November 4, 2014 - No. 91
The Afterlives of the Korean War
End U.S. Interference in Korea!
of the Korean War
Highlights Need to End Korean War with Peace Treaty -
• U.S. and EU Self-Serving Manipulation of
Human Rights to Isolate the DPRK
• North Korea Challenges America's Unending War
Strategy at the United Nations
- Ronda Hauben
• Futility of U.S. Ambitions to Dominate
Asia-Pacific - Korean Central News Agency
• U.S. Continues Plans for Use of Nuclear
Weapons Against Korea
The Afterlives of the Korean War
Need to End Korean War
with Peace Treaty
On October 24 and 25, the Centre for the Study of Korea
at the University of Toronto's Munk Centre for Global Affairs held its
annual symposium, which this year focused on the topic "The Afterlives
of the Korean War." The two-day
program consisted of a panel discussion, a cultural performance, a
keynote speech and the film Jiseul,
based on the Jeju Island uprising and the massacre of civilians there
Professor Jennifer Jihye Chun, Director of the Centre
for the Study of Korea, pointed out in her introduction that the aim of
the symposium was to stimulate discussion on matters related to the
Korean peninsula and to enhance student inquiry and research. She
announced that the Centre is establishing the Peace,
War and Reunification Essay Prize on Korea, which is open to all
Unfinished Wars and the Politics of the Past
The first speaker on the panel discussion, "On
Wars and the Politics of the Past," was Dr. John Price, Professor of
History at the University of Victoria. He spoke of the crimes
committed by Canadian soldiers during the Korean War. Professor Price
reported that in his research he had uncovered
60 cases of Canadian soldiers killing, raping, torturing and committing
other crimes against Korean civilians and that none of these victims
have received justice because the Canadian government protected and
continues to protect these soldiers. He related the experience of Shin
Hyun-Chan, who he met through his research
and who was a 16-year-old boy when his father was shot dead in his
village by a Canadian soldier and he himself was wounded. Professor
Price sought redress in this case through the Department of Foreign
Affairs and the Department of Defence, but to no avail.
Dr. Monica Kim, Professor of History at New York
University, discussed how the U.S. unilaterally imposed the notion of
"voluntary repatriation" on Korean and Chinese prisoners of war on Koje
Island and in other places at the start of the Armistice talks in 1951.
This was in violation of the Geneva Convention
of 1949, which stipulated the "mandatory repatriation" of all prisoners
of war at the end of hostilities. When the Camp 62 Koje Island
prisoners rebelled, they were brutally suppressed by U.S. troops and
guards. Many were killed and many more were wounded. In this way, the
U.S. delayed the signing of the Armistice
by 18 months. This was the beginning of its use of illegal means to
carry out wars of aggression and occupation ever since.
Dr. Christine Hong, Professor of Literature at the
University of California Santa Cruz, amongst other things, pointed
out that at the 60th
anniversary of the signing of the Armistice Agreement, President Obama
repeated the disinformation that the Korean War united the American
people, with Americans from different national
minorities fighting side by side. Professor Hong noted that right in
midst of the Korean War, the Civil Rights Congress, made up of people
like Paul Robeson, put out a statement condemning the U.S.
intervention in the Korean War as an imperialist and racist war. It
pointed out that a country that oppressed its own
people at home through racism and anti-communism could not but oppress
other peoples elsewhere, including the Korean people, giving the lie to
Obama's fairy tale.
The last panelist was Dr. Hosu Kim, Professor of
and Anthropology at the City University of New York. She spoke about
Korean children whose mothers were unable to keep them or were
encouraged to give them up for adoption as a result of the Korean War
and how devastating it was for these women to have their children taken
away to the U.S., Canada and other places. It is noteworthy that at
the same time in the DPRK, also
devastated by the war, the government took all measures to ensure that
war orphans and families that had lost a parent or parents in war were
looked after by the state.
A cultural performance followed the panel discussion,
with traditional dance and music as well as contemporary hip-hop by
Dohee Lee and SKIM. The dance and song performance had its roots in the
traditional shamanic rituals of Korean culture while the hip-hop
performance touched on issues faced by Korean
families in the diaspora. The performance was well-received. A
reception followed at which participants had a chance to continue
The Truth and Reconciliation Commission
The keynote lecture on the second day was delivered by
Professor Kim Dong-Choon of Sung Kong University in Korea. Professor
his experience as a former Standing Commissioner of the Truth and
Reconciliation Commission of the Republic of Korea (TRC) from
2004-2009. The main issue Professor
Kim brought forward was that the TRC was hampered because it did not
have a clear mandate to serve justice. While the Commission helped to
bring out the stories of various civilian massacres before and during
the Korean War and in some cases victims were able to gain some
compensation from the south Korean
government, the south Korean state and the U.S. government did not
acknowledge the crimes committed by U.S. forces and their south Korean
proxies, he said. Former President Bill Clinton's efforts to placate
the victims of U.S. war crimes and massacres with a note of "regret"
were rejected by the families of those
who perished in these massacres, Professor Kim noted. The Commission
itself was confused by an imagined dichotomy between justice and
reconciliation, he reported. The reactionary Lee Myung-bak regime that
liberal Roh government that had initiated the Commission effectively
put an end to its work by
on the Commission. Among Professor Kim's conclusions is that there is a
lot of work to be done. The situation on the Korean peninsula is
complex and it will require a major "political change" to attain peace
and reconciliation, he said.
The discussion session which followed raised the issue
of the ongoing U.S. military presence in south Korea, which
is the source of the wounds suffered by the Korean people since 1945.
How can one reconcile a museum dedicated to
the victims of the Jeju Island massacres in 1948 under the U.S. dictate
with the fact that right now the U.S. is building a large naval base on
Jeju Island, a UN heritage site, against the wishes of the people, one
The overarching theme of the conference was that the
Korean War, which has bred so much hardship for the
Korean people, must reach a political solution with the signing of a
peace treaty between the DPRK and the U.S. to replace the Armistice
Agreement. This will create a real possibility to close the wounds of
the Korean War and open a new era for the
1. More information on the prize can
be found here.
U.S. and EU Self-Serving Manipulation of
to Isolate the DPRK
The U.S. and EU have undertaken machinations to use the
human rights as a political weapon at the UN against the Democratic
People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), in the framework of the dictate of
Might Makes Right and U.S. attempts to provoke a military confrontation
with the DPRK. A spokesperson
for the DPRK Foreign Ministry issued a statement on October 30 in this
regard. It notes that the DPRK has made earnest and sincere efforts to
promote international dialogue and cooperation in the field of human
rights for the purpose of steadily promoting the popular masses'
enjoyment of human rights. It goes on to say:
"In recent days the DPRK has taken a positive and
on the issue of engaging in dialogue on the question of human rights.
Up to this point, the matter had been on ice due to the unilateral
actions of the EU. A similarly positive stand has been taken on the
issue of a visit of the UN Special Rapporteur
on Human Rights in the DPRK to the country for the purpose of promoting
genuine human rights. This stand of the DPRK, which rests on the
principle of respect for sovereignty, agreed with the visit of an EU
representative with a mandate on the issue of human rights to the DPRK.
The DPRK has also expressed
its intentions to accept technical cooperation with the Office of the
UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
"Nevertheless, international dialogue and cooperation in
of human rights has not been successfully realized. This can be
attributed to the hostile policy on the part of the U.S. which seeks to
smear the image of the DPRK and bring down its social system at any
cost by persistently hyping its 'human rights
issue,'" the Ministry statement said and continued:
"It was none other than the U.S. that had its Secretary
John Kerry, convene a 'high-level meeting on human rights in north
Korea.' It even barred the DPRK, the party concerned, from
participation, out of fear of revelations about the backroom
political chatter. It was again the U.S. which prodded
'those defectors from the north' into an anti-DPRK smear campaign.
'Those defectors from the north' are known to be those who fled to the
south from their old homes and kinsmen after committing detestable
"The U.S. is deathly afraid of the possibility of
cooperation between the DPRK and the international community in the
field of human rights. It is just as afraid of the DPRK's further
advancement of the people's enjoyment of human rights and the rising
international prestige of the DPRK. Consequently,
the U.S. is making desperate efforts to maintain an international
atmosphere of pressure on the DPRK, turning its face away from the
latter's sincere efforts and raising unreasonable demands.
"If the EU insists on dancing to the beat of U.S. drums
an anti-DPRK 'human rights resolution' even harsher than the previous
one, an opportunity of engaging the DPRK over the human rights issue
will be missed for good. This will entail unpredictable consequences.
"For its part, the DPRK will make every possible effort
and consolidate Korean-style socialism based on the spirit of putting
the people first."
North Korea Challenges America's Unending War Strategy
at the United Nations
The briefing held at the United
Nations by the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) on Tuesday, October 7 was
an opportunity to hear the DPRK's response to U.S. and EU initiatives
targeting the DPRK. The U.S. and the EU have been using the UN to try
to demonize the DPRK as a perpetrator
of grave human rights violations and to rally the UN Security Council
to refer the DPRK to the International Criminal Court (ICC).
In the past few months, the DPRK Mission to the UN has
held several press conferences alerting journalists to threats to
international peace and security taking place on the Korean Peninsula.
This briefing, however, was not only open to the press covering the UN,
but to UN member nations and also to NGOs with access to UN
Headquarters in NY.
At the briefing, the DPRK presented the "Report of the
DPRK Association for Human Rights Studies" (Report) that it had
published on September 13 about human rights in the DPRK.
DPRK's Deputy Ambassador at the UN, Ri Tong Il, opened
the briefing by introducing the Report. Also taking part in the
presentation were Mr. Choe Myong Nam, Deputy Director-General of the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs, of the DPRK and Mr. Kim Song, Counselor at
the DPRK Mission.
Ambassador Ri explained
that there has been an
increasing tendency to carry on a human rights campaign against the
DPRK. He referred in particular to a meeting organized by U.S.
Secretary of State John Kerry to discuss allegations of human rights
abuse in the DPRK. The U.S. sponsored meeting was held
on September 23 at a hotel near the UN. The DPRK was not invited to the
meeting, and it was denied the right to attend when it asked to
Ambassador Ri said that the purpose of this briefing
being held by the DPRK was to focus on correcting the misinformation
being spread about human rights in the DPRK and to provide a more
accurate understanding of the situation of human rights in countries
with differing social and political systems. He
pointed out that the UN with 193 member states is made up of nations
with different political systems, different values and different
Ambassador Ri listed the 5 chapters in the Report giving
a brief introduction to each of the chapters. Then he welcomed
questions or statements from those present. Diplomats from several
missions at the UN, including the Cuban and Venezuelan Missions,
responded, thanking the DPRK for the briefing. They
referred to the criticism of some nations at the UN who sponsor
country-specific human rights resolutions. Experience has demonstrated
that such resolutions are most often politically motivated, and not
geared toward improving conditions for people. Instead the purpose is
an illegitimate political objective, such as
regime change. The Human Rights Council had adopted the Universal
Periodic Review (UPR) procedure, as an effort to counter such abuse and
instead to treat all countries impartially. While many countries focus
on the UPR procedure, a few nations continue to sponsor
country-specific resolutions thus politically
targeting other nations.
An example of such political motivation was provided by
Choe Myong Nam in response to a question. He described how in 1993
after a breakdown in negotiations with the U.S. led the DPRK to pull
out of the IAEA, the U.S. pressured the EU to bring a resolution
against the DPRK for human rights violations.
A copy of the Report was distributed to those who
attended the October 7 briefing.
I of the Report explores the general nature of
human rights so that each nation can determine what the application
will be in their situation. For the DPRK this entails making a critique
of how the U.S. and certain other nations are trying to impose their
view of what the standards should be for other nations. "Nobody in the
international community empowered them to establish the international
'human rights standards,'" the Report notes. (p. 12) Instead, the
Report maintains that human rights standards in a country are the
prerogative of the people of that country. "In every country," the
Report explains, "those who
demand the human rights and campaign (for) them are the people." (p. 12)
The Report refers to the Commission of Inquiry on Human
Rights in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (COI) recently
sponsored by the Human Rights Council. The content and framework of the
Report provides background that is helpful toward grasping the
underlying fallacy of the COI. The Report
maintains that the COI is an attempt "to bring down the DPRK by
collecting prejudiced ‘data' without any scientific accuracy and
objectivity in the content." (p. 12)
All of Korea has experienced the kind of human rights
claims of an occupying power, notes the Report. This was during the
period of the Japanese occupation of Korea (1910-1945). "Each and every
law manufactured by Japan in Korea in the past were anti-human rights
laws aimed at depriving Korean people
of all political freedoms and rights, and forcing colonial slavery upon
them." (p. 13) The Report explains that these anti-Korean laws created
by the Japanese colonial rule had to be abolished and new foundations
established legally and politically in order to provide protection and
empowerment for the Korean people,
thus demonstrating that the DPRK is concerned with the question of
human rights. (p. 14-15)
The Report proposes that the
protection of human rights
in the DPRK requires putting the political development of the DPRK into
its historical context. Throughout the Report historical background is
provided to put current developments into such a perspective. The
Report documents various forms of hostile
actions by the U.S. showing the effect such actions have had on the
development after the end of WWII and the end of Japanese colonial rule
over Korea. One such example that the Report provides is explaining
that "sanctions were imposed on Korea after Korea was liberated from
Japanese colonial rule."
(p. 93) Even before the Korean War, the U.S.-imposed sanctions against
the socialist countries including the DPRK as part of its Cold War
politics. (p. 93)
The Report also documents recent hostile acts by the
U.S. against the DPRK. The DPRK puts the anti-human rights campaign by
the "U.S. and its followers" in the context of the effort to "defame
the image of the DPRK in the international arena and dismantle the
socialist system under the pretext of 'protection
of human rights.'"(p. 98)
A question was raised during the briefing about what was
the relationship between the fact the U.S. is unwilling to negotiate a
peace treaty with the DPRK to end the Korean War and the U.S. led
allegations of human rights abuse against the DPRK. This question is at
the heart of the ability to understand the
nature of the U.S. campaign against the DPRK.
A recent journal article by Professor Christine Hong
offers a helpful analysis toward understanding this relationship. Her
article, "The Mirror of North Korean Human Rights," published
in Critical Asian Studies,
captures the intimate connection between the
U.S. government's unending war against the DPRK, and
the U.S. claims of gross human rights violations in the DPRK.
The article explains that the U.S. has been and is
technically and in practice at war with the DPRK. There has been an
unending set of economic, political and cultural sanctions imposed on
the DPRK either by the U.S. Congress or by the UN particularly the UNSC
in the recent past. There have been massive
military drills close to the DPRK by the U.S., Republic of Korea (ROK)
and Japan, and more recently including France, the UK, Canada and other
U.S. allies. Over 28,000 U.S. troops are permanently stationed in the
In such a situation, the U.S.
claims of DPRK human rights
violations provide a convenient and effective discourse to cloak the
image of U.S. war activities on the Korean Peninsula in a humanitarian
sounding dress. Hong writes that the "axis of evil" narrative
introduced by the Bush administration against Iraq,
Iran and the DPRK provided a means whereby "war politics proceeded
under the mantle of rescue politics." (Hong, p. 564)
Hong maintains that the "Responsibility to Protect"
(R2P) narrative provides the means by which "would-be rescuers lay
claim to a monopoly on the virtuous use of violence."
Similarly, a fallacious WMD narrative which was provided
to the U.S. government by defectors and politicized intelligence was
used to camouflage the U.S. regime change invasion of Iraq. A similar
false narrative using unverifiable claims of defectors and politicized
intelligence is once again being dusted off
for use against the DPRK.
Keeping in mind such recent
examples as Iraq and Libya,
Hong observes that the claims of noble goals provides a level of
protection to the perpetrators of invasions using the mantle of R2P.
Instead of being "viewed as human rights violations in themselves" when
they engage in acts of war like aerial bombardment,
military invasion, or an embargo on essential goods, they are provided
with the appearance of acting as saviors.
Taken in such a context one can understand the
reluctance of nations like the DPRK to take the claims of those
promoting R2P and human rights as exhibiting any but aggressive
Hong goes on to point out that any legitimate U.S.
concerns over human rights violations regarding the people of the DPRK
would have to begin by addressing the massive destruction against the
civilian population and civilian infrastructure of the DPRK carried out
by the U.S. and its allies during the Korean
War and since by its sanctions.
The Report the DPRK has produced refers not only to the
anti-human rights activities against the Korean people during the 35
years of Japanese occupation but also to the continuing saga of U.S.
hostile activities before and after the Korean War Armistice.
The U.S. should welcome such reports and the airing of
all views on every question at the UN.
1. Such a strategy with Libya
resulted in ICC cases against key Libyan officials weakening their
fight against the NATO invasion that brought regime change and
subsequently a state of serious instability to Libya.
Discussing the Libyan example of regime change, Joseph
S. Nye, Jr explained that it is not the facts that matter in "the
information age." Instead soft power, which includes how the narrative
describing a situation is framed, is as important as, or even more
important than military action, in gaining one's objectives.
As he says in an online article, "In a global information age, success
is not determined just by who has the biggest army, but also by who has
the best story." See the article "On
2. Christine Hong, "The Mirror of
North Korean Human Rights," Critical
Asian Studies, 45:4, 561-592.
Futility of U.S. Ambitions to Dominate Asia-Pacific
The U.S. Army has worked out a new military strategy to
hold its own in conflicts with various countries, including the
Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
In a recent report entitled "The U.S. Army Operating
Concept: Win in a Complex World, 2020-2040" the U.S. Army defined the
DPRK, Iran, Russia, China, and others as "regional powers" with the
biggest possibility to clash with the U.S. in the future, and as
"states in the relations of competition seeking hegemony."
The report advances a new operating concept and calls for change in
the U.S. forces' plans to put it into practice.
According to this new military
strategy, called "Win in
a Complex World," seven of the 10 currently active division-level
commands (consisting of 17,000-21,000 soldiers each) of the U.S. forces
will be deployed overseas. Equipment for infantry such as transport
helicopters will be massively increased to make
up for the reduction of heavy weapons deployment.
This reorientation has led to strong rejections within
the international community, being seen as a reckless measure to
contain, using armed force, those countries which reject U.S. dictate
and its ambition for world domination at any cost.
The U.S. is now experiencing difficulty in achieving its
ambitions as a result of serious external challenges.
It is facing not a few difficulties in carrying out its
strategy for dominating the Asia-Pacific region, as the DPRK is
continuing to wage struggle to defend its sovereignty against the U.S.
The economic and military growth of Russia and China too pose a threat
to U.S. hegemony. Fierce armed conflicts in the Near
East continue to exhaust U.S. capacity
The U.S. should draw warranted conclusions about the
results of its lawlessness and aggression. Instead, it has worked out
an even more dangerous military strategy and continues to resort to the
use of force to achieve it.
In the aforementioned report, the U.S. has gone to the
lengths of openly defining the armed forces of the DPRK, Iran, Russia
and China as "enemies"as part of its scenario for world domination.
Particular mention should be made of the fact that in this report the
U.S. defined China as the primary "harbinger of
future conflict" and indeed the country with the greatest possibility
of clashes with U.S. forces. The report expresses strong caution
against the growth of China's military capability and its
modernization, and openly calls for substantial counteraction against
U.S. experts asserted that the report notably
underscored the possibility of armed conflict between China and the
U.S. The report demonstrates that many aspects of the new U.S. military
strategy revolve around containing China.
One high-ranking U.S. military official said that
operations deploying armed forces are currently underway according to
the new military strategy. The U.S. is deploying armed forces in the
Asia-Pacific region, for instance, in order to contain China. These
are indicative of the final goal of this strategy.
In south Korea, the U.S. is deploying its Terminal High
Altitude Area Defense (THAAD), which has China within its radius of
operation. In the U.S. Department of Defense those concerned have said
openly that the development of ultramodern supersonic missile
technology is aimed to cope with China's own
development of supersonic weapons.
All of this demonstrates that the U.S. is mulling over
how it can attain its criminal goal for world hegemony by containing
what it describes as the "state posing greatest threat" to the U.S.
It is no accident that military experts are commenting
that the new U.S. military strategy making military conflict with China
as a fait accompli involves operations and drills simulating
world war scenarios.
The U.S. is continuing to play the role of a criminal
disturbing world peace and security, demonstrating the shamelessness of
an evil empire. Its new military strategy is driving military
confrontation and the contradiction between the U.S. and China to an
At the same time, history has shown that all attempts by
those who seek to become emperors of the world are futile efforts
inviting ruin upon oneself. Inevitably, countries, peoples, and whole
regions of the world are working to counter the U.S. moves for
hegemony. The conclusion to be drawn is that the U.S. should
learn from history and what reality is telling it, and stop acting
U.S. Continues Plans for Use of Nuclear
Leon Panetta, former U.S. Secretary of Defense and CIA
revealed in his memoirs, published October 7, ongoing U.S. plans to
strike the Korean peninsula with nuclear arms. The book describes a
2010 briefing by General Walter L. Sharp, the former Commander of the
U.S.-south Korean armed forces,
for war plans in Korea that included the use of nuclear weapons.
Nuclear arms were first brought to the Korean peninsula
1958 by the
U.S. U.S. plans to use nuclear weapons to dominate the Korean peninsula
date back to 1950. During the Korean War, U.S. General Douglas
MacArthur, then in command
of all U.S.-allied forces in Korea, proposed to hit the north of the
peninsula bordering Manchuria
with 30 to 50 atomic bombs. MacArthur's plans were opposed by certain
factions of the U.S. ruling elite and he was removed from his position
for insubordination. Nonetheless, preparations to exercise the nuclear
option continued in earnest during the war with U.S. President Truman
declaring that only he had authority
to execute the nuclear strikes being considered.
In 1951, Operation Hudson Harbor established the
capacity to hit
Korea and China with nuclear bombs and engaged in simulated bombing
runs. The plan was shelved following the U.S. defeat in 1953. Recently
declassified documents also show that in 1968 the U.S. established
another plan to bombard Korea
with nuclear weapons, which it called "Freedom Drop." The U.S.
continues to carry out regular war games in and around Korea that
include bombers capable of delivering a nuclear payload.
The U.S. longstanding plans to use nuclear weapons in
elsewhere underscores who is the source of insecurity on the Korean
peninsula and the loathsome and aggressive U.S. double standard on the
Not only does the U.S. claim the "right" to commit war crimes with its
thousands of nuclear weapons
(as it did in Hiroshima and Nagasaki) and threaten others with nuclear
annihilation, but it issues sanctions against the Democratic People's
Republic of Korea claiming it cannot
possess its nuclear deterrent as self-defence against U.S. nuclear
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