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The Korean War and Crimes against Humanity: Forgotten When We Need to Remember

NOVANEWS

The world is so constructed that unless we look at what’s happened in the past, we won’t be able to deal with the present.

 

“ON JANUARY 3 [1951] AT 10:30 AM, AN ARMADE OF 82 FLYING FORTRESSES LOOSED THEIR DEATH-DEALING LOAD ON THE CITY OF PYONGYANG. … 

“THE NUMBER OF INHABITANTS OF PYONGYANG KILLED BY BOMB SPLINTERS, BURNT ALIVE AND SUFFOCATED BY SMOKE IS INCALCULABLE, SINCE NO COMPUTATION IS POSSIBLE. SOME FIFTY THOUSAND INHABITANTS REMAIN IN THE CITY, WHICH BEFORE THE WAR HAD A POPULATION OF FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND.” [UN Repository]

With tension ever mounting in the Korean peninsular, all the higher every year with US bombers conducting annual drills over South Korea within direct strike range of North Korea, it is notable and deeply regrettable the West has lost all sight and memory of the enormous suffering of the Korean people in the Korean War 1950-53.

How can we ever in the West begin to understand the large scale militarisation of North Korea if, in the US and UK in particular, political assessment and judgement takes no account of Korean history?

North Korea was as a matter of historical fact through the Korean war carpet bombed for three years by US bombers. There was, after the first months of the war, mounting air defences in northern most North Korea bordering China, including Russian MIG fighters but, none-the-less, US B29s bombing was for most of the war free-range over the whole peninsular

To quote from testament from both sides,

“The US airforce destroyed every town and village in north Korea”. “The destruction was enormous”.

In the  words of Air Force General Curtis LeMay:

“We burned down every town in North Korea …. over a period of three years or so we killed – what – 20 percent of the population”.

And this including the very worst of it large scale use of napalm. To quote Senator John Glenn, then a major in the US air force before becoming an astronaut:

“We did a lot of napalm work dropping fuel tanks loaded with napalm, flying in low, called a Nape Scrape”.

Napalm, jellied petroleum and phosphorus. No-one likes to spell it out but people quite simply burn to death.

In all some 600,000 tons of bombs were dropped on the towns and villages and cities of the country. That is well over a million concussion bombs, along with 40 million gallons of high octane napalm. And to add to this, in the final stages of the war, mass bombing (1,514 sorties) of Sui-ho hydro-electric and irrigation dams (the world’s fourth largest) on the Yalu River then flooding and destroying huge areas of northern farmland and crops.

“Five reservoirs were hit, flooding thousands of acres of farmland, inundating whole towns and laying waste to the essential food source for millions of North Koreans.10 Only emergency assistance from China, the USSR, and other socialist countries prevented widespread famine”. [Asia-Pacific Journal 2009]

In the words of Professor Charles Armstrong, Director of the Centre for Korean Research, Columbia University:

“The physical destruction and loss of life on both sides was almost beyond comprehension, but the North suffered the greater damage, due to American saturation bombing and the scorched-earth policy of the retreating UN forces”.

That then is the horror of the brutal Korean war. Over two million Korean civilians died including many tens of thousands of children. On US pilot testament destruction was “indiscriminate”.

Is it then any wonder North Korea turns out a highly militarised state, deeply loathing the “Yankees”, raining bombs and death and destruction on their towns and villages for three years ?

No-one can deny the one-party state authoritarianism of North Korea but then we surely have to ask how much of this huge militarisation has been created by the horrors of warfare, all the more so large scale bombing impacting on civilian populations. As also not to forget, until the end of WW2, Korea suffered 35 long years of brutal occupation by the Japanese. Over one million forced deportations, suppression of Korean culture and identity, deaths in Japanese labour camps estimated at over half a million.

In all Korea was a long suffering country for many decades, the very worst not forgotten by the Koreans the enormous destructive US bombing ’50-53.

International Perspective – East or West trauma is not forgotten.

The US, and New York in particular, were devastated by the attack on the Trade Centre towers in 2001. Terrible shock traumatic destruction with 2,996 deaths and 6,000 injuries. And that huge and deep trauma living on to this day and for whole lifetimes in those directly affected, all who lived and live in New York, and indeed in the consciousness of the whole of the US, and the world.

But the West forgets and is oblivious or indifferent to the suffering visited on the Korean people 1950-53. And that is bombing and destruction and loss of life of many thousands of Trade Centre attacks. Not loss of life from air attacks on armies in combat but bombing of civilian populations in towns and cities to “terrorise” a country into submission. That was, on all the evidence, in the face of huge Chinese troop influx into the peninsular, US military policy.

In the end you have to say the US and West have, historically, clearly played a hugely determinate role in the creation of the deeply alarming militarised state of Korea which the West now condemn. Three years of carpet bombing and loss of life, and this following brutal Japanese occupation, surely provides an understandable rationale why a country would become formidably militarised. Defence of the country the all-consuming priority.

For the people of North Korea the mass killing and destruction of civilians a holocaust against their people. For them, United States enormous war crimes and atrocities never brought to any court of justice.

Instead the great and hugely admired US East Asia commanding general of the time, General Douglas MacArthur, returned home in 1951 to a huge New York ticker-tape heroes welcome. And this is MacArthur who at the time advocated dropping atomic bombs on “five Chinese cities” to get the war over and unite Korea.

“His [MacArthur’s) plan was to drop between 30 and 50 atomic bombs-strung across the neck of Manchuria, and spread behind us, from the Sea of Japan to the Yellow Sea – a belt of radioactive cobalt for at least 60 years there would be no invasion of Korea from the North.” [B-29s Over Korea – Wayland Mayo]

History Repeating – self same military mind-sets gathering again.

And now we have history on the brink of repeating yet again. The whole situation enormously high risk and dangerous with Secretary of State Tillerson indicating in his view, as he did in discussion April 12th with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov over Crimea and Syria, “history is not the issue”. What matters, as Tillerson said, is dealing with “current threats”. Mr Tillerson excluding all relevance of historical causes and motivations why North Korea is so vehemently anti-American.

Foreign Ministr Sergy Lavrov:

“As far as Syria is concerned and Bashar al-Assad, we talked today about the history, and Rex [Tillerson] said that he was a new man and is not interested so much in history; he wants to deal with today’s problems. But the world is so constructed that unless we look at what’s happened in the past, we won’t be able to deal with the present”. [US Dept of State – Lavrov-Tillerson meeting 12th April]

Since then the Secretary of State has made clear, in the UN Security Council 28th April, “the time for strategic patience is over”. And all the more deeply alarming telling the Council there will be “no negotiations” until North Korea “first” takes “concrete steps” to shut down all missile activity and “de-nuclearise”. For Tillerson, and UK Foreign Secretary Johnson, in considerable contrast to the views of China and Russia, the reasons why North Korea has become one of the most militarised states in the world are not relevant. The Korean War with 3 million dead not counted in contemporary political calculus.

And so it is the West makes no effort to understand another nation’s history then history repeats. But then in the US and in the UK the Korean war is known as the Forgotten War. Forgotten for one reason as in burying memory of large scale war crimes against civilian populations. Horror for civilian population, horror for combatant troops. The West in so many ways in denial of a war that was “long ago” but then, for the Koreans, as alive today as terror and fear of the US and West as sixty years ago.

And from the side of the West, to face up to responsibility for the huge numbers of civilian casualties from bombing of Korean towns and cities a US governments would, as at Nuremberg, face the self same charges the West brought against the Nazi regime after WW2: Crimes against Humanity. War crimes against civilian populations.

Understanding the other side – understanding ourselves.

Such Human Rights courts of justice not on any agenda anywhere in the West a very good start to ease tension would be, as is being called for by China and Russia, high level meetings between all major parties. And in this respect, at the heart of the whole current tension, it is of the deepest concern that in the West it is rarely brought to light that the US has repeatedly turned down North Korea offers to end nuclear weapon development.

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That will come as a shock to many but negotiation records show that offers have been put forward by North Korea back to the Clinton administration in the 1990s but then rejected by the US as, in return, North Korea asks that the US and South Korea end annual large-scale “warfare exercises” on their borders. The most recent offer 2015:

“North Korea announces offer to suspend nuclear testing …in exchange for the United States and South Korea calling off annual joint-military exercises slated for spring 2015. The United States rejects the offer.” [Arms Control Association]

As of May 2017 Warfare exercises including the newly installed US  anti-missile THAAD system, low flying bombers within immediate strike range of North Korea, together with an aircraft carrier battle fleet, including who knows how many nuclear strike submarines, in Korean off-shore waters.

North Korea finds all this US “menace”, as both China and Russia have repeatedly emphasised, hugely threatening (as indeed do the Chinese). And one would think, if it was our own country, terrifying. For UK just compare the 1940 blitz with cities across the UK from London to Liverpool ablaze. British people do not forget. And for the US, missiles on Cuba in the early ’60s and that very nearly leading to world nuclear war. But on the North Korean offers to de-nuclearise the US repeatedly refuses quid pro quo de-escalation with parallel negotiations.

On scores for belligerance the US, and others in the West including the UK, could surely not be higher. On four counts: enormous destruction of North Korean civilian population by vastly superior US air forces 1950-53 (albeit bannered under the “UN”) ; repeated US refusal of North Korea’s offers of quid pro quo de-escalation of forces on both sides; US bringing even more over-whelming military force into South Korea and off-shore seas ; US and UK calling for and indeed demanding, through the UN, imposition of more and more powerful sanctions, most crippling closing international access to sources of financial exchange. This then closing off (blockading) routes for trade driving North Korea into deeper isolation and poverty.

Threats mounting on both sides, racking up more and more tension and fear. As in all conflicts so much mirroring, of behaviour, both sides then condemning the other. Defence and survival on one side seen by the other as threat and belligerence. In the case of North Korea desperation leading who knows where.

The enormous tragedy for Korea – for all Korean people.

In all an enormous tragedy for all Koreans. Bitterly and deeply ironically both sides in Korea want to unite, as one Korea. Huge loss of life and huge casualties, three years of war with estimates of over three million dead, both sides fighting to “unite their country”, only to end up summer 1953 exactly where they started on the 38th parallel. Such utter futility. The pity and insanity of war at its most tragic.

As matters stand now, with increasingly intense US and South Korean military exercises each year, in the face of ever increasing North Korean nuclear strike capacity, the whole situation is clearly becoming progressively more precarious year by year for the whole peninsular, and for the world. High level careful communication is clearly needed, as repeatedly promoted by the Chinese. Not warships and missiles, from either side, ending up mirroring each other into destruction.

For the North Koreans, how ever hollow we view their society, however much it appears or indeed is a sham, the people clearly have enormous pride. In so many ways (the great buildings and missiles and military parades) trying to show to the world how much they have achieved, and that is achieved from ground zero 1953 total destruction of their country.

And this achievement in huge contest and rivalry, with powerful national jealousies, between North and South. The two sides the great misfortune to end up on the world’s most volatile tectonic plates between communism and capitalism. Both sides showcasing what their “side” has achieved: the South hosts the Olympics and FIFA World Cup, the North parades and launches missiles. This whole psychological cauldron is surely what the West needs to understand and respect.

Respect Fuche – self-reliance – the founding ideology of the country. However badly from the West we view North Korea, to the country’s credit they made huge and indeed heroic efforts to provide universal education, health care, and housing, for all their population. Its not all bad, unless we in the West will only see it that way: esse est percipi -thinking makes it so.

SOURCES:

Interviews and Transcripts

Korean War – Part 19 – Use of Napalm … Senator John Glenn – in 1950 a major in US Air Force : “We did a lot of napalm work … dropping fuel tanks loaded with napalm .. we call it a Nape Scrape” “You could strafe them, bomb them, napalm them. Quite a variety of weapons.

Korean War – Part 22 – bombing of North Korea .. the United States Air Force destroyed every town and city in Norht Korea. Kim Un Sun – factory worker – “Lets make bullets of revenge to give to the Americans”.

North Korea Remembers US War Crimes – what the West wants to forget … the view of North Korea : “Brutal atrocity of US Imperial Aggressors”.

Air Force General Curtis LeMay – “… we burned down every town in North Korea …”

Air&Space 2015 – How the Korean war almost went nuclear … Operation Hudson Harbor …

B-29s Over Korea – US Planned to A-Bomb N. Korea: [MaArthur’s] plan was to drop between 30 and 50 atomic bombs-strung across the neck of Manchuria, and spread behind us, from the Sea of Japan to the Yellow Sea- a belt of radioactive cobalt for at least 60 years there would be no invasion of Korea from the North

Attacks on the Sui-ho Dam … the hydroelectric targets were subjected to attacks totalling 1,514 sorties.

Asia-Pacific Journal 2009: Professor Charles Armstrong “Five reservoirs were hit, flooding thousands of acres of farmland, inundating whole towns and laying waste to the essential food source for millions of North Koreans.10 Only emergency assistance from China, the USSR, and other socialist countries prevented widespread famine”.

The Destruction and Reconstruction of North Korea – 2009: Professor Charles Armstrong, “The US Air Force estimated that North Korea’s destruction was proportionately greater than that of Japan in the Second World War, where the US had turned 64 major cities to rubble and used the atomic bomb to destroy two others. American planes dropped 635,000 tons of bombs on Korea — that is, essentially on North Korea –including 32,557 tons of napalm”.
“The DPRK government never forgot the lesson of North Korea’s vulnerability to American air attack,…”

New York Times – Choe Sang-Hun – 2015: North Korea offers US Deal to Halt Nuclear Tests …

Arms Control Association – 2015: North Korea announces offer to suspend nuclear testing …in exchange for the United States and South Korea calling off annual joint-military exercises slated for spring 2015. The United States rejects the offer.

12th April 2017 Tillerson Lavrov Press Conference on Syria – Lavrov emphasises “historical context” – Tillerson dismisses history with emphasis on “current threats”.

US Dept of State – 12th April 2017 Tillerson Lavrov Transcript:  Foreign Ministr Lavrov : “As far as Syria is concerned and Bashar al-Assad, we talked today about the history, and Rex said that he was a new man and is not interested so much in history; he wants to deal with today’s problems. But the world is so constructed that unless we look at what’s happened in the past, we won’t be able to deal with the present”.

28th April 2017 – UN Security Council Meeting on Korea … full meeting.

US Dept of State – 28th April 2017 – Secretry Tillerson Statement to UN Security Council: “The policy of strategic patience is over”. Call for economic and financial isolation of DPRK. North Korea must take concrete steps to end illegal weapons programs before we can even consider talks.

NY Times – Choe Sang-Hun – 2nd May 2017 – US Antimissile System Goes Live in South Korea ….

CGTN – 2nd May 2017 – Us B-1B Lancer bombers fly over South Korea angering DPRK

Commentary and Analysis

2012 – Washing Post John Tirman : Why do we ignore the civilians killed in American wars? “Estimates of Korean war deaths …. widely believed to have taken 3 million lives, about half of them civilian.”

Global Research 2010 – Professor Michel Chossudovsky: “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.” “US Sources acknowledge 1.55 million civilian deaths in North Korea”.

Wikipedia Civilian Casualty Ratio – Korean War: The median total estimated Korean civilian deaths in the Korean War is 2,730,000.

March 2015 – Washington Post fomer reporter Blaine Harden: The US war crime North Korea won’t forget – “War reporters rarely mentioned civilian casualties from U.S. carpet-bombing. It is perhaps the most forgotten part of a forgotten war”. “People in the North feel backed into a corner and threatened”.

Boundless – World History – Korea under Japanese Rule: The 1910-1945 Japanese occupation of Korea was marked by the suppression of Korean culture and heritage, mass exploitation of the Korean labor, and violent repressions against the Korean independence movement.

Vox – Max Fisher August 2015 – Americans have forgotten what we did to North Korea:  You can glimpse both the humanitarian and political consequences in an alarmed diplomatic cable that North Korea’s foreign minister sent to the United Nations .. in January 1951 : THE NUMBER OF INHABITANTS OF PYONGYANG KILLED BY BOMB SPLINTERS, BURNT ALIVE AND SUFFOCATED BY SMOKE IS INCALCULABLE, SINCE NO COMPUTATION IS POSSIBLE. SOME FIFTY THOUSAND INHABITANTS REMAIN IN THE CITY, WHICH BEFORE THE WAR HAD A POPULATION OF FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND.

UN DAG Repostory – source of 1951 diplomatic cable: English copy of cable.

Democracy Now – April 2017 – Noam Chomsky on North Korea ….”China and North Korea proposed to freeze the North Korean missile and nuclear weapons systems. And the U.S. instantly rejected it … “

Posted in USA, North Korea0 Comments

Fukushima: Japanese Government Guilty of Destroying Pacific Ocean

The Japanese Government has been ordered to pay tens of millions in compensation after it was found guilty of negligence causing the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Reports also claim that the ruling could also include other pacific nations like the US who could also be eligible for compensation from the Japanese government who has effectively poisoned the entire Pacific Ocean and damaged the world’s food chain beyond repair. YNW reports: The nuclear plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co. Holdings, was also found guilty of negligence that led to the disaster that nuclear experts say will likely continue affecting wildlife and humans for the next 250,000 years.

Friday’s stunning ruling by the Maebashi District Court was the first to recognize negligence by the state and Tepco. Previously the Japanese government and Tepco, a subsidiary of General Electric, had strongly denied any wrongdoing, arguing they were the victims of bad luck. The judge called the massive tsunami “predictable” and said the major nuclear disaster, which is responsible for 300 tons of radioactive water entering the Pacific Ocean every single day, could have been avoided. According to Japan Times:

The district court ordered the two to pay damages totaling ¥38.55 million to 62 of 137 plaintiffs from 45 households located near the plant, which suffered a triple meltdown caused by the tsunami, awarding ¥70,000 to ¥3.5 million in compensation to each plaintiff. The plaintiffs had demanded the state and Tepco pay compensation of ¥11 million each — a total of about ¥1.5 billion — over the loss of local infrastructure and psychological stress they were subjected to after being forced to relocate to unfamiliar surroundings.

Citing a government estimate released in July 2002, the court said in the ruling that

“Tepco was capable of foreseeing several months after (the estimate) that a large tsunami posed a risk to the facility and could possibly flood its premises and damage safety equipment, such as the backup power generators.”

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It pointed out that the state should have ordered Tepco to take bolstered preventive measures, and criticized the utility for prioritizing costs over safety. Fukushima radiation has contaminated the entire Pacific Ocean. The nuclear disaster has contaminated the world’s largest ocean in only five years and it’s still leaking 300 tons of radioactive waste every day. According to a True Activist report:

Radioactive Debris from Fukushima approaching North America’s western coast.

If that weren’t bad enough, Fukushima continues to leak an astounding 300 tons of radioactive waste into the Pacific Ocean every day. It will continue do so indefinitely as the source of the leak cannot be sealed as it is inaccessible to both humans and robots due to extremely high temperatures. It should come as no surprise, then, that Fukushima has contaminated the entire Pacific Ocean in just five years. This could easily be the worst environmental disaster in human history and it is almost never talked about by politicians, establishment scientists, or the news. It is interesting to note that TEPCO is a subsidiary partner with General Electric (also known as GE), one of the largest companies in the world, which has considerable control over numerous news corporations and politicians alike. Could this possibly explain the lack of news coverage Fukushima has received in the last five years? There is also evidence that GE knew about the poor condition of the Fukushima reactors for decades and did nothing. This led 1,400 Japanese citizens to sue GE for their role in the Fukushima nuclear disaster – and now have been found guilty.

Even if we can’t see the radiation itself, some parts of North America’s western coast have been feeling the effects for years. Not long after Fukushima, fish in Canada began bleeding from their gills, mouths, and eyeballs. This “disease” has been ignored by the government and has decimated native fish populations, including the North Pacific herring. Elsewhere in Western Canada, independent scientists have measured a 300% increase in the level of radiation. According to them, the amount of radiation in the Pacific Ocean is increasing every year. Why is this being ignored by the mainstream media? It might have something to do with the fact that the US and Canadian governments have banned their citizens from talking about Fukushima so “people don’t panic.”

Further south in Oregon, USA, starfish began losing legs and then disintegrating entirely when Fukushima radiation arrived there in 2013. Now, they are dying in record amounts, putting the entire oceanic ecosystem in that area at risk. However, government officials say Fukushima is not to blame even though radiation in Oregon tuna tripled after Fukushima. In 2014, radiation on California beaches increased by 500 percent. In response, government officials said that the radiation was coming from a mysterious “unknown” source and was nothing to worry about. However, Fukushima is having a bigger impact than just the West coast of North America. Scientists are now saying that the Pacific Ocean is already radioactive and is currently at least 5-10 times more radioactive than when the US government dropped numerous nuclear bombs in the Pacific during and after World War II. If we don’t start talking about Fukushima soon, we could all be in for a very unpleasant surprise.

Posted in Japan0 Comments

The Universal Lesson of East Timor

NOVANEWS
 

Filming undercover in East Timor in 1993 I followed a landscape of crosses: great black crosses etched against the sky, crosses on peaks, crosses marching down the hillsides, crosses beside the road. They littered the earth and crowded the eye. 

The inscriptions on the crosses revealed the extinction of whole families, wiped out in the space of a year, a month, a day. Village after village stood as memorials. 

Kraras is one such village. Known as the “village of the widows”, the population of 287 people was murdered by Indonesian troops.

Using a typewriter with a faded ribbon, a local priest had recorded the name, age, cause of death and date of the killing of every victim. In the last column, he identified the Indonesian battalion responsible for each murder. It was evidence of genocide. 

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Kraras massacre

I still have this document, which I find difficult to put down, as if the blood of East Timor is fresh on its pages. 

On the list is the dos Anjos family. 

In 1987, I interviewed Arthur Stevenson, known as Steve, a former Australian commando who had fought the Japanese in the Portuguese colony of East Timor in 1942. He told me the story of Celestino dos Anjos, whose ingenuity and bravery had saved his life, and the lives of other Australian soldiers fighting behind Japanese lines. 

Steve described the day leaflets fluttered down from a Royal Australian Air Force plane;

“We shall never forget you,” the leaflets said.

Soon afterwards, the Australians were ordered to abandon the island of Timor, leaving the people to their fate.

When I met Steve, he had just received a letter from Celestino’s son, Virgillo, who was the same age as his own son. Virgillo wrote that his father had survived the Indonesian invasion of East Timor in 1975, but he went on:

“In August 1983, Indonesian forces entered our village, Kraras. They looted, burned and massacred, with fighter aircraft overhead. On 27 September 1983, they made my father and my wife dig their own graves and they machine-gunned them. My wife was pregnant.” 

The Kraras list is an extraordinary political document that shames Indonesia’s Faustian partners in the West and teaches us how much of the world is run. The fighter aircraft that attacked Kraras came from the United States; the machine guns and surface-to-air missiles came from Britain; the silence and betrayal came from Australia. 

The priest of Kraras wrote on the final page:

“To the capitalist governors of the world, Timor’s petroleum smells better than Timorese blood and tears. Who will take this truth to the world? … It is evident that Indonesia would never have committed such a crime if it had not received favourable guarantees from [Western] governments.” 

As the Indonesian dictator General Suharto was about to invade East Timor (the Portuguese had abandoned their colony), he tipped off the ambassadors of Australia, the United States and Britain. In secret cables subsequently leaked, the Australian ambassador, Richard Woolcott, urged his government to

“act in a way which would be designed to minimise the public impact in Australia and show private understanding to Indonesia.”

He alluded to the beckoning spoils of oil and gas in the Timor Sea that separated the island from northern Australia.

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General Suharto 

There was no word of concern for the Timorese.

In my experience as a reporter, East Timor was the greatest crime of the late 20th century. I had much to do with Cambodia, yet not even Pol Pot put to death as many people – proportionally — as Suharto killed and starved in East Timor. 

In 1993, the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Australian Parliament estimated that “at least 200,000” East Timorese, a third of the population, had perished under Suharto. 

Australia was the only western country formally to recognise Indonesia’s genocidal conquest. The murderous Indonesian special forces known as Kopassus were trained by Australian special forces at a base near Perth. The prize in resources, said Foreign Minister Gareth Evans, was worth “zillions” of dollars.

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In my 1994 film, Death of a Nation: the Timor Conspiracy, a gloating Evans is filmed lifting a champagne glass as he and Ali Alatas, Suharto’s foreign minister, fly over the Timor Sea, having signed a piratical treaty that divided the oil and gas riches of the Timor Sea. 

I also filmed witnesses such as Abel Gutteras, now the Ambassador of Timor-Leste (East Timor’s post independence name) to Australia. He told me,

“We believe we can win and we can count on all those people in the world to listen — that nothing is impossible, and peace and freedom are always worth fighting for.” 

Remarkably, they did win. Many people all over the world did hear them, and a tireless movement added to the pressure on Suharto’s backers in Washington, London and Canberra to abandon the dictator. 

But there was also a silence. For years, the free press of the complicit countries all but ignored East Timor. There were honourable exceptions, such as the courageous Max Stahl, who filmed the 1991 massacre in the Santa Cruz cemetery. Leading journalists almost literally fell at the feet of Suharto. In a photograph of a group of Australian editors visiting Jakarta, led by the Murdoch editor Paul Kelly, one of them is bowing to Suharto, the genocidist. 

From 1999 to 2002, the Australian Government took an estimated $1.2 billion in revenue from one oil and gas field in the Timor Sea. During the same period, Australia gave less than $200 million in so-called aid to East Timor. 

In 2002, two months before East Timor won its independence, as Ben Doherty reported in January,

“Australia secretly withdrew from the maritime boundary dispute resolution procedures of the UN convention the Law of the Sea, and the equivalent jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice, so that it could not be compelled into legally binding international arbitration”. 

The former Prime Minister John Howard has described his government’s role in East Timor’s independence as “noble”. Howard’s foreign minister, Alexander Downer, once burst into the cabinet room in Dili, East Timor, and told Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri,

“We are very tough … Let me give you a tutorial in politics …” 

Today, it is Timor-Leste that is giving the tutorial in politics. After years of trickery and bullying by Canberra, the people of Timor-Leste have demanded and won the right to negotiate before the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) a legal maritime boundary and a proper share of the oil and gas. 

Australia owes Timor Leste a huge debt — some would say, billions of dollars in reparations. Australia should hand over, unconditionally, all royalties collected since Gareth Evans toasted Suharto’s dictatorship while flying over the graves of its victims. 

The Economist lauds Timor-Leste as the most democratic country in southeast Asia today. Is that an accolade? Or does it mean approval of a small and vulnerable country joining the great game of globalisation? 

For the weakest, globalisation is an insidious colonialism that enables transnational finance and its camp-followers to penetrate deeper, as Edward Said wrote, than the old imperialists in their gun boats. 

It can mean a model of development that gave Indonesia, under Suharto, gross inequality and corruption; that drove people off their land and into slums, then boasted about a growth rate. 

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The people of Timor-Leste deserve better than faint praise from the “capitalist governors of the world”, as the priest of Kraras wrote. They did not fight and die and vote for entrenched poverty and a growth rate. They deserve the right to sustain themselves when the oil and gas run out as it will. At the very least, their courage ought to be a beacon in our  memory: a universal political lesson. 

Bravo, Timor-Leste. Bravo and beware.

Posted in South Asia0 Comments

After The South Korean Election: The Movement That Ousted Park Cannot Rest

NOVANEWS
 

War threats before a major political election had been effective in the past in swinging the South Korean electorate to the right, but not this year. The conservative camp is battered and split into two warring parties following the impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye. The general public—its collective consciousness heightened through the mass protests that successfully ousted Park—is no longer rallying behind hawkish candidates who fan public paranoia to garner votes.

Barring a last-minute surprise upset, liberal democrat Moon Jae-in will be the next president of South Korea. But does he truly represent the interests of the millions who took to the streets to unseat Park and demand systemic change? And what are the tasks facing the left vis a vis the new administration? These are the questions this article will discuss, but first, let’s quickly review the field of candidates.

A Brief Run-down of the Candidates

Moon Jae-in

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Front-runner Moon Jae-in is arguably the greatest beneficiary of the mass protests that led to Park’s impeachment. Widespread discontent against Park and her party as well as the public’s desire for political change have catapulted Moon of the main opposition Minjoo Party to the front of the pack with a significant lead over all other candidates.

Moon was the Chief of Staff for the late former President Roh Moo-hyun, who ruled from 2003 to 2008 and continued his predecessor Kim Dae-jung’s “sunshine policy” of engagement and economic cooperation with North Korea. If elected, Moon will likely reverse South Korea’s policy toward North Korea to one of engagement. He has pledged to reopen the Kaesong Industrial Complex—the joint inter-Korean economic project that was the last remaining hallmark of peaceful North-South engagement before it was shut down by the Park Geun-hye administration in 2016.

The question is, if Moon is elected, will the United States be willing to recalibrate its strategy to allow Moon to lead? And if not, how much will Moon stand up to the United States to chart an independent path?

Ahn Cheol-soo

Image result for Ahn Cheol-sooThe runner-up, according to polls, is Ahn Cheol-soo, who defected from the Minjoo Party to establish the centrist People’s Party in the lead-up to the 2016 general election. His public branding as a successful entrepreneur and political outsider had once made him wildly popular among young people. But his rightward shift in an attempt to court the conservative vote in the aftermath of Park’s impeachment has estranged him from his former fans. He promotes strengthening South Korea’s alliance with the United States and expanding it to a “comprehensive strategic alliance” that includes closer cooperation not just militarily but also in the areas of politics, economy and culture.

Hong Jun-pyo 

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Neck and neck with Ahn is Hong Joon-pyo, the governor of South Gyeongsang province and the candidate of the Liberty Korea Party, the right-wing faction of the conservative split. Hong has appealed to South Korea’s far right by doubling down on his conservative positions and slinging mud at his liberal opponents. He has said he wants to bring U.S. tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea and has blamed gay people for the spread of HIV/AIDS. 

Sim Sang-jung

Image result for Sim Sang-jungSupport for Sim Sang-jung of the left-leaning Justice Party climbed to a record 11.4 percent in the week leading up to the election. Disaffected voters disappointed by Ahn Cheol-soo’s rightward shift are turning to Sim whose progressive and principled stance on issues such as LGBT rights appeals to young voters seeking change. After splitting off in 2012 from the Unified Progressive Party, which was forcibly dissolved a few years later by Park Geun-hye, the Justice Party has embraced pragmatism over left ideology and rebranded itself as a reformist party to appeal to a broader public. The leaders of the party will likely take official positions in the new liberal democratic administration. Whether the party can consolidate forces on the left to build on the momentum of the mass movement that ousted Park and push for systemic change remains doubtful. 

Yoo Seong-min

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Trailing far behind the rest of the pack is Yoo Seong-min, who represents the moderate, anti-Park faction of the conservative camp. He once served as Park Geun-hye’s chief of staff when she was a lawmaker in the National Assembly. But the two grew apart when his open criticisms of her policies drew her ire and he was excluded from the Saenuri Party’s nomination process in the 2016 general election. During Park’s political scandal, Yoo left the Saenuri Party to help found the splinter Bareun Party. His strongest base is in the conservative stronghold of Daegu and North Gyeongsang province.

Whoever is President, the Mass Movement Cannot Rest

Park’s historic impeachment, which created the opportunity for the upcoming election, did not come about through the political strength or deft maneuvering of the opposition parties. It was the organized power of millions of ordinary people, who rejected Park’s corrupt rule and took to the streets week after week, that pushed the wavering opposition parties into action. 

And that mass movement has now just about handed the presidency to Moon Jae-in. As a liberal democrat, Moon is far better than Park whose authoritarian rule rolled back decades of gains made by the country’s pro-democracy forces. But his party has done little to challenge the previous administration’s labor market reform initiative or block the ongoing deployment of a controversial U.S. missile defense system in Seongju. South Korean progressives note with bitterness that negotiations on the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement, which has led to privatization of public services, such as healthcare, began when Moon was in the Blue House as the chief of staff for former President Roh Moo-hyun. 

Clearly, the mass movement that ousted Park cannot rest after May 9 if it wants real change. Perhaps the greatest tragedy of this year’s election is that while people power created a historic opportunity for change, there is no political party that can consolidate that power and build on its momentum to fight for issues that are important to the broad majority of working people.

A decade of conservative rule—from Lee Myung-bak to Park Geun-hye, who jailed many opposition leaders, including Han Sang-gyun, the president of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions, and forced the dissolution of the opposition Unified Progressive Party—has battered and fragmented South Korea’s organized left. Whoever is president after May 9, the left has a lot of ground to regain.

The Rise and Fall of the Democratic Labor Party

The South Korean left’s entry into the political arena has its roots in the mass uprisings of 1987, a pivotal year for the country in many regards. The decades-long South Korean struggle for democracy culminated in the June people’s uprising of 1987 and finally put an end to a succession of U.S.-backed military dictatorships. The following months of mass labor strikes in industrial manufacturing zones across South Korea laid the groundwork for the eventual formation of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions. And for the first time since the division of Korea in 1945, masses of South Koreans openly called for reconciliation towards peaceful reunification. The formation of the National Council of Student Representatives (Jeondaehyeop) led to South Korean participation in the 13th World Festival of Youth and Students in Pyongyang in 1989 and the historic, defiant crossing of the DMZ by the late Reverend Moon Ik-hwan and then-student activist Lim Su-kyung

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1987, paradoxically, also marked the year that South Korea’s economy, once tightly controlled by an autocratic state, began its transition to a neoliberal market economy modeled after Reagonomics. Thus, the South Korean political forces post-1987 comprised of a political and economic ruling class that embraced neoliberalism and trampled on the rights of workers in the name of “globalization,” on the one hand, and a new democratic force borne out of militant resistance against the system of national division and capitalist exploitation on the other.

Despite major political differences on questions of strategy, the forces at the helm of the pro-democracy struggle, labor unions and social movement organizations joined together in 1987 to form the People’s Victory 21, which became the foundation for the establishment of the Democratic Labor Party (DLP) in 2000. The DLP went on to garner 13% of the general vote and gain ten National Assembly seats to become the third largest political party in South Korea in 2004. Its success in 2004 was due in part to a change in election law, which, for the first time, allowed proportional representation, but it would not have been possible without disparate political forces reaching beyond their differences to come together in a united front.

For a relatively small party, the DLP played a key role in South Korean politics from 2000 to 2008. Through direct democracy, the party kept itself firmly rooted in the struggles of workers, farmers and the urban poor, who made up the majority of its membership. Its principled and persuasive positions on behalf of politically marginalized sectors forced the established parties to adopt progressive reforms and had the effect of pulling South Korea’s entire political spectrum to the left. Before its forced dissolution in 2014, the DLP’s heir, the Unified Progressive Party was the most vocal opponent of Park Geun-hye’s policies on a range of issues, from privatization of public services to her hostile stance towards North Korea. 

In the last two decades, South Korea’s political and economic system began to show signs of faltering. The inter-Korean summits between Kim Dae-jung and Kim Jong-il in 2000 and Roh Moo-hyun and Kim Jong-il in 2007 shook the very foundation of South Korea’s decades-old political system based on national division. South Korea’s economy, which once grew rapidly through neoliberal policies that forced its workforce to tighten their belts and endure longer and harsher working conditions, faced persistent crises, and its core, festering with corrupt collusion between the country’s largest conglomerates and the government, is now laid bare for the entire world to see. 

The mass candlelight protests of 2008—which brought out tens of thousands to protest the reversal of a U.S. beef import ban as part of South Korea’s free trade negotiations with the United States—and the recent protests to oust Park Geun-hye were the embittered expressions of a populace frustrated with the country’s outdated political and economic system and in search of an alternative. The words to their anthem, sung in unison at every candlelight protest, is article one of the constitution: “The Republic of Korea is a democratic republic. All state authority shall emanate from the people.” More than just expressions of discontent over rotten beef or the president’s secret shamanic advisor scandal, the protests raised a fundamental question: the meaning of true sovereignty.

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The left, unfortunately, has not provided an answer. Friction due to political differences on questions of strategy led to a split in the DLP in 2008 and created deep rifts within the South Korean left. 2008 also marked the beginning of a decade of conservative rule, which systematically eroded the gains made by the pro-democracy forces in the previous decades. The previous Park Geun-hye administration’s transgressions against the people—from its mishandling of the Sewol Tragedy to its backdoor deal with the Japanese government to silence the former “comfort women” who endured sexual slavery by the Japanese imperial army during WWII—are too many to enumerate. What’s more egregious is the incompetence of the existing opposition parties that have failed to stand up to these overt acts of authoritarianism. The undisguised degeneration of South Korean politics and the rightward shift of the opposition parties are a direct result of the marginalization and isolation of the organized left following the DLP’s break-up.

Time to Regain Lost Ground

The South Korean people, who declared “Basta ya!” and gave Park Geun-hye the boot are still fighting—in the melon fields of Seongju, by the watery grave at Paengmok Harbor and on picket lines small and big across the country. Whoever wins the election on May 9, the mass movement that ousted Park will need to build on the momentum of its victory and keep the pressure on in a number of fronts.

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Former President Park Geun-hye

The most pressing task for the new administration will be to mediate the current crisis between the United States and North Korea. Despite Trump’s declared willingness to sit down with Kim Jong-un, no one—not even China—is able to broker such a meeting. That has to be the task of the incoming South Korean leader. For reconciliation with the North and permanent peace on the peninsula, the South Korean people will need to press the new administration to stand up to the Trump administration and chart an independent path. Demanding the United States end its provocative war exercises in exchange for a freeze of North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests and withdraw its dangerous missile defense system in Seongju is now more urgent than ever.

The fight against the government’s labor market reform initiative—aimed at turning South Korea’s entire workforce into a disposable pool of temporary and precarious labor and undermining the power of unions—will intensify even with a liberal democrat in the Blue House. Unless the mass movement continues to press the next administration, the corrupt system exposed through the Park Geun-hye-Choi Soon-sil scandal—the cozy back-scratching relationship between South Korea’s largest conglomerates and its political leaders—will remain unchanged.

Abolishing the National Security Law—mainly used to punish political opponents, dissolve social organizations and political parties and suppress progressive voices—is a task that even Moon Jae-in failed to do as Roh Moo-hyun’s chief of staff. It will take an organized fight from the left to overturn the archaic law once and for all.

What the movement to impeach Park Geun-hye laid bare is that South Korea’s current political and economic system is no longer sustainable. It also showed clearly that state power, which confines the democratic aspirations of the people, can also be pushed back by their organized power. The fissures in the political system exposed by their struggle are openings for the broader left. 

But people power does not emerge spontaneously. Only when the people are organized through social movements and have a political party that can fight for their interests can they mount effective and sustained resistance to challenge the status quo. A left political party cannot exercise its power in the political arena without the organized social movement of the disenfranchised, who make up the party’s base. Likewise, without a political party that can fight for their interests in the political arena, social movements can easily be defeated. A unified political party fighting in tandem with a social movement of the organized masses is essential for systemic change.

After May 9, the movement that ousted Park cannot rest, as the South Korean majority seeks, as a matter of survival, a political force that will forge a new path. Creating that force—by building social movements and unifying the left to build political power—should be top on the agenda of everyone on the left. And supporting that effort should be a priority for all those outside Korea who were inspired by the awesome mass protests that toppled Park Geun-hye’s regime.

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Fake News: Asia’s “Autocrats” Vs Asia’s Autocrats. Thailand, Myanmar

Mounting evidence suggests media outlets across the United States and Europe are selectively labeling leaders from around the world as “autocrats,” “despots” and “dictators” based not on their actual human rights records, policies or actions, but rather on where they fall along the spectrum of obedience to and complicity with the ambitions of Wall Street, Washington, London and Brussels.

No clearer example of this can be seen than the media’s treatment of current Thai prime minister, Prayut Chan-O-Cha.

In an AFP article titled,Thai junta chief accepts Trump invite,” the media service claims:

Thailand’s junta chief has accepted an invitation to visit the White House from President Donald Trump, his spokesman said Monday, the latest autocrat to be embraced by the US leader.

In an attempt to justify AFP’s claims of the Thai prime minister being an “autocrat,” AFP states:

Thailand’s former army chief Prayut Chan-O-Cha seized power three years ago, anointing himself prime minister and ushering in the kingdom’s most autocratic government in a generation. 

The coup strained ties with the Barack Obama administration as the military jailed dissidents, banned protests and ramped up prosecutions under the kingdom’s draconian lese majeste law.

In reality, AFP is intentionally misleading readers while grossly mischaracterising the current state of politics in Thailand. AFP is also contributing to a much larger deception regarding the principles the United States allegedly stands for and US foreign policy in actual practice.

Thailand’s “Autocrat” Ousted a Very Real (US-backed) Autocrat

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Former Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra

The 2014 coup after which Prime Minister Prayut assumed power, ousted a regime which up to the very eve of the coup was mass murdering protesters in the streets. Protests spanning 2013-2014 were aimed at removing Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra from power for a series of abuses, corruption and the fact that she served openly as a proxy for her brother, Thaksin Shinwatra, ousted from power earlier, convicted of corruption and currently residing abroad as a fugitive.

During the protests, the Shinawatra regime organised cadres of heavily armed militants who used assault rifles, grenades, grenade launchers and other weapons to attack demonstrators, at some points during the crisis, on a nightly basis. Up to 20 would die and many more left injured or maimed.

Thaksin Shinawatra, who served as Thai prime minister from 2001 to 2006, stands guilty of serial abuses of human rights including a 2003 “war on drugs” that left approximately 3,000 innocent people extrajudicially executed in the streets over a 90 day period. Human Rights Watch would, at the time, catalogue Shinwatra’s bout of mass murder in two reports, Thailand’s ‘war on drugs’,” and “Not Enough Graves.”

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Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra

Under Shinawatra’s administration, his political enemies were systematically targeted with both intimidation and assassination. Media critical of his policies and actions were also systematically targeted with both legal and physical intimidation. The New York Times in a 2005 article titled, Thaksin accused of ‘dirty war’ on media,” would report:

Prime Minister Thaksin has an agenda all his own. Although he is the founder of a telecommunications empire and keen to project Thailand as a fast-modernizing part of the global economy, Thaksin has little tolerance of the criticism aired in a free press. His concentrated political power and the considerable resources of his family’s commercial empire have been combined to muzzle critics in both the broadcast and print media.

Worse than mere “muzzling,” Shinwatra’s administration also presided over the systematic assassination or attempted assassination of critics. According to Amnesty International, 18 human rights defenders were either assassinated or disappeared during his first term in office.

While AFP’s article accuses the current Thai government of “ushering in the kingdom’s most autocratic government in a generation,” the facts clearly indicate it replaced the most autocratic and abusive government in a generation. Only through intentional and repetitive dishonesty has AFP convinced readers otherwise.

And AFP not only failed to mention Shinwatra’s time in office, or the abuse and violence carried out under his sister’s regime leading up to the 2014 coup, AFP also failed to mention two failed, incredibly violent bids by Shinawatra to seize back power via street protests organised by him and his supporters in 2009 and 2010 respectively. The former of the two attempts saw nearly 100 killed as armed militants mingled with protesters and fought gun battles against government troops and carried out large scale arson within Thailand’s capital of Bangkok.

As to why Shinawatra’s serial crimes against humanity have been glossed over by media organisations like AFP, it is a simple matter of Shinawatra being a willing collaborator with US and European interests, while the current Thai government has leaned more toward its neighbours in Asia for closer ties.

AFP’s article would even admit as much, referring to Thailand as a “former staunch US ally that has moved closer to Beijing since the coup.”

It’s clear then that the current Thai government’s status as “autocratic” stems not from actual metrics of freedom, peace and stability being enjoyed or repressed in Thailand, but from the ability (or now, inability) of the United States to influence Thailand’s internal political affairs and policies. Many of those reportedly “repressed” by the Thai government are in fact US-funded and directed agitators engaged in political, economic and even armed subversion.
The AFP, through its reporting, exposes itself as yet another outlet engaged in lobbying, not journalism, despite the carefully constructed reputation it uses to carry that lobbying out behind.

US Hypocrisy Explained

The media meme of “Trump embracing autocrats” exists in an alternate reality. In this reality, regardless of who occupies the White House, the US has backed some of the worst dictatorships in modern history. This includes Saudi Arabia which has enjoyed US support for decades and who participated in the largest arms deal in American history, not under Trump, but under Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Barrack Obama.

Closer to Asia, Myanmar’s Aung San Suu Kyi quite literally contrived an entire office to place herself in power in order to circumvent the nation’s constitution banning political candidates who themselves or their children hold duel citizenship. And since taking power, Suu Kyi and her political party have doubled down on a violent campaign of ethno-terror waged against the nation’s Rohingya minority.

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Incumbent State Counselor of Myanmar, Aung San Suu Kyi

Suu Kyi’s ability to sidestep US and European condemnation stems from her long-term commitment to the interests of Wall Street, Washington, London and Brussels ahead of those of Myanmar itself. When Suu Kyi appears to be cosying up to Beijing, US and European fronts posing as rights advocates “gently” remind the world of her and her support base’s aversion to the “Rohingya” people.

Regarding Trump’s invitation to Thailand’s prime minister, it should be noted that meetings alone are meaningless. Obama had met with Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi several times and apparent cooperation between Libya and the United States was underway before a US-led war was launched against the North African nation and both Gaddafi and virtually all immediate members of his family were targeted for arrest or assassination.

Ultimately, the AFP story is just one of many constituting genuinely “fake news,” entirely contrived by political motivation, and utterly divorced from journalistic integrity.

Thailand’s current government remains far from ideal with much room for improvement, but to characterise it as an “autocracy” while states like Myanmar and Saudi Arabia are given free passes, along with the previous, brutal regime that was ousted in Thailand before the current government took power, is intentionally dishonest. AFP’s story is part of a systematic process of distorting reality in order to place public pressure on governments targeted for regime change.

Thailand is currently one of those governments being targeted, and just as US and European media lied ahead of regime change elsewhere, the mischaracterisation of Thailand’s political crisis indicates increased tensions, not rapprochement, lie ahead between Washington and Bangkok.

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THAAD Rocket Fuel: Likely Ground Water Contamination Coming to Seongju, South Korea

NOVANEWS
 

The unwelcome US deployment of the THAAD (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) missile defense (MD) system in Seongju, South Korea is not only a significant threat to regional peace but is also a major environmental catastrophe waiting to happen.

The reason is that rocket fuel contains a deadly chemical component called perchlorate. And since the Seongju area is a melon farming community the risk of ground water contamination by perchlorate should be alarming to all concerned.

Perchlorate, the explosive ingredient in solid rocket fuel, has leaked from military bases and weapons and aerospace contractors’ plants in at least 22 states, contaminating drinking water for millions of Americans.

In the US scientists have warned that perchlorate could cause thyroid deficiency in more than 2.2 million women of childbearing age. This thyroid deficiency could damage the fetus of pregnant women, if left untreated.

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Reports indicate that 20 million to 40 million Americans may be exposed to the chemical.

“We know that the Center for Disease Control has found perchlorate in 100 percent of the people they’ve tested, so there’s widespread exposure, through contaminated drinking water and also through contaminated food,” one expert reported.

The government has found traces of a rocket fuel chemical in organic milk in Maryland, green leaf lettuce grown in Arizona and bottled spring water from Texas and California.

Iceberg lettuce grown in Belle Glade, Florida had the highest concentrations of perchlorate discovered anywhere.  The greens had 71.6 parts per billion (ppb) of the compound, the primary ingredient in rocket propellant. Red leaf lettuce grown in El Centro, California had 52 ppb of perchlorate. Whole organic milk in Maryland had 11.3 ppb of perchlorate.

Next week South Koreans go to the polls to elected a new president after the previous right-wing President Park was impeached.

The Pentagon rushed the THAAD deployment ahead of schedule wanting to lock-in the controversial MD system before a new government took office.  The US fears that the likely new President Moon (a progressive) would ultimately delay or possibly even prevent the US from deploying the interceptor system due to the outrage coming from China and Russia who view THAAD as really being aimed at them rather than North Korea.

As the people of Seongju continue their fight against THAAD they’d be wise to begin to talk about the likely groundwater contamination from the rocket fuel that will be transported and stored on site at the new base presently being constructed at a former golf course.  It’s only a matter of time that perchlorate will be seeping into the water and ultimately impacting their health and their melon crops.

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North Korea crisis: US should apologize THEN negotiate

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The administration of US President Donald Trump’s various policies with regard to North Korea are rooted in Washington’s long-time desire to monopolize nuclear weapons, says an American analyst.

Veterans Today Editor Kevin Barrett, a journalist in Wisconsin, made the remarks while discussing Trump’s call for a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un amid reports that the CIA had been trying to assassinate him.

Earlier this week, Trump said he “would be honored” to meet the North Korean leader, a day after praising him as “a pretty smart cookie.”

Barrett said the animosity between the North and the US goes back to the Korean War, when the US killed scores of Koreans, specially in the North.

This horrific, genocidal assault on Korea by the United States and the occupation of South Korea ever since naturally has led all Koreans who have any shred of dignity and desire for self-determination to want to fight to keep their independence,” Barrett said. “And that is the real reason for the tensions between the US and North Korea.”

The analyst argued that if Trump was to hold a press conference with Kim and tell the world about the “American genocide” and accept Washington’s mistakes towards Pyongyang and many other nations then we would see real progress towards peace.

Barrett also talked about the “inflammatory” story by North Korea that American intelligence agencies had planned to assassinate Kim in close coordination with Seoul.

The North’s ministry of state security said in a statement on Friday that the CIA “assassination by use of biochemical substances including radioactive substance and nano poisonous substance is the best method that does not require access to the target.”

Barrett said the fact that Pyongyang was revealing the plot news at the same time that Trump was softening his tone was not a coincidence.

“That does mean that regardless of whether the North Korean leadership decides to go along with the softened American tone and perhaps even set up some kind of a high-level meeting, there is [still] a very serious crisis,” he added.

Noting that a possible assassination attempt would lead to a war between the US and North Korea, the analyst said such acts would prompt a “proportionate” response from North Korea.

“So, this does throw the crisis into a whole different level of magnitude,” he added. “One does hope that it will not lead to the worst.”

North Korea has so far carried out 5 nuclear tests and is said to be preparing for a sixth one. It has also stepped up its testing of nuclear-capable missiles.

The US has warned the North of a military confrontation in case it keeps carrying out the tests.

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What Western Media Never Tells You about North Korea

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By Joe Clifford | Dissident Voice 

There is a great deal of propaganda and deliberate misinformation about North Korea, which the public should know. While neocons, a cheering corporate media, and Deep State, rush to war with North Korea, information is the ultimate weapon. For example, did you know that North Korea, China, and India, are the only three nations who have committed to a “no nuclear first” policy. They have pledged never to use nuclear weapons “first”, but of course reserve the right to use them if attacked. How many times has the US threatened to use nuclear weapons against North Korea? Do you know that North Korea has repeatedly asked the US to engage in bi-lateral talks, to cool off the ever-escalating tension? The offer was flatly rejected by both Obama and Trump. Can you resolve differences within your family without dialog? No dialogue, no peace. Why won’t the US talk to North Korea?? The neocons, Deep State, and media argument, insist Kim Jong-un is irrational, and therefore you cannot negotiate with him. A look back at recent history illustrates the US and its complicit media demonize anyone we do not like, and the demonizing usually ends up with a war. Manuel Noriega in Panama, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, Libya’s Muammar Gadaffi, and Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, serve as recent examples. But the demonizing of Kim Jong-un continues as we move towards another war, and once again the public buys into the myth. There are no western reporters allowed in North Korea, and since North Korea is a virtual closed society, one must wonder who knows what Kim Jong-un really is like? On the other hand, some might suggest we have a very irrational leader in this country. This attitude of demonizing is akin to the Taliban’s offer to turn over Osama Bin Laden so many years ago, and the US, then under Bush, flatly rejected the Taliban offer. Sixteen years later we are still at war in Afghanistan. War is the result of failed diplomacy or the absence of diplomacy. Perhaps we did not want diplomacy; perhaps we don’t want diplomacy now.

Do you know North Korea has agreed to suspend its nuclear testing if the US agreed to end the annual war games along the border of North Korea? You may not know the US conducts war games that simulate the overthrow of the North Korean government, and this year there were almost 400,000 soldiers participating. Did you know that?? Do you know the Korean War has never officially ended because there was no formal truce signed? This is one of North Korea demands. A final treaty to end the Korean War was never signed, because if there was a treaty, the US would have no legal basis for the occupation of South Korea with our many military bases. Do you know that in 1993 the US announced it was re-targeting hydrogen bombs from the old USSR to North Korea?

Do you know George Bush called the leader of North Korea a “pygmy”, and said he wanted to “topple his regime”? Do you know Bush also prepared a policy of “preemptive” attack, and referred to North Korea as a member of the “axis of evil”? It was shortly thereafter that North Korea left the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and threw all inspectors out of the country. Neocons, Deep State, and the corporate media, argue North Korea is a threat to the US, and just days ago Trump said they were a “threat to the world”? That is asinine, as Trump’s increase in military spending of 54 billion, is 11 times greater than the entire North Korean military budget. To suggest North Korea is a “threat to the US” or the “world” is either stupidity or an outright lie, and yet a CNN poll shows 37% of the US public believes North Korea is a threat to the US. Who says propaganda isn’t effective? Do you know the recent leader of South Korea was impeached for corruption, and there is a pending election to decide on new leadership? The opposition party wants the US out of South Korea, and wants the THAAD missile system just installed by the US, out.

Theresa May, in Great Britain, shocked many recently, when she announced she would be willing to use nuclear weapons in a “first strike”? Why have we not declared war on Britain, as Theresa May is apparently a bit “irrational”? Experts suggest North Korea has perhaps 8 nuclear weapons, but has no effective delivery system. The US has 7,000.

North Korea has not invaded or attacked any nation since the end of the Korean War, while the US has bombed over 30 countries. How many countries is the US currently bombing?? Can’t answer? Who is the aggressor here? Who has refused to “talk” to North Korea? Who has threatened to use nuclear weapons repeatedly against North Korea?

Why can’t the US simply sit down and agree to bi-lateral talks? Is there a logical reason why this cannot be done? What is there to lose by such talks? This whole policy of antagonizing, instead of talking, is insane! We know its insanity; we don’t know if it is intentional rejection of diplomacy.

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Nazi regime and North Korea’s war of words sheds light on western hypocrisy over nukes

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Israel and North Korea’s war of words sheds light on western hypocrisy over nukes
By Adam Garrie | The Duran

A war of words between North Korea and Israel has done a lot to highlight the hypocrisy of the west when it comes to the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other WMD. Israel’s illegal and unaccounted for nuclear weapons programme is generally ignored by the west, while America appears ready to go to war with North Korea over its nuclear weapons programme, in spite of no consensus over weather Pyongyang has the ability to deliver its nuclear weapons or even how many nuclear weapons the communist state has.

Ultra right-wing Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said that North Korea is “undermining global stability” and that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un is a “madman” leading a “crazy and radical” regime.

North Korea did not waste time in responding, issuing a statement reading,

“Israel is the only illegal possessor of nukes in the Middle East under the patronage of the US. However, Israel vociferated about the nuclear deterrence of the DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea/North Korea), slandering it, whenever an opportunity presented itself”.

One needn’t have a positive view of North Korea to understand this statement as an objective truth.

Israel frequently conducts unprovoked attacks on Syria without any retribution from the so-called international community.

North Korea’s statement continued,

“The DPRK’s access to nuclear weapons is the legitimate exercise of its righteous right for self-defence to cope with the US provocative moves for aggression and the DPRK’s nuclear force is the treasured sword of justice firmly defending peace on the Korean peninsula and in the region”.

North Korea went on to accuse Israel of “crimes against humanity” and of being an occupier of Palestinian territory.

North Korea called for a “thousand-fold punishment to whoever dares hurt the dignity of its supreme leadership” and referred to Lieberman as “sordid and wicked”.

While both Israel and North Korea are widely seen as rogue states, only Israel is currently engaged in the occupation and invasion of other countries.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, North Korea0 Comments

The Haircut (2017) – A North Korean Adventure

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The isolated, hermit kingdom of the DPRK is shrowded in secrecy, It’s nearly impossible to get any reliable information from behind the bamboo curtain. Nonetheless, every week, on T.V. and online, we are bombarded by the bizzare media-spectacle of North Korea. From nuclear apocalypse and prison camps to banned sarcasm and compulsory identical haircuts – any shred of information regarding North Korea becomes a viral media hit, regardless of how dubious the story is.

But that’s all about to change.

Two Aussie boys decided to take matters into their own hands and go to North Korea to find out the truth for themselves. Join us as we look past the clickbait and unpack the forces behind the way our media represents the “Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea”.

– Warning – Graphic Content

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