North Korea

The US-DPRK Singapore Summit was a meaningful step towards peace on the Korean Peninsula

 

 

By Marty Hart-Landsberg

 

June 22, 2018 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — The June 12th Singapore Summit between the US and the DPRK was an important, positive step towards the achievement of peace on the Korean Peninsula, normalized relations between the US and North Korea, and the reunification of Korea.

 

In the words of the Korean Public Service and Transport Workers’ Union, one of South Korea’s largest unions:

 

The very fact that the top leaders of North Korea and the U.S., two countries whose relationship has been laced with hostility and mutual threats for the last seventy years, sat together in one place and shared dialogue is historic and signals a new era in which peace on the Korean Peninsula is possible. We therefore welcome the North Korea-U.S. Summit and joint statement.

 

Liberals are criticizing the Korea Summit from the right. Here’s why they have it all wrong.

 

 

By Sarah Lazare

 

June 22, 2018
Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from In These TimesPoll after poll shows that the 51 million residents of South Korea overwhelmingly want an end to the 68-year Korean War—which the United States is still officially involved in. A recent survey found that 88.4 percent of South Koreans support the April 27 joint peace declaration by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in. And 81 percent of South Koreans expressed optimism about the Trump-Kim summit.

 

Despite widespread concerns that U.S. President Donald Trump would torpedo an historic opportunity for peace—including through his repeated threats to annihilate the entire Korean Peninsula with nuclear weapons—this worst-case scenario has not yet come to pass. When North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met with Trump in Singapore on June 12 and etched out a four-point agreement, the reaction in South Korea was largely a sigh of relief. “Koreans see the Singapore summit not just as another sensational episode in the story of Donald Trump but as a step away from a sixty-eight-year-old unfinished war,” writes E. Tammy Kim for The New Yorker.

 

Trump’s new militarism

 

 

During the 2016 US election campaign Donald Trump promised an end to pointless foreign wars and attacked “useless” and massively expensive new military equipment, like the $1.5 trillion Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter. But the Trump presidency has ushered in a new era of militarism, as the United States prepares for high tech, massively violent wars against Russia and China, argues Phil Hearse.

 

Why North Korea developed nuclear bombs

 

 

By Park Jae-seong (Planning Committee Member, ISC), translated by Dae-Han Song (Chief Editor, The [su:p]

 

December 3, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from International Strategy Center — The North Korean nuclear conflict started in 1990. Few people are aware that before taking out its nuclear card, North Korea had approached the United States in earnest. As Communism crumbled and the Soviet Union established diplomatic relations with North Korea’s southern counterpart, the country’s leaders couldn’t help but feel insecure. In an attempt to gain political recognition as an independent state, North Korea signed a basic North-South agreement, a denuclearization agreement (preventing the development of nuclear weapons in  the Korean Peninsula) and even joined the United Nations, all by 1991. 

 

Korean Crisis - A South Korean Perspective

 

 

By Youngsu Won

 

November 29, 2017 
 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Europe Solidaire Sans Frontières — Will a verbal war between a senile dotard and a little rocket man result in an actual war? Probably not, but at the very moment, the risk is unprecedented, the highest without question. The reason?

 

Simply because the consequent of any action will be beyond imagination, and extremely catastrophic in every sense of the word. This is the only imaginable deterrent of any possible war, unfortunately.

 

The need for a new US foreign policy towards North Korea

 

 

By Marty Hart-Landsberg

 

June 13, 2017 — Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Reports from the Economic Front — US-North Korean relations remain very tense, although the threat of a new Korean War has thankfully receded.  Still the US government remains determined to tighten economic sanctions on North Korea and continues to plan for a military strike aimed at destroying the country’s nuclear infrastructure.  And the North for its part has made it clear that it would respond to any attack with its own strikes against US bases in the region and even the US itself.

 

This is not good, but it is important to realize that what is happening is not new.  The US began conducting war games with South Korean forces in 1976 and it was not long before those included simulated nuclear attacks against the North, and that was before North Korea had nuclear weapons.  In 1994, President Bill Clinton was close to launching a military attack on North Korea with the aim of destroying its nuclear facilities.  In 2002, President Bush talked about seizing North Korean ships as part of a blockade of the country, which is an act of war.  In 2013, the US conducted war games which involved planning for preemptive attacks on North Korean military targets and “decapitation” of the North Korean leadership and even a first strike nuclear attack.

 

Behind the crisis: US tightens chokehold on North Korea

US and South Korean soldiers take part in joint military exercises in Pohang, South Korea.

By David Whitehouse

April 22, 2013 -- Socialist Worker (USA) -- In the 60 years since the end of the Korean War, US policy toward North Korea has fluctuated between the options of "containment" and "rollback".

Sometimes, the policy has shifted in the course of one presidency. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush both started out as advocates of rollback -- regime change, either by military force or by provoking an internal collapse -- but ended as caretakers of containment.

Barack Obama -- who campaigned for the White House in 2008 on a promise to conduct direct talks with North Korea, in contrast to the belligerent rhetoric of the Bush years -- seems to have followed an opposite trajectory since his first months in office. Though you wouldn't know it to judge from the US media, this aggressive posture in Washington is a driving factor in the escalating tensions that have landed the Korean conflict on the front pages in recent weeks.

US imperialist aggression in the early 21st century

Washington has reactivated the US Navy’s 4th Fleet to ensure US power projection over the Caribbean, Central and South America.

[This talk was presented at the regional “socialism conference” was held in Manila from November 27 to 28, 2010. The conference was organised by the socialist Partido Lakas ng Masa (Party of the Labouring Masses) and the socialist-feminist regional network Transform Asia.]

By Rasti Delizo

Martin Hart-Landsberg: What’s happening on the Korean Peninsula?

By Martin Hart-Landsberg

December 31, 2010 -- Reports from the Economic Front -- What’s happening on the Korean peninsula? If you read the press or listen to the talking heads, your best guess would be that an insane North Korean regime is willing to risk war to manage its own internal political tensions. This conclusion would be hard to avoid because the media rarely provide any historical context or alternative explanations for North Korean actions.

For example, much has been said about the March 2010 (alleged) North Korean torpedo attack on the Cheonan (a South Korean naval vessel) near Baengnyeong Island, and the November 2010 North Korean artillery attack on Yeonpyeong Island (which houses a South Korean military base).

The conventional wisdom is that both attacks were motivated by North Korean elite efforts to smooth the leadership transition underway in their country. The take away: North Korea is an out-of-control country, definitely not to be trusted or engaged in negotiations.

But is that an adequate explanation for these events? Before examining the facts surrounding them, let’s introduce a bit of history. Take a look at the map below, which includes both Baengnyeong and Yeonpyeong Islands.

South Korea: The story of ROKS Cheonan -- repression, lies and half truths

The recovered remains of the sunken ROKS Cheonan warship.

By Roddy Quines

September 1, 2010 -- It has often been said that "the first casualty when war comes is truth". The latest string of lies and half truths on the Korean peninsula have set the stage for the reheating of old tensions between North Korea and South Korea. The two Koreas have been at war for the last 60 years, with only a ceasefire and a 250-kilometre “no man’s land” known as the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) holding the fragile peace.

Obama's double talk at nuclear summit: US preserves and extends its nuclear domination

By the International Socialist Organization, United States

April 14, 2010 -- Socialist Worker -- The US has repackaged its strategy -- but the terrible threat of nuclear war remains. The administration of US President Barack Obama is out to upgrade the US nuclear arsenal and pressure world leaders into imposing sanctions against countries -- like Iran -- that allegedly harbour ambitions to develop nukes of their own.

That's the agenda behind the April 12-13 Washington summit on nuclear security, which followed the announcement of a supposedly less belligerent US nuclear strategy and the signing in Prague of the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Russia.

The START treaty was billed as a first step towards fulfilling Obama's call a year ago to rid the world of nuclear weapons. In fact, START would leave the US and Russia with the means to blow up the world many times over.

If Washington is willing to make a deal with Moscow to cut the number of nukes today, it's because politicians in both countries -- especially Russia -- want to minimise the prohibitive cost of building such weapons. So the total number of warheads will be limited under the treaty to 1550 apiece.

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