Sign the People’s Peace Treaty with North Korea

From David Swanson
October 27, 2017

A Peace Treaty with North Korea — and you can sign it!

Alarmed by the threat of a nuclear war between the U.S. and North Korea, concerned U.S. peace groups have come together to send an open message to Washington and Pyongyang.

Click here to add your name to the People’s Peace Treaty.

https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=13108&tag=WBW171027&track=WBW171027

The People’s Peace Treaty will be sent to the governments and peoples of Korea, as well as to the U.S. Government. It reads, in part:

Recalling that the United States currently possesses about 6,800 nuclear weapons, and has threatened the use of nuclear weapons against North Korea in the past, including the most recent threat made by the U.S. President in his terrifying speech to the United Nations (“totally destroy North Korea”);

Regretting that the U.S. Government has so far refused to negotiate a peace treaty to replace the temporary Korean War Armistice Agreement of 1953, although such a peace treaty has been proposed by Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) many times from 1974 on;

Convinced that ending the Korean War officially is an urgent, essential step for the establishment of enduring peace and mutual respect between the U.S. and DPRK, as well as for the North Korean people’s full enjoyment of their basic human rights to life, peace and development – ending their long sufferings from the harsh economic sanctions imposed on them by the U.S. Government since 1950.

Add your name now.

https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=13108&tag=WBW171027&track=WBW171027

The People’s Peace Treaty concludes:

NOW, THEREFORE, as a Concerned Person of the United States of America (or on behalf of a civil society organization), I hereby sign this People’s Peace Treaty with North Korea, dated November 11, 2017, Armistice Day (also Veterans Day in the U.S.), and
1) Declare to the world that the Korean War is over as far as I am concerned, and that I will live in “permanent peace and friendship” with the North Korean people (as promised in the 1882 U.S.-Korea Treaty of Peace, Amity, Commerce and Navigation that opened the diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Korea for the first time);
2) Express my deep apology to the North Korean people for the U.S. Government’s long, cruel and unjust hostility against them, including the near total destruction of North Korea due to the heavy U.S. bombings during the Korean War;
3) Urge Washington and Pyongyang to immediately stop their preemptive (or preventive) conventional/nuclear attack threats against each other and to sign the new UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons;
4) Call upon the U.S. Government to stop its large-scale, joint war drills with the armed forces of the Republic of Korea (South Korea) and Japan, and commence a gradual withdrawal of the U.S. troops and weapons from South Korea;
5) Call upon the U.S. Government to officially end the lingering and costly Korean War by concluding a peace treaty with the DPRK without further delay, to lift all sanctions against the country, and to join the 164 nations that have normal diplomatic relations with the DPRK;
6) Pledge that I will do my best to end the Korean War, and to reach out to the North Korean people – in order to foster greater understanding, reconciliation and friendship.

Sign your name by clicking here.

https://act.rootsaction.org/p/dia/action4/common/public/?action_KEY=13108&tag=WBW171027&track=WBW171027

Some noted signers: 
Christine Ahn, Women Cross DMZ
Medea Benjamin, Code Pink
Jackie Cabasso, Western States Legal Foundation, UFPJ
Gerry Condon, Veterans For Peace
Noam Chomsky, Emeritus Professor, M.I.T.
Blanch Weisen Cook, Professor of History and Women’s Studies, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York
Joe Essertier, World Beyond War – Japan
Irene Gendzier, Emeritus Professor, Boston University
Joseph Gerson, Campaign for Peace, Disarmament and Common Security
Louis Kampf, Emeritus Professor, M.I.T.
Asaf Kfoury, Professor of Mathematics, Boston University
John Kim, Veterans For Peace
David Krieger, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
John Lamperti, Emeritus Professor, Dartmouth College
Kevin Martin, Peace Action
Sophie Quinn-Judge, Temple University (retired)
Steve Rabson, Emeritus Professor, Brown University
Alice Slater, Nuclear Age Peace Foundation
David Swanson, World Beyond War, RootsAction
Ann Wright, Women Cross DMZ, Code Pink, VFP

After signing the petition, please use the tools on the next webpage to share it with your friends.

Background: 
President Jimmy Carter, “What I’ve Learned from North Korea’s Leaders,”Washington Post, Oct. 4, 2017
Col. Ann Wright (Ret.), “A Path Forward on North Korea, “ Consortiumnews,March 5, 2017
Leon V. Sigal, “Bad History,” 38 North, Aug. 22, 2017
Prof. Bruce Cumings, “A Murderous History of Korea,“ London Review of Books, May 18, 2017

http://davidswanson.org/a-peace-treaty-with-north-korea-and-you-can-sign-it/

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HR 1644: Congress crosses the red line of common sense with bill violating international law; the U.S. can’t control Russian ports without war

From Sputnik International

May 6, 2017

Moscow lashed out at a US Congress bill on tightening sanctions against North Korea which stipulates that the US military may establish control over ports in the Russian Far East. The Russian Upper House warned that such actions violate international law and amount to a declaration of war.

On May 4, the US House of Representatives passed a bill which slapped more sanctions on North Korea and gave the Trump administration the go-ahead to take control over Russian, Iranian, Syrian and Chinese ports in order to ensure that no forbidden cargo reaches Pyongyang.In particular, the bill mentions the ports of Nakhodka, Vanino and Vladivostok in the Russian Far East.

The bill, which was approved by a 419 to 1 margin, is due to be approved by the Senate and then signed by US President Donald Trump.

Tantamount to war

Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the Russian Upper House’s International Affairs Committee, told Sputnik that the US House of Representatives bill on establishing control over ports in the Russian Far East envisions a show of force and thus amounts to a declaration of war.

“This bill, I hope, will never be implemented because its implementation envisions a scenario of power with forced inspections of all vessels by US warships. Such a power scenario is beyond comprehension, because it means a declaration of war,” Kosachev said.

According to him, the document, “like a huge number of other pies baked by Congress,” runs counters to international law.

“No country in the world and no international organization, primarily the UN, has authorized the US to monitor the implementation of any resolutions of the UN Security Council,” he said.

Kosachev called the bill Washington’s attempt to “affirm the supremacy of its own legislation over international law,” which he said is “the main problem of present-day international relations.”He was echoed by Alexey Pushkov, a member of the Russian Upper House, who specifically drew attention to the fact that the bill’ final vote was 419 to 1, something that Pushkov said “indicates the nature of the legal and political culture of the US Congress.”

“It is absolutely unclear how the bill will be implemented. To control Russian ports, the US will have to introduce a blockade and inspect all ships, which amounts to an act of war,” he pointed out.

He shared Kosachev’s view that Washington is trying to extend its legislation to other countries.

Continue reading

U.S. bill calls for inspections of Russian far East seaports

From Strategic Culture Foundation

By Alex Gorka

May 6, 2017

On May 4, the House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to impose new sanctions on North Korea targeting its shipping industry and slave labor among other things as tensions continued to mount over North Korea’s advancing nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The Korean Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act (H.R. 1644) is designed to undercut North Korea’s economy by cracking down on the network of banks and industries that help it avoid Western sanctions. In particular, it cracks down on North Korean shipping and use of international ports.

The bill bars ships owned by North Korea or by countries that refuse to comply with UN resolutions from operating in American waters or docking at US ports. The legislation also targets those who employ North Korean slave labor. Anyone who uses the slave labor that North Korea exports to other countries would be subject to sanctions under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

The Act also requires the Trump administration to determine within 90 days whether North Korea is a state sponsor of terrorism. Such a designation would trigger more sanctions, including restriction on US foreign assistance.

The bill includes «inspection authorities» over Chinese, Iranian, Syrian and Russian ports. The latter include the ports of Nakhodka, Vanino and Vladivostok.

No UN Security Council’s resolution delegated the authority to inspect foreign seaports to the United States. The inclusion of such measures is seen as a hostile act. The legislation is a flagrant violation of international law.

Perhaps, the US lawmakers have not been informed that inspections of ships in Asia-Pacific are regulated by the Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control in the Asia-Pacific Region, known as the Tokyo MOU, which has been in force since April 1994. Its section 3 called Inspection Procedures, Rectification and Detention describes in detail the procedures of ships inspections. Under the document, the US has no special rights to inspect foreign ships.

Suppose Russia or China introduced a special legislation foreseeing «inspection authorities» regarding US merchant vessels and specific American seaports, would the Congress accept it? Would the US administration and lawmakers put up with it? Do the representatives not realize that the bill violates the concept of international security and will be met with an adequate response?

The text of the bill calls for compliance with the UN resolutions but no Security Council resolution ever mentioned Russian seaports. Do the lawmakers not understand that the idea of inspecting Russian seaports and ships is as realistic as dogs complying with barking ban? It’s surprising that the bill in question was approved by such overwhelming majority without much debate regarding the consequences if it becomes law.

The previous Congress went to any length to spoil the bilateral relations with Russia. The current Congress is doing the same thing. As soon as the prospects for improving the Russia-US relations open up, Congress steps in to create artificial hurdles on the way. Always the same song and dance.

Here is another example. On May 3, the House of Representatives passed the Intelligence Authorization Act (IAA) for Fiscal Year 2017. The bill envisions the creation of a new powerful committee across the security to thwart «covert Russian political interference around the world». The new body would bring together the representatives of the FBI, State Department, Pentagon, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Justice Department, Treasury Department, the 16 intelligence agencies and any other agency, if the president deems it necessary.

Its activities can be broadened to include «such other duties as the president may designate» what constitutes a potentially expansive mandate. The bill requires the committee to prepare an annual report to key congressional panels on anti-Russian efforts. So, there will be a new committee created to duplicate the work of other agencies. This is a good example of what bloated bureaucracy means.

The bill would also restrict Russian diplomats from traveling more than 50 miles from official embassies and consulates without the effective permission of the FBI Director.

The Russian and US presidents talked on the phone on May 2, discussing the prospects for cooperation on such burning problems as North Korea and Syria. Neither can be solved without coordination of activities between the two great powers. The issues are hot on the world agenda and the interest is common. If the abovementioned bill becomes law, confrontation would be unavoidable. Nobody will win, everyone will lose. Hopefully, Senate and President Trump would be reasonable enough to prevent it from happening.

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/05/06/us-bill-calls-for-inspections-russian-far-east-seaports.html

Is North Korea a diversion for a US-Jordan invasion of Syria?

Interesting idea.
However, it is difficult to believe that U.S. Pacific Command (or any of the other Pentagon world regional commands) would allow one command to see action and receive the “glory”, especially with all the preparation, war exercises, and rhetoric against North Korea, The competition for funds, programs, and accolades must be intense, which requires self-justification and proven benefit. And now President Trump is allowing Pentagon commanders to make more of their own decisions. 
Education, outreach, and real peace-making projects are urgently needed.
Global Research, May 04, 2017
Counter Punch 3 May 2017
“Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad said that his country has information that Jordan is planning to send its troops into southern Syria in cooperation with the United States….’Jordan is not an independent country. Whatever the United States wants, it will happen,’ said Assad.” — Middle East Monitor

“In the event of a de-facto partition of Syria, the US and its allies will get a strategically important region. It is through Deir Ezzor that the proposed gas pipeline from Qatar is supposed to run….The Deir Ezzor province is also home to Syria’s largest oil deposit, the Al-Omar. …the city and the province are of particular value since the deposits there contain the highly valuable light sweet crude usable in the production of gasoline and diesel fuel.” — South Front, “The Stronghold of Deir Ezzor; What You Need to Know”

The United States is not going to launch a preemptive attack on North Korea. The risks far outweigh the rewards and, besides, the US has no intention of getting bogged down in a conflict that doesn’t advance its geopolitical objectives. The saber-rattling is just an attempt to divert attention from the Syria-Jordan border where the US and Jordan are massing troops and equipment for an invasion of Syria. That’s what’s really going on. The Korean fiasco is a smokescreen.

True, the Trump administration is milking the situation for all its worth, but that doesn’t mean that they want a war with the North. That’s not it at all.  Washington wants to deploy its controversial THAAD anti-missile system to South Korea, but it needs a pretext to do so. Hence, the ominous threat of an “unstable, nuclear-armed North Korea”, that’s all the justification Washington needed to get its new weapons system deployed. Mission Accomplished.

But the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) isn’t aimed at North Korea, it’s aimed at China, and China knows it which is why it has protested its deployment repeatedly. The US wants to surround China and Russia with military bases and missile systems that are integrated into its broader nuclear weapons system. These lethal systems are a crucial part of Washington’s plan to pivot to Asia and rule the world into the next century. Here’s the rundown from Tass:

“Anti-missile elements that are being deployed around the world are part of a very dangerous global project aimed at securing US’ overall overwhelming superiority to the prejudice of security interests of other states….The US missile defense architecture is tilting the strategic balance of forces in the area of offensive weapons and creates more and more serious risks of global instability.” (“US anti-missile systems in Eastern Europe violate INF Treaty”)

And here’s how Russian President Vladimir Putin summed it up:

“The US is developing an anti-missile defense system which”….when it is operational… “there will be a moment in time when our entire nuclear capability will be neutralized, which means that the entire global balance of power will be overturned.. This means one of the powers will have absolute security and be able to do whatever it likes in regional conflicts. We’re talking about unrivaled power in global conflicts. ..This system forces us to create weapons that can nullify the system asymmetrically.” (Tass)

Is missile defense something the American people should want?

Heck no. Just think of the number of people that Uncle Sam has slaughtered in the last 16 years. Now try to imagine if all the constraints on Washington’s rampaging were removed allowing the US to conduct its bloody war on the world with complete impunity?

No one in their right mind would ever give the Washington crazies that kind of power. It’s a prescription for global annihilation. Besides, absolute security for one country means no security for everyone else.

But deploying the THAAD anti-missile system is just one part of Washington’s North Korea swindle. The fear-mongering is also being used to grease the wheels of the Military Industrial Complex (MIC). Here’s the scoop from The Hill:

Sen. John McCain

Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) push for a $7.5 billion fund to bulk up the U.S. military’s capabilities in the Asia-Pacific is gaining momentum as tensions with North Korea mount. The commander of U.S. forces in the region threw his support behind the idea this week, “This kind of money can help us bring together our allies and partners,” said Patrick Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. …The … proposal has gained more visibility amid the intensifying concerns over North Korea and its nuclear program.” (“McCain plan gains momentum amid North Korea threats”, The Hill)

So the MIC lackeys in Congress had already been pushing this latest boondoggle, but they needed a trumped up crisis in North Korea to put them over the finish line. Typically, the process is called “creative advertising”, which means scaring the shit out of the public so you can rip them off. Here’s more from the same article:

“I’d like to thank Chairman McCain and this committee for proposing and supporting the Asia-Pacific Stability Initiative,” Adm. Harry Harris, commander of U.S. Pacific Command, said at Thursday’s hearing. “This effort will reassure our regional partners and send a strong signal to potential adversaries of our persistent commitment to the region.”

The weapons manufacturers love sugar-daddy McCain who’s always on-hand with gobs of moolah.

Here’s more:

“We can thank North Korea for one thing in this,” said Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at the Center for the National Interest”. “They’re amplifying the imbalance in the Asia-Pacific.” (The Hill)

Good idea, let’s thank North Korea for this latest windfall for the weapons makers. Why not? Let’s send Kim a nice big valentine from the American taxpayer with John McCain’s name writ large at the bottom.

In any event, Washington’s policy towards North Korea hasn’t changed. All the chest thumping and fireworks are just part of a circus sideshow designed to justify additional defense splurging and missile deployment. At the same time, the media is trying to divert attention from critical developments in the Middle East, particularly the Syria-Jordan border where Washington has rallied its proxy-fighters into a makeshift army that will (likely) invade southern Syria, charge northward to Deir Ezzor,  establish a no-fly zone over the occupied territory, and partition the area east of the Euphrates preventing loyalist forces from reestablishing Syria’s sovereign borders. That appears to be the basic game-plan. Check this out from the Middle East Monitor:

“The Syrian regime of President Bashar Al-Assad said that his country has information that Jordan is planning to send its troops into southern Syria in cooperation with the United States…

“We have this information, not only from mass media, but from different sources”…
Speaking to The Washington Post, King Abdullah of Jordan reiterated that a planned joint operation could take place against terrorists. “It is a challenge, but we are ready to face it in cooperation with the US and Britain.” (“Assad accuses Jordan of planning Syria invasion”,  Middle East Monitor)

The pretext for the invasion will be to fight ISIS, but the real goal is to seize the eastern part of the country consistent with a plan that was concocted by the Brookings Institute two years ago. After 6 years of covert support for CIA-backed militants on the ground, the Trump administration appears to be leaning towards a more traditional military approach. Here’s more from the LA Times:

“Reports have also emerged of Jordanian and U.S. troops on the section of the Jordanian border opposite southwest Syria, a possible prelude to a campaign in which rebels, supported by Jordanian and coalition forces on the ground, would overrun Islamic State’s pocket in the Yarmouk basin, near southwestern Syria’s borders with Israel and Jordan.” (“How long can Jordan keep walking the Middle East tightrope?”, LA Times)

Naturally, Moscow is concerned about the developments on the Jordanian border. Last week, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov issued a statement saying,

“We will pay special attention to the issues most important for us which concern the situation on the Jordan-Syria border.”

Also worrisome, is the fact that US Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis has been traveling across the Middle East rallying Washington’s allies in Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel. Mattis sees the fighting in Syria as a proxy-war between the US and Iran for influence in the region. This same erroneous view is shared by all of the main powerbrokers in the Trump administration.

“Everywhere there’s trouble in the region, you find Iran,” Mr. Mattis said on a stop in Riyadh, adding that nations in the region are working to “checkmate Iran and the amount of disruption, the amount of instability they cause.”

These latest developments take place just days before the resumption of negotiations in Astana, Kazakhstan (May 3 and 4). Russia, Turkey, Iran and a number of the leaders from the rebel groups will gather to see if they can agree on the terms of a ceasefire and an eventual settlement to the 6 year-long war. The Trump administration’s cruise missile attack on a Syrian airbase in early April has boosted the morale of many of the jihadists militias and is keeping them away from the bargaining table. In other words,  Trump’s unexpected escalation has sabotaged Putin’s efforts to resolve the crisis and end the hostilities. The last thing Washington wants in Syria is peace.

A number of reports have confirmed that Trump has handed control of his foreign policy to his Generals, Mattis and McMaster. And while Mattis has shown little interest in getting more deeply involved in the Syrian conflict, McMaster sees Russia as a “hostile revisionist power” that “intimidates our allies, develops nuclear weapons, and uses proxies under the cover of modernized conventional militaries.”

McMaster is a hard-boiled militarist with a driving animus towards Russia.  In a speech he delivered at The Center for Strategic and International Studies, McMaster offered this remedy for so called ‘Russian aggression’. He said:

“what is required to deter a strong nation that is waging limited war for limited objectives… is forward deterrence,  …(is) convincing your enemy that (he) is unable to accomplish his objectives at a reasonable cost.”

McMaster can be expected to use his  “forward deterrence” theory in Syria by trying to lure Putin into a confrontation with US forces east of the Euphrates. But there’s no reason to think that Putin will fall into the trap, in fact, it seems highly unlikely given the potential for a catastrophic face-off between the two nuclear-armed superpowers. Instead, Putin will probably take the high-road, present his case to the UN Security Council, and denounce  the US intervention as another example of Washington’s destabilizing and expansionistic foreign policy.

Putin’s worst mistake would be to base his strategy entirely on the situation on the battlefield. He doesn’t need to liberate every inch of Syrian soil to win the war. Let the US and its proxies seize the territory, establish their military bases and no-fly zones, throw up a DMZ along the Euphrates, and wade deeper into the Syrian morass. Putin has other fish to fry. He needs to focus on winning hearts and minds, strengthening alliances and building a broader coalition. He needs to look like the only adult in the room, the rational leader whose sole ambition is to end the dispute and restore security. He needs to establish a contrast between his behavior and that of his recklessly-violent and mentally-unstable rival, Washington, whose flagrant  disregard for international law and civilian lives has plunged the Middle East and Central Asia into chaos and carnage.

If Putin’s ultimate goal is to rebuild the system of global security based on the bedrock principles of national sovereignty and greater representation for all the countries in the world, he must lead by example. Restraint and maturity in Syria will move him closer to that goal.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

Responsible actions needed to ensure peace on the Korean Peninsula — a Chinese perspective

Global Research, May 01, 2017
People’s Daily 30 April 2017

Given the continued escalation of tensions on the Korean Peninsula over the past months, all concerned parties should implement the resolutions adopted by the UN Security Council in a more strict manner and return to peaceful negotiations, the People’s Daily said in an editorial published on Sunday.

The commentary came after Friday’s ministerial meeting on the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula hosted by the UN Security Council at the UN headquarters in New York.

The latest developments on the peninsula highlighted an imperative need for all parties to intensify their efforts to bring stakeholders to dialogue table, added the commentary published under the pen name Zhong Sheng, which is often used to express the paper’s views on foreign policy.

It is reasonable for the DPRK to pursue its own security, but its nuclear and missile ambitions have put itself and the whole region into dire peril, stressed the article titled “Responsible actions are needed to ensure peace of Korean Peninsula”.

The country has been immersed itself into a strong sense of insecurity given historic reasons and reality, the paper added.

The DPRK must not be obsessed in a wrong path of repeated nuclear tests and missile launches that resulted in rounds of sanctions, the commentary said, calling on the country to respect and comply with the relevant Security Council resolutions.

The article pointed out that the Republic of Korea(ROK) and the US also added fuel to the escalated tensions since the two allies, who have been maintaining a high-handed pressure on the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula, revealed a strategic intention to crush the DPRK.

It is almost impossible to ease the crisis on the peninsula if the ROK and the US continue their fantasy to settle the problem with more military actions but turn a blind eye to reasonable appeals of the DPRK, the paper stressed.

China is not a directly-concerned party of the peninsula crisis, and it does not hold the key to solving the nuclear issue on the peninsula, the commentary admitted.

But it emphasized that no matter what happens, China will never waiver in its clear-cut position regarding the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, which means it will stay committed to the goal of denuclearization as well as the path of dialogue and negotiation.

In the next step, the DPRK should refrain from further nuclear test or missile launches, the article urged, adding that the ROK and the US, for their part, also need to stop launching or expanding their military drills or deployment against the DPRK.

All stakeholders need to comprehensively understand and fully implement the DPRK-related resolutions adopted by the Security Council, the paper said. The international community needs to step up their anti-proliferation efforts against the DPRK action. Meanwhile,all parties also need to do more to persuade stakeholders back to peaceful dialogues, it added.

China will, with its utmost sincerity and efforts, safeguard the peace and stability of Northeast Asia and realize the goal to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula along with relevant parties, the paper vowed, stressing that though a peace lover, the country is fearless of any provocations or tests.

China has proposed the “dual-track approach” and “suspension for suspension” plan for peaceful settlement of the issue, in an attempt to help the parties breakout of the security dilemma and return to the negotiating table.

The objective, reasonable and feasible proposals, according to the editorial, not only conform to the requirements of the UN resolutions, but also meet the fundamental interest of all parties including the US and the DPRK.

Translated from Chinese, People’s Daily, April 2017.

America’s war against the people of Korea: The historical record of U.S. war crimes

…we have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. …Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so, we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives…

We should dispense with the aspiration to “be liked” or to be regarded as the repository of a high-minded international altruism. We should stop putting ourselves in the position of being our brothers’ keeper and refrain from offering moral and ideological advice. We should cease to talk about vague and—for the Far East—unreal objectives such as human rights, the raising of the living standards, and democratization. The day is not far off when we are going to have to deal in straight power concepts. The less we are then hampered by idealistic slogans, the better.

George F. Kennan, State Department Brief, Washington DC, 1948


Global Research, April 30, 2017
Global Research 13 September 2013

The following text by Michel Chossudovsky was presented in Seoul, South Korea in the context of the Korea Armistice Day Commemoration, 27 July 2013

A Message for Peace. Towards a Peace Agreement and the Withdrawal of US Troops from Korea.

Introduction

Armistice Day, 27 July 1953 is day of Remembrance for the People of Korea.

It is a landmark date in the historical struggle for national reunification and sovereignty.

I am privileged to have this opportunity of participating in the 60th anniversary commemoration of Armistice Day on July 27, 2013.

I am much indebted to the “Anti-War, Peace Actualized, People Action” movement for this opportunity to contribute to the debate on peace and reunification.

An armistice is an agreement by the warring parties to stop fighting. It does signify the end of war.

What underlies the 1953 Armistice Agreement is that one of the warring parties, namely the US has consistently threatened to wage war on the DPRK for the last 60 years.

The US has on countless occasions violated the Armistice Agreement. It has remained on a war footing. Casually ignored by the Western media and the international community, the US has actively deployed nuclear weapons targeted at North Korea for more than half a century in violation of article 13b) of the Armistice agreement. 

The armistice remains in force. The US is still at war with Korea. It is not a peace treaty, a peace agreement was never signed.

The US has used the Armistice agreement to justify the presence of 37,000 American troops on Korean soil under a bogus United Nations mandate, as well as establish an environment of continuous and ongoing military threats. This situation of “latent warfare” has lasted for the last 60 years. It is important to emphasize that this US garrison in South Korea is the only U.S. military presence based permanently on the Asian continent.

Our objective in this venue is to call for a far-reaching peace treaty, which will not only render the armistice agreement signed on July 27, 1953 null and void, but will also lay the foundations for the speedy withdrawal of US troops from Korea as well as lay the foundations for the reunification of the Korean nation.

Michel Chossudovsky Presentation: 60th anniversary commemoration of Armistice Day on July 27, 2013, Seoul, ROK. 

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Armistice Day in a Broader Historical Perspective.

This commemoration is particularly significant in view of mounting US threats directed not only against Korea, but also against China and Russia as part of Washington’s “Asia Pivot”, not to mention the illegal occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq, the US-NATO wars against Libya and Syria, the military threats directed against Iran, the longstanding struggle of the Palestinian people against Israel, the US sponsored wars and insurrections in sub-Saharan Africa.

Armistice Day July 27, 1953, is a significant landmark in the history of US led wars.  Under the Truman Doctrine formulated in the late 1940s, the Korean War (1950-1953) had set the stage for a global process of militarization and US led wars. “Peace-making” in terms of a peace agreement is in direct contradiction with Washington “war-making” agenda.

Washington has formulated a global military agenda. In the words of four star General Wesley Clark (Ret) [image right], quoting a senior Pentagon official:

“We’re going to take out seven countries in 5 years, starting with Iraq, and then Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and, finishing off, Iran” (Democracy Now March 2, 2007)

The Korean War (1950-1953) was the first major military operation  undertaken by the US in the wake of  World War II,  launched at the very outset of  what was euphemistically called “The Cold War”. In many respects it was a continuation of World War II, whereby Korean lands under Japanese colonial occupation were, from one day to the next, handed over to a new colonial power, the United States of America.

At the Potsdam Conference (July–August 1945), the US and the Soviet Union agreed to dividing Korea, along the 38th parallel.

There was no “Liberation” of Korea following the entry of US forces. Quite the opposite.

As we recall, a US military government was established in South Korea on September 8, 1945, three weeks after the surrender of Japan on August 15th 1945. Moreover,  Japanese officials in South Korea assisted the US Army Military Government (USAMG) (1945-48) led by General Hodge in ensuring this transition. Japanese colonial administrators in Seoul as well as their Korean police officials worked hand in glove with the new colonial masters.

From the outset, the US military government refused to recognize the provisional government of the People’s Republic of Korea (PRK), which was committed to major social reforms including land distribution, laws protecting the rights of workers, minimum wage legislation and  the reunification of North and South Korea.

The PRK was non-aligned with an anti-colonial mandate, calling for the “establishment of close relations with the United States, USSR, England, and China, and positive opposition to any foreign influences interfering with the domestic affairs of the state.”2

The PRK was abolished by military decree in September 1945 by the USAMG. There was no democracy, no liberation no independence.

While Japan was treated as a defeated Empire, South Korea was identified as a colonial territory to be administered under US military rule and US occupation forces.

America’s handpicked appointee Sygman Rhee [left] was flown into Seoul in October 1945, in General Douglas MacArthur’s personal airplane.

The Korean War (1950-1953)

The crimes committed by the US against the people of Korea in the course of the Korean War but also in its aftermath are unprecedented in modern history.

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How U.S. bio-weapons led to torture … and North Korean nukes

Global Research, April 28, 2017
Moon of Alabama 27 April 2017

In Why North Korea Needs Nukes – And How To End That we pointed to the utter destruction the U.S. and its allies waged in the war on Korea on all parts of the country. That North Korea seeks “weapons of mass destruction” is quite understandable when one takes into account the hundreds of thousands tons of napalm used against it. But even Napalm and the criminal destruction of North Korean dams were not the worst depravation the U.S. applied. Biological warfare agents, primarily anthrax, were dropped over North Korea and China and killed civilians. The U.S./UN command denied such use and covered it up. One consequence of that cover up was the development of torture methods in the U.S. SERE pilot training programs and their later proliferation into criminal abuses in Guantanamo, Abu Graibh and elsewhere. An important piece of evidence of this trail was recently and for the first time re-published on the web.

In the 1950s war on Korea heavy air to air fights were waged near the Chinese border which led to significant losses of airplane on both sides especially along the MiG Alley:

USAF pilots nicknamed April 12, 1951 “Black Thursday”, after 30 MiG-15s attacked three squadrons of B-29 bombers (36 planes) escorted by approximately 100 F-80s and F-84s. The MiGs were fast enough to engage the B-29s and extend away from their escorts. Three B-29s were shot down and seven more were damaged, with no casualties on the communist side.

On “Black Thursday” and other occasions U.S. bomber pilots were captured. Some of them admitted to have dropped biological weapons over China and northern Korea. Their confessions were published in writing and publicized on Korean, Chinese and Russian radio.

The U.S. (UN) command under U.S. General MacArthur denied any use of biological warfare agents. It claimed that the downed pilots were tortured to give false confessions.

Since World War II the U.S. Airforce and Navy had established training courses in Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) for pilots that might be captured by enemies. During these courses “controlled” torture was used to provide realistic training. Decades later, during the war of terror and on Iraq, the CIA hired two psychologists as “behavioral science consultants” from the SERE training staff to teach its agents how to use torture on prisoners. The absolutely inhuman and dangerous methods those SERE “experts” devised proliferated to the U.S. military which, together with the CIA, used them on alleged enemy combatants in Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and other places.

According to the Senate Armed Services Committee Report (pdf) on U.S. torturing of prisoners at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo and CIA black sites, SERE techniques originated in Chinese Communist methods in the Korean War employed to extract false confessions from captured U.S. personal.

(During the 1960s the CIA itself developed additional “scientific” torture methods and published them in the KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation and Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual. U.S. personal as well as several south American militia were trained in and used these abusive and illegal methods.)

The torture training at the SERE schools and the abuse was all based on a big lie.

The U.S. had used biological weapons in the Korea war. It also used chemical weapons and suppressed investigations into it. Its pilots dropped bombs with biological warfare agents over China and Korea. Theirs were not false confessions extracted by Chinese Communist methods. The captured U.S. pilots were telling the truth.

The SERE torture resistance training and its abuse are based on the bigger lie about the non-use biological agents in the war on Korea.

(The Geneva Protocol of 1925 generally prohibited the use of biological agents but the specific Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention was only developed and signed in 1972.)

The U.S. and UK developed extensive biological warfare programs during World War II but those weapons were not put to use in the European theater. The Japanese used biological weapons, with mixed success, in China and elsewhere. At the end of World War II the Japanese biological warfare Unit 731 was taken over by the U.S. military:

[General] MacArthur struck a deal with Japanese informants—he secretly granted immunity to the physicians of Unit 731, including their leader, in exchange for providing America, but not the other wartime allies, with their research on biological warfare and data from human experimentation. American occupation authorities monitored the activities of former unit members, including reading and censoring their mail. The U.S. believed that the research data was valuable.

During and after the war on Korea the Chinese government alleged the use of biological weapons on Korean and Chinese civilians by the U.S. The U.S. denied. A commission was called upon to investigate:

To convince the world of the truth of their claims, the North Koreans and Chinese, sponsored a purported independent commission, using the auspices of the World Peace Council, gathering together a number of leftist scientists from around the world. Most surprisingly, this commission, which came to be known as the International Scientific Commission, or ISC, was headed by one of the foremost British scientists of his time, Sir Joseph Needham. The ISC travelled to China and North Korea in the summer of 1952 and by the end of the year produced a report that corroborated the Chinese and North Korean claims that the U.S. had used biological weapons in an experimental fashion on civilian populations.

For a long time the commission’s report and its appendices with the witness statements were suppressed and not available online. Jefferey Kay, a psychologist and author living in northern California, dug them up and recently published them (recommended) on the web for the first time. You can read them here:

Sir Joseph Needham was blacklisted by the U.S. during the McCarthy anti-communist campaign.

Needham’s investigations have since been confirmed by other scholars investigating the general case:

It is the purpose of this article to consider the validity of these [U.S. military denials] in light of the research which we conducted in preparing our recent book, The United States and Biological Warfare: secrets of the Early Cold War and Korea. In that book we conclude that the United States engaged in large-scale field tests of biological weapons against the Asian countries and with some additional evidence we continue to believe that is the case.

Image result for mcarthurGeneral MacArthur, one of the foremost war criminals ever, covered up the war crimes of the Japanese and especially of Unit 731. He took care to integrate the Japanese biological weapon experience into the U.S. military resources. Under his command biological agents were then used against Korean and and Chinese civilians and military units. When his pilots confessed, he denied all such reports and alleged “brainwashing” through  torture by the Chinese. This again led to torture “simulations” in U.S. SERE training from which recent U.S. torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere derived.

U.S. media and the public have a general amnesia whenever it comes to U.S. war crimes – no matter how recent. The Senate report on CIA torture in Iraq and elsewhere is still suppressed. But U.S. war crimes do not end. Whenever “threatened” with compromise, the U.S. tends to seeks the belligerent way. As Noam Chomsky reiterates in relation to the current campaign for another war on Korea:

[V]ery strikingly [..] there’s one lesson that you discover when you carefully look at the historical record. What I just described about North Korea is pretty typical. Over and over again, there are possibilities of diplomacy and negotiation, which might not succeed—you can’t be sure if you don’t try them—but which look pretty promising, which are abandoned, dismissed, literally without comment, in favor of increased force and violence.

For an example see this influential sitting U.S. Senator who argues for “preemptive” strikes against North Korea’s missile program without any regard for the people who’s life would be destroyed by them:

“It would be bad for the Korean Peninsula. It would be bad for China. It would be bad for Japan, be bad for South Korea. It would be the end of North Korea. But what it would not do is hit America and the only way it could ever come to America is with a missile.”

Considering the historical record of the United States of committing and covering up warcrimes as well as its general belligerence, North Korea and other nations are probably well advised to stick to their nuclear and missile programs.