Tag Archive | "North Korea vs. the U.S."

The Unknown Truth About Korea: U.S. Sanctioned Death Squads and War Crimes, 1945-1953


NOVANEWS
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The mostly unknown record of the brutal U.S. occupation and subsequent control of Korea following the Japanese defeat in August 1945, and the voluminous number of war crimes committed between 1950 and 1953, have been systematically hidden under mountains of accusations directed almost solely against the “red menace” of northern Korea. The Korean War itself grew out of U.S. refusal to allow a genuine self-determination process to take root. The Korean people were exuberant in August 1945 with their new freedom after being subjected to a brutal 40-year Japanese occupation of their historically undivided Peninsula. They immediately began creating local democratic peoples’ committees the day after Japan announced on August 14 its intentions to surrender. By August 28, all Korean provinces had created local peoples’ offices and on September 6 delegates from throughout the Peninsula gathered in Seoul, at which time they created the Korean People’s Republic (KPR).

The United States had a different plan for Korea. At the February 1945 Yalta conference, President Roosevelt suggested to Stalin, without consulting the Koreans, that Korea should be placed under joint trusteeship following the war before being granted her independence. On August 11, two days after the second atomic bomb was dropped assuring Japan’s imminent surrender, and three days after Russian forces entered Manchuria and Korea to oust the Japanese as was agreed to avoid further U.S. casualties, Truman hurriedly ordered his War Department to choose a dividing line for Korea. Two young colonels, Dean Rusk (later to be Secretary of State under President’s Kennedy and Johnson during the Vietnam War) and Charles H. Bonesteel, were given 30 minutes to resolve the matter. The 38th parallel was quickly, and quietly, chosen, placing the historic capital city of Seoul and 70 percent, or 21 of Korea’s 30 million people in the “American” southern zone. This was not discussed with Stalin or any other political leaders in the U.S. or among our allies. Surprisingly, Stalin agreed to this “temporary” partition that meant the Russians already present in the country would briefly occupy the territory north of the line comprising 55 percent of the peninsular land area. On August 15, the United States Army Military Government in Korea (USAMGIK) was formed and on September 8, 72,000 U.S. troops began arriving to enforce the formal occupation of the south.

The Korean People’s Republic officially formed just two days prior to the first arrival of U.S. forces was almost immediately shunned by the U.S. who decided its preference was to stand behind conservative politicians representing the traditional land-owning elite. The U.S. helped in the formation on September 16 of the conservative Korean Democratic Party (KDP), and brought Syngman Rhee to Korea on General MacArthur’s plane on October 16 to head up the new party. Rhee, a Korean possessing a Ph.D. from Princeton (1910) and an Austrian wife, had lived in the United States for more than 40 years. To his credit he had detested the Japanese occupation of his native country, but he hated the communists even more. Just before Rhee arrived to begin efforts to consolidate his power in the south, long-time resistance fighter Kim Il Sung returned from exile to begin his leadership in the  north. As a guerrilla leader Kim had been fighting the Japanese occupation of China and Korea since the early 1930s.

Rhee and his U.S. advisers quickly concluded that in order to build their kind of Korea through the KDP they must definitively defeat the broad-based KPR. While Kim, with the support of the Russian forces in the north, was purging that territory of former Japanese administrators and their Korean collaborators, the USAMG was actively recruiting them in the south. In November the U.S. Military Governor outlawed all strikes and in December declared the KPR and all its activities illegal. In effect the U.S. had declared war on the popular movement of Korea south of the 38th Parallel and set in motion a repressive campaign that later became excessively brutal, dismantling the Peoples’ Committees and their supporters throughout the south.

In December 1945 General John R. Hodge, commander of the U.S. occupation forces, created the Korean Constabulary, led exclusively by officers who had served the Japanese. Along with the revived Japanese colonial police force, the Korean National Police (KNP), comprised of many former Korean collaborators, and powerful right-wing paramilitary groups like the Korean National Youth and the Northwest Youth League, the U.S.Military Government and their puppet Syngman Rhee possessed the armed instruments of a police state more than able to assure a political system that was determined to protect the old landlord class made up of rigid reactionaries and enthusiastic capitalists.

By the fall of 1946, disgruntled workers declared a strike that spread throughout South Korea. By December the combination of the KNP, the Constabulary, and the right-wing paramilitary units, supplemented by U.S. firepower and intelligence, had contained the insurrections in all provinces. More than 1,000 Koreans were killed with more than 30,000 jailed. Regional and local leaders of the popular movement were either dead, in jail, or driven underground.

With total U.S. support Rhee busily prepared for a politically division of Korea involuntarily imposed on the vast majority of the Korean people. Following suppression of the October-December insurrection, the Koreans began to form guerrilla units in early 1947. There were sporadic activities for a year or so. However, in March 1948, on Korea’s large Island, Cheju, a demonstration objecting to Rhee’s planned separate elections scheduled for May 1948 was fired upon by the KNP. A number of Koreans were injured and several were tortured, then killed. This incident provoked a dramatic escalation of armed resistance to the U.S./Rhee regime. The police state went into full force, regularly guided by U.S. military advisors, and often supported by U.S. military firepower and occasional ground troops.

On the Island of Cheju alone, within a year as many as 60,000 of its 300,000 residents had been murdered, while another 40,000 fled by sea to nearby Japan. Over 230 of the Island’s 400 villages had been totally scorched with 40,000 homes burned to the ground. As many as 100,000 people were herded into government compounds. The remainder, it has been reported, became collaborators in order to survive. On the mainland guerrilla activities escalated in most of the provinces. The Rhee/U.S. forces conducted a ruthless campaign of cleansing the south of all dissidents, usually identifying them as “communists,” though in fact most popular leaders in the south were socialists unaffiliated with outside “communist” organizations. Anyone who was openly or quietly opposed to the Rhee regime was considered suspect. Therefore massive numbers of villagers and farmers were systematically rounded up, tortured, then shot and dropped into mass graves. Estimates of murdered civilians range anywhere from 200,000 to 800,000 by the time the hot war broke out in June 1950.

The hot war allegedly began at Ongjin about 3 or 4 A.M. (Korean time) June 25, 1950. Just how the fighting started on that day depends on one’s source of information. It is mostly irrelevant, since a civil and revolutionary war had been raging for a couple of years, with military incursions routinely moving back and forth across the 38th parallel.

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Human Rights Violations: North Korea vs. the U.S.


NOVANEWS

UN Third Committee Resolution L.23 IN, Legitimizes Stranglehold Economic Sanctions., Used as a Means to “Obliterate” North Korea

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On November 15, 2016 the United Nations Third Committee adopted the resolution:  “Situation of human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.” 

Among the co-sponsors of the Resolution were United States, United Kingdom, Ukraine, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, etc. 

Disassociating themselves from the resolution, which they denounced as invalid, were China, Russia, Cuba, Venezuela, Syria, and three other countries opposed to the biased character and double standards that typify “country-specific” resolutions.  The co-sponsors of this resolution are themselves guilty of  criminal human rights violations.

The very concept of human rights has been fraudulently used to such a degree that it bears no resemblance to Eleanor Roosevelt’s original inspiration for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Indeed, the term has become the antithesis of concern for human rights, and is now being used as yet another ploy, a Trojan Horse, to infiltrate, destabilize and ultimately overthrow independent governments which are anathema to Western Oligarchies

At the United Nations Third Committee meeting of November 15, 2016, an urgently needed “No-Action Motion” was introduced by Belarus, opposing the “country-specific” resolutions as “deeply flawed and arbitrary instruments of coercion.”

Agenda item L.23 on the Situation of Human rights in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is the most flagrant example of these resolutions which are being used as instruments of coercion, and an example of the scandalous double standards on human rights which have become a lethal excuse by which Western capitalist powers have corrupted the United Nations into becoming, itself, an instrument of coercion.

The destruction, by US-NATO military bombardment, of states independent of western oligarchic control, was endorsed by UN Security Council Resolutions 678 and 1973, which were used to violently impose regime change in Iraq and Libya.  “Human Rights” is the contemporary equivalent of the “White Man’s Burden” which was used, in earlier times, to justify imperialistic conquest.

Resolution L.23 on the DPRK is an intellectually and morally bankrupt piece of propaganda, so clumsily cobbled together that its accusations of human rights violations more conspicuously apply to its sponsors, including the US, and UK  than to the DPRK, and the contrivances of the resolution are intended to hasten the economic genocide being inflicted on the people of the DPRK, and which the UN, through its barbaric sanctions regime is dishonorably facilitating.

Resolution L.23 

“expresses its very serious concern at continuing reports of violations of human rights such as torture and other cruel, inhuman conditions of detention; rape, public execution; extrajudicial and arbitrary detention; the absence of due process and the rule of law; extensive use of forced labor..”

The resolution is intended to legitimize the sanctions stranglehold on North Korea, and increase the suffering of the people of the DPRK for the sinister purpose of inciting chaos and regime change in that tiny country, one of the few remaining socialist economies in the world.

This deceptive politicization of the concept of human rights for the nefarious purpose of facilitating an oligarchic geopolitical agenda is now debasing and discrediting the very concept itself.  In classic Orwellian style, the countries whose economic systems, based on profit maximization, most notoriously abuse human rights are condemning the countries whose socialist economies are founded on the most humanitarian principles and practice. That the UN tolerates this disgraceful  scam morally discredits the organization, and may lead to its ultimate demise.

Resolution L.23 on the DPRK may easily be refuted, almost line by line, with examples of barbaric human rights abuses systematically committed by the very same countries which co-sponsored the resolution, and these barbaric practices are documented in such pristine Western publications as  The New York Times, The New Yorker,  Harper’s, and numerous other publications which  catalogue human rights abuses over centuries, but an examination of the most recent decades will suffice.

US Human Rights Record. Recent History

In September, 1971, at the infamous Attica political prison  (described as a “correctional facility”) in New York,  1,300 political prisoners rebelled against the brutal treatment they were enduring during their incarceration.  This action symbolized a class revolution of mostly impoverished African Americans, and some white citizens, mostly destitute, arising from their enslavement and demanding human dignity.  Tragically, they had no weapons to defend themselves. Political prisoners in Attica included members of the Black Panther Party, the Puerto Rican Young Lords, the Weather Underground, and numerous other political organizations within the USA.

Four days after the uprising, Governor Rockefeller, in a notorious action typical of systemic capitalist repression and constituting a crime against humanity, ordered armed troopers to enter the prison, where they massacred and tortured the prisoners who had protested against the hellish conditions of their imprisonment .  The recently published masterpiece, entitled “Blood in the Water,” by United States historian Heather Ann Thompson documents the horrific tortures inflicted during the murderous repression of unarmed prisoners.  Among those slaughtered in the massacre ordered by Governor Rockefeller, was  “Kenny Malloy, His skull had been riddled with so many bullets that his eye sockets were shredded by the shards of his own bones.”

Invading with chemical poison CS gas, orthochlorobenzyldene, the heavily armed state troopers began murdering the unarmed prisoners.  The tortures to which the “surviving prisoners were subjected were described by victim Frank Smith:

Page 487:  “ He was chained to a table.  ‘They say you like to play football, we’re going to put this football into you nigger, and then we’re going to kill you.’  The torturers shoved a football under his chin, and told him if he let it drop, they would shoot him.  As recounted by Smith, the troopers kicked him ‘repeatedly in the testicles, and were spitting on me, dropping lit cigarettes on me…I would flex my body to make the cigarette fall off me, so it wouldn’t burn too long.’”  “ his legs hung over the edge of the table for six hours until they started to go numb.  ‘my head was hurting, my back was hurting, and the most excruciating pain I had was in my testicles.  It was a very excruciating pain in my genital area.’  He was then forced to run through a gauntlet with fifty armed officers on both sides, with broken glass on the floor.  Still completely naked, he endured the blows of ax handles and the baton with pig handles as he was forced to run this gauntlet.  The pain had been horrendous, ‘unbearable pain;  my testicles, my fingers gouged, and arms and back,’ accompanied by endless barrage of vile racial attacks, slurs.”

This was standard torture of the prisoners, including rape:

”An officer pulled out a Phillips screwdriver and told the naked inmate to get on his feet or he’d stab the screwdriver in his rectum…then he just started stabbing him.”

When the prisoners’ attorney, the great civil rights lawyer William Kunstler, witnessed the carnage of mangled dead bodies strewn everywhere on the ground,  Kunstler, who had grasped that this was a  legitimate political rebellion, wept uncontrollably at the sight of fascism’s  work.  And, of course, Governor Rockefeller, the man responsible for the massacre, was never held accountable, but history condemns him for perpetrating this infamous state terror.

The New Yorker, May 2, 2016 describes current torture and murder of mentally disabled prisoners in Florida prisons.  This is documented in an article by Eyal Press.  As prisoner Darren Rainey, diagnosed as schizophrenic, had defecated in his cell, after being tormented by his guards,  he was, as punishment, put in a “shower,”  “locked in a stall whose water supply was delivered through a hose controlled by the guards.  The water was over one hundred and eighty degrees, hot enough to brew a cup of tea…It was later revealed that Rainey had burns on more than ninety percent of his body, and that his skin fell off at the touch.”

Rainey was boiled to death in the shower, but it was learned that many other prisoners had been subjected to the same torture of being boiled alive.  None of the perpetrators of this torture were held accountable.  Prisoners were routinely beaten.  Other prisoners were starved, some starved to death.  Any witnesses who might have spoken against this abuse were threatened and silenced.

On May 15, 2016, the exact day on which Resolution L.23 against the DPRK was adopted at the UN Third Committee, The New York Times published a front page article describing the torture of prisoners in a jail in Utica, New York.  In addition to the usual tortures of defenseless prisoners, anal rape is common.

“Prisoner Raymond Broccoli recounted:  “as he lay on the floor an officer hissed, ‘You want to know what it feels like to feel weak?’ The guard then jammed something metal into his rectum.”  Other prisoners described being anally raped….  When a guard ordered Pablo Dones, 58 to stand up, Mr. Dones, who had recently undergone hernia surgery said he struggled to his feet. ‘I made it to one knee and the guard kicked me right where I had the operation.’  He screamed in pain, he said, but another guard grabbed him and began banging Dones’ head against the wall.  ‘He was hitting me against the wall so many times, my head went right through it.’”

Of course the recent historic record includes the famous cases of Abner Louima, raped in police custody with a broomstick rammed up his rectum, which perforated his intestines, necessitating surgery and months of hospitalization, and the case of the Amidou Diallo, an unarmed immigrant who stood in the vestibule of his own home, and was shot to death there 41 times by police officers.  The police who murdered him were acquitted of all charges.

Suffice to demonstrate that right up to the very moment at which the US hypocritically co-sponsored resolution L.23 condemning the DPRK, the heinous human rights abuses to which the US is subjecting its own citizens continue to be staggering.

Among its preposterous allegations,  Resolution L.23

“expresses  grave concern about the impact of diverting resources to advance nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles programmes on the humanitarian and human rights situation of the citizens of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.”

The worst offender of this criminal diversion of resources into nuclear weapons is the USA, which this year authorized expenditure of one trillion dollars in development of advanced nuclear weapons.  And a report by the New York based charity, “Meals on Wheels,” stated that 2 million elderly citizens in the United States must constantly choose between buying food or buying urgently needed medicines.  5 million Americans are deprived of adequate food altogether.  Almost 10 million Americans, and a vast number of elderly persons live below the poverty level.   The figures of the homeless and hungry in the United States are enormous, while the government neglects its own citizens, leaving many to starve, and beg, while squandering 1 trillion dollars on developing advanced nuclear weapons.

Resolution L.23 on the Human Rights Situation in the DPRK “underscores its very serious concern at the systematic abduction, denial of repatriation and subsequent enforced disappearance of persons, on a large scale and as a matter of state policy, including those from other countries…”

On November 14, 2016, in its report on Preliminary Examination Activities of the International Criminal Court, Fatou Bensouda, prosecutor of the ICC is planning major investigation into war crimes tantamount to crimes against humanity committed by US soldiers in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

The report states, section 211:

“Members of the US armed forces and CIA appear to have subjected numerous persons in Afghanistan, and others transported to secret prisons in Poland, Romania, Lithuania and elsewhere to torture, ‘outrages upon personal dignity and/or rape.”  The report states in section 212:  “These alleged crimes were not the abuses of a few isolated individuals,”  section 213 states:  “The office considers these alleged crimes were committed in furtherance of a policy or policies aimed at eliciting information through the use of interrogation techniques involving cruel or violent methods which would support US objectives.”  It is important to point out that Poland, Romania and Lithuania were among the co-sponsors of the resolution against the DPRK, and these  same countries were also the very sites of the notorious secret CIA prisons to which abducted prisoners were flown to be tortured.  These “co-sponsors” are accessories to war crimes.

L.23 accuses the DPRK of “all-pervasive and severe restrictions on freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief,…torture, imprisonment of individuals exercising their freedom of opinion, etc…”

The United Nations has imposed no sanctions against Saudi Arabia, which has inflicted a 10 year imprisonment and a punishment of 1,000 lashes upon journalist Raif Badawi, for criticizing Saudi Arabia’s hardline religious establishment.  Edward Snowden lives in exile for exercising his human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  The UN has imposed no sanctions upon their countries which are violating the basic rights of their own citizens.

Resolution L.23 arbitrarily targets the DPRK in an attempt to fraudulently “justify” imposing further strangling sanctions on the DPRK, singled out for its nuclear program (though 9 other countries possess nuclear weapons, and one has already used them.)

It is therefore imperative to highlight the fact that the DPRK voted “Yes” on First Committee Resolution L.41:

“Taking Forward Multilateral Disarmament Negotiations,” which aims at the total prohibition of nuclear weapons.  This is indisputable evidence that the DPRK’s nuclear program is defensive, a protection against nuclear attack by the US.  It is also imperative to note that the US voted “No” on the very same resolution, again evidence that the US has no intention of giving up its own enormous and potentially world shattering nuclear arsenal, one of the most profitable industries, which essentially provokes and impels other nations to obtain nuclear weapons in defense against imminent or potential attack.

DPRK is a socialist country, and the ferocious determination of capitalist powers to obliterate socialism, despite strong evidence that capitalist economies are failing to provide the basic necessities of life for their citizens, is threatening world stability.  And despite the fact that the barbarous UN Security Council Resolution 2270 sanctions have inflicted enormous economic hardship and suffering on the people of the DPRK, their government remains committed to universal free medical care, free education, free housing and equality between men and women.

Resolution 2270 is based almost exclusively on the widely discredited Commission of Inquiry which contains statements by defectors, highly paid to concoct gruesome and false statements of human rights violations within the DPRK, statements refuted by the defector community itself, and the central statement on which the Commission of Inquiry report is based was later repudiated by the very defector himself, Shin Dong-hyuk , who admitted he had lied and falsified his statements.

Section 2 of L.23 expresses

“very serious concern about discrimination “which classifies people on the basis of assigned social class or birth…”

It is important here to mention the 2016 report by the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Global Justice Clinic, New York University School of Law.  The report is entitled:  “Excessive Use of Force By the Police Against Black Americans in the United States.  Page 23 of the report states:

“Police violence which disproportionately affects black Americans, also intersects with discrimination based on socio-economic status, gender, mental health and sexual orientation and gender identity, among other factors.  The cities where some of the highest profile police killings have occurred in the past two years – including Ferguson, Missouri (where Michael Brown was shot dead by a police officer) and Baltimore, Maryland (where Freddie Gray died in police custody) are marked by long histories of economic inequality drawn along racial lines.  These persistent inequalities stem from both explicit government policies and implicit social dynamics.”

UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Simonovic admitted that the report by the Commission of Inquiry, (which was based on statements by defectors highly paid to provide the salacious fabrications they understood were sought by the “inquiry,”)  does not meet the standard of proof required for consideration in court.

And directly contradicting the report of the Commission of Inquiry are reports by Dr. Brandon K. Gauthier, an American historian who recently traveled within the DPRK, and favorably described his impressions and regular interactions with citizens living within North Korea.  He described these “normal people living normal lives, as quite comfortable within their nation, and revealing little distress or fear,” contrary to the portrayal of the DPRK by Western propaganda.  Dr. Gauthier described, in a recently published article, how, witnessing the US-NATO devastation of Iraq and the demolition of Libya, followed by the extrajudicial murder of Khadafy, after he had renounced efforts to acquire nuclear weapons, convinced Kim Jong Il that “only one weapon could prevent the chance of a foreign attack on North Korea”:  a nuclear weapon.

And as a famous American mainstream media reporter, accredited to the UN was overheard saying to Chinese Ambassador Liu at a reception:

“If I were Kim Jong-un witnessing the attack on Libya, and the torture-murder of Khadafy, after he had abandoned their nuclear program, I’d hold on to my nukes!!!”

And recalling the 80 million bombs which, according to CNN on September 6, 2016, the US dropped on tiny Laos during the Vietnam war, one can understand the constant terror of suffering such an attack which is endured daily by the DPRK.

It is a courageous small progressive nation trying to survive in a struggle where they are David confronting Goliath.

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