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Former Pentagon Analyst Explains Why Trump Fostering Hysteria Over North Korea
| September 19, 2017 | 8:50 pm | Analysis, Donald Trump, DPRK | No comments
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Former Pentagon Analyst Explains Why Trump Fostering Hysteria Over North Korea

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Former Defense Department analyst Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski says that Donald Trump and members of his administration have been deliberately fostering public hysteria over North Korea.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — President Donald Trump and members of his administration have been deliberately fostering public hysteria over North Korea to drown out voices opposed to any US military buildup, former Defense Department and Air Force analyst Lieutenant Colonel Karen Kwiatkowski told Sputnik.

During a speech at the UN General Assembly in New York earlier in the day, Trump said the United States would “totally destroy” North Korea if it was forced to. On Sunday, US Envoy to the UN Nikki Haley warned that the United States had “plenty” of unilateral military options to choose from to address Pyongyang’s missile tests.

“The public hysteria being promoted by the [Trump] administration… indicates to me that this is an attempt to entertain the US population through fear, and shut down or limit public dissent,” Kwiatkowski said on Tuesday.

The Defense Department and its major contractors have been alarmed at the American public’s growing opposition to massive spending and endless US military adventures and interventions around the world, Kwiatkowski pointed out.

“That we are speaking today of North Korea and its destruction by the US military reveals the driving and desperate concern of the Pentagon and its economic dependencies,” she said.

The United States has repeatedly tried to use the United States as a cover and justification for waging major wars around the world over the past nearly 70 years, Kwiatkowski recalled.

“When the US goes to war as it did in Korea in 1950, Yugoslavia in 1991, Iraq in 1990 and again in 2003, it was under the auspice or strong appearance of UN support,” she said.

Current US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley has tried to build up support for a similar war against North Korea this year, but so far she had largely failed, Kwiatkowski observed.

“Haley’s efforts at the UN have been designed to garner such support this summer, and it appears she has been less than fully successful, in part because taking a US fight to North Korea is very similar to declaring war against China and Russia,” she said.

The ploy had failed in part because Moscow and Beijing had both grown in global stature and influence in recent years, Kwiatkowski explained.

“The governments of both China and Russia not only hold UN Security Council veto power, both have asserted themselves globally, financially and militarily in the past decade,” she said.

Also, US propaganda had not been successful so far in making the case for renewed war against North Korea to the American people, Kwiatkowski added.”The domestic propaganda battle by the US Government and domestic war advocates has been largely ineffective, and does not seem to be catching fire yet,” she said.

Efforts to play up the alleged North Korean threat to the Pacific island of Guam, a US dependency had also failed, Kwiatkowski noted.

“Even the potential of a North Korean missile attack of US territory Guam, a tourist location serving a largely Asian clientele, was viewed by many residents of Guam as not much more than a schoolboy spat between two flamboyant and prone-to-exaggeration politicians,” she said.

The Korean security crisis could be finally resolved if the United Statres finally agreed sign a lasting, full peace treaty with Pyongyang as it had failed to do since 1953, Kwiatkowski stated.

“What needs to be done is to actually end the Korean War by committing to the peace treaty between the North and South that the 1953 Armistice was supposed to foster. The US government seems institutionally unable to support such a peace treaty,” she said.

Washington did not want to sign such a peace treaty because it would then no longer have the excuse to continue to operate its massive military bases in South Korea, Kwiatkowski commented.

“Of course, if a peace treaty were signed between North and South Korea, the US military bases in South Korea would no longer be required. Any treaty would likely require these US bases (Army, Navy, Air Force and intelligence operations) to be closed or shifted to South Korean military control,” she said.

All war-games scenarios on a new Korean War result in greater global war with massive casualties and environmental destruction, Kwiatkowski warned.

“Any hot war with North Korea results in literally a billion people dead… [yet there are no fundamental US interests in North Korea than cannot be peacefully acquired or accomplished with the help of China and Russia,” she said.

The Trump administration was seeking to intensify the crisis or defuse it, Kwiatkowski remarked.

“Clearly, the US government is seeking to intensify the crisis, not diffuse it,” she said.

US military needed the justification of continued and worsening crises because the Pentagon faces very real and very severe budget and influence reduction in coming years, as US debt grows rapidly and the US economy slows, Kwiatkowski concluded.

Last week, North Korea tested an intermediate ballistic missile, which flew over Japan before falling into the Pacific Ocean about 20 minutes after the launch.The situation on the Korean Peninsula has escalated in recent months due to Pyongyang’s ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions. The UN Security Council has imposed sanctions on North Korea, which, however, have failed to prevent Pyongyang from conducting new tests.

US Reckless War Bluff
| September 19, 2017 | 8:09 pm | Analysis, Donald Trump, DPRK | No comments
A man watches a television screen showing U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea. (File)

US Reckless War Bluff

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American leaders have warned they will destroy North Korea if it threatens either the US or allies. But how much of this posturing by Washington is a bluff? And a very dangerous bluff at that.

There is a gaping contradiction in official US rhetoric. The Americans have already lambasted North Korea as a global threat due to its nuclear weapons program.

After mocking North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un earlier this week as “rocket man,” US President Trump went on to vilify the communist Asian nation as a “global threat” during his address to the United Nations’ General Assembly.

With Pyongyang having conducted dozens of successful ballistic missile tests this year alone, some of which are reportedly capable of reaching North America, as well as having successfully carried out two underground test nuclear explosions, one might expect that Kim Jong-un has more than breached the supposed American threshold of threat posture.

So, if the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is indeed a threat, as Washington repeatedly declares, why don’t US forces take the military action that American leaders keep warning about?One such action, in particular, would be to shoot down the ballistic missiles that North Korea has test-fired above the atmosphere over Japan. The latest test last week involved a ballistic missile that overshot Japan’s Hokkaido northern province and landed 3,700 kilometers away in the Pacific Ocean. That distance from Pyongyang also puts the US Pacific territory and military base of Guam within a target range of North Korean missiles.

This week, US Defense Secretary James Mattis was asked by reporters why American forces did not shoot down that missile or several others that have been test-fired by North Korea around the Korean Peninsula and over Japanese airspace.

“Those missiles are not directly threatening any of us,” Mattis said Monday, according to Bloomberg reporting. “The bottom line is that when the missiles – were they to be a threat, whether it be to US territory, Guam, obviously Japan – Japan’s territory, that would elicit a different response from us,” he added.

But hold on a moment. Mattis is here saying there is “no threat”, which is in contradiction to repeated US claims that North Korea is posing a threat.

OK, perhaps the Pentagon chief is selectively narrowing the definition of threat to mean North Korean missiles that are detected specifically being aimed at US territory and its allies.Somehow, knowing the American gung-ho propensity for belligerence, that narrower definition of threat is not credible as an explanation for why the US forces have not shot down any North Korean missiles so far. The US is not known for restraint when it comes to using military power and especially when its officials brag about “amazing technology.”

What’s really holding the Americans back from blasting North Korea rockets out of the sky?

A more plausible explanation is that the hi-tech, anti-missile systems which the Americans boast about are not at all what they’re cracked up to be. That is, these systems do not, in fact, provide a protective “shield” or “dome” from incoming ballistic warheads.In Asia-Pacific, the US has sold billions of dollars-worth of these anti-missile systems to its allies in South Korea and Japan.

The systems are touted to provide “a layered defense” against attack. They include the Patriot system, for taking out short-range missiles; the newly installed Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) batteries that have controversially been installed in South Korea; and the Aegis onshore and offshore systems. The latter is supposed to give protective cover for a wider area encompassing thousands of kilometers.

Currently, there are some 14 US Navy destroyers patrolling the Asia-Pacific around Japan which are equipped with the Aegis anti-missile system. Some of these destroyers keep colliding with cargo vessels, which makes one wonder about the effectiveness of the supposed hi-tech radar systems onboard. If they can’t detect approaching oil tankers, how will they fare against supersonic warheads?

Anyway, despite undergoing development over three decades back to the “star wars” concept initiated under US President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s, the capability of these anti-missile systems is still very much an open question.

In an article this week in the American publication Defense One, author Joe Cirincione makes the following stark conclusion: “The reason why we don’t shoot down North Korea’s missiles is that we cannot.”The article quotes several Pentagon missile-testing experts who candidly admit that the performance of the US anti-missile systems is only average at best. “It’s like a coin toss,” says one former Pentagon official who oversaw system testing.

The problem is that the US anti-missile defense systems have never been tested in a stressful real-war scenario. They have only been deployed under strictly controlled test conditions in which all the launch and flight data are well rehearsed in advance, giving the anti-missile systems maximum chance to succeed in intercepting the incoming projectile. And yet despite favorable conditions, the performance of the system is only about 50 percent successful.

That means the American allies are nowhere near as protected as Washington boasts about.

How about the US mainland, how well protected is it?The Ground-based Midcourse Defense (GMD) interceptors based in Alaska and California are designed to shoot down Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) aimed at the US mainland. However, as one Pentagon test director admitted, the performance record of this last line of defense is “dismal”  – lower even than the lackluster Patriot, THAAD or Aegis.

In other words, not only are American allies not fully protected from a missile strike, neither is the US mainland.

Many independent analysts agree with North Korean official claims that the nation has reached the capability to hit US cities with a nuclear ICBM.

This is where the provocative rhetoric of US officials becomes exposed as a reckless bluff. Trump, Mattis and the ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley keep threatening North Korea with a pre-emptive military attack. Trump has said the strike would be “overwhelming,” which hints at the use of nuclear weapons.

Washington’s bravado is partly based on a misplaced confidence or a bluff that its defenses are impregnable. That does not seem to be the case, as even US defense experts admit. Therefore, the US and its allies are far from invincible as they might believe.

If we factor in too that North Korea has a fleet of submarines which are also reportedly capable of launching ballistic missiles that makes American defenses even more vulnerable. Sub-launched missiles give much less chance of detection and interception.Washington’s belligerent rhetoric is criminally reckless. Talking about “exhausting diplomacy” and “only military options” which will “destroy North Korea” is a huge reckless bluff aimed at intimidating Pyongyang into submission to give up its nuclear weapons.

The Americans deceitfully claim the right to “preventive war” when in reality what their words and actions amount to is “aggression.”

If a war breaks out, US leaders have put the lives of millions of their citizens and allies at risk of nuclear horror.

American delusion of invincibility is one big catastrophic bluff.

Why Peace is Alien to the US
| September 17, 2017 | 3:14 pm | Donald Trump, DPRK | No comments
People watch a TV news program showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, Sunday, Sept. 3, 2017.

Why Peace is Alien to the US

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You’d have to laugh – if it were not so grave. The Trump administration says that it is running out of patience for a diplomatic solution to the Korea crisis.

This pseudo piousness comes from a US government that continually refuses to enter into direct negotiations with Kim Jong-un, the leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK).

So, how can the US say it is growing weary from diplomatic effort when it hasn’t even bothered to breathe an earnest word of diplomacy – despite being urged to do so by Russia, China, and other world leaders?

French President Emmanuel Macron in a phone call with Russia’s Vladimir Putin was the latest world leader to endorse Moscow’s appeal for negotiations over the Korea crisis.As Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, pointed out, the latest resolution concerning North Korea, voted on September 11, specifically calls on all parties, including the United States, to open negotiations and commit to finding a peaceful resolution.

Therefore, by not fulfilling diplomatic responsibility, the US is not complying with the UN resolution.

Following another ballistic missile test by North Korea on Friday in defiance of UN resolutions, President Trump’s national security advisor, General HR McMaster claimed that the US was at the end of its tether in seeking diplomacy.

“We’ve been kicking the can down the road, and we’re out of the road,” McMaster told reporters after North Korea launched a ballistic missile that overflew Japan. The distance traveled – 3,700 km – would put the US territory of Guam within a target range.

Trump’s top security advisor then added with familiar sinister intent: “For those who have been commenting on a lack of a military option, there is a military option.”

Meanwhile, the American president was touring the Anderson air force base near Washington where he again boasted of US “overwhelming” military power to wipe out North Korea.Russia and China have repeatedly called on the US and North Korea to enter into talks to settle the security crisis – a crisis that could stumble into a global catastrophe from nuclear war, as President Putin recently warned.

Moscow and Beijing gave their support to the latest UN resolution (UNSC 2375) based on the obligation demanded by the text for multilateral negotiations.

The resolution also calls for cutting oil exports to North Korea by up to 30 percent (not the blanket ban the US was seeking).

However, if the US is not willing to implement the diplomatic measures called for in the resolution, then why should China or Russia enforce the sanctions on oil trade?

Typically, Washington wants to have its cake and eat it. The US is demanding Russia and China to “take direct action” on North Korea’s economy, but Washington shows no sign of implementing its side of the bargain to enter into diplomatic communications.

Trump and his senior officials keep threatening that “all options are on the table” – meaning a pre-emptive military strike on North Korea, including with the use of nuclear weapons.

It is important to note that North Korea’s nuclear program and missile launches are all about deterrence. Kim Jong-un reiterated after the latest ballistic test that Pyongyang was seeking military “equilibrium” with the US in order to deter it from carrying out a pre-emptive attack.

Apart from Russia, China, Germany, and France, among others, calling for diplomatic talks, many reasonable voices within the US are also urging the same.

Former US President Jimmy Carter, who has visited North Korea on three occasions, has forthrightly stated that Washington must commit to peace and enter into talks with Pyongyang.The US-based National Campaign to End the Korean War is also advocating direct negotiations for a peaceful resolution. The organization says the key to successful diplomacy is for the US to sign a formal peace treaty with North Korea.

Amazingly, 64 years after the end of the Korean War (1950-53), the US refuses to sign a peace treaty. Technically, the US is still at war with North Korea, having only ever observed a truce to the conflict. With continuous military maneuvers by the US around the Korean Peninsula, this observation of truce is thinly veiled.

From the North Korean point of view, the US could resume a full-scale war at any time. Military drills and gung-ho rhetoric about “decapitation strikes” and “all options” are cause for deep alarm in North Korea, especially given the enormous suffering that it was subjected to by the US during the 1950-53 war.

If Washington were serious about seeking a diplomatic solution in Korea then it would confirm that purported aspiration by signing a long-overdue peace treaty with North Korea. Then, as Russia and China have urged, the parties should engage in comprehensive talks on security concerns.

But this is the crux of the entire matter. Washington does not want peace in Korea.

Tensions, conflict and the shadow of war are essential to US presence in Asia-Pacific. That allows the US to project North Korea as a “bogeyman threat” to American allies in South Korea and Japan, which, in turn, facilitates the massive selling of weapons vital to the US economy.

Just last week, the US sold more of its Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) anti-missiles to South Korea, even though South Korean President Moon Jae-in previously said he was opposed to installing these weapons. Japan is also moving to purchase more US-made Aegis anti-missile systems.

Moreover, the escalation of US military forces in Asia-Pacific to allegedly “counter the North Korea threat” provides Washington a convenient cover to expand its strategic reach over China and Russia – the two nations which the Pentagon repeatedly labels as its main global adversaries.

China and Russia have expressed their objection to the US missile systems in Asia-Pacific, saying that they disturb the strategic balance.

Nevertheless, the US is proceeding to build up its forces because it is using the North Korea crisis as a politically acceptable stalking horse.

The stark reality is that the US rulers and their military-driven economy do not want peace in Korea. Hence, they refuse to sign a peace treaty or give diplomacy any chance. Conflict with North Korea is simply vital for US corporate capitalism, as well as allowing the US to project its military power over perceived rivals in Russia and China.The truly abominable issue here is that world peace is being jeopardized in order to satisfy the selfish strategic interest of American rulers. International law, UN resolutions, appeals to reason and diplomacy are being outrageously snubbed by a rogue regime in Washington itching for war.

And then Washington has the audacity to claim its patience for diplomacy is running out. The only thing running out is the world’s tolerance for such American belligerence and arrogance.

This is not just about Korea and Asia-Pacific. The Middle East and North Africa, South Asia, NATO’s expansion in Europe, Ukraine and the Balkans. Venezuela, Cuba and Latin America. Conflicts in every part of the globe, past, and present are correlated with America’s addiction to war. Because peace is anathema to US rulers.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

North Korea: What is to be Done?
| September 12, 2017 | 9:17 pm | Analysis, DPRK | No comments
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

North Korea: What is to be Done?

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As North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has heightened tensions with an increasing number of long-range ICBM launch-testings, many experts struggle to comprehend Pyongyang’s motives. While more people fear that war is imminent, have we really reached the point of no return? Tom McGregor takes a closer look.

The public-at-large have been asking, “Is North Korean leader Kim Jong-un crazy?” Philippines President Roderigo Duterte had expressed such concerns when speaking on the phone with US President Donald Trump, according to leaked transcripts published by the Washington Post.

Kim Jong-un’s actions and words seem to be “begging for war” at the moment, and if he sparks war there’s little chance his regime will survive after the US and its allies respond with “fire and fury.”

Kim is beginning to alienate nations that have long maintained positive relations with Pyongyang. Beijing announced a few weeks ago that if North Korea invades another country, China will not defend them.Russian President Vladimir Putin refuses to recognize North Korea’s ‘nuclear status’ on the grounds Pyongyang “poses a security threat in Northeast Asia.”

In all likelihood, the United Nations Security Council will reach unanimous agreement with members including China and Russia agreeing to condemn North Korea’s actions.

Nevertheless, imposing more sanctions on North Korea, as well as deploying more troops and weapons to South Korea and Japan will not cause Kim to back down. So, what are the next steps: continue negotiations or force an ultimatum on Pyongyang that could lead to war?

Addressing negotiations’ limits

For more than five decades, Western powers have agreed to negotiations with North Korea but by looking at the results, little has been accomplished.

Pyongyang appears to utilize the “bluff and bluster” strategy. Create a geo-political crisis and request compromise from opposing forces, assuming they can be rewarded since other nations want to prevent war.

Historically, the method has proven effective, but tempting fate again with Trump in the White House could result in catastrophe for North Korea.

In the book, “Art of the Deal,” Trump highlights how bluffing can backfire when the other side stands unwilling to back up its threats with actions. Meanwhile, Trump suggests you should not bluff unless you are willing to lose if other side calls your bluff.Accordingly, President Trump is well-suited to tackle Kim Jong-un’s threatening manner. And it seems, Pyongyang understands its boundaries. They can threaten war, but should not launch missiles that strike territories that are aligned with Washington.

Yet, Kim’s continuous development of nuclear warheads should not go unheeded. Eventually, Pyongyang must dismantle its atomic armaments or risk more dire consequences.

Putin is the solution

Yes, we can resolve the North Korean conundrum, but all parties involved should shift tactics for better results. Washington, Seoul and Tokyo are perceived as bitter enemies to Pyongyang does not intend to work with them.

Meanwhile, ties between Beijing and Pyongyang have crumbled, since China had warned North Korea to stop ICBM testing. Chinese officials also lodged a formal complaint to the North Korean Consulate in Beijing as well.

So when resuming six-party talks (China, Japan, North Korea, Russia, South Korea and the US), Putin deserves recognition to serve as the leading mediator for all participants seeking a peaceful resolution.

The Western media would explode in outrage, but let common sense and logic prevail. Putin holds influence within Pyongyang and Beijing circles, while he can continue discussions with Washington, Tokyo and Seoul officials.

Putin has an incentive to support successful conclusion of six-party talks since Western powers will have good reason to dismiss economic sanctions against Russia under a new era of peace — Pax Putin.

Targets to aim for

Six-party talks can only end well if Pyongyang abandons its nuclear weapons. A reasonable compromise would be for either Moscow or Beijing to receive delivery of Pyongyang’s entire atomic armaments and allow UN (United Nations) inspectors to witness the full transfer.

Pyongyang may show initial reluctance, believing they risk losing everything in the long-term. But Western powers should sign a deal to declare support for the weapons’ transfer and withhold threats to spark regime change in North Korea.Washington, Seoul and Tokyo should also oppose “pre-emptive strikes” against Pyongyang. So long as North Korea does not launch invasions against rival nations, there’s no reason for Western powers to prepare for war against them.

Right now, Pyongyang feels cornered and high-level officials may have concluded that there’s no escape route for peace.

Putin as a mediator can play a crucial role to help Pyongyang understand that Russia and China will protect them from pre-emptive strikes or CIA-backed color revolutions in the country.

Meanwhile, the West needs assurances that Kim Jong-un does not hold unfettered access to nuclear bombs that can annihilate Seoul and Tokyo in just a matter of minutes.

The six-party talks can succeed, just as long as all participants seek peace as the end goal. We have not reached the point of no return, but time is running out if compromises from all sides cannot be reached soon.

By Tom McGregor, CCTV.com commentator and editor, based in Beijing

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

KKE: Statement on the dangerous developments in the Korean Peninsula

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

KKE: Statement on the dangerous developments in the Korean Peninsula

https://communismgr.blogspot.com/2017/09/kke-statement-on-dangerous-developments.html
The Press Office of the CC of the Communist Party of Greece issued the following statement regarding the dangerous developments in the Korean Peninsula:
 
“The KKE expresses its intense concern about the dangerous situation in the Korean Peninsular. The developments reflect the escalation of the economic and military competition and inter-imperialist contradictions in the entire Asia and Pacific region between powerful capitalist states and business interests, at an international and regional level. 

It is not the result of choices of the allegedly “crazy” leaders of the USA and North Korea, as is being deliberately cultivated by the mass media in order to conceal the real causes of the confrontation.These antagonisms between the USA, Japan, China, Russia etc. are related in particular to the new division of the markets, the exploitation of the energy resources, which are to be found in regions such as the Korean Peninsula, the South and East China Sea, the Arctic and elsewhere. All this results in the constant intensification of the dangerous arms race and even the possibility of a military conflict. The USA is also paving the way for the increase of the sales of modern armaments to Japan and South Korea, while maintaining powerful military forces (28,000 troops) and military hardware in their bases in South Korea. It is constantly conducting major military exercises with provocative scenarios for the invasion of North Korea.

It is no accident that from the very first moment, the new US administration of Trump, together with the goal of renegotiating large scale economic agreements, like the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), turned its attention to this specific region, which is in the under-belly of China and Russia and is considered by China to be a region vital to its interests, as well as other regions of Asia that are on the “Silk Route”.All the above, together with USA’s large trade deficits in relation to China, influence the formation of an aggressive political line in order to defend the US monopolies.

The USA is in the dominant position amongst the capitalist states with a nuclear arsenal, which it has already used, while it is characteristic that very recently the USA, Britain and France absented themselves from negotiations for the signing of a treaty to ban nuclear weapons, with the excuse that this is not compatible with the realities of the international security environment. At the same time, NATO is talking openly at its summits about the possibility of using nuclear weapons. Consequently, the USA’s entreaties about the nuclear programme of North Korea are enormously hypocritical and serve as an alibi, the moment when the USA and other capitalist states, like Britain, France, Pakistan, India etc possess nuclear weapons.
 

The USA invokes the nuclear threat from both North Korea and Iran in order to install its so-called “anti-missile shield” both in the Pacific and in Europe, while in collaboration with the EU it follows the path of overthrowing or supporting governments in line with its own interests and imposes sanctions that target the peoples. In addition, it is once again reinforcing its military presence in Afghanistan, with its attention turned towards China and also Russia. The same is also true regarding the concentration of NATO troops in the Baltic.

On its part, Russia is taking a position against these plans, which objectively serve the aim of impeding a possible response by Russia, in the instance when the USA and NATO alliance attempt a “first nuclear strike”.

The USA is utilizing the stance of North Korea to develop its own nuclear programme, to promote its geostrategic interests in the region and more generally. However, the brutal crime the USA committed 72 years ago, with the nuclear destruction in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, as well as the long-term consequences of this crime, demonstrate that the solution is not to be found in the development of nuclear weapons. It is no accident the first workers’ state in the world, the USSR, had abandoned the first nuclear strike and played a leading role for a world without nuclear weapons.

The exacerbation of the situation in the Korean Peninsular will not change or reduce the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East. This is not only because the consequences of a possible military clash, with the use of nuclear weapons indeed, will be global, but because in the final analysis we are talking about fragile inter-imperialist “balances” and a geopolitical “domino set” that is unfolding on an international level, from the Baltic, Black Sea and Eastern Mediterranean to Africa, Asia and the Pacific.

This is not the first time the USA has focused on this region. It played the leading role in the Korean War from 1950 to 1953, which led to over half a million dead and to the dismemberment of the country. In any case, it should not be forgotten that Greece sent troops to participate in the imperialist military intervention in Korea, with over 180 Greeks being killed and 600 wounded. This was the choice of the Greek bourgeois class and its representatives.

The Greek government, with the support of the official opposition and the other bourgeois parties, is undertaking enormous responsibilities, as it participates in and agrees with the decisions and dangerous plans of NATO, serving the interests of the local bourgeois class, as all the bourgeois governments have done up until today. It places enormous emphasis on the role of Greece in the framework of the alliance, in the name of the country’s “geostrategic enhancement”.It has just recently agreed to expand the base at Souda and other military bases and infrastructure for the operations of the USA, NATO and the EU. It continues Greece’s contribution to the enormous NATO budget and integrates the armed forces even more deeply into the imperialist plans, intensifying the competition with Turkey.

Various mass media, as well as politicians, utilize the situation around the nuclear issue related to North Korea, not only slandering the struggle of the peoples for a world without the exploitation of man by man as a whole, but also in order to prepare the ground so that our people accept a military intervention by the USA and NATO in North Korea, under the pretexts of “restoring democracy” and “dealing with weapons of mass destruction”, which were also utilized in other imperialist interventions, such as in Iraq. The KKE supports the position that it is exclusively a matter for the people of each country to decide on the economic, social and political regime they will have, and also whether they will change it, through their own organization and struggle.

The developments impose vigilance, the intensification of internationalist solidarity and the strengthening of the struggle against the imperialist interventions and wars, against nuclear weapons. This struggle is integrally linked to the struggle for bread and wages, against capital and its governments, whatever shade of bourgeois government they may be. It is linked to the struggle against the imperialist unions, like NATO, the EU, as well as against others in Asia and elsewhere, against the capitalist system of exploitation and the power of capital, which, as history has shown, does not hesitate to commit all kinds of crimes against the peoples in order to overcome the sharpening contradictions and major problems, in order to achieve its goals and to safeguard its dominance.”

12.09.2017.

‘There Will Be No New Korean War’: What Putin Knows That Western Pundits Don’t
| September 10, 2017 | 8:56 pm | DPRK, Vladimir Putin | No comments
Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting with representatives of foreign business circles as part of the 3rd Eastern Economic Forum

‘There Will Be No New Korean War’: What Putin Knows That Western Pundits Don’t

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At the plenary session of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed confidence that there would not be another large-scale military conflict on the Korean peninsula. Russian political observer Anatoly Wasserman explains what it is that the Russian president knows that many observers don’t.

Addressing participants of the forum on Thursday, Putin said he believed all the parties involved in the standoff in the Korean peninsula are likely to “have enough common sense and understanding that they bear responsibility to the people in the region, and [that] we could solve this problem by diplomatic means.”

“Like my South Korean counterpart, I am sure that there will not be a large-scale conflict, especially one involving the use of weapons of mass destruction,” the Russian leader added.

Putin also recalled that in 2005, the parties to the conflict were on the verge of reaching an agreement on Pyongyang’s nuclear program. “Agreements were reached under which North Korea assumed responsibility to curtail its nuclear and missile programs. All other parties in this process promised to contribute to this. But then, someone started demanding from North Korea what it did not promise, and gradually the situation deteriorated to the present state,” he said.

Analyzing the Russian president’s remarks in an article for RIA Novosti, Anatoly Wasserman took note of the fact that “first of all, Putin diplomatically avoided naming this ‘someone’. It’s like in the famous anecdote about a group of woodland critters including a fox sitting down in the woods to play cards, one of them saying ‘if someone cheats, they’ll get a slap in the face –their sneaky orange face.'”

“In the conflict we’re discussing here, it’s equally obvious just who it was that may have demanded from North Korea something that Pyongyang never promised,” the political observer wrote.

“Factually,” Wasserman suggested, “among all the potential parties in the conflict on the Korean peninsula, only one is known for its inadequacy. Specifically, it was the same one that the Russian president was referring to a few days earlier at a press conference following the BRICS summit, when he said that these were the people who would confuse Austria with Australia.”In the case of the Koreas, the observer suggested that both of them are rational enough, “if only because the conflict that’s developing today is just another stage of a confrontation that’s been going on in the peninsula since the beginning of the 20th century, when Korea was first occupied and thoroughly genocided by Japan. Then, after Japan was expelled, there were those who sought to turn the territory…into their own strategic base, and who would use this base for another genocide of Korea.”

Background note: During the Korean War of 1950-1953, the US Air Force dropped 635,000 tons of bombs, nearly 150,000 tons more than it had in the entire the Pacific Theater during World War II, on Korea. The Korean War caused over 3 million civilian casualties, the vast majority of them in the north.

A South Korean JSA guard (front R) and North Korean guard (L) stand guard opposite each other at the border of the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas. File photo.
© AFP 2017/ KIM DOO-HO
A South Korean JSA guard (front R) and North Korean guard (L) stand guard opposite each other at the border of the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas. File photo.

“So far as I understand it, both Koreas remember the genocides that were arranged for them perfectly well, and do not have the slightest desire to allow anyone to repeat them,” Wasserman wrote. Therefore, he added, “I am quite certain that among all the participants of the conflict in the Korean peninsula, only the US is capable of behaving inadequately and aggressively.”

“Given these circumstances, I believe that the behavior of the South Korean president, which consists of a harmonious combination of a reminder of the danger posed by North Korea’s conduct, and promises to offer Pyongyang a role in mutually beneficial economic projects, is the most reasonable way forward,” the observer noted.

“Because on the one hand, participation in such projects significantly weakens interest in any aggressive behavior, even though it does not completely eliminate it…And on the other hand, extensive global experience shows that when a country has great economic potential, it often also has the opportunity to build up its defense potential quickly and, therefore, does not have to do so in advance and spend a great deal of money doing so…For this reason, countries that are economically developed, as a rule, appear less aggressive.”

With these facts in mind, Wasserman noted that the strict pro-diplomacy position “expressed by the South Korean and Russian presidents at the Eastern Economic Forum is the most promising way to resolve the conflict.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of South Korea Moon Jae-in, left, during a joint press statement on the results of the meeting held as part of the 3rd Eastern Economic Forum at the Far Eastern Federal University, Russky Island. September 6, 2017
© Sputnik/ Grigoriy Sisoev
Russian President Vladimir Putin and President of South Korea Moon Jae-in, left, during a joint press statement on the results of the meeting held as part of the 3rd Eastern Economic Forum at the Far Eastern Federal University, Russky Island. September 6, 2017

The analyst recalled that in the early period of the dispute over North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, “the United States promised Pyongyang that it would help it resolve a number of serious energy problems by supplying it with sufficient energy resources at world energy prices, and create in the country a powerful nuclear energy complex using American technology which would guarantee the inability to use this complex for military purposes.”

“Pyongyang readily agreed to these proposals,” Wasserman wrote. “But after that, Washington, quibbling over some small issue, refused to fulfill their own promise. And thus North Korea was forced to develop its own nuclear energy, giving it the opportunity to continue its project to create nuclear weapons. So the US did not simply demand from North Korea something that Pyongyang did not promise, but also violated their own promises, and in a way that obviously led to an aggravation of the situation.”

Ultimately, Wasserman wrote that he could not exclude that the US may have sought to deliberately aggravate the situation in the region, “because without this they would risk losing the political reason for the deployment of US troops in the Korean peninsula.”

US Air Force F-16 fighter jets wait to take off from a runway during a military exercise at the Osan US Air Base in Osan, South Korea
© AP Photo/ Ahn Young-joon
U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter jets wait to take off from a runway during a military exercise at the Osan U.S. Air Base in Osan, South Korea

“Is there anyone now who’s interested in war?” the commentator asked. “I think not,” he answered. “Theoretically, one can imagine that for a part of the American establishment, this war could be deemed profitable under the present circumstances, since President Trump won the election thanks to his promise to return jobs to the country. And jobs began leaving the US for South Korea long before than they started to leave for China. Therefore, I cannot rule out the possibility that the destruction of South Korea as a result of a war would be beneficial to the US,” or at least to those financial and industrial groups who may look to rebuild the US industrial base at any cost.

“But even in the US, those forces for which a war in Korea would be unprofitable are even stronger. And the Russian president, I think, is also aware of this,” Wasserman concluded.

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| September 6, 2017 | 9:15 am | DPRK | No comments