North Korea Missile Tests

Over the past few days there has been a great deal of coverage of the recent tests by the DPRK (Democratic People's Republic of Korea, a.k.a. North Korea) of medium- and long-range ballistic missles. This coverage has varied substantially, from neglegable to outlandish. Fox News in America went so far as to claim (and I am not making this up) that they were "Nukes" that were "aimed at Hawaii." It goes without saying that such an assertion is fictional (not based whatsoever in reality), but it was made nonetheless. Its important to step back for a moment and get a more realistic take on the situation.

In a recent press conference, the U.S. President George Bush, when asked why he thought N. Korea would conduct such an exersise, stated (referring to the N. Korean Premier Pak Pong Ju) "I don't know what the man's intentions are."

For an individual who has access to a vast array of information sources, such as those available with basic internet access, "the man's" intentions should be fairly clear.

Firstly, a logical conclusion that could be drawn would be the fact that North Korea was re-affirming its deterrant to military attack. This is a byproduct of the U.S. government's famed one percent doctrine, wherein a soverign nation can be attacked if there is even a one percent chance that they might attack America, and that one percent chance does not have to be substantiated with any sort of evidence. As such, any country in the world can be attacked by America at any given time, provided that the U.S. propaganda machine can manufacture enough conscent in America for the invasion. Leaders of countries on America's hit list know this, and as such they must ensure that they have enough of a military deterrant to preclude any overt military action. Pyongyang was merely reminding the White House that they should not be the next target for attack (Iran is out of the running now for reasons I've discussed in great detail in many previous posts, and Iraq and Afghanistan have already happened... there's more than 2 years left of this presidency, the "war president" turned "decider" needs another war soon or he won't know how to handle himself, or maybe he needs to send more working class people off to die so that there won't be so many of them around to vote against his successor in the next presidential election).

Another reason for North Korea launching these ballistic missiles (to test them, not to take out Waikiki) has been touched on to a certain extent in the western media. The Los Angeles Times ran a story recently referring to the tests as a "Big, Booming Cry for Attention." While The Times' patronising tone does not go unnoticed, such a statement is in fact based somewhat in the realities of the situation. In November of last year, 6 party talks (between N. Korea, S. Korea, The U.S., China, Russia, and Japan) regarding the DPRK (N. Korea) Nuclear program were suspended indefinitely. This was due to DPRK's withdrawl from the talks based on what they felt was a lack of respect for them and for previous agreements reached between them and Japan and the U.S., which Japan and the U.S. have not lived up to their obligations for. For a better understanding of this, we now turn to the State-Run News Agency (Xinhua) of North Korea's close ally (and feared rival of America), China:

PYONGYANG, July 6 (Xinhua) -- A spokesman for the DPRK Foreign Ministry confirmed Thursday that the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) had test-fired missiles, saying the missile launches were part of the routine military exercises aimed at increasing the nation's military capacity for self-defense.

The spokesman said in a statement that the DPRK remains unchanged in its will to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula in a negotiated peaceful manner just as it committed itself in the Sept. 19 joint statement of the six-party talks, the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

The latest missile launch exercises are quite irrelevant to the six-party talks, the statement said.

The KCNA also quoted the spokesman as saying that the missile launches were "successful" and that "the DPRK's exercise of its legitimate right as a sovereign state is neither bound to any international law nor to bilateral or multilateral agreements such as DPRK-Japan Pyongyang Declaration and the joint statement of the six-party talks."

"The missile test moratorium reached between the DPRK and the United States in 1999 was valid only when the DPRK-U.S. dialogue was under way," it said.

The Bush administration, however, has scrapped all the agreements its preceding governments reached with the DPRK and "totally scuttled" the bilateral dialogue, said the statement.

It noted it was the same case with the DPRK-Japan Pyongyang Declaration in 2002 on the long-range missile test-fire.

In the Declaration, the DPRK expressed its "intention to extend beyond 2003 the moratorium on the missile fire," a step taken on the premise that Japan moved to "normalize its relations with the DPRK and redeem its past, the statement said.

However, the Japanese authorities didn't honor their commitment. Moreover, they have pursued a hostile policy toward the DPRK together with the U.S. and chosen to internationalize the "abduction issue" although the DPRK had fully settled the issue.

"It is a manifestation of the DPRK's broad magnanimity that it has put on hold the missile launch so far under this situation," the statement added.

The statement by Pyongyang that immediately followed these missile tests basically included an offer to not launch any more missles (which seemed to scare the world a bit, kind of like swatting at a hornets nest with a rake where the hornets nest is America) if negotiations were resumed (note this quote:
"The missile test moratorium reached between the DPRK and the United States in 1999 was valid only when the DPRK-U.S. dialogue was under way," it said.

The Bush administration, however, has scrapped all the agreements its preceding governments reached with the DPRK and "totally scuttled" the bilateral dialogue, said the statement.

The launches should come as no surprise however. On the 28th of June, China came out warning Korea against swatting at the hornets nest (test firing missiles), as they were already aware (as were many members of the non-western media) of N. Korean development of long range ballistic missles. China was, however, worried about the situation:
"We hope that the various parties will proceed from the greater interest of maintaining stability on the Korean Peninsula and refrain from taking measures that will worsen the situation," Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said in a statement at the time.
However, as a tripolar order begins to take shape wherein countries like Russia and China are realising that they don't actually have to take orders from Washington, the U.S. needs to heed the advise of Hu Jintao when he said that America needs to allow the U.N. to take the lead in international issues. After all, it just won't do to have the country that many people in the world feel is the greatest threat to world peace running the international arena.

Again, as with Iran, China and Russia do not support sanctions as the best course of action. The Russian ambassador to the U.N. phrased their view in such a way as to say "in my mind we could consider the format of a presidential statement." (condemning the tests). While Japan has already drafted a security council resolution calling for sanctions, China has refused to support the imposition of sanctions against their close ally, and Pyongyang has stated(according to Reuters) that "If sanctions are invoked, we will take strong and full counter measures."

North Korea has already made apparent its willingness to return to the negotiating table to discuss their ballistic missiles, trade, aid, and their Nuclear program. Level headed people (who do not want a return to the days of peace-by-mutual-assured-destruction) need to encourage the use of diplomatic forums rather than military action as a first resort that has become the formost policy of America and Britain. Tangling with North Korea (and with them China and their allies) is not a smart game for the west to play. Just to remind those of you what it is that the international community is aware of as far as North Korea's Nuclear program is concerned, the most recent IAEA report on the subject:

"Implementation of Safeguards in the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea
Since the end of 2002, when at the request of the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea (DPRK) the Agency´s verification activities were terminated, the Agency has been unable to verify the DPRK´s nuclear activities.
As I have reported before, the Agency stands ready to work with the DPRK - and other concerned parties - towards a comprehensive solution that addresses the security and other needs of the DPRK, on the one hand, and on the other hand, the needs of the international community to ensure that all nuclear activities in the DPRK are exclusively for peaceful purposes."

American foreign policy authors need to understand the gravity of their constant militaristic tendencies. Constant threat - of and resort - to violence is only encouraging other nations to militarise, with potentially disasterous consequences. That constant threat and use of violence (that embodies American Foreign Policy) is also the very definition of Terrorism.

It should also be noted that the DPRK has legitamate grievances with the U.S. It was the American-Korean war that created the artificial partition through Korea. As recently as yesterday the DPRK government was calling on its citizens to embark upon a "Patriotic Struggle for National Reunification." If you're curious, a different side of the Korea-America historical story is available at the Official Homepage of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. Its interesting to get a different take on certain situations.


misneach said...

The same week, the North Korean state-run news agency ran a story accusing the Bush administration of carrying out large scale military exersises in the Pacific.

The News Story:
U.S. Accused of Military Reinforcement and Exercises

Pyongyang, July 4 (KCNA) -- The Bush administration is raising the military spending and accelerating the production of new sophisticated weapons allegedly to arrest terrorism and guarantee peace. Meanwhile, it is ceaselessly staging large-scale war exercises in different parts of the world, increasing the danger of war. Commenting on such moves, a news analyst of Rodong Sinmun Tuesday says:

After the Cold War the United States has pushed ahead with the reorganization and relocation of the U.S. military forces mainly to establish its domination over the Asia-Pacific region, massively deploying modern military equipment in the region. And it has ceaselessly conducted all-round military exercises aimed at preemptive attack, intentionally rendering the situation strained.

RIMPAC-2006, the joint military exercises now under way in the waters of the Pacific, is also a naval offensive operation, pursuant to the U.S. strategy for domination over the Asia-Pacific region, and an escalation of the U.S. aggressive moves for a new war.

The United States is more frantically increasing the military spending and intensifying the arms buildup and war provocations under the deceptive pretext of "preventing terrorism" and "guaranteeing peace", bringing the situation to the brink of a war.

In the new century military expenditure is drastically increasing worldwide and new arms race being accelerated due to the U.S. imperialists' reckless war moves for aggression and their ambition for domination over the world.

The United States does not want peace at all, but only seeks to oppress other countries and dominate the world by force.

With nothing the U.S. imperialists can cover up their criminal nature as a chieftain of aggression and war and an enemy of peace.

The U.S. should stop at once such reckless moves of seriously threatening and destroying the world peace and stability and accelerating new arms race.

"the U.S. should stop at once such reckless moves of seriously threatening and destroying the world peace and stability"


The Heretical Jew said...

First off this was a well written post... as usual.

I tend to view the North Korean situation differently that I do the Iraq situation. As bad as the situation ever has been under Sadaam in Iraq it does not compare to the depraived indifference to human life that has been displayed by the North Korean government. Something needs to be done for these people. Relief groups have been kicked out of the country only to be re-invited with major constraints. Much of the food aimed at helping starving citizens has gone to the markets to be sold. I do not know what the best thing is but I do know that if there is anyone in the world that needs to be liberated it's the starving Korean population.