There has never been a peace agreement between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States. When the Korean War ended is was planned that both sides would work out an agreement, but it never happened. President Trump is boasting that he will fix this problem, but, ignorant man that he is, he doesn’t understand that he can’t fix it.
First of all, the problem is not about the DPRK’s nuclear weapons, which Trump says he will negotiate away (he won’t). They acquired nuclear weapons in response to a brutal war administered against them in the mid-twentieth century by the United States, after a trick at the United Nations Security Council got around the vote of the USSR and put the UN at war with the DPRK. The DPRK negotiating point is that they will not give up their nuclear weapons because they know their nukes are all that keeps the USA from invading.
If Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria or any of the other nations invaded by the US had nuclear weapons they would not have been invaded. The nuke has a peculiar advantage over other weapons, in that it can completely destroy a modern city, so, although it may be a long shot, the USA must consider the possibility that a military strike on the DPRK could result in the loss of one of its cities.
Even a tiny nuclear warhead can destroy the largest cities today, because today’s cities are full of fuel—natural gas lines connecting homes and businesses, numerous gas stations, thousands of cars full of gas, and much more. A nuclear explosion is initially hotter than the center of the sun, and would start fires impossible to douse, even if enough firefighters were willing to risk a horrible death. This, even as the fallout spreads downwind to bring about a slower death for those in its path.
And, to confound the situation, we don’t know where the nuclear warheads might be hidden. They could be anywhere in the DPRK, or even in the United States. With tons of illegal drugs entering the US daily, one might assume that before the 9/11 disaster brought about tightened security around US ports, something as relatively small as a nuclear warhead could have been smuggled into the US. Such a bomb could be kept in a rented apartment in, say, New York City, until such a time as needed for deterrence.
But what this is really about is socialism. The greatest fear of the plutocrats who rule the planet like a private plantation is that neo-Bolsheviks will come for them and take their money. Most of that which passes for “defense” in the budget of the US government has long gone to attack or undermine socialism in the world, not to, in any way, defend the USA. The last time an American state was attacked by a foreign power was the War of 1812.
In order for a small number of people to control most of the world’s wealth, capitalism must be forced upon the masses. This is done by rigging elections (they are purchased in the US by transnational corporations and transnational billionaires, with no loyalty to so much as the spot on which they stand—with apologies to Jefferson), and controlling mass media to as large an extent as possible.
Americans are never advised by any of their thousands of TV channels that it takes the largest prison system on earth for the American economy to function. Nor on none of thousands of cable TV channels available to most Americans is there a program favorable to socialism—the control is absolute.
A current exception to attacking or undermining any nation that is socialist or moving toward socialism in the world is the out-of-control jihadists the US released on Afghanistan under Jimmy Carter, an ideology which has spread throughout much of the Muslim world. The US uses them as a mercenary force when they obey (Afghanistan, Libya, Syria etc.) but bombs them when they disobey in a great many countries (including these three).
But the main “threat” seen by the national security state is socialism. Whenever any nation tries to get out from under control by transnational corporations that suck their blood, and moves toward socialism, the US wages economic war on them and resorts to violence if that doesn’t work (Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, etc.).
In most cases perceived leftist leaders are called “dictators” by corporate media, and false charges are made about their being tyrants in order to gain popular support for attacking such nations. Military coups are a primary strategy (Chile, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, etc.).
And so it is that tiny Cuba has a merciless US blockade denying trade to any ship that dares to unload cargo in that nation (The Torricelli Act). The US fear is that medical care for all and free education might spread to other Latin American countries if Cuba is allowed to get away with socialism, cutting into the profits of transnational corporations.
Note that the USA does not allow its own people to have health care, with thousands annually dying from a lack of health care even to this day. Higher education, in the Land of the Free, bankrupts millions annually.
But in Cuba, even American students are trained to be doctors for free, as long as they promise to serve poor areas in the USA after they graduate.
The DPRK is socialist, that is their crime. They do not allow control by the transnational corporations, as is demanded of poor countries by the USA. The only way for them to end economic and other war waged against them is to give in, create greedy oligarchs happy to sell out their fellow citizens in return for great wealth (the capitalist model), and submit to laissez faire capitalism which benefits the wealthy of the world at the expense of the masses.
President Trump doesn’t appear to understand this. He may be more aware than I give him credit, but I think he actually believes the propaganda “democracy” and “freedom” lines. At any rate, the National Security State will see him impeached before they would allow a truce that lets a socialist DPRK exist unmolested.
If the DPRK were to submit to the real demands of the US, they would be mixed into a united Korea in which the North would become cheap labor for the South, much as Eastern Europe provided cheap labor for the West after the Cold War.
Such a united Korea would be expected by the Empire to provide US military bases for the harassment of China and Russia, the two primary nations in the way of total world domination by The US Empire and its allies.
As I write this, on 27 April, the DPRK and the ROK, familiar to Americans from their media as North and South Korea, have agreed to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula. For this to happen, the US military, it would seem, would have to go.
Because of this, President Trump is being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, ostensibly because of his saber rattling at the DPRK in between bombing attacks on Syria, which many in corporate media are saying led to the Korean peace agreement. This would make the award extremely ironic, except for other war mongers who got the prize (Henry “The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves” Kissinger and Barack “I’m really good at killing people” Obama).
If the leader of a United Korea were to tell the US military to leave so that a denuclearized Korea could happen, how long do you suppose it would take for a Korean general on the CIA payroll to perform a coup?
Jack Balkwill has been published from the little read Rectangle, magazine of the English Honor Society, to the (then) millions of readers USA Today and many progressive publications/web sites such as Z Magazine, In These Times, Counterpunch, This Can’t Be Happening, Intrepid Report, and Dissident Voice. He is author of “An Attack on the National Security State,” about peace activists in prison.