Thursday, March 28, 2013

Why Not Extend Diplomatic Recognition to North Korea?

For many, the question posed in the title of this posting might seem absurd. Are not the North Koreans testing nuclear weapons and missiles? Are they not threatening the U.S. with military action (albeit, only in a defensive way)?

The fact is, it is far past time for the U.S. to officially recognize North Korea. The US has never, since the cessation of major combat hostilities in 1953, extended diplomatic recognition to the DPRK. In fact, U.S. policy has been unremittingly hostile since the Japanese were kicked out of Korea by combined U.S. and Soviet forces, in conjunction with Communist partisans led by Kim Il-Sung.

The U.S. places stringent, damaging economic sanctions on North Korea. Those sanctions have helped cause massive starvation in that country (helped along at times by the policies of the ruling elite). The U.S. keeps tens of thousands of its own soldiers stationed along its southern border, maintaining a permanent sense of threat and mobilization for war that has warped North Korean society and distorted the political process there.

An example of the symbology meant to irritate the North Koreans, the U.S. and Japancalled... for the main U.N. human rights forum to launch an inquiry into allegations of violations including the torture and execution of political prisoners in North Korea.”

I’m as much against torture and the execution of political prisoners as anyone is — and I have a body of work that reflects that — but neither the U.S., who carpet bombed and napalmed their country, nor Japan, a country that held Korea in a totalitarian dictatorship for decades, have any right to preach to the North Koreans. The Japanese government long refused to recognize its war crimes against the Korean people, while both the Japanese and U.S. governments are responsible for the deaths of over a million Koreans during wartime.

The U.S. is preparing for a second Korean War — and even if they are not preparing, their bellicose saber rattling could take both the U.S. and the two Koreas (not to mention China and possibly Russia) farther than anyone may consciously wish to go.

As of the date of posting here, the New York Times reports the U.S. rattled the North Koreans by sending B-2 stealth fighters to fly over South Korea as part of military "exercises." In fact, the NYT article by Choe Sang-Hun mirrors much of what I am saying here:
After suffering from the American carpet-bombing during the 1950-53 Korean War, North Korea remains particularly sensitive about American bombers. It keeps most of its key military installations underground and its war cries typically reach a frenetic pitch when American bombers fly over South Korea during military exercises. The resulting fear and anti-American sentiment is used by the regime to make its people rally behind the North’s “military-first” leadership.
It is many decades now since the U.S. lost over 36,000 military dead in the Korean War. Sixty years later the country of North Korea still exists. Another Korean War would be hugely destructive, and will change the world even more than the Iraq debacle.

Unfortunately, the U.S. has no intention of recognizing North Korea (after over 60 years). The rulers of this country want to finish the Cold War job and wipe out those regimes that do not formally recognize capitalism, that put themselves outside Western imperialist control.

The fall of the Soviet Union, Tito’s Yugoslavian federation, the East Europe puppet Stalinist regimes… this seems to have only whetted the appetite for the second act, which would be the overthrow of the Chinese Communist regime, the forced capitalist reunification of the Korean peninsula, the return of capitalism to the old French Indochinese states, and, of course, the destruction of Castro's Cuba.

It’s an ambitious agenda, and a murderous one. Its accomplishment is unlikely without WWIII, and at a minimum the destruction of Constitutional democracy in the United States, as the latter cannot maintain that level of war for as long as it will take to accomplish their conquest without significantly policing the population, subject to greater exploitation to pay for the country's wars. Already a Harvard study just published describes the costs of the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan as costing $3 to $4 trillion.

It has long been known, if forgotten, that the future of humanity rests on solving the problem of nuclear proliferation and stopping nuclear war. It is this, not global warming, that is the most immediate threat to the human race, if not the planet. Nuclear annihilation remains only minutes away, given the right, or that is, a set of immediate but awful circumstances.

The answer, however, does not lie in a global Pax Americana. That way lies dictatorship and destruction, as North Korea, no more than Iraq, Iran, Afghani tribesmen, or millions of people around the world will capitulate and allow themselves to be forever ruled by America.

The fact that not one U.S. politician to my knowledge is calling for serious moves to normalize relations with North Korea is testimony to the stifled state of politics in America, where all discourse that would oppose the policies of the war party are marginalized or frightened or economically driven out of competition.

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