continue to keep our member groups and dedicated activists linked together for effective action and impact!!

Help us continue to do this critical work: Make a donation to UFPJ today.

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US/S. KOREAN WAR GAMES: ANNOY THE PARANOID TODAY
Exclusive look: U.S., South Korea's military drills - CNN Video.  March 23, 2015
CNN.com - 18 hours ago
As the U.S. and South Korea conduct joint military exercises, North Korea ratchets up the ...
edition.cnn.com - 18 hours ago
KHON2 - 1 day ago

 


The U.S. war crime North Korea won’t forget
https://img.washingtonpost.com/rf/image_1484w/2010-2019/WashingtonPost/2015/03/20/Editorial-Opinion/Images/2015-02-19T103226Z_01_KCNA11_RTRIDSP_3_KOREA-NORTH-1405.jpg?uuid=Eac_hs6aEeSMVP-1um8vaQ
North Koreans pay their respects at the statues of former North Korean leaders Kim Il Sung (L) and Kim Jong Il on Lunar New Year in this February 19, 2015 photo. (Kcna/Reuters)
By Blaine Harden.  Washington Post, March 24, 2015.
Blaine Harden, a former Post reporter, is the author of the book The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot.
North Korea cheered this month when a man with a knife and a history of violent behavior slashed the face of Mark Lippert, the U.S. ambassador to South Korea. The attack in Seoul was “a knife shower of justice,” North Korea said, praising it as “deserved punishment for warmonger United States.”
If that sounds mean-spirited, consider this: For years, North Korea has taught schoolchildren to bayonet effigies of U.S. soldiers. Under its young dictator, Kim Jong Un, the government has suggested it was prepared to nuke Washington, Austin and Southern California. More than 40 years ago, Kim Il Sung, the “Great Leader” who founded the family dictatorship that rules North Korea, said there was “no secret” about his country’s behavior: “What is most important in our preparations [for war] is to educate all the people to hate U.S. imperialism.”
Where does the hate come from?
Much of it is cooked up daily in Pyongyang. Like all dictatorial regimes, the Kim family dynasty needs an endless existential struggle against a fearsome enemy. Such a threat rationalizes massive military spending and excuses decades of privation, while keeping dissenting mouths shut and political prisons open.
The hate, though, is not all manufactured. It is rooted in a fact-based narrative, one that North Korea obsessively remembers and the United States blithely forgets.
The story dates to the early 1950s, when the U.S. Air Force, in response to the North Korean invasion that started the Korean War, bombed and napalmed cities, towns and villages across the North. It was mostly easy pickings for the Air Force, whose B-29s faced little or no opposition on many missions.
The bombing was long, leisurely and merciless, even by the assessment of America’s own leaders. “Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — 20 percent of the population,” Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, told the Office of Air Force History in 1984. Dean Rusk, a supporter of the war and later secretary of state, said the United States bombed “everything that moved in North Korea, every brick standing on top of another.” After running low on urban targets, U.S. bombers destroyed hydroelectric and irrigation dams in the later stages of the war, flooding farmland and destroying crops.
Although the ferocity of the bombing was criticized as racist and unjustified elsewhere in the world, it was never a big story back home. U.S. press coverage of the air war focused, instead, on “MiG alley,” a narrow patch of North Korea near the Chinese border. There, in the world’s first jet-powered aerial war, American fighter pilots competed against each other to shoot down five or more Soviet-made fighters and become “aces.” War reporters rarely mentioned civilian casualties from U.S. carpet-bombing. It is perhaps the most forgotten part of a forgotten war.
The Kims, though, have kept memories of the war and the bombing terrifyingly fresh. North Korean state media dress up the historical record in a Big Lie, claiming that Americans and South Korea sneakily started the Korean War and that Kim Il Sung brilliantly won it against overwhelming odds. (The Chinese don’t get much credit for fighting the United States to a draw.) State media warn that, sooner or later, the Americans will strike again.
“It is still the 1950s in North Korea and the conflict with South Korea and the United States is still going on,” says Kathryn Weathersby, a scholar of the Korean War. “People in the North feel backed into a corner and threatened.”
There is real value in understanding this paranoid mind-set. It puts the calculated belligerence of the Kim family into context. It also undermines the notion that North Korea is merely a nut-case state.
Since World War II, the United States has engaged in an almost unbroken chain of major and minor wars in distant and poorly understood countries. Yet for a meddlesome superpower that claims the democratic high ground, it can sometimes be shockingly incurious and self-absorbed. In the case of the bombing of North Korea, its people never really became conscious of a major war crime committed in their name.
Paying attention in a democracy is a moral obligation. It is also a way to avoid repeating immoral mistakes.
And if North Korea ever does change, if the Kim family were overthrown or were to voluntarily loosen its chokehold on information, a U.S. apology for the bombing could help dispel 65 years of hate.               



“International Peacemakers Announce Women’s Walk for Peace and Reunification of Korea.”  Common Dreams (Jan. 16, 2015).   http://www.commondreams.org/newswire/2015/03/10/international-peacemakers-announce-womens-walk-peace-and-reunification-korea
[I read this in Veterans for Peace newspaper,  Peace in Our Times, “Women Walk for Peace on The Korean Peninsula” by Ann Wright (Spring 2015).  –Dick]
Tuesday, March 10, 2015
International Women’s Delegation
Contact:
Christine Ahn, Women De-Militarize the Zone: (310) 482-9333 (in English)
Hyun-Kyung Chung: (347) 622-1014 (in Korean)

International Peacemakers Announce Women’s Walk for Peace and Reunification of Korea
NEW YORK, NY - During the 59th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meeting, leading global women peacemakers will announce their plans for a women’s peace walk calling for an end to the Korean War, which is technically unresolved without a peace treaty. Millions of Korean families remain separated as both Koreas live in a state of war. Gloria Steinem, Abigail Disney, Ann Wright, Suzy Kim, Keum-ok Kim, Hyun-Kyung Chung and Christine Ahn will speak.

What: Announcement of International Peacemakers’ Walk for Peace in Korea

When: Wednesday, March 11th, 2015 at 11:00am

Where: U.N. Correspondents Association Meeting Room S-310, U.N. Secretariat

In May 2015, international women peacemakers will travel to Korea to meet with women leaders to embark upon a peace-building initiative to formally end the Korean War, including the launch of a global petition urging signatories of the 1953 armistice agreement to replace the cease-fire with a permanent peace treaty.

The delegation includes two Nobel Peace Laureates, Mairead Maguire from Northern Ireland and Leymah Gbowee from Liberia, and women leaders from over a dozen countries, many of which participated in the 1950-53 Korean War. At the press briefing, representatives of the women’s peace delegation will give an update on the governments’ approval to cross the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ, that separates the two Koreas) on May 24th, International Disarmament Day.

Gloria Steinem, renowned American author and Honorary Co-Chair of the international delegation, says “If this division can be healed even briefly by women, it will be inspiring in the way that women brought peace out of war in Northern Ireland or Liberia. In Northern Ireland women crossed the boundary of religion and region, and said, ‘No more’. For generations, the divisions seemed inevitable but women managed to cross it and now Ireland is a peaceful country.”

Suzy Kim, professor of Korean history at Rutgers University, explains, “Known as the Forgotten War, the Korean War claimed 4 million lives, mostly Korean civilians. The brinkmanship we witness today, from war games to nuclear weapons, stem from that historic fact that a peace treaty was never signed.”

“American women have a very important role to play in this, not as people who dictate the solutions, but because of the role our country played in drawing the line and now very aggressively plays in enforcing it,” says the award-winning American filmmaker and philanthropist, Abigail Disney.

According to retired U.S. Army Colonel Ann Wright, “My government should support the peaceful reunification of the two Koreas by de-escalating military tensions. Although both sides claim defense, when there is no communication and just a show of force, the chances for “miscalculation” are unimaginably high and very dangerous. We need to de-escalate tensions, engage North Korea in talks, and sign a peace treaty.”

“We are collaborating with the international women to mobilize Korean women,” says Keum-ok Kim, Standing Representative of Korean Women’s Association United, the largest umbrella organization of South Korean women’s NGOs.

Christine Ahn, one of the organizers, says, “We are walking to unite Korean families tragically separated by an artificial, man-made division, and to re-direct government investment away from the military towards improving the welfare of the people, in particular women, children and the elderly.”

International Women’s Delegation

Honorary Co-Chairs
Mairead Corrigan Maguire, Nobel Peace Laureate 1976, Northern Ireland
Gloria Steinem, Author and Founder of Ms. Magazine, USA

Executive Committee
Christine Ahn, Women De-Militarize the Zone, USA
Medea Benjamin, Co-Founder Code Pink, USA
Hyun-Kyung Chung PhD, Professor, Union Theological Seminary, ROK/USA
Gay Dillingham, Filmmaker & Environmental Advisor to Governor Bill Richardson, USA
Suzy Kim, PhD, Professor, Rutgers University, USA
Vana Kim PhD, Spiritual Teacher, Canada/USA
Gwyn Kirk, Co-founder Women for Genuine Security, USA/United Kingdom
Sung-ok Lee, United Methodist Women, USA
Cora Weiss, President, Hague Appeal for Peace, USA
Ann Wright, Former U.S. Army Colonel, USA
Aiyoung Choi, Korean American Family Service Center, USA
Jean Chung, Co-Founder Action for One Korea, USA
Abigail Disney, Filmmaker, USA
Jodie Evans, Co-Founder Code Pink, USA
Leymah Gbowee, Nobel Peace Laureate 2012, Liberia
Erika Guevara Rosas, Americas Director, Amnesty International, USA/Mexico/United Kingdom
Patricia Guerrero, League of Displaced Women, Colombia
Meri Joyce, Peace Boat, Australia/Japan
Jane Jin Kaisen, Artist, Denmark
Deann Borshay Liem, Filmmaker, USA
Brinton Lykes, Professor, Boston College, USA
Liza Mazza, Gabriella Network, Philippines
Ann Patterson, Peace People, Northern Ireland
Suzuyo Takazato, Okinawan Women Against Military Violence, Japan
Katharina Zellweger, former Swiss Development Corporation DPRK, Switzerland

WOMEN PEACEMAKERS WALK ACROSS THE N/S KOREAS DMZ

Mairead Maguire is one of 30 women peacemakers from 12 countries who plan to walk across the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that
separates North and South Korea? If you would like to know why, you can
read Mairead's explanation on Antonio's TRANSCEND Media Service Weekly Digest: 'Why Are We Planning to Walk Across the Demilitarized Zone That Separates North and South Korea?'
https://www.transcend.org/tms/2015/04/why-are-we-planning-to-walk-across-the-demilitarized-zone-that-separates-north-and-south-korea/



 

REDUCING TENSIONS BETWEEN N AND S KOREA 2015, Google Search, Jan. 16, 2016

South and North Korea agree deal to reduce tensions - BBC ...

www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-34039187
BBC
Aug 25, 2015 - South and North Korea agree deal to reduce tensions ... Both Koreas used to routinely blast propaganda across their shared border, but agreed in 2004 to abandon the tactic. ... North and South Korea in second night of talks.

North, South Korea reach agreement to ease tensions ...

www.reuters.com/.../us-northkorea-southkorea-idUSKCN0QR02...
Reuters
Aug 25, 2015 - North, South Korea reach agreement to ease tensions ... SEOUL North and South Korea agreed early on Tuesday to end a ... so as to ease tensions between South and North," Park's presidential office quoted her as saying.

A brief history of border conflict between North and South ...

www.pri.org/.../brief-history-border-conflict-b...
Public Radio International
Aug 20, 2015 - A brief history of border conflict between North and South Korea ... engage in tense talks before agreeing to reduce tensions a few days later.

North, South Korea reach agreement to reduce tensions

www.france24.com/.../20150824-north-south-korea-reach-agr...
France 24
Aug 24, 2015 - North and South Korea wrapped up marathon talks Tuesday with an agreement aimed at defusing a ... North, South Korea reach agreement to reduce tensions ... Protests launched across Ukraine against Russian cigarettes.

Koreas Agree on Deal to Defuse Tensions - The New York ...

www.nytimes.com/.../south-korea-vows-not-to-back-...
The New York Times
Aug 24, 2015 - North and South Korea on Alert Over Loudspeakers Blaring Propaganda AUG. ... The agreement emerged from marathon talks between Mr. Kim and Vice ... the headline: Koreas Strike Deal to Lower Tensions Along Border.

North Korea, South Korea Hold Rare Talks In Kaesong City ...

www.ibtimes.com/north-korea-south-korea-...
o     
International Business Times
Dec 11, 2015 - Officials from North and South Korea reportedly held rare talks Friday in Kaesong city in North Korea, aimed at reducing tensions between the ...

North and South Korea's agreement to reduce tensions ...

https://www.dur.ac.uk/ibru/news/boundary_news/?...
Durham University
Sep 4, 2015 - On 24 August 2015, North and South Korea reached an agreement to reduce tensions between the two countries after two days of negotiations.

Korea crisis: North and South agree terms of peace deal to ...

www.ibtimes.co.uk/korea-crisis-north-south-...
International Business Times
Aug 24, 2015 - North and South Korea have reached an agreement that should reduce tensions along the border between the two countries. The deal was ...

US troops mobilise in South Korea as Kim Jong-un declares ...

www.telegraph.co.uk › ... › Asia › North Korea
The Daily Telegraph
Aug 21, 2015 - Any war between North and South Korea "could go nuclear" ... He also calls on parties to engage in dialogue to reduce tensions and to ...

Tensions Increase Between North and South Korea - Kolo

www.kolotv.com/.../Increased-Tensions-Between-North-and-...
KOLO‑TV
Aug 21, 2015 - Tensions Increase Between North and South Korea ... including repeated threats to reduce Seoul to a "sea of fire," and the huge numbers of ...

Searches related to Reducing Tensions Between N. and S. Korea




Friday, August 28, 2015

Veterans For Peace Calls upon U.S. to Reduce Military Tensions in Korea

Veterans For Peace, a major peace organization of veterans in the U.S., welcomed the announcement on Tuesday, August 25th of an inter-Korean agreement to de-escalate the current military tensions in Korea.

Among the items agreed to, the South agreed to stop its anti-North propaganda broadcasts in the DMZ, while the North agreed to end its “semi-state of war.”
  <Full Statement>


2015-16  Views from Global Research (Canada)  (http://www.globalresearch.ca/ )

North Korea, a Land of Human Achievement, Love and Joy ...

www.globalresearch.ca/north-korea-a-land-of-human.../5344960
Global Research, August 04, 2013 ... But during my 8 days in North Korea, I had very few moments of silence, almost no opportunity to reflect. ... But I fell in love, instantly with the North Korean countryside, and the faces of North Korean ...

Why North Korea Wants Nukes. Extensive U.S. War Crimes ...

www.globalresearch.ca/why-north-korea-wants-nukes...u.../5500550
5 days ago - North Korea suffered overwhelming numbers of casualties. Up to four million ... “North Korea's nuclear test is a blatant violation of its international obligations. US joint ... Another Asian war could precipitate global conflict – humanity's greatest threat. ... The original source of this article is Global Research.

North Korea's Nuclear Perceptions and Deterrence | Global ...

www.globalresearch.ca/north-koreas-nuclear-perceptions-and.../5500046
Jan 8, 2016 - north korea flag globalresearch.ca. Nuclear weapons have always had a habit of inviting games of perception. Will the state in possession of a ...

North Korea Implements “Successful” H-bomb Test | Global ...

www.globalresearch.ca/north-korea-implements-successful-h.../5499628
Jan 6, 2016 - north korea flag globalresearch.ca ... “North Korea's current delivery systems consist of about 1,000 ballistic missiles and a small ... a paper titled 'The Future of North Korean Nuclear Delivery Systems' published on 38nort.org.

Does North Korea Need Nukes to Deter US Aggression ...

www.globalresearch.ca/does-north-korea-need-nukes-to-deter.../5500310
6 days ago - Does that mean North Korea needs nuclear weapons to deter US aggression? ... The reason North Korea detonated the bomb was to force the ...

North and South Korea: Inching Closer to the Brink of War ...

www.globalresearch.ca/north-and-south-korea-inching...to.../5470858
Aug 22, 2015 - It presents a North Korean perspective of what is happening on the ...Global Research does not necessarily endorse the views presented in this article. ... The situation of the Korean peninsula is inching close to the brink of a ...

North Korea's Bomb Test Hysteria | Global Research ...

www.globalresearch.ca/north-koreas-bomb-test-hysteria/5499557
Jan 6, 2016 - It is very difficult to know what has happened. The media and many governments around the world immediately condemn this test. The EU says ...

Video: North Korea Hydrogen Bomb Test | Global Research ...

www.globalresearch.ca/video-north-korea-hydrogen-bomb-test/5499816
Jan 7, 2016 - North Korea also vowed that it will not transfer its nuclear capabilities to ... activity in North Korea took place near the country's nuclear test site.

2016

Take Action: Preserve humanitarian access to North Koreans

                Kerri Kennedy, AFSC via uark.edu 

3:57 PM (3 hours ago)
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to James  1-7-16
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American Friends Service Committee
Protect humanitarian access

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Photo: AFSC

Dear James,
Humanitarian assistance to the people of North Korea is in jeopardy. 
In response to this week's reported nuclear test by the North Korean government, the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2015 may now advance quickly in Congress. It contains provisions that if enacted will severely restrict the very limited humanitarian operations still underway to assist the people of North Korea. 
The disengagement enforced by current sanctions has decreased rather than enhanced the capacity of the global community to impact policies of the North Korean government. Further disengagement is not the answer. 
Please join us in urging Congress to remove these harmful provisions.
Humanitarian assistance to North Korea helps those in need and keeps channels of international engagement and dialogue with North Korea open.
The American Friends Service Committee has worked in North Korea since the 1980s, with relief efforts on the Korean Peninsula dating back to the years after the Korean War. Our unique, historical understanding of peace building in the region leads us to believe that the harmful provisions in the North Korea Sanctions Enforcement Act of 2015 will greatly reduce already limited avenues toward more peaceful relations on the Korean Peninsula.
Contact your elected officials today to help us maintain humanitarian access and engagement with North Korea.

In Peace,

https://ci5.googleusercontent.com/proxy/h1FGLTON2zz8SoRBzv9jy8x645ysiw-gxoJM69GK_AVxjaD5tax-ZBB5DOrLbVSsneXmlKzaDpCgDiSDO56g-rFIZTlZ0skw9TQ_NLO4RVOjIkBEJRPpoZKLNzQ2=s0-d-e1-ft#http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50601/images/Signatures/Kerri-Kennedy.gif
Kerri Kennedy
International Programs, AFSC
American Friends Service Committee 
1501 Cherry Street
Philadelphia, PA 19102
AFSC.org

 

 

Derek Johnson, Global Zero via mail.salsalabs.net 

Jan 6 (1 day ago)
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to me1-7-16
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Dear Friend,

Last night, North Korea detonated a nuclear device at a known testing site in the eastern part of the country. In an accompanying statement, the government claimed to have successfully tested a hydrogen bomb. 

In response, we already see a troubling narrative emerging: The world is dangerous. Nuclear weapons keep us safe. We must cling to these arsenals -- even race to upgrade them -- and accept them as the cornerstone of our security.

All of that is flat wrong. Nuclear weapons anywhere are a threat to people everywhere. What happened on the Korean peninsula reinforces that our whack-a-mole approach to proliferation won't work over the long run. From the Iranian nuclear program to stolen nuclear material in Moldova1 to confrontations between Russia and the West2, we are trapped in a cycle of nuclear crisis after nuclear crisis, each one a dangerous roll of the dice. 

We have to break that cycle. And we can. It requires a far more comprehensive approach -- one that brings together key countries to eliminate all nuclear weapons and secure all nuclear materials. And we’re working everyday to make that happen.

I know in moments like these, it’s easy to feel powerless. The nuclear threat feels vast and we mistake ourselves as small.

But when it comes to eliminating nuclear weapons, you are more powerful than you know. The challenge we face is political: It is a matter of leaders acting with urgency and resolve. That’s exactly the sort of obstacle movements like ours are built to overcome. 

Friend, our greatest adversary is the lie that the world cannot change. It can. And we’re the ones to change it.


With hope,

Derek Johnson
Executive Director
Global Zero

1. 'Nuclear black market seeks IS extremists' Associated Press, 10/7/2015

2. 'Could U.S.-Russia tensions go nuclear?' Politico, 11/27/2015

Global Zero is the international movement for the elimination of all nuclear weapons. Support the movement with a contribution here.
Sent by GLOBAL ZERO | 1436 U Street NW, Suite 401 | Washington, DC 20009 USA

 

2016

    



nuclear1
This policy of nuclear bombing of targeted cities is still on the drawing board of the Pentagon. While today’s list of targets remains classified, cities in Russia, China, the Middle East, North Korea are on the target list.

 


America’s Addiction to Terrorism.  by Henry A. Giroux.  MONTHLY REVIEW: AN INDEPENDENT SOCIALIST MAGAZINE.  2016. Foreword by Michael D. Yates.  http://monthlyreview.org/product/americas_addiction_to_terrorism/

(Michael Yates’ Foreword, “On Henry Giroux,” also appears in Monthly Review (Jan. 2016)).

In the United States today, the term “terrorism” conjures up images of dangerous, outside threats: religious extremists and suicide bombers in particular. Harder to see but all the more pervasive is the terrorism perpetuated by the United States, itself, whether through military force overseas or woven into the very fabric of society at home. Henry Giroux, in this passionate and incisive book, turns the conventional wisdom on terrorism upside down, demonstrating how fear and lawlessness have become organizing principles of life in the United States, and violence an acceptable form of social mediation. He addresses the most pressing issues of the moment, from officially sanctioned torture to militarized police forces to austerity politics. Giroux also examines the ongoing degradation of the education system and how young people in particular suffer its more nefarious outcomes.

 

Against this grim picture, Giroux posits a politics of hope and a commitment to accurate—and radical—historical memory. He draws on a long, distinguished career developing the tenets of critical pedagogy to propose a cure for our addiction to terrorism: a kind of “public pedagogy” that challenges the poisoned narratives of “America’s disimagination machine.”

Praise for the book:

In a career marked by numerous thoughtful critiques of the existing order, Henry Giroux has outdone himself with America’s Addiction to Terror. More than any other book, Giroux chronicles the death spiral of contemporary U.S. capitalist society, and why young people are on the verge of a revolt the likes of which has not been seen for generations. We are very fortunate to have this book.—Robert W. McChesney, co-author, People Get Ready: The Fight Against a Jobless Economy and a Citizenless Democracy

Henry Giroux is one of the most brilliant analysts of the humanly destructive impact of global capitalism as it plays itself out, not only in the economic sphere, but in every aspect of daily life. His deeply insightful analysis of the way the word ‘terrorism’ and ‘terrorist’ have been appropriated to advance militarist worldviews should be read by every citizen in Western societies.—Rabbi Michael Lerner, Editor, Tikkun Magazine, chair of the interfaith and secular-humanist-welcoming Network of Spiritual Progressives and author of The Left Hand of God: Taking Back Our Country from the Religious Right

Important, compelling and incisive. Offering a different angle of vision on the question ‘What actually is terror?,’ Henry Giroux shows his courage and unique ability to reveal the hidden order of politics. In doing so, not only does he expose those modes of oppression and violence that are part of the everyday political fabric of American society, he impresses the urgency of critical pedagogy—more than simply a question of some ‘public good’—because lives depend upon it!—Brad Evans, Senior Lecturer in International Relations, University of Bristol; founder and director of the Histories of Violence project

Henry Giroux is one of the singular intellects in contemporary life, a sane, compassionate, and fierce voice against the society of domination, inequality and the madness of ruthless Imperialist conquest.—John Steppling, playwright, screenwriter, and essayist

 

America’s Addiction to Terrorism catapults Henry Giroux as one of the most important North American public intellectual voices in the tradition of Noam Chomsky and the late Howard Zinn. While courageous in posture, Giroux effortlessly demonstrates that the denouncement of the imperial desires, practices, and violence perpetrated by the United States through the fabricated war on terror narrative simply demands honesty—a coherent honesty which makes it clear that, behind an act of violence in ‘retail terrorism,’ there is always a prior state officially sanctioned violence. Giroux brilliantly and passionately unveils the structural racism etched in the white American supremacist ethos that condones the wanton killings of Black youth by white policemen with impunity by deconstructing the ‘school-to-jail-to-grave pipeline’ which has become the main principle that informs and deforms the anti-transformative corporate school reforms. America’s Addiction to Terrorism is a must read for all citizens and educators, particularly critical educators, as it challenges us all to go beyond the crass careerism of neoliberal policies and walk the necessary talk of educated hope, liberation, and human emancipation.—Donaldo Macedo, Distinguished Professor of Liberal Arts and Education, University of Massachusetts Boston

 

Henry A. Giroux currently holds the McMaster University Chair for Scholarship in the Public Interest in the English and Cultural Studies Department and a Distinguished Visiting Professorship at Ryerson University. A founding figure in the movement for critical pedagogy and author of more than sixty books, including America’s Education Deficit and the War on Youth, he is one of North America’s most influential public intellectuals. He recently received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Educational Research Association. Michael D. Yates is Associate Editor of Monthly Review Magazine and Editorial Director of Monthly Review Press.

 

North Korea’s Peace Feelers, 2014-5

Congressional Research Service, 2015

NK to Send Athletes and Cheering Squad to Asian Games—for Peace, 2014

NK’s Military Visits SK, 2014

Koreas Agree to More Talks, 2014

NK Offers to Suspend Tests and Negotiate Drills, 2015

 

CONGRESSIONAL RESEARCH SERVICE

North Korea: U.S. Relations, Nuclear Diplomacy, and Internal Situation, July 21, 2015, https://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/nuke/R41259.pdf  

     This summary gives a chronology of US/NK negotiations (or lack of ) from the US perspective of efforts to control and alter “North Korea’s intransigence.”  But NK insists upon recognition as a nuclear state, a point of view not explained by the CRS report.  That is, given the history of US nuclear violence and belligerence, and its acceptance and even assistance to some countries in developing their nuclear arsenal, NK demands its equal right to nuclear development.

     The solution is the elimination of all nuclear weapons.  The US should lead the way to nuclear zero.  Until then the planet is in danger as proliferation inevitably grows.   See OMNI’s nuclear weapons newsletters:

NUCLEAR WEAPONS ABOLITION NEWSLETTER # 21, FOCUS ON MARSHALL ISLANDS LAWSUITS.  March 13, 2015.
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology.
NUCLEAR WEAPONS ABOLITION DAY 2015.  June 2, 2015.

http://jamesrichardbennett.blogspot.com/20    

 

Nuclear Free Future Month NEWSLETTER AUGUST 2015:  Anti-Nuclear Organizations

NUCLEAR FREE AND INDEPENDENT PACIFIC DAY AND MARSHALL ISLANDS NUCLEAR VICTIMS DAY (now NUCLEAR VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS REMEMBRANCE DAY),  MARCH 1, 2014. NEWSLETTER #3. 

NUCLEAR VICTIMS AND SURVIVORS REMEMBRANCE DAY (formerly NUCLEAR FREE AND INDEPENDENT PACIFIC DAY AND MARSHALL ISLANDS NUCLEAR VICTIMS DAY), MARCH 1, 2015. NEWSLETTER #4 http://jamesrichardbennett.blogspot.com/2015/03/nuclear-victims-and-survivors.html

NUCLEAR WEAPONS  NUCLEAR ABOLITION NEWSLETTER # 19, May 25, 2014.
OMNI Building a Culture of PEACE, Justice, and Ecology.  Compiled by Dick Bennett.
(See #1, June 14, 2007; #2, January 8, 2008; #3 May 16, 2008; #4 June 10; 2009,  #5 July 23, 2009, ; #6 Sept. 21, 2009; #7 August 29, 2010; #8 April 11, 2011; #9 August 4, 2011; #10 Feb. 27, 2012; #11 April 4, 2012; #12 June 27, 2012; #13 July 27, 2012; #14 August 11, 2012; #15, Dec. 4, 2012; #16 July 20, 2013; #17 Dec. 17, 2014; #18 Feb. 8, 2014)

UN INTERNATIONAL DAY AGAINST NUCLEAR TESTS, AUGUST 29, 2015.  
NEWSLETTER #4.
Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology. 
 (#1 August 29, 2012; #2 August 29, 2013; #3 August 29, 2014).


I randomly discovered the following three items of NK peace initiatives which suggest possibilities for peaceful relations and negotiations.  I could find no reports of follow-up. Our State Dept. should step out front of the Pentagon with a large section of peacemakers ready to develop any hopeful niche.

“North Korea to Send Pep Squad to Games.”  Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (July 7, 2014).  NK will send athletes and a cheering squad to the Asian Games in September, with the aim “to promote reconciliation” and “to end hostility and mutual slandering.”  The NK statement also asked SK to scrap their military drills with “foreign forces” (US), which NK perceives to be “invasion rehearsal.”  --Dick 

With No Sign of Kim Jong-Un, a Top-Ranking General From North Korea Has Initiated Talks With the South
BBC News, Reader Supported News, Oct. 4, 2014
Excerpt: "North and South Korea have agreed to resume formal high-level talks that had effectively been suspended since February, reports from South Korea say."
READ MORE

 

Anna Fifield (Reporting from Kyoto, Japan, Washington Post).  “Koreas Agree to More Talks After North Team Drops In.”  Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Oct. 6, 2014).  North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un’s public disappearance for a month (he has not been seen since Sept. 3) makes this surprise visit of possibly the 2nd and 3rd in command in NK highly significant.  ”This is the highest level North Korean delegation to visit the South since 2009….”   NK has reached out recently around the world:  Its foreign minister spoke at the UN General Assembly last month and is now in Russia, and it is holding talks with Japan over abductions of several decades ago.  –Dick        




North Korea offers to suspend

nuclear tests if U.S. suspends military drills

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/10/us-northkorea-usa-drills-idUSKBN0KJ09F20150110
SEOUL Sat Jan 10, 2015 1:04pm EST
(Reuters) - North Korea said on Saturday it was willing to suspend nuclear tests if the United States agreed to call off annual military drills held jointly with South Korea, but Washington rejected the proposal as a veiled threat.
The offer, which the North's official KCNA news agency said was conveyed to Washington on Friday through "a relevant channel", follows an often repeated demand by Pyongyang for an end to the large-scale defensive drills by the allies.
"The message proposed (that) the U.S. contribute to easing tension on the Korean peninsula by temporarily suspending joint military exercises in South Korea and its vicinity this year," KCNA said in a report.

"(The message) said that in this case the DPRK is ready to take such a responsive step as temporarily suspending the nuclear test over which the U.S. is concerned," KCNA said, using the short form for the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the nuclear tests and military exercises were separate issues.
"The DPRK statement that inappropriately links routine US-ROK exercises to the possibility of a nuclear test by North Korea is an implicit threat," Psaki told reporters traveling with Secretary of State John Kerry in Europe.
The United States and South Korea have carried out the joint military exercises for roughly 40 years, she added.
Psaki said the United States remained open to dialogue with North Korea and urged Pyongyang to "immediately cease all threats, reduce tensions, and take the necessary steps toward denuclearization needed to resume credible negotiations."
North Korea has conducted three nuclear tests, the last in February 2013, and is under U.N. sanctions for defying international warnings not to set off atomic devices in pursuit of a nuclear arsenal, which Pyongyang calls its "sacred sword".
It often promises to call off nuclear and missile tests in return for comparable steps by Washington to ease tensions. It reached such a deal in February 2012 with the United States for an arms tests moratorium only to scrap it two months later.
The United States and South Korea have stressed that the annual drills, which in some years involved U.S. aircraft carriers, are purely defensive in nature, aimed at testing the allies' readiness to confront any North Korean aggression.
Tension peaked on the Korean peninsula in March 2013 when the North ratcheted up rhetoric during the annual drills, with Pyongyang threatening war and putting its forces in a state of combat readiness.
(Reporting by Jack Kim; Additional reporting by Arshad Mohammed in Munich; Editing byDoina Chiacu and Dominic Evans)


READING THE NEWS
ANTI-NK REPORTING IN US MAINSTREAM MEDIA: A FEW EXAMPLES EXAMINED from 2013 to present
Contents

Glenn Greenwald, Reading North Korea in US MEDIA

Glenn Greenwald: “North Korea/Sony Story Shows How Eagerly US Media Still Regurgitate Government Claims,” Jan. 1, 2015

 

Reading North Korea in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette by Dick Bennett.  Reports by newspapers like the AD-G reflect a national mainstream perspective because this newspaper employs both signed articles and articles drawn from other mainstream media compiled by AD-G staff. I have not analyzed (given an alternative account for) all of the reports, but I wanted to show the uniformity of the larger sample.  Analyzed reports are indicated by an asterisk.

*Jean H. Lee (AP).  “N. Korean Kids Learn Early to Hate U.S.”  ADG (June 24, 2013).  Analysis of Lee on N. Korea Teaching Youth to Hate USA.

Ten Reports of NK’s Nuclear Test of January 6, 2016.

*AD-G Staff.   “Nuke Test Sets off Boos, Doubts.  North Korea Blast Said Not Up
     To the Level of an H-bomb.”  UN and West Condemn and Threaten NK’s
     Hydrogen Bomb Test.  January 7,  2016 

*Staff.  “S. Korea Cautions N. Korea,”  SK Resumes Cross-Border Propaganda
      Broadcasts and Warns It Will Respond Sternly To Provocations.   January 8,
     2016.

Staff.  “China: Not Responsible for N. Korea.  It Blames U.S. for Destabilizing
     Region, Lays Burden for Change on All Nations.  January 9, 2016. 

Staff.  “U.N. Bans on N. Korea Unenforced.”  Of the 193 U.N. member states “fewer than 40” have turned in its reports on the 2013 sanctions.  Jan. 11, 2016.

*AD-G Editorial.  “No Surprises: Climax, Anti-Climax, Ka-boom.”  Jan. 12, 2016.

Staff.   “Kim Tells North Koreans to Develop Weapons,” Kim Jong Un Urges
     Scientists to Boost Nuclear Research To Prevent US Invasion, Jan. 12, 2016

Hyung-Jin Kim (AP).  “N. Korean Drone Prompts Warning.  “20 Machine-Gun Rounds Reportedly Fired as Flight Veers South of Border.”  Jan. 14, 2016.

Sam Kim (Bloomberg News).  “N. Korea States Terms to Halt Nuke Tests,”
  
    NK’s Deal for Stopping Nuclear Testing, Jan. 16, 2016   

*Isabel Reynolds (Bloomberg News).  “China Urged to Support Sanctions on
      North Korea.”   US Dep. Sec’t. of State Blinken Urges Stronger Sanctions,
     Jan. 17, 2016

*David E. Sanger (New York Times).  “Containing Pyongyang: The Problem is
      North Korea.”  Jan. 17, 2016.


Hostile Reporting by Associated Press and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.

Jean H. Lee (AP).  “N. Korean Kids Learn Early to Hate U.S.”  ADG (June 24, 2013).  [Using Google l could not find this article anywhere but in the ADG. –Dick] 

     This article, filling up half a page, hammers away at NK brainwashing their children to despise the “Yankee imperialists” or “American bastards” (“miguk nom”).  “The children run around beating up mock American soldiers and planes,” a teacher, Jon, said.   And reporter Lee writes: “For North Koreans, the systematic indoctrination of anti-Americanism starts as early as kindergarten and is as much a part of the curriculum as learning to count.”    

          State instilling hate in children or anybody is repulsive.   But reporter Lee fails to ask why the NK government would go to such extremes.   Nor does she observe the less but still powerful hate-mongering against NK by US mainstream media, including Lee’s article.   Doesn’t journalistic training in the US teach reporters to seek at least two sides of an issue, where they exist?  

        This major absence in Lee’s article reminded me of one half of John Gower’s book, War Without Mercy, which reports how the imperial Japanese war-mongers in power during WWII taught their population dehumanizing images and views of the US people.   But the other half of Gower’s book shows the US propagandizing similar denigrations of the Japanese.  WWII was a war without compassion on both sides.  And the conflict between NK and the US exhibits a similar absence of sympathetic imagination.  NK’s hostility is expressed more intensely.   But let’s inquire why that is.

     Again comparison with Japan/US history illuminates NK/US.  A complex history preceded both the war against Japan and the present conflict with NK, ignorance of which skews perception and judgment.   In No Choice But War Roland Worth, Jr., explains how US colonial competition with Japan over control of natural resources in the Pacific and East Asia led to the US/UK embargo of imports into Japan that led directly to Pearl Harbor.  And racism was deeply involved (part of the later merciless war), for the US cooperated with the French, British, and Dutch empires in East Asia, but opposed the Japanese.  At least, knowledge of events leading up to WWII in the Pacific qualifies such lethal slogans as “stab in the back” in describing the attack on Pearl in 1941.  --Dick

 




NK’S ANNOUNCEMENT OF HYDROGEN BOMB TESTING AN OPPORTUNITY FOR PEACE  by Dick Bennett.    A Discussion of “Nuke Test Sets Off Boos, Doubts: North Korea Blast Said Not Up to the Level of an H-Bomb.” Compiled by wire reports by staff of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (January 7, 2016), 1A, 6A.

I.              Reaction of World Powers to North Korea’s Hydrogen Bomb Test

The “world powers” reacted to NK’s declared hydrogen bomb test in two ways: skepticism, condemnation, and threatened violence.   None is helpful in quelling NK’s military preparations.  A dismissed hydrogen bomb test claim will only inflame President Kim Jong Un.    But for its own danger the hydrogen claim ought to be treated not with scoffing but with the utmost concern.   Every attempt possible to send a UN inspection team should be utilized.

      And condemnation has been tried and tried year after year, decade after decade, by those same “world powers” without success.  

      And sanctions aplenty.   Now the U.N. Security Council in an emergency session declared it would “take ‘further significant measures” with “new sanctions. . .in light of ‘the gravity of the violation.’”  This fourth nuclear test since 2006, in the words of UK Ambassador Rycroft was “’a reckless challenge to international norms of behavior and the authority of the U.N. Security Council.”  US Ambassador Samantha Power said “the international community must respond with ‘steadily increasing pressure.’”  

But this will avail nothing.  Following UK’s third test on Feb. 12, 2013, the UN applied four rounds of sanctions “aimed at reigning in the North’s nuclear and missile development, but Pyongyang has ignored them and moved ahead with programs to modernize its ballistic missiles and nuclear weapons.”  Japan’s U.N. Ambassador “said the Security Council will hurt its credibility if it fails to swiftly adopt a new resolution imposing ‘significant’ new measures against Pyongyang.”    And “leaders from across the region and around the world denounced the test.”  “South Korean  President Park Geun-hye ordered the military  to bolster its combined defense posture with U.S. forces.”  Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, ‘We absolutely cannot allow this.’”  China’s Ministry of foreign Affairs “denounced the tests” and pushed for “’denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.’”  But neither China nor Russia have supported more sanctions now, so far, such as restricting a “key procurement company” and limiting “the travel of senior North Korean officials.”  

     Even if all the nations denounced and demanded and threatened, the results will be, as in the past, unavailing.                        

     Nor has armed force helped. In fact, it has had the opposite effect of increasing NK fears and defense preparation.  Like the US, NK is a National Fear and Security State (NFSS).     After WWII the US established an arc of nuclear armed bases southeast to northeast, turning Japan into an enormous US base.  The US and South Korea perform joint “defensive” maneuvers near NK’s borders.  During the Korean War the US killed some 20 to 30% of NK’s population, an unprecedented percentage, by decimating 78 cities and thousands of her villages.   (http://www.globalresearch.ca/know-the-facts-north-korea-lost-close-to-30-of-its-population-as-a-result-of-us-bombings-in-the-1950s/22131).

       Now US Pentagon Secretary Ashton Carter and his SK counterpart, Han Min-Koo, were reported to have “agreed a North Korean nuclear test would be an ‘unacceptable and irresponsible provocation.”  Carter “reaffirmed “ US “commitment to defend South Korea, which he said includes ‘all aspects of the United States’ extended deterrence—referring to a long-standing U.S. promise to defend South Korea with nuclear weapons if necessary.”   

     The US has used many kinds and intensities of denunciations, sanctions, and armed threats to compel NK to do its bidding.  (See extensive documentation in preceding newsletters.).  Despite all this, NK continued to build rockets and now claims to have the tech for a hydrogen bomb.  In response the “world powers” have denounced, sanctioned, and threatened.  Insanity is repeating the same behavior expecting a different result?

     The people of this world need new ways of dealing with NK nuclear weapons.  If the threat of the world’s armed force has failed to persuade the leaders of NK, surely finally it’s time to try another method.   It’s time to try peace force.   This is our opportunity.

     

II.             What’s It Look Like from Pyongyang?

     In its final section, “North Cites Defense,” the newspaper attempted, in journalistic give-both-sides professionalism, to explain NK’s reasons for building a hydrogen bomb.   But it lasted for only three sentences, trying to see the world as an enemy sees it an unfamiliar task for US leaders and the mainstream media.  “North Korea’s state media called the test a self-defense measure against a potential U.S. attack.  ‘The [country’s] access to H-bomb of justice, standing against the U.S., the chieftain of aggression. . .is the legitimate right of a sovereign state for self-defense and a very just step no one can slander.’”  A citizen is quoted as saying, “’Since we have it, the U.S. will not attack us.”  A large crowd is mentioned celebrating the achievement.

     The rest of the concluding section, however, returns to the beginning two options of skepticism or sanctions: How credible is the test claim? What is the magnitude of NK’s new threat? What increase in punishment should the West apply?   The article ends with the efforts to determine the true nature of the test.

     So the moment offers a momentous opportunity to the peace movement to help turn such a dangerous situation into peace.   We could follow many paths—that of Gandhi or King, for example, all of which would be better than that of armed threatening, which has failed utterly.  The path I will track here is that of J. William Fulbright.   The final chapter of The Price of Empire (1989) is entitled “Seeing the World as Others See It.”  Here he summarizes his philosophy of peace through education for empathy.  The people of the world, and especially the leaders of the great powers, must learn to feel and understand other people’s cultures—why they think, react, and operate as they do.    Earlier in the book Fulbright explains the radical meaning of the empathic ABM treaty for peace: “Insofar as each side abandons the effort to make itself invulnerable to attack or retaliation, it also commits itself to peace and to the survival of the other’s power and ideology” (30).  In regard to nuclear weapons, nations—again, particularly the leaders—must understand the necessity of cooperation to survival.   What Dr. Jerome Frank recommended in regard to the Soviets, if we wished to survive, is to “do the opposite of what we were then doing as a country; that instead of challenging them on every occasion, we should seek out ways to do things together” (194).

 

AD-G Editorial.  “No Surprises: Climax, Anti-Climax, Ka-boom.”  Jan. 12, 2016.

     Opening with a reminder of the NK invasion of SK in 1950 and the present “bluff after counter-bluff,” in a fit of spleen the editor attacks “irresolute” President Obama , who “continues to babble pointlessly even while assembling a great show of force,”  criticizes our useless allies, and faintly praises China for “abandoning” Pyongyang, proving “there is no honor among aggressors.”  What would the editor have Obama do?  Have a policy.  He implies a resolute policy, yet he disdains the President’s childish show of force, which the Kim Jong-Un particularly dislikes.  In fact President Obama is following the old playbook of US strong-arm policy, threatening military shock and awe which blocking more avenues of economic access and development, as the US did with Cuba and other nations.  Diplomacy?   The US does not have formal diplomatic relations with NK, the nation above all other nations with which it should be talking.   The U.S. should be using every means to understand  North Korea's paranoid, mercurial leader, Kim Jong-Un, who interprets B-52s at his border as belligerent provocations, planes that laid waste to NK cities during the Korean War and to Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia during the Vietnam War..  (Is Kim paranoid?)

      Threatening and sanctioning have failed to curb NK’s leader.   Listen to lthe peace movement.    A peace policy could resemble.the one suggested by Jeremy Corbyn, leader of Britain’s opposition Labor Party, for the creation of a communications channel with the Islamic State in hopes of ending the war in Syria,  
imitating the one created with the Irish Republican Army that helped end the conflict in Northern Ireland.

     A peace policy could be teaching both IS and US Muhammad’s policy of  hilm—forbearance, patience, mercy.  Before we bomb, have the combatants read the life of Muhammad?   Have our bombers from Obama to stealth and drone pilots read a line of the Qur’an?  Has our State Department organized meetings of Muslims, Christians, Jews and others to try to understand IS?  Karen Armstrong writes at the end of her biography, Muhammad: A Prophet for Our Time:  “The Prophet, whose aim was peace and practical compassion…”   The US should slaughter before trying to enable  surely the majority of Muslims who agree with their Prophet?

 

 

*Isabel Reynolds (Bloomberg News).  “China Urged to Support Sanctions on
      North Korea.”   US Dep. Sec’t. of State Blinken Urges Stronger Sanctions,
     Jan. 17, 2016.

Antony Blinken is the US voice for “tougher sanctions against North Korea at the U.N. Security Council,” and he urges China to support them.  NK must suffer “significant consequences”  “the early adoption of the strongest resolution possible.”   But surely most people of the world know the nuclear bomb danger could be ended by the US agreeing to abolish its own.  Unquestionably we all know we are in mortal danger so long as the bombs exist.  In the meantime, the US huffs and puffs against an “enemy’s” nuclear arms, as though the US presidents did not remember they had helped several nuclear powers acquire them.   The North Koreans know it, fear it, and fear too the so far impregnable hypocrisy of US double standards.

      We also learn that SK had resumed propaganda broadcasts across the border, and the US flew “a B-52 bomber south of the border in a show of force.”   And NK?  It offered to negotiate.  It offered “to stop nuclear testing if the U.S. suspends joint military drills with South Korea.”  Score: US threatening and organizing for punishment; NK open to discussion and not asking for much:  just stop threatening us with your joint maneuvers.  Blinken pluckily declared “the U.S. remained open to dialogue, but would judge North Korea by its actions, not its words,” just as Kim Jong Un was doing.

*David E. Sanger (New York Times).  “Containing Pyongyang: The Problem is North Korea.”  Jan. 17, 2016.

     Eleven days after Kim Jong-Un claimed the successful testing of a hydrogen bomb, the AD-G published this tenth tenth article on the apparent feat.   It was embellished by a painting of Kim Jong-Un as a nuclear missile, for the subject of the article is North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.  As the title declares, someone must contain the Problem—Kim Jong-Un.  It’s a familiar scenario: remember Ho Chi Minh.   The “world’s most unpredictable regime could credibly threaten South Korea, Japan, American forces in the Pacific [Hawaii!] and, eventually, the West Coast of the United States”!!    So: “What do you do with a problem like North Korea?”   He rejects “strategic patience,” leading to “acquiescence.”  The State Department’s Sidney Seiler did prepare proposals for resuming negotiations much like the process with Iran’s nuclear program.  Stephen Bosworth, Obama’s special envoy for North Korea, argued that if we could negotiate with Iran and Cuba we could meet with Kim Jong-Un.  But the initiative “went nowhere.”  Why?  You know the answer.   The administration “would not talk to North Korea unless the North agreed” to “complete nuclear disarmament.”

     So NK’s arms continue to increase and to be improved, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction continues to expand, and the threat to the US and its allies multiplies.   “. . .nuclear weapons are the country’s insurance policy.” Until, that is, it has assurances of safety from nuclear attack from the country that has used a nuclear bomb twice and has threatened to use them a dozen times.  The country that is producing improved weapons just for NK.  According to William Broad and David Sanger (The New York Times, AD-G 1-17-16, 2A), the first precision-guided atom bomb built by the US “was designed with problems like North Korea in mind” (tunnels).  And to Kim Jong-Un, President Obama is untrustworthy.  (Let’s suppose Kim Jong-Un knows what “cant” means.)  President Barack Obama advocates nuclear-zero, a ‘nuclear –free world,” but the US has more bombs than the rest of the world combined.    The improvements do not nullify his “pledge to make no new nuclear arms,” yet the new designs are new weapons.  Obama demands NK not acquire hydrogen bombs but does not offer to eliminate US nuclear bombs.   Obama’s officials argue that modernized—more accurate and reliable--weapons will make “their use less likely because of the threat they can pose, but that old argument from the sixties covers up first strike capability.  The double-standard, arising from the arrogance of US “Exceptionalism,” aggravates the entire world, but US power generally restrains overt opposition, but not NK.   

      So what to do with the Problem?   The peace movement has long offered solutions never seriously tried by our NFSS.   Former Senator J. William Fulbright set forth the basic way:  The US must “change our manner of thinking.”  What he said about the Soviet Union (SU) and the US applies equally well to NK and US:  “Soviet and American leaders are beginning to recognize the destructive futility of the arms race and are beginning to see some advantages in cooperation. . .in more peaceful, productive forms of competition” (The Price of Empire, “Afterword: On Changing Our Manner of Thinking,” 225).

 

 

 


J
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Contents #1  July 19, 2012

US MEDIA HOSTILITY

Introduction:   Dick Bennett

THREE VIEWS OF NORTH KOREA

Sunoo

Beal

Cumings

 

Contents North Korea Newsletter #2,  Three Parts: History, Media, Literature, April 2012?

WHAT HAPPENED, WHAT’S HAPPENING?

Bruce Cumings, North Korea (2004)

Garner (2010), Rev. of North Korea

Cumings’ LTE NY Review of Books (2007)

Cumings, et al., Inventing the Axis of Evil (2005)

Cumings:  Korean War Games (2013)

Articles from Google

NYT Op-Ed, 3/11/13, by Amb. Donald Gregg, “Reach Out”

US MEDIA ANALYSIS:  Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (9 articles examined)

Analysis of media reporting requires knowing the subject.   My media criticism was made possible by Bruce Cumings’ research or that of similar scholars independent of US dogmas and myths regarding “enemies.”

U.S. and S. Korea Military Drills 2012

US/SK Drills 2013

US/SK Pact Against NK Provocations

What Do You Do With Crazy?  Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Editorial (March 28, 2013)

Who Cranked Up First?  US/SK Drills vs. NK, and Newspaper Nationalism,

 Klug, Nukes

Sang-Hun, SK Quick Response

Korea

US Shoring Up

Thanks to J. William Fulbright

 

NORTH KOREAN LITERATURE

Dick Bennett, OMNI Book Forum: Literature of US Enemies

   The Way to War

    A Way to Peace

     Literature from the “Axis of Evil”

Google Search

 

END NORTH KOREA NEWSLETTER #3, January 19, 2016