Apr 15, 2013
The American news media is filled with reports of North Korean saber-rattling and threats against South Korea and the United States. Pundits discuss whether the U.S. might be forced into another war.
There’s saber-rattling going on alright – but it has been carried out by the United States itself. And if there is a war, it will be one started by the U.S.
The U.S. has had an aggressive stance toward North Korea for decades, ever since the Korean War. In that war, the U.S. carpet bombed North Korea, trying to bring it to heel. And ever since, the U.S. has tried to punish North Korea, making it difficult for the Koreans to trade with the rest of the world.
But in 2012, the Obama administration began stepping up and creating excuses for this aggression.
In April 2012, the U.S. called for additional sanctions against North Korea, claiming it had launched a ballistic missile test – even though all experts agreed that North Korea had actually launched an earth observation satellite into orbit, which is not at all related.
In October 2012, the U.S. granted South Korea an exemption under an international Missile Control treaty, permitting it to extend the range of its ballistic missiles to cover the entire territory of North Korea. That same month, the U.S. and South Korea agreed to a plan that called for joint operations against North Korea, meeting anything they wanted to call “provocation” with disproportionate force. The plan includes preemptive strikes on North Korean missile sites – in other words, a blank check to attack without provocation.
No wonder North Korea feels a little bit threatened!
In addition, the U.S. has pushed through UN resolutions tightening economic embargoes against North Korea – including prohibitions against trading with the country or doing business with its banks, or from allowing any bulk transfers of cash in or out of the country, completely cutting off North Korea economically from the rest of the world.
No surprise, North Korea decided to do a little saber-rattling of its own. It conducted a nuclear test (only its third ever) in February and made verbal threats against the U.S.
The Obama administration leapt on that test to “prove” that North Korea has nuclear ambitions and that it poses a threat to South Korea, the U.S., and the world. The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency has declared it has “moderate confidence” that North Korea is making headway on its quest for a deliverable nuclear warhead. Never mind the fact that North Korea is a long way off from actually having nuclear weapons or from having any missiles that could deliver such weapons. Never mind the fact that the same Defense Intelligence Agency declared with certainty that Saddam Hussein had nuclear weapons a decade ago – which everyone now knows was a blatant, bare-faced lie!
It’s all an excuse for the U.S. to step up aggression against North Korea. Starting this past March, the U.S. and South Korea have been carrying out military exercises right off the coast of North Korea, including flyovers of nuclear-capable B-52 bombers. And the U.S. has moved more missile systems into Alaska and California, pointed at Korea – and all of Asia.
This is really what is going on: As it shifts its focus from Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. is increasing its military presence in Asia. Its purpose in doing so is to protect economic interests, U.S. corporate profits in the region. Ever since World War II, its overriding economic concern has been control of Asia.
The U.S. is trying to send a message to North Korea that it will not accept any independent maneuvering in the region; and it is also using its pressure on North Korea to increase its pressure on China and secure its cooperation as well.
The U.S. government and its media have painted Kim Jong-Un as a crazy bully. But for bullies, no one compares to the United States ruling class and its military.