People’s Korea reaches out to south for peacful dialog, defuses U.S. war rhetoric*
By Deirdre Griswold
Jan 19, 2011
U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates said on Jan. 11 that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea was “becoming a direct threat to the United States.”
The U.S. capitalist establishment, whose military is spread across the globe and is armed with the most destructive weapons in the history of the world, has created the myth that People’s Korea is a threat to the U.S. and much of Asia.
This myth by itself would be totally unconvincing, since the DPRK — the northern half of the Korean Peninsula — could not rationally contemplate an unprovoked attack on the U.S., a military superpower. So a second myth is necessary: that the DPRK leaders are not rational. Every accusation that the DPRK poses a threat to world peace requires this second myth.
These two myths are repeated ad nauseam in the powerful U.S. corporate media.
According to Gates, the DPRK is within five years of being able to strike the U.S. with an intercontinental ballistic missile and is continuing to develop nuclear weapons.
Of course, the U.S. has had ICBMs since 1959. The Pentagon showed in 1945 that it would not shrink from using atomic weapons against civilians when it dropped bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, incinerating hundreds of thousands of people. With the development of ICBMs, it became possible for Washington to order such instant destruction almost anywhere in the world.
Using Gates’s own logic, the United States became a “direct threat” to the entire world long ago.
The U.S. certainly has been a direct threat to People’s Korea for more than half a century. It invaded the northern part of Korea in 1950 and carried out a brutal three-year war with vastly superior air power and weapons, yet failed to conquer this valiant country. It has tried to cripple the DPRK’s economy ever since with sanctions and keeps almost 30,000 troops right on the other side of the demilitarized zone that separates the socialist north from the U.S.-allied south.
Is it not really rational, therefore, that the leaders of the DPRK feel they need strong weapons to defend themselves? Isn’t Gates really afraid that if the U.S. were to militarily attack it, the DPRK could have the ability to retaliate?
For at least two generations, the U.S. ruling establishment argued that it needed to keep developing and stockpiling nuclear weapons as a “deterrent” in the Cold War against the Soviet Union. Once that struggle was over, they promised a “peace dividend” and disarmament. But most of the weapons remain and U.S. foreign policy has become more aggressive and belligerent.
Is it irrational for the leaders of the DPRK to also want to have a deterrent against attack? Why isn’t this rational for a much smaller country than the U.S. — one that has been targeted again and again by the Pentagon and included in former President George W. Bush’s mythical “axis of evil”?
New Year’s message emphasizes peaceful development
The leaders of the DPRK don’t represent huge corporations and banks that suck wealth out of countries around the world and need a strong military to enforce their exploitation. That’s the U.S. government. The DPRK wants nothing more than to be left alone to carry out peaceful development on a socialist basis.
They showed this on Dec. 19 when, after being wildly provoked for the second time in a month by the U.S. and its south Korean allies, the DPRK leaders defused a terribly dangerous crisis. Troops of the Seoul regime in the south, backed up by U.S. advisors, again fired live shells into waters just off the DPRK during so-called war games. The north had warned that if that happened again, it would respond. It did happen again — but the armed forces of the DPRK held their fire in the interests of all the Korean people.
An authoritative joint New Year’s editorial by the DPRK’s three leading newspapers stated that the allocation of state resources will continue to emphasize the development of light industry and agriculture in order to raise the standard of living of the people.
For almost a decade, the people of the DPRK have tightened their belts in order to give priority to the building up of their defenses in reaction to increased U.S. threats. They have made great gains in this area. Beginning last year and continuing into 2011, the emphasis now is on using high technology to provide the people with manufactured goods of greater quality and more abundant food.
On Jan. 5 another joint statement was issued that reflected decisions of the government, the Workers’ Party of Korea and other parties and organizations. This one addressed the desire of all Koreans for peace and reunification. It called for an unconditional and early opening of talks with “the political parties and organizations of south Korea including its authorities, be they authorities or civilians, ruling parties or opposition parties, progressives or conservatives.”
Saying that “the issue of inter-Korean relations can never be solved by confrontation,” it added that the DPRK was “ready to meet anyone, anytime and anywhere. ... The danger of war will be defused and the day of peace, reunification and prosperity be brought earlier when all Koreans assert in concert and pool their wisdom and efforts.”
The south Korean authorities have yet to give a positive response. They know that the people certainly want peace. If they reject this overture from the north, the opposition in the south is sure to grow.