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Korean victory in the Fatherland Liberation War: 70 years on

‘Our people have inherited the heroic spirit of the generation who defeated the US-led gang in 1953 – a de facto confrontation between the rifle and the atomic bomb.’

DPRK Embassy

As our party was unable this year to hold our annual anti-imperialist barbecue, we held instead an online meeting celebrating the Korean victory in the Fatherland Liberation War in 1953, attended by more than 1,200 online (YouTube and Twitter views within the first 18 hours).

Those who missed the meeting can catch up with it on Proletarian TV.

On this, the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean war, we also reproduce this article, first published by the DPRK’s Institute for Disarmament and Peace, with the aim of keeping alive the memory of the Korean people’s heroic struggle, as a result of which they, with the support of the international communist movement, became the first to defeat the mighty US imperialism in war (despite the US having 16 allied countries fighting on its side) and to frustrate its nefarious aims.

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Withdrawal of the US’s hostile policy towards the DPRK – an indispensable prerequisite for peace and stability on the Korean peninsula

Paper of the Institute for Disarmament and Peace, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea

Seventy years have elapsed since the bursts of gunfire of war were heard on this land.

The Korean war forced by the United States inflicted painful scars and tremendous human and material losses upon the Korean people. Continuing even today is the suffering of national division, whereby kinsfolk of the same blood are forced to live apart.

As the Korean nation still suffers from the heartrending wounds of war, it is stronger than any other nation in respect of its cherished desire to live on a peaceful land without war, and has long persevered in its efforts to realise that desire, but in vain.

Its underlying cause is the sinister design – that is, the USA’s hostile policy towards the DPRK.

The Institute for Disarmament and Peace, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK releases this paper with a view to laying bare before the whole world the truth behind the Korean war that was ignited by the US in the 1950s of the last century, and to revealing the aggressive and predatory nature of the US’s hostile policy towards the DPRK, which imposes immeasurable misfortune and pain on the entire Korean nation.

The Korean war was an inevitable product of the US’s hostile policy towards the DPRK

The Korean war was a criminal war of aggression that was systematically prepared and provoked by the US under thoroughgoing plans to stifle the DPRK by force of arms and to hold in its hands Asia and the rest of the world.

Even though the US continues to fabricate all sorts of tricky information designed to cover up its aggressive crimes of having provoked the Korean war, the truth of history can neither be covered up nor obliterated.

Since more than one hundred years and several decades ago, the US adopted as its state policy to invade and dominate Korea, a gateway to the Asian continent, and desperately pursued a hostile policy towards Korea for its implementation.

US ruling circles presented their ‘proposal on opening Korea’ to the US Congress in February 1845 and perpetrated a series of incidents such as the intrusions of the General Sherman in 1866, the USS Shenandoah and USS China respectively in 1868, and a large-scale armed invasion in 1871.

After signing the Taft-Katsura agreement with Japan in 1905, the US backed the occupation and colonial rule by Japan over Korea while systematically attempting to turn the country into its own eventual colony.

By the end of World War 2, the USA had perfected its plan to occupy our country.

In the letter sent in March 1951 to Joseph Martin, senator of the US Congress, MacArthur, the then commander of the US forces in the Far East, wrote:

“If we lose this war to communism in Asia, the fall of Europe is inevitable.”

His view was that “By conquering all of Korea we can cut into pieces the one and only supply line connecting Soviet Siberia and south … and control the whole area between Vladivostok and Singapore. Nothing would then be beyond the reach of our power.” (Quoted in Herschel Meyer, Modern History of the United States, Kyoto, p148)

In a word, the US regarded Korea as a “dagger” to cut off a “lump of meat”, which meant Asia.

The Korean war was badly needed by the American munitions monopolies, which had been fattened by the piles of money they had amassed during World War 2. The economic crisis, which had started in the US at the end of 1948, became more acute by 1949.

Industrial production plummeted by 15 percent compared with the previous year, prices nose-dived, and investment in machinery and equipment reduced sharply, resulting in the bankruptcy of over 4,600 companies and an increase in unemployment to six million during the first half of 1949 alone.

The revenue of US monopolies shrank from $36.6bn to $28.4bn during the period between September 1948 and March 1949.

Soon after the Korean war broke out, American publications headlined: “the business called Korea revived the economy” and “the outbreak of the Korean war exorcised the evil of recession that had been agonising the American commerce since the end of the World War 2”.

This indicates that a ‘special recipe’ – ie, a war – was needed by the US at that time in order to rid itself of an economic crisis.

This is how the US chose Korea, as part of its strategy for world hegemony, as a “unique point of tangency between the American military system and the Asian mainland”, an “ideological battleground”, a “testing ground” for a showdown aimed at realising world domination, and also as the only way to get out of the economic crisis that followed World War 2.

The true aggressive colours of the US, which took the lead in preparing for the Korean war, are also clearly revealed by working out the war scenario.

The plan of the US to occupy Far East was divided into three phases: The first phase was to begin with the Korean war (A) and in the second phase the war was to be expanded into China (B), while in the final phase, Siberia was to be occupied (C). The start of the operation was slated for 1949.

A Japanese magazine dated September 1964 disclosed the story behind the scenes by citing a former colonel of the Imperial Japanese Army, who had been involved in this conspiracy, as follows:

“The operation was divided into three phases. First, ten divisions comprising the US army and south Korean army are deployed along the 38th parallel, and two operation zones – ie, the east zone and the west zone are formed.

“The west front directly advances to Pyongyang and a landing operation at northern Pyongyang with the cooperation of the navy and air forces is conducted in parallel with it. The east front chooses Yangdok as its left flank and ensures the connection between Pyongyang and Wonsan and its right flank will march directly towards Wonsan. Here again, a landing operation at northern Wonsan is conducted by a naval unit.

“These two fronts advance together up to River Amnok and break through the Sino-Korean border. This was the first phase of the operation and a detailed plan based on data provided by the former Japanese army was worked out.

“Next, the operation enters the second phase the moment the Sino-Korean border is broken through, followed by participation of the Japanese army and the United Nations forces. This was the sequence.”

With a thoroughgoing plan and concrete preparation, the US ignited the Korean war by inciting the south Korean puppet army at 4.00am on 25 June 1950.

On the eve of the war, Brigadier General William Lynn Roberts, head of the US military advisory group in south Korea, gabbled: “We have chosen the 25th and this explains our prudence. It is Sunday. It’s the Sabbath for both the United States and south Korea, Christian states. No one will believe we have started a war on Sunday. In short, it is to make people believe that we are not the first to open a war.”

After the provocation of the Korean war, the US manoeuvred cunningly to cover up its true colours as the aggressor.

On 25 June, the US requested a United Nations security council meeting, forging UNSC ‘resolution’ 82, which designated the DPRK as ‘aggressor’. On 7 July it forged yet another UNSC resolution 84, which ‘recommended’ making allied forces available to ‘a unified command under the US’ and ‘asked’ the US to designate its commander, ‘authorising’ the use of the UN flag.

The DPRK was thus branded the ‘provoker’ of the war, and the war of the Korean people to liberate their fatherland was labelled an ‘aggression’, while ‘United Nations forces’ made their appearance as a belligerent party to the war.

Several former UN secretary-generals have officially admitted that the ‘UN command’ was not a UN-controlled organ but purely a war tool of the US.

In June 1994, then UN secretary-general Boutros Boutros-Ghali admitted: “The UNSC did not establish the ‘Unified Command’ as a subsidiary organ under its control, and it came to be placed under the authority of the US.” (Letter from the UN secretary-general to the minister of foreign affairs of the DPRK, 24 June 1994)

In December 1998, then UN secretary-general Kofi Annan said: “None of my predecessors have granted any authorisation to any state to make the use of the name of the UN,” referring to the forces and command dispatched by the US to the Korean war. (Letter from the UN secretary-general to the president of the presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly of the DPRK, 21 December 1998)

On 27 July 2004 and 6 March 2006, UN spokespersons confirmed that the “‘UN Command’, despite its name, is not the army of the UN, but a US-led force.”

It is not the UN but the US which has the power to appoint the ‘UN commander’. It is not the UN but the US administration which has absolute power to decide on either a reduction or an increase in those US forces in south Korea who wear the ‘UN force’ helmets.

Despite all these facts, the UN flag is still brazenly flying in Panmunjom, bringing shame on the United Nations.

This fiercest war ended in the miraculous victory of the heroic Korean people, who were under the leadership of President Kim Il Sung. But the human and material losses suffered by our nation were tremendous.

The terrible atrocities and massacres perpetrated by the US imperialists in particular cannot be detailed in this short paper.

The US imperialists, who had wormed into Sinchon County in October 1950, committed all kinds of atrocities of massacre against 35,380 innocent residents, equivalent to 25 percent of the county’s population, in 50-plus days. They burnt the innocent residents to death, drowned them in reservoir, shot to death, burnt them on the firewood, ripped apart the limbs of living persons and cut off the abdomens of pregnant women.

These facts lay bare before the world that the US imperialists are no less than wild beasts and bloodthirsty wolves in human shape.

Even according to official statistics, the US imperialists, during the Korean war, killed more than 1.23 million people in the northern half of the republic and more than 1.24 million people in south Korea, and attempted to eliminate our nation by the use of chemical and biological weapons.

In 1951, an investigation team of the Women’s International Democratic Federation, which investigated the atrocities of the imperialists on the site, wrote in its report: “The massacres and tortures committed by the US troops in the areas of their temporary occupation are more atrocious than those committed by Hitler’s Nazis in Europe.”

Openly clamouring that they would “wipe out 78 cities and towns of north Korea from the map” and “leave nothing intact”, the US, throughout the Korean war, dropped almost 600,000 tons of bombs and napalm on the northern half of the republic – 3.7 times the amount of bombs dropped on the Japanese mainland during the Pacific war.

Severely destroyed owing to these atrocities were 50,941 factories and enterprises, 28,632 school buildings, 4,534 medical buildings, including hospitals and clinics, 579 scientific research buildings, 8,163 media and cultural buildings, 2,077,226 homes. Moreover, 563,755 hectares of farming land was damaged, and the total reduced area of paddy and non-paddy fields amounted to 155,500 hectares.

When the war was over, there was nothing left but ashes, and the US bragged that Korea would not recover even after 100 years.

All these facts eloquently show that the US imperialists were the provokers of the Korean war and the sworn enemy of the Korean people, and prove that peace will never settle on the Korean peninsula as long as the US’s hostile policy towards the DPRK persists.

Criminal and systematic abolition of the armistice agreement

The US’s hostile manoeuvres towards the DPRK after the Korean war are characterised by pursuit of the permanent division of the Korean peninsula and by ceaseless nuclear threats and blackmail against the DPRK.

The Korean war, which war chief President Harry S Truman described as no less than the World War 3, came to a pause with the conclusion of the armistice agreement. But this meant neither the end of war nor the conclusion of a peace agreement.

At the time of its conclusion, the armistice constituted no more than a transitional step aimed at withdrawing all foreign troops from the Korean peninsula and establishing lasting peace.

No sooner had the armistice agreement been signed than the US drove the situation of the Korean peninsula to the brink of war once more, in flagrant violation of the agreement, driven by the wild ambition to make our people its slaves by any means and to seize the whole of peninsula.

Around 10.20pm on 27 July 1953, less than half an hour after the armistice agreement came into force, the US army fired several machine gun shots towards our side’s area, continuing to fire shells over the border at intervals of tens of minutes for several hours.

In disregard of the paragraph 10, article I of the armistice agreement, which stipulates that only pistols and rifles can be carried in the demilitarised zone (DMZ), including in the joint security area (JSA), the US army introduced not only automatic rifles and machine guns but also cannons, tanks, flame throwers, helicopters and more, and opened gunfire towards our side’s posts and guardsmen indiscriminately almost every day.

Since 1968, the US army has mobilised fully-armed troops to repeat the military operations it had conducted in the areas along the 38th parallel, including Mount Songak, just before the provocation of the 25 June war.

The US army has committed innumerable acts of provocation in the Panmunjom JSA, including Panmunjom incident on 18 August 1976 and the incident of gunfire towards our security personnel on 23 November 1984.

The US nullified paragraph 60, article IV of the armistice agreement, which envisages the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Korea and the peaceful settlement of the Korean question.

Paragraph 60 of the armistice agreement stipulated that within three months after the armistice agreement becomes effective a political conference of a higher level is to be held to negotiate the questions of the withdrawal of all foreign forces from the Korean peninsula and the ways for peaceful settlement of the Korean question.

At the preparatory talks for a political conference that were convened at Panmunjom on 26 October 1953, the US laid artificial obstacles, only clinging to the obstructive manoeuvres, and on 12 December the same year, it unilaterally withdrew from the meeting room. Thus the talks didn’t proceed to the main conference, but was ruptured in the preparatory stage.

Afterwards, the Geneva conference was convened for the peaceful settlement of the Korean question, but the US deliberately disrupted the conference.

On 8 August 1953, the US staged the ceremony of signing of what is called a ‘mutual defence treaty’ with south Korea in order to legitimise permanent stationing of US troops in south Korea.

On 2 January 1955, the then chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff made reckless remarks that the US army would station, for an indefinite period, in south Korea which is of great strategic significance in its world hegemony, and that it would continue to hinder the peaceful coordination of the Korean question.

After the UN resolution on dissolution of the ‘UN command’ for the durable peace on the Korean peninsula was adopted at the 30th session of the UN general assembly in November 1975, the US clung more openly to its scheme for the permanent occupation by cooking up the US-south Korea ‘Combined Forces Command’.

In early March 2006, the US worked out the plan and got down to its implementation for expanding and reorganising the nominal ‘UN command’ into a permanent organisation of multinational forces by way of increasing the role of belligerent states of the Korean war and permitting them to take part not only in the formulation of emergency and operational plans but also in detailed activities.

Thus, the process for converting the armistice agreement into a peace agreement miscarried, and the unstable state of neither war nor peace continues on the Korean peninsula.

In August 1953 the US went totally against paragraph 13(b), article II of the armistice agreement and unilaterally drew the ‘northern limit line’ in the West Sea of Korea, which is an act of illegal and outrageous crime, thereby transforming its surrounding areas into the world’s most dangerous hotspot. It is also attempting in every way to impose a blockade on our country under the pretext of the ‘proliferation security initiative’, running counter to paragraph 15, article II which prohibits any kind of blockade against the DPRK.

The US nullified paragraph 13(d), article II of the armistice agreement which called for a complete cessation of introduction of all military materiel from outside of the Korean territory and turned south Korea into a world’s weapons exhibition hall.

The US incessantly threatened and blackmailed the inspection teams of the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission, which were mandated according to paragraph 13(c), article II of the armistice agreement to supervise and inspect the introductions of military materiel from outside of the Korean territory, and eventually expelled them from south Korea in June 1956, thereby paralysing their inspection functions.

In May 1957, the then US secretary of state openly stated in public that “the US should consider sending more modern and effective weapons to south Korea”, and on 21 June the same year, the US army side that attended the 75th meeting of the Military Armistice Commission (MAC) announced its unilateral abrogation of paragraph 13(d) of the armistice agreement.

The US shipped into south Korea more than 1,000 nuclear weapons during the period between the late 1950s and the 1980s. As a result, south Korea was converted into the most highly deployed area of nuclear weapons in the world, their number being over four times that of Nato member states, and into an advanced outpost for outbreak of a nuclear war. The US also formalised the provision of nuclear umbrella to south Korea at the 14th session of the US-south Korea annual security consultative meeting held in March 1982.

At the dawn of the 21st century, the US designated our country as a target for pre-emptive nuclear strike in its ‘nuclear posture review’ and shipped into south Korea the warfare equipment worth an astronomical amount of money, along with nuclear weaponry.

The US has deployed in south Korea all sorts of ultra-modern offensive arms such as F-117 stealth fighters, F-15 and F-16 fighters, Shadow 200 tactical reconnaissance drones, Apaches, new-type Patriot missiles, Stryker armoured vehicles, guided missile destroyers, Abrams M1-A2 tanks, ATACMS ground-to-ground missiles, mine-removing armour-protected (MRAP) special vehicles, and even introduced the Thaad system.

Most recently it has introduced F-35A stealth fighters, Global Hawk high-altitude reconnaissance drones, AWACS and many other ultra-modern offensive weapons, thus literally transforming south Korea into a showcase for its lethal weapons industry.

The US went to the length of abolishing both the armistice commission and the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission (NNSC), the only remaining supervisory bodies tasked with implementing the armistice agreement in Korea.

In the 1950s, it dissolved the Neutral Nations Inspection Teams under the NNSC and the Joint Observer Team under the Military Armistice Commission, which had been provided for by paragraph 23, article II of the armistice agreement.

On 25 March 1991, the USA went through the farce of designating as its senior military representative to the MAC a puppet army officer of south Korea, which is not a signatory to the armistice agreement and therefore does not have any qualifications or authority to handle issues relating to it.

With this, the MAC, which had functioned for more than four decades, ceased to exist, and the NNSC too, having lost its counterpart, withered away.

The US also abrogated the preamble and paragraph 12 of the armistice agreement, which provides for a complete cessation of hostilities and of all acts of armed force in Korea.

Since 1954, when it staged operation ‘Focus Lens’, its first joint military exercise with south Korea, the US has conducted endless war drills, including operations ‘Freedom Bolt’, ‘Team Spirit’, ‘Ulji Focus Lens’, ‘Joint Wartime Reinforcement Exercise’, ‘Key Resolve’, ‘Foal Eagle’ and ‘Ulji Freedom Guardian’.

These exercises far exceeded any wargames taking place in other parts of the world, both in terms of frequency and scope. The entirety of the US’s strategic nuclear triad – nuclear aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines and nuclear strategic bombers – has been mobilised in these nuclear war drills aimed at the DPRK.

The nature of the exercises has become steadily more aggressive and provocative. Today, the stated aim of such masquerades is openly described as a ‘decapitation operation’, ‘precision strike’, ‘invasion of Pyongyang’, etc, throwing off both the ‘annual’ and ‘defensive’ veneers.

The US further developed its pre-emptive nuclear strike scenarios through Oplan 5026, Oplan 5027, Oplan 5029, Oplan 5030, Oplan 5012, Oplan 5015, Oplan 8044, Oplan 8022, Oplan 8010, the ‘tailored deterrence strategy’ and Oplan 4D.

As is evident from the above, the US left no stone unturned in abrogating each and every article and paragraph of the five articles and 63 paragraphs of the armistice agreement. In truth, that agreement has been dumped like a scrap of waste paper.

Owing to the hostile policy of the US and its endless nuclear threats and blackmail towards the DPRK, the Korean peninsula has been turned into the world’s hottest spot, where nuclear war could be sparked at any moment.

If we in the north had not considerably strengthened our self-defensive deterrence, the Korean peninsula could have fallen into the ravages of war more than a hundred times, and a catastrophic third world war would have already started.

Strengthening the war deterrent is our final option

It is 67 years since the gunfire of war ceased on this land, but there is one thing that has not ceased at all: the hostile policy of the USA towards the DPRK.

The United States is becoming daily more open about its desire to annihilate the DPRK by force and gain military dominance in the Asia-Pacific region, and thus, by extension, to realise its ambition for world hegemony at any cost.

The government of the DPRK has put forward a number of peace proposals and initiatives over the decades, including the proposal (in the 1970s) for concluding a DPRK-US peace agreement and the proposal (in the 1990s) for establishing a new peace mechanism, all of which were rejected outright by the US.

In the second half of the 1990s, four-party talks were held involving the DPRK, the US, China and south Korea, aimed at establishing a durable peace mechanism on the Korean peninsula. Owing to the insincere attitude of the US, however, no fruit was produced by this initiative.

In the new century, we put forward a proposal aimed at formerly ending the war, offering to convene a meeting at the earliest possible date so as to replace the armistice agreement with a peace agreement by 2010, the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean war. Once again, the United States turned down these proposals.

Instead, the US openly designated our country as part of an ‘axis of evil’, an ‘outpost of tyranny’ and a ‘target for a pre-emptive nuclear strike’, illegally labelling us as a ‘sponsor of terrorism’, a site of the ‘proliferation of weapons of mass destruction’, accusing us of ‘human rights abuse’, ‘money laundering’, ‘counterfeiting’, ‘drug trafficking’ and so on in order to justify its hostile policy towards the DPRK.

The US did not even hesitate to make reckless remarks about the ‘total destruction’ of the DPRK, running amok in order to overturn our ideology and system.

The hostile policy of the US towards the DPRK is well evidenced by the fact that it openly threatened us with the use of nuclear weapons.

The US had declared that it would drop atomic bombs on the DPRK during the Korean war, and once again gradually escalated its nuclear threats against us after the conclusion of the armistice agreement.

When its armed spy ship Pueblo was captured in January 1968, the US reviewed the option of a nuclear attack against us, and when the large-size reconnaissance plane ‘EC-121’ was shot down in our territorial airspace in April 1969, it kept its nuke-mounted tactical bombers on emergency standby while the then US president Richard Nixon made reckless remarks about having decided to approve the use of atomic bombs in case north Korea struck back.

Such public nuclear threats and blackmail by the US towards the DPRK are only the visible tip of a huge iceberg.

The war in Kosovo triggered by the US from March to June 1999 was a war of injustice, simulating a second Korean war.

The former Yugoslavia served as the US test ground for a new Korean war, because the country has natural and geographical conditions similar to the Korean peninsula and its distance from the US mainland is almost the same as the distance between the US mainland and the Korean peninsula.

The fact that the US together with Nato conducted ceaseless and indiscriminate air raids of zero operational significance and ruthlessly used depleted uranium bombs and WMDs that spread toxic bacteria serve as an oblique illustration of the second Korean war being plotted by the US.

With the turn of a new millennium, the US’s nuclear threats against the DPRK became ever more blatant.

On 6 June 2001, President George HW Bush launched a so-called ‘North Korea policy statement’, in which he claimed that the US would wield its military strength – including nuclear weapons – if the DPRK did not accept the US demand for nuclear inspections, the suspension of missile launches and development, and a reduction in the DPRK’s store of conventional weapons.

In 2002, the US stated that it could be the first to use nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula and that it would develop small nuclear ‘bunker busters’ to this end, thereby making a pre-emptive nuclear strike against the DPRK a fait accompli.

In 2009, at the 41st session of the US-south Korea annual security consultative meeting, the US announced in writing that it would provide extended deterrence for south Korea by means of a nuclear umbrella, conventional strike capabilities and a missile defence system.

American nuclear threats against the DPRK reached a peak in 2017.

The US once more pushed the Korean peninsula to the threshold of nuclear war by deploying nuclear strategic assets and the latest warfare equipment in south Korea and its surrounding areas. Weaponry included the super-large nuclear-powered aircraft carriers Carl Vinson and Ronald Reagan, B-1B, B-52H and B-2A nuclear strategic bombers, and the nuclear-powered submarines Columbus, Tucson and Michigan.

The US’s hostile policy and nuclear threats towards the DPRK became even more aggressive after the DPRK-US summit, held in Singapore with the aim of establishing a new bilateral relationship and building a lasting and durable peace mechanism on the Korean peninsula.

Despite the fact that we voluntarily took crucial and meaningful initiatives – including the discontinuation of nuclear tests and ICBM test-fire – for the sake of building mutual confidence in the talks, the US, far from responding to these initiatives with corresponding measures, conducted tens of joint military drills (which its president had personally promised to stop) and threatened the DPRK militarily, shipping ultra-modern warfare equipment into south Korea.

The US carried out a test simulating the interception of one of our intercontinental ballistic missiles, and followed this with test launches of all kinds of missiles, including the ICBM Minuteman-3 and SLBM Trident 2D-5, thus maximising its nuclear threats against us.

Even in the midst of the unprecedented crisis triggered by Covid-19, the US’s military threats against us have not abated. If anything, they have increased, with the US and south Korea staging a joint air drill and marine corps joint landing drill this April.

No other nation on the planet has suffered from nuclear threats so directly or for so long as the Korean nation, and to our people, such nuclear threats are not an abstract concept but our actual and concrete experience.

Our nation suffered directly from the US nuclear attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in which our people were the second-largest victim after the Japanese people.

To our people, who had personally experienced the horrible ravages of the nuclear bomb, the US’s atomic threats were a real nightmare during the Korean war, and gave rise to a procession of ‘A-bomb refugees’, streaming from the north to the south of the Korean peninsula as the war was being waged.

Many families who couldn’t move together sent only their husbands or sons to the south in the hope of carrying on their family lines.

This is how the separated families of millions of people came into being, and they are still living separately in the north and south of the Korean peninsula and abroad.

The DPRK government has made every possible effort to put an end to the US’s nuclear threats, both through dialogue and by making recourse to international law, but all its efforts have been in vain.

The only option left was to counter nuclear with nuclear.

In fact, the United States persistently pushed us into possessing nuclear weapons.

This brought to an end the nuclear imbalance in northeast Asia, where only the DPRK had been left without nukes while every other country had been equipped with nuclear weapons or was protected by a nuclear umbrella.

All this speaks clearly to the fact that the root cause of all problems on the Korean peninsula is the US’s hostile policy and nuclear threats towards the DPRK. The dark cloud of nuclear war can never be cleared away from the Korean peninsula unless the US withdraws the hostile policy that treats the DPRK as an enemy and a belligerent state.

The US might have its own motivations for doggedly persisting in this hostility and belligerence, however.

While the far eastern strategy of the US has shifted over the years in line with the ‘Nixon doctrine’, the ‘Neo-Pacific doctrine’, the ‘Pivot to Asia-Pacific’ strategy and the ‘Indo-Pacific strategy’, the environment surrounding the ceasefire on the Korean peninsula was consistently abused in order to militarily deter any potential adversaries of the US in the region.

In recent years, for example, the US deployed its Thaad high-altitude missile defence system in south Korea under the pretext of a ‘missile threat’ from us, thus enabling it to gain an incredibly close watch over northeastern China and the far east of Russia. Meanwhile, the US is openly demonstrating its evil intention to deploy intermediate-range missiles in our surrounding areas on the grounds that the INF treaty has become null and void.

As a result, it is now only a matter of time before a nuclear arms race is set off around the Korean peninsula as US moves to contain China and Russia militarily grow ever more pronounced.

Under this circumstance, there is no guarantee that a second 25 June won’t be launched in the case that US interests coincide with those of 70 years ago – a far departure from the official line that the US wants to ‘keep the peace’ on the Korean peninsula.

To our people, who were subjected to disastrous disturbances of war on this land owing to US aggression, a strong war deterrent for national defence has become indispensable.

It is an indisputable, open and above-board exercise of the legitimate right to self-defence that we further consolidate our war deterrent, which is aimed at defending our national security and guaranteeing our development.

The 70-year-long history of the DPRK-US confrontation graphically illustrates that no self-restraint or broadmindedness could serve to contain the US’s high-handed arbitrariness, aggression and war manoeuvres, but would, in fact, only encourage the US to go further.

It is despicable double-dealing for the US to talk about dialogue while maximising its attempts to oppress the DPRK politically, economically and militarily. Its repeated harping, like an automatic responding machine, on denuclearisation betrays only its brigandish intention to disarm us and open up the way to another aggressive war.

At the fourth enlarged meeting of the seventh central military commission of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Comrade Kim Jong Un, chairman of the state affairs commission of the DPRK set forth new policies to further bolster our national nuclear war deterrent and to put our strategic force on full alert, in accordance with our overall need to build and develop the state’s armed forces.

In the present situation, in which the US, the world’s biggest nuclear power and only actual user of nuclear weapons, clings to this pathological and inveterately hostile policy, while indulging in the most extreme nuclear threats and blackmail, we will continue to further build up our strength so as to contain these persistent threats. We will never shrink from the road we have chosen.

Nobody in this world can block the victorious advance of our people and army, who have inherited the heroic spirit and mettle of the great generation of victors who defeated the US-led gang of imperialists in the Fatherland Liberation War – in a de facto confrontation between the rifle and the atomic bomb.

Pyongyang, 25 June, Juche 109 (2020)

Posted in North KoreaComments Off on Korean victory in the Fatherland Liberation War: 70 years on

The hard truths about North Korea that Trump or Biden will have to confront

by: Dan DePetris

Before President Obama departed the White House, he gave his successor, Donald Trump, some advice: pay attention to North Korea, because the reclusive nation will be your top national security priority.

As one might expect, President Trump has tackled the North Korea file in his own distinct way. In a blink of an eye, the conventional tactics Washington used against Pyongyang over the previous 30 years were replaced with threats of war and the kind of spur-of-the-moment summitry only a TV journalist could love.

Cutting through the mid-level bureaucrats and meeting directly with Kim Jong Un was quintessential Trump. The fact that much of the foreign policy establishment in Washington, including some of his own security advisers, opposed Trump’s in-person meetings with Kim was evidence enough that Trump may have been on to something with this high-stakes diplomatic gamble.

Of course, the results of Trump’s unconventional approach to talks with the North have proven to be as disappointing as Obama’s policy of strategic patience. If it seemed like Washington and Pyongyang were at the beginning of a new, groundbreaking bilateral relationship after the June 2018 Singapore summit, the two countries today are like two divorcees who want nothing to do with each other.

After the excitement ended, the United States and North Korea reverted back to their own corners, each viewing the other as the uncooperative, malicious party solely responsible for the lack of diplomatic progress.

The last time negotiators from both sides were in the same room was nearly a year ago, when the North Korean delegation made a show out of the meeting in Stockholm by angrily walking out and strongly protesting Washington’s purported “failure to abandon its outdated viewpoint and attitude.” In the 10 months since, U.S.-North Korea diplomacy can best be compared to an immovable slug slowly dying on a hot sidewalk. The Trump administration is now relegated to whispering the same platitudes from administrations past about denuclearization.

North Korea is hardly top-of-mind for the American people. Nor should it be. With an ongoing national health crisis (nearly 185,000 Americans have died from COVID-19), the worst economic contraction since the Great Depression, and spiraling health care costs, Americans quite frankly have far more important things to worry about. 

Yet the North Korean issue isn’t going to magically disappear. The question now is whether Donald Trump or Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden have a realistic plan to manage it. 

Unfortunately, Trump and Biden don’t inspire much confidence. In August, Trump declared with his usual bombastic flare that he would “very quickly” arrive at a nuclear agreement with the North in his second term but failed to specify what metrics he would use to guide negotiations and what concessions he would be willing to put on the table.

Biden, meanwhile, wants to out-hawk Trump on North Korea by calling for the well-worn carrot-and-stick (mostly stick) framework that dominated the Obama years. Biden has not only said he would need preconditions to be met before negotiating with Kim personally, but he also says he would pressure China to enforce the various U.N. Security Council Resolutions which aim to drain the Kim dynasty’s finances and force it to cease its work on nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. But Biden didn’t explain just how he would get Beijing to help the United States, particularly at a time when relations between the two economic giants have been rapidly deteriorating.

Regardless of who has the privilege of representing the American people next year, the next U.S. administration won’t get anywhere with North Korea if it doesn’t cast aside many commonly-held beliefs on the issue, and it should start with acknowledging the U.S.’s own role in the North being metaphorically described as the “land of lousy options.”  

First, we must dispel this notion that North Korea can’t be trusted to negotiate. There is a widespread assumption in the Beltway that the Kim dynasty is pre-programmed to be duplicitous and dishonest — and that even if the North Koreans are amenable to talking, it’s either a clever tactic to string the U.S. along or a way to divide the Security Council and break up the sanctions regime.

But this is more cliche than reality. While it’s certainly true that Pyongyang eventually violated the 1994 Agreed Framework negotiated during the Clinton administration, it’s also true that the U.S. wasn’t exactly holding up its end of the bargain either. Implementation was spotty throughout and U.S. compliance, particularly on the shipment of heavy fuel oil to the North, was riddled with delays.

Nor is it accurate to argue that the Kim dynasty is implacably resistant to compromise. As former U.S. negotiator Robert Gallucci wrote last year, Washington has “a tendency to approach engagement with the North Koreans with a strange combination of ignorance and arrogance about what they are really about.”

Second, we always hear that North Korea is too irrational to deal with. You can forgive the American public for looking at North Korea and thinking the entire country was run by a crop of lunatics with a messiah complex. The weird uniforms, the massive, synchronized marches, the constant missile firings, the adulation of a single family — all of these qualities open North Korea up to criticism that it’s an irrational cult bent on world destruction. 

Yet Kim Jong Un’s actions over his 9-year tenure have been anything but irrational. Put aside the hero worship and funny haircuts and North Korea has shown itself to be an unremarkable authoritarian state — vicious to internal critics and harsh to its enemies, but quite cognizant of where the red-lines are and what kind of aggression would result in an extreme U.S. military response. Far from a grave national security threat to the U.S., the Kim dynasty is more like an entity whose chief obsession — staying in power — also restrains it from acting recklessly. 

Third, Washington seems to be addicted to this constantly failed notion that we can denuclearize North Korea quickly.U.S. policy has long centered on North Korea’s full, complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization. Declassified U.S. government documents going back to the George H.W. Bush presidency have shown just how important this goal has been — and remains — to the Washington foreign policy community. Unfortunately, this same goal has eluded U.S. policymakers for decades and is highly unlikely to be achieved in the foreseeable future. 

Reality has a habit of pouring ice water on the loftiest of ambitions. And the reality has been pretty clear for some time: coercing a state to swear off a nuclear weapons program is far more difficult when it already possesses nuclear weapons. No country in history has constructed several dozen nuclear warheads, only to trade them for political and economic goodies. Given its immediate environment, security fears, and the high priority it places on self-reliance, the chances of North Korea handing over the most effective deterrent a state can have is about as likely as somebody walking into a market and picking up a million-dollar lottery ticket.

Every U.S. president comes into office thinking they can make history by solving the world’s toughest problems. More often than not, those same presidents leave the job after four or eight years disappointed and chastened by the experience. If Trump or Biden hope to avoid those same pitfalls in relation to North Korea, they will need to accept the cold, hard reality that the best the United States is likely to do is manage the portfolio. That itself would be an accomplishment worth celebrating.

Posted in USA, C.I.A, North KoreaComments Off on The hard truths about North Korea that Trump or Biden will have to confront

70th anniversary of the Korean war

A world-historic and hard won victory for the socialist forces of north Korea in defending their land against imperialist aggression.

On Thursday 23 July, the Communists held this online public meeting celebrating the significance of the Korean Fatherland Liberation War, and its place in the world struggle against imperialism.

Comrade Ranjeet Brar (@Rango1917) introduced the speakers, comrade Jack and comrade Christina.

Their contributions provide inspiring insights into the internationalist legacy and lessons of the defensive struggle of the Korean people to drive the US imperialists from their land, during which the imperialists were driven to a humiliating stalemate, leading to the signing of the armistice agreement on the 27 July 1953.

Whilst this situation has left the country divided, with the south of Korea remaining under US military occupation, we celebrate the fact that the DPRK has maintained a defensive strategy that has enabled its people to develop their socialist system.

Posted in USA, C.I.A, North Korea, South KoreaComments Off on 70th anniversary of the Korean war

Kim’s sister says ‘no need’ for another US-N. Korea summit

North Korea to make Munich Security Conference debut in 2020

The powerful sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said Friday there was “no need” for another summit with the United States unless Washington offered a “decisive change” in approach.

Kim and US President Donald Trump first met in Singapore two years ago but talks over Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal have been stalled since their Hanoi summit collapsed in early 2019 over what the North would be willing to give up in exchange for sanctions relief.

Trump said this week he would “certainly” meet with Kim again “if I thought it was going to be helpful”, after speculation that he might pursue another summit if it could help his re-election chances in November.

But in a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency, Kim Yo Jong — who has emerged as one of her brother’s closest advisers — said: “There is no need for us to sit across with the US right now.”

If a summit was held, she said, “it is too obvious that it will only be used as boring boasting coming from someone’s pride”.

Denuclearisation, she added, was “not possible at this point”, and could only happen alongside parallel “irreversible simultaneous major steps” by the other side — which she emphasised did not refer to sanctions lifting.

She did not go into specifics, but Washington stations 28,500 troops in the South to defend it against its neighbour, and has a range of military assets in Japan and the wider Pacific region.

Pyongyang insists that it needs its nuclear arsenal to deter against a possible US invasion.

Kim Yo Jong’s statement was only her personal view, she said, but the lengthy declaration appeared intended to send multiple messages.

She said she had watched the July 4 Independence Day celebrations in the US on television and had been given permission by her brother to “personally obtain, for sure, the DVD of the celebrations… in the future”.

Her brother had “entrusted me with conveying his wishes to President Trump that he would certainly achieve great successes in his work”, she added.

Kim Jong Un declared in December an end to moratoriums on nuclear and ballistic missile tests, and Pyongyang has repeatedly said it has no intention to continue talks unless Washington drops what it describes as “hostile” policies towards the North.

Posted in USA, North KoreaComments Off on Kim’s sister says ‘no need’ for another US-N. Korea summit

Dark Clouds of Military Tension Over the Korean Peninsula, N.Korea Waited, Disappointed and Now Angry

By Prof. Joseph H. Chung

In 2012, a young man educated in the West took over the power in Pyongyang; he has decided to transform North Korea into an ordinary country where people can live decent life.

His name is Kim Jong-un. He has given everything to achieve his objectives. He met three times Moon Jae-in, president of South Korea and three times Donald Trump, president of the U.S.

He made a several-thousand-km train trip in February 2019 to Hanoi filled with the hope for peace; he was betrayed by Trump.

Yet, he has not given up the hope; he still trusted Moon Jae-in; he waited, he was disappointed.

Then, a group of North Korean refugees in South Korea has not stopped sending balloons of anti-Kim Jong-un propaganda leaflets insulting the dignity of the supreme leader.

Now he is angry. His sister, Kim Yo-jong has been making violent statements against Moon Jae-in and South Korea; she even promised to blow up the Joint Liaison Office Building in the city of Gaesung, the symbol of the North-South peace dialogue.

The Building was blown up at 14:49 on June 16.

And, the danger of military confrontation on the Korean peninsula is not impossible.

North Korea might send back some army units including long-distance artillery units to Gaesung city and Geumgan-san area thus threatening South Korea, in particular, the Seoul metropolitan area where 50% of South Koreans live.

This paper begins with the episode of propaganda leaflets followed by the analysis of the hidden reasons for violent reaction of North Korea through Kim Yo-jong. Then, it discusses the North-South economic cooperation which is the only way to overcome the present security crisis.

Propaganda Leaflets Incidence

In the period, from April 9 to May 31, 2020, a radical right-wing group of North Korean refugees sent by air and sea more than 10,000 propaganda leaflets with a bag of rice, one-dollar bill and a lot of dirty insulting words against Kim Jong-un and North Korea.

There are about 30,000 North Korean refugees most of whom are now South Korean citizens.

Some of them earn money by reporting to intelligence agencies in the U.S. and South Korea under conservative government fabricated stories of abuse of power and violation of human rights in the North.

A few radical group work for some American NGOs which fund the operation of sending the leaflets; this operation violates some existing South Korean laws and, in particular, the Panmunjom Declaration of April 2018 and the Joint Pyongyang Declaration of September, 2018.

Kim Yo-jong (image on the right; source is Reuters), vice-director of the United Front Department of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) who is now considered to be second in command in Pyongyang lashed out in public blaming South Korea for allowing the launching of leaflets of anti-Pyongyang propaganda.

However, her statements cover much more than her anger about the propaganda leaflets; they reflect cumulated frustration of North Korea about the inactions of Seoul and Washington.

Her accusation was unusual in several aspects.

First, the tone was very aggressive treating South Korea as enemy; she would cut all the direct communication channels including the military lines. In addition, she has asked the military to take appropriate actions against South Korea.

Second, her statements are reported for several days in Ro-Dong Sinmun, official paper of the Workers’ Party. This means that the whole population of North Korea is informed about the issues.

Third, there have been street demonstrations by citizens for days. Even the chef of the most famous restaurant in Pyongyang has made a harsh statement against South Korea.

This means that the whole population of North Korea is allowed to join the South Korea bashing campaign.

Some of Kim Yo-jong’s declarations show how the North Koreans feel about South Korea and the U.S.

“Getting stronger every day are unanimous voices of all our people demanding for surely settling account with the riff-raff who dare the absolute prestige of our Supreme leader representing our country and its great dignity and flied rubbish to inviolable territory of our side with those who connived at such hooliganism, whatever many happen” (see this)

What seem to have hurt the feeling of Kim Yo-jong is those expressions found in the leaflets which are hurting the dignity and prestige of Kim Jong-un, whose absolute authority is essential to rule the country. Moreover, these leaflets messages are also hurting the prestige of Kim’s family.

In the past, there were many anti-North Korea propaganda leaflets, but they have seldom attacked directly the leader and his family.

Kim Yo-jong is blaming Moon Jae-in for more serious reasons.

“If the South Korean authorities have now the capacity and courage to carry out at once the things they have failed to do for the last two years, why are the North-South relations still in stalemate like now?” (see this)

What she is saying here is that South Korea should have implemented what was promised in the Joint Pyongyang Declaration, in particular, North-South economic cooperation.

This statement shows how deeply North Korea has been relying on the courage of Moon Jae-in to materialize his promise despite the objection of Washington.

There was also a statement of North Korean Foreign Minister, Ri Son-gon.

“The question is whether there will be a need to keep holding hands shaken in Singapore as we see that there is nothing of factual improvement to be made in the DPRK-U.S. relations simply by maintaining personal relations between our supreme leadership and the U.S. president. Never again will we provide the U.S. chief executive with another package to be used for achievement without receiving any return.” (see this)

In this statement, we can see how much North Korea has been disappointed with the inactions of Washington despite sincere actions taken by Pyongyang. But at the same time, we see that Pyongyang is still ready to talk to Washington.

Real Reasons behind the violent Reaction of Kim Yo-jong

The incidence of leaflet launching is one reason. But, the more important reason behind the Kim Yo-jong’s lashing out is something deeper; the real reason is the cumulated frustration caused by the failure of the peace dialogue.

The last Kim-Trump meeting along with Moon took place on June 30, 2019 at DMZ. But no significant results come out of the meeting.

Seeing the lack of Washington’s willingness to continue the  peace dialogue, Kim Jong-un made it clear at the three day meeting of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK), at the end of 2019, that North Korea should go its own way of securing peace and economic development without relying on the external help.

Kim Jong-un said this.

“We might even find ourselves in a situation where we have no choice but find our way for defending the sovereignty of the country and the supreme interests of the state and for achieving peace and stability of the Korean peninsula.” (see this)

In fact, since 2019, the main activities of Kim Jong-un have been the promotion of the production of goods and services with domestic inputs so that the North Korean economy be more self sufficient.

Actually, North Korea has been doing it best to be more autonomous; Kim Jong-un was relying on the development of the Wonsan-Kalma Tourist Development Zone in which Kim jong-un was pouring most of the available resources. Kim Jong-un spent a lot of time there to speed up the project.

But, the success of Kim Jung-un’s “My Way” depended much on the North-South economic cooperation as stipulated in the 9.19 Pyongyang Declaration signed by Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in on 19th of September, 2018

The 9.19 Pyongyang Declaration is the synthesis of three preceding declarations: the 6.15 Declaration (June 15, 2000), signed by Kim Dae-jung and Kim Jong-il, the 10.4 Declaration (October 4, 2007) signed by Rho Moo-hyun and Kim Jong-il and the 4.27 Panmunjom Declaration (April 27, 2018) signed by Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-il.

The Pyongyang Declaration includes six sections.

  • Cessation of hostile military activities in DMZ and constant high level-communication.
  • Sustained economic cooperation, especially the re-opening of the Gaesung Industrial Complex (GIC), and the Geumgang Tourist Resort development (GTR). The agreement also includes the cooperation for epidemics and public health.
  • Humanitarian cooperation including, in particular, the reunion of the separated families. It is interesting to notice that the agreement includes also internet facilities allowing video family reunion.
  • Reconciliation and cooperation for the reunification of Koreas including cultural and sports exchanges
  • Denuclearization of the peninsula including the dismantlement of the Dongchang-ri missile engine test sites and launch platform under the observation of foreign experts in addition to the permanent dismantlement of nuclear facilities in Yongbyon in exchange of corresponding U.S. actions.
  • Seoul visit of Kim Jong-un

What Kim Jong-un was desperately hoping to get from Washington was the guarantee of the American non-aggression and the relief of sanctions.

But, since the betrayal of Trump in Hanoi, North Korea knows that it can no longer trust Washington.

However, Kim Jong-un thought that he could trust Mon Jae-in. After all, without such trust, the three Moon-Kim summits and the three Kim-Trump summits would not have taken place.

Besides, Kim Jong-un went to Singapore on June 12, 2018, because Mon Jae-in would have told him that it was worthwhile to meet Trump.

So, since the Hanoi deception, Kim Jong-un has been expecting that Moon would open the Gaesung Industrial Complex (GIC) and the Geumgang Tourist Resorts (GTR) along with the connection of railways.

In particular, the GIC and GTR are not subject to UN sanctions; they were closed by the conservative government of Lee Myong-bak and Park Geun-hye

Unfortunately, Moon has failed.

The question is then why Moon has failed to materialize these projects. To find the answer, we have to begin with identifying unseen forces which prevented Moon from doing so.

When Moon took over the government in 2017, he gave himself two missions. One was the establishment of peace on the Korean peninsula and the reunification of the country. The other was the purification of the 70-year old corruption culture created by the pro-Japan conservatives.

To do this, the progressive government had to keep power as long as possible, possibly 20 years. However, the conservative forces in South Korea are still active and they can take over the power, if the progressives take prematurely pro-North policies.

Before the election of April 15, 2020, the DP had no majority in the National Assembly and all efforts to promote North-South economic cooperation were blocked by the conservatives including the conservative civil servants.

Furthermore, the conservatives in South Korea have been supported by both Shinzo Abe of Japan and the deep-state force in Washington.

Under this situation, if Moon goes a little too far in the North-South dialogue, he would not be able to win the April election; his plan for peace and the fight against the conservatives’ corruption could have been compromised

Fortunately, Moon’s party, the DP, has won the April 15 election of 2020 and commands almost two-third of the seats in the National Assembly. Now, Moon can move to do what was promised.

North-South Cooperation as Means of Overcoming the Present Security Crisis

The following is the North-South cooperation which has been planned by Moon Jae-in and which is now in doubt because of the current security and corona virus crisis.

What North Korea wants and what South Korea can do are the following.

  • Law prohibiting the launching of anti-North Korea propaganda leaflets.
  • Reopening of the Gaesung Industrial Complex (GIC)
  • Reopening of the Geumgang Tourists Resorts (GTR)
  • North-South Railway Connection
  • Cooperation for the anti-corona-virus war.

Already, the Democratic Party has prepared a law prohibiting the launching of the anti-North Korea propaganda leaflets. The bill will be passed in a month.

The Gaesung industrial Complex has been the best model of North-South economic cooperation in which the South provides the capital and technology, while the North offers land and highly trained cheap labour.

More than 100 South Korea firms were making huge profit and a large sum of money went to the North Korean treasury. The GIC model will be the basic frame of future North-South economic cooperation.

The Geumgang Tourist Complex has been one of the important sources of income for North Korea. The Hyundai Asan is the key investor. It will be integrated into the new colossal Wonsan-Kalma Tourist Resort Zone which would become one of the major global tourist attractions. For this, Kim Jong-un needs South Korea money and technology.

The North-South railway connections on the west coast and east coast are of strategic importance, for it is beginning of the integration of the Korea peninsula into the China’s BRI (one-belt-one -road initiative) and cross-Siberia railways.

In other words, the project has the function of integrating the Korean economy into the Eurasia and EU economy.

One of the reasons for the unusually harsh reaction of North Korea is the corona virus crisis. In fact, North Korea has closed completely in January the cross-border traffic of people and goods, which led to the desperate economic situation. North Korea has no public health system to cope with the crisis. North Korea needs South Korea to fight the corona virus.

The corona virus crisis combined with the non-action on the part of Moon Jae-in and the stupid gesture of some North Korea refugees have led to the violent gesture of Kim Yo-jong.

President Moon Jae-in has reacted to North Korea’s unusually hostile behaviour. He made the following statement on 15th of June, which happened to be the 20th anniversary of the 6.15 Declaration signed, in 2000, by Kim Dae-jung, South Korean president and Kim Jong-il, North Korean supreme leader.

“The April 27 Panmunjom Declaration and the September 19 Joint Declaration in Pyongyang are solemn promise that both the South and the North must faithfully carry out. This is a firm principle that cannot be swayed by any change in circumstances.”

“Our government will make ceaseless efforts to implement the agreements we have made. We will keep up our hard-earned achievements. The North and the South should stop its attempt to cut off communication, raise tension and return to an era of confrontation. We hope that the uncomfortable and difficult problems facing two sides will be solved through communication and cooperation.” (see this)

These statements of President Moon make it clear that he will keep the agreements through communication and cooperation.

He has been trying to implement the agreement, but he has not been able to do so, partly because of the internal political constraints and partly due to Washington’s lack of cooperation.

Now, as we saw above, the internal political constraints are attenuated owing the crushing victory of his Democratic Party at the last April general election. Moon Jae-in will do what was promised.

But, it is not clear how far Washington would cooperate with Moon, given the confusing political and social disturbance in the U.S.

It may be difficult to have Trump’s support, but Moon should be able to convince Trump not to interfere in the North-South economic cooperation as long as such cooperation does not violate the sanctions.

It is time for South Korea to have more saying in North-South relations, which are much more important to Koreans than to Americans.

To sum up, I would like to add one word for Kim Jong-un and Kim Yo-jong.

Most of South Koreans understand North Korea’s frustration. But, let us not forget that owing to the peace dialogue initiated by Moon Jae-in and enforced by Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, the international status of the Kim Jong-un has been assured and the image of North Korea has greatly been improved.

Moreover, the peace has been established since 2018 in the Korean peninsula.

As for the North-South economic cooperation, one can allow some optimism, given the firm determination of the Moon’s government to implement the Joint Pyongyang Declaration.

Moreover, the domination of the National Assembly by the progressive Democratic Party can facilitate Moon’s policy of inter-Korea cooperation.

Finally, North Korea should not forget that North Koreans and South Koreans are the same race which had been united for more than 4,000 years but separated for 75 years.

They have different flags, but the blood is the same. The only way to solve the problems is the united efforts of the North and the South with international cooperation.

Related Articles;

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Towards Another US-North Korea Summit?

ROK Defense Ministry’s Latest White Paper Omits Language Describing N. Korea as “The Enemy”

Kim Jong-un’s 2019 New Year Speech: What Did He Say? And Why?

Inter-Korea Summits, US-DPRK Summit. No Peace on the Land of Morning Calm. What Is Going On?

Posted in USA, North Korea, South KoreaComments Off on Dark Clouds of Military Tension Over the Korean Peninsula, N.Korea Waited, Disappointed and Now Angry

America’s War against the People of Korea: The Historical Record of US War Crimes

By: Prof Michel Chossudovsky

Today, June 26, 2020 we commemorate the onslaught of the US led war on the people of Korea, 70 years ago, June 26, 1950.

The following text by Michel Chossudovsky was presented in Seoul, South Korea in the context of the Korea Armistice Day Commemoration, 27 July 2013

A Message for Peace. Towards a Peace Agreement and the Withdrawal of US Troops from Korea.

Introduction

Armistice Day, 27 July 1953 is day of Remembrance for the People of Korea.

It is a landmark date in the historical struggle for national reunification and sovereignty.

I am privileged to have this opportunity of participating in the 60th anniversary commemoration of Armistice Day on July 27, 2013.

I am much indebted to the “Anti-War, Peace Actualized, People Action” movement for this opportunity to contribute to the debate on peace and reunification.

An armistice is an agreement by the warring parties to stop fighting. It does signify the end of war.

What underlies the 1953 Armistice Agreement is that one of the warring parties, namely the US has consistently threatened to wage war on the DPRK for the last 60 years.

The US has on countless occasions violated the Armistice Agreement. It has remained on a war footing. Casually ignored by the Western media and the international community, the US has actively deployed nuclear weapons targeted at North Korea for more than half a century in violation of article 13b) of the Armistice agreement. 

The armistice remains in force. The US is still at war with Korea. It is not a peace treaty, a peace agreement was never signed.

The US has used the Armistice agreement to justify the presence of 37,000 American troops on Korean soil under a bogus United Nations mandate, as well as establish an environment of continuous and ongoing military threats. This situation of “latent warfare” has lasted for the last 60 years. It is important to emphasize that this US garrison in South Korea is the only U.S. military presence based permanently on the Asian continent.

Our objective in this venue is to call for a far-reaching peace treaty, which will not only render the armistice agreement signed on July 27, 1953 null and void, but will also lay the foundations for the speedy withdrawal of US troops from Korea as well as lay the foundations for the reunification of the Korean nation.

Michel Chossudovsky Presentation: 60th anniversary commemoration of Armistice Day on July 27, 2013, Seoul, ROK. 

Armistice Day in a Broader Historical Perspective.

This commemoration is particularly significant in view of mounting US threats directed not only against Korea, but also against China and Russia as part of Washington’s “Asia Pivot”, not to mention the illegal occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, the US-NATO wars against Libya and Syria, the military threats directed against Iran, the longstanding struggle of the Palestinian people against Israel, the US sponsored wars and insurrections in sub-Saharan Africa.

Armistice Day July 27, 1953, is a significant landmark in the history of US led wars.  Under the Truman Doctrine formulated in the late 1940s, the Korean War (1950-1953) had set the stage for a global process of militarization and US led wars. “Peace-making” in terms of a peace agreement is in direct contradiction with Washington “war-making” agenda.

Washington has formulated a global military agenda. In the words of four star General Wesley Clark (Ret) [image right], quoting a senior Pentagon official:

“We’re going to take out seven countries in 5 years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran” (Democracy Now March 2, 2007)

The Korean War (1950-1953) was the first major military operation  undertaken by the US in the wake of  World War II,  launched at the very outset of  what was euphemistically called “The Cold War”. In many respects it was a continuation of World War II, whereby Korean lands under Japanese colonial occupation were, from one day to the next, handed over to a new colonial power, the United States of America.

At the Potsdam Conference (July–August 1945), the US and the Soviet Union agreed to dividing Korea, along the 38th parallel.

There was no “Liberation” of Korea following the entry of US forces. Quite the opposite.

As we recall, a US military government was established in South Korea on September 8, 1945, three weeks after the surrender of Japan on August 15th 1945. Moreover,  Japanese officials in South Korea assisted the US Army Military Government (USAMG) (1945-48) led by General Hodge in ensuring this transition. Japanese colonial administrators in Seoul as well as their Korean police officials worked hand in glove with the new colonial masters.

From the outset, the US military government refused to recognize the provisional government of the People’s Republic of Korea (PRK), which was committed to major social reforms including land distribution, laws protecting the rights of workers, minimum wage legislation and  the reunification of North and South Korea.

The PRK was non-aligned with an anti-colonial mandate, calling for the “establishment of close relations with the United States, USSR, England, and China, and positive opposition to any foreign influences interfering with the domestic affairs of the state.”2

The PRK was abolished by military decree in September 1945 by the USAMG. There was no democracy, no liberation no independence.

While Japan was treated as a defeated Empire, South Korea was identified as a colonial territory to be administered under US military rule and US occupation forces.

America’s handpicked appointee Sygman Rhee [left] was flown into Seoul in October 1945, in General Douglas MacArthur’s personal airplane.

The Korean War (1950-1953)

The crimes committed by the US against the people of Korea in the course of the Korean War but also in its aftermath are unprecedented in modern history.

Moreover, it is important to understand that these US sponsored crimes against humanity committed in the 1950s have, over the years, contributed to setting “a pattern of killings” and US human rights violations in different parts of the World.

The Korean War was also characterised by a practice of targeted assassinations of political dissidents, which was subsequently implemented by the CIA in numerous countries including Indonesia, Vietnam, Argentina, Guatemala, El Salvador, Afghanistan, Iraq.

Invariably these targeted killings were committed on the instructions of the CIA and carried out by a US sponsored proxy government or military dictatorship. More recently, targeted assassinations of civilians, “legalised” by the US Congress have become, so to speak, the “New Normal”.

According to  I.F. Stone’s “Hidden History of the Korean War” first published in 1952 (at the height of the Korean War), the US deliberately sought a pretext, an act of deception, which incited the North to cross the 38th parallel ultimately leading to all out war.

“[I. F. Stone’s book] raised questions about the origin of the Korean War, made a case that the United States government manipulated the United Nations, and gave evidence that the U.S. military and South Korean oligarchy dragged out the war by sabotaging the peace talks, 3

In Stone’s account, General Douglas MacArthur “did everything possible to avoid peace”.

US wars of aggression are waged under the cloak of “self defence” and pre-emptive attacks. Echoing I. F. Stone’s historical statement concerning General MacArthur, sixty years later US president Barack Obama and his defence Secretary Chuck Hagel are also “doing. everything possible to avoid peace”. 

This pattern of inciting the enemy “to fire the first shot” is well established in US military doctrine. It pertains to creating a “War Pretext Incident” which provides the aggressor to pretext to intervene on the grounds of “Self- Defence”. It characterised the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii in 1941, triggered by deception and provocation of which US officials had advanced knowledge. Pearl Harbor was the justification for America’s entry into World War II.

The Tonkin Gulf Incident in August 1964 was the pretext for the US to wage war on North Vietnam, following the adoption of the Tonkin Gulf Resolution by the US Congress, which granted President Lyndon B. Johnson the authority to wage war on Communist North Vietnam.

I. F. Stone’s analysis refutes “the standard telling”  … that the Korean War was an unprovoked aggression by the North Koreans beginning on June 25, 1950, undertaken at the behest of the Soviet Union to extend the Soviet sphere of influence to the whole of Korea, completely surprising the South Koreans, the U.S., and the U.N.”:

But was it a surprise? Could an attack by 70,000 men using at least 70 tanks launched simultaneously at four different points have been a surprise?

Stone gathers contemporary reports from South Korean, U.S. and U.N. sources documenting what was known before June 25. The head of the U.S. CIA, Rear Admiral Roscoe H. Hillenloetter, is reported to have said on the record, “that American intelligence was aware that ‘conditions existed in Korea that could have meant an invasion this week or next.’” (p. 2)  Stone writes that “America’s leading military commentator, Hanson Baldwin of the New York Times, a trusted confidant of the Pentagon, reported that they [U.S. military documents] showed ‘a marked buildup by the North Korean People’s Army along the 38th Parallel beginning in the early days of June.’” (p. 4)

How and why did U.S. President Truman so quickly decide by June 27 to commit the U.S. military to battle in South Korea? Stone makes a strong case that there were those in the U.S. government and military who saw a war in Korea and the resulting instability in East Asia as in the U.S. national interest. 4

According to the editor of France’s Nouvel Observateur Claude Bourdet:

“If Stone’s thesis corresponds to reality, we are in the presence of the greatest swindle in the whole of military history… not a question of a harmless fraud but of a terrible maneuver in which deception is being consciously utilized to block peace at a time when it is possible.”5

In the words of renowned American writers Leo Huberman and Paul Sweezy:

“….we have come to the conclusion that (South Korean president) Syngman Rhee deliberately provoked the North Koreans in the hope that they would retaliate by crossing the parallel in force. The northerners fell neatly into the trap.” 6

On 25 June 1950, following the adoption of UN  Security Council Resolution 82General Douglas MacArthur, who headed the US military government in occupied Japan was appointed Commander in Chief of the so-called United Nations Command (UNCOM). According to Bruce Cumings, the Korean War “bore a strong resemblance to the air war against Imperial Japan in the second world war and was often directed by the same US military leaders” including generals Douglas MacArthur and Curtis Lemay.

US War Crimes against the People of Korea

Extensive crimes were committed by US forces in the course of the Korean War (1950-1953).  While nuclear weapons were not used during the Korean War, what prevailed was the strategy of  “mass killings of civilians” which had been formulated during World War II. A policy of killing innocent civilians was implemented through extensive air raids and bombings of German cities by American and British forces in the last weeks of World War II. In a bitter irony, military targets were safeguarded.

This unofficial doctrine of killing of civilians under the pretext of targeting military objectives largely characterised US military actions both in the course of the Korean war as well as in its aftermath. According to Bruce Cummings:

On 12 August 1950, the USAF dropped 625 tons of bombs on North Korea; two weeks later, the daily tonnage increased to some 800 tons.U.S. warplanes dropped more napalm and bombs on North Korea than they did during the whole Pacific campaign of World War II. 7

The territories North of the 38th parallel were subjected to extensive carpet bombing, which resulted in the destruction of 78 cities and thousands of villages:

“What was indelible about it [the Korean War of 1950-53] was the extraordinary destructiveness of the United States’ air campaigns against North Korea, from the widespread and continuous use of firebombing (mainly with napalm), to threats to use nuclear and chemical weapons, and the destruction of huge North Korean dams in the final stages of the war.  ….

As a result, almost every substantial building in North Korea was destroyed. …. 8

US Major General  William F Dean “reported that most of the North Korean cities and villages he saw were either rubble or snow-covered wastelands”

General Curtis LeMay [left] who coordinated the bombing raids against North Korea brazenly acknowledged that:

“Over a period of three years or so we killed off – what – twenty percent of the population. … We burned down every town in North Korea and South Korea, too”. 9

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 belligerence of another.” 10

Translation: the city of Pyongyang was totally destroyed in 1951 during the Korean war

Extensive war crimes were also committed by US forces in South Korea as documented by the Korea Truth and Reconciliation Commission. According to ROK sources, almost one million civilians were killed in South Korea in the course of the Korean War:

“In the early days of the Korean War, other American officers observed, photographed and confidentially reported on such wholesale executions by their South Korean ally, a secretive slaughter believed to have killed 100,000 or more leftists and supposed sympathizers, usually without charge or trial, in a few weeks in mid-1950.” 11

During The Second World War, the United Kingdom lost 0.94% of its population, France lost 1.35%, China lost 1.89% and the US lost 0.32%. During the Korean War, the DPRK lost more than 25% of its population. The population of North Korea was of the order of 8-9 million in 1950 prior the Korean War. US sources acknowledge 1.55 million civilian deaths in North Korea, 215,000 combat deaths. MIA/POW 120,000, 300,000 combat troops wounded. 12

South Korean military sources estimate the number of civilian deaths/wounded/missing at 2.5 million, of which some 990,900 are in South Korea. Another estimate places Korea War total deaths, civilian plus combat at 3.5 million.)

North Korea: A Threat to Global Security?

For the last 60 years, Washington has contributed to the political isolation of North Korea. It has sought to destabilize its national economy, including its industrial base and agriculture. It has relentlessly undermined the process of reunification of the Korean nation.

In South Korea, the US has maintained its stranglehold over the entire political system. It has ensured from the initial appointment of Sygman Rhee the instatement of non-democratic and repressive forms of government which have in large part served the interests of the U.S.

US military presence in South Korea has also exerted a controlling influence on economic and monetary policy.

An important question for the American people. How can a country which has lost a quarter of its population resulting from US aggression, constitute a threat to the American Homeland?

How can a country which has 37,000 US troops on its immediate border constitute a threat to America?

Given the history war crimes, how do the people of North Korea perceive the US threat to their Homeland. There is not a single family in North Korea which has not lost a loved one in the course of the Korean War.

The Korean War was the first major US led war carried out in the immediate wake of World War II.

While the US and its NATO allies have waged numerous wars and military interventions in all major regions of the World in the course of what is euphemistically called the “post War era”, resulting in millions of civilians deaths, America is upheld as the guardian of democracy and World Peace.

War Propaganda

The Lie becomes the Truth.

Realities are turned upside down.

History is rewritten. North Korea is heralded as a threat.

America is not the aggressor nation but “the victim” of aggression.

These concepts are part of war propaganda which is fed into the news chain.

Since the end of the Korean War, US led propaganda –funnelled into the ROK news chain– has relentlessly contributed to fomenting conflict and divisiveness between North and South Korea, presenting the DPRK as a threat to ROK national security.

An atmosphere of fear and intimidation prevails which impels people in South Korea to accept the “peace-making role” of the United States. In the eyes of public opinion, the presence of  37,000 US occupation forces is viewed as “necessary” to the security of the ROK.

US military presence is heralded as a means to “protecting the ROK” against North Korean aggression. Similarly, the propaganda campaign will seek to create divisions within Korean society with a view to sustaining the legitimacy of  US interventionism. The purpose of this process is create divisiveness. Repeated ad nauseam, the alleged “North Korean threat” undermines –within people’s inner consciousness– the notion that Korea is one country, one nation, one history.

The “Truman Doctrine”

Historically, in the wake of World War II, the Truman doctrine first formulated by Foreign Policy adviser George F. Kennan in a 1948 State Department brief established the Cold War framework of US expansionism:

What this 1948 document conveys is continuity in US foreign policy, from “Containment” during the Cold War era to “Pre-emptive” War. It states in polite terms that the US should seek economic and strategic dominance through military means:

Furthermore, we have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives. We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction. (…)

In the face of this situation we would be better off to dispense now with a number of the concepts which have underlined our thinking with regard to the Far East. We should dispense with the aspiration to “be liked” or to be regarded as the repository of a high-minded international altruism. We should stop putting ourselves in the position of being our brothers’ keeper and refrain from offering moral and ideological advice. We should cease to talk about vague and—for the Far East—unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better. 13

The planned disintegration of the United Nations system as an independent and influential international body has been on the drawing board of US foreign policy since the inception of the United Nations in 1946. Its planned demise was an integral part of the Truman doctrine as defined in 1948. From the very inception of the UN, Washington has sought on the one hand to control it to its advantage, while also seeking to weakening and ultimately destroy the UN system. In the words of George Kennan:

Occasionally, it [the United Nations] has served a useful purpose. But by and large it has created more problems than it has solved, and has led to a considerable dispersal of our diplomatic effort. And in our efforts to use the UN majority for major political purposes we are playing with a dangerous weapon which may some day turn against us. This is a situation which warrants most careful study and foresight on our part.

In our efforts to use the UN majority for major political purposes we are playing with a dangerous weapon which may some day turn against us. This is a situation which warrants most careful study and foresight on our part. 14

Although officially committed to the “international community”, Washington has largely played lip service to the United Nations. In recent years it has sought to undermine it as an institution. Since Gulf War I, the UN has largely acted as a rubber stamp. It has closed its eyes to US war crimes, it has implemented so-called peacekeeping operations on behalf of the Anglo-American invaders, in violation of the UN Charter.

The Truman Doctrine Applied to Korea and East Asia

The Truman doctrine was the culmination of a post World War II US military strategy initiated with the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945 and the surrender of Japan. [Harry Truman left]

In East Asia it consisted in the post-war occupation of Japan  as well the US takeover of Japan’s colonial Empire including South Korea (Korea was annexed to Japan under the 1910 Japan–Korea Annexation Treaty).

Following Imperial Japan’s defeat in World War II, a US sphere of influence throughout East and South East Asia was established in the territories of Japan’s “Great East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere”.

The US sphere of influence included Philippines (a US possession occupied by Japan during World War II), Thailand (a Japanese protectorate during World War II), Indonesia (Occupied by Japan during World War II, becomes a US proxy State following the establishment of the Suharto military dictatorship in 1965). This US sphere of influence in Asia also extended its grip into France’s former colonial possessions in Indochina, including Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, which were under Japanese military occupation during World War II.

America’s hegemony in Asia was largely based on establishing a sphere of influence in countries which were under the colonial jurisdiction of Japan, France and the Netherlands.

Continuity: From the Truman Doctrine to the Neo-Conservatives

The Neo-conservative agenda under the Bush administration should be viewed as the culmination of a (bipartisan) “Post War” foreign policy framework, which provides the basis for the planning of the contemporary wars and atrocities including the setting up of torture chambers, concentration camps and the extensive use of prohibited weapons directed against civilians.

From Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan, to the CIA sponsored military coups in Latin America and Southeast Asia, the objective has been to ensure US military hegemony and global economic domination, as initially formulated under the “Truman Doctrine”. Despite significant policy differences, successive Democratic and Republican administrations, over a span of more than sixty years, from Harry Truman to Barack Obama have carried out this global military agenda.

US War Crimes and Atrocities

What we are dealing with is a criminal US foreign policy agenda. Criminalization does not pertain to one or more heads of State. It pertains to the entire State system, it’s various civilian and military institutions as well as the powerful corporate interests behind the formulation of US foreign policy, the Washington think tanks, the creditor institutions which finance the military machine.

Starting with the Korean War in 1950 and extending to the wars in the Middle East and Central Asia, this period is marked by extensive war crimes resulting in the death of more than ten million people. This figure does not include those who perished as a result of poverty, starvation and disease.

War crimes are the result of the criminalization of the US State and foreign policy apparatus. We are not solely dealing specifically with individual war criminals, but with a process involving decision makers acting at different level, with a mandate to carry out war crimes, following established guidelines and procedures.

What distinguishes the Bush and Obama administrations in relation to the historical record of US sponsored crimes and atrocities, is that the concentration camps, targeted assassinations and torture chambers are now openly considered as legitimate forms of intervention, which sustain “the global war on terrorism” and support the spread of Western democracy.

Historical Significance of the Korean War: America’s Project of Global Warfare

The Korean War had set the stage for subsequent US military interventions. It was an initial phase of a post-World War II “military roadmap” of US led wars, special operations, coups d’etat, covert operations, US sponsored insurgencies and regime change spanning over of more than half a century. The project of global warfare has been carried out in all major regions of the World, through the US military’s geographic command structure, not to mention the CIA’s covert operations geared toward toppling sovereign governments.

This project of Worldwide conquest was initially established under the so-called “Truman Doctrine”. The latter initiated what the Pentagon later (in the wake of the Cold war under the NeoConservatives) entitled America`s “Long War”.

What we are dealing with is global warfare, a Worldwide process of conquest, militarization and corporate expansionism. The latter is the driving force. “Economic conquest” is implemented through the support of concurrent intelligence and military operations. Financial and monetary destabilization is another mechanism of economic warfare directed against sovereign countries.

In 2000, preceding the eleciton of George W. Bush to the White House, The Project for a New American Century (PNAC), A Washington Neoconservative think tank had stipulated  four core missions for the US military:

  • “defend the American homeland;
  • fight and decisively win multiple, simultaneous major theater wars;
  • perform the “constabulary” duties associated with shaping the security environment in critical regions;
  • transform U.S. forces to exploit the “revolution in military affairs;”

George W. Bush’s Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, his Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney had commissioned the PNAC blueprint prior to the 2000 presidential elections.

The PNAC outlines a roadmap of conquest.

It calls for “the direct imposition of U.S. “forward bases” throughout Central Asia and the Middle East: “with a view to ensuring economic domination of the world, while strangling any potential “rival” or any viable alternative to America’s vision of a ‘free market’ economy”

Distinct from theater wars, the so-called “constabulary functions” imply a form of global military policing using various instruments of military intervention including punitive bombings and the sending in of US Special Forces, etc. Constabulary functions were contemplated in the first phase of US war plans against Iran. They were identified as ad hoc military interventions which could be applied as an “alternative” to so-called theater wars.

This document had no pretence: its objectives were strictly military. No discussion of America’s role in peace-keeping or the spread of democracy. 15 The main PNAC document is entitled Rebuilding America`s Defenses, Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century.(The PNAC website is:  http://www.newamericancentury.org)

US Military Occupation of South Korea, The Militarization of East Asia

Washington is intent upon creating political divisions in East Asia not only between the ROK and the DPRK but between North Korea and China, with a view to ultimately isolating the DPRK. In a bitter irony, US military facilities in the ROK are being used to threaten China as part of a process of military encirclement. In turn, Washington has sought to create political divisions between countries as well fomenting wars between neighboring countries (e.g. the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s, the confrontation between India and Pakistan).

The UN Command Mandate (UNC)

Sixty years later under a bogus UN mandate, the military occupation by US forces of South Korea prevails. It is worth noting that the UN never formally created a United Nations Command. The designation was adopted by the US without a formal decision by the UN Security Council. In 1994, the UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros Ghali clarified in a letter to the North Korean Foreign Minister that “the Security Council did not establish the unified command as a subsidiary organ under its control, but merely recommended [in 1950] the creation of such a command, specifying that it be under the authority of the United States”

Republic of Korea – United States Combined Forces Command (CFC)

South Korea is still under military occupation by US forces. In the wake of the Korean War and the signing of the Armistice agreement, the national forces of the ROK were placed under the jurisdiction of the so-called UN Command. This arrangement implied that all units of the Korean military were de facto under the control of US commanders. In 1978 a binational Republic of Korea – United States Combined Forces Command (CFC), was created, headed by a US General. In substance, this was a change in labels in relation to the so-called UN Command. To this date, Korean forces remain under the command of a US general.

The CFC was originally to be dismantled when the U.S. hands back wartime operational control of South Korean troops to Seoul in 2015, but there were fears here that this could weaken South Korea’s defenses. The change of heart comes amid increasingly belligerent rhetoric from North Korea.

Park told her military brass at the briefing to launch “immediate and strong counterattacks” against any North Korean provocation. She said she considers the North’s threats “very serious,” and added, “If any provocations against our people and country ake place, the military has to respond quickly and strongly without any political consideration.” 16

United States Forces Korea (USFK)

United States Forces Korea (USFK) was established in 1957. It is described as “as a subordinate-unified command of U.S. Pacific Command (USPACOM)”, which could be deployed to attack third countries in the region including Russia and China. There are officially 28,500 US troops under the jurisdiction of USFK. Recent figures of the US Department of Defense confirm that 37,000 US troops under USFK are currently (April 2013) stationed in South Korea.

USFK integrated by US forces is distinct from the Combined Forces Command (CFC) created in 1978. The CFC is commanded by a four-star U.S. general, with a four-star ROK Army general as deputy commander.17 (See United States Forces Korea | Mission of the ROK/US Combined Forces Command).

The current USFK commander is General James D. Thurman (See CFC photo op below) who also also assumes the position of CFC Commander and UNC Commander. 18 (See United States Forces Korea | USFK Leadership).

General Thurman who takes his orders from the Pentagon overrides ROK president and Commander in Chief Park Geun Hye.

Regular active troops of the ROK Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force) theoretically under national ROK command consist of more 600,000 active personnel and more than 2 million reservists. According to the terms of the CFC, however, these troops are de facto under the CFC command which is headed by a US General.

What this means is that in addition to the 37,000 US troops of the USFK, the US command structure has de facto control over all operational units of the Korean Armed Forces. In essence, what this means is that the ROK does not control its armed forces. ROK armed forces essentially serve the interests of a foreign power.

President Park Geun-hye (center), Combined Forces Command commander Gen. James D. Thurman (second from left, back row), deputy CFC commander Gen. Kwon Oh-sung (second from right, back row) and allied troops. Source Korean Herald, 28 August 2013

Annually the US-ROK conducts war games directed against North Korea. These war games –which simulate a conventional and/or nuclear attack against North Korea– are often conducted in late July coinciding with Armistice Day.

In turn, US military bases along South Korea’s Western coastline and on Jeju island are used to threaten China as part of a process of military encirclement. In view of the ROK-US agreement under the CFC, South Korean troops under US command are deployed in the context of US military operations in the region, which are actively coordinated with USFK and USPACOM.

South Korea is multibillion bonanza for America’s weapons industry. In the course of the last 4 years the ROK ranked the fourth largest arms importer in the World “with the U.S. accounting for 77 percent of its arms purchases.” It should be noted that these weapons are purchased with Korean tax payers’ wons, they are de facto under the supervision of the US military, namely the CFC Joint Command which is headed by a US General.

In recent developments, the ROK president has hinted towards the possibility of pre-emptive strikes against North Korea.

“As commander-in-chief of the armed forces, I will trust the military’s judgment on abrupt and surprise provocations by North Korea as it is the one that directly faces off against the North,” Park said, according to the London Telegraph. “Please carry out your duty of guarding the safety of the people without being distracted at all.”

Park’s defense minister also promised an “active deterrence” against Pyongyang and seemed to suggest Seoul would consider carrying out preemptive strikes on North Korean nuclear and missile sites. 19

The Korea Nuclear Issue. Who Threatens Whom?

Historical Background: Hiroshima and Nagasaki: August 6 and 9, 1945

America’s early nuclear weapons doctrine under the Manhattan Project was not based on the Cold War notions of “Deterrence” and “Mutually Assured Destruction” (MAD).

US nuclear doctrine pertaining to Korea was established following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, which were largely directed against civilians.

The strategic objective was to trigger a “massive casualty producing event” resulting in tens of thousands of deaths. The objective was to terrorize an entire nation, as a mean of military conquest. Military targets were not the main objective: the notion of “collateral damage” was used as a justification for the mass killing of civilians, under the official pretence that Hiroshima was “a military base” and that civilians were not the target.

In the words of president Harry Truman:

“We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world. … This weapon is to be used against Japan … [We] will use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop that terrible bomb on the old capital or the new. …  The target will be a purely military one… It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful.” 20 (President Harry S. Truman, Diary, July 25, 1945)

“The World will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians..” (President Harry S. Truman in a radio speech to the Nation, August 9, 1945).

[Note: the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945; the Second on Nagasaki, on August 9, on the same day as Truman’s radio speech to the Nation]

Nobody within the upper echelons of the US government and military believed that Hiroshima was a military base, Truman was lying to himself and to the American public. To this day the use of nuclear weapons against Japan are justified as a necessary cost for bringing the war to an end and ultimately “saving lives”.

The Hiroshima Doctrine applied to Korea: US nuclear weapons stockpiled and deployed in South Korea

During the Korean War, the US had envisaged the use of nuclear weapons against North Korea shortly after the Soviet Union had tested its first atom bomb in August  29, 1949, about ten months prior to the onset of the Korean War in June 1950. Inevitably, the possession of the atom bomb by the Soviet Union acted as a deterrent against the use of nuclear weapons by the US in the course of the Korean War.

In the immediate wake of the Korean War, there was a turnaround in US nuclear weapons policy regarding North Korea. The use of nukes weapons had been envisaged on a pre-emptive basis against the DPRK, on the presumption that the Cold War nuclear powers, including China and the Soviet Union would not intervene.

Barely a few years after the end of the Korean War, the US initiated its deployment of nuclear warheads in South Korea. This deployment in Uijongbu and Anyang-Ni had been envisaged as early as 1956.

It is worth noting that the US decision to bring nuclear warheads to South Korea was in blatant violation of  Paragraph 13(d) of the Armistice Agreement which prohibited the warring factions from introducing new weapons into Korea.

The actual deployment of nuclear warheads started in January 1958, four and a half years after the end of the Korean War, “with the introduction of five nuclear weapon systems: the Honest John surface-to-surface missile, the Matador cruise missile, the Atomic-Demolition Munition (ADM) nuclear landmine, and the 280-mm gun and 8-inch (203mm) howitzer.” 21 (See The nuclear information project: US Nuclear Weapons in Korea)

The Davy Crockett projectile was deployed in South Korea between July 1962 and June 1968. The warhead had selective yields up to 0.25 kilotons. The projectile weighed only 34.5 kg (76 lbs). Nuclear bombs for fighter bombers arrived in March 1958, followed by three surface-to-surface missile systems (Lacrosse, Davy Crockett, and Sergeant) between July 1960 and September 1963. The dual-mission Nike Hercules anti-air and surface-to-surface missile arrived in January 1961, and finally the 155-mm Howitzer arrived in October 1964. At the peak of this build-up, nearly 950 warheads were deployed in South Korea.

Four of the weapon types only remained deployed for a few years, while the others stayed for decades. The 8-inch Howitzer stayed until late 1991, the only of the weapon to be deployed throughout the entire 33-year period of U.S. nuclear weapons deployment to South Korea. The other weapons that stayed till the end were the air delivered bombs (several different bomb types were deployed over the years, ending with the B61) and the 155-mm Howitzer nuclear artillery.22

Officially the US deployment of nuclear weapons in South Korea lasted for 33 years. The deployment was targeted against North Korea as well China and the Soviet Union.

South Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program

Concurrent and in coordination with the US deployment of nuclear warheads in South Korea, the ROK had initiated its own nuclear weapons program in the early 1970s. The official story is that the US exerted pressure on Seoul to abandon their nuclear weapons program and “sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in April 1975 before it had produced any fissile material.” 23

The fact of the matter is that the ROK’s nuclear initiative was from the outset in the early 1970s  under the supervision of the US and was developed as a component part of the US deployment of nuclear weapons, with a view to threatening North Korea.

Moreover, while this program was officially ended in 1978, the US promoted scientific expertise as well as training of the ROK military in the use of nuclear weapons. And bear in mind: under the ROK-US CFC agreement, all operational units of the ROK are under joint command headed by a US General. This means that all the military facilities and bases established by the Korean military are de facto joint facilities. There are a total of 27 US military facilities in the ROK 24

The Official Removal of Nuclear Weapons from South Korea

According to military sources, the removal of nuclear weapons from South Korea was initiated in the mid 1970s:

 The nuclear weapons storage site at Osan Air base was deactivated in late 1977. This reduction continued over the following years and resulted in the number of nuclear weapons in South Korea dropping from some 540 in 1976 to approximately 150 artillery shells and bombs in 1985. By the time of the Presidential Nuclear Initiative in 1991, roughly 100 warheads remained, all of which had been withdrawn by December 1991. 25

According to official statements, the US withdrew its nuclear weapons from South Korea in December 1991.

The Planning of Nuclear Attacks against North Korea from the Continental US and from Strategic US Submarines

This withdrawal from Korea did not in any way modify the threat of nuclear war directed against the DPRK. On the contrary: it was tied to changes in US military strategy with regard to the deployment of nuclear warheads. Major North Korean cities were to be targeted with nuclear warheads from US continental locations and from US strategic submarines (SSBN)  rather than military facilities in South Korea:

After the withdrawal of [US] nuclear weapons from South Korea in December 1991, the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base has been tasked with nuclear strike planning against North Korea. Since then, strike planning against North Korea with non-strategic nuclear weapons has been the responsibility of fighter wings based in the continental United States. One of these is the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina. …

We simulated fighting a war in Korea, using a Korean scenario. … The scenario…simulated a decision by the National Command Authority about considering using nuclear weapons….We identified aircraft, crews, and [weapon] loaders to load up tactical nuclear weapons onto our aircraft….

With a capability to strike targets in less than 15 minutes, the Trident D5 sea-launched ballistic missile is a “mission critical system” for U.S. Forces Korea. Ballistic Missile Submarines and Long-Range Bombers

In addition to non-strategic air delivered bombs, sea-launched ballistic missiles onboard strategic Ohio-class submarines (SSBNs) patrolling in the Pacific appear also to have a mission against North Korea. A DOD General Inspector report from 1998 listed the Trident system as a “mission critical system” identified by U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Forces Korea as “being of particular importance to them.”

Although the primary mission of the Trident system is directed against targets in Russia and China, a D5 missile launched in a low-trajectory flight provides a unique very short notice (12-13 minutes) strike capability against time-critical targets in North Korea. No other U.S. nuclear weapon system can get a warhead on target that fast. Two-three SSBNs are on “hard alert” in the Pacific at any given time, holding Russian, Chinese and North Korean targets at risk from designated patrol areas.

Long-range strategic bombers may also be assigned a nuclear strike role against North Korea although little specific is known. An Air Force map (see below) suggests a B-2 strike role against North Korea. As the designated carrier of the B61-11 earth penetrating nuclear bomb, the B-2 is a strong candidate for potential nuclear strike missions against North Korean deeply buried underground facilities.

As the designated carrier of the B61-11 earth penetrating nuclear bomb [with an explosive capacity between one third and six times a Hiroshima bomb,see image right above] and a possible future Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, the B-2 stealth bomber (below)could have an important role against targets in North Korea. Recent upgrades enable planning of a new B-2 nuclear strike mission in less than 8 hours. 26

Whereas officially the US deployment of nuclear weapons in South Korea lasted for 33 years, there is evidence that a large number of nuclear warheads are still stockpiled in South Korea.

“Although the South Korean government at the time confirmed the withdrawal, U.S. affirmations were not as clear. As a result, rumors persisted for a long time — particularly in North and South Korea — that nuclear weapons remained in South Korea. Yet the withdrawal was confirmed by Pacific Command in 1998 in a declassified portion of the CINCPAC Command History for 1991. 27 (The nuclear information project: withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from South Korea,)

Recent reports have hinted to a remaining stockpile of nuclear weapons in South Korea to be used on a pre-emptive basis against North Korea.  It is well understood that such an action would engulf the entire Korean peninsula in an area of intense nuclear radiation.

The Bush Administration’s 2001 Nuclear Posture Review: Pre-emptive Nuclear War.

The Bush administration in its 2001 Nuclear Posture Review established the contours of a new post 9/11 “pre-emptive” nuclear war doctrine, namely that nuclear weapons could be used as an instrument of “self-defense” against non-nuclear states

“Requirements for U.S. nuclear strike capabilities” directed against North Korea were established as part of  a Global Strike mission under the helm of  US Strategic Command Headquarters in Omaha Nebraska, the so-called CONPLAN 8022, which was directed against a number of “rogue states” including North Korea as well as China and Russia:

On November 18, 2005, the new Space and Global Strike command became operational at STRATCOM after passing testing in a nuclear war exercise involving North Korea.

Current U.S. Nuclear strike planning against North Korea appears to serve three roles: The first is a vaguely defined traditional deterrence role intended to influence North Korean behavior prior to hostilities.

This role was broadened somewhat by the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review to not only deter but also dissuade North Korea from pursuing weapons of mass destruction.

Why, after five decades of confronting North Korea with nuclear weapons, the Bush administration believes that additional nuclear capabilities will somehow dissuade North Korea from pursuing weapons of mass destruction [nuclear weapons program] is a mystery. 28

The Threat of Nuclear War. North Korea vs. the United States.

While the Western media in chorus focus on the North Korean nuclear threat, what prevails when reviewing Korean history is the asymmetry of nuclear capabilities.

The fact that the US has been threatening North Korea with nuclear war for over half a century is barely acknowledged by the Western media.

Where is the threat?

The asymmetry of nuclear weapons capabilities between the US and the DPRK must be emphasised,

According to ArmsControl.org (April 2013) the United States

possesses 5,113 nuclear warheads, including tactical, strategic, and non-deployed weapons.”

According to the latest official New START declaration, out of more than 5113 nuclear weapons,

the US deploys 1,654 strategic nuclear warheads on 792 deployed ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bombers… 29

Moreover, according to The Federation of American Scientists the U.S. possesses 500 tactical nuclear warheads.

On April 3, 2013 the U.S. State Department issued the latest fact sheet on its data exchange with Russia under New START, sharing the numbers of deployed nuclear warheads and New START-accountable delivery systems held by each country, 2. On May 3, 2010, the United States Department of Defense released for the first time the total number of nuclear warheads (5,113) in the U.S. stockpile. The Defense Department includes in this stockpile active warheads which are operational and deployed or ready to be deployed, and inactive warheads which are maintained “in a non-operational status, and have their tritium bottle removed.” Sources: Arms Control Association, Federation of American Scientists, International Panel on Fissile Materials, U.S. Department of Defense, and U.S. Department of State).30

In contrast  the DPRK, according to the same source:

“has separated enough plutonium for roughly 4-8 nuclear warheads. North Korea unveiled a centrifuge facility in 2010, buts ability to produce highly-enriched uranium for weapons remains unclear.” 31 (ArmsControl.org)

Morever, according to expert opinion:

“there is no evidence that North Korea has the means to lob a nuclear-armed missile at the United States or anyone else. So far, it has produced several atomic bombs and tested them, but it lacks the fuel and the technology to miniaturize a nuke and place it on a missile” 32

According to Siegfried Hecker, one of America’s preeminent nuclear scientists:

“Despite its recent threats, North Korea does not yet have much of a nuclear arsenal because it lacks fissile materials and has limited nuclear testing experience,” 33

The threat of nuclear war does not emanate from the the DPRK but from the US and its allies.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the unspoken victim of US military aggression, has been incessantly portrayed as a war mongering nation, a menace to the American Homeland and a  “threat to World peace”. These stylized accusations have become part of a media consensus.

Meanwhile, Washington is now implementing a $32 billion refurbishing of strategic nuclear weapons as well as a revamping of its tactical nuclear weapons, which according to a 2002 Senate decision “are harmless to the surrounding civilian population.”

These continuous threats and actions of latent aggression directed against the DPRK should also be understood as part of the broader US military agenda in East Asia, directed against China and Russia.

It is important that people across the land, in the US, Western countries, come to realize that the United States rather than North Korea or Iran is a threat to global security. [Obama at the DMZ using the UN Flag in violation of the UN Security Council]

Obama  together with President Park Geun Hye at the DMZ

Korea’s Economic Development

The US military occupation of South Korea has largely supported and protected US economic and financial interests in Korea. From the very outset in 1945, there was no democratization of the South Korean economy. The exploitative Japanese factory system was adopted by the Korean business conglomerates, which were in part the outgrowth of the Japanese imperial system.

At the outset this system was based on extremely low wages, Korea’s manufacturing base was used to produce cheap labor exports for Western markets, In many respects, the earlier Korean manufacturing base was a form of “industrial colonialism” in derogation of the rights of Korean workers.

The rise of the South Korean business conglomerates (Chaebols) was the source of impressive economic growth performance starting in the 1970s. The Chaebols are conglomerates of many companies “clustered around one holding company”. The parent company is often controlled by single family or business clan. The latter in turn had close ties to officials in the ROK’s military governments.

South Korea’s industrial and technological revolution constituted a challenge to Western capitalism. Despite US military presence, the ROK was no longer a “developing country” with a “dependent” economy.  Inserted into a competitive World market, South Korean capitalism was competing with both Japanese and Western multinationals.

The 1997 Asian Crisis: Financial Warfare Directed against South Korea

The ROK had developed into a World capitalist power. It had acquired its own technological base, a highly developed banking system; it was categorised by the World Bank as a so-called “Asian tiger”.

Yet at the same time, the entire political fabric –which included the conduct of macroeconomic policy– was controlled by Washington and Wall Street, not to mention the military presence of US occupation forces.

The Asian crisis of 1997 was an important watershed. In late 1997, the imposition of an IMF bailout contributed to plunging South Korea, virtually overnight, into a deep recession. The social impact was devastating.

Through financial manipulation of  stock markets and foreign exchange markets by major financial actors, the Asian crisis contributed to weakening and undermining the Korean business establishment. The objective was to “tame the tiger”, dismantle the Korean business conglomerates, and restore US control and ownership over the Korean economy, its industrial base, its banking system.

The collapse of the won in late 1997 was triggered by “naked short selling” on the foreign exchange markets. It was tantamount to an act of economic warfare.

Several Korean business conglomerates were fractured, broken up or precipitated into bankruptcy on the orders of the IMF, which was acting on behalf of Wall Street.

Of the 30 largest chaebols, 11 collapsed between July 1997 and June 1999.

Following the IMF’s  December 1997 financial bailout, a large part of the Korean national economy, its high tech sectors, its industrial base, was “stolen” by US and Western capital under various fraudulent clauses negotiated by the ROK’s creditors.

Western corporations had gone on a shopping spree, buying up financial institutions and industrial assets at rock-bottom prices. The devaluation of the won, combined with the slide of the Seoul stock market, had dramatically depressed the dollar value of Korean assets.

Acting directly on behalf of Wall Street, the IMF had demanded the dismantling of the Daewoo Group including the sell-off of the 12 so-called troubled Daewoo affiliate companies. Daewoo Motors was up for grabs. This was not a spontaneous bankruptcy, it was the result of financial manipulation, with a view to transferring valuable productive assets into the hand of foreign investors. Daewoo obliged under the IMF agreement to sell off Daewoo Motor to General Motors (GM) in 2001. Similarly, the ROK’s largest corporation Hyundai was forced to restructure its holding company following the December 1997 bailout.

In April 1999 Hyundai announced a two-thirds reduction of the number of business units and “a plan to break up the group into five independent business groups”. This initiative was part of the debt reduction plan imposed by Western creditors and carried out by the IMF. It was implemented under what was called “the spin-off program” whereby the large Korean business conglomerates were to slated to be downsized and broken up into smaller business undertakings.

In the process, many of the high tech units belonging to the large Korean holding companies were bought out by Western capital.

South Korea’s banking landscape was also taken over by “US investors”. Korea First Bank (KFB), with a network of branches all over the country, was purchased at a negative price by the California based Newbridge Group in a fraudulent transaction. 34

A similar shady deal enabled the Carlyle Group –whose board of directors included former U.S. President George Herbert Walker Bush (Senior), his Secretary of State James A. Baker III, and former Defense Secretary Frank C. Carlucci — to take control of KorAm Bank in September 2000. KorAm was taken over in a Consortium led by The Carlyle Group in collaboration with JPMorgan Chase. KorAm Bank had been established in the early 1980s as a joint venture between Bank America and a group of Korean conglomerates. .

Three years later, CitiBank purchased  a 36.7 percent stake in KorAm from the Carlyle Group and then bought up all the remaining shares, in what was described as “Citibank’s biggest acquisition outside the Western Hemisphere”. 35

Following the 1997 Asian Crisis which triggered a multibillion dollar debt crisis, a new system of government had been established in South Korea, geared towards the fracture of Korea’s business conglomerates and the weakening of Korean national capitalism. In other words, the signing of the IMF bailout Agreement in December 1997 marks a significant transformation in the structure of the Korean State, whose regulatory financial agencies were used to serve the interests of  Korea’s external creditors.

Concluding Remarks: Towards Peace.

The US is still at war with Korea.

This US sponsored state of war is directed against both North and South Korea. It is characterised by persistent military threats (including the use of nuclear weapons) against the DPRK. It also threatens the ROK which has been under US military occupation since September 1945.

Currently there are 37,000 US troops in South Korea. Given the geography of the Korean peninsula, the use of nuclear weapons against North Korea would inevitably also engulf South Korea. This fact is known and understood by US military planners.

What has to be emphasized prior to forthcoming negotiations pertaining a “Peace Treaty” is that the US and the ROK are not “Allies”.

The “real alliance” is that which unifies and reunites North and South Korea against foreign intrusion and aggression.

What this signifies is that the US is in a state of war against the entire Korean Nation.

The formulation of the Peace Treaty, therefore, requires the holding of bilateral talks between the ROK and the DPRK with a view to formulating a “joint position” regarding the terms to be included in a “Peace Treaty”.

The terms of this Peace Treaty should under no circumstances be dictated by the US Aggressor, which is committed to maintaining its military presence on the Korean peninsula.

It is worth noting in this regard, US foreign policy and military planners have already established their own scenario of “reunification” predicated on maintaining US occupation troops in Korea. Similarly, what is envisaged by Washington is a framework which will enable “foreign investors” to penetrate and pillage the North Korean economy.

Washington’s objective is to impose the terms of Korea’s reunification. The NeoCons “Project for a New American Century” (PNAC) published in 2000 had intimated that in “post unification scenario”, the number of US troops (currently at 37,000) should be increased and that US military presence could be extended to North Korea.  In a reunified Korea,  the military mandate of the US garrison would be to implement so-called “stability operations in North Korea”:

While Korea unification might call for the reduction in American presence on the peninsula and a transformation of U.S force posture in Korea, the changes would really reflect a change in their mission – and changing technological realities – not the termination of their mission. Moreover, in any realistic post-unification scenario, U.S. forces are likely to have some role in stability operations in North Korea. It is premature to speculate on the precise size and composition of a post-unification U.S. presence in Korea, but it is not too early to recognize that the presence of American forces in Korea serves a larger and longer-range strategic purpose. For the present, any reduction in capabilities of the current U.S. garrison on the peninsula would be unwise. If anything, there is a need to bolster them, especially with respect to their ability to defend against missile attacks and to limit the effects of North Korea’s massive artillery capability. In time, or with unification, the structure of these units will change and their manpower levels fluctuate, but U.S. presence in this corner of Asia should continue. 36 (PNAC, Rebuilding America`s Defenses, Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century, p. 18, emphasis added)

Washington’s intentions are crystal clear.

It is important, therefore, that these talks be conducted by the ROK and DPRK without the participation or interference of outside parties. These discussions must address the withdrawal of all US occupation forces as well as the removal of economic sanctions directed against North Korea.

The exclusion of US military presence and the withdrawal of the 37,000 occupation forces should be a sine qua non requirement of a Peace Treaty.

Pursuant to a Peace Treaty, the ROK-US CFC agreement which places ROK forces under US command should be rescinded. All ROK troops would thereafter be brought under national ROK command.

This a fundamental shift: the present CFC agreement in essence allows the US Command to order South Korean troops to fight in a US sponsored war against North Korea, superseding and overriding the ROK President and Commander in Chief of the ROK Armed Forces.

Bilateral consultations should also be undertaken with a view to further developing economic, technological, cultural and educational cooperation between the ROK and the DPRK.

Economic sovereignty is a central issue. The shady transactions launched in the wake of the IMF bailout in 1997 must be addressed. These transactions were conducive to the illegal and fraudulent acquisition and ownership of a large part of South Korea’s high tech industry and banking by Western corporate capital.  Similarly the impacts of the insertion of the ROK into the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) must also be examined.

The Peace agreement would also be accompanied by the opening of the border between North and South.

Pursuant to the June 15th North–South Joint Declaration in August 2000, a joint ROK DPRK working commission should be established to set an agenda and a timeline for reunification.


Michel Chossudovsky’s Presentation to the Japanese Foreign Correspondent’s Club on US Aggression against the People of Korea, Tokyo, August 1, 2013 

Notes

1 Interview with General Wesley Clark, Democracy Now March 2, 2007.

2 Martin Hart-Landsberg, Korea: Division, Reunification, & U.S. Foreign Policy. Monthly Review Press. New York, 1998 pp. 65–6). The PRK was abolished by military decree in September 1945 by the USAMG.

3  Jay Hauben, Book Review of I.F. Stone’s “Hidden History of the Korean War”, OmnyNews, 2007, http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-hidden-history-of-the-korean-war/5342685

4  Ibid.                                           

5  Quoted in Stephen Lendman, America’s War on North Korea, Global Research, http://www.globalresearch.ca/americas-war-on-north-korea/5329374, April 1, 2013

6  Ibid

7  Bruce Cumings, Korea: Forgotten Nuclear Threats, 2005

8 Ibid

9  Quoted in Brian Willson, Korea and the Axis of Evil, Global Research, October 2006.

10  Ibid.

11  Associated Press Report, http://www.globalresearch.ca/us-coverup-extrajudicial-killings-in-south-korea/9518, July 6, 2008

12  Wikipedia

13  George F. Kennan, State Department Brief, Washington DC, 1948

14 Ibid.

15  The main PNAC document is entitled Rebuilding America`s Defenses, Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century, The PNAC website is:  http://www.newamericancentury.org

16  Chosun Ibo, April 13, 2013

17 See United States Forces Korea | Mission of the ROK/US Combined Forces Command.

18  See United States Forces Korea | USFK Leadership

19  U.S.- S. Korea Military Gameplan | Flashpoints | The Diplomat, April 4, 2013

20 President Harry S. Truman, Diary, July 25, 1945

21 See The nuclear information project: US Nuclear Weapons in Korea

22 Ibid.

23 Daniel A. Pinkston, “South Korea’s Nuclear Experiments,” CNS Research Story, 9 November 2004, http://cns.miis.edu

24 See List of United States Army installations in South Korea – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

25  The Nuclear Information Project: Withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from South Korea

26 Ibid

27 The Nuclear Information Project: Withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from South Korea, emphasis added

28 Ibid, emphasis added

29  ArmsControl.org, April, 2013

30 Ibid

31 Ibid

32 See  North Korea: What’s really happening – Salon.com April 5, 2013

33 Ibid

34  See Michel Chossudovsky, The Globalization of Poverty and the New World Order, Global Research, Montreal, 2003.

35 See Citibank expands in South Korea – The New York Times, November 2, 2004.

36. Project for A New American Century (PNAC), Rebuilding America`s Defenses, Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century, Washington DC 2000, p. 18, emphasis addedWhy Does North Korea Want Nukes?The original source of this article is Global ResearchCopyright © Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research, 2020


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Posted in USA, Human Rights, North Korea, South KoreaComments Off on America’s War against the People of Korea: The Historical Record of US War Crimes

Nazi regime Increases Secretive Nuclear Stockpile to 90 Warheads

Israel is in possession of up to 90 nuclear warheads, which could represent an increase of ten since 2019, Swedish research institute says

By: Middle East Eye

Israel may have increased its nuclear stockpile from 80 warheads in 2019 to 90 in 2020, according to a new report by a leading global arms watchdog. 

The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) said in its annual report on Monday that Israel, one of the world’s nine nuclear powers, could be in possession of up to 90 nuclear warheads.

The watchdog said that the true number could be higher as Israel does not officially comment on its nuclear capabilities.

“There is significant uncertainty about the size of Israel’s nuclear arsenal and its warhead capabilities,” it said.

“Israel continues to maintain its long-standing policy of nuclear opacity: it neither officially confirms nor denies that it possesses nuclear weapons.”

Israel is one of only three countries, along with India and Pakistan, not to sign the 1968 non-proliferation treaty (NPT), and is widely assumed to have the Middle East’s only atomic arsenal.

Sipri said that it believes Israel has around 30 gravity bombs that can be delivered by F-16I aircraft, and up to 50 warheads that can be delivered by land-based ballistic missiles such as the Jericho III – which, according to foreign reports, has a range of 5,500 km.

“It is possible that some of Israel’s F-15 aircraft may also serve a nuclear strike role, but this is unconfirmed,” Sipri said.

The report also said that the locations of the storage sites for Israel’s warheads, “which are thought to be stored partially unassembled,” are also unknown.

Declassified government documents from both Israel and the United States indicate that Israel began building a stockpile of nuclear weapons in the early 1960s, likely with the assistance of the US, Sipri said.

Some groups have estimated that Israel has a higher amount of warheads. In 2015, the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security said that Israel had produced at least 115 nuclear warheads.

More than 13,000 nukes worldwide

Sipri’s latest report documented that the UK, China, India and Pakistan had also increased their nuclear arsenals in the last year, by between 10 and 30 warheads each.

Still, the watchdog noted that there were around 465 less nuclear weapons globally in 2020 when compared to 2019.

“The decrease in the overall number of nuclear weapons in the world in 2019 was largely due to the dismantlement of retired nuclear weapons by Russia and the USA – which together still possess over 90 percent of global nuclear weapons,” the report said.

SIPRI@SIPRIorg

At the start of 2020, the 9 nuclear-armed states possessed an estimated 13 400 #nuclear weapons:

Russia 6 375
USA 5 800
China 320
France 290
UK 215
Pakistan 160
India 150
‘Israel’ 90
North Korea 30–40

Read more in #SIPRIYearbook 2020 http://bit.ly/2YzLR0F 

View image on Twitter

6513:31 PM – Jun 15, 2020Twitter Ads info and privacy397 people are talking about this

Currently, Sipri estimates that the nine nuclear-armed states – the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, Pakistan, India, Israel and North Korea – together possessed an estimated 13,400 nuclear weapons.

“Around 3,720 of the nuclear weapons are currently deployed with operational forces and nearly 1,800 of these are kept in a state of high operational alert,” the group said.

The other 9,680 nuclear warheads in the world are believed to be undeployed.

Posted in ZIO-NAZI, China, France, India, North Korea, Pakistan & Kashmir, Russia, UKComments Off on Nazi regime Increases Secretive Nuclear Stockpile to 90 Warheads

Russia unhappy at dialogue deep freeze between Pyongyang and Washington

Ambassador Alexander Matsegora spoke about why there is no reason to doubt north Korea’s claims that there are no coronavirus cases.

Proletarian writers

DPRK factory workers making masks for covid-19. Despite having no cases of the virus, north Korea continues to take a ‘better safe than sorry’ approach, remaining vigilant to protect the people’s safety.

This article has been translated from the Russian Interfax website and is reproduced here with thanks.

*****

Russian ambassador to the DPRK Alexander Matsegora explains why there is no reason to doubt Pyongyang’s statements about the absence of coronavirus cases, discusses the prospects for the resumption of dialogue between north Korea and the United States, and details the fraternal assistance provided to Pyongyang by Russia.

I: The DPRK has set a kind of deadline for the US, indicating to Washington the need to fulfil its part of the obligations to ease sanctions in exchange for the steps already taken by Pyongyang to disarm. No tangible action on the part of Washington has followed.

Do you see any signs that the north Koreans have turned their back on the negotiation process with the United States and the dialogue has once again reached an impasse?

AM: You do not accurately convey the meaning of the demands made by Pyongyang both previously and now. Let’s start with what happened in 2019. In his political speech at the April session of the north Korean supreme council, chairman of the state council Kim Jong Un named as the condition for resuming dialogue with the United States “a new way of counting”, which the Americans had to offer and begin to implement in practice before the end of 2019.

On the sidelines of the 30 June US-DPRK leaders’ meeting in Panmunjom, the Americans were given detailed explanations about what Pyongyang means by this ‘new way of counting’. Namely, if earlier they were ready for a kind of exchange, in which every step of the north Koreans towards denuclearisation was accompanied by appropriate actions on the part of Washington – the lifting of part of the sanctions, for example – then, after Hanoi, this scheme was categorically rejected by the leadership of the DPRK.

As they said: “There will be no more trade.” In short, the Americans now had not only once and for all to renounce hostility towards the DPRK, but also to prove it with concrete actions. Only then would Pyongyang be ready to sit down again at the negotiating table.

In fact, an ultimatum was put forward regarding the complete reformatting of the basic approaches to the settlement of the nuclear question. This was a very emotional decision, due, apparently, to a deep disappointment following the Vietnam talks.

The failure of the US-DPRK consultations held in Stockholm on 5 October clearly demonstrated, on the one hand, Washington’s unwillingness to accept this new forumla, and, on the other, Pyongyang’s determination to follow it at all costs.

Nevertheless, the Koreans kept their promise and maintained a pause until the very end of the year, without taking any serious actions, although the United States, apart from calls to resume dialogue and vague hints that they are ready to meet the north “in some ways”, did not send out any significant signals.

In the last days of 2019, the fifth plenum of the WPK’s seventh central committee convocation was held, which summed up the disappointing results of the Korean detente initiated by the DPRK leadership in 2018 and they came to the conclusion that the aggressive policy of the US and sanctions against the DPRK are an objective reality that will last forever.

In the official statement that followed on 11 January, the first official statement of the coming year, made by north Korean foreign ministry adviser Kim Kyo Hwang, there was a phrase that clearly reflects the position of Pyongyang: “The resumption of the Korean-American dialogue is possible only if Washington fully accepts our demands. However, we are well aware that they are not ready for this and, moreover, are not able to do it.”

This understanding of the situation formed the basis for the new political course adopted at the plenum, called the “frontal breakthrough”. Its essence is that the country must focus on its internal affairs and return to the so-called “parallel” option that was taken before 2018 (simultaneous development of the civil economy and strengthening of defence capability).

As for the dialogue with Washington, it seems to have been postponed at least until the US presidential election. And then we’ll see.

I: Earlier, the leader of the DPRK announced plans to present to the world a fundamentally new type of weapon that will change the status of north Korea. In addition, Pyongyang has changed the head of the foreign ministry.

All this was interpreted by experts as steps by the north Koreans to curtail dialogue with the United States. How does Moscow collectively perceive these signals from Pyongyang?

AM: In all that concerns north Korean issues, we must be very precise in quoting. At the December plenum of the WPK central committee, Kim Jong Un said: “The world will soon see a new strategic weapon that the DPRK will have.”

What we are talking about, we can only guess, but we are aware that any country has a sovereign right to strengthen its defence capability. And the fact that the DPRK has acquired a new strategic status was mentioned here after the test of a ballistic missile that took place on 29 November 2017, which foreign experts, based on those parameters of its flight that became known, classified as an intercontinental one.

As for the appointment of the new foreign minister, I would not link this directly with the adjustment of policy in the American direction. The head of the foreign ministry has never been a prominent character in the dialogue with representatives of Washington. The topic of relations with the United States, and the nuclear issue derived from it, has always been the first deputy foreign minister’s prerogative.

This position, as far as we know, remains with Choi Song Hee, who, of course, does not pursue her own policy in the American direction, but strictly follows the line determined by the head of state.

Moscow, of course, cannot be happy about the deep freeze in the US-DPRK dialogue, which is fraught with increasing tension in the region directly adjacent to our far-eastern border. We believe that sooner or later the talks will be resumed, and we are ready, as they say, to offer our shoulder to Pyongyang and Washington.

In this regard, we continue to promote our joint action plan with our Chinese colleagues for a comprehensive settlement of the situation on the Korean peninsula.

I: Is the issue of easing sanctions against the DPRK in connection with the pandemic on the agenda? Or does the consideration of this issue in the UN security council still rest on the US-principled position that Pyongyang’s steps are insufficient for any exceptions?

Do restrictions prevent the supply of medical equipment to the DPRK?

AM: The issue of easing sanctions in the context of a pandemic, and not only against the DPRK but also against other countries whose populations suffer from these restrictions, was raised by a group of states at the United Nations general assembly on 26 March, but the decision was blocked by the US and its allies, who are known to be the main promoters of ‘human rights’.

It seems that the Americans themselves would not be able to formulate what they consider ‘sufficient steps’ that would remove their objections to easing restrictions. Meanwhile, they are seriously hindering the supply of medicines and medical equipment.

We are here on the spot and we get a lot of evidence of the extremely negative effect both of direct bans (on equipment necessary for the treatment of cancer, for example) and of the situation itself, in which the Americans literally persecute anyone who has any kind of trade contact with the DPRK – even if we are talking about the supply of totally harmless products.

I: According to the statements of the north Korean authorities, no cases of coronavirus have been registered in the country so far. How realistic do we think such statements are? Is Pyongyang informing us truthfully about the pandemic?

AM: I must say that the leadership of the DPRK has taken the most resolute and strict measures to prevent this infection from entering the country. And it did so before anyone else. Even China still kept its borders open, but here entry/exit restrictions were introduced at the end of January, and since the beginning of February, the outer borders were tightly closed with an iron lock.

Since then, it has become absolutely impossible to come here, even for north Korean citizens who are abroad – all of them still cannot get to their homeland (as you know, it is the compatriots returning from abroad who are the main distributors of infection for any country). The border provinces that have the most advanced ties with China were isolated from the rest of the country, as, by the way, was Pyongyang, where Chinese tourists came back in January.

As for those who entered here after the outbreak of the epidemic in China, all of them, including foreigners, were placed in an unconditional 30-day quarantine, followed by daily checks by visiting teams of doctors for another month.

Already in February, everyone here wore masks, and in every institution, in every entrance to residential buildings, their temperature was measured at the entrance and their hands and shoes were disinfected. School children and students were placed in complete isolation in mid-February, which began to weaken only in early May.

Now there has been further easing of the measures. We are able to visit the market and all major shopping centres and the country has gradually begun to import goods again, but there is no international passenger traffic, and masks and widespread disinfections remain.

I know that foreign experts doubt the accuracy of information about the lack of Covid-19 here, saying that if the DPRK did not have any cases, these conservation measures in a totally isolated country would be unnecessary. However, local infectious diseases experts have a different logic. They say that since that the coronavirus is so unpleasant, and since the distribution channels, pathogenicity and other properties are still not fully understood, it is better not to take risks but insure yourself.

By the way, I had a conversation with one of the European diplomats, who also doubted that the north Korean authorities were telling the whole truth. When I asked him to give at least one reason for hiding this information, he indicated two: the north Korean leadership, they say, does not want, first, to talk about their problems to an external audience (so as not to damage their image), and, secondly, they do not want to frighten their population (for fear of causing panic).

I strongly disagreed with him. Official Pyongyang does not hesitate to give World Health Organisation (WHO) and international humanitarian organisations comprehensive information about such diseases as tuberculosis or dysentery (and receives substantial assistance for their treatment). How does the coronavirus differ in this sense? As for panic, they are not afraid of it, because society here is monolithic and highly disciplined. It is, by the way, much more stress-resistant than any western society.

In general, given the circumstances, I am inclined to trust what is reported about the lack of infection in the DPRK. I have recently had several meetings with the leadership of the north Korean foreign ministry, including with the minister and his deputy. The topic of coronavirus was one of the main topics in our conversations.

I: It is known that China, Russia and international organisations have provided assistance to north Korea in the fight against the spread of coronavirus. Is the amount of assistance received sufficient? Does the DPRK need any other similar supplies against the background of the pandemic?

AM: According to the information available to us, the republic independently and fully provides itself with masks and disinfectants. I believe that things are not so good with medications and ventilators. The delivery of these items would be very appropriate and is in demand.

However, the main thing is to prevent the coronavirus from entering the country. The DPRK is coping with this very successfully.

I: Will Russia continue to supply north Korea with oil and petroleum products in the same volumes, despite the coronavirus pandemic, or will they be reduced?

AM: We do not supply oil to the DPRK, and after a short pause caused by antiviral measures, the export of petroleum products has already resumed in the amount of 2-3,000 tons per month. That is, approximately at the level of last year.

At the same time, we strictly comply with the requirements stipulated by the relevant UN security council resolutions, including in terms of regularly informing the sanctions committee about the volume of our shipments.

I: Earlier this year, you said that the issue of supplying north Korea with a large batch of wheat from Russia after the 2019 crop failure is being resolved. Is there an understanding of when such deliveries can take place and what volumes are being discussed? What other assistance do we plan to provide to Pyongyang in the foreseeable future?

AM: The first batch of Russian wheat of 25,000 tons as humanitarian aid was delivered to the DPRK in May this year. This is a very timely step, since the so-called ‘barley pass’ begins here in June – the most difficult period from the point of view of grain shortage when last year’s stocks are already coming to an end and the first harvest of a new crop (in the north of the Korean peninsula, winter barley is harvested in June) is still ahead.

We expect that we will soon be able to deliver another batch of our wheat. The DPRK greatly appreciates this selfless assistance, because, for a number of reasons, including the severe drought of last year, its own grain reserves were insufficient.

I: According to the Russian foreign ministry, at the end of January this year, about 1,000 former north Korean workers remained in Russia who should return to their homeland. Did the pandemic prevent their return? Do former Korean workers who have not yet been able to return home remain in Russia?

AM: As I have already said, due to the complete closure of borders, north Korean citizens who were abroad at the end of January have not yet been able to return to their homeland. This also applies to Korean workers who were in Russia.

I: The leader of the DPRK was invited to the Victory Parade in Moscow, which was scheduled for 9 May and which was postponed to a later date due to the pandemic. Did the Korean side inform us about the level at which it planned to be represented initially and whether Kim Jong Un was going to visit the Russian capital? Is there any understanding on what level north Korea will be represented at the celebrations after the new date of the parade is announced?

AM: I would like to ask you to address this question to the presidential administration of the Russian Federation.

I: Can I ask about the recent media coverage of the ‘disappearance’ of Kim Jong Un, who, as we know, has already reappeared in public? What do you think the constant discussions about the north Korean leader’s health status and various theories were aimed at? Was this an attempt to somehow destabilise the situation in the DPRK?

AM: I must say that I consider it inappropriate to discuss the state of health of the leader of the DPRK. To put it mildly, the wild insinuations that accompanied the whole story arouse very negative feelings.

I do not think that we are dealing here with a targeted campaign to destabilise the situation in the republic. Inside the country, few people knew what American newspapers wrote or what south Korean lawmakers were saying.

Most likely, we are talking about the fantasies of unscrupulous individuals who sought in any way to become ‘caliphs for an hour’, whose fabrications were picked up by the media, which was greedy for sensationalism but extremely unscrupulous in their medium.

Posted in USA, North Korea, RussiaComments Off on Russia unhappy at dialogue deep freeze between Pyongyang and Washington

Russia unhappy at dialogue deep freeze between Pyongyang and Washington

Ambassador Alexander Matsegora spoke about why there is no reason to doubt north Korea’s claims that there are no coronavirus cases.

Proletarian writers

DPRK factory workers making masks for covid-19. Despite having no cases of the virus, north Korea continues to take a ‘better safe than sorry’ approach, remaining vigilant to protect the people’s safety.

This article has been translated from the Russian Interfax website and is reproduced here with thanks.

*****

Russian ambassador to the DPRK Alexander Matsegora explains why there is no reason to doubt Pyongyang’s statements about the absence of coronavirus cases, discusses the prospects for the resumption of dialogue between north Korea and the United States, and details the fraternal assistance provided to Pyongyang by Russia.

I: The DPRK has set a kind of deadline for the US, indicating to Washington the need to fulfil its part of the obligations to ease sanctions in exchange for the steps already taken by Pyongyang to disarm. No tangible action on the part of Washington has followed.

Do you see any signs that the north Koreans have turned their back on the negotiation process with the United States and the dialogue has once again reached an impasse?

AM: You do not accurately convey the meaning of the demands made by Pyongyang both previously and now. Let’s start with what happened in 2019. In his political speech at the April session of the north Korean supreme council, chairman of the state council Kim Jong Un named as the condition for resuming dialogue with the United States “a new way of counting”, which the Americans had to offer and begin to implement in practice before the end of 2019.

On the sidelines of the 30 June US-DPRK leaders’ meeting in Panmunjom, the Americans were given detailed explanations about what Pyongyang means by this ‘new way of counting’. Namely, if earlier they were ready for a kind of exchange, in which every step of the north Koreans towards denuclearisation was accompanied by appropriate actions on the part of Washington – the lifting of part of the sanctions, for example – then, after Hanoi, this scheme was categorically rejected by the leadership of the DPRK.

As they said: “There will be no more trade.” In short, the Americans now had not only once and for all to renounce hostility towards the DPRK, but also to prove it with concrete actions. Only then would Pyongyang be ready to sit down again at the negotiating table.

In fact, an ultimatum was put forward regarding the complete reformatting of the basic approaches to the settlement of the nuclear question. This was a very emotional decision, due, apparently, to a deep disappointment following the Vietnam talks.

The failure of the US-DPRK consultations held in Stockholm on 5 October clearly demonstrated, on the one hand, Washington’s unwillingness to accept this new forumla, and, on the other, Pyongyang’s determination to follow it at all costs.

Nevertheless, the Koreans kept their promise and maintained a pause until the very end of the year, without taking any serious actions, although the United States, apart from calls to resume dialogue and vague hints that they are ready to meet the north “in some ways”, did not send out any significant signals.

In the last days of 2019, the fifth plenum of the WPK’s seventh central committee convocation was held, which summed up the disappointing results of the Korean detente initiated by the DPRK leadership in 2018 and they came to the conclusion that the aggressive policy of the US and sanctions against the DPRK are an objective reality that will last forever.

In the official statement that followed on 11 January, the first official statement of the coming year, made by north Korean foreign ministry adviser Kim Kyo Hwang, there was a phrase that clearly reflects the position of Pyongyang: “The resumption of the Korean-American dialogue is possible only if Washington fully accepts our demands. However, we are well aware that they are not ready for this and, moreover, are not able to do it.”

This understanding of the situation formed the basis for the new political course adopted at the plenum, called the “frontal breakthrough”. Its essence is that the country must focus on its internal affairs and return to the so-called “parallel” option that was taken before 2018 (simultaneous development of the civil economy and strengthening of defence capability).

As for the dialogue with Washington, it seems to have been postponed at least until the US presidential election. And then we’ll see.

I: Earlier, the leader of the DPRK announced plans to present to the world a fundamentally new type of weapon that will change the status of north Korea. In addition, Pyongyang has changed the head of the foreign ministry.

All this was interpreted by experts as steps by the north Koreans to curtail dialogue with the United States. How does Moscow collectively perceive these signals from Pyongyang?

AM: In all that concerns north Korean issues, we must be very precise in quoting. At the December plenum of the WPK central committee, Kim Jong Un said: “The world will soon see a new strategic weapon that the DPRK will have.”

What we are talking about, we can only guess, but we are aware that any country has a sovereign right to strengthen its defence capability. And the fact that the DPRK has acquired a new strategic status was mentioned here after the test of a ballistic missile that took place on 29 November 2017, which foreign experts, based on those parameters of its flight that became known, classified as an intercontinental one.

As for the appointment of the new foreign minister, I would not link this directly with the adjustment of policy in the American direction. The head of the foreign ministry has never been a prominent character in the dialogue with representatives of Washington. The topic of relations with the United States, and the nuclear issue derived from it, has always been the first deputy foreign minister’s prerogative.

This position, as far as we know, remains with Choi Song Hee, who, of course, does not pursue her own policy in the American direction, but strictly follows the line determined by the head of state.

Moscow, of course, cannot be happy about the deep freeze in the US-DPRK dialogue, which is fraught with increasing tension in the region directly adjacent to our far-eastern border. We believe that sooner or later the talks will be resumed, and we are ready, as they say, to offer our shoulder to Pyongyang and Washington.

In this regard, we continue to promote our joint action plan with our Chinese colleagues for a comprehensive settlement of the situation on the Korean peninsula.

I: Is the issue of easing sanctions against the DPRK in connection with the pandemic on the agenda? Or does the consideration of this issue in the UN security council still rest on the US-principled position that Pyongyang’s steps are insufficient for any exceptions?

Do restrictions prevent the supply of medical equipment to the DPRK?

AM: The issue of easing sanctions in the context of a pandemic, and not only against the DPRK but also against other countries whose populations suffer from these restrictions, was raised by a group of states at the United Nations general assembly on 26 March, but the decision was blocked by the US and its allies, who are known to be the main promoters of ‘human rights’.

It seems that the Americans themselves would not be able to formulate what they consider ‘sufficient steps’ that would remove their objections to easing restrictions. Meanwhile, they are seriously hindering the supply of medicines and medical equipment.

We are here on the spot and we get a lot of evidence of the extremely negative effect both of direct bans (on equipment necessary for the treatment of cancer, for example) and of the situation itself, in which the Americans literally persecute anyone who has any kind of trade contact with the DPRK – even if we are talking about the supply of totally harmless products.

I: According to the statements of the north Korean authorities, no cases of coronavirus have been registered in the country so far. How realistic do we think such statements are? Is Pyongyang informing us truthfully about the pandemic?

AM: I must say that the leadership of the DPRK has taken the most resolute and strict measures to prevent this infection from entering the country. And it did so before anyone else. Even China still kept its borders open, but here entry/exit restrictions were introduced at the end of January, and since the beginning of February, the outer borders were tightly closed with an iron lock.

Since then, it has become absolutely impossible to come here, even for north Korean citizens who are abroad – all of them still cannot get to their homeland (as you know, it is the compatriots returning from abroad who are the main distributors of infection for any country). The border provinces that have the most advanced ties with China were isolated from the rest of the country, as, by the way, was Pyongyang, where Chinese tourists came back in January.

As for those who entered here after the outbreak of the epidemic in China, all of them, including foreigners, were placed in an unconditional 30-day quarantine, followed by daily checks by visiting teams of doctors for another month.

Already in February, everyone here wore masks, and in every institution, in every entrance to residential buildings, their temperature was measured at the entrance and their hands and shoes were disinfected. School children and students were placed in complete isolation in mid-February, which began to weaken only in early May.

Now there has been further easing of the measures. We are able to visit the market and all major shopping centres and the country has gradually begun to import goods again, but there is no international passenger traffic, and masks and widespread disinfections remain.

I know that foreign experts doubt the accuracy of information about the lack of Covid-19 here, saying that if the DPRK did not have any cases, these conservation measures in a totally isolated country would be unnecessary. However, local infectious diseases experts have a different logic. They say that since that the coronavirus is so unpleasant, and since the distribution channels, pathogenicity and other properties are still not fully understood, it is better not to take risks but insure yourself.

By the way, I had a conversation with one of the European diplomats, who also doubted that the north Korean authorities were telling the whole truth. When I asked him to give at least one reason for hiding this information, he indicated two: the north Korean leadership, they say, does not want, first, to talk about their problems to an external audience (so as not to damage their image), and, secondly, they do not want to frighten their population (for fear of causing panic).

I strongly disagreed with him. Official Pyongyang does not hesitate to give World Health Organisation (WHO) and international humanitarian organisations comprehensive information about such diseases as tuberculosis or dysentery (and receives substantial assistance for their treatment). How does the coronavirus differ in this sense? As for panic, they are not afraid of it, because society here is monolithic and highly disciplined. It is, by the way, much more stress-resistant than any western society.

In general, given the circumstances, I am inclined to trust what is reported about the lack of infection in the DPRK. I have recently had several meetings with the leadership of the north Korean foreign ministry, including with the minister and his deputy. The topic of coronavirus was one of the main topics in our conversations.

I: It is known that China, Russia and international organisations have provided assistance to north Korea in the fight against the spread of coronavirus. Is the amount of assistance received sufficient? Does the DPRK need any other similar supplies against the background of the pandemic?

AM: According to the information available to us, the republic independently and fully provides itself with masks and disinfectants. I believe that things are not so good with medications and ventilators. The delivery of these items would be very appropriate and is in demand.

However, the main thing is to prevent the coronavirus from entering the country. The DPRK is coping with this very successfully.

I: Will Russia continue to supply north Korea with oil and petroleum products in the same volumes, despite the coronavirus pandemic, or will they be reduced?

AM: We do not supply oil to the DPRK, and after a short pause caused by antiviral measures, the export of petroleum products has already resumed in the amount of 2-3,000 tons per month. That is, approximately at the level of last year.

At the same time, we strictly comply with the requirements stipulated by the relevant UN security council resolutions, including in terms of regularly informing the sanctions committee about the volume of our shipments.

I: Earlier this year, you said that the issue of supplying north Korea with a large batch of wheat from Russia after the 2019 crop failure is being resolved. Is there an understanding of when such deliveries can take place and what volumes are being discussed? What other assistance do we plan to provide to Pyongyang in the foreseeable future?

AM: The first batch of Russian wheat of 25,000 tons as humanitarian aid was delivered to the DPRK in May this year. This is a very timely step, since the so-called ‘barley pass’ begins here in June – the most difficult period from the point of view of grain shortage when last year’s stocks are already coming to an end and the first harvest of a new crop (in the north of the Korean peninsula, winter barley is harvested in June) is still ahead.

We expect that we will soon be able to deliver another batch of our wheat. The DPRK greatly appreciates this selfless assistance, because, for a number of reasons, including the severe drought of last year, its own grain reserves were insufficient.

I: According to the Russian foreign ministry, at the end of January this year, about 1,000 former north Korean workers remained in Russia who should return to their homeland. Did the pandemic prevent their return? Do former Korean workers who have not yet been able to return home remain in Russia?

AM: As I have already said, due to the complete closure of borders, north Korean citizens who were abroad at the end of January have not yet been able to return to their homeland. This also applies to Korean workers who were in Russia.

I: The leader of the DPRK was invited to the Victory Parade in Moscow, which was scheduled for 9 May and which was postponed to a later date due to the pandemic. Did the Korean side inform us about the level at which it planned to be represented initially and whether Kim Jong Un was going to visit the Russian capital? Is there any understanding on what level north Korea will be represented at the celebrations after the new date of the parade is announced?

AM: I would like to ask you to address this question to the presidential administration of the Russian Federation.

I: Can I ask about the recent media coverage of the ‘disappearance’ of Kim Jong Un, who, as we know, has already reappeared in public? What do you think the constant discussions about the north Korean leader’s health status and various theories were aimed at? Was this an attempt to somehow destabilise the situation in the DPRK?

AM: I must say that I consider it inappropriate to discuss the state of health of the leader of the DPRK. To put it mildly, the wild insinuations that accompanied the whole story arouse very negative feelings.

I do not think that we are dealing here with a targeted campaign to destabilise the situation in the republic. Inside the country, few people knew what American newspapers wrote or what south Korean lawmakers were saying.

Most likely, we are talking about the fantasies of unscrupulous individuals who sought in any way to become ‘caliphs for an hour’, whose fabrications were picked up by the media, which was greedy for sensationalism but extremely unscrupulous in their medium.

Posted in USA, North Korea, RussiaComments Off on Russia unhappy at dialogue deep freeze between Pyongyang and Washington

US indicts N. Koreans, Chinese over $2.5 bn network to dodge sanctions

Cartoon Of North Korea President Editorial Photo - Illustration of ...

The US Justice Department indicted 28 North Koreans and five Chinese on Thursday for operating a money laundering ring that moved billions of dollars through global banks to avoid nuclear sanctions on Pyongyang.

The network processed more than $2.5 billion through over 250 front companies across Thailand, Libya, Austria, Russia, China and Kuwait to evade sanctions, buy goods needed by North Korea and to enrich the suspects, according to an indictment filed in federal district court in Washington.

Most of those indicted were associated with a network of “covert” branches of North Korea’s blacklisted Foreign Trade Bank, and included two people who had served as presidents of the bank, Ko Chol Man and Kim Song Ui, and two vice presidents.

They were accused of using front companies to clear US dollar transactions through financial networks that transit the United States, which is illegal for the Foreign Trade Bank and other entities under US nuclear and trade sanctions placed on North Korea.

In the scheme which operated from 2013 until this year, the defendants and co-conspirators “concealed FTB’s involvement in US dollar payments from correspondent banks in order to trick the banks into processing the payments,” the indictment said.

Over that time, the US seized some $63 million of the money.

The indictment gave no information on how North Korea came by that sum of money, but it was intended for use for everything from luxury goods to supplies for the country’s nuclear weapons program, a US official said.

The regime of Kim Jong Un has struggled in recent years to overcome a tough UN-backed embargo on most trade and finance, set because it has defied demands to halt the development of nuclear weapons.

“Through this indictment, the United States has signified its commitment to hampering North Korea’s ability to illegally access the US financial system, and to limiting its ability to use proceeds from these illicit actions to enhance its illegal weapons of mass destruction,” said Michael Sherwin, the acting US attorney for Washington, in a statement.

In terms of the number of defendants, the indictment appeared to be the largest sanctions case brought against Pyongyang yet by the United States.

But it was, as one official characterized it, more of a “name and shame” case — there was no indication whether any of those named could be arrested or forced to stand trial.

Posted in USA, C.I.A, North KoreaComments Off on US indicts N. Koreans, Chinese over $2.5 bn network to dodge sanctions

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