Tag Archive | "nORTH Korea"

The Faces of North Korea ‘Video’


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This is my 25-minutes piece about the DPRK (North Korea) – country that I visited recently; visited and loved, was impressed with, and let me be frank – admired.

I don’t really know if I could call this a ‘documentary’. Perhaps not. A simple story, a poem, you know: I met a girl, tiny and delicate, at the roller-skating ring in Pyongyang. How old was she? Who knows; perhaps four or five. She was first clinging to her mom, then to a Korean professor Kiyul, even to a former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark. Then she began skating away, waving innocently, looking back at me, at us, or just looking back…

Suddenly I was terribly scared for her. It was almost some physical fear. Perhaps it was irrational, like panic, I don’t know… 

I did not want anything bad to happen to her. I did not want the US nukes start falling all around her. I did not want her to end up like those poor Vietnamese or Iraqi or Afghan children, victims of the Western barbarism; of the chemical weapons, depleted uranium, or cluster bombs. I did not want her to starve because of some insane sanctions pushed through the UN by spiteful maniacs who simply hate “the Others”.

And so, I produced a short film, about what I saw in North Korea. A film that I made for, dedicated to, that little girl at the roller-skating ring in Pyongyang.

When I was filming, collecting footage in DPRK, the war, an attack from the West or from Japan or South Korea, looked possible, almost likely.

Watch the short film below:

When, some time later, I was editing, in Beirut, with a Lebanese editor, US President Donald Trump was threatening to “take care of the North Korea”. What he meant was clear. Trump is a ‘honest man’; honest in a mafia-style way. In the film I call him ‘a manager’. He may not be an Einstein, but he usually says what he means, at each given moment. You know, again, the Yakuza-style.

Now when I am releasing this humble work of mine, things look brighter after the Singapore Summit, although I really do not trust the West, after more than 500 years of barbaric colonialist wars and crusades. The ‘manager’ is perhaps honest when he says that now he likes President Kim, but then again, tomorrow he could be ‘honest’ again, declaring that he changed him mind and wants to break his arm.

Time to hurry, I feel. Time to hurry and to show to as many people as possible, how beautiful North Korea is, and how dignified its people are.


I can “sell” footage or “sell rights” and make some money for my other internationalist projects, but the whole thing would get delayed, and only limited number of people would see it in such case.

By releasing it like this, the film will make nothing, zero, but I guess it is my duty to do it this way. Hopefully, the film, or ‘a poem’, will be seen by many and the pressure on the West and on Japan will grow – pressure to stop intimidation of the people who already suffered so tremendously much!

If someone wants to support my films, including my works in progress (two big documentary films I am working on right now, one about Afghanistan after almost two decades of the NATO occupation, another about almost total environmental destruction in Kalimantan/Borneo), it can be done HERE. But no pressure. Just enjoy this particular film and other films that I will be soon and gradually releasing.


In the meantime, North Korea is standing.

While the West is calculating, what to do next. I don’t have a good feeling about all this. I hope I am wrong. I hope this is just a beginning of the serious peace process…

But I guess I have seen too many ruins of the cities, of countries and entire continents. Most of them were bombed, reduced to rubble after various ‘peace processes’. Mostly the bombs and missiles began flying after some sound agreements were reached and signed.

I don’t want the same thing to happen to North Korea. I don’t want this girl whom I spotted at the roller-skating ring, to vanish.

What I did this time is not much, but it is something. In this dangerous situation, almost everything counts. Let’s all do “something”, even if it is just a tiny bit. Rain is made of water drops, but it can stop a big fire. This time let us try to stop the madness by tiny drops of sanity and tenderness.

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Big Oil, Brexit, North Korea, China


Ex-Mossad Chief: Best Part of My Job Was Having ‘a License to Crime’

By Richard Silverstein, June 19, 2018

When asked about what issue took the lion’s share of his attention as Mossad chief, he answers that Iran took up 80% of the agency’s operational agenda.  For those of us who’ve long criticized Israel’s obsession with Iran and suspected it was a pressure valve exploited by Israeli leaders who sought to avoid issues like Palestine, Pardo’s admission makes one realize how much time the Mossad wasted on chimeras like this.

The Problem with Lamenting “Acceptance” of Kim Jong-un

By Hugh Gusterson, June 19, 2018

As one might expect of any event starring Donald Trump, reaction to the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore has been polarized. Republicans—the same people who condemned Barack Obama for visiting Cuba and John Kerry for meeting with Iranian leaders—defended Trump’s meeting with Kim Jong-un.

Are the Hard Brexiteers – Jumping Ship?

By True Publica, June 19, 2018

A couple of months ago, the driving force behind Ukip Nigel Faragewas forced into confirming that two of his children possess British and German passports, meaning they will maintain their free movement rights in the European Union after Brexit. Before that, the Independent reported that last year, Mr Farage was forced to deny he was applying for German citizenship himself after he was spotted queueing at the German embassy.

North Korea: What Price Peace?

By Askiah Adam, June 19, 2018

Indeed the Singapore Declaration was much anticipated and is well received. But there is, too, much pessimism. The recent unilateral abandonment of the Iran nuclear agreement, formally known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) by the United States is one. Iran, naturally, advised Kim to be wary.

Oil Giants Shell and Eni Face Trial in Milan Over Bribery Allegations in Biggest Corruption Case Facing Sector in Years

By Chloe Farand, June 19, 2018

They allege that Shell and Eni paid $1.1 billion into an account for the Nigeria government of which $800 million was later transferred to Malabu Oil and Gas, a company secretly owned by former Nigerian petroleum minister and convicted money launderer Dan Etete, to be distributed as payoffs.

China: The Largest Cheap Labor Factory in the World

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, June 19, 2018

The factory price of a commodity produced in China is of the order of 10% of the retail price in Western countries. Consequently, the largest share of the earnings of  China’s cheap labor economy accrue to distributors and retailers in Western countries.

In recent developments, Trump has duly instructed his administration to impose tariffs on about $50 billion worth of Chinese imports.

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Michel Chossudovsky in Winnipeg and Vancouver, January 15-16: North Korea and the Danger of Nuclear War


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We are at a dangerous crossroads. Miscalculation could lead to the unthinkable.

What distinguishes the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis from today’s crisis is that Kennedy and Khrushchev were acutely aware of the dangers of nuclear annihilation. Trump is not.

Fire and Fury: “We will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea” accusing Kim Jong-un, of being a “rocket man” on “a suicide mission.”

“Mistakes” often determine the course of world history. 

North Korea and the Danger of Nuclear War

Presentations by Michel Chossudovsky

Monday January 15, 2018

Two lectures in Winnipeg:

University of Manitoba (66 Chancellors Cir.)

Room 244, University College


University of Winnipeg (515 Portage Ave.)

Eckhardt-Grammatte Hall (room 3C00) Third Floor Centennial Hall

7:00-9:00pm (doors open at 6:30pm)

Winnipeg FB page:https://www.facebook.com/events/143083896347193/

Come to Prof. Chossudovsky’s lectures in Winnipeg to hear what you can do to stop this war.

Eckhardt-Grammate Hall, University of Winnipeg is wheelchair accessible. Take the escalator or elevator to the third floor. Lecture theatre is located on the far south side next to the escalators.

There are various downtown parking lots and parkades around the University of Winnipeg, each may have different rates and restrictions. Map available here:

Sponsored by Menno Simons College, Peace Alliance Winnipeg, and The Geopolitical Economy Research Group.

Michel Chossudovsky will also be speaking in Vancouver on January 16, 2017

Vancouver Public Library,

350 West Georgia Street
VancouverBC V6B 6B1

7.00pm- 9.oopm

The event on January 16 is organized by The Vancouver based Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) in collaboration with the Centre for Reearch on Globalization (CRG). 

The Vancouver Library venue coincides with the January 16 Canada – U.S.  “Vancouver Group,” meeting  on North Korea, which will be attended by foreign ministers from several countries including South Korea.

For further details on the Tillerson-Freeland “Vancouver Group” venue see the background article by Graeme McQueen and Christopher Black

A brief press conference is scheduled at the Public Library at 6.00pm prior to Michel Chossudovsky’s presentation.

Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (emeritus) at the University of Ottawa, Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal, and Editor of Global Research. He is the author of eleven books. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages.

FREE ADMISSION. Donations gratefully accepted. Q&A to follow lecture.

Draft Transcript of Presentation 

The host organizations have limited resources, Donations in support of the events in Winnipeg and Vancouver are much appreciated

Other References on Nuclear War

How Canada Can Lead North Korean Peace Talks at Vancouver Summit

By Christopher Black and Prof. Graeme McQueen, January 06, 2018

Targeting North Korea: Can a Nuclear War be Averted? Conversations with Michel Chossudovsky and Carla Stea

By Michael WelchProf Michel Chossudovsky, and Carla Stea, December 16, 2017

VIDEO: The Privatization of Nuclear War, Towards a World War III Scenario:

By James Corbett and Prof Michel Chossudovsky, December 11, 2017

“Wipe the Soviet Union Off the Map”, 204 Atomic Bombs against 66 Major Cities, US Nuclear Attack against USSR Planned During World War II

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, December 10, 2017

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, December 09, 2017

God is on the Side of Us Americans. “He May Guide Us to Use It [Nuclear Weapons] In His Ways and for His Purposes”: Truman

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, October 27, 2017

“In a Nuclear War the Collateral Damage would be the Life of All Humanity”. Conversations with Fidel Castro: Hiroshima and the Dangers of a Nuclear War

By Fidel Castro Ruz and Prof Michel Chossudovsky, October 03, 2017

The Strategies of Global Warfare: War with China and Russia? Washington’s Military Design in the Asia-Pacific

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, November 07, 2017

Towards a World War III Scenario? The Role of Israel in Triggering an Attack on Iran?

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, December 09, 2017

The Globalization of War, America’s “Long War” against Humanity

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, October 27, 2017

America had first Contemplated Nuclear War against both China and North Korea in 1950

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, October 16, 2017

Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, October 12, 2017

North Korea versus the United States: Who are the Demons? North Korea Lost 30% of Its Population as a Result of US Bombings in the 1950s

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, September 25, 2017

Fukushima: Nuclear War without a War

By Prof Michel Chossudovsky, December 16, 2017

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Beijing responds to report of secret aid to North Korea with two words


Image result for Fake news CARTOON

‘Fake news’

Asia Times 

An unverified report that Beijing was negotiating a secret deal with Pyongyang, published on Tuesday by the Washington Free Beacon, and syndicated by the Washington Times newspaper, has not gained much traction beyond that spattering of conservative American news outlets, garnering only a healthy dose of skepticism.

Not surprisingly, China was also not interested.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang responded Wednesday to a Chinese-language question on the report with two words – in English.

“Fake news,” Geng was quoted as saying in the official transcript of Wednesday’s regular press breifing. Next question, please.

The “top secret” document published in the report was purported to be from “a person who once had ties to the Chinese intelligence and security communities,” whatever that means, but the author also said he could not independently verify the document.

The question we posed yesterday is whether conservative media’s reporting of the document as newsworthy will pique Trump’s interest, regardless of its veracity. If the report was true, it makes Trump look like he was played like a fiddle, so he might be careful not to draw attention.

We might also see if the US president buys the “fake news” line — which he uses exclusively to lambast hostile liberal media — when it is used against conservative media supportive of his administration.

Posted in China, North KoreaComments Off on Beijing responds to report of secret aid to North Korea with two words

Tensions Rise Again as North Korea Tests Missile

North Korea test fired a long-range missile today that appears to have the range to potentially hit most parts of continental United States, including its capital Washington DC. The test took place amid high tensions on the Korean Peninsula stoked by the Trump administration’s threats to use military force to destroy North Korea’s nuclear and missile facilities.

North Korea fired the intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) at about 3 am local time from around Pyongsong, a town northeast of the capital Pyongyang. It flew on a lofted trajectory for about 53 minutes, reaching an altitude of around 4,500 kilometres and landing 960 kilometres away to the north of Honshu, Japan’s largest island.

If the ICBM had been fired at an angle designed for maximum distance, the range is estimated at more than 12,500 kilometres, placing the US east coast and Washington DC potentially within its reach. Whether the missile can carry a heavy payload, such as a nuclear warhead, over that distance is unknown.

Two similar North Korean ICBMs tested in July remained aloft for 37 minutes and 47 minutes respectively. A US intelligence official told Reuters the initial indications were that the missile engine was not significantly more powerful than the previous Hwasong-14 tests.

David Wright from the Union of Concerned Scientists suggested in a blog that North Korea simply lightened the missile’s payload.

“If true, that means it would not be capable of carrying a nuclear warhead to this long distance, since such a warhead would be much heavier,” he wrote.

Doubts also remain as to whether North Korea has developed a re-entry vehicle capable of shielding a nuclear payload from the intense heat and pressures generated when it re-enters the earth’s atmosphere from outer space. According to Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera, the missile broke up before landing in Japan’s exclusive economic zone.

US President Donald Trump made a relatively muted response at a press conference with Defence Secretary James Mattis.

“We will take care of it,” Trump told reporters. “It is a situation that we will handle.”

Mattis declared that the missile “went higher, frankly, than any previous shots.” He continued:

“The bottom line is it’s a continued effort to build a … ballistic missile threat that endangers world peace, regional peace and certainly the United States.”

However, the chief responsibility for inflaming tensions in North East Asia lies with US imperialism. Trump’s administration, following on from President Obama’s, has tightened the noose of crushing economic and diplomatic sanctions around North Korea and made clear that only Pyongyang’s complete capitulation to US demands will prevent a war.

Following North Korea’s nuclear test in early September, Trump threatened at the United Nations to “totally destroy” the country. The remark highlights the vast disparity between the US, which has the world’s most powerful military and thousands of nuclear warheads, and North Korea, which has a very limited nuclear arsenal and delivery systems.

The US has provocatively staged a series of large-scale military drills with South Korea, Japan and other allies throughout 2017. Earlier this month, the US navy held an exercise involving three American aircraft carriers, along with their accompanying strike groups of destroyers and cruises, and various South Korean vessels.

The latest war games, due to commence on Saturday, involve a massive display of air power. Known as Vigilant Ace, the air drill will involve 230 aircraft, including six F-22 Raptor stealth fighters, and 12,000 US military personnel. Its purpose, according to the US military, is to enhance interoperability between US and South Korean forces and “increase the combat effectiveness of both nations.” In other words, the intent is to prepare for war with North Korea.

Following today’s ICBM test by North Korea, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared:

“Diplomatic solutions remain viable and open for now. The United States remains committed to finding a peaceful path to denuclearisation and to ending belligerent actions by North Korea.”

He announced that the US and Canada would convene an international meeting next year to discuss how to counter North Korea.

However, the Trump administration has repeatedly rejected calls by China and Russia to pave the way for negotiations through a so-called freeze-for-freeze—suspending US and South Korean joint war games in return for North Korea halting its nuclear and missile tests.

Moreover, Trump last week reinstated North Korea to the US State Department’s list of state sponsors of terrorism in a move calculated to undermine any attempt to start negotiations. The Bush administration removed Pyongyang from the list in 2008 as part of US commitments contained in a denuclearisation deal signed in 2007. Just months later, President Bush sabotaged the deal by demanding more intrusive inspection procedures.

North Korea reacted angrily to Trump’s announcement, declaring that the decision to relist it as a sponsor of terrorism was “a serious provocation and violent infringement” of its sovereignty. Today’s missile test—the first of any type since September—is another indication that Pyongyang judges that the US cannot be trusted to negotiate in good faith.

The latest missile launch can only heighten tensions in North East Asia. South Korea responded six minutes later with its own show of force—the simultaneous test firing of a “precision” barrage of missiles from its army, navy and air force. All the missiles were calibrated to the distance to the North Korean test site, but fired into waters between South Korea and Japan.

Posted in USA, North KoreaComments Off on Tensions Rise Again as North Korea Tests Missile

Why North Korea Wants Nuke Deterrence


The revelation that North Korea hacked into South Korea’s military secrets and found U.S. plans for a preemptive “decapitation” of Pyongyang’s leadership explains its rush to build a nuclear deterrent, says Nicolas J S Davies.

Featured image: North Korean missile launch on March 6, 2017.

The Western media has been awash in speculation as to why, about a year ago, North Korea’s “crazy” leadership suddenly launched a crash program to vastly improve its ballistic missile capabilities. That question has now been answered.

In September 2016, North Korean cyber-defense forces hacked into South Korean military computers and downloaded 235 gigabytes of documents. The BBC has revealed that the documents included detailed U.S. plans to assassinate North Korea’s president, Kim Jong-un, and launch an all-out war on North Korea. The BBC’s main source for this story is Rhee Cheol-hee, a member of the Defense Committee of the South Korean National Assembly.

These plans for aggressive war have actually been long in the making. In 2003, the U.S. scrapped an agreement signed in 1994 under which North Korea suspended its nuclear program and the U.S. agreed to build two light water reactors in North Korea. The two countries also agreed to a step-by-step normalization of relations. Even after the U.S. scrapped the 1994 Agreed Framework in 2003, North Korea did not restart work on the two reactors frozen under that agreement, which could by now be producing enough plutonium to make several nuclear weapons every year.

However, since 2002-03, when President George W. Bush included North Korea in his “axis of evil,” withdrew from the Agreed Framework, and launched an invasion of Iraq over bogus WMD claims, North Korea once again began enriching uranium and making steady progress toward developing nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles to deliver them.

By 2016, the North Koreans also were keenly aware of the horrific fate of Iraq and Libya and their leaders after the countries did surrender their unconventional weapons. Not only did the U.S. lead bloody “regime change” invasions but the nations’ leaders were brutally murdered, Saddam Husseinby hanging and Muammar Gaddafi sodomized with a knife and then summarily shot in the head.

So, the discovery of the U.S. war plan in 2016 sounded alarm bells in Pyongyang and triggered an unprecedented crash program to quickly expand North Korea’s ballistic missile program. Its nuclear weapons tests established that it can produce a small number of first-generation nuclear weapons, but it needed a viable delivery system before it could be sure that its nuclear deterrent would be credible enough to deter a U.S. attack.

In other words, North Korea’s main goal has been to close the gap between its existing delivery systems and the missile technology it would need to actually launch a retaliatory nuclear strike against the United States. North Korea’s leaders see this as their only chance to escape the same kind of mass destruction visited on North Korea in the first Korean War, when U.S.-led air forces destroyed every city, town and industrial area and General Curtis LeMay boasted that the attacks had killed 20 percent of the population.

Through 2015 and early 2016, North Korea only tested one new missile, the Pukkuksong-1 submarine-launched missile. The missile launched from a submerged submarine and flew 300 miles on its final, successful test, which coincided with the annual U.S.-South Korean military exercises in August 2016.

North Korea also launched its largest satellite to date in February 2016, but the launch vehicle seemed to be the same type as the Unha-3 used to launch a smaller satellite in 2012.

However, since the discovery of the U.S.-South Korean war plans a year ago, North Korea has vastly accelerated its missile development program, conducting at least 27 more tests of a wide range of new missiles and bringing it much closer to a credible nuclear deterrent. Here is a timeline of the tests:

Two failed tests of Hwasong-10 medium-range ballistic missiles in October 2016.

Two successful tests of Pukguksong-2 medium-range ballistic missiles, in February and May 2017. The missiles followed identical trajectories, rising to a height of 340 miles and landing in the sea 300 miles away. South Korean analysts believe this missile’s full range is at least 2,000 miles, and North Korea said the tests confirmed it is ready for mass production.

Four medium-range ballistic missiles that flew an average of 620 miles from the Tongchang-ri space center in March 2017.

Two apparently failed missile tests from Sinpo submarine base in April 2017.

Six tests of Hwasong-12 medium-range ballistic missiles (range: 2,300 to 3,700 miles) since April 2017.

A failed test of a missile believed to be a “KN-17” from Pukchang airbase in April 2017.

Test of a Scud-type anti-ship missile that flew 300 miles and landed in the Sea of Japan, and two other tests in May 2017.

Several cruise missiles fired from the East coast in June 2017.

A test of a powerful new rocket engine, maybe for an ICBM, in June 2017.

North Korea tested two Hwasong-14 “near-ICBMs” in July 2017. Based on these tests, the Hwasong-14 may be capable of hitting city-sized targets in Alaska or Hawaii with a single nuclear warhead, but cannot yet reach the U.S. West Coast.

Four more missiles tested in August 2017, including a Hwasong-12 that flew over Japan and travelled 1,700 miles before breaking up, maybe as a result of a failure in a “Post Boost Vehicle” added to improve range and accuracy.

Another ballistic missile flew 2,300 miles over the Pacific on September 15, 2017.

An analysis of the two tests of the Hwasong-14 in July by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) concluded that these missiles are not yet capable of carrying a 500 kg payload as far as Seattle or other U.S. West Coast cities. BAS notes that a first generation nuclear weapon based on the Pakistani model that North Korea is believed to be following could not weigh less than 500 kg, once the weight of the warhead casing and a heat shield to survive reentry into the Earth’s atmosphere are taken into account.

Global Reaction

Awareness of the role of the U.S. war plan in spurring the dramatic escalation of North Korea’s missile program should be a game changer in the world’s response to the crisis over Korea, since it demonstrates that the current acceleration of the North Korean missile program is a defensive response to a serious and potentially existential threat from the United States.

If the United Nations Security Council was not diplomatically and militarily intimidated by the United States, this knowledge should trigger urgent action in the Security Council to require all sides to make a firm commitment to peaceful and binding diplomacy to formally end the Korean War and remove the threat of war from all the people of Korea. And the whole world would unite politically and diplomatically to prevent the U.S. from using its veto to avoid accountability for its leading role in this crisis. Only a unified global response to potential U.S. aggression could possibly convince North Korea that it would have some protection if it eventually halted its nuclear weapons program.

But such unity in the face of a threat of U.S. aggression would be unprecedented. Most U.N. delegates quietly sat and listened on Sept. 19 when President Donald Trump delivered explicit threats of war and aggression against North Korea, Iran and Venezuela, while boasting about his missile strike against Syria on April 6 over dubious and disputed claims about a chemical weapons incident.

For the past 20 years or more, the United States has swaggered about as the “last remaining superpower” and the “indispensable nation,” a global law unto itself, using the dangers of terrorism and weapons proliferation and highly selective outrage over “dictators” as propaganda narratives to justify illegal wars, CIA-backed terrorism, its own weapons proliferation, and support for its favored dictators like the brutal rulers of Saudi Arabia and other Arab monarchies.

For even longer, the United States has been two-faced about international law, citing it when some adversary can be accused of a violation but ignoring it when the U.S. or its allies are trampling on the rights of some disfavored country. When the International Court of Justice convicted the United States of aggression (including acts of terrorism) against Nicaragua in 1986, the U.S. withdrew from the ICJ’s binding jurisdiction.

Since then, the U.S. has thumbed its nose at the entire structure of international law, confident in the political power of its propaganda or “information warfare” to cast itself as the guardian of law and order in the world, even as it systematically violates the most basic rules spelled out in the U.N. Charter and the Geneva Conventions.

U.S. propaganda treats the U.N. Charter and the Geneva Conventions, the world’s “Never again” to war, torture and the killing of millions of civilians in the Second World War, as relics of another time that it would be naive to take seriously.

But the results of the U.S. alternative — its lawless “might makes right” war policy — are now plain for all to see. In the past 16 years, America’s post-9/11 wars have already killed at least two million people, maybe many more, with no end in sight to the slaughter as the U.S.’s policy of illegal war keeps plunging country after country into intractable violence and chaos.

An Ally’s Fears

Just as North Korea’s missile programs are a rational defense strategy in the face of the threat Pyongyang faces from the U.S., the exposure of the U.S.’s war plan by American allies in South Korea is also a rational act of self-preservation, since they too are threatened by the possibility of war on the Korean peninsula.

Now maybe other U.S. allies, the wealthy countries that have provided political and diplomatic cover for the U.S.’s 20-year campaign of illegal war, will finally reassert their humanity, their sovereignty and their own obligations under international law, and start to rethink their roles as junior partners in U.S. aggression.

Countries like the U.K., France and Australia will sooner or later have to choose between forward-looking roles in a sustainable, peaceful multi-polar world and a slavish loyalty to the ever-more desperate death throes of U.S. hegemony. Now might be a good moment to make that choice, before they are dragged into new U.S. wars in Korea, Iran or Venezuela.

Even Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is afraid that Donald Trump will lead humanity into World War III. But it might come as a surprise to people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Libya and parts of a dozen other countries already engulfed by U.S.-driven wars to learn that they are not already in the midst of World War III.

Perhaps what really worries the Senator is that he and his colleagues may no longer be able to sweep these endless atrocities under the plush carpets of the halls of Congress without a genteel Barack Obama in the White House to sweet-talk U.S. allies around the world and keep the millions being killed in U.S. wars off U.S. TVs and computer screens, out of sight and out of mind.

If politicians in the U.S. and around the world need the ugliness of Donald Trump as a mirror for their own greed, ignorance and temerity, to shame them into changing their ways, so be it – whatever it takes. But it should not escape anyone anywhere that the signature on this diabolical war plan that now threatens to kill millions of Koreans was not Donald Trump’s but Barack Obama’s.

George Orwell might well have been describing the partisan blindness of the West’s self-satisfied, so easily deluded, neoliberal society when he wrote this in 1945,

“Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage – torture, the use of hostages, forced labor, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians – which does not change its color when it is committed by our side… The Nationalist not only does not disapprove of atrocities committed by his own side, but he has a remarkable capacity for not even hearing about them.”

Here’s the bottom line: The United States has been planning to assassinate Kim Jong Un and to launch an all-out war on North Korea. There. You’ve heard it. Now, can you still be manipulated into believing that Kim Jong Un is simply “crazy” and North Korea is the gravest threat to world peace?

Or do you now understand that the United States is the real threat to peace in Korea, just as it was in Iraq, Libya and many other countries where the leaders were deemed “crazy” and U.S. officials (and the Western mainstream media) promoted war as the only “rational” alternative?

Posted in USA, North KoreaComments Off on Why North Korea Wants Nuke Deterrence

It’s a Mad, M.A.D. World: North Korea’s Potential Arms Exports Reshape East-West Geopolitics


It’s a Mad, M.A.D. World

North Korea’s Potential Arms Exports Reshape East-West Geopolitics

Asymmetric M.A.D. – Kim, Assad, Xi & Putin: How Dr. Strangelove’s Cats Can Eat Trump’s & Bibi’s M.A.D. Canaries

Mutually Assured Destruction (M.A.D.) works well against those who do not have covert defences and against those who fear their own destruction. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un certainly wants to assure his own survival, but Kim is willing to engage in a “scorched earth” policy against South Korea and others if U.S. President Donald J. Trump and the U.S. attack North Korea first.

With VT author Jeff Smith, Part 1 of this series of articles on Kim and North Korea (“Doctor Strangelove Returns: How I Learned to Live with the North Korean Bomb“) detailed how North Korea obtained nuclear weapons; why China would help; and what North Korea’s possession and proliferation of such nukes would enable North Korea and others to do.

This article (Part 2) details North Korean exports of “Scud” missiles to Iraq, Syria, United Arab Emirates etc. and the potential for North Korea to export “Scud Nukes” to countries that have been victims of unacknowledged mini-nuke attacks (e.g., Syria, Donbass, Yemen and others). As detailed in VT’s earlier articles, China also experienced an unacknowledged mini-nuke attack on Tianjin, the port city closest to the Chinese capital, Beijing. Thus, China had adequate motivation to help North Korea with asymmetric M.A.D.

North Korea’s Missile Programme

The Hwasong-5 North Korean tactical ballistic missile was derived from the Soviet R-17 Elbrus missile. It is one of several missiles with the NATO reporting name Scud.

North Korea obtained its first R-17 missiles from Egypt in 1979 or 1980, in return for assistance during the Yom Kippur War against Israel. As relations with the Soviet Union were rather strained at the time, and Chinese assistance had proven unreliable, the North Koreans set about reverse engineering the Egyptian missiles. This process was accompanied by the construction of a missile-building infrastructure, of which the main elements were the 125 factory at Pyongyang, a research and development institute at Sanum-dong and the Musudan-ri Launch Facility.

The first missile prototypes were completed in 1984. Designated Hwasong-5, and known in the West as the “Scud Mod. A”, they were identical to the R-17Es obtained from Egypt. The first test flights occurred in April 1984, but the first version saw only limited production, and no operational deployment, as its purpose was only to validate the production process.

Production of the definitive version of the Hwasong-5 (“Scud Mod. B” or “Scud-B”) began at a slow rate in 1985. The type incorporated several minor improvements over the original Soviet design. The range with a 1000 kilogram warhead was increased from 280 to 320 kilometres, and an array of payloads was developed, including high explosive (HE), cluster, chemical, and possibly biological warheads. Throughout the production cycle, until it was phased out in favour of the Hwasong-6 in 1989, the DPRK manufacturers are thought to have carried out small enhancements, in particular to the guidance system, but the exact details are unknown.

Tongchang-ri: In this March 6, 2017, photo distributed by the North Korean government, four extended range Scud missiles lift off from their mobile launchers in Tongchang-ri in North Pyongan Province, North Korea. The four Scuds fell into the ocean 300 to 350 kilometers (185 to 220 miles) from the coast of Japan. The ruling party’s newspaper stated it was not a test to see if the missiles would work but rather a “drill” to train the troops who will “strike the bases of the U.S. imperialist aggressor forces in Japan in a contingency.”

 North Korean Finds Strategic Partners

In 1985, Iran acquired 90 to 100 Hwasong-5 missiles from North Korea in a deal worth US$500 million. As part of the deal, North Korea agreed on a missile technology transfer, and it helped Iran establish a production line. In Iran, the Hwasong-5 was produced as the Shahab-1. United Arab Emirates purchased Hwasong-5 missiles in 1989.

Work on an extended-range version of the Hwasong-5 began in 1988, and with only relatively minor modifications, a new type was produced from 1989, designated Hwasong-6 (“Scud Mod. C” or “Scud-C”). It was first tested in June 1990, and entered full-scale production the same year, or in 1991.

To increase range over its predecessor, the Hwasong-6 has its payload decreased to 770 kg (1,700 lb) and the length of the rocket body extended to increase the propellant by 25%; accuracy is 700–1,000 meters circular error probability (CEP). Such range is sufficient to strike targets as far away as western Japan.

By 1999, North Korea was estimated to have produced 600 to 1,000 Hwasong-6 missiles, of which 25 had been launched in tests, 300 to 500 had been exported, and 300 to 600 were in service with the Korean People’s Army.

The Hwasong-6 was exported to Iran, where it is designated as the Shahab-2 and to Syria, where it is manufactured under licence with Chinese assistance, further export sales were made to Yemen.

Iranian Shahab-3 on i’s mobile launcher. You can’t find the missile-launchers before the missiles are fired – as the high number of Iraqi Scud launches throughout the 1991 Gulf War attests.

Gulf War 1 – Iraqi Scuds Bombard Israel & Saudi Arabia

The most famous use of Scud missiles came during the 1991 Gulf War when Iraq fired 88 locally modified Scuds at Saudi Arabia (46) and Israel (42) during January and February 1991.

The greatest tactical achievement of the Iraqi missile campaign was the destruction of a US military barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, on 25 February 1991, when 28 soldiers were killed and another 110 injured, effectively taking out of action an entire supply company, composed mainly of reservists from Pennsylvania.

One of the units involved in this incident, the 14th Quartermaster Detachment, specializing in water-purification, suffered the heaviest toll among US troops deployed in the Persian Gulf, with 81% of its soldiers killed or wounded. The other unit badly hit by the strike was the 47th Quartermaster Detachment.

Patriot’s Failure Illustrates The Fallacy of ABM Defence

In response to the Iraqi missiles, the US installed Patriot SAM batteries in both Israel and Saudi Arabia and claimed to be highly successful at intercepting incoming Scuds. President George H. W. Bush declared “Patriot is 41 for 42: 42 Scuds engaged, 41 intercepted!” However, it was later shown that no Scuds were successfully intercepted.

The failure of the Patriot system in tracking the Iraqi missile over Dhahran was alleged to have been provoked by a shift in the range gate of the radar, due to the continuous use of the software for more than 100 hours without resetting.

Today Patriot in it’s PAC-3 form is still widely deployed, including by Japan as a defence against North Korean missiles, however, it is highly unlikely that either Patriot nor its THAAD successor would be any more effective in the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) role than was witnessed in 1991.

On November 2, 2006, Iran fired unarmed missiles to begin 10 days of military simulations. Iranian state television reported “dozens of missiles were fired including Shahab-2 and Shahab-3 missiles. The missiles had ranges from 300 km to up to 2,000 km. … Iranian experts have made some changes to Shahab-3 missiles installing cluster warheads in them with the capacity to carry 1,400 bombs.” These launches come after some United States-led military exercises in the Persian Gulf on October 30, 2006, meant to train for blocking the transport of weapons of mass destruction.

From Scud Missiles to Thermonuclear Warheads

As we have seen, North Korea exported large numbers of Scud missiles and found willing partners to share the financial and technical burden of its missile development programme in Iran and Syria.

In part one of this article we laid out the technical details and background to how North Korea obtained it’s own thermonuclear warheads. North Korea will have the ability to manufacture more of these warheads, and there is no doubt that they will seek to export them to other nations wishing to acquire their own nuclear arsenals.

The list of nations who would be potential customers is long but at the top of the list would be North Korea’s existing strategic partners in Iran and Syria, nations who have been prime customers for North Korean arms exports for decades and who have had long-standing manufacturing partnerships with North Korea to produce ballistic missiles. Both Syria and Iraq had their own nuclear programmes, but both had to abandon them in the face of intense international pressure and both had their nuclear reactors attacked by Israeli airstrikes in order to prevent their possible use for production of weapons grade fissile materials.

These factors, compounded by the US-Israeli-Saudi campaign to destroy Syria, Iraq, Yemen and eventually Iran, which has been disguised under the flag of Islamic State act as major motivators for Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Iran to wish to arm themselves with nuclear weapons as deterrence against further aggression.

A tactical nuke explodes on the outskirts of the Yemeni capital, San’a

The Victims of Nuclear Strikes Seek Deterrence

As VT has reported, Syria, Iraq and Yemen have all been victims of assault by nuclear weapons. The Yemeni capital San’a was struck by a tactical nuclear weapon on 2015, most likely dropped by an Israeli F-16 fighter bomber.

Syria has been struck multiple times, including an Israeli tactical strike against Damascus that was disguised by an artillery barrage fired by the Israeli controlled ‘rebels’ who occupy the Syrian territory bordering the Israeli-occupied Golan heights. Other instances we know of include a strike on Syrian military positions near Aleppo.

Iraq was also struck by nukes several times, both during Gulf War 1 in 1991 when the Republican Guard were reduced to quivering wrecks who meekly surrendered after being hit by tactical nukes and in Gulf War 2 in 2003-4 when tough pockets of Iraqi resistance in Fallujah and the Baghdad Airport were taken out by tactical nuclear strikes. There was also the Baghdad marketplace truck bombing of 2015 where a small nuke was detonated and credit claimed by Islamic State.

The fact that these nations have fallen victim to nuclear attack provides powerful motivation for them to arm themselves with nuclear weapons in order to deter future nuclear attacks. These nations already possess the ballistic missiles to carry nuclear warheads, thanks to their long partnerships with North Korea, so it does not take much imagination to see how the next logical step is for North Korea to supply them with those warheads and as we explained in part one of this article, those warheads are thermonuclear devices with explosive yields of 150 to 200 kilotonnes.

Soon no nation will be able to use nuclear weapons with impunity, they will risk thremonuclear retaliation

Mutually Assured Destruction Will Soon Arise in The Middle East

The prospect of Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen arming themselves with ballistic missiles tipped with thermonuclear warheads will doubtless make the blood of the rulers of Israel and Saudi Arabia run very cold indeed. Their nations are within range of ballistic missile strikes from Iran, Iraq, Syria and Yemen and their major cities would be reduced to smouldering piles of ash by a thermonuclear weapon of the type North Korea is now producing.

Where Israel & Saudi Arabia have hitherto-fore been able to carry out tactical nuclear strikes with impunity, that will no longer be the case once North Korea begins to export its thermonuclear warheads. If Israel and their Saudi cohorts repeated their nuclear strikes on Damascus or San’a, they would be running the risk of seeing Tel-Aviv or Riyadh incinerated in response.

This new era of Mutually Assured Destruction will be just one part of a new world order that is truly multi-polar, where the USA is no longer the ‘bully in the yard’ and able to manipulate and coerce other nations or to carry out regime change. This new world order will no longer be dominated by any single power, rather, we will see Russia, China and India become legitimate superpowers in their own right; smaller nations like Iran and Venezuela will no longer be victimised.

Although, at first hearing, it may sound incongruous, but I believe that this new world order where thermonuclear weapons have become widespread will be more peaceful and stable than the old unipolar world order. Furthermore, I believe that leaders across the globe, not least those in Moscow to Beijing feel the same way, otherwise they would not have stood by and allowed North Korea to develop thermonuclear weapons and would be taking active steps to ensure Pyongyang not only ceased to develop it’s nuclear arsenal, but to also ensure there was no chance of such weapons proliferating.

In part 3 of this series of articles we will delve deeper into the underlying geopolitical machinations that have lead to the dawn of this new thermonuclear reality.

See Also: De-Nuking the Trump-Kim Pissing Contest by Thomas J. Mattingly


Posted in North KoreaComments Off on It’s a Mad, M.A.D. World: North Korea’s Potential Arms Exports Reshape East-West Geopolitics

North Korea Solution Depends on ‘Containment of the US’


No one wants nuclear war, yet that is the trajectory the US and NATO are on with not just North Korea, but potentially China and Russia too, journalist John Pilger fears. In fact, he says the crisis over North Korea is just “a sideshow to the main game.”

On Tuesday, investigative journalist and documentary filmmaker John Pilger spoke with RT America’s Natasha Sweatte about the seemingly escalating nuclear situation on the Korean peninsula.

RT: What are your thoughts on what the North Korean ambassador to Russia said today, that no sanctions will make North Korea change its policies, adding that North Korea’s nuclear program will help his country manage the “hostile policy” of the US? Don’t you think it’s just an excuse for Kim Jong-un to build up his arsenal?

John Pilger: Look, the problem is not North Korea. The problem is not Russia. The problem is not China. The problem is the United States.

There have been a number of agreements in the past, 1992, 1994, between North and South Korea to denuclearize Korea. The problem is the United States, and you have to look at this broadly. The problem for the rest of the world actually, now, is the containment of the United States. The US used to, during the first Cold War, talk about the containment of the Soviet Union, but no. It’s the containment of the United States and frankly, it always has been.

Yes, it’s an unpredictable regime, but there’s absolutely no doubt that if North Korea hadn’t developed nuclear weapons, it would’ve been attacked. Or the same thing would have happened, something similar would have happened to North Korea as happened to Libya and Iraq and Syria and Afghanistan.

RT: Will China help enforce the UN sanctions, and do you think the country feels alarmed over the recent actions coming out of Pyongyang?

JP: No, China is mostly alarmed by the United States, not by North Korea. It’s always been rather a worry that North Korea might provoke the United States, but even these sanctions that have gone through the Security Council, the United Nations sanctions, China has all ways of getting ’round them. They use Chinese currency, Chinese firms, so they don’t really work anyway. China’s main concern is that Pyongyang will provoke the United States, and that’s always, historically, that’s always been China’s concern.

RT: And speaking of sanctions to North Korea, why do you think the United Nations is targeting some of the country’s biggest remaining foreign revenue streams, but leaving its oil alone, which clearly, it would need for its huge military?

JP: I don’t know, frankly, and I don’t think it actually matters. Because, these sanctions are just going to not work on North Korea. North Korea has, over the years, developed a way of life, a way of development, a way of developing its strategic weapons, knowing that it’s going to be almost in a permanent state of siege. So, I don’t think any of these sanctions matter at all.

As I say, North Korea will be able to – they’ve stopped short at oil anyway – but North Korea will be supported by China. China just does it in a different way. They, instead of dealing with Koreans, deal with Chinese businessmen in Korea, so, like all sanctions, there are ways ‘round them.

Sanctions are irrelevant in a sense to this whole debate. What is needed is a peace treaty with North Korea, between the United States and North Korea and the government in Seoul.

But where it’s all heading is the most worrying thing of all. And we’ve just seen, although it’s not reported as far as I can tell in the United States, we’ve now seen a NATO document in Germany released by a research group there and in several of the German newspapers, that says that the whole question of whether NATO actually increases its nuclear weapons is the most important one.

And what this document is saying is that there is the beginning of the end of the intermediate range nuclear weapons treaty. That’s the most important treaty of the old Cold War. Once you take that away, then you’ve got the real threat of nuclear war between the great powers. So, in a way, North Korea is a sideshow to this. That’s the main game.

RT: And now it’s rumored that President Trump will visit China in November, and you know, he’s invited President Xi Jinping to Mar-a-Lago and has said some nice things about the president. Why do you think China hasn’t really stepped in by now to try and help ease tensions between the US and North Korea. Does China have too much of a stake in North Korea financially?

JP: I think China has stepped in to ease tensions. China and Russia have a strategic plan that they put to the United States that has been dismissed out of hand, that says if the United States and the government in South Korea stop these provocative military exercises, that he include as they put it, the decapitation of the Pyongyang regime, if they stop these provocative exercises, then the current testing in North Korea itself will cease.

So, China and Russia have actually come forward with positive plans. As I said at the beginning, the real problem to all this is the containment of the world’s biggest nuclear power, the United States.

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Russia and China Versus the West on North Korea


Their positions are world’s apart – evident in Monday’s Security Council meeting on North Korea.

Russia and China urge diplomacy to resolve a deepening crisis. They want tensions defused.

They oppose counterproductive tougher sanctions, threats and saber rattling, encouraging enhanced development of North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Above all, they want war on the Korean peninsula avoided. They sensibly proposed a double-freeze.

In return for Washington, South Korea and Japan halting their provocative military exercises Pyongyang believes are rehearsals for war, Russia and China call for suspension of the DPRK’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

Russia’s UN envoy Vasily Nebenzya warned that possible confrontation on the Korean peninsula is “high as never before,” peace experiencing a “serious test.”

He urged the international community to act “calmly and in a balanced way” – not “succumb to emotion.”

He criticized North Korea for undermining regional non-proliferation, posing a major threat to world peace – with possible “dire consequences” for its own country.

He urged diplomacy involving all relevant parties to defuse tensions and resolve the deepening crisis.

China’s UN envoy Liu Jieyi said his government won’t allow war and chaos on the Korean peninsula. He called for a dual-track, double-freeze explained above.

“(W)e we strongly urge (North Korea)…stop taking actions that are wrong, deteriorating the situation and not in line with its own interests either and truly return to the track of resolving the issue through dialogue,” he stressed.

Washington, Britain, France and Japan called for tougher sanctions in lieu of responsible diplomacy. After Monday’s meeting, US UN envoy Nikki Haley said she’s preparing a draft resolution, calling for tough new sanctions to be voted on in days.

Separately, Vladimir Putin and South Korean President Moon Jae-in spoke by phone. Russia’s leader urged diplomacy over further escalating tensions.

In Washington, Trump approved the sale of billions of dollars of weapons and munitions to South Korea. Moon agreed to permit four more THAAD missile system installations in Seongju – where two others are already deployed.

China and Russia demand removal of existing ones from South Korean territory, calling them a serious threat to their security.

Moscow and Beijing are united for regional peace – adamant about wanting the threat of war eliminated.

Washington remains hardline, rejecting the only ways to reduce tensions on the peninsula and avoid possible war by accident or design.

Dangerously heightened tensions show no signs of easing. Unbending US hostility toward Pyongyang bears responsibility – the way it’s been throughout the DPRK’s history.

Posted in USA, North Korea, RussiaComments Off on Russia and China Versus the West on North Korea

North Korea and the “Axis of Evil”


This 2004 article by award winning author, peace activist  and Vietnam war veteran Brian Willson brings to light the process of demonization directed against the people of North Korea. 

In the words of General Curtis Lemay who led the bombing raids during the Korean war:  “Over a period of three years or so we killed off – what – twenty percent of the population.” 

According to Brian Willson:

“It is now believed that the population north of the imposed 38th Parallel lost nearly a third its population of 8 – 9 million people during the 37-month long “hot” war, 1950 – 1953, perhaps an unprecedented percentage of mortality suffered by one nation due to the belligerance of another.”

Let us carefully analyze the current context of confrontation between Washington and Pyongyang. Since the end of the Korean War, the DPRK has repeatedly put forward a proposal involving  a peace treaty, the reunification of North and South Korea,  the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea, the end of the conduct, on a yearly basis of  a month-long U.S-South Korean war games.

This year’s US-South Korea war games in mid March involve a “hypothetical” US nuclear attack against the DPRK.  The war games constitute a deliberate act of provocation by the World’s foremost military power.

The media consensus –which nobody dare to challenge–  is that North Korea rather than the US  is a threat to global security. 

Where is the threat, North  Korea or the US?

A pre-emptive nuclear war against North Korea has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for over half a century.

Lets ask ourselves: Who is the Killer State? Who Possesses the WMDs? Who has the money and military hardware to pursue a global military agenda, in Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East?

How could a small country of 25 million which lost 30 percent of its population as a result of US bombings in the 1950s constitute a threat to global security.

Why is this impoverished country –which has been the object of economic sanctions for the past sixty years– being threatened? 

Since the end of the Korean war the threat of a US led nuclear has been relentless, for more than half a century. 

Is Washington committed to world peace? 

Recent history suggests that countries which are opposed to US expansionism are routinely the object of acts of aggression.

Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, April 5, 2013, July 5, 2017

[This article was first published by Global Research in April 2004]

North Korea and the “Axis of Evil”

by S. Brian Willson

The demonization of North Korea by the United States government continues unrelentlessly. The wealthy oil and baseball man who claims to be president of the United States, used his first State of the Union address on January 29, 2002 to brand perennial enemy North Korea, along with former allies Iran and Iraq, as “the world’s most dangerous regimes” who now now form a threatening “axis of evil.” Unbeknown to the public, because it was intended to have remained a secret (whoops!), was the fact that this claimed president presented a “Nuclear Posture Review” report to Congress only three weeks earlier, on January 8, which ordered the Pentagon to prepare contingency plans for use of nuclear weapons. The first designated targets for nuclear attack were his newly identified members of the “axis of evil,” along with four other lucky nations as well – Syria, Libya, Russia, and China. That this is nothing short of a policy of ultimate terror remains unaddressed in the U.S. media.

That Koreans are deeply concerned is an understatement. However, they understand the context in which their “evil” is being portrayed, not an altogether new threat levelled at them. However, the dangerous escalation of policy rhetoric following the 9-11 tragedy now boldly warns the world of virtual total war. Vice-president Richard Cheney, another oil man from Texas, declares that the U.S. is now considering military actions against forty to fifty nations, and that the war “may never end” and “become a permanent part of the way we live.”1 The Pentagon has declared that the widening gap between the “Haves” and “Have-nots” poses a serious challenge to the U.S., requiring a doctrine of “full spectrum dominance.” Thus, the U.S. demands total capacity to conquer every place and its inhabitants in and around the Earth, from deep underground bunkers, including those in North Korea and Iraq, through land, sea, and air, to outer space. All options for achieving global and spatial hegemony are now on the table. Already, the U.S. military is deployed in 100 different countries.2 Total war, permanent war. Terror!

Addiction to use of terror by the United States is nothing new. The civilization was founded and has been sustained by use of terror as a primary policy. For example, in 1779, General George Washington ordered destruction of the “merciless Indian savages” of upstate New York, instructing his generals to “chastize” them with “terror.” The generals dutifully carried out these orders. In 1866, General William Tecumseh Sherman ordered “extermination” with vindictive earnestness of the Sioux. They were virtually exterminated. Secretary of War Elihu Root (1899-1904) under President’s McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt, justified the ruthless U.S. military conduct in the Philippines that savagely killed a half-million citizens by citing “precedents of the highest authority:” Washington’s and Sherman’s earlier orders.3

War against nations around the world is not new either. The U.S., over its history, has militarily intervened over 400 times, covertly thousands of times, in over one hundred nations.4 Virtually all these interventions have been lawless. It has bombed at least eighteen nations since it dropped Atomic bombs on Japan in 1945. It has used chemical warfare against Southeast Asia, and has provided chemical warfare agents for use by other nations such as Iraq. It has used biological warfare against China, North Korea, and Cuba. The Koreans are quite aware of most of this history. Most U.S. Americans are not. But now the U.S. has declared a unilateral terrorist war on the whole world.5

Two of the interventions in the Nineteenth Century were inflicted against Korea, the first in 1866. The second, larger one, in 1871, witnessed the landing of over 700 marines and sailors on Kanghwa beach on the west side of Korea seeking to establish the first phases of colonization. Destroying several forts while inflicting over 600 casualties on the defending Korean natives, the U.S. withdrew realizing that in order to assure hegemonic success, a much larger, permanent military presence would be necessary. The North Korean people regularly remark about this U.S. invasion, even though most in South Korea do not know of it due to historic censorship. Most in the U.S. don’t know about it either, for similar reasons, even though in all of the Nineteenth Century, this was the largest U.S. military force to land on foreign soil outside of Mexico and Canada until the “Spanish American War” in 1898.


I believe it important for U.S. Americans to place themselves in the position of people living in targeted countries. That North Korea, a nation of 24 million people, i.e., one-twentieth the population of the U.S., many of them poor, a land slightly larger in area than the U.S. state of Pennsylvania, continues to be one of the most demonized nations and least understood, totally perplexes the Korean people. It is worthwhile to seek an understanding of their perspective.

I recently visited that nation and talked with a number of her citizens. I travelled 900 ground miles through six of North Korea’s nine provinces, as well as spending time in Pyongyang, the capital, and several other cities. I talked with dozens of people from all walks of life. Though times have been hard for North Koreans, especially in the 1990s, they long ago proudly rebuilt all of their dozens of cities, thousands of villages, and hundreds of dykes and dams destroyed during the war.

U.S. interference into the sovereign life of Korea immediately upon the 1945 surrender of the hated Japanese, who had occupied the Korean Peninsula for forty years, is one of the major crimes of the Twentieth Century, from which the Korean people have never recovered. (SEE “United States Government War Crimes,” Spring 2002 – issue # 1 of Global Outlook). From a North Korean’s perspective they (1) have vigorously opposed the unlawful and egregious division of their country from day one to the present, (2) were blamed for starting the “Korean War” which in fact had been a struggle between a minority of wealthy Koreans supporting continued colonization in collaboration with the U.S. and those majority Koreans who opposed it, (3) proudly and courageously held the U.S. and its “crony U.N. allies” to a stalemate during the “War,” and (4) have been tragically and unfairly considered a hostile nation ever since. They have not forgotten the forty years of Japanese occupation that preceded the U.S. imposed division and subsequent occupation that continues in the South. They deeply yearn for reunification of their historically unified culture.

Everyone I talked with, dozens and dozens of folks, lost one if not many more family members during the war, especially from the continuous bombing, much of it incendiary and napalm, deliberately dropped on virtually every space in the country. “Every means of communication, every installation, factory, city, and village” was ordered bombed by General MacArthur in the fall of 1950. It never stopped until the day of the armistice on July 27, 1953. The pained memories of people are still obvious, and their anger at “America” is often expressed, though they were very welcoming and gracious to me. Ten million Korean families remain permanently separated from each other due to the military patrolled and fenced dividing line spanning 150 miles across the entire Peninsula.

Let us make it very clear here for western readers. North Korea was virtually totally destroyed during the “Korean War.” U.S. General Douglas MacArthur’s architect for the criminal air campaign was Strategic Air Command head General Curtis LeMay who had proudly conducted the earlier March 10 – August 15, 1945 continuous incendiary bombings of Japan that had destroyed 63 major cities and murdered a million citizens. (The deadly Atomic bombings actually killed far fewer people.) Eight years later, after destroying North Korea’s 78 cities and thousands of her villages, and killing countless numbers of her civilians, LeMay remarked, “Over a period of three years or so we killed off – what – twenty percent of the population.”6 It is now believed that the population north of the imposed 38th Parallel lost nearly a third its population of 8 – 9 million people during the 37-month long “hot” war, 1950 – 1953, perhaps an unprecedented percentage of mortality suffered by one nation due to the belligerance of another.

Virtually every person wanted to know what I thought of Bush’s recent accusation of North Korea as part of an “axis of evil.” Each of the three governments comprising Bush’s “axis of evil” of course immediately condemned the remarks, North Korea being no exception. I shared with them my own outrage and fears, and they seemed relieved to know that not all “Americans” are so cruel and bellicose. As with people in so many other nations with whom the U.S. has treated with hostility, they simply cannot understand why the U.S. is so obsessed with them.

Koreans were relieved to learn that a recent poll had indicated eighty percent of South Koreans were against the U.S. belligerant stance against their northern neighbors. The North Korean government described Bush as a “typical rogue and a kingpin of terrorism” as he was visiting the South in February, only three weeks after presenting his threatening State of the Union address.7 It was also encouraging that the two Koreas resumed quiet diplomatic talks in March just as the U.S. and South Korea were once again conducting their regular, large-scale, joint military exercises so enraging to the North, and to an increasing number of people in the South among the growing reunification movement there.8

In the English-language newspaper, The Pyongyang Times, (February 23, 2002) there were articles entitled “US Is Empire of the Devil,” Korea Will Never Be a Threat to the US,” and “Bush’s Remarks Stand Condemned.” Quite frankly, all three of these articles relate a truth about the U.S. that would draw a consensus from many quarters around the world.

While in country, together we listened to Bush’s March 14 Voice of America (VOA) radio chastizement of North Korea. First, he stated that the North’s 200,000 prisoner population was proof of terrible repression. Though I had no way of knowing the number of prisoners in the North, any more than Bush did, I do know that the United States has 2 million prisoners which is similar in per-capita detention rate to that of North Korea if the 200,000 figure is accurate. Furthermore, the U.S. has a minimum of 3 million persons, mostly minority and poor, under state supervision of parole and probation. The U.S. sweeps its class and race problems into prison.

Second, Bush declared that half the population was considered unreliable and, as a result, received less monthly food rations. The Koreans are a proud people living in a Confucian tradition, having rebuilt their nation from virtual total destruction during the Korean war. I did not notice any obvious display of dissent. That some Koreans are desperate due to lack of food, water, and heat, especially in some rural areas, does not necessarily translate into dissent, though some are seeking relief by travel to neighboring countries.9

Third, Bush claimed that Koreans who listen to foreign radio are targeted for execution. Together we regularly listened to U.S.VOA radio broadcasts and they freely discussed the content of the broadcasts without fear of reprisals.

Fourth, Bush condemned the DPRK for spending too much on its military, causing food shortages for the people. Note: Again it must be remembered that it was the U.S. that unilaterally divided Korea following the Japanese surrender in August 1945, and subsequently ruled with a military occupation government in the south, overseeing the elimination of virtually the entire popular movement of (majority) opposition to U.S. occupation, murdering hundreds of thousands of people. The consequent Korean civil war that openly raged in 1948-1950 was completely ignored when the U.S. defined the beginning of the Korean War in 1950. The U.S. remains at war with the DPRK, never having signed a peace treaty with her. The war has left a deep scar in the Korean character with a memory that is regularly provoked by continued belligerance directed at the DPRK. The U.S. regularly holds joint military exercises with South Korean military forces aimed at the DPRK. The U.S. retains 37,000 military troops at 100 installations south of the 38th parallel. The U.S. has its largest Asian bombing range where it practices bombs five days a week, fifty-two weeks a year, despite opposition from many South Koreans. And now Bush has identified North Korea as part of an “axis of evil” targeted for nuclear attack. This is no remote idea to North Koreans. The U.S. possesses nuclear weapons on ships and planes in the Pacific region surrounding North Korea. Virtually every nation in this perilous position would be concerned about their defense.

It is worth noting that the United States is the leading military spender in the world resulting in substantial underfunding of its own indispensable social programs.

Fifth, Bush accused the DPRK of selling weapons to other nations. That is like the pot calling the kettle black. The U.S. is by far the largest manufacturer of conventional, nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons in the world. It is also the largest seller of these weapons, and has used conventional (against dozens of nations), biological (Cuba, China, Korea, perhaps others), chemical (Southeast Asia), and nuclear (Japan, and threatened to use them on at least 20 other occasions) weapons. In addition it has armed other nations with these weapons of mass destruction, including Iraq, one of those countries now identified as part of the “axis of evil.” In the year 2000, international arms sales were nearly $37 billion, with the U.S. being directly responsible for just over half of those sales. South Korea was the third largest buyer of weapons from the United States with $3.2 worth of military hardware.10  And in January 2002, South Korea was seriously contemplating purchasing an additional $3.2 billion worth of 40 F-X fighter jets from U.S. arms giant Boeing.

At the conclusion of this VOA radio broadcast, Koreans and I looked at each other in disbelief. But we also knew that we were in solidarity with each other as part of the human family. When I said goodbye to my new friends we embraced knowing that we live in a single world made up of a rich diversity of ideas and species. We know that we are going to live or die together, and hope that the arrogant and dangerous rhetoric and militarism of the United States will soon end so we can all live in peace. However, for that to happen, there will need to be a dramatic awakening among the people and a corresponding expression of massive nonviolent opposition that will make such threatening behavior impossible to carry out.


1. Bob Woodward, “CIA Told To Do ‘Whatever Necessary’ to Kill Bin Laden,” The Washington Post, October 21, 2001.

2. Bradley Graham, “Pentagon Plans New Command For U.S. Four Star Officer, Would Over See Homeland Defense,” The Washington Post, January 26, 2002.

3. Richard Drinnon, Facing West: The Metaphysics of Indian Hating and Empire Building. New York: Schocken Books, 1990, p. 329.

4. B.M. Blechman and S.S. Kaplan, Force Without War: U.S. Armed Forces As A Political Instrument. Wash., D.C.: The Brookings Institution, 1978, Appendix B; Congressional Research Service (Foreign Affairs and National Defense Division), Instances of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-1993. Wash., D.C.: Congressional Research Service, 1993; William Blum, Killing Hope: U.S. Military and CIA Intervention Since World War II. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 1995; John Stockwell, The Praetorian Guard. Cambridge, MA: South End Press, 1991.

5. William Blum, Rogue State. Monroe, ME: Common Courage Press, 2000; Stephan Endicott and Edward Hagerman, The United States and Biological Warfare: Secrets From the Early Cold War and Korea. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1998.

6. Richard Rhodes, “The General and World War III,” The New Yorker, June 19, 1995, p. 53.

7.”North Korea Calls Bush ‘Kingpin of Terrorism,” Reuters wire story, February 23, 2002.

8.”South Korea Envoy to Travel North,” BBC News Online: World: Asia-Pacific, March 25, 2002. Retrieved March 26, 2002, from http://news.bbc.co.uk/low/english/world/asia-pacific/newsid_1891000/1891457.stm

9. Ji-Yeon Yuh, “North Korean Enemy Should Be Made Friend,” The Baltimore Sun, February 27, 2002.

10. Thom Shanker, “Global Arms Sales Rise Again, and the U.S. Leads the Pack, ” The New York Times, August 20, 2001.

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