Date: Wed, 10 Sep 97 08:39:20 CDT
From: "Workers World" <>
Organization: WW Publishers
Subject: Behind the hype against north Korea
Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the September 11, 1997 issue of Workers World newspaper

Behind the hype against north Korea

By Deirdre Griswold, in Workers World, 11 September 1997

Part of the job of the U.S. State Department--and the capitalist media that pretend to present an unbiased view of world affairs--is to make night out of day. Take the case of north Korea.

Washington calls the Democratic People's Republic of Korea a menacing "rogue state" that at any time could start a war. That is supposedly why 37,000 U.S. soldiers, equipped with the most modern war-fighting equipment, have to remain on its borders. These troops have been sent 10,000 miles from home to ensure "peace" on the Korean peninsula.

That's the hype. What's the reality?

The DPRK doesn't have troops in any other country, and never has. It has struggled for almost 50 years to overcome the legacy of colonialism and war that destroyed most of the country and killed off millions of its people. The United States and Japan share responsibility for trying to enslave all of Korea.

The DPRK has been trying since 1953 to get the U.S. government to agree to a peace treaty ending the state of belligerence that still exists between the two countries-- even though Congress never formally declared war on Korea when the president sent troops there in 1950, calling the U.S. aggression a "police action."

The DPRK at present is struggling to overcome the effects of three years of terrible weather. A typhoon-driven tidal wave destroyed 700,000 tons of corn and left 28,000 people homeless in August. This comes after two summers of torrential rains and floods, followed this year by a drought. The result has been a severe food shortage. The DPRK not only has to strain every resource to feed the population after these disasters--it also must worry about increased U.S. belligerence. For 11 days in August, 16,000 U.S. troops carried out military exercises on its border together with forces from south Korea.

The Pentagon claims these "war games," called Focus Lens, are its most advanced computer war-fighting exercise. They simulated an attack on the DPRK, with U.S. jets screaming toward the border at supersonic speeds, followed by tanks.

At the same time, U.S. intelligence agencies got their hands on two Korean diplomats, whom the media claim are now being debriefed about sales of Korean weapons systems to countries in the Middle East. Of course, the United States is by far the world's biggest weapons producer and merchant. But it wants a monopoly on selling weapons and labels a country like the DPRK "terrorist" for defending itself.

Recently Pentagon spokesperson Kenneth Bacon announced the United States was moving all its depleted uranium bullets from Okinawa to south Korea, "closer to a potential battlefield." Okinawans have been protesting the presence of the toxic weapons on their soil.

Yet Washington claims it is doing everything it can to promote peace on the Korean peninsula.

After all this, the White House expressed surprise and "disappointment" that representatives of the DPRK canceled missile talks with Washington at the end of August. Even reporters present at the briefing found that one hard to swallow.

Another country that understands the treacherous and lying role of U.S. "peace" negotiators is Vietnam. It also was devastated by a U.S. war that left it one of the poorest countries in the world.

Yet Vietnam announced on Aug. 19 that it would give north Korea 10,000 tons of rice to help ease the food shortage.

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