Behind the US-North Korea Conflict

Reading time: 1,721 words, 4 pages, 4 to 7 minutes.

When the world’s greatest terrorist state, the good ole U.S.S.A. alerts my keen bullshit detector by banging the war drums against a pathetically poor nation like North Korea then you know Al Qaeda’s influence is fading and needs to be replaced with a new boogeyman to justify the continuation of the “Forever” War on Terror and keep Amerikans in a perpetual state of fear lest they look behind the curtain and see the true state of their rapidly shrinking economy and the enrichment of the oligarchic elite vampires sucking the life-blood out of their military-industrial warfare-state economy at the expense of ordinary people and their shrinking standard of living and fading future prospects.

How’s that for a run-on sentence?

In any case, Global Research did an excellent analysis pulling back the curtain. I shamelessly copied it below in its entirety.

Gerold
April 5, 2013

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The Dangers of War: What is Behind the US-North Korea Conflict?

By Jack A. Smith

Global Research, April 01, 2013

What’s happening between the U.S. and North Korea to produce such headlines this week as “Korean Tensions Escalate,” and “North Korea Threatens U.S.”?

The New York Times reported March 30:

“This week, North Korea’s young leader, Kim Jung-un, ordered his underlings to prepare for a missile attack on the United States. He appeared at a command center in front of a wall map with the bold, unlikely title, ‘Plans to Attack the Mainland U.S.’ Earlier in the month, his generals boasted of developing a ‘Korean-style’ nuclear warhead that could be fitted atop a long-range missile.”

The U.S. is well aware North Korea’s statements are not backed up by sufficient military power to implement its rhetorical threats, but appears to be escalating tensions all the same. What’s up? I’ll have to go back a bit to explain the situation.

Since the end of the Korean War 60 years ago, the government of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea) has repeatedly put forward virtually the same four proposals to the United States. They are:

1. A peace treaty to end the Korean War.

2. The reunification of Korea, which has been “temporarily” divided into North and South since 1945.

3. An end to the U.S. occupation of South Korea and a discontinuation of annual month-long U.S-South Korean war games.

4. Bilateral talks between Washington and Pyongyang to end tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The U.S. and its South Korean protectorate have rejected each proposal over the years. As a consequence, the peninsula has remained extremely unstable since the 1950s. It has now reached the point where Washington has used this year’s war games, which began in early March, as a vehicle for staging a mock nuclear attack on North Korea by flying two nuclear-capable B-2 Stealth bombers over the region March 28. Three days later, the White House ordered F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets to South Korea, a further escalation of tensions.

Here is what is behind the four proposals.

1. The U.S. refuses to sign a peace treaty to end the Korean War. It has only agreed to an armistice. An armistice is a temporary cessation of fighting by mutual consent. The armistice signed July 27, 1953, was supposed to transform into a peace treaty when “a final peaceful settlement is achieved.” The lack of a treaty means war could resume at any moment. North Korea does not want a war with the U.S., history’s most powerful military state. It wants a peace treaty.

2. Two Koreas exist as the product of an agreement between the USSR (which borderd Korea and helped to liberate the northern part of country from Japan in World War II) and the U.S., which occupied the southern half. Although socialism prevailed in the north and capitalism in the south, it was not to be a permanent split. The two big powers were to withdraw after a couple of years, allowing the country to reunify. Russia did so; the U.S. didn’t. Then came the devastating three-year war in 1950. Since then, North Korea has made several different proposals to end the separation that has lasted since 1945. The most recent proposal, I believe, is “one country two systems.” This means that while both halves unify, the south remains capitalist and the north remains socialist. It will be difficult but not impossible. Washington does not want this. It seeks the whole peninsula, bringing its military apparatus directly to the border with China, and Russia as well.

3. Washington has kept between 25,000 and over 40,000 troops in South Korea since the end of the war. They remain — along with America’s fleets, nuclear bomber bases and troop installations in close proximity to the peninsula — a reminder of two things. One is that “We can crush the north.” The other is “We own South Korea.” Pyongyang sees it that way — all the more so since President Obama decided to “pivot” to Asia. While the pivot contains an economic and trade aspect, its primary purpose is to increase America’s already substantial military power in the region in order to intensify the threat to China and North Korea.

4. The Korean War was basically a conflict between the DPRK and the U.S. That is, while a number of UN countries fought in the war, the U.S. was in charge, dominated the fighting against North Korea and was responsible for the deaths of millions of Koreans north of the 38th parallel dividing line. It is entirely logical that Pyongyang seeks talks directly with Washington to resolve differences and reach a peaceful settlement leading toward a treaty. The U.S. has consistently refused.

These four points are not new. They were put forward in the 1950s. I visited the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea as a journalist for the (U.S.) Guardian newspaper three times during the 1970s for a total of eight weeks. Time after time, in discussions with officials, I was asked about a peace treaty, reunification, withdrawal of U.S. troops from the south, and face-to-face talks. The situation is the same today. The U.S. won’t budge.

Why not? Washington wants to get rid of the communist regime before allowing peace to prevail on the peninsula. No “one state, two systems” for Uncle Sam, by jingo! He wants one state that pledges allegiance to — guess who?

In the interim, the existence of a “bellicose” North Korea justifies Washington’s surrounding the north with a veritable ring of firepower in the northwest Pacific close enough to almost, but not quite, singe China. A “dangerous” DPRK is also useful in keeping Japan well within the U.S. orbit. It also is another excuse for once-pacifist Japan to boost its already formidable arsenal.

In this connection I’ll quote from a Feb. 15 article from Foreign Policy in Focus by Christine Hong and Hyun Le: “Framing of North Korea as the region’s foremost security threat obscures the disingenuous nature of U.S. President Barack Obama’s policy in the region, specifically the identity between what his advisers dub ‘strategic patience,’ on the one hand, and his forward-deployed military posture and alliance with regional hawks on the other. Examining Obama’s aggressive North Korea policy and its consequences is crucial to understanding why demonstrations of military might — of politics by other means, to borrow from Carl von Clausewitz — are the only avenues of communication North Korea appears to have with the United States at this juncture.”

Here’s another quote from ANSWER Coalition leader Brian Becker:

“The Pentagon and the South Korean military today —and throughout the past year — have been staging massive war games that simulate the invasion and bombing of North Korea. Few people in the United States know the real situation. The work of the war propaganda machine is designed to make sure that the American people do not join together to demand an end to the dangerous and threatening actions of the Pentagon on the Korean Peninsula.

“The propaganda campaign is in full swing now as the Pentagon climbs the escalation ladder in the most militarized part of the planet. North Korea is depicted as the provocateur and aggressor whenever it asserts that they have the right and capability to defend their country. Even as the Pentagon simulates the nuclear destruction of a country that it had already tried to bomb into the Stone Age, the corporate-owned media characterizes this extremely provocative act as a sign of resolve and a measure of self-defense.”

And from Stratfor, the private intelligence service that is often in the know:

“Much of North Korea’s behavior can be considered rhetorical, but it is nonetheless unclear how far Pyongyang is willing to go if it still cannot force negotiations through belligerence.”

The objective of initiating negotiations is here taken for granted.

Pyongyang’s “bellicosity” is almost entirely verbal — several decibels too loud for our ears, perhaps — but North Korea is a small country in difficult circumstances that well remembers the extraordinary brutality Washington visited up the territory in the 1950s. Millions of Koreans died. The U.S. carpet bombings were criminal. North Korea is determined to go down fighting if it happens again, but hope their preparedness will avoid war and lead to talks and a treaty.

Their large and well-trained army is for defense. The purpose of the rockets they are building and their talk about nuclear weapons is principally to scare away the wolf at the door.

In the short run, the recent inflammatory rhetoric from Kim Jong-un is in direct response to this year’s month-long U.S.-South Korea war games, which he interprets as a possible prelude for another war. Kim’s longer run purpose is to create a sufficiently worrisome crisis that the U.S. finally agrees to bilateral talks and possibly a peace treaty and removal of foreign troops. Some form of reunification could come later in talks between north and south.

I suspect the present confrontations will simmer down after the war games end. The Obama Administration has no intention to create the conditions leading to a peace treaty — especially now that White House attention seems riveted on East Asia where it perceives an eventual risk to its global geopolitical supremacy.

Jack A. Smith, editor of Activist Newsletter

Copyright © 2013 Global Research

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Gerold again – check out this spoof video.

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About gerold

I have a bit of financial experience having invested in stocks in the 1960s & 70s, commodities in the 80s & commercial real estate in the 90s (I sold in 2005.) I am appalled at our rapidly deteriorating global condition so I've written articles for family, friends & colleagues since 2007; warning them and doing my best to explain what's happening, what we can expect in the future and what you can do to prepare and mitigate the worst of the economic, social, political and nuclear fallout. As a public service in 2010 I decided to create a blog accessible to a larger number of people because I believe that knowledge not shared is wasted.
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8 Responses to Behind the US-North Korea Conflict

  1. GBV says:

    “It’s ironic but, we learn from history that we never learn from history.”

    Classic.
    I will have to use that at some point.

    Cheers,
    -GBV

  2. GBV says:

    flew through seoul the other day and doing so again after i leave thailand in the next week..,

    thinking i have nothing to worry about, but we’ll see given my streak of bad luck…

    cheers,
    GBV

    • gerold says:

      Good luck in your travels!

      I think the Big Boyz are saber-rattling to keep the folks at home in a perpetual State of Fear. I doubt there’ll be any major military action as the Amerikan military is spread pretty thin right now. Once they pull out of Afghanistan and Iraq it may be a different story.

      They can’t even risk Syria right now without enlisting Al Qaeda as so-called “freedom fighters” and Iran’s too powerful. North Korea is barely a pimple on Uncle Sam’s ass so it’s only use is media propaganda.

      • GBV says:

        Until a more convenient story comes along… like, say, the Boston Bombers.

        Not sure if you saw the partying in Boston after the 19 year old was apprehended?

        A part of me understands their jubilation – they perceived that their safety of going to mind-numbing jobs every day, only to come home to watch mind-numbing television while abusing mind-numbing substances like alcohol and prescription medication was in jeopardy. But swift police action (I couldn’t follow the story as closely as I’d like, but I’ll give the Boston PD & FBI the benefit of the doubt and assume their actions were competent and timely) allowed the masses to lull themselves back into their “forget about the future, live in the moment now” style lives. For that they must be very grateful.

        On the other hand, I was absolutely sickened by how many people would rush out into the streets and party when they have absolutely no idea WHY this attack was committed, or what might cause another attack like it to happen again (my clearly-deranged lizard brain can’t help but think what would have happened had other “terrorists” bombed the Boston Bomber apprehension street party… not condoning violence against people, mind you, but I I can’t help but appreciate the irony of such an event were it to occur).

        Anyways, glad to see Amerika and Amerikan virtues/values/critical thinking skills are still in heavy decline while I travel abroad…

        Cheers,
        -GBV

  3. Ken says:

    Hi, Gerald

    I sincerely enjoy reading your blogs and would like to get a feel about your thoughts on world events. I have a family and young children and would have to say I have grave concerns about the escalation in world events. I would enjoy hearing your thoughts on where you see society as a whole going if we continue down the same path the world is heading down right now? I have some ideas and their far from pleasant. It is my sincere thoughts this will not be a world we would like to see our children grow up in if I had to reflect 20 or 30 years down the road from today. Everything I see and hear seems to be a reflection in human history. It is a reminder which takes me back to the great depression which then led to the second world war. The difference this time is mankind has the technology to wipe out humanity. Are the people in power so foolish that they have forgotten everything taking place today is a path that can lead us all to a war non of us may survive?
    Thank-You for everything you do, as we sincerely appreciate your efforts to warn the masses about what’s coming. I would enjoy your thoughts is you had to take a view through a looking glass of what you personally see.

    • gerold says:

      Good questions, Ken. Judging by what you say, you’re in the 1% and I don’t mean super rich but smart, aware and concerned.

      I’m working on my next post which will address most of your questions.

      Stay tuned.

    • GBV says:

      Ken/Gerold,

      Just a few thoughts – not sure the foolishness/intelligence of people in power makes much of a difference.

      I think we (as a civilized/integrated society) are all part of a big system that’s lumbering towards faster and faster reactions (“do now, think later” would be our mantra as a civilization, if we could stop long enough to even discuss what our mantra is…) – those in power probably CAN’T slow things down and make the smart decisions without blowing the whole system apart.

      Sadly, that’s what the build-up is escalating towards – an explosion (or at least collapse) of the social system we’ve spent generations building up. I suppose the people in power figure it is better to hold onto power as long as they can before the explosion/collapse occurs rather than willingly give it up now.

      Cheers,
      -GBV

      • gerold says:

        Good perspective, GBV, on seeing that “Amerika and Amerikan virtues/values/critical thinking skills are still in heavy decline.”

        The less said on that the better. Mom taught me that if I can’t say something nice about someone; it’s better to say nothing at all.

        I would, however, suggest you do an internet search for Eloi and judge for yourself if we need to wait 800,000 years, as H.G. Wells depicted in “The Time Machine”. I think the future is here now.

        You summed up our geo-political situation well in one sentence, “I suppose the people in power figure it is better to hold onto power as long as they can before the explosion/collapse occurs rather than willingly give it up now.”

        Our so-called leaders are clearly insane in not caring a whit driving us to the brink. It’s what one expects from sociopaths with their finger on the button. As I mentioned on occasion based on my hunting experience, the most dangerous animal is a wounded animal and Amerika is clearly a wounded animal that will stop at nothing to “save” the U.S dollar. It’s an impossible task. Fiat currencies are doomed. What they are doing is holding on to power as long as possible to extract every bit of wealth and life the can from us their cows before it all collapses.

        It’s ironic but, we learn from history that we never learn from history.

        – Gerold

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