By Staff of Zoom In Korea – Following Trump’s Senate briefing on North Korea this week, Korean American activists and allies in the Bay Area held their own “people’s briefing” outside Senator Dianne Feinstein’s office on April 27. They called for de-escalation of military tensions between the United States and North Korea and urged Feinstein to take a peaceful and pro-engagement stance on the issue. In a highly unusual move, Trump called senators to a White House briefing on North Korea on April 26. The administration called for tighter sanctions, increased funding for missile systems in Hawaii and Australia, and reiterated that all options, including military action, are on the table. “Feinstein claims that North Korea poses an existential threat and is the number one threat in the world,” said Bay Area activist IO Sunwoo, “I ask Senator Feinstein and the weapons manufacturing lobby that contributes to her office and all the lawmakers in Washington DC how they can dare comment on existential crises when they are in the business of mass destruction.”
By Staff of Women Cross DMZ – We are women leaders from 40 countries, including the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), and many from nations that fought in the Korean War. We are from academia, business, civil society and the military, and represent a diversity of ethnicities, nationalities, religions, and political views. We are united by our belief that diplomacy is the only way to resolve the nuclear crisis and threat of war now facing the Korean peninsula. On July 27, 1953, leaders from the United States, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and China signed the Armistice Agreement to halt the Korean War. They promised to re-convene within three months to replace the ceasefire with a binding peace agreement. This never occurred and an entrenched state of war has ever since defined inter-Korean and U.S.-D.P.R.K. relations. This war must end. Korea is the only nation to remain divided as a result of WWII. For three generations, millions of families have been separated by the world’s most militarized border. We urge you to do the following to avert war in Korea and bring about a long-desired peace on the peninsula…
By Anne Meador of DC Media Group. In recent weeks, North Korean ballistic missile tests have led Trump to threaten and insult the country and its leader and send three aircraft carrier groups within striking distance. Following the announcement of the Senators’ briefing at the White House, North Korea explicitly threatened nuclear war. China and the U.N. have admonished both North Korea and the United States and made pleas for restraint. When the senator arrived at the Eisenhower Executive Office Building they were met with protesters calling for No War With Korea.
By Staff for Popular Resistance. People opposed to war with North Korea were at the White House as senators arrived to meet with the Trump administration. All 100 senators have been invited for a briefing from the State Department and Pentagon on North Korea. As the two buses carrying senators were about to arrive the Secret Service attempted to remove 25 protesters (more protesters were prevented from getting to the area, Richard Ochs was tackled by police when he tried to join the protest others were held behind barriers from joining. Those that were protesting refused to move despite threats of forced removal and arrest. This is the beginning of an ongoing anti-war campaign. The Trump administration and bi-partisans in Congress are threatening war in North Korea and other nations. Take action here: https://popularresistance.org/urgent-stop-the-united-states-from-attacking-north-korea/
By Anthony Gronowicz for A People’s History of US Foreign Policy. The first battle, May 4, 1949—the biggest–initiated a series of clashes that culminated in the publicly declared start of the Korean War on June 25, 1950. This May 4th combat occurred when Rhee’s forces crossed the 38th parallel, only to have two of his infantry companies defect to the communist side. Numerous August skirmishes led the U.S. Korean Military Advisory Group Commander, General W.L. Roberts, to conclude, “Each was in our opinion brought on by the presence of a small south Korean salient north of the parallel …the South Koreans wish to invade the North. … almost every incident has been provoked by the South Korean security forces.” By June 25, 1950, hundreds of troops had been killed as thousands of soldiers fought countless small engagements. Convincing evidence has yet to be shown that the North was preparing to invade the South.
By Justin Raimondo for Anti War – The sixtieth anniversary of the “end” of the Korean war saw President Obama attempt to rescue that classic example of interventionist failure from history’s dustbin. Addressing veterans of that conflict, he declared: “That war was no tie. Korea was a victory. When 50 million South Koreans live in freedom, a vibrant democracy…a stark contrast to the repression and poverty of the North, that is a victory and that is your legacy.” This is a fairytale: it wasn’t a victory, or even a tie: the US public was disenchanted with the war long before the armistice, and Truman was under considerable pressure at home to conclude an increasingly unpopular conflict. As for this guff about “democracy”: whatever the US was fighting for, from 1950, when the war broke out, to 1953, when it ground to a halt, democracy hardly described the American cause. We were fighting on behalf of Syngman Rhee, the US-educated-and-sponsored dictator of South Korea, whose vibrancy was demonstrated by the large-scale slaughter of his leftist political opponents. For 22 years, Rhee’s word was law, and many thousands of his political opponents were murdered: tens of thousands were jailed or driven into exile.
By Christine Ahn for Foreign Policy in Focus – “Let me be very clear: The policy of strategic patience has ended,” U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters at a news conference in Seoul, South Korea. “All options are on the table,” Tillerson continued, including “an appropriate response” to any North Korean threat. The United States and North Korea are like two “accelerating trains coming toward each other,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned last week. North Korea test-fired four ballistic missiles off the coast of Japan as thousands of South Korean, Japanese, and U.S. troops, backed by warships and warplanes, are currently engaging in massive military exercises, including the deployment of the Navy SEALS that killed Osama Bin Laden. With no communication other than military posturing, Pyongyang is left to interpret Washington’s maneuvers as preparation for a pre-emptive strike. Given the political vacuum in South Korea following President Park Geun-hye’s impeachment, all tracks are heading towards one destination: war. At a Council of Foreign Relations discussion on March 13, Mary Beth Long, a former assistant secretary of defense, advocated for “aggressive movement”
By Staff of Fight Back News – Minneapolis. MN – With only 24 hour’s notice, Minneapolis peace groups organized an emergency response protest against the use a massive U.S. bomb in Afghanistan. Over 60 people joined the protest held on Friday, April 14. Several people just walking by or waiting for their bus stopped and joined the protest. People in cars, trucks and buses passing by waved and honked in support of the anti-war message. On Thursday, April 13, it was reported that the Trump administration and the Pentagon unleashed the most powerful U.S. bomb – the 20,000 pound GBU-43, referred to as the ‘mother of all bombs.’ The weapon was used in Afghanistan. Twin Cities anti-war groups saw this as a major escalation of the U.S. wars and consulted quickly to call an emergency protest against this latest U.S. military move. Organizers also raised the alarm about the growing danger of a new U.S. war in Korea. News reports had indicated that the Trump administration had plans for an imminent attack on Korea. The protest was in the West Bank neighborhood of Minneapolis. The neighborhood has many Somali immigrant families.
By Brian Becker of ANSWER Coalition for Liberation News. Trump’s military action against Syria muted his ruling class critics and he won the praise of the Democratic Party leadership and the mainstream media. Trump is on a roll and the next target is North Korea. The Democratic Party “resistance” to Trump has been replaced by obsequiousness. Congress barely whimpered that Trump didn’t even bother to ask for authorization for new war. The Chinese leadership is obviously stunned. In fact, China is now convinced that a new US military strike in Asia may be imminent unless the DPRK backs down from further expected weapons tests perhaps as early as this coming Saturday – the birthday anniversary of Kim Il Sung, the founding leader of the DPRK. It must be remembered that the DPRK has consistently offered to suspend nuclear weapons tests in return for the United States cancelling its massive, annual military exercises that simulate the destruction of the North. Both the Obama administration and the Trump administration immediately rejected this offer.
By Staff of Zoom In Korea – Ramsay Liem, a member of the Task Force organizing the speaking tour, spoke about the importance of highlighting the South Korean people’s anti-THAAD struggle: We will convey our solidarity with the citizens of Seongju County, South Korea and protest the THAAD deployment to officials in Washington D.C. We also want to take advantage of the tour to build stronger relations with the Boston-area peace movement and to ensure that Korea and Northeast Asia are squarely on the agenda of anti-war activists. For most Americans, Korea is a problem ‘over there.’ The deployment of THAAD in Seongju is just the latest example of U.S. intrusion into Korean affairs to further its own geopolitical interests.
By Justin Raimondo for Anti-War – for This question is always hard to answer because they don’t call it the Hermit Kingdom for nothing. Very little comes out of the notoriously reclusive – and repressive – Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea, and not that much gets in. But occasionally there is a burst of activity that, like the eruption of a volcano, is hard to miss – the recent launching of four ballistic missiles being one of them. The missiles landed in the Sea of Japan, about 190 miles off the Japanese coast, sending shockwaves throughout the region. Both Tokyo and Seoul protested, while the North Koreans characterized the action as a logical reaction to the perceived threat of imminent military action by the US and South Korea.
By Christine Ahn for Korean Women Take On Trump – U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis recently made the Trump administration’s first overseas trip. His destination: South Korea and Japan. Coming on the heels of Donald Trump’s loud complaints about America’s “freeloading” allies, Mattis was there to assure South Korean and Japanese officials of America’s commitment to the trilateral security alliance between the three countries. Yet Trump is hardly the only critic of Washington’s military alliances in the region. Civil society organizations in the region have long complained about their governments’ deference to the United States, from challenging U.S. military bases to warning against policies that could draw their countries into a superpower conflict between Washington and Beijing. In South Korea, Mattis’ first stop, women demanding genuine human security are at the forefront of the resistance.
By Kevin Zeese for Popular Resistance. One area that has only recently been clarified is the role of the United States and supporting the military attack on the people of Gwangju. We now know the US did play a significant role. The rebellion was ended on May 27, 1980, by a Corean Army division dispatched from the DMZ marking the border with North Corea. They were sent with the approval of the US commander of the US-Corea Joint Command, Gen. John Wickham. Tim Shorrock reports that: That decision, made at the highest levels of the US government, forever stained the relationship between the United States and the South. For the people of Kwangju, many of whom believed that the US military would side with the forces of democracy, it was a deep betrayal that they’ve never forgotten. And once the rest of Korea knew the truth about the rebellion and understood that the United States had helped throttle it, anti-American sentiment spread like wildfire
By Ellen Davidson for Stop These Wars – A daily ritual begins early in Gangjeong Village on Jeju Island, South Korea, site of a joint U.S.-South Korean deepwater naval base. At 7 am every morning, activists at the entrance to the military base, begin a “100 bows” prayer. Police are lined up around them to make sure they don’t block construction vehicles. On this particular morning, this spiritual presence is augmented by Catholic peace workers, some of whom spent the previous night here in the raw damp. A mattress lies by the side of the road, occupied by Father Mun, one of the most famous radical priests in Korea. When he gets up, he is surrounded by an entourage of police who move with him as he walks, blocking his way if he tries to go too close to the road into the base. At one point, he shakes his cane at them, shouting in Korean that he is not a contagious disease to be quarantined this way.