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From owner-imap@chumbly.math.missouri.edu Sat Aug 16 11:00:15 2003
Date: Fri, 15 Aug 2003 14:33:59 -0500 (CDT)
From: map@economicdemocracy.org
Subject: *NINE* FACTS Bush Doesn’t Want You To Know About His N. Korea
Article: 163115
To: undisclosed-recipients:;

How Bush’s policies make the U.S., both Koreas, and the world, less safe

From map@economicdemocracy.org, 15 August 2003

You don’t have to like the leadership of any country, and certainly not North Korea’s to appreciate the following, just to care about the lives of all peoples and world peace—and the truth—facts too inconvenient to merit mention in our papers.

By hiding history and relevant background, the Bush clique and the media make those North Koreans look oh so inscrutable and hard to understand if not irrational but basic background shows they are not at all hard to understand. Websites are given below.

#1 You would easily forget, or for younger viewers, you would almost never know this seldom mentioned fact in articles about North Korea, but the Korean War has never ended. There was an armistice signed on July 27, 1953, but a peace treaty was never signed.

More than 5 million people were killed or wounded or disappeared during the three year-war Korean War. Today 700,000 South Korean troops, 1.1 million North Korean Troops, and 37,000 US troops stand in the peninsula.

#2 Put that fact together with Bush calling your country part of the axis of evil if you are in North Korea’s shoes, and things start to make more sense, but wait, there is more...

#3 The little-known event in Geneva. Professor Martin Hart-Landsberg (see URL below) elaborates:

Q: What was the understanding 50 years ago?

A: Well, the understanding was that there would be a peace treaty following a conference in Geneva, that would follow the armistice. The US insisted on only formally ending the fighting and not in fact signing a peace treaty with North Korea at the time. And one of the little known facts of history, is that shortly—about half a year after the armistice was signed, there was a conference in Geneva that was supposed to settle the issue of Korea, help promote a peaceful reunification of Korea, and the U.S. single handedly undermined that conference. If you read the memos of the representatives from England, from Canada, from Belgium, they’re all quite clear. The North Koreans proposed country-wide elections, North and South, to elect a new Korean government. And the U.S. having just fought a war essentially to hold onto [ie, control -ed.] the South,was not interested in that, and basically brought the conference to a close, and has been content really ever since, to maintain a state of hostilities in Korea.

* So the articles almost universally talk about North Korea starting the crisis—when in fact our leaders in Washington have sabotaged the signing of a formal end of hostilities, have kept a state of war with North Korea, and have not only in actions but openly targeted North Korea as axis of evil for regime change and not ruling out military action (that is, a unilateral first-strike military assault) on North Korea. We haven’t mentioned the Embargo designed to destroy North Korea yet..in which the gun to North Korea’s head (as usual, the leadership isn’t suffering but it’s people—and the people of South Korea) have their lives at risk due to Washington’s threats...

#4 We are told Washington does not want to be blackmailed but just who exactly is blackmailing whom?

Everyone in the world (except maybe US citizens kept in the dark by our media) understands the lesson of Iraq: if you disarm, give in and let us interview your scientists, give in and let us fly U2 overhead, give in and dismantle Al Saud missiles, give in and allow inspectors so you are mostly disarmed—then you’re helpless and you will be demolished at will and regime changed (and thousands of your innocent civilians women, men, children,and babies, slaughtered by Washington’s firepower)

A very ugly lesson Bush taught the world: disarming is a big, big mistake And the world, including North Korea, but others, from many countries have pointed this out: only by having a strong deterrent force can you protect yourself from unilateral attack, invasion, and overthrow by Washington.

#5 North Korea is facing the Embargo and the non-WMD defense it has is it’s army of over 1 million plus conventional missles...all of which are very expensive. A typical cartoon seen on the internet shows starving North Koreans and the leadership saying hey, we need money for weapons to protect our people but this cartoon gets it exactly backwards: the North Korean leadership (which, though like much of Asia, is not democratic but is not stupid, and does enjoy much support from its people), they want to cut military spending.

Now, given a strong economic embargo against the North, and given Washington refusing to sign a non-aggression treaty and to normalize relations with North Korea, and saber-rattling about Axis of evil...and the conventional defense the North has being very expensive..then a nuclear defense is the only cheaper option. And the North has said loud and clear: please give us non-aggression nd normalizing relations, so we can be secure and cut our military spending, but if you refuse to end the threats against our existence, and the costs of conventional defense are so Phigh, we will be forced to look for cheaper, non-conventional defense

Suddenly it’s not so inscrutable to understand, if you put yourself in the shows of North Korea.

MARTIN HART-LANDSBERG: I think one of the problems here is that the U.S. has sort of successfully constructed this whole issue as the problem of the North Korean nuclear weapons program. And the North Koreans have been trying, not always successfully to I think more accurately construct the issue as a problem of U.S.-North Korean relations. And that is the fact that the U.S. has refused to normalize relations with North Korea. The US has refused to sign a peace treaty ending the Korean War, and the U.S. has refused to drop its embargo, which has also—the U.S. has also put pressure on Japan essentially not to normalize relations, not to drop its economic embargo. So the North has been trying very hard to say, look, this is an unnatural state and given the situation in our economy, we need investment, we need normalization. We need the U.S. to agree to sit down with us and change this situation and the U.S. has basically refused. So the North Koreans have been saying, look, we need to sit down, U.S.-North Korea resolve these things. Everything is on the table. As recently as April of this year they said, you have your concerns, we have our concerns. Let’s settle this and we’re willing to open up our whole nuclear program. We’re willing to even halt missile exports if you would do these few simple things: Normalize relations, sign a peace treaty, drop your economic embargo. The U.S. has refused...


..And I think it’s very important when people talk about North Korea having generated the nuclear crisis bringing nuclear threats to the peninsula, to get some history. And that history is that the U.S. during the Korean war, THREATENED TO DROP NUCLEAR WEAPONS ON KOREA.


.. through their Team Spirit War Games, THE U.S. PRACTICED SIMULATED NUCLEAR AND BIOLOGICAL AND CHEMICAL ATTACKS ON NORTH KOREA. So the North Koreans have a long history of having been forced to deal with in fact the nuclear threat that the U.S. has brought. And North Korea’s reactions and responses have really all been conditioned by the fact that they have been under threat of nuclear attack, ...[and] are forced to put a tremendous amount of resources into the military to try and maintain their independence...They want to resolve the problem with direct talks. And this seems to me, while those talks may be difficult it’s a perfectly reasonable response. Let’s normalize relations, let’s end the Korean war, let’s create a context for peace on the Korean peninsula. But the U.S. has refused to see that wider historical context for reasons that we talk about in a minute if you want.

Another Guest on Democracy Now: EUNG HYE SUH: And I would add to that that in the Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review which was released in December 2001, that the U.S. IDENTIFIED NORTH KOREA AS A POSSIBLE TARGET OF NUCLEAR *FIRST* *STRIKE*. [all emphasis added -ed.]

#7 Yes, but what about North Korea and the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT)?

Right now the world is also paying attention to the major meeting in Nebraska this (Thursday August 7, 2003) by Washington, to push for building even more, new types of nuclear weapons (just the US media, and thus public isn’t paying attention to it) When Washington pushes for other countries to give up nuclear ambitions, the world will respond in the predictable way, seeing Washington not only keep it’s nuclear weapons, but working to build even more new ones. The US public, mostly in the dark about this, will wonder how strangely the world reaction is—yet again.

By the way, Washington is in violation of the non-proliferation treaty (NPT)—we only hear about the half that says non-nuclear states must stay non-nuclear—we almost never year about the other half, as you may or may not be aware, that states those countries having nuclear weapons must work to reduce and move towards eliminating them. Needless to say, expanding one’s nuclear capabilities and building new types of nuclear weapons beyond even the already deadly ones that exist, is a violation.

Again, the world sees this, and US public is kept in the dark, and so it wonders what a strange irrational world out there is, that doesn’t want to obey the NPT, and wants to get nuclear weapons—the actions of our own government being not very well known to the US public.

[See: http://www.democracynow.org/article.pl?sid=03/08/05/1455235, U.S. Marks Hiroshima Anniversary By Holding Top Secret Summit to Discuss Expanding Nation’s Nuclear Arsenal]

#8 Ok, Bush/Washington is guilty too, and they should stop threatening North Korea with nuclear weapons. They should sit down and have a peace treaty, and then press the North. They are handling it bad. But North Korea still started it, by leaving the NPT, right?

Answer: During his State of the Union address on January 29, 2002, President Bush singled out North Korea as part of his so-called Axis of Evil That came months *before* the supposed admission by North Korea in October of 2002 that they would pursue or are pursuing a nuclear program.

Thus, after the above history of threatening North Korea by refusing to sign a peace treaty, after threatening North Korea in the past with nuclear missiles, and after threatening North Korea in December 2001 with Nuclear First Strike -- Bush yet again increased the saber-rattling rhetoric on January 2002, months before the alleged (and disputed) first sign from North Korea they may pursue a nuclear defense.

This doesn’t make North Korea of a pure innocent virgin role. No, the issue is simply that given this background, the media and political portrayal of some kind of irrational or hard to understand nature on the part of North Korea is pure bunk. It’s very easy to understand how and why they would react when they are under severe and repeated threat by the most powerful (and recently, most interventionist) power in world history.

#9 I didn’t know that. So again important history has been omitted This repeated history of threats by Bush is not good for South Koreans or American any more than for North Koreas citizens. But North Korea did threaten to withdraw from the NPR in 1994, which pre-dates this

In fact, the conflict in U.S.-North Korean relations over the nuclear issue first arose on January 26, 1993, when President Clinton announced that the U.S. military would conduct war games in South Korea.

This was followed the next month by the news that some of the NUCLEAR WEAPONS PREVIOUSLY TARGETED ON THE SOVIET UNION WOULD BE REDIRECTED AT NORTH KOREA. By March, massive Team Spirit war games involving bombers, cruise missiles and naval vessels were underway. Interpreting this as a provocation (and serious, conventional *and* nuclear threat), North Korea responded by signalling that it would withdraw from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). However talks with U.S. officials in June 1993 led to North Korea rescinding its announcement. [See various articles by Gregory Elich, some with over 100 footnotes]

So Clinton was also a saber-rattler to keep US troops and control over the Korean Peninsula rather than allow peace treaty, reunification of the Koreas, and an end to Washington’s hegemony.

Additionally, BBC reports indicate that North Korea had another reason since Bush coming to office to re-think its rescinding its announcement to leave the NPT: North Korea was promised the shipment of a lot of oil (not as donation but as part of the agreement to scrap parts of its nuclear program that could provide energy to heat during the cold winters). This was delayed and delayed and delayed. They had promised to freeze various nuclear reactor areas in return for oil (and non-weapons nuclear facilities) to help meet their energy needs. When these didn’t materialize, they said, wait a minute, if you’re not keeping your end of the deal, we’re not keeping ours—we will re-start our Yongbyon facility. All of this is on top of the economic embargo complicating North Korea meeting its energy needs.

Various claims of but they made us suspect they were not honoring other parts, first etc can be made but again, the above is not to claim North Korea is of a pure innocent virgin nature, but the issue is simply that given this background, the media and political portrayal of some kind of irrational or hard to understand nature on the part of North Korea is pure bunk.

Again, that it’s very easy to understand how and why they would react when they are under severe and repeated threat by the Washington.