ICBM launch

North Korea tests another missile

By Mark Luedtke


The situation with North Korea keeps getting worse, but we only hear half the story. Back in September the New York Times reported on Kim Jong Un’s latest nuclear test. “The underground blast was by far North Korea’s most powerful ever. Though it was far from clear that the North had set off a hydrogen bomb, as it claimed, the explosion caused tremors that were felt in South Korea and China,” it wrote. “Experts estimated that the blast was four to sixteen times more powerful than any the North had set off before, with far more destructive power than the bombs dropped on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II.”

This was big news reported on every front page and cable news show. Two weeks earlier CNN reported something that barely made any news. “The US and South Korean militaries begin war games next week at a time of unprecedented tensions with North Korea,” it wrote. “The exercises are held twice yearly, typically incurring the wrath of Pyongyang, which views them as a show of aggression.”

They are indisputably a show of aggression. They are indisputably provocative. This aggression provoked Kim to test his largest nuclear bomb yet.

Fast forward to November when, after a period of quiet, Kim tested an ICBM. CNN reported then, “A combination of US, South Korean, and Japanese analyses of the launch from Mupyong-ni, near North Korea’s border with China, shows the missile flew about 45 minutes, going 3,700 kilometers (2,300 miles) high and for a distance of 1,000 kilometers (621 miles).

“If the missile were fired on a flatter, standard trajectory, it would have major US cities such as Los Angeles, Denver, and Chicago well within its range, with the possible ability to reach as far as New York and Boston, according to David Wright, a missile expert at the Union of Concerned Scientists.”

Once again, the stories in the media would have us believe the launch was unprovoked. It wasn’t. For two months, North Korea had been negotiating reduction in tensions in Korea with world powers. Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, informs, “We have been working with Pyongyang. Then, all of a sudden, two weeks after the United States had sent us the signal [about readiness to dialogue], they announced unscheduled drills in December. There is an impression that they were deliberately provoking [North Korean leader] Kim Jong Un to make him break the pause and give in to their provocations.”

US rulers don’t want peace in Korea. Peace doesn’t line the pockets of war profiteers. Fear, threats, and wars do, so that is the foreign policy US rulers pursue. Bullying, bribes, bullets, and bombs.

The US policy of aggression against North Korea is not working. It hasn’t worked for 70 years. It enabled mass starvation, oppression, and the enslavement of an entire nation of people. It pushed the North Korean regime to become a nuclear power. It’s counterproductive.

Pat Buchanan tells us what Kim wants. “Initially, he wants a halt to U.S.-South Korean military exercises, which he sees as a potential prelude to a surprise attack,” he informs. “He wants an end to sanctions, U.S. recognition of his regime, and acceptance of his status as a nuclear weapons state. Down the road, he wants a U.S. withdrawal of all forces from South Korea and international aid.”

With the exception of international aid, I want all those things too. I want peace, free trade, and shared prosperity. US rulers will not tolerate that, and they’ll risk killing millions of Americans and Koreans in a nuclear war to get their way.

Their goal to get Kim to surrender his nuclear weapons will never happen, and they know it. It’s a fake goal chosen to ensure continued conflict. No nation has ever given up their nukes because nukes are the ultimate deterrent to attack. No nuclear power has ever been invaded. Nukes are Kim’s guarantee US invaders or their allies won’t kill him like they did Saddam Hussein and Muammar Gaddafi.

By any honest definition of insanity, US rulers are insane, not Kim. Sane rulers would negotiate an end to hostilities, withdraw US troops from the border, and turn over security of South Korea to South Koreans. But that would mean reducing their power over South Korean and Japanese rulers, as well as reducing their ability to threaten North Korea, China, and Russia, so it won’t happen anytime soon.


Reach DCP freelance writer Mark Luedtke at MarkLuedtke@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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