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    War and Terror: Korea Steps Back From The Brink
    Tuesday, December 21 @ 06:59:30 UTC
    North KoreaBy Mike Whitney
    December 20, 2010 - counterpunch.org

    Realizing that its plan to intimidate North Korea has backfired and brought the peninsula to the brink of war, the Obama administration is now looking for ways to ease tensions. But South Korea's tough-talking President Lee Myung-bak has decided to go ahead with the controversial artillery tests on Yeonpyeong Island and risk a resumption of hostilities. The North has warned that if the drills proceed, they will respond with a "counterattack....that would be deadlier than the strike on Nov. 23."

    On Monday, live-fire drills began on Yeonpyeong near the disputed border on the West Sea. An unknown number of South Korean citizens have been evacuated from the island and fighter jets have been scrambled.

    (Read More... | 4980 bytes more | War and Terror | Score: 0)

    War and Terror: Games of Provocation: The Korean War, Round Two
    Friday, December 10 @ 15:00:18 UTC
    North KoreaBy Mike Whitney
    December 10, 2010 - counterpunch.org

    The Obama administration is playing a dangerous game of chicken on the Korean peninsula and it could end in war. North Korea responded to provocative joint military operations between the US and South Korea off its coast by shelling nearby Yeonpyeong Island which lies in disputed waters. The North's artillery attack killed four and left many others wounded. US and South Korean officials have vehemently condemned the attack and promised to retaliate to any similar incident in the future.

    The media have helped to inflame passions and demanding "payback". Propaganda fliers have been spread across the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), some of them reaching as far north as Pyongyang. According to the Korea JoongAng Daily an official from the South Korean Ministry of National Defense said "the South is prepared to broadcast propaganda along the DMZ and that the ministry is “weighing the timing.”...Loudspeakers are already installed in 11 areas along the DMZ for further propaganda attacks." ("Propaganda war escalates; use of loudspeakers mulled", Korea JoongAng Daily)

    (Read More... | 7712 bytes more | War and Terror | Score: 0)

    War and Terror: Korea Staredown: Battle Lines Still Drawn
    Monday, June 07 @ 04:58:19 UTC
    North KoreaBy Ron Jacobs
    June 07, 2010 - counterpunch.org

    While Washington and Seoul ramp up the rhetoric against the government in Pyongyang following their conclusion that the sinking of a Republic of Korea (South Korea) military ship was an intentional attack by Pyongyang's navy, Beijing is publicly wondering if the ship actually sunk because it hit a US-placed mine in Korean waters. Because of this doubt, China is currently refusing to sign on to any sanctions against the nation of North Korea. While unable to ascertain the actual cause of the ship sinking with the information publicly available, it is difficult for this writer to not draw parallels to the destruction of the USS Maine in 1898. Like the sinking of the Republic of Korea's boat, the circumstances of the Maine sinking were difficult to ascertain. Many historians belove that the explosion that caused the sinking was due to an internal fire on the ship, while the US government and its cohorts in the US media (especially William Randolph Hearst) blamed the sinking on a Spanish mine in the Cuban harbor where the explosion occurred. As any reader of US history knows, it was this sinking that provided the United States with the excuse it needed to chase Spain from the western hemisphere and begin the long march of modern US imperialism.

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    War and Terror:
    Tuesday, April 21 @ 03:43:36 UTC
    North KoreaBy Scott Ritter
    April 21, 2009

    Six minutes before 1 o’clock in the afternoon, on Jan. 23, a 173-foot-tall, two-stage rocket lifted off from Northeast Asia. Capable of carrying a giant 33,000-pound payload, the rocket’s liquid-fuel engine, supplemented by two solid-fuel strap-on booster rockets, generated nearly half a million pounds of thrust before giving way to the second stage, likewise powered by a liquid-fuel engine. After reaching a height of nearly 430 miles, the rocket released into orbit a 3,850-pound satellite, along with seven smaller probes. Other than the small community of scientists interested in the data expected to be collected from the “Ibuki” Greenhouse Gases Observatory Satellite (GOSAT), the rocket’s main payload, very few people around the world took notice of the launch. The United Nations Security Council did not meet in an emergency session to denounce the launch, nor did it craft a package of punitive economic sanctions in response.

    (Read More... | 14924 bytes more | War and Terror | Score: 0)

    World Focus: What about Life in America?
    Tuesday, November 27 @ 05:20:43 UTC
    North KoreaWhat do Charlie's Angels, gangster films and James Bond tell us about life in America?

    By Stephen Gowans
    November 27, 2007

    North Koreans are learning about “what is going on in the world” and that “the government of Kim Jong Il is not really for their own good” by watching south Korean soap operas and James Bond films, says the Washington Post (November 21, 2007).

    The newspaper quotes a 40 year old emigrant north Korean who lives in a Seoul suburb who says “she learned about the world beyond (n)orth Korea from Hong Kong gangster films and from (s)outh Korean television,” while her 17 year old son's “understanding of the United States – where he hopes one day to live – was formed by watching old videos of ‘Charlie's Angels'.”

    The idea that television and films can furnish anyone with even a wisp of a realistic understanding of what's going on in the world is as silly as the idea that Hansel and Gretel offers a window on Germany.

    (Read More... | 2949 bytes more | World Focus | Score: 5)

    War and Terror: Understanding North Korea
    Tuesday, November 14 @ 09:28:22 UTC
    North Korea"Che Guevara visited Pyongyang around (1965) and told the press that North Korea was a model to which revolutionary Cuba should aspire." (1)

    By Stephen Gowans, gowans.blogspot.com
    November 05, 2006

    North Korea is a country that is alternately reviled and ridiculed. Its leader, Kim Jong-il, is demonized by the right and -- with the exception of Guevera in 1965 and many of his current admirers -- mocked by the left. Kim is declared to be insane, though no one can say what evidence backs this diagnosis up. It's just that everyone says he is, so he must be. If Kim had Che's smoldering good looks he may have become a leftist icon, leader of "the one remaining, self-proclaimed top-to-bottom alternative to neo-liberalism and globalization," as Korea expert Bruce Cumings puts it. (2) Instead, the chubby Kim has become a caricature, a Dr. Evil with a bad haircut and ill-fitting clothes. The country he leads, as befits such a sinister character, is said to be a danger to international peace and security, bent on provoking a nuclear war. And it's claimed that years of economic mismanagement have reduced north Korea to an economic basket-case and that its citizens, prisoners at best, are starved and repressed by a merciless dictator.

    (Read More... | 48956 bytes more | War and Terror | Score: 4.75)

    War and Terror: How the US Declared War on North Korea
    Friday, October 20 @ 20:06:25 UTC
    North KoreaBy Gary Leupp, counterpunch.org

    North Korea proclaims UNSC Resolution 1718 "a declaration of war." One could dismiss this description as just another of Pyongyang's exercises in hyperbolic bluster, but in fact it may be right on target. The resolution prohibits "the provision of large-scale arms, nuclear technology and related training to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, as well as luxury goods," and calls "upon all States to take cooperative action, including through inspection of cargo, in accordance with their respective national laws."

    The "luxury goods" aren't specified, but surely include such items as French champagne and Hennessy cognac, which the Kim Jong-il is known to consume in quantity and to distribute among his generals. "This will be a little diet for Kim Jong-il," smirked a visibly pleased U.S. UN ambassador John Bolton in announcing the resolution. That's sure to get the (rather corpulent) Dear Leader's dander up.

    (Read More... | 10327 bytes more | War and Terror | Score: 0)

    War and Terror: North Korea as a Religious State
    Monday, October 16 @ 16:17:11 UTC
    North Korea"Heaven and Earth Shake with Cheers for Kim Jong-il!"

    By Gary Leupp, counterpunch.org

    All three countries labeled "the Axis of Evil" by President Bush in 2002 are presently religious states. Iran is of course a Shiite theocracy, while the government of formerly secularist Iraq---to the extent it has a government at all---is dominated by Shiite fundamentalists. North Korea has long practiced its state religion, Kim Il-songism.

    According to North Korean scriptures, when the Great Leader Kim Il-song died in 1994, thousands of cranes descended from Heaven to fetch him, and his portrait appeared high in the firmament. Immediately villages and towns throughout the nation began to construct Towers of Eternal Life, the main one rising 93 meters over Kim's mausoleum in Pyongyang. The Great Leader's son, the Dear Leader Kim Jong-il, took power, declining to assume the title of President. The Constitution of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea restricts that title forever to the Great Leader, whom the Dear Leader has proclaimed, "will always be with us." The Dear Leader himself was born on Mt. Paektu, the highest mountain in Korea and Manchuria long revered by Koreans as sacred and the birthplace of their nation, in 1942. (Unbelievers say he was born in 1941 in Vyatskoye, in Siberia, in the Soviet Union.) His birth in a humble log cabin brought joy to the cosmos: a double rainbow appeared over the peak, a new star rose in the heavens, and a swallow descended to herald his birth. (Thus he is called, among other monikers, the Heaven-Descended General.) When he was 32 years old, the Workers' Party of Korea and the people of Korea unanimously elected him their leader. When he visited Panmunjom, a fog descended to protect him from South Korean snipers, but when he was out of danger, the mist dramatically listed and glorious sunlight shone all around him... You get the idea.

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    War and Terror: Korean bomb: the nightmare created by Bush
    Monday, October 16 @ 16:06:30 UTC
    North Koreasocialistworker.co.uk
    October 14, 2006

    North Korea's decision to conduct a nuclear weapons test on Monday of this week drew condemnation from all the world's major powers. Across the globe people rightly fear a nuclear conflagration.

    Socialist Worker opposes all nuclear weapons, but there is immense hypocrisy in George Bush and Tony Blair's sabre rattling at North Korea.

    Bush has been threatening North Korea ever since he named the country as part of the "axis of evil" in 2002. The country's decision to go nuclear is a direct consequence of that.

    The Bush regime recently discussed plans for a nuclear attack on Iran - plans that were only blocked by a near mutiny by US generals.

    (Read More... | 2313 bytes more | War and Terror | Score: 0)

    World Focus: The Cold Water North Korea Never Threw
    Wednesday, September 21 @ 19:52:54 UTC
    North KoreaBy Stephen Gowans, gowans.blogspot.com

    I first learned to distrust the press when I worked at a small grocery store in which a bomb had been planted and the ensuing newspaper stories got most everything wrong, including the names and ages of the people involved. Nineteen at the time, I was suddenly morphed into a mature 39.

    Later, I would occasionally come across newspaper stories about subjects I knew inside out and marvel at how astonishingly off the mark they were. "If they can be so wrong on this," I wondered, "how wrong can they be on everything else?"

    When my wife got sick and needed surgery, the surgeon railed against the media whenever my wife ventured to ask a medical question based on something she had read in newspapers. "Don't believe that crap," he'd thunder. "They never get it right."

    (Read More... | 8915 bytes more | World Focus | Score: 4)

    World Focus: Regime Change: A Necessity of Inter-Imperialist Rivalry?
    Sunday, December 26 @ 18:00:20 UTC
    North KoreaBy Stephen Gowans, What's Left
    December 23, 2004

    Not too long ago, James Kelly, U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific affairs, visited the perennial U.S. bete noire, north Korea, and made an accusation. "You're cheating," he said.

    Under the terms of a 1994 agreement reached with the Clinton administration, the north Koreans were supposed to freeze operations at their Yongbyon nuclear facilities. In return, Washington would provide fuel-oil shipments, normalize relations, and arrange construction of two-light water reactors. The reactors would be incapable of producing weapons-grade material, giving Pyongyang a source of much needed electricity, but not fissile material for nuclear warheads.

    (Read More... | 11624 bytes more | World Focus | Score: 0)

    War and Terror: US to North Korea: Trust Us, We'd Never Lie
    Tuesday, June 29 @ 21:27:01 UTC
    North KoreaBy Stephen Gowans

    Picture this: Al-Qaeda offers Washington a "provisional" guarantee not to attack the country or seek to target US interests abroad in return for the US dismantling its military. The agreement would depend on the US giving international inspectors access to US military sites and meeting a series of deadlines for disabling and dismantling its military facilities, and then shipping them out of the country.

    Would Washington agree?


    No country would deliberately leave itself defenseless, simply because an enemy promised not to attack, and then only provisionally.

    (Read More... | 6763 bytes more | War and Terror | Score: 3)

    War and Terror: Bad War
    Sunday, January 26 @ 00:03:12 UTC
    North Koreaby Charley Reese

    North Korea might be planning to launch a war against South Korea and take control of the peninsula while the U.S. military is tied up in the Iraq business.

    In the first place, unification by force has always been the basic policy of North Korea, and this policy has dictated North Korea's force structure. In the second place, the economic situation might have reached the point where war is preferable. If the above is true, then President George Bush has played right into the hands of Kim Jong Il, the diminutive dictator who's about 500 times smarter and a 1,000 times more dangerous than Saddam Hussein.

    (Read More... | 4173 bytes more | War and Terror | Score: 0)

    World Focus: State Department's John Bolton the Wrong Man to Send to Korea
    Wednesday, January 22 @ 15:50:08 UTC
    North KoreaThis analysis was prepared by Thomas Gorman, Research Associate, and Matthew Ward, Research Fellow at the Council on Hemispheric Affairs. Issued Wednesday January 22, 2003
    • Peace emissary is one of the administration's prime unilateralists and a jingoist nationalist.
    • Progenitor of invented Cuban bioweaponry charge, strangely silent when it came to proving it.
    • Senator Jesse Helms' protégé is one more example that the State Department, under Secretary Powell, is a den of zealous ideologues when it comes to dealing with Latin America.
    Bolton Goes East

    Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security John Bolton has been meeting with South Korean diplomats while on the second leg of his tour of Northeast Asia.

    (Read More... | 13867 bytes more | World Focus | Score: 0)

    War and Terror: North Korea: Calling Dubya's Bluff
    Monday, January 06 @ 00:13:51 UTC
    North KoreaBy Kurt Nimmo, December 27, 2002

    North Korea, part and parcel of the Dubya declared axis of evil, has torn the seals off its mothballed nuke plants, much to the dismay of the US, South Korea, and the International Atomic Energy Agency. The assumption is the sinister Stalinists in Pyongyang will start making nuclear bombs. North Korea has over 300 Nodong-x missiles, which can reach Japan and Okinawa. It has a thousand Scud-B/C missiles, capable of hitting South Korea. Most worrisome for Bush and Clan, it has Taepodong-x ICBMs, which can reach all the way across the Pacific and hit Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, and even Chicago.

    (Read More... | 10402 bytes more | War and Terror | Score: 0)

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