Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Spain Ignores Scotland Lesson as Catalan Independence Referendum Could Spark Civil War - Nadeem_Walayat
2.Used Car Buying From UK Dealer Top Tips, CarMotion.co.uk Real Customer Experience - N_Walayat
3.Spanish New Civil War Begins as Madrid Regime Storm Troopers Quell Catalan Independence Rebellion - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Virgin Media Broadband Down, Catastrophic UK Wide Failure! - Nadeem_Walayat
5.Are the US Markets setting up for an Early October Surprise? - Chris_Vermeulen
6.The Pension Storm Is Coming To Europe—It May Be The End Of Europe As We Know It -John_Mauldin
7.Stock Market Crash 2018; Will it Prove to be Another Buying Opportunity - Sol_Palha
8.The Profoundly Personal Impact Of The National Debt On Our Retirements - Dan_Amerman
9.Stock Market as Good as it Gets; Like 2000 With a Twist -Gary_Tanashian
10.1987 Stock Market Crash 30th Anniversary Greatest Investing Lesson Learned - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
This Super Metal Is Set To Soar By 300% - 23rd Oct 17
More New Record Highs As S&P 500 Gets Closer To 2,600 Mark - 23rd Oct 17
Another Minor Stock Market Top? - 23rd Oct 17
Bitcoin Hits $6,000, $100 Billion Market Cap As Helicopter Ben and Jamie Demon Warn The End Is Near! - 22nd Oct 17
Time for Caution in Gold Miners - 22nd Oct 17
“Great Rotation” Ahead; Will it Be Inflationary or Deflationary? - 21st Oct 17
The Trigger for Volatility, Rates and the Next Crisis - 21st Oct 17
Perks to Consider an Agent for Auto Insurance - 21st Oct 17
Emerging Megatrends Hurting Consumers - 21st Oct 17
A Catalyst of the Stock Market Bubble Bust - 21st Oct 17
Silver Stocks Comatose - 21st Oct 17
Stock Investors Ignore What May Be The Biggest Policy Error In History - 20th Oct 17
Gold Up 74% Since Last Stock Market Peak 10 Years Ago - 20th Oct 17
Labour Sheffield City Council Employs Army of Spy's to Track Down Tree Campaigners / Felling's Watchers - 20th Oct 17
Stock Market Calm Before The Storm - 20th Oct 17
GOLD Price Creates Bullish Higher Low - 20th Oct 17
Here’s the US’s Biggest Vulnerability in NAFTA Negotiations - 20th Oct 17
The Greatest Investing Lesson Learned from the 1987 Stock Market Crash - 20th Oct 17
Stock Market Time to Go All-in. Short, That Is - 19th Oct 17
How Gold Bullion Protects From Conflict And War - 19th Oct 17
Stock Market Super Cycle Wave C May Have Started - 19th Oct 17
Negative Expectations, Will the Stock Market Correct? - 19th Oct 17
Knowing the Factors Affect your Car Insurance Premium - 19th Oct 17
Getting Your Feet Wet In Crypto Currencies - 19th Oct 17
10 Years Ago Today a Stocks Bear Market Started - 19th Oct 17
1987 Stock Market Crash 30th Anniversary Greatest Investing Lesson Learned - 19th Oct 17
Virgin Media Broadband Down, Catastrophic UK Wide Failure! - 19th Oct 17
The Passive Investing Bubble May Trigger A Massive Exodus from Stocks - 18th Oct 17
Gold Is In A Dangerous Spot - 18th Oct 17
History Says Global Debt Levels Will Lead to Another Crisis - 18th Oct 17
Deflation Basics Series: The Quantity Theory of Money - 18th Oct 17
Attractive European Countries for Foreign Investors - 18th Oct 17
Financial Transcription Services – What investors should know about them - 18th Oct 17
Brexit UK Vulnerable As Gold Bar Exports Distort UK Trade Figures - 18th Oct 17
Surge in UK Race Hate Crimes, Micro-Racism, Sheffield, Millhouses Park, Black on Asian - 18th Oct 17
Comfortably Numb: Surviving the Assault on Silver - 17th Oct 17
Are Amey Street Tree Felling's Devaluing Sheffield House Prices? - 17th Oct 17
12 Real-Life Techniques That Will Make You a Better Trader Now - 17th Oct 17
Warren Buffett Predicting Dow One Million - Being Bold Or Overly Cautious? - 17th Oct 17
Globalization is Poverty - 17th Oct 17
Boomers Are Not Saving Enough for Retirement, Neither Is the Government - 16th Oct 17
Stock Market Trading Dow Theory - 16th Oct 17
Stocks Slightly Higher as They Set New Record Highs - 16th Oct 17
Why is Big Data is so Important for Casino Player Acquisition and Retention - 16th Oct 17
How Investors Can Play The Bitcoin Boom - 16th Oct 17
Who Will Be the Next Fed Chief - And Why It Matters  - 16th Oct 17
Stock Market Only Minor Top Ahead - 16th Oct 17
Precious Metals Sector is on Major Buy Signal - 16th Oct 17
Really Bad Ideas - The Fed Should Have And Defend An Inflation Target - 16th Oct 17
The Bullish Chartology for Gold - 15th Oct 17
Wikileaks Mocking US Government Over Bitcoin Shows Why There Is No Stopping Bitcoin - 15th Oct 17
How to Wipe Out Puerto Rico's Debt Without Hurting Bondholders - 15th Oct 17
Gold And Silver – Think Prices Are Manipulated? Look In The Mirror! - 15th Oct 17

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

3 Videos + 8 Charts = Opportunities You Need to See - Free

Does North Korea Need Nukes to Deter US Aggression?

Politics / Nuclear Weapons Jan 10, 2016 - 06:10 PM GMT

By: Mike_Whitney

Politics

Here’s your U.S. foreign policy quiz for the day:

Question 1– How many governments has the United States overthrown or tried to overthrow since the Second World War?

Answer: 57  (See William Blum.)


Question 2– How many of those governments had nuclear weapons?

Answer— 0

Does that mean North Korea needs nuclear weapons to deter US aggression?

Yes and no. Yes, nuclear weapons are a credible deterrent but, no, that’s not why North Korea set off a hydrogen bomb last Tuesday. The reason North Korea detonated the bomb was to force the Obama administration to sit up and take notice. That’s what this is all about. North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, wants the US to realize that they’re going to pay a heavy price for avoiding direct negotiations.  In other words, Kim is trying to pressure Obama back to the bargaining table.

Unfortunately, Washington isn’t listening. They see the North as a threat to regional security and have decided that additional sanctions and isolation are the best remedies. The Obama administration thinks they have the whole matter under control and don’t need to be flexible or compromise which is why they are opting for sticks over carrots.  In fact, Obama has refused to conduct any bilateral talks with the North unless the North agrees beforehand to abandon its nuclear weapons programs altogether and allow weapons inspectors to examine all their nuclear facilities. This is a non-starter for the DPRK. They see their nuclear weapons program as their “ace in the hole”, their only chance to end persistent US hostility.

Now if we separate the “hydrogen bomb” incident from the longer historic narrative dating back to the Korean War, it’s possible to twist the facts in a way that makes the North look like the “bad guy”, but that’s simply not the case.   In fact, the reason the world is facing these problems today is because of US adventurism in the past. Just as ISIS emerged from he embers of the Iraq War, so too, nuclear proliferation on the Korean peninsula is a direct result of failed US foreign policy in the ’50s.

US involvement in the Korean War precluded a final settlement, which means the war never really ended.  An armistice agreement that was signed on July 27, 1953, ended the hostilities, but a “final peaceful settlement” was never achieved, so the nation remains divided today. The reason that matters is because the US still has 15 military bases in South Korea, 28,000 combat troops, and enough artillery and missiles to blow the entire country to smithereens.  The US presence in South Korea effectively prevents the reunification of the country and a final conclusion to the war unless it is entirely on Washington’s terms.  Bottom line: Even though the cannons have stopped firing, the war drags on, thanks in large part to the ongoing US occupation.

So how can the North normalize relations with the US if Washington won’t talk to them and, at the same time, insists that the North abandon the weapons program that is their only source of leverage?  Maybe they  should do an about-face, meet Washington’s demands, and hope that by extending the olive branch relations will gradually improve. But how can that possibly work, after all, Washington wants regime change so it can install a US puppet that will help create another capitalist dystopia for its corporate friends. Isn’t that the way US interventions usually turn out? That’s not compromise, it’s suicide.

And there’s another thing too: The leadership in Pyongyang knows who they’re dealing with which is why they’ve taken the hardline. They know the US doesn’t respond to weakness, only strength. That’s why they can’t cave in on the nukes project.  It’s their only hope.  Either the US  stands down and makes concessions or the stalemate continues. Those are the only two possible outcomes.

It’s worth noting, that before Syria, Libya, Iraq, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Vietnam and the long catalogue of US bloodbaths across the decades, there was the Korean War. Americans have swept it under the rug, but every Korean, North and South, knows what happened and how it ended. Here’s a short  refresher that explains why the North is still wary of the US 63 years after the armistice was signed.  The excerpt is from an article titled “Americans have forgotten what we did to North Korea”, at Vox World:

“In the early 1950s, during the Korean War, the US dropped more bombs on North Korea than it had dropped in the entire Pacific theater during World War II. This carpet bombing, which included 32,000 tons of napalm, often deliberately targeted civilian as well as military targets, devastating the country far beyond what was necessary to fight the war. Whole cities were destroyed, with many thousands of innocent civilians killed and many more left homeless and hungry….

According to US journalist Blaine Harden…

“Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — 20 percent of the population,” Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, told the Office of Air Force History in 1984. Dean Rusk, a supporter of the war and later secretary of state, said the United States bombed “everything that moved in North Korea, every brick standing on top of another.” After running low on urban targets, U.S. bombers destroyed hydroelectric and irrigation dams in the later stages of the war, flooding farmland and destroying crops……

You can glimpse both the humanitarian and political consequences in an alarmed diplomatic cable that North Korea’s foreign minister sent to the United Nations… in January 1951:

“On January 3 at 10:30 AM an armada of 82 flying fortresses loosed their death-dealing load on the city of Pyongyang …Hundreds of tons of bombs and incendiary compound were simultaneously dropped throughout the city, causing annihilating fires, the transatlantic barbarians bombed the city with delayed-action high-explosive bombs which exploded at intervals for a whole day making it impossible for the people to come out onto the streets. The entire city has now been burning, enveloped in flames, for two days. By the second day, 7,812 civilians houses had been burnt down. The Americans were well aware that there were no military targets left in Pyongyang….

The number of inhabitants of Pyongyang killed by bomb splinters, burnt alive and suffocated by smoke is incalculable…Some 50,000 inhabitants remain in the city which before the war had a population of 500,000.”

(“Americans have forgotten what we did to North Korea“,  Vox World)

Get the picture? When it became clear that the US was not going to win the war, they decided to teach “those rotten Commies” a lesson they’d never forget. They reduced the entire North to smoldering rubble condemning the people to decades of starvation and poverty.  That’s how Washington fights its wars: “Kill ’em all and let God sort it out.”

This is why the North is building nukes instead making concessions; it’s because Washington is bent on either victory or annihilation.

So what does North Korea want from the United States?  

The North wants what it’s always wanted. It wants the US to stop its regime change operations,  honor its obligations under the 1994 Agreed Framework, and sign a non aggression pact. That’s all they want, an end to the constant hectoring, lecturing and interference.  Is that too much to ask? Here’s how Jimmy Carter summed it up in a Washington Post op-ed (November 24, 2010):

 “Pyongyang has sent a consistent message that during direct talks with the United States, it is ready to conclude an agreement to end its nuclear programs, put them all under IAEA inspection and conclude a permanent peace treaty to replace the ‘temporary’ cease-fire of 1953. We should consider responding to this offer. The unfortunate alternative is for North Koreans to take whatever actions they consider necessary to defend themselves from what they claim to fear most: a military attack supported by the United States, along with efforts to change the political regime.” (“North Korea’s consistent message to the U.S.”, President Jimmy Carter, Washington Post)

There it is in black and white. The US can end the conflict today by just meeting its obligations under the terms of the Agreed Framework and by agreeing that it will not attack North Korea in the future. The path to nuclear disarmament has never been easier, but the chances of Obama taking that road are slim at best.

By Mike Whitney

Email: fergiewhitney@msn.com

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com.

© 2015 Copyright Mike Whitney - All Rights Reserved Disclaimer: The above is a matter of opinion provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as investment advice. Information and analysis above are derived from sources and utilising methods believed to be reliable, but we cannot accept responsibility for any losses you may incur as a result of this analysis. Individuals should consult with their personal financial advisors.

Mike Whitney Archive

© 2005-2017 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Catching a Falling Financial Knife