July 14, 2018 - No. 27

NATO Summit Intensifies Imperialist War Preparations

Summit Shows 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 Drive

Canada Extends and Expands Participation
in NATO Mission in Latvia

Canada's Command of NATO Training Mission in Iraq
World Peace Council International Conference Against NATO
Military Industry Fund Could Encourage Development and
Export of Controversial Weaponry

- European Network Against Arms Trade -

RIMPAC War Games Heighten Tensions in Asia Pacific
Vigorously Oppose the World's Largest War Exercise!
- Yi Nicholls -
People's Opposition to RIMPAC
Struggle for Influence in the Western Pacific
- German Foreign Policy -

Haitian People’s No Means No!

Popular Protests Demand Removal of Corrupt Government
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 -

Developments in DPRK-U.S. and Inter-Korean Relations
U.S. Must Take Measures to Achieve Peace
with DPRK as First Step

Statement of Foreign Ministry on High Level Talks
Positive Developments in Inter-Korean Relations
Workers Take Lead in Implementing Panmunjom
Declaration and Fighting for Peace

U.S. Military Base in Seoul Moved to Pyeongtaek

NATO Summit Intensifies Imperialist War Preparations

Summit Shows Dangers Posed by National Interests of the Imperialist Powers

Brussels, Belgium, July 7, 2018. Banner reads "Yes to Peace! No to NATO!"

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 Brussels, 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. President Trump's visit.
Trump went to Scotland to visit one of his golf resorts.

NATO leaders claim that the NATO Summit held in Brussels, 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 Summit, 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 conference, 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 control 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 policies.

But there was no united stand against the U.S. as took place 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 place as long as Russia's illegal actions remain in force. When it comes to Nord Stream, Canada has significant concerns about that project."

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 information 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 dismantled.

(With files from NATO, CBC, Washington Post. Photos: Workers' Weekly, Scottish Trade Union Congress, Scotland Against Trump, D. Ferguson, TML)

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It Is Up to the Peoples of the World to Hold In Check the 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 said.

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also promoted this 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 rules-based 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 criminal 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 for peace.

The first aim of the peace movement was to fight against the 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 Iron Curtain speech, Soviet leader Joseph Stalin, in an interview with Pravda, stated that Churchill's speech had unquestionably prejudiced 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.

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Canada Extends and Expands Participation in
NATO Mission in Latvia

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 reactionary 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 to 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 Vejonis that 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 activities 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 fighters."

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).[1] 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 by 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 present.


1. "Foreign Financing for the Anti-Communist Monument -- A Matter of Great Concern," by Louis Lang, TML Weekly, November 11, 2017.

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Canada's Command of NATO
Training Mission in Iraq

Canada is intent on proving to U.S. President Donald Trump 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 Justin Trudeau 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 crew 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 "involve up 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 Marshall 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 it."

Trudeau's words raise the question of what democracy he says 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 Afghanistan.

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, invoked the 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 what 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 international order and the national interest is clearly the Trudeau government's new mantra. It will not pass!

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World Peace Council International Conference
Against NATO

Just a few days ahead of the NATO Summit, on July 7 and 8 the 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, General Secretary of the WPC. He stated in part:

"There is no doubt that, as we have proclaimed, NATO was and 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 Mediterranean Sea 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 causes."

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 Russia.

The Bulgarian National Peace Council addressed the growing 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 Eastern 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 underlined that 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 NATO.

Serbia's "Belgrade Forum for a World of Equals" chaired by 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 condemned 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 Democratic 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 International 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 representative concluded.

The representative of the Peace Committee of Turkey stressed 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 Council 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 the action.

(Photos: World Peace Council, GUE/NGL, D. Ferguson, D. Bolotsky, L. Wirl)

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Military Industry Fund Could Encourage Development and Export 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 exacerbate 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 states 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 weeks.

European Parliament Gives up Most of Its Key Demands

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 programme:

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 diverted from existing civilian programmes.

Knowing that the initial proposal was 75 per cent diversion, this is 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 Commission 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 a 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 practices.

Program Feeding the Global Arms Race, Includes Armed Drones and Autonomous Weapons Development

So how can we assert that arms exports and autonomous weapons 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 exclusion 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 point where they have become meaningless.

And member states' fierce resistance against any clear and 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 competitors.

Such "strategic autonomy" is indeed one of the main objectives of the EU Defence Fund.

Already, key countries such as France and Germany publicly 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 from 2021.

And the ongoing Preparatory Action on Defence Research (PADR, 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 technology 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
Budget for Military Priorities

On May 2, the Commission presented its draft proposal for the next long-term budget to run from 2021 to 2027:

Two out the six headings would be devoted to police, security 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 billion euros to be provided to the military industry.

But also a 180 per cent jump for security and a 260 per cent increase for migration and borders.

Moreover, the security and defence sector is now mainstreamed 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 leaders?

(June 14, 2018. Edited slightly for style by TML.)

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RIMPAC War Games Heighten Tensions in Asia Pacific

Vigorously Oppose the World's Largest War Exercise!

The U.S.-led naval war games, Exercise Rim of the Pacific (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 [...]"[1] Canada is one of the participating nations.

The U.S. Navy describes the ostensible aims of RIMPAC 2018 using innocuous and high-sounding ideals:

"As the world's largest international maritime exercise, 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, Partners.' 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 salvage operations."

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 Trump 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, and Japan."

Thus, while China has been a participant at previous editions 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 February 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 convincing 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 signalling 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 China 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 Sajjan and Rear-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, Commander Joint Task Force RIMPAC, play up this so-called leadership role for Canada at RIMPAC.[2]

To portray Canada's servility to U.S. aims at RIMPAC as a "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 youth 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 for Peace.


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 the 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 are set to participate in [RIMPAC ...]

"Canada, along with Australia and the United States, has 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 auxiliary 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 [...]"

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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, Navy, 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 Kilauea 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 Hawaii 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 End RIMPAC

Women's Voices Women Speak, Hawai'i Peace and Justice, World 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 it 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 Vietnam.

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 100 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 larger 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 cultural 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 purposes.

4. Threats to public information privacy through the Hawaii 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 Philippines.

The Chamoru people of Guåhan are demanding a stop to the 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 pollute oceans.

We demand that the Hawai'i State Government choose to protect 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.

(Malu 'Aina website, July 4, 2018; Hawaii Independent, June 13, 2018. Photos: Malu 'Aina.)

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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 exercise will particularly focus on operations in the Western Pacific[1] and will include 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,[2] 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[3] played a dominant role in the region's politics, economy and military.

Growing Rivals

Over the past few decades, however, the Western powers have 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.[4] In fact, during the years that followed, Beijing massively expanded its influence, above all, through credits and development aid.[5] 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.[6] For Western strategists, this was a severe setback.

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.[7] In 2015, police 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.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10] In April rumours began to spread that the Chinese military would be allowed to open a base on Vanuatu, which both countries' governments deny.[11] Experts 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 their 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[12] -- 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."[13] 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 country.[14]

"More Australian Leadership"

In fact, besides the United States, it is particularly the 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.[15] The ASPI is co-financed by Australia's Defense Ministry.[16] Leading associates of the think tank have taken part also in the Körber Foundation's Bergedorf Round Table.[17] Australia is 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.[18] Last year German business associations were calling for entering free trade agreements with Australia and New Zealand.[19] 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 Pacific."

2. The states are: the Cook Islands (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 24, 2003.

5. Lucy Craymer, "China Seeks to Star in South Pacific," wsj.com, April 27, 2012.

6. Ben Doherty, "Secret Russian arms donation to Fiji raises concerns of bid for Pacific influence," theguardian.com January 22, 2016.

7. Roman 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 Chinese military installation in Vanuatu misses the point," theguardian.com, April 11, 2018.

12. See also "Asiens Münchner Sicherheitskonferenz."

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 Allgemeine Zeitung, 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 Gesprächskreises "Frieden und Sicherheit in Asien-Pazifik," Jakarta, 1-3, November 2013, koerber-stiftung.de [ohne Datum].

18. See also "Springboard into the Pacific Region."

19. See also "Foray into Down Under."

(June 28, 2018)

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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 breaking 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 and France.

In particular, the people are demanding the resignation of the government of President Jovenel Moïse, in power since 2016.[1] The Moïse 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 would 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] (États 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 down.

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 by 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 governments and 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 Haiti.

An action on Parliament Hill on July 9, expressed the support of 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 Canada:

- Support normal commercial relations with Haiti, whereby Canadian 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 misused in 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 Haitian needs;

- Support the Haitian People's legitimate claims for reparations 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 messing in 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 less than 12 per cent of the eligible vote.

(With files from Haiti Liberté and the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Photos: agencies, TML)

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Resistance Movement Will Never Submit
to Imperialist Schemes

  Fifteenth consecutive weekly Great March of Return protest at the border
between Gaza and Israel, July 6, 2018.

The 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.

Palestinians 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.

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."

It is reported that the plan would give the Palestinian people only fragments of land 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 includes 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.

Protests against the planned demolition of the Bedouin village Khal al-Ahmar in the West Bank, July 4, 2018. The forcible displacement of the 40 families (about 200 people) in Khan al-Ahmar and other villages in the region constitute a war crime.

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 Palestinian people.

Protest against U.S. "peace plan," Ramallah, July 2, 2018.

(With files from Middle East Eye. Photos: Anadolu Agency, Maan News, agencies)

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"Deal of the Century" Is Not New and Palestinian Authority Leadership Is Not a Victim

Protest in Ramallah, July 2, 2018, against U.S. "peace plan."

 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.

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 the 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 Benjamin 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 play 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 unleash.

It is Bill Clinton's Camp David II and George W. Bush's 'Road 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 misconception.

The Israel leader, who has received the ultimate American 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 early on 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 humanity's sake."

Since then, we have relied on occasional leaks, starting in 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 on.

Palestinians will still have a "Jerusalem," albeit an invented one, where the neighbourhood of Abu Dis will simply be called Jerusalem.

Despite the hype, nothing is truly new here. The "deal of the 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 interview with the Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds, corroborate this view. He claimed that the Palestinian people are "less invested in the politician's talking points 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 decade. 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 Palestinian 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 Palestinian people."

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 decades-long 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 hapless victim.

What makes the "deal of the century" particularly dangerous 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 policy in 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 an 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 imprudence. On the one hand, the PA's financial sponsor in [Washington,] DC is turning off 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 the 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 status 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 the diaspora.

(Palestine Chronicle, July 4, 2018. Photos: Maan News, S. Hatem)

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Developments in DPRK-U.S. and Inter-Korean Relations

U.S. Must Take Measures to Achieve Peace
with DPRK as First Step

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 Pompeo 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 peace.

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 nuclear program. 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 negotiations, 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 moving 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 Summit 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, Chairman Kim 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 Korean Peninsula:

1. The DPRK and the United States commit to establish new 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 amounts 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. The 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.

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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 talks:

In the wake of the first historic DPRK-U.S. Summit meeting 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 with a 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 that.

However, the U.S. side's attitude and stand at the first high-level talks on July 6 and 7 were so disappointing.

The DPRK side, during the talks, put forward constructive 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 talks.

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 and 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 establishing a 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 certain excuses.

As for the issue of announcing the declaration of the end of 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 the 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 extremely serious concern.

We thought that the U.S. side would come with a constructive 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 the trite failed stereotype will only result in further failure.

This valuable agreement was reached in such a short time at 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 a 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 measures first as much as possible, while watching the U.S. with maximum patience.

But, the U.S. seems to have misunderstood our goodwill and patience.

It is fundamentally mistaken to think that the DPRK would accept, out of patience, the gangster-like demands.

A shortcut to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is 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 upon us 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 favour of denuclearization, against our will, it will mess up the current developing bilateral relations, which have got off to a good start.

If a headwind begins to blow, it would greatly disappoint the 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 tolerating the headwind against the will of the two leaders conforms to the aspirations and expectations of the world's people as well as its interests.

(KCNA. Edited for style and grammar by TML.)

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Positive Developments in Inter-Korean Relations

Meeting in Panmunjom, April 27, 2018, at which an historic declaration was signed between Kim Jong Un, Chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the 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 Nation Itself.

Economic Relations

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 in the 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 met to 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 and 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 both 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.

Military Affairs

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 the south.

More importantly, the ROK announced on July 11 that it is suspending its military exercises and drills, including the Ulchi Freedom Guardian military exercises in August.

On May 4, the ROK government suspended the practice 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 the agenda 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 female basketball players from the ROK and 50 coaches and support staff travelled to Pyongyang from July 4-7 for a series of friendly matches. The games were played between teams of mixed south and north Korean players, named "Peace" and "Prosperity."

The dates chosen were significant: on July 4, 1972 the 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.

Family Reunification

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 the 73rd anniversary of Korea's liberation from Japanese occupation. Since family reunifications began in 2000, some 23,000 Koreans have had the 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 conditions for 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.

(With files from Hankyoreh, KCNA.)

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Workers Take Lead in Implementing Panmunjom Declaration and 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 15, 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 nation-building project.

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 will "do their best to settle the historic task facing our nation ... which is at a historic turning point after 73 years of division."

They concluded their statement by affirming:

"The workers in the north and the south will conduct all 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 the declaration."


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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 military 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 Pyeongtaek 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 discussed."

The presence of the Yongsan Military Base in the heart of 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 of thousands since the end of the Korean War and include murder, rape, drug-trafficking, human smuggling and other crimes.

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 and 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 government of 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 annexed 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.

(Hankyoreh, Stars and Stripes)

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