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Apr-05-2013 11:35printcomments

What You Should Know About North Korea, But Don't

History explains why North Korea gets so nervous when the US flies nuclear equipped bombers so close to their country.

Flag of North Korea
Flag of North Korea

(JAMESTOWN, RI) - Once again, as in the run-up to the war in Iraq, mainstream media is misleading you by not reporting key facts that are relevant to the continuing North Korean saga.

To believe North Korea is a threat to the US is sheer nonsense and defies logic. North Korea has perhaps a handful of nuclear bombs, does not have the ability to miniaturize them, and no way to deliver them to the US. Even if they did, they are surrounded by US atomic weapons and would be annihilated in a nanosecond if they dared to attack the US. The US spends more on war and weapons than all nations on earth combined, has 10,000 nuclear weapons, while impoverished North Korea, confronted with starvation, would be the ultimate mismatch in the history of the planet. To suggest North Korea is a military threat to the US is ridiculous, irrational, and intellectually insulting.

Media argues however, the leader of North Korea is a madman and capable of doing crazy things. Sound familiar? Remember Saddam Hussein, Muammar Gaddafi, General Manuel Noriega? All one time allies of, and supported by the US, until they accidentally went "crazy". See a pattern here? Step one in a run-up to war: demonize the enemy. Do you buy into it?

Rather than letting mainstream media be your brain, consider the following. The Korean War was ended with an armistice, but a peace treaty was never signed. The armistice provided a treaty should be signed within three months, and all foreign forces should be removed. The treaty called for no blockades of any kind against North Korea. The US has refused to sign a treaty, remove its forces, or lift brutal economic sanctions. North Korea has repeatedly requested the treaty be signed which would end the conflict. As recent as 2011 North Korea pushed for a formal treaty to end the conflict, but again the US refused.

North Korea has been called a "rogue nation", part of the "Axis of Evil", and has been threatened with nuclear extinction by the US on numerous occasions, going back as far as the Korean War itself. General Douglas MacArthur demanded at least 34 atomic bombs be given to him for use against North Korea. In April of 1951 Truman authorized the use of atomic bombs against North Korea, and MacArthur's successor requested 38 atomic bombs for use in the war. Since that time on countless occasions North Korea has been threatened with a nuclear attack by the US.

This month in a massive war game with South Korea, the US flew nuclear capable B-52 bombers dangerously close the North Korean border, and days later sent two nuclear capable Stealth Bombers to the area. The war games involved a simulated invasion of North Korea with regime change one of its goals. There are about 40,000 US forces on the North Korean border and a massive nuclear equipped fleet off its coast. This has meaning when you realize during the Korean War the US carpet bombed virtually every city in North Korea, with massive loss of civilian lives.

The US bombed dams causing severe flooding with thousands of acres of food destruction, along with bridges, roads, electrical plants, civilian buildings, all in violation of the Geneva Convention. Some suggest that North Korea lost 30% of its entire population in the 3 year war. The nation was obliterated by US airpower, and this can only be put into perspective when you realize the US lost 0.32% of its population in WWII. According to Richard Rhodes in his book "The General and World War III", North Korea suffered "perhaps an unprecedented percentage of mortality suffered by one nation due to the belligerence of another."

History explains why North Korea gets so nervous when the US flies nuclear equipped bombers so close to their country.

North Korea has pretty much agreed to give up its nuclear weapons if the peace treaty was signed and the US agrees to remove foreign troops from the area, providing for the reunification of North and South Korea, and no blockades of North Korea, all of which were part of the armistice agreement. Why then will the US not sign a treaty? President Obama has recently announced that our military focus will now center in Asia, due to the perceived economic threat from China and the resumption of the cold war between the US and Russia, who sees itself as militarily threatened by US missile bases completely surrounding Russia.

Asia is the new military hotspot and the US will not give up its military bases in Asia, so a peace treaty will not be signed. There must be a "hotspot" and a "crazy" leader to justify continued US military presence in the area. Tragically when nations dare and provoke one another, bad things can easily spin out of control.

It does indeed appear to be a spat between two infantile children, but shouldn't the US should assume the role of the adult, and diplomatically end this crisis by agreeing to sign a peace treaty 50 years after the fact?

_________________________________ Writer Joe Clifford, lives in historic Jamestown, Rhode Island, and has contributed a number of articles relating to foreign policy to newspapers in the Rhode Island area for years.

He graduated from Providence College where he earned an undergraduate and graduate degree. After a lengthy career as a high school teacher he turned to the study of US foreign policy, and then to writing, as a means of expressing an alternative perspective. His reading and research on foreign policy is broad and extensive, especially as the policy relates to the Middle East. His interest in foreign policy was inspired by the American misadventure in Vietnam. You can write to Joe at this address:


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wblakesx April 11, 2013 4:47 pm (Pacific time)


Anonymous April 8, 2013 9:55 am (Pacific time)

I agree Ralph that has been the historical pattern, but this time we may see a more distressing challenge to Obama. He blinked last year when North Korea attacked and killed some people from the south. He blinked again last week regarding a planned training program. Anti-democracies love to see weakness, just like they see in the U.S. Senate. China is pulling the strings, so I would keep your "bug-out bag" close-by.

Ralph E. Stone April 7, 2013 7:22 am (Pacific time)

I don't think those in the know really believe North Korea will attack the U.S. or even South Korea. What Kim Jong Un is doing is solidifying his power and trying to use the threats in order to force the U.S. and others to come to the bargaining table to, among other things, end the economic sanctions.

Rocco Scandizzo ny April 5, 2013 11:01 pm (Pacific time)

huh, say what?

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