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Washington’s Message to North Korea

Washington’s Message to North Korea: Denuclearize, Accept Neoliberalism and the “Vietnam Miracle”. Meanwhile Kim Remains on the “CIA Assassination List”

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was in Pyongyang on a two day visit “ to press leader Kim Jong-un for details on his plans for denuclearisation.”

It was a polite and courteous welcome, Korean style.

But with Pompeo in charge of negotiations, what are the prospects?

Back in October 2017, Pompeo  hinted in no uncertain terms when he was head of the CIA:

“If Kim Jong-un suddenly dies, don’t ask me about it … “

“With respect, if Kim Jong-un should vanish, given the history of the CIA, I’m just not going to talk about it,”

“We are going to become a much more vicious agency…” 

And that’s the guy who’s in charge of “negotiating peace” with North Korea.

Fruitful negotiations? According to the New York Times, there was “distrust on both sides. ...The harsh North Korean reaction may have been a time-tested negotiating tactic” (emphasis added) intimating that the DPRK still constitutes a threat to America’s national security. But what about the national security of North Korea which lost more than a quarter of its population as result of US led bombings (1950-53)?

Pyongyang negotiates with a U.S Secretary of State (former CIA Chief) who casually announced (of course “with respect”) that Kim Jong-un was on the CIA’s assassination list.

Not surprisingly, hours following Pompeo’s departure,  Pyongyang accused the Trump administration of pushing a “unilateral and gangster-like demand for denuclearization.” A mild understatement.

The DPRK statement was most likely directed against Mike Pompeo’s demands formulated behind closed doors during the Pyongyang encounter. According to the DPRK foreign ministry spokesman:

“the U.S. betrayed the spirit of last month’s summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by making such unilateral demands regarding “CVID,” or the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea.”

“We expected that the U.S. side would come with productive measures conducive to building trust in line with the spirit of the North-U.S. summit and (we) considered providing something that would correspond to them,”

“It would be the shortest path toward realization of the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula to … boldly break away from the failure-ridden methods of the past, push for whole new approaches and seek to resolve problems one by one based on trust and in a phased and synchronous principle,”

North Korea Should Opt for the “Vietnam Miracle”

Pompeo casually called upon North Korea to adopt the “Vietnam miracle” of improved ties with the US.

Lest we forget, Hanoi’s acceptance (conditional upon the lifting of the US embargo in 1993) was conducive to the transformation of Vietnam into a new cheap labour frontier of the global economy, indebted and impoverished, not to mention “regime change” and a military cooperation agreement with the US against China.

This is what happened to Vietnam in an agreement signed with the US in 1993: (author’s field research conducted in Vietnam in 1991, and 1994):

Vietnam never received war reparations payments from the U.S. for the massive loss of life and destruction, yet an agreement reached in Paris in 1993 required Hanoi to recognize the debts of the defunct Saigon regime of General Thieu. This agreement is in many regards tantamount to obliging Vietnam to compensate Washington for the costs of war.

Moreover, the adoption of sweeping macro-economic reforms under the supervision of the Bretton Woods institutions was also a condition for the lifting of the U.S. embargo. These free market reforms now constitute the Communist Party’s official doctrine. With the normalization of diplomatic relations with Washington in 1994, reference to America’s brutal role in the war is increasingly considered untimely and improper.

No agent orange or steel pellet bombs, no napalm, no toxic chemicals: a new phase of economic and social destruction has unfolded. The achievements of past struggles and the aspirations of an entire nation are undone and erased almost with a stroke of the pen.

Debt conditionality and structural adjustment under the trusteeship of international creditors constitute in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, an equally effective and formally nonviolent instrument of recolonization and impoverishment affecting the livelihood of millions of people.

(For further details see Michel Chossudovsky,  Who Won the Vietnam War, Peace Magazine, 1995, chapter in The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order,Global Research, 1997, 2003)

Pompeo’s  “Vietnam miracle” message to Pyongyang under the threat of military aggression is to adopt neoliberalism and the IMF’s deadly “economic medicine”, forget about US war crimes, phase out your social programs, privatize and open up to foreign investors.

And America will help you! Meanwhile, Kim remains on the “CIA assassination list”.


Michel Chossudovsky, GRTV Interview from Seoul, South Korea, June 14, 2018


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