by Brandon Smith
April 5, 2013
Whenever discussion over North Korea arises in Western circles, it always seems to be accompanied by a strange mixture of sensationalism and indifference. The mainstream media consistently presents the communist nation as an immediate threat to U.S. national security, conjuring an endless number of hypothetical scenarios as to how they could join forces with Al-Qaeda and attack with a terroristic strategy. At the same time, the chest puffing of the late Kim Jong-iL and the standard fare of hyper-militant rhetoric on the part of the North Korean government in general seem to have lulled the American public into a trance of non-concern.
In the midst of the latest tensions with the North Koreans, I have found that most people are barely tracking developments and that, when confronted by the idea of war, they shrug it off as if it is a laughable concept. “Surely” they claim, “The North is just posturing as they always have.”
The high-focus propaganda attacking North Korea on our side and the puffer fish methodology on their side have created a social and political atmosphere surrounding our relations with the Asian nation that I believe places both sides of the Pacific in great danger. North Korea has the potential to become a trigger point for multiple economic catastrophes, and there are people in this world who would be happy to use such crises to serve their own interests.
The mainstream view being espoused by globalist-minded politicians and corporate oligarchs with an agenda is that North Korea is a nuclear armed monstrosity ready to use any subversive means necessary to strike the United States. The idea that the North is working closely with Al-Qaeda has been suggested in everything from White House briefings to cable news to movies and television. The concept of pan-global terrorist collusion and the cartoon-land “axis of evil” has been prominent in our culture since the Administration of George W. Bush. It has even been making a resurgence lately in the MSM, which presented countries like Iran, Syria And North Korea as the primary culprits interfering with the success of the U.N. Small Arms Treaty.
Of course, what remains less talked about in the mainstream is the fact that these nations refuse to adhere to the treaty because carefully placed loopholes still allow major powers like the United States to feed arms into engineered insurgencies. Why would Syria or any other targeted nation sign a treaty that restricts its own sovereign ability to trade while giving teeth to internal enemies trained and funded by foreign intelligence agencies?
The establishment brushes aside such facts and consistently admonishes these countries as the last holdouts standing in the way of a new world order, a worldwide socioeconomic cooperative and pseudo-Utopia. The path to this wonderful global village is always presented as a battle against stubborn isolationists, non-progressives who lack vision and cling desperately to the archaic past. The values of personal and national sovereignty are painted as outdated, decrepit and even threatening to the newly born world structure. The image of North Korea is used by globalists as a kind of straw man argument against sovereignty. North Koreans’ vices and imbalances as a culture are many; but this is due in far larger part to their communist insanity, rather than any values of national independence. It is their domestic hive-mind collectivism we should disdain, not their wish to maintain a comfortable distance as a society from the global game.
As far as being an imminent physical threat to the United States, it really depends on the scenario. The North Koreans have almost no logistical capability to support an invasion of any kind. The nation has been suffering from epidemic famine for well more than a decade.
To initiate a war outright has never been in the best interests of the North Koreans, simply because their domestic infrastructure would not be able to handle the strain. However, there is indeed a scenario in which North Korea could be influenced to use military force despite apprehension.
With the ever looming threat of famine comes the ever looming threat of citizen revolution. When any government is faced with the possibility of being supplanted, it will almost always lash out viciously in order to maintain power and control, no matter the cost. Sanctions like those being implemented by the West against North Korea today, at the very edge of national famine, could destabilize the country entirely. I believe the North would do anything to avoid an internal insurgency scenario, including attacking South Korea to acquire food stores and energy reserves, as well as other tangible modes of wealth.
North Korea’s standing army, obtained through mandatory two year conscription, is estimated at about 1.1 million active personnel; very close to the numbers active in the U.S. armed forces. But North Korean reserves are estimated at more than 8 million, compared to only 800,000 in the United States. If made desperate by economic sanctions, the North Koreans could field a massive army that would wreak havoc in the South and be very difficult to root out on their home turf. Asian cultures have centuries of experience using asymmetric warfare (the kryptonite of the U.S. military), and I do not believe it is wise to take such a possible conflict lightly, as many Americans seem to do. It is easy to forget that the last Korean War did not work out so well for us. At best, we would be mired in on-ground operations for years (just like Iraq and Afghanistan) or perhaps even decades. Like North Korea, we also do not have the logistical economic means to enter into another such war.
April 5, 2013
Hackers apparently broke into at least two of North Korea’s government-run websites on Thursday, as tensions rose on the Korean Peninsula.
The North’s Uriminzokkiri Twitter and Flickr accounts stopped sending out content typical of that posted by the regime in Pyongyang, such as photos of North’s leader Kim Jong Un meeting with military officials.
Instead, a picture posted on Thursday on the North’s Flickr site shows Kim’s face with a pig-like snout and a drawing of Mickey Mouse on his chest. Underneath, the text reads: “Threatening world peace with ICBMs and Nuclear weapons/Wasting money while his people starve to death.”
April 5, 2013 – NORTH KOREA – Rogue state North Korea today sparked fears that it could trigger a nuclear strike as early as next Wednesday. Crackpot Kim Jong-un’s regime today issued a chilling threat to British diplomats warning them to get out of Pyongyang. Alarmingly, the North Korean government said it would not be able to guarantee the safety of embassies from April 10. Russian diplomats have also been advised to evacuate. Today the Foreign Office added that it is “considering next steps” after the threat. It is still unclear why next Wednesday has been set as a deadline – but it is sure to spark fears despot Kim Jong-un will launch an attack after that date. This week South Korean workers employed in factories in the North were also told to leave by April 10. The dramatic development came as North Korea moved a second missile to its east coast in a further threat to Japan, South Korea and US Pacific bases. The rogue state has already transported a Musudan missile with a range of 1,800 miles (3,000km) to the same area. Today, a Foreign Office spokesman reportedly said: “We can confirm that the British Embassy in Pyongyang received a communication from the North Korean government this morning. “It said that the North Korean government would be unable to guarantee the safety of embassies and international organisations in the country in the event of conflict from April 10.” In a statement, the Foreign Office added that it is “considering next steps” after the North Korean regime asked overseas missions if they were considering evacuating amid continued diplomatic tensions. A spokesman went on: “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has responsibilities under the Vienna convention to protect diplomatic missions, and we believe they have taken this step as part of their continuing rhetoric that the US poses a threat to them.” The Foreign office declined to disclose how many staff are working in Pyongyang, but said no decision had yet been taken on whether to pull out. “We are considering next steps,” the spokesman added. –Sun UK
Cuba warns N. Korea of nuclear holocaust: Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro warned ally North Korea against war on Friday and described the current tensions on the Korean Peninsula as one of the “gravest risks” for nuclear holocaust since the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. Saying he spoke as a friend, Castro wrote in Cuban state media that North Korea, led by 30-year-old Kim Jong-un, had shown the world its technical prowess and now it was time to remember its duties to others. North Korea, which along with Cuba is one of the world’s last communist countries, has been ratcheting up pressure by declaring war on neighbor South Korea and threatening to stage a nuclear strike on the United States.
On July 27, 1953, the Korean War ended. An uneasy armistice persists. The heavily fortified 2.5 mile Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separates North and South. Occasional incidents occur.
Truman’s war never ended. Its origin was misreported. I.F. Stone’s Hidden History of the Korean War explained.
Monthly Review co-founders Leo Huberman and Paul Sweezy wrote in the preface:
This book….paints a very different picture of the Korean War – one, in fact, which is at variance with the official version at almost every point.
Stone’s investigative research presented a “full-scale reassessment of the whole” war. French publisher Claude Bourdet added:
If Stone’s thesis corresponds to reality, we are in the presence of the greatest swindle in the whole of military history….not a question of a harmless fraud but of a terrible maneuver in which deception is being consciously utilized to block peace at a time when it is possible.
Stone called it international aggression.
….we have come to the conclusion that (South Korean president) Syngman Rhee deliberately provoked the North Koreans in the hope that they would retaliate by crossing the parallel in force. The northerners fell neatly into the trap.
Beating up on North Korea persists. It’s done for geopolitical reasons. Washington needs enemies. When none exist they’re created. North Korea comes straight from central casting.
Pyongyang’s wanted normalized relations for decades. US administrations refuse. Tensions remain. Occasionally they escalate. It’s unsure what’s next. Waging war on the Korean peninsula assures losers, not winners.
On March 11, North Korea cut its hotline with the South. It abrogated the 1953 armistice. It did so as US and South Korean forces began joint exercises. They’re provocative when held.
Days earlier, the Security Council voted new sanctions. They followed Pyongyang’s mid-February nuclear test. They targeted its banking and finance system. They froze normal international transactions.
They involved other restrictions. North Korea said “the US is set to light a fuse for nuclear war.” Its military “exercise(s) the right to a (defensive) preemptive nuclear attack.”
Its state-run Rodong Sinmun said “the armistice agreement has been nullified. (N)o one can expect what will happen next.”
South Korea’s Defense Ministry responded. Pyongyang’s government would “evaporate from the face of the earth” if it uses nuclear weapons.
Newly elected South Korean President Park Guen-hye said “We must deal strongly with a North Korean provocation.”
White House National Security Advisor, Tom Donilon warned:
There should be no doubt. We will draw upon the full range of our capabilities to protect against, and to respond to, the threat posed to us and to our allies by North Korea.
On March 30, North Korea announced a “state of war.” It did so with the South. It’s rhetoric belies continued policy. Conflict remains unlikely. Its official statement said in part:
The moves of the US imperialists to violate the sovereignty of the DPRK and encroach upon its supreme interests have entered an extremely grave phase.
The Supreme Command of the KPA in its previous statement solemnly declared at home and abroad the will of the army and people of the DPRK to take decisive military counteraction to defend the sovereignty of the country and the dignity of its supreme leadership as regards the war moves of the US and south Korean puppets that have reached the most extreme phase.
It is the resolute answer of the DPRK and its steadfast stand to counter the nuclear blackmail of the US imperialists with merciless nuclear attack and their war of aggression with just all-out war.
Time has come to stage a do-or-die final battle.
From this moment, the north-south relations will be put at the state of war and all the issues arousing between the north and the south will be dealt with according to the wartime regulations.
The state of neither peace nor war has ended on the Korean Peninsula.
….(T)he Korean people will give vent to the pent-up grudge and realize their cherished desire and thus bring a bright day of national reunification and build the best power on this land without fail.”
White House National Security Council spokeswoman, Caitlin Hayden said:
We’ve seen reports of a new and unconstructive statement from North Korea. We take these threats seriously and remain in close contact with our South Korean allies.
But, we would also note that North Korea has a long history of bellicose rhetoric and threats and today’s announcement follows that familiar pattern.
No signs of military activity exist. Kaesong’s industrial zone remains open. It’s operating normally. South Korean companies run it.
A war of words continue. It’s familiar. We’ve seen it all before. Washington bears full responsibility. Obama’s Asia pivot involves advancing America’s military footprint.
Doing so aggressively is planned. China’s growing economic might and military strength are targeted. So is checking Russia at the same time. North Korea’s a convenient punching bag. They don’t come any better.
Beating up on Pyongyang is policy. It’s longstanding. It shows no signs of ending. It continues ad nauseam.
America’s so-called missile defense is for offense. In mid-March, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said additional numbers would be added in Alaska. Others are planned for Asia. In Japan, tracking radar systems were added.
China and Russia oppose them. They do so for good reason. They’re prime targets. Undermining their influence is policy. So is isolating them from neighbors and asserting Washington’s dominance over territories and waters not its own.
Washington deployed B-2 stealth bombers to South Korea. They dropped dummy bombs on Jik Do island.
US Forces Korea (USFK) said America’s ability to “conduct long-range, precision strikes quickly and at will (shall) provide extended deterrence to our allies in the Asia-Pacific region.”
B-2s are equipped for nuclear bombs and missiles. Capability doesn’t reflect policy. North Korea poses Washington and Seoul no threat.
On the one hand, US officials suggest it. On the other, saber rattling implies otherwise. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un says Pyongyang will amass a nuclear arsenal. It’s needed to deter aggression.
After B-2s overflew South Korea, Rodong Sinmun said US provocations make American Pacific Rim bases prime targets. Russian analyst Evgeny Kim said introducing B2s “openly provok(es) North Korea.”
Seoul remains calms. Pyongyang takes US threats seriously. At the same time, initiating war’s unlikely. Doing so would be suicidal.
March 31, 2013
North Korea is sending lots of signals that it’s about to start World War III. While there is a real risk that some misstep or miscalculation might accidentally start a conflict, and while it is certainly possible that the country could repeat a smaller-scale attack like its November 2010 shelling of South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island, there are some very good reasons to think that Pyongyang is bluffing about full-scale nuclear war.
Still, it’s worth asking: Could North Korea carry out its “U.S. Mainland Strike Plan,” apparently detailed on a chart in Kim Jong Un’s war room, in which it launches simultaneous missile attacks on Guam, Hawaii and major cities on the West and East coasts? What about its threatened “precision nuclear strikes” against the U.S.?
The short answer is, no, probably not. Let’s rule out the nuclear threat right now: while North Korea does have nuclear warheads, it does not appear to have mastered the technology to miniaturize them enough to put on top of a missile.
Geoffrey Ingersoll | Mar. 29, 2013, 6:14 PM
After all, it has been well-established that North Korean [DPRK] missiles can’t make it to middle America — and we’ve learned over the years to ignore the crazy threats from the hermit kingdom.
But Kim’s photo op may have been a hit with its real target: his own people.
Most DPRK experts seem to have come to this conclusion, including John Swenson-Wright, senior lecturer in East Asian International Relations at the University of Cambridge, in an interview with James Pearson of NK News.
“It seems reasonable to suppose that the target map is designed for home consumption and to create an impression of war-readiness for DPRK-citizens that is part of a wider policy of strengthening national resolve,” says Swenson-Wright.
Consider also how the images were released in “widely distributed” and publicly displayed domestic workers newspapers.
Kim “needs to show he has the guts. The best way to do that is to use the military might that he commands,” Lee Yoon-gyu, a North Korea expert at Korea National Defense University in Seoul told the Fox News. “This paves the way for greater praise for him if North Korea makes a provocation later and claims victory.”
Lee continued by saying that eventually Kim will have to perform a more provocative action in order to “make good on his threat” and retain credibility, so a tactical strike — a “skirmish” — is still a possibility.
Though all threats of preemptive nuclear strikes should be taken seriously, analysts say it’s unlikely because it would effectively mean “suicide.”
And lest there be any doubt that this was a photo op, the AP analyzed the photo and concluded that it was likely doctored.
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