July 14, 2018 - No. 27
Imperialist War Preparations
Dangers Posed by National
Interests of the Imperialist Powers
Anti-NATO conference and protest, Brussels, Belgium, July 7, 2018
• It Is Up to
the Peoples of the World to Hold In Check
the Imperialists' War
Extends and Expands Participation
in NATO Mission in Latvia
• Canada's Command of NATO Training
Mission in Iraq
• World Peace Council International Conference
• Military Industry Fund Could
Encourage Development and
Export of Controversial
- European Network Against
RIMPAC War Games
Heighten Tensions in Asia Pacific
• Vigorously Oppose the World's Largest War
- Yi Nicholls -
• People's Opposition to RIMPAC
• Struggle for Influence in the
- German Foreign Policy -
Haitian People’s No Means No!
• Popular Protests Demand Removal of
and End to Foreign Interference
• Resistance Movement Will Never
Submit to Imperialist Schemes
• "Deal of the Century" Is Not New and
Palestinian Authority Leadership Is Not a Victim
- Ramzy Baroud -
DPRK-U.S. and Inter-Korean Relations
• U.S. Must Take Measures to
with DPRK as First Step
• Statement of Foreign Ministry on High Level
• Positive Developments in Inter-Korean
• Workers Take Lead in Implementing
Declaration and Fighting for Peace
• U.S. Military Base in Seoul Moved
NATO Summit Intensifies Imperialist War
Summit Shows Dangers Posed by National Interests of the
Brussels, Belgium, July 7, 2018. Banner reads "Yes to Peace! No to
While NATO countries fight with the U.S. and amongst
themselves over who will control Europe and dominate Asia, the
movement of the peoples against imperialism and war saw hundreds
of thousands of people take to the streets to oppose NATO's 2018
summit in Brussels and U.S. President Donald Trump's subsequent
visit to England and Scotland. The people's actions put their
demands for peace and an end to aggression, war and occupation
firmly on the agenda, including the dismantling of the aggressive
U.S.-led NATO bloc.
TML Weekly salutes all those gathered in
England and Scotland to uphold the demands of the worldwide
movement for peace and against imperialist reaction and war. Such
interventions make clear the necessity for the people to build
strong country-wide and international anti-war fronts which
uphold peaceful relations between countries based on mutual
benefit and recognition of the sovereignty of all nations, not
the imperialist dictum that "might makes right."
Mass demonstration against U.S. President Trump's visit to London, July
13, 2018. Trump was kept away from London because of the massive
opposition to his visit, reflecting the broad opposition to his
reactionary stands and U.S. warmongering, as well as to the
government of British Prime Minister Theresa May for inviting him.
Demonstration in Glasgow, July 13, 2018.
Ten thousand demonstrate in Edinburgh July 14, 2018 against U.S.
Trump went to Scotland to visit one of his golf resorts.
NATO leaders claim that the NATO Summit held in
Belgium, July 11-12, met all its goals to increase war spending
manifold and strengthen NATO's stranglehold over eastern Europe
and encirclement of Russia, stabilize NATO's grip over
Afghanistan and Iraq, and "protect Europe" from incursion of
migrants from North Africa and West Asia. The U.S. exploited the
contradictions between itself and the European big powers, as well as
among the European powers, to favour its interests to "Make America
Great Again." This is to no avail since these contradictions will only
deepen in the immediate future. In fact, the developments brought to
the fore the famous dictum "Nations have no permanent friends and no
permanent enemies, only permanent interests." So long as this is the
case, the interests of the peoples of the world and their sovereignty
will be trampled in the mud.
In this vein, on July 11, the first day of the NATO
Trump began by reiterating the demand that all NATO members reach
the two per cent of GDP target for military spending, but
shortened the deadline to January 2019, six years ahead of
schedule. By the end of the day, he declared that this figure
should be four per cent. The next day, Trump threatened that if
other countries do not meet the two per cent mark by the January
deadline, he would "do his own thing." The result was an
emergency meeting called by NATO Secretary General Jens
Stoltenberg. After that meeting Trump stated, "The commitment was
at two per cent. Ultimately that'll be going up much higher," and
he said Stoltenberg would provide the figures. NATO members
besides the U.S. are reportedly planning to increase military
spending by a combined total of U.S.$11 billion this year.
In this way, the hooligan
methods of the U.S. president once
again succeeded in setting the agenda for a major summit with
U.S. demands for increased war spending the reference point for
the discussion, with all others responding to it and other U.S.
demands. Prime Minister Trudeau reiterated that Canada will not
increase military spending at this time because in 2017 military
spending was already increased by 70 per cent over the next
decade. "The president has been consistent that he wants to see
people spending more on defence in their countries and we are
very pleased we are doing that," Trudeau told reporters. "We'll
always step up, with cash yes but also with commitments and
capacity. That's what NATO is looking for." He said that Canada
has reaffirmed its commitment to work toward contributing two per
cent of its GDP to military spending and to reverse any cuts. A
similar response was given by other leaders.
Later, as Stoltenberg addressed a closing press
he would only say, "All allies have heard President Trump's
message loud and clear. We understand that this American
president is very serious about defence spending, and this is
having a clear impact."
Even before the Summit began, the U.S. policy to
Europe by driving the agenda was clear when Germany was targeted
by Trump and accused of being "a captive to Russia" because of
the Nord Stream offshore natural gas pipeline that brings Russian
gas to Germany through the Baltic Sea, bypassing a land route
through Ukraine. The U.S. State Department warned European firms
involved in the deal for the pipeline that the project could
divide Europe and they were at risk of sanctions. This was met
with hostility by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and German
businesses who rejected U.S. dictate of European energy
But there was no united stand against the U.S. as took
at the G7 Summit in Quebec on the issue of tariffs. Canada's
Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland sided with the U.S.
against Germany saying, "there are significant Western sanctions
against Russia for a reason" and that "Canada believes in those
sanctions." Freeland added, "Those sanctions will and need to stay in
long as Russia's illegal actions remain in force. When it comes
to Nord Stream, Canada has significant concerns about that
This stand reveals once again that
Canada's foreign policy is not only under U.S. command but also
informed by loyalty to Nazi collaborators in Ukraine and the Baltic
Republics. Making the encirclement of Russia a "national interest"
based on fearmongering about Russia reminiscent of the Cold War is in
no way shared by the Canadian people.
In this issue, TML Weekly is providing
about the accelerated pace at which the imperialist powers are
stepping up their war preparations and calls on its readers to
reject the warmongering, narrow and reactionary basis for
Canada's foreign relations and description of its national
interest and to demand that Canadian troops be withdrawn from all
foreign lands and that Canada get out of NATO and that NATO be
It Is Up to the Peoples of the World to Hold In Check
Imperialists' War Drive
Protest in Athens, Greece, July 11, 2018, against the NATO Summit. (S. Kamaniolis)
The NATO Summit and related events provided occasions to
once again spread lies about NATO, calling it an alliance for
peace when in fact it is an alliance for aggression and war and
always has been. Speaking at a press conference ahead of the
Summit on July 10, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said,
"NATO embodies the bond between Europe and North America, which
has kept our people safe for almost 70 years." Far from it, it was part
of the drive for war instigated by the Anglo-American imperialists
after World War II initiated by Winston Churchill's racist and
anti-communist "Iron Curtain" speech delivered in Fulton, Missouri on
March 5, 1946 and President Truman's "containment of communism" policy.
"We are an Alliance that exists to prevent conflict and
preserve peace. We are an Alliance that constantly adapts to a
changing world. Above all, we are an Alliance that delivers," he
Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also promoted
disinformation when he spoke in Latvia on July 10, saying that NATO has
supported an international rules-based order "for 75 or so years."
To say that NATO has supported an international
order for more than 70 or 75 years is self-serving and
hypocritical. NATO was founded as part of the Cold War launched
by the Anglo-American imperialists to oppose the Soviet Union and
communism in order to make sure that, following World War II, the
movement of the peoples of the world for lasting peace, freedom
and democracy would not take hold. It was created, amongst other
things, to make sure the denazification of Germany did not take
place and, on the contrary, the Nazi machine was incorporated
into the Anglo-American state agencies. Politically, countries
such as Italy and France took up electoral systems aimed at
blocking the establishment of a people's power. So too
Anglo-American imperialism enforced the division of Germany for
the next several decades, blaming it on communism and refusing to
reunify the country. The U.S. imperialists had previously used this
method in Korea and Vietnam, while the British imperialists
divided India, organized the fascist regime in Greece, atrocities
in Indonesia and so on.
Together the Anglo-American imperialists organized
covert activities to undermine the movement of the peoples for
peace, democracy and freedom at a time peace was the greatest
need of the peoples of the world and it could not be assured
without the establishment of international democracy and the
recognition of the rights of all nations, big or small, to
determine their own affairs. The demand for national independence
and democracy arose as the most important demand along with the demand
The first aim of the peace movement was to fight
split between the war-time allies and to push for their political
unity in spite of ideological differences, that is for peaceful
co-existence between countries with differing and opposite social
systems. The peace movement was also directed against U.S.
militarization of the economy and warmongering and the
militarization of the world through military bases and military
alliances. The peace movement put political considerations in
first place, and peace emerged as the most urgent political
question in the post-war period for everyone, irrespective of
their ideological positions.
Several days after Churchill delivered his infamous
Curtain speech, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, in an interview with Pravda,
the cause of peace and security. Churchill had taken
the stand of the warmongers, and was not alone. He was calling
for war on the Soviet Union. Stalin likened Churchill to Hitler
and his friends, in setting out to unleash a war with a race
theory, in Churchill's case calling on the English-speaking
peoples to decide and rule over the destiny of the world. He
denounced Churchill's disregard of solemn Anglo-Soviet treaties.
He ridiculed Churchill's talk of the Soviet Union's "expansionist
tendencies" and the subservience of the Peoples Democracies,
while pointing out Churchill's support for former Nazi
collaborators. He said that Churchill's correct observation of
the growing influence of the communists in Europe was a logical
result of their fearless and self-sacrificing fight against the
fascist regimes. He ridiculed too Churchill's patronizing
reference to "plain people from little homes," pointing out that
these plain people in Britain had just swept Churchill out of
office! He ended by asserting that should Churchill succeed in
launching war against the Soviet Union -- not probable because
millions of "plain people" stood guard over the cause of peace --
he would be thrashed as surely as he was when he led the
intervention of 14 states against Russia in 1919-20.
Today the Soviet Union no longer exists but the role of
bulwark against reaction and war continues to be the united
action of the peoples of the world in defence of peace, freedom
and democracy. It is up to the peoples of the world to hold in
check the imperialists' war drive.
Canada Extends and Expands Participation in
NATO Mission in
On July 10, Prime Minister
Justin Trudeau announced that
Canada is expanding its mission in Latvia -- part of NATO's
Operation Reassurance aimed at encircling Russia -- from 455 to 540
troops and extending it to 2023. Canada leads NATO's Battlegroup
Latvia (one of four in the region), and recently took part in
major NATO war exercises there in June. Trudeau made the
announcement in Riga following a meeting with Latvian Prime
Minister Maris Kucinskis.
Operation Reassurance is based on supporting the
coup regime installed in 2014 in Ukraine backed by Canada, the
U.S. and their allies, and disinformation about the referendum by
the people of Crimea to become part of Russia.
Trudeau used the occasion to once again target Russia
justify NATO's warmongering and Canada's participation in it. "We
certainly hope that the message is passed clearly to President
Putin that his actions in destabilizing and disregarding the
international rules-based order that has been successfully
underpinned by NATO amongst others over the past 75 years or so
is extremely important," Trudeau said.
Trudeau met with Latvian President Raimonds
same day. He laid flowers at "Freedom Monument" and took part in
a number of activities at a military base in Adazi. Trudeau attended a
candlelight vigil at a Latvian memorial "to fallen
soldiers" and a vehicle display by multinational troops and spoke to
Canadian military personnel.
The "Freedom Monument" in Riga is the site of
which misconstrue the Soviet Red Army's liberation of Latvia from
the Nazis during World War II as aggression and occupation. It is
also the site of public commemorations of Latvian war criminals
who collaborated with the Nazis, spuriously deemed "freedom
Latvia is one of the
countries being appealed to by
Tribute to Liberty, a private organization linked to Latvian Nazi
collaborators, for funding of the anti-communist monument the
Trudeau government is building in Ottawa. This monument,
ostensibly to commemorate Canada as a "land of refuge" for
"victims of communism" in fact seeks to rehabilitate Nazis and
Nazi collaborators like those in Latvia. Public support among
Canadians for this extremist project is virtually non-existent,
thus necessitating support from foreign funders (as well as
from the Canadian government).
It also makes clear the hypocrisy of the
Trudeau Liberals' hysteria directed against "foreign
interference" in Canadian politics, whereas foreign influence in
support of Nazis and warmongering against Russia is deemed
acceptable and even desirable.
Trudeau's visit to Latvia underscores the dangers posed
Canada's membership in NATO, coupled with the anti-communist
ideological assault to turn the experience of World War II on its
head to rehabilitate the Nazis and demonize the Red Army and
Soviet Union, so as to justify aggression and war crimes in the
1. "Foreign Financing for the
Anti-Communist Monument -- A Matter of Great Concern," by Louis
Lang, TML Weekly, November 11, 2017.
Canada's Command of NATO
Training Mission in Iraq
Canada is intent on proving to U.S. President Donald
that even though it does not spend two per cent of GDP on defence, its
expenditures and participation on NATO-related missions should count
towards the two per cent.
On July 11, Prime Minister
announced that Canada will assume command
for the first year of a NATO training mission in Iraq. The
mission is said to be a response to U.S. demands for NATO to
"better develop the skills of the Iraqi army to stabilize the
country and prevent the re-emergence of groups such as the
Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)," CBC reports.
Currently, there are some 850 Canadian soldiers and air
in Iraq as part of Operation Impact. The mission has also
included up to 200 special forces soldiers. Gen. Jonathan Vance,
Canada's chief of the defence staff, said the Canadian special
forces mission will continue, separate from the new NATO
deployment. A contingent of combat engineers, already serving
under the NATO flag and separate from Operation Impact, will also
continue independent of the new NATO training mission.
CBC reports that the new NATO mission is said to
to 250 Canadian troops deployed to Baghdad and the surrounding
area by the fall, as well as up to four Griffon helicopters. The
training mission, which has been in the works for at least two
years, will be commanded by a Canadian major-general, and
Canadian troops will provide the bulk of the headquarters staff.
The force will protect the hundreds of other NATO trainers
expected to begin their work in July."
Trudeau, speaking at a forum put on by the German
Fund, justified Canada's increased role in Iraq as "the next step
in the challenge in Iraq." Defeating ISIS was the first step, he
said, "and now we have to rebuild that democracy and strengthen
Trudeau's words raise the question of what democracy he
Canada should be involved in rebuilding in Iraq. Since the 2003
U.S.-led invasion and occupation of Iraq and the regime change
that followed, the U.S. has sought to impose its will on the
Iraqi people, and has found local collaborators to assist it in
this mission. Talk of rebuilding and strengthening so-called democracy
imposed through force of arms is a contradiction in terms, and the use
of high ideals to justify a wholly illegitimate undertaking.
Furthermore, describing such missions as training
covers up their unjust and unacceptable nature,
even if they are said not to be involved in combat. For example,
Canadian troops are present in Ukraine in violation of
the Minsk accords barring foreign troops from Ukraine, and training
forces that include fascist paramilitary units. Canadian
troops also continue to be part of the indefinite NATO occupation of
The timing of this
announcement along with the July 10 announcement that Canada is
expanding its mission in Latvia is tied to the 2018
NATO Summit, where Canada sought to mitigate the inevitable
criticism by U.S. President Donald Trump for inadequate military
spending. The Trudeau government, by eagerly embroiling Canada
deeper into U.S. and NATO-led aggression in Latvia and Iraq, is
said to be proving that Canada is "punching above its weight,"
despite not meeting the U.S.-NATO demand for military spending at
the level of two per cent of GDP.
Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland, for her part,
high-sounding term "national interest" to justify the new mission
in Iraq, while claiming that subservience to U.S. demands is not
part of the government's calculations:
"Our first -- and really our only consideration -- was
served the Canadian national interest, what served Canadians,
what was appropriate to do for Canada given our role in the world
and the very great interest we, as Canadians, have in a
functioning, rules-based international order," she said.
War preparations in the name of a rules-based
order and the national interest is clearly the Trudeau
government's new mantra. It will not pass!
World Peace Council International Conference
Just a few days ahead of the NATO Summit, on July 7 and
World Peace Council (WPC) organized a conference in Brussels
within the framework of its "Yes to Peace -- No to NATO"
campaign. The conference addressed how to strengthen the
anti-imperialist-peace movements under the present condition. The
participants came from anti-imperialist peace movements in:
Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Nepal, Norway, Poland,
Portugal, Serbia, Spain, Turkey and the USA.
The opening speech was given by Thanassis Pafilis,
Secretary of the WPC. He stated in part:
"There is no doubt that, as we have proclaimed, NATO was
is the enemy of the peoples and peace, the armed wing of
imperialism, the dangerous murderous organization protecting the
interests of capital at a global level; that it staggers its
aggression against the peoples; that its contradictions and
competitions lead to new wars and their possible generalization.
From this point of view, the peoples' struggle as a whole for its
dissolution is an immediate priority. The peoples' struggle in
the NATO member countries for disengagement from it, as well as
the denunciation of all the governments of the member states that
participate and unanimously sign its decisions, is of special
importance. There can be no doubt about this as well as about the
character of the EU which, as an imperialist union, is working
closely with NATO towards the same aim.
"The creation of a genuine peaceful world with peoples'
prosperity comes about through the overthrow of the imperialist
domination and barbarity as a whole."
Pafilis pointed out, "In the region of the
we witness fierce competition for the control of resources,
energy and the transport of products, for geostrategic
control. Such antagonisms occur across the globe. From the Arctic
to Southeast Asia, from the Caucasus to the Balkans and Africa.
The economic war between the U.S., the EU, China and other great
powers is further intensifying. The whole planet looks like a
volcano, which is now showing small explosions, but seems to be
preparing bigger and bigger ones, as history has shown. This
situation also underlines the duty of the people's struggle
against the interventions and imperialist wars and their
The "Norway for Peace"
movement referred to NATO's
aspirations to dominate the North Atlantic and the Arctic. In
Norway, there are U.S. naval bases, and a civil aviation airport
is being refurbished to join NATO's military force. Also, a NATO
monitoring system (Globus 3) has been installed near the border
with Russia. The November 2017 Radar Information Agreement
between the U.S. and Norway allows information from Finland and
Sweden to be available to NATO. A huge NATO military exercise --
the largest since the end of the Second World War -- will take
place at the end of October in the Scandinavian region. There
will be 35,000 troops from 30 countries, 150 fighter jets and 70
warships. Exercises will include Sweden, Finland and the Baltic
countries and the scenario is that Norway is being attacked by
The Bulgarian National Peace Council addressed the
tension between NATO and Russia in the Black Sea, the growing
NATO military presence in the region, and the strategic
integration of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and
other Western Balkan countries into NATO.
The intensification of NATO's military presence in
Europe, the Balkans and the Baltic States, and the propaganda in
the United States, was analyzed by the representative of the United
National Antiwar Coalition from the U.S.
The Milan Anti-War Committee's representative
Italy is a strategic point for NATO with military, naval,
airborne and nuclear weapons across the country. NATO's command
is stationed in Naples; Sicily is the centre of NATO satellite
telecommunications and drones that can operate around the world;
in Sardinia there is a crucial base for military exercises and
nuclear weapons tests, causing high cancer rates in the region.
He denounced the Italian government for its military spending of
70 million euros per day, and for taking part in and implementing
all NATO decisions. He referred to the Italian government's role
in the invasion of Libya, putting the country's airbases at the
disposal of this NATO aggression.
Paula Polanco, President of the Belgian INTAL movement,
underscored that the duty of the peace movement is to create
strong movements in each country against NATO, the U.S. and the
EU, and to link the anti-imperialist struggle to the struggle for
social justice. She also demanded the withdrawal of Belgium from
Serbia's "Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals" chaired
the last Yugoslav Foreign Minister, Zivadin Jovanovic, underlined
the opposition of the people and the peace movement of Serbia to
membership in NATO or any military alliance. He cited a survey
last March that showed 90 per cent of the people of Serbia are
opposed to its membership in NATO. However, he added that "NATO
intensifies its propaganda in the country. The 'Commission 100'
has recently been announced to promote propaganda about the
benefits Serbia will have if it joins NATO, an 'alliance of
developed, rich and humanitarian states.'"
The Portuguese Council for Peace and Co-operation
NATO's deadly imperialist activities, as well as the Permanent
European Structured Co-operation (PESCO), demanding that the
Portuguese Armed Forces not participate in NATO and EU missions.
The WPC Campaign "Yes to Peace -- No to NATO," in which dozens of
Portuguese organizations participate with events and the sharing
of materials are spreading word of the need for a fight against
NATO, the Portuguese delegate also reported.
The representative of the World Federation of
Youth (WFDY) stressed that since the first years of its
establishment, WFDY has fought NATO's actions and crimes, and
that NATO's history is full of interventions, coups and violent
overthrows that have led millions of people to misery, death and
displacement. "NATO's plans, this imperialist war machine, is
being condemned by many millions of people and youth in dozens of
countries. We coordinate our action with our fraternal
organization, the WPC, against the common enemy, imperialism, its
mechanisms and plans. We express our militant solidarity with the
just struggles of the peoples under occupation, imperialist
threat and intervention," he said.
The representative of the Greek Committee for
Détente and Peace (EEDYE) called on the representatives of the
other anti-imperialist peace movements to strengthen the
struggle, "to close the Euro-Atlantic bases and headquarters, to
leave our countries out of imperialist organizations and
alliances, to express our solidarity to the peoples threatened by
imperialism, military threats and interventions." Only the
organized struggle of the peoples to become the only sovereigns
in their own countries and the owners of the wealth they produce,
can guarantee real peace and social justice, the EEDYE
The representative of the Peace Committee of Turkey
that it is important to emphasize the imperialist system and its
instruments, such as NATO, instead of turning attention to
individual leaders, giving the U.S. and its president as the
example. It was also emphasized that imperialism is continuing to
concentrate on Eastern Europe, the Balkans, Eastern Mediterranean
and the Middle East and that the struggle for peace in these
regions is especially important.
The delegate of the Nepalese Peace and Solidarity
noted that "we support as a member of the WPC Secretariat (WPC
Asia/Pacific Coordinator) its actions and initiatives, which will
continue for as long as NATO exists. We struggle to uncover its
criminal and imperialist character, as documented in all cases
such as Yugoslavia and Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. NATO
is also active in our area, either through U.S.-NATO military
bases, or through the bilateral military cooperation agreements
that exist with most of our countries with the U.S.," he added. Lastly,
he mentioned, "the Asia-Pacific Regional meeting in
Kathmandu will be held at the end of July, where we will discuss
burning issues such as the situation around the Korean Peninsula,
the South China Sea and the imperialist plans in the region."
Following the conference, participants took part in the
anti-NATO rally in Brussels. At least 3,000 people took part in
Military Industry Fund Could Encourage Development and
of Controversial Weaponry
The European Union (EU) is about to agree to a
shared military industry
fund which will give billions of dollars to military arms companies and
the global arms race. Presented as a key step to strengthen the
EU and regain citizens' trust, instead, it enshrines the renewed
prevalence of national interests in a hard-security context,
writes Laëtitia Sédou.
The following report is provided by Laëtitia
Sédou, programme officer of the European Network Against Arms
Trade (ENAAT), which unites campaign and research groups from 13
European countries, as well as several international organizations.
On May 22, the EU Parliament, Commission and member
reached a compromise on the European Defence Industrial
Development Programme (EDIDP, the second and biggest pillar of
the EU Defence Fund, which will finance the development of new
weaponry in 2019 and 2020) after three months of negotiations behind
closed doors. This compromise still needs to be approved by our Members
of the European Parliament and national governments within the coming
European Parliament Gives up Most of Its Key
The result of this "trilogue" speaks for itself: the EU
Parliament lost most of its key demands, including the ones
that may have limited the most detrimental effects of this
The EU Parliament asked for the 500 million euro budget
to come from
unallocated margins so as not to affect ongoing programmes,
allegedly a red line for the Parliament. However, its negotiators
ultimately accepted that 60 per cent (300 million euros) would be
from existing civilian programmes.
Knowing that the initial proposal was 75 per cent
far from a "success" and further discredits the EU Parliament in future
negotiations on the next long-term budget, which foresees a
disproportionate 13 billion euros for the Defence Fund.
The EU Parliament negotiators also accepted that the
implements the programme without consulting the Parliament on
concrete elements like the detailed priorities to be funded,
contrary to usual practice in EU funding schemes.
This is particularly problematic because the EDIDP is
pilot programme with no precedent, and the draft Regulation is
unclear on the type of industrial developments that will be
funded, apart from three vague and wide-ranging topics (mobility and
energy protection, communications and intelligence, engagement
and combat capabilities).
Thus nobody really knows what type of weaponry will be
developed with those 500 million euros coming from taxpayers' money.
Except maybe the military industry, which is over-influencing the
Commission on those developments, and the member states who
managed a de facto veto power
within the traditional Programme
Committee, under an unprecedented move compared to usual EU
Program Feeding the Global Arms Race, Includes
Armed Drones and Autonomous Weapons Development
So how can we assert that arms exports and autonomous
development are the main dangers of the Defence Fund? Several
elements clearly point to this:
Progressive Members of EU Parliament had won
amendments for a clear
of activities related to a list of banned or controversial
weapons, including the development of fully autonomous weapons.
Unfortunately, in order to get a deal at all costs, those
amendments were watered down by the EU Parliament negotiators to a
where they have become meaningless.
And member states' fierce resistance against any clear
legally binding exclusion of controversial technologies like
fully autonomous weapons is a worrying indicator that they want
to be able to develop all kinds of military technology out of
ethical considerations, in order to reach and maintain EU
technological superiority over potential "enemies" or
Such "strategic autonomy" is indeed one of the main
objectives of the EU Defence Fund.
Already, key countries such as France and Germany
stated that the development of "ready-to-arm" if not already
armed drones, like the medium altitude long endurance (MALE) Eurodrone
programme, should be among
the first projects to be funded under the European Defence Fund
And the ongoing Preparatory Action on Defence Research
focusing on basic research, the first pillar of the Defence Fund)
currently dedicates a third of its 90 million euros budget to a project
for maritime surveillance through unmanned surface and underwater
systems (Ocean 2020).
Regarding exports, one the EDIDP main objectives is the
global competitiveness of the arms industry, and "a positive
effect on exports" is an expected result. Knowing that fragmented
national markets are already too small to absorb European
over-production and provide higher profitability, the arms
industry will put an even greater emphasis on exports.
To add on, member states want to protect their national
military industry, leading to the introduction of financial
incentives for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and
middle-capitalization companies (Mid-Caps) in the EDIDP, as a way to
reassure smaller countries. Rather than rationalizing the
industry to resolve over-capacity, the Defence Fund will sustain
non-competitive companies through subsidies.
To sum up, new and advanced EU-funded military
could be freely used by member states according to their
geostrategic interests, and exported according to their own --
disparate -- arms exports policies, thus leading to a never-ending
cycle of military developments needing further subsidies.
2200 Per Cent Budget Increase in the Next Long-Term
On May 2, the Commission presented its draft
proposal for the next long-term budget to run from 2021 to
Two out the six headings would be devoted to police,
and defence activities: one for "Migration and borders" and one
for "Defence and Security," integrating the Defence Fund.
Moreover, the major budget increments would go to those two
headings (together totalling 55 billion), with an astonishing
2,200 per cent jump for the Defence Fund from 0.59 billion to 13
euros to be provided to the military industry.
But also a 180 per cent jump for security and a 260 per
migration and borders.
Moreover, the security and defence sector is now
and often a priority within several civilian programmes with
important increases too, such as Erasmus+ and the EU Framework
Programme for Research and Innovation.
The latter has an important -- yet civilian -- focus on
cutting-edge technologies and artificial intelligence as well as
significant funding dedicated to research in the security area,
mainly benefiting the industry.
The current Preparatory Action and the coming Defence
Industrial Development Programme give a clear indication of what
the full-blown European Defence Fund will look like and aim at in
the next EU long-term budget.
Both its controversial technological priorities and its
governance model opening the door for member states to dig into
the EU pot for short-sighted national interests, in a context of
the security-oriented long-term budget, provide a quite worrying
image of the EU to come, and raise a fundamental question:
Is that really what citizens are expecting from their
RIMPAC War Games Heighten Tensions in
Vigorously Oppose the World's Largest War Exercise!
The U.S.-led naval war games, Exercise Rim of the
(RIMPAC), are underway from June 27 to August 2 around the
Hawaiian Islands and southern California. The last RIMPAC
exercise was held in 2016. A May 30 U.S. Navy press release
informs, "Twenty-six nations, 47 surface ships, five
submarines, 18 national land forces, and more than 200 aircraft
and 25,000 personnel will participate in the biennial Rim of the
Pacific (RIMPAC) exercise [...]"
Canada is one of the participating nations.
The U.S. Navy describes the ostensible aims of RIMPAC
innocuous and high-sounding ideals:
"As the world's largest international maritime
RIMPAC provides a unique training opportunity designed to foster
and sustain cooperative relationships that are critical to
ensuring the safety of sea lanes and security on the world's
interconnected oceans. RIMPAC 2018 is the 26th exercise in the
series that began in 1971.
"The theme of RIMPAC 2018 is 'Capable, Adaptive,
Participating nations and forces will exercise a wide range of
capabilities and demonstrate the inherent flexibility of maritime
forces. These capabilities range from disaster relief and
maritime security operations to sea control and complex
warfighting. The relevant, realistic training program includes
amphibious operations, gunnery, missile, anti-submarine and air
defence exercises, as well as counter-piracy operations, mine
clearance operations, explosive ordnance disposal, and diving and
It is important to keep in mind the context for the
exercises. The U.S. military and navy is anything but an
innocuous force worldwide. The U.S. has suspended this year's
U.S.-south Korea Freedom Guardian war exercises around the Korean
Peninsula. It finally admitted that these "strictly defensive
exercises" directed against the Democratic People's Republic of
Korea (DPRK) are in fact provocative and counter to the nascent
peace process underway between itself and the DPRK. This example
makes the obvious point that war games carried out by an
imperialist power such as the U.S. have an inherently aggressive
aim that is not compatible with the peaceful resolution of
disputes between peoples and countries. This raises the question
of which countries are being targeted through RIMPAC?
China Disinvited from 2018 RIMPAC
This year's exercise takes place under the
administration's Free and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy (FOIPS).
Joshua Kurlantzick, in a February 21 item for the Council on
Foreign Relations, writes, "After declaring the 'rebalance' to
Asia dead, the Trump administration's 'Free and Open
Indo-Pacific' strategy appears to be pursuing similar goals:
containing China's ability to dominate Asia and bolstering
partnerships with major partners in Asia like Australia, India,
Thus, while China has been a participant at previous
of RIMPAC, most recently in 2016, U.S. Department of Defense
spokesman Marine Lt. Col. Christopher Logan announced in May that
the People's Liberation Army Navy (PLA Navy) would not take part
this year despite its participation in submarine safety and other
non-warfighting components of the exercise in previous years.
"The United States is committed to a free and open
Indo-Pacific. China's continued militarization of disputed
features in the South China Sea only serve to raise tensions and
destabilize the region. As an initial response to China's
continued militarization of the South China Sea we have
disinvited the PLA Navy from the 2018 Rim of the Pacific (RIMPAC)
Exercise. China's behaviour is inconsistent with the principles
and purposes of the RIMPAC exercise," Logan said.
Kurlantzick elaborates in a
19 article published by the Aspen Institute: "[T]he Free
and Open Indo-Pacific Strategy rests, in part, on the U.S. and
some U.S. partners essentially working to contain China's
abilities to dominate Asian waters, Asian trade, and Asian
diplomacy. The president and many other Trump administration
officials are using speeches to call for freedom of navigation in
Pacific waters, and to assertively and publicly call out Beijing
for violating free navigation in areas of the Pacific. The
concept also emphasizes states' sovereignty, essentially
rejecting large multilateral coalitions. [...]
"This Trump administration strategy also involves
three other major partners in Asia -- India, Japan, and Australia
-- to bolster ties with the United States, potentially as a sign
of a counterweight to China's increasing assertiveness and
military power. These four nations are referred to by the Trump
administration as the 'quad,' or Quadrilateral Security Dialogue;
the idea that these 'quad' of nations could upgrade strategic
ties has existed since the George W. Bush administration, in a
hazy form, but the Trump administration seems to view closer quad
ties more specifically as a counterweight to Beijing. The Trump
administration still has not made the idea of how the quad will
develop very clear, and the countries involved in it are still
unsure whether it will actually develop into more substantial
security cooperation. Instead, the quad will likely remain just
generally a consultative mechanism.
"Most clearly, the Trump administration has been
that it wants to upgrade the U.S.-India relationship. U.S.
officials are pushing India to be a major security counterweight
to China in Asia as a democratic power, a country that supposedly
is more wedded to international rules and norms, and a major
naval power that could help the United States preserve freedom of
navigation and free trade in Indo-Pacific waters. The Trump
administration also is stepping up plans to work with Japan,
India, and other countries to develop ways to finance and support
infrastructure creation in Asia, as a counterbalance to China's
massive Belt and Road Initiative."
Quite apart from U.S. hegemonic
aims in Asia couched in the
particular claims made by the U.S. military against China, the
fact remains that the South China Sea is an important shipping
and fishing zone for multiple countries in the region who all
require free and equitable access and transit for their
economies. China's activities to exclude or unilaterally limit
others from being able to use those waters as required,
especially in view of the much larger military and economic force
it can exercise, is blocking a proper resolution to the South
China Sea dispute that harmonizes the interests of all parties
involved. This has provided an opening for the U.S. to interfere
in the region for self-serving aims by presenting its military
might as a counter-balance to China.
The situation in the South China Sea and the actions of
and the U.S. to contend with each other and ignore or use the
situation facing smaller countries in the region on a
self-serving basis underscores the need to uphold the principle
of the peaceful resolution of conflicts between people and
countries, and the principle of the equality of all countries,
whether big or small.
Canada's Participation in RIMPAC 2018
Quotes from Defence Minister Harjit
and Rear-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, Commander Joint Task Force
RIMPAC, play up this so-called leadership role for Canada at
To portray Canada's servility to U.S. aims at RIMPAC as
"leadership role" is misleading. Canadians need to pay close
attention to the activities of Canada's military and its
involvement in RIMPAC and other such war games. While a hue and
cry is raised about protecting Canadians and their "democratic
institutions" from "foreign influence," this is a diversion from
the fact that Canada's military is effectively subordinate to the
U.S. military and U.S. interests, while Canada's economy is being
more and more integrated into the U.S. war machine.
This year marks the centenary of the end of the First
World War. The fiction has been created that Canada's sacrifice of its
as cannon fodder at that time was a "coming of age" that earned
it status as a power to be reckoned with. This warmongering in
the service of empire was rejected by the working people of the
day, especially Quebeckers. Today, Canada's
so-called leadership in supporting U.S. imperialist aims to the hilt,
which is also supposed to confer on it big power status, must also
be vigorously opposed. The requirement of the times is for Canada
to show leadership as a force for peace in the world, and this
can only happen by the people organizing to make Canada a Zone
1. The 25 countries participating in
RIMPAC 2018 are: Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia,
France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Malaysia,
Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Peru, the Republic of Korea,
the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand,
Tonga, the United Kingdom, the United States, and Vietnam.
Israel, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam are participating in RIMPAC for
first time. Brazil, which was originally scheduled to participate, has
now dropped out of the exercises.
2. A June 25 news release from
the Department of Defence and the Canadian Armed Forces informs:
"Over 1,000 Canadian sailors, soldiers, and aviators
to participate in [RIMPAC ...]
"Canada, along with Australia and the United States,
participated in every RIMPAC exercise since its inception in
1971. The continued participation of the Canadian Armed Forces
(CAF) reinforces Canada's commitment to enhancing partnerships
and security in the Asia-Pacific region."
HMCS Ottawa and Vancouver and one
oiler replenishment ship, MV Asterix, are deployed to
Hawaii. Two maritime coastal defence vessels, HMCS Yellowknife
and Whitehorse, are operating off the
coast of Southern California. Approximately 170 soldiers from the
Canadian Army are at Camp Pendleton in Southern California. This
includes a dismounted infantry company group from the 2nd
Battalion, Royal 22nd Regiment. The Royal Canadian Air Force
(CAF) is sending approximately 75 members with a CP-140 Maritime
Patrol Aircraft and a deployable mission support centre.
Additional CAF personnel are serving various coalition staff
functions to support the exercise. There is also a national
command and support team to ensure continued operational,
logistical, and administrative support to deployed elements. The news
release also states, "Reflecting Canada's leadership role
in RIMPAC, several Canadian officers will hold key appointments
during RIMPAC [...]"
People's Opposition to RIMPAC
The RIMPAC war games are being opposed by activists in
Hawaii. The Malu 'Aina Center for Non-Violent Education and
Action informs that the war exercises include bombing and
shelling the 133,000-acre Pohakuloa Training Area (PTA) located
in the centre of Hawaii Island. Malu 'Aina explains:
"Pohakuloa is used as a live-fire target by the Army,
Air Force, and Marines and is contaminated with a wide range of
military toxins, including Depleted Uranium (DU) radiation.
Despite this contamination the base continues to be bombed, (more
than 15 million live-rounds annually) spreading the DU oxide dust
particles around the island. Doctor Lorrin Pang, MD, retired Army
Medical Corps, says that inhaled DU oxide dust particles can
cause cancer and genetic damage.
"Hawaii Island is undergoing tremendous trauma from
Volcano lava flows and earthquakes. Thousands of people have been
displaced from their homes, farms, and businesses. We do not need
to add to the trauma by RIMPAC bombing of our island home. We ask
that the bombing be stopped immediately.
"If the military wants to truly protect the people of
island, forgo RIMPAC 2018 and use the money for housing and other
lava relief efforts."
Open Letter to U.S. and Hawai'i State Governments to
Women's Voices Women Speak, Hawai'i Peace and Justice,
Can't Wait-Hawai'i, Veterans for Peace-Hawai'i, Hawai'i Okinawa
Alliance and community allies call on the Hawai'i State
Government to end the Rim of the Pacific exercises, known as
RIMPAC, occurring this July to August 2018. Instead of the
practice of war and more militarism, we call for practising peace
and intergenerational healing in Hawai'i, Moana Nui (Oceania) and
across the Earth. We envision a future of genuine security where
our efforts focus on sovereignties, cultural resurgence, health,
food, education, sacred places, housing, sustainability and
respect and dignity for all peoples.
RIMPAC is the largest naval exercise in the world, and
takes place in Hawaiian waters. It is part of the U.S Navy's
effort to coordinate military exercises and weapons training with
military forces of other nations to control the Pacific and
Indian Oceans. RIMPAC was established in 1971 with militaries
from Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the U.S. Since
then, Chile, Colombia, France, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the
Netherlands, Peru, Singapore, South Korea, Thailand, Ecuador,
India, Mexico, the Philippines and Russia joined. RIMPAC 2018
will feature 26 nations, including Israel, Brazil, Sri Lanka and
RIMPAC increases Hawai'i's dependence on a militarized
economy, spending our tax dollars for weapons, assault vehicles,
artilleries and technologies to use for domestic and
international violence. Tourism colludes with militarism via
RIMPAC, as Hawai'i hosts an influx of visitors, some of whom
contribute to local sex industries supported by sex trafficking.
Hawai'i can be used for R&R and host for military exercises
because it is considered the 50th State of the U.S., an illegal
status since the overthrow of the Hawaiian Kingdom and the 1898
illegal annexation that took place without a treaty and that was
opposed by thousands of Kanaka Maoli who signed petitions against
it. The military occupation of Hawai'i leads to abuses such as,
but not limited to:
1. The U.S. Navy's fuel storage tank in Red Hill, sits
feet over a water aquifer of Honolulu, threatening fresh drinking
water of the most populated parts of O'ahu.
2. Pohakuloa, on the Big Island of Hawai'i, four times
than Kaho'olawe, is controlled by the U.S. Army for weapons and
military training, affecting the environment and surrounding
community with aerosolized Depleted Uranium.
3. Disinterred and disturbed Kanaka Maoli burial and
sites in Makua Valley (U.S. Army), Mokapu (Kane'ohe Marine Corp
Base Hawaii), Pu'uloa (Pearl Harbor) and Nohili (Pacific Missile
Range Facility at Barking Sands) for U.S. military training
4. Threats to public information privacy through the
Cryptologic Center, which houses NSA intelligence, surveillance
and cyberwarfare efforts.
The negative effects of militarism and RIMPAC extend to
places to which many in Hawai'i can trace their ancestries. For
centuries, western empires have colonized Pacific Islands,
transforming them into military outposts that subjected the
native people to war, rape, repression of sovereignty,
environmental contamination and displacement. Today, the newest
iteration of this ongoing history is the Pacific Pivot /
Indo-Pacific Rebalance, in which the U.S. leverages its power
over its colonial possessions for military weapons testing
through a "transit corridor" that projects from the Southern
California Range Complex (SCRC) in San Diego, cutting across the
Pacific through the Hawaiian Island Range Complex (HIRC), which
includes the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument and the
military installations on the main island chain. Another transit
corridor connects the HIRC to the Mariana Island Training &
Testing Area (MITT), including Guåhan (Guam), the southern chain
of the Mariana Islands, and parts of the Mariana Trench Marine
National Monument as land, sea and air zones for U.S. Military
training purposes. In between are marine national monuments that
can be used for military purposes for "national security." This
military infrastructure across the Pacific links with bases in
the Korean Peninsula (Jeju Island), Japan (Okinawa), and the
The Chamoru people of Guåhan are demanding a stop
creation of live fire bases, such as in Litekyan, Guam, because
they threaten cultural sites and endangered plants and animals.
Filipinos are protesting President Rodrigo Duterte's support for
militarization, which extended martial law in Mindanao and
increased extrajudicial killings. The villagers of Gangjeong have
resisted a naval base for ballistic missile defense systems on
Jeju Island since 2007. Okinawans have sparked island-wide
protests against military bases' disruption of local democracy
and economy, and the daily endangerment to public health and
safety. While the military bases are promoted as being to build mutual
security in the region, they are really about the spread of a
U.S. ideology of nationalist "security" in which nations become
addicted to arms and resource-extractive economies that fuel
climate change, displace Indigenous peoples, worsen
out-migration, destroy natural resources, abuse workers and
We demand that the Hawai'i State Government choose to
Hawai'i citizens, our environment and a peaceful future, rather
than support military dependence. Section 1 of the Hawai'i
State Constitution states: "For the benefit of present and
future generations, the State and its political subdivisions
shall conserve and protect Hawai'i's natural beauty and all
natural resources, including land, water, air, minerals and
energy sources, and shall promote the development and utilization
of these resources in a manner consistent with their conservation
and in furtherance of the self-sufficiency of the State. All
public natural resources are held in trust by the State for the
benefit of the people." We call on the State of Hawai'i to uphold
these Constitutional principles by ending RIMPAC.
Struggle for Influence in the Western Pacific
The U.S.-led RIMPAC 2018,
the world's largest naval
manoeuver, began June 27 with German soldiers participating.
According to the U.S. Navy, the naval exercise will also include
operations in the Western Pacific. The region of the Southwest
Pacific Islands will thus come into focus, which -- even though
largely ignored by the European public -- has been gaining
significant global influence. On the one hand, the influence of
Western countries has shrunk recently, while that of their
strategic rivals, such as Russia and China, has significantly
grown. Some Pacific Island nations have since then been seeking
to pursue a foreign policy independent from the West. On the
other hand, the Southwest Pacific has become even more important
also for Australia and the United States: as the political
economic backyard for Australia and "gateway to the Indo-Pacific"
for the USA. Germany is also attempting to increase its
activities in the region.
As the U.S. Navy had previously announced, the naval
will particularly focus on operations in the Western
Pacific and will
the small Tonga kingdom, a state in the large island region of
the Southwest Pacific. The region, which has recently been
gaining significant global influence -- even though largely
ignored by the European public -- will thus come into the sights
of Western military strategists. Of the eleven independent
nations, two partially self-administrated states and diverse
colonies of the Pacific region,
seven of the republics had been German colonies
-- a history largely forgotten: the Marshall Islands, Micronesia,
Nauru, the Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, the Salomon Islands
and Samoa. Only two of the Pacific Island nations, Fiji and
Tonga, have their own militaries. For a long time following World
War II, in addition to the traditional colonial powers Great
Britain and France, particularly Australia, New Zealand and the
USA, organized in the ANZUS pact
played a dominant role in the region's politics,
economy and military.
Over the past few decades, however, the Western powers
increasingly been losing influence in the Pacific -- to emerging
nations, such as Brazil and India, but also to their direct
rivals, like China, Cuba, and Russia. Since the early 2000s, Cuba
has had ties to almost all countries in the region and provided
medical aid in particular. Physicians from the socialist republic
are working in several Pacific Island nations. In 2003, the
government of the People's Republic of China had announced that
it would expand its ties to countries of the Pacific Island Forum
(PIF), which includes all islands of the region. In fact, during the years
followed, Beijing massively expanded its influence, above all,
through credits and development aid.
Russia is also expanding its presence in the
Pacific. After the 2009 military putsch in Fiji, its new
government was turning increasingly toward Moscow. Russian
Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov was the first senior Russian
government official to visit Fiji in 2012. Four years later an
extensive Russian arms shipment to Fiji aroused international
attention. Following the military hardware, Russian military
advisors arrived on the island.
For Western strategists, this was a severe
A More Independent Foreign Policy
In fact, the growing non-Western influence is allowing
several of the Pacific Island nations to attempt a foreign policy
more independent from that of the West. This can be seen in
minute details, hardly discernable to superficial observers. For
example, between 2009 and 2011 Nauru, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu
recognized the independence of the separatist regions of Abkhazia
and South Ossetia from Georgia -- a setback not only for
Western-oriented Georgia, but also for the western countries
themselves, including Germany, which still strictly refuse to
recognize both regions' independence. Tuvalu and Vanuatu,
however, under massive pressure from the West, rescinded their
recognition. After Crimea joined the Russian Federation in 2014,
five of the Pacific Island governments refused to condemn this as
an "annexation in violation of international law" -- as the West
does. In 2015,
officers from Vanuatu marched, for the first time, in China's
capital Beijing's celebration parade commemorating the 70th
Anniversary of the end of World War II in Asia. As an open reprisal to their
pursuit of an independent foreign policy, the U.S. Congress
passed a law last year, threatening to apply sanctions to
countries recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia's independence.
This would affect Nauru.
In spite of the pressure from Washington, the Nauruan government
is remaining steadfast in its position -- and in January,
received, for the first time, the South Ossetian foreign
minister. In April
rumours began to spread that the Chinese military would be allowed
to open a base on Vanuatu, which both countries' governments
nevertheless maintain that a military presence on Vanuatu, in the
long run, could be a strategic option for China.
"America's Gateway to the Indo-Pacific"
Accordingly, Western powers are beginning to intensify
influence activities in the southwestern Pacific. In early June,
at the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore -- a sort of Asian Munich
Security Conference, where top German politicians have also been
participating over the past few years
-- the U.S. Secretary of
Defense James Mattis
announced the U.S. would be expanding its activities in the
Pacific Rim countries, declaring that the region is "America's
gateway to the Indo-Pacific."
The governments of at least some of the
countries in the region, show themselves to be receptive, in
principle, to all sides. "We welcome anyone who supports us,
because we can really use any help we can get," the Minister of
the Economy of the Fiji Republic, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, told the
German press in early June. Whether that help comes from
Australia, Germany or China, is unimportant to his
"More Australian Leadership"
In fact, besides the United States, it is particularly
Australian political establishment that is again showing an
increased interest in the southwest Pacific. As Peter Jennings,
Executive Director of the Australian Strategic Policy Institute
(ASPI), explained, the region needs "more Australian leadership."
If necessary, Australia must also engage its military. The ASPI is co-financed by
Australia's Defense Ministry.
Leading associates of the think tank have
taken part also in the Körber Foundation's Bergedorf Round
the Federal Republic of Germany's traditional regional ally.
Since 2016, Berlin has been engaged in a regular dialogue with
Canberra at the foreign and defense ministry levels -- also to
reinforce Berlin's standing in the Pacific realm. Last year German business
associations were calling for entering free trade agreements with
Australia and New Zealand.
Last, but not least, beyond its cooperation
with Australia, the German government now wants to expand its
influence in the Pacific realm which is rapidly growing in
importance -- also by reinforcing its development aid.
1. See also "War
Games in the
(not independent, associated with New Zealand), Fiji, Tonga,
Tuvalu, Kiribati, the Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Niue
(without diplomatic relations with Germany, not independent and
associated with New Zealand), Palau, Samoa, the Solomon Islands
and Vanuatu. In addition, the Commonwealth of the Northern
Mariana Islands is still a U.S. colony.
3. The ANZUS Pact, founded in 1951, is
the equivalent to NATO in the South Pacific. Since 1986, New
Zealand has been partially suspended from the pact, as the
government at the time declared the country wants to be free of
nuclear weapons and nuclear power.
4. "China announces initiatives to
expand ties with PIF member countries," pg.china-embassy.org, November
5. Lucy Craymer, "China Seeks to Star in South
wsj.com, April 27, 2012.
6. Ben Doherty, "Secret Russian
donation to Fiji raises concerns of bid for Pacific influence,"
theguardian.com January 22, 2016.
Madaus, "The Bear Returns to the South Pacific:
Russia Sends Arms to Fiji, thediplomat.com, April 9, 2016
8. "Tiny Pacific Nation of Vanuatu to
Join Motley Crew at China's WWII Anniversary Parade," time.com,
September 1, 2015.
9. Maximilian Hess, "Congress Pushes Tougher Line on
Russia," intersectionproject.eu, July 6, 2017.
10. David X. Noack, "Signal an die Großen," junge
Welt, January 27, 2018.
11. Dan McGarry, "Baseless rumours -- Why talk of a
military installation in Vanuatu misses the point," theguardian.com,
April 11, 2018.
12. See also "Asiens
13. "Sorgen um Chinas Vordringen im
Westpazifik," Frankfurter Allgemeine
Zeitung, June 4, 2018.
14. "Uns ist gleich, ob die Hilfe aus
China oder Deutschland kommt," Frankfurter
June 4, 2018.
15. Peter Jennings, "Leadership requires courage in the
Pacific," aspi.org.au, April 14, 2018.
16. "About Us," aspi.org.au [ohne Datum].
17. Teilnehmer des 154, Bergedorfer
und Sicherheit in Asien-Pazifik," Jakarta, 1-3, November 2013,
koerber-stiftung.de [ohne Datum].
18. See also "Springboard
19. See also "Foray
Haitian People’s No Means No!
Popular Protests Demand Removal of Corrupt Government
and End to Foreign Interference
Price hikes in gasoline and other fuels have led to a
point for the Haitian people, already suffering under terrible economic
conditions and exploitation by the ruling elite
and foreign powers since the 2004 coup orchestrated by the U.S., Canada
In particular, the people are demanding the resignation
of the government of President Jovenel Moïse, in power since 2016.
government imposed cuts to fuel price subsidies, according to a mandate
from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), in return for $96 million
in "budget support." These loans and grants originating from
the Inter-American Development Bank, World Bank and European Union
supposedly be used to provide direct subsidies to the most needy.
In July, the price of a gallon of gasoline went up 38
per cent from
224 to 309 gourdes (U.S.$3.45 to U.S.$4.75); the price of diesel
increased 47 per cent from 179 to 264 gourdes per
gallon (U.S.$1.74 to U.S.$2.56); and kerosene increased 51 per cent
from 173 to 262 gourdes per gallon (U.S.$2.66 to U.S.$4.03). Of these
fuels, kerosene is the
most important, relied on by the poor masses to power their stoves and
generators. Already in
March when the hikes were announced for
implementation in July, public transport drivers' unions and popular
organizations protested because the already brutal impoverishment
facing the people will only be exacerbated by
increased costs for public transportation caused by the hikes to
gasoline and diesel.
Kim Ives, writing for Haiti Liberté on
July 11, points out
that the fuel price hike "was the last straw. Months of frustration
boiled over. Faced with a 13 per cent inflation rate
and (officially) 14 per cent unemployment, Haitian workers have been
demonstrating for the minimum wage to be raised from 335 to 1,000
gourdes a day (U.S.$5.15 to U.S.$15.39). The
government has spent millions on a pointless travelling carnival of
political hoopla and promises called the 'Caravan for Change,'
generating resentment among Haitians with dwindling,
poverty-stricken schools and hospitals.
"Local and municipal governments
are also cash-starved while Jovenel's regime spent millions more on
resurrecting the traditionally-repressive Haitian
Army last November. The government has effectively blocked any
investigation into where some U.S.$3.8 billion disappeared from the
PetroCaribe fund, drawn from revenues from the sale
of cheap Venezuelan petroleum products. An unpopular budget drawn up
last year taxes the poor and even expatriate Haitians; the government
has wasted time and money on a still-born
'national dialogue' initiative called the [Estates General]
Généraux) and recently distributed 3,000 large
flat-screen TV sets to
all senators and deputies for a rumoured cost of U.S.$14 million
so that rural Haitians could supposedly watch the World Cup. All the
while, police forces have used brutal and sometimes lethal force
against demonstrators, jails are severely overcrowded
with mostly untried detainees, and kidnappings, robberies, and
'insécurité' (lawlessness) are on the rise."
A televised speech by President Moïse on July 7,
to revoke the fuel
price hikes, was ineffectual as the people are now adamant the only
acceptable outcome is for the president and his government to step
On July 14, Prime Minister Jack Guy Lafontant resigned,
shortly before he would have faced a vote of non-confidence in the
parliament, agencies report, ostensibly to take the blame for the fuel
hike and the resulting unrest. In a speech addressing the country later
in the day, President Moïse sought to use the Prime Minister's
resignation to placate the people, and to claim that he has been
undertaking consultations, while promising to develop the country and
provide stability, yet still taking no responsibility for the situation
and continuing to blame the people for "violence." Protests continue to
demand the resignation of the President, who is responsible for
appointing the Prime Minister and who ultimately made the decisions
regarding fuel prices.
Ives also points out that "The 'Core Group,' dominated
ambassadors from the U.S., Canada, and European nations, urged Haitians
on July 10 to 'respect constitutional order,' in
other words to not force Moïse's resignation and flight. They also
called on 'national authorities to engage in deep and inclusive
dialogue with all the other key actors of the country so as
to restore calm, promote social cohesion, and assure the security of
people and property.'"
This prejudiced portrayal of the protests by these
monopoly media blames ordinary Haitians as the source of violence. In
fact they are the ones that suffer the
physical, social and economic violence caused by Haiti's
exploitation and the government's subservience to neo-liberalism. This
portrayal of the Haitian people as the source of the problem has
been rejected by Haitians in the diaspora and friends of
An action on Parliament Hill on July 9, expressed the
Canadians for the Haitian people. Participants included members of the
local Haitian community, trade unionists, Latin
American and Caribbean solidarity activists and others. The
responsibility of Canada as a member of the "Core Group" on Haiti for
the current state of affairs was particularly denounced. It
was pointed out that one aim of the 2004 coup and ongoing interference
is to suppress the people and make Haiti compliant with the needs of
the big Canadian mining monopolies to
pillage the country's natural wealth. An open letter to hold the
Canadian government to account was signed at the action, to demand that
- Support normal commercial relations with Haiti,
mining companies would negotiate with democratically elected officials
who demand fair and
environmentally sound exploitation of Haiti's natural resources;
- Withdraw all Canadian military and police from Haiti;
- Redirect Canadian public funds currently being
repressive action by Haiti's backward oligarchy and their foreign
allies against the people (the impoverished Black masses)
towards science-based, institution and infrastructure building
initiatives -- areas of recognized Canadian strength and evident
- Support the Haitian People's legitimate claims for
from the United Nations (on behalf of over 1 million victims of cholera
contagion brought about by UN troops who
were illegally-deployed on the island to consolidate the 2004 coup);
- Leave the Core Group of foreign entities that have
been meddling and
Haitian politics for over a decade. Send a clear signal that Canada
recognizes the need for radical positive change
in our relationship and that we truly respect the Haitian People.
1. Moïse was elected in 2016. Like all
Haitian elections in recent years, the candidates for the presidency
represent the foreign powers interfering in Haiti, not
Haitians. Therefore, these governments have not been able to win the
consent of the Haitian people. The 2015 presidential election could not
even reach a conclusion, with the result --
favouring Moïse -- thrown out due to massive irregularities and
popular protests, necessitating another election in 2016.
The 2016 election had a turnout of only 21 per cent,
with Moïse winning 55.67 per cent of that vote, working out to
than 12 per cent of the eligible vote.
Resistance Movement Will Never Submit
Palestinian people's heroic resistance to the Zionist occupation
remains steadfast, as the Israeli provocations continue despite
their broad condemnation as crimes against humanity. The Great
March of Return protests at the border between Gaza and Israel
demanding the right of return have continued since Land Day on
March 30. The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported on
July 4 that 144 Palestinians have been killed and 15,501 others
have been injured by the Israeli military.
Fifteenth consecutive weekly Great March of Return protest at the
between Gaza and Israel, July 6, 2018.
The latest crime against the Palestinians
comes from the U.S., specifically the "peace plan" being prepared
by Jared Kushner, the U.S. envoy to the Middle East and Trump's
son-in-law, and Jason Greenblatt, Trump's Middle East peace
negotiator. While yet to be made public, all indications are that
its purpose is to give the Zionists free reign to negate the
Palestinians' right to be. Palestinians have taken to the streets
to protest U.S. plans to further dispossess them of their
homeland in the service of the Zionist occupiers under the guise
of a "peace plan."
attempt to break the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza, to take some
of those wounded in the Great March of Return protests to Cyprus,
July 10, 2018.
It is reported that the plan would give the Palestinian
people only fragments
comprising about half the occupied territories, equivalent to 11
per cent of British Mandate Palestine. Within these lands, the
Palestinian resistance would be forced to disarm while Israel
would control the borders and airspace.
The Jordan Valley in the occupied West Bank, which
much of the Palestinians' best agricultural land, is to be
annexed to Israel under the U.S. plan. Already Palestinians are
denied access to 85 per cent of the Jordan Valley. As well,
Israel recently declared almost half of the Jordan Valley to be
military firing zones, giving it the pretext of "public safety"
to evict people.
It is expected that the U.S. plan will call for
the Palestinians to be displaced from Jerusalem and set up their
own "Jerusalem" in the town of Abu Dis, four kilometres east of
Jerusalem. Abu Dis was cut off from the city by Israel's
separation wall more than ten years ago. Most of its lands are
under Israeli control and it is surrounded by the wall or Jewish
settlements. Such a move would be consistent with the Zionists'
aims for a Greater Jerusalem by changing the city's boundaries to
ensure a Jewish majority. It is also in keeping with the U.S.
declaration, in violation of international law, that it
recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
TML Weekly expresses its full support for the
Palestinian people's resistance. U.S. machinations and Israeli crimes
against the Palestinian people must be stopped by the countries of the
world withdrawing their embassies from Israel, stopping all trade with
Israel, imposing sanctions on Israel and taking any other measures
which would effectively stop Israel committing genocide against the
Protest against U.S. "peace plan," Ramallah, July 2,
"Deal of the Century" Is Not New and Palestinian
Authority Leadership Is Not a Victim
Donald Trump's "deal of the century" will fail. Palestinians will
not exchange their 70-year long struggle for freedom for Jared
Kushner's cash; nor will Israel accept it even if there is a
demilitarized Palestinian state in the West Bank.
Protest in Ramallah, July 2, 2018, against U.S. "peace plan."
The order of that anticipated failure is likely to go
something like this: the Palestinian Authority (PA) in Ramallah
is likely to reject the deal once the full details of the U.S.
administration's plan are revealed; Israel is likely to withhold
its decision till Palestinians rejection is exploited thoroughly
by pro-Israel U.S. media.
The reality is that, considering the massive surge of
Right and ultra-nationalist forces in Israel, an independent
Palestinian state even on one per cent of historic Palestine will
not be acceptable by Israel's current political standards.
There is more to consider: Israeli Prime Minister
Netanyahu's troubled career as a long-serving leader is being
dogged by accusations of corruption and several police
investigations. His position is too weak to even guarantee his
own survival until the next general elections, let alone champion
a "deal of the century."
However, the embattled Israeli leader is expected to
along to win more favour with his American allies, distract the
Israeli public from his own corruption, and hold Palestinians
accountable for the political fiasco that this is sure to
It is Bill Clinton's Camp David II and George W. Bush's
Map for Peace' all over again. Both initiatives, as unfair as
they were to Palestinians, were never accepted by Israel in the
first place, yet in many history books, it is written that the
ungrateful Palestinian leadership torpedoed U.S.-Israeli
peace efforts. Netanyahu is keen on maintaining this
The Israel leader, who has received the ultimate
gift of the relocation of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, knows how
important this "deal" is to the Trump Administration.
Before assuming his role as President, Trump spoke
of his "ultimate deal" in an interview with the Wall Street
Journal on November 1, 2016. He offered no details, aside from
the claim that he is able "to do the deal that cannot be made, for
Since then, we have relied on occasional leaks,
November 2017, up to recently. We learned that a demilitarized
Palestinian state would be established on a small part of the
West Bank, without Occupied East Jerusalem as its capital; that
Israel will keep all of Jerusalem and will annex illegal Jewish
settlements and even keep control of the Jordan Valley, and so
Palestinians will still have a "Jerusalem," albeit an
invented one, where the neighbourhood of Abu Dis will simply be
Despite the hype, nothing is truly new here. The "deal
century" promises to be a rehash of previous American proposals
that catered to Israel's needs and interests.
Remarks by Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, in an
with the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds,
than they are in seeking how a
deal will give them and their future generations new
opportunities, more and better paying jobs."
Where did we hear this before? Oh, yes, Netanyahu's
so-called "economic peace" which he has been peddling for over a
Certainly, the PA has proven that its
political will is a commodity to be bought and sold, but to
expect the Palestinian people to follow suit is an illusion
without historical precedent.
Indeed, the PA has grown to be an obstacle to
freedom. A recent survey conducted by the Palestinian Center for
Policy and Survey indicated that the majority of Palestinians put
the blame mostly on Israel and the PA for the Gaza siege, and
that they mostly believe that the PA has "become a burden on the
It is hardly surprising that as of March 2018, 68 per
cent of all
Palestinians want PA President Mahmoud Abbas to resign.
While Israel deserves most of the blame for its
military occupation, successive wars and lethal sieges, the U.S.
too stands accountable for backing and financing Israel's
colonial endeavours. However, the PA cannot play the role of the
What makes the "deal of the century" particularly
is the truth that the PA cannot be trusted. It has played its
role, assigned by Israel and the U.S., so well and for so long.
PA policy served as the local arm in the subjugation of
Palestinians, thwarting their protests and ensuring the demise of
any political initiative that does not revolve around the
glorifying of Abbas and his goons.
It is hardly an achievement when much of PA foreign
recent years was invested to ensure the complete economic and
political isolation of impoverished Gaza, as opposed to unifying
the Palestinian people around a collective fight to end the
horrific Israeli occupation.
For PA officials to decry the "deal of the century" as
infringement on Palestinian rights, while they have done little
to respect these rights in the first place, is the very
definition of hypocrisy. No wonder Kushner thinks the U.S. can
simply buy Palestinians with money in a "cash-in-your-chips,
go-for-broke, take-it-or-leave-it (type of) deal,'" in the words
of Robert Fisk.
What can the PA do now? It is trapped in its own
On the one hand, the PA's financial sponsor in [Washington,] DC is
the money source, while on the other, the Palestinian people have
lost the last iota of respect for its so-called "leadership."
Trump's "deal of the century" may inadvertently mix up
cards leading to a "much-needed reckoning for all other parties
involved," argued Anders Persson. One option available for the
Palestinian people is the expansion of the popular mobilization
model which has been manifesting itself at the Gaza-Israel fence
for many weeks.
The U.S.-PA fallout and the looming destruction of the
quo might be the chance the Palestinian people need to unleash
their power through mass mobilization and popular resistance at
home, coupled with an active role for Palestinian communities in
Developments in DPRK-U.S. and
U.S. Must Take Measures to Achieve Peace
with DPRK as
DPRK-U.S. Summit between Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the State Affairs
Commission of the
DPRK and Donald Trump, President of the U.S., Singapore, June 12, 2018.
On July 6 and 7, U.S. Secretary of State Mike
visited the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK)
for high-level bilateral talks as a follow-up to the historic
June 12 DPRK-U.S. Summit held in Singapore between Kim Jong Un,
Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK and Donald
Trump, President of the U.S. This first ever meeting of the
leaders of the two countries produced a Joint Statement that
reflected the spirit of reconciliation between the two leaders
and their desire to work together in a new and positive
direction, setting aside the past, and to co-operate with each
other to fully realize the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and
Therefore it came as a
shock to the DPRK side that Pompeo,
the chief negotiator for the U.S., tried to blindside them by
coming with no constructive proposals, just the high-handed demand
that the DPRK agree to Complete Verifiable Irreversible
Denuclearization (CVID) of its intercontinental ballistic missile
Before the talks began, Kim Yong Chol, Vice-Chairman of the
Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea and chief
negotiator for the DPRK, handed Pompeo a letter from Kim Jong Un
to the U.S. President expressing his hopes and expectations that
the positive relations established between them at the Singapore Summit
would carry forward both at the high-level talks
and in the future. The actions of the U.S. side in Pyongyang
were anything but.
Following the disappointing outcome of the
DPRK Foreign Ministry issued a statement underlining the fact
that the DPRK had gone into discussions with the U.S. side
with concrete proposals that reflected the spirit of the DPRK-U.S.
Summit in Singapore. It had proposed taking various "simultaneous
actions" with the U.S. such as multi-lateral exchanges between
the two countries and making a public declaration on the occasion
of the 65th anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement to
finally end the Korean War. In addition, it proposed dismantling
its high-thrust missile engine test site and verifying its
suspension of intercontinental ballistic missile manufacturing and
forward in its pledge
to work with the U.S. to repatriate the remains of U.S. soldiers
from the Korean War.
It must also be noted that even prior to the Singapore
the DPRK demonstrated its
determination to work toward peace on the Korean Peninsula and
goodwill towards the U.S. by suspending its nuclear missile
testing and publicly demolishing its nuclear missile test
site at Punggye-ri on May 24. The Singapore Summit itself would not
have taken place without the strenuous
diplomatic efforts of the DPRK given that Trump had unilaterally
announced its cancellation in May.
In remarks to the media in Singapore,
Jong Un called for setting aside dogmas from the past which had
hampered relations between the U.S. and the DPRK and urged a
new way of thinking so that reconciliation and peace between the
two sides can be achieved. Indeed the first two items of the
four-point Singapore Summit statement clearly direct the U.S. and the
DPRK to take steps that would lead
towards a peace treaty to be signed between the U.S. and the DPRK
as the touchstone of a new DPRK-U.S. relationship and cornerstone
for wider ranging measures to guarantee lasting peace on the
1. The DPRK and the United States commit to
DPRK-U.S. relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples
of the two countries for peace and prosperity; and
2. The DPRK and the United States will join
their efforts to
build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.
Therefore, the U.S. presenting the DPRK with what
to an ultimatum at the first high-level talks following the
Singapore Summit, is contrary to the spirit of the Summit. It
continues the politics of the Cold War based on dogmas from
the past and the old and failed politics of pressuring the DPRK.
This is a recipe for failure as the DPRK Foreign Ministry
statement emphatically states.
It is the DPRK that has
demonstrated its commitment and
determination to achieve peace on the Korean Peninsula for the
sake of the Korean people and all humanity as a matter of
principle. South Korea likewise yearns for the U.S. to formally
end hostilities and sign a peace treaty. At the fourth
meeting between Republic of Korea President Moon Jae-in and U.S.
President Trump in
Washington, DC this past May, President Moon had only one agenda --
peace on the Korean Peninsula and the hope that the U.S. will
consider signing a peace treaty with the DPRK to end the Korean
War on the 65th anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement on
July 27, 2018.
The U.S. appears to have some agenda other than peace.
times require a break from the old politics of force, threats and
terror against the aspirations of nations and peoples who are
fighting to affirm themselves and to achieve peace.
TML Weekly calls on the Canadian people to
wholeheartedly support the principled efforts of the DPRK to
achieve a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula by demanding
that the U.S. upholds the spirit and letter of the DPRK-U.S.
Summit statement and takes measures leading to a peace treaty that
would replace the Armistice Agreement and set the stage for a
permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.
Statement of Foreign Ministry on High Level Talks
On July 7, a spokesperson from the Democratic People's
Republic of Korea (DPRK) Foreign Ministry released the following
statement concerning U.S. Secretary of State Mike
Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang July 6-7 for high-level bilateral
In the wake of the first historic DPRK-U.S. Summit
and talks, the international community has focussed its
expectations and attention on the bilateral high-level talks to
implement the joint statement of the Summit.
The DPRK side expected the U.S. side would come
constructive proposal, which would be conducive to building
confidence, and in keeping with the spirit of the Summit meeting
and talks, and intended to do something commensurate with
However, the U.S. side's attitude and stand at the
high-level talks on July 6 and 7 were so disappointing.
The DPRK side, during the talks, put forward
proposals to seek a balanced implementation of all the provisions
of the joint statement, out of its willingness to faithfully
implement the spirit and agreed points of the Summit meeting and
It proposed discussing wide-ranging actions to be taken
simultaneously, such as multilateral exchanges for
improved relations, and making a public declaration on the end of the
war on the 65th anniversary of the conclusion of
the Korean Armistice Agreement. First, in efforts to build a
mechanism for peace on the Korean Peninsula, dismantling the
high-thrust engine test site for the physical verification that
the manufacture of ICBMs has been suspended, as a measure for
denuclearization, and starting as soon as possible working-level
negotiations to recover the remains of POWs and MIAs.
Prior to the talks, Kim Yong Chol, Vice-Chairman of the
Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, the
chief delegate for the DPRK side to the talks, as authorized,
handed over to State Secretary Pompeo, who was chief delegate for
the U.S. side, a personal letter from Kim Jong Un, Chairman of
the DPRK State Affairs Commission, to U.S. President Trump.
In the letter, the Chairman expressed his expectation
conviction that the friendly relations forged with President
Trump through the Singapore Summit meeting and talks would be
consolidated further in the process of future dialogue, including
the current high-level talks.
The U.S. side, however, came only with unilateral and
gangster-like demands for denuclearization, talking about
Complete Verifiable Irreversible Denuclearization (CVID), a
declaration and verification contrary to the spirit of the
Singapore Summit meeting and talks.
The U.S. side, without mentioning the issue of
peace regime on the Korean Peninsula, which is essential to
prevent the aggravation of the situation and a war, even took the
attitude of backtracking on the already agreed issue of declaring
the end of war, attaching certain conditions and making
As for the issue of announcing the declaration of the
war as soon as possible, this is the first step in defusing
tension and establishing a lasting peace mechanism on the Korean
Peninsula and, at the same time, the primary factor in building
confidence between the DPRK and the U.S. The Panmunjom
Declaration adopted between the north and south of Korea also
stipulated as a historic task terminating the state of war that
has persisted on the Korean Peninsula for nearly 70 years, and
President Trump was more enthusiastic about the issue at the
DPRK-U.S. Summit talks.
The matters the U.S. side insisted on at the talks are
same stumbling block which previous administrations have clung to,
thereby disrupting the dialogue processes, fueling distrust and
increasing the danger of war.
The U.S. side, during the talks, overplayed as a big
concession the temporary cancellation of one or two joint
military exercises. But the suspension of one action such as a
military rehearsal is a highly reversible step which can be
resumed at any moment as all of its military forces
remain intact in their positions without scrapping even a
rifle. It is incomparable with the irreversible step the DPRK
took to explode and destroy its nuclear test site.
The results of the talks cannot but be termed an
We thought that the U.S. side would come with a
proposal in conformity with the spirit of the DPRK-U.S. Summit
meeting and talks, but our expectation and hope were so naive as
to be called foolish.
Outdated ways cannot create new things, and pursuing
trite failed stereotype will only result in further failure.
This valuable agreement was reached in such a short
the Singapore Summit talks, the first ever in the history of
DPRK-U.S. relations, because President Trump himself suggested
adopting a new way to resolve the issues of bilateral relations
and the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
If both sides go back to the old way, abandoning at the
working level the new way agreed at the Summit, the Singapore
Summit -- an epoch-making meeting which was held thanks to the
determination and will of the two leaders to shape a new future
in the interests of the peoples of the two countries and for the
peace and security of the world -- will be meaningless.
The first DPRK-U.S. high-level talks have brought us to
dangerous situation where we may be shaken in our once unshakable
will for denuclearization, rather than consolidating confidence
between the two countries.
In the last few months, we took well-intentioned
first as much as possible, while watching the U.S. with maximum
But, the U.S. seems to have misunderstood our goodwill
It is fundamentally mistaken to think that the DPRK
accept, out of patience, the gangster-like demands.
A shortcut to the denuclearization of the Korean
to remove deep-rooted mistrust and build confidence between the
DPRK and the U.S. To this end, both sides should be bold enough
to free themselves of the old ways, which have only ended in
failure and take a fresh approach, not bound by existing ones, and
solve the problems one by one, starting with the
feasible ones on the principle of simultaneous actions, giving priority
to confidence building.
But if the U.S. is so anxious that it tries to force
the old ways used by the previous administrations, this will be
of no help to the solution of issues.
If the objective situation fails to be created in
denuclearization, against our will, it will mess up the current
developing bilateral relations, which have got off to a good
If a headwind begins to blow, it would greatly
international community, desirous of global peace and security,
as well as both the DPRK and the U.S.; both sides would probably
seek different options and there is no guarantee that it will not
lead to a tragedy.
We still cherish our confidence in President Trump.
The U.S. is advised to seriously consider whether
the headwind against the will of the two leaders conforms to
the aspirations and expectations of the world's people as well as
Positive Developments in Inter-Korean Relations
Meeting in Panmunjom, April 27, 2018, at which an historic declaration
signed between Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of
DPRK and Moon Jae-in,
President of the ROK.
Inter-Korean relations have been making progress with
concrete actions being taken by both sides in the implementation
of the historic Panmunjom Declaration of April 27 signed between
Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the State Commission of the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and Moon Jae-in, President of
the Republic of Korea (ROK). The Panmunjom Declaration is the
blueprint to further develop and strengthen inter-Korean
relations in a number of key areas under the banner -- By the
The high-level talks held by ROK lead
negotiator Minister Cho
Myung-gyon and Ri Song Gyon, lead negotiator for the DPRK on June
1 decided to "establish a joint liaison office in the Kaesong
Industrial Complex permanently staffed by government officials as soon
as possible to draw up the technical measures for this."
The Kaesong Industrial Complex was established in 2004 to
facilitate a very successful economic collaboration between the
DPRK and the ROK. Eleven companies representing ceramics,
textiles, technology, household goods and other items from the
ROK established factories at Kaesong that hired workers from the
DPRK to manufacture goods for the Korean and foreign markets. Over 170
ROK firms were involved by the project's end. The project was
unilaterally scrapped by the anti-communist Park Gyeun-hye regime
in the south in 2013 to the consternation of the Korean people
who finally ousted her from power in 2016.
On July 5, talks took place at Peace House
south side of Panmunjom, on north-south cooperation in forestry.
It was decided that the DPRK and ROK will work together to deal
with stewarding the forests near the Demilitarized Zone
that divides Korea and also tackle the issue of insects and other pests
that are impacting the forestry industry. It is hoped that this will
lead to other projects, such as reforestation.
Transportation and Communications
On June 26, officials from the DPRK and ROK
discuss upgrading and linking rail lines to facilitate
inter-Korean trade and tourism. In the previous period of
positive inter-Korean relations sparked by the June 15, 2000
North South Declaration, freight service was started between the south
the north to supply
the Kaesong Industrial Complex and to transport finished products
to the south.
On June 28, talks were held on road transportation and
sides agreed to work together to modernize the roads on the east
and west coast of the DPRK and establish road links to facilitate
trade and tourism between the north and the south.
It was also decided on July 2 to re-establish
ship-to-ship radio communication, which was dormant for a decade, to
prevent accidental clashes between naval vessels from
the DPRK and ROK around the Northern Limit Line in the West
(Yellow) Sea, the maritime boundary between the north and
More importantly, the ROK announced on July 11 that it
suspending its military exercises and drills, including the Ulchi
Freedom Guardian military exercises in August.
On May 4, the ROK government suspended the
of launching provocative balloons and leaflet campaigns against
the DPRK and took down the loud-speakers that projected anti-DPRK
messages across the De-militarized Zone.
Several meetings have already taken place between
military representatives from the DPRK and ROK to further
establish working relations.
Sports and Culture
On June 18, sports talks were held at Peace
House. The joint press release
following the talks reported that two items were brought forward on
for cooperation and exchange. It was
decided that inter-Korean unification basketball games will be
held in Pyongyang in July and in Seoul in August.
As a result of this decision, a team of 100 male and
basketball players from the ROK and 50 coaches and
support staff travelled to Pyongyang from July 4-7 for a series of
matches. The games were played between teams of
mixed south and north Korean players, named "Peace" and
The dates chosen were significant: on July 4,
first historic agreement was signed between the DPRK and ROK
which set out the principles by which the Korean people could
achieve the peaceful, independent reunification of their divided
country -- the reunification of Korea would be achieved
independently, peacefully, and through their own political unity,
setting aside all their differences.
It has also been decided that a Unified Korean team of
athletes from the DPRK and the ROK will take part in the Asian
Games to be held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia in August.
On June 22, the Red Cross
from the ROK and DPRK met at
Mount Kumgang in the DPRK to discuss the re-establishment of
family reunification meetings to bring together
families separated by the Korean War. The next family reunions will
take place the week of August 15 at Mount Kumgang on the occasion of
73rd anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japanese occupation.
Since family reunifications began in 2000, some 23,000 Koreans have had
opportunity to meet family
members face-to-face or via video-link.
During inter-governmental talks held by Minister Cho
Myung-gyon and Kim Yong Chol, Vice-Chairman of the Workers' Party
of Korea on July 5 in Pyongyang, both sides pledged to work
more closely together to accelerate, strengthen and deepen
inter-Korean relations and take practical measures to implement
the Panmunjom Declaration.
These developments are crucial to creating the
peace and the reunification of the Korean Peninsula. Successful results
are decisive for the Korean people to determine their own collective
security and prosperity and
efforts to secure peace on the Korean Peninsula. They stay the
hands of the U.S. and their UN coalition partners who work to
keep the Korean people divided.
Workers Take Lead in Implementing Panmunjom Declaration
Fighting for Peace
On June 18, the Central Committee of the General
Federation of Trade Unions of Korea in the Democratic People's
Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Federation of Trade Unions and
Confederation of Trade Unions in the Republic of Korea (ROK)
issued a joint statement on the occasion of the 18th anniversary
of the historic North-South 2000 Joint Declaration.
The joint statement expressed full support for the June
2000 Joint Declaration as well as the October 4, 2007 Joint
Agreement and the Panmunjom Joint Declaration of April 27,
all of which are historic agreements and stepping stones to
achieving peace, independence and reunification on the Korean Peninsula
by the Korean people themselves taking up their modern
The joint statement affirmed the
leading role of the workers in the movement for peace and
expressed the fighting unity of the workers from north and south
to replace the Korean Armistice Agreement of 1953 with a peace
treaty signed by the U.S. and the DPRK which would immediately
contribute to a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula.
The workers on the Korean Peninsula affirmed that they
"do their best to settle the historic task facing our nation ...
which is at a historic turning point after 73 years of
They concluded their statement by affirming:
"The workers in the north and the south will conduct
their activities strictly in the spirit of By Our Nation Itself
and the principle of national independence and stand in the van
of the struggle to decisively reject domination and interference by
outsiders who obstruct peace and reunification.
"They will resolutely fight any attempt to weaken
the Panmunjom Declaration and do their best to continuously implement
U.S. Military Base in Seoul Moved to Pyeongtaek
Seoul demonstration for peace on Korean Peninsula at time of Trump
visit, November 5, 2017.
The U.S. Forces Korea will be moving its Yongsan
headquarters in Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea
(ROK), to Camp Humphreys in Pyeongtaek, about 80
kilometres south of Seoul. On June 29, opening ceremonies
were held by U.S. Forces Korea at Camp Humpreys to mark the
move. The transfer has been in the works since 2004 when
discussions about the ROK taking possession of operational
military control (OPCON) during wartime emerged. At this time
OPCON is in the hands of the U.S. Forces in Korea, not the Korean
government, which means in the case of war, ROK troops come under
the dictate of the U.S. military.
The transfer of the U.S. military from Yongsan to
can be appreciated within the context of the U.S. military
occupation of south Korea itself. The continued presence of some
30,000 U.S. troops in south Korea today, in 80 military bases and
installations, armed to the teeth with the latest weapons, is the
result of the U.S.-South Korea Mutual Defence Treaty imposed by
the U.S. on October 1, 1953. Not only was this a
violation of the Korean Armistice Agreement of July 27, 1953, but
it meant that the U.S. military would remain on the Korean Peninsula in
perpetuity, unless "mutually
The presence of the Yongsan Military Base in the heart
Seoul itself has been a constant reminder of the U.S. military
domination of the Korean people. Over the years, anti-war
activists in the ROK have held protests in Seoul, Jeju Island and
other places, including at Pyeongtaek, to bring to light this
unequal and onerous treaty, to demand the removal of U.S. troops
from the ROK and to highlight the continuing crimes committed by
U.S. military personnel in south Korea against the civilian
population. These "incidents," which go unpunished, number in the tens
thousands since the end of the Korean War and include
murder, rape, drug-trafficking, human smuggling and other
Protest by students in 2005 against presence of U.S. troops at Camp
Humphreys near Pyeongtaek and plans to increase the number of troops.
The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) between the ROK
U.S. signed in 1967, ensures that with few exceptions, U.S.
soldiers accused of committing these crimes are tried by U.S.
military tribunals and in many cases, get away with light
sentences. This encourages further such crimes. There was even
the case of a Canadian woman of Korean descent who was raped in
Busan by a U.S. soldier on leave from the Pyeongtaek military
base in February 2017, where the matter was handed over to the U.S.
military, not to Korean authorities.
Since taking power in May 2017, the Moon Jae-in
the ROK has begun discussions again with the U.S. for the return of
OPCON. In a speech on September 28,
2017, Armed Forces Day in the ROK, President Moon stated: "The
handover on the basis of our independent defence capabilities
will ultimately lead to a remarkable advance in the
fundamentals and abilities of our military." President Moon's
Democratic Party which made huge gains in the gubernatorial,
mayoral and municipal elections on June 13, is fighting to retake
OPCON as an act of asserting the sovereignty of the
ROK and its people.
The Yongsan Military Garrison was built when Japan
and occupied Korea from 1910-1945. The Korean, Chinese and
South East Asian peoples defeated the Japanese imperialists in
World War II. In 1945, the U.S. took over the Yongsan base for its
headquarters and has used it ever since. In 1992, some of the 297,000
square metres of land on which the base is located was handed over
to the city of Seoul and turned into a family park and the Museum
of Korea. The city plans to turn the rest of the
site into parkland.
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