By Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese for Clearing the FOG. Today on Clearing the FOG (Forces of Greed) Radio, we spoke with Tim Shorrock, a journalist who grew up in Japan and South Korea and who’s been writing about US military and economic ties to Japan and Korea for over 30 years, and Hyun Lee, a New York City-based writer and activist who is a member of the Solidarity Committee for Democracy and Peace in Korea. Mainstream media in the US are complicit in drumming up support for US aggression against North Korea. They fail to place North Korea’s actions in the context of the long history of US hostility and interference in North and South Korea. As both the US and North Korea prepare for war, and a successful sociopolitical movement in South Korea has ousted President Park Geun-hye, there is a critical need for clarity about North and South Korea
By Ann Wright for NK News – Why are discussions for a peace treaty with North Korea not an option to resolve the extraordinarily dangerous tensions on the Korean peninsula? At long last, experts with long experience negotiations with the North Koreans are publicly calling for negotiations. Many in the Washington beltway think-tanks have finally acknowledged that the Obama policy of “strategic patience” did not result in a slowdown in the North Korean nuclear weapon and missile programs, but in fact provided room for the North Koreans to expand their research and testing of both nuclear weapon and missile technology. They acknowledge that the U.S. government must deal with the reality that sanctions
By Jason Ditz for Anti War – The US has announced its intention of permanently deploying a company of Grey Eagle drones capable of firing Hellfire Missiles, to South Korea, along the border with North Korea. Officials are saying they’ll provide “surveillance” capabilities. Yet the fact that they chose to send a missile-capable drone suggests surveillance isn’t the primary goal of this deployment. The Trump Administration has already shown an interest in escalating the use of drones to attack targets in places that are not directly part of current US military operations. While the US throwing more military forces at the Korean Peninsula is nothing new…
By Staff of Zim Eye – History was early this morning broken as South Korean Supreme Court judges upheld President Park Geun-hye’s impeachment, removing her from office. The President has been permanently kicked out of work. Ms Park has been accused of colluding with a friend who allegedly pressured big companies to give money in return for government favours. Ms Park and her friend, Choi Soon-sil, both deny doing anything wrong. South Korea’s constitutional court delivered its verdict after a final session lasting over an hour at around midnight (London time).
By Jason Ditz for Anti War – Speculation that China is trying to get the US and North Korea to negotiate instead of having these annual escalations of tensions proved true today, with Chinese officials proposing a deal in which the US, North Korea, and South Korea would halt their respective provocative actions. Foreign Minister Wang Yi proposed that North Korea would suspend work on both its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs, in return for the US and South Korea agreeing to halt their annual wargames, which grow every year, and simulate a joint invasion of North Korea. Wang said the suspension-for-suspension deal would be both a chance to reduce tension on the Korean Peninsula
By Kevin Zeese and Margaret Flowers for Truthout – US political leaders and media pundits trumpet North Korea’s recent testing of missiles and nuclear weapons as a great threat. But the US mass media do not tell the whole story. Without the context of history and current events, the actions of North Korea look insane, but when put in context we find that the United States is pushing North Korea on this path. North Korea is really not a significant threat compared to what the United States is doing with nuclear weapons, the Asia Pivot and war games off the Korean coast. In this article, we seek greater understanding by putting ourselves in the place of North Korea. Historical Context: Korea, a Pawn for Big Power, Brutalized by the United States…
By Staff for Zoom in Korea. When these current conflicts are put into the context of US history with Korea the actions of the United States are even more threatening. The first US effort to attack Korea was in the late 1800s and throughout the last century the US has been in conflict with the people of Korea. They refused to let them create their own democracy and instead installed a dictator after World War II and has continued to control the selection of Korean leaders since the Korean War. The US has refused to enter into a final peace treaty with North Korea since the end of the Korean War and has opposed any movements toward reunification between the north and south. The US has escalated its mock attacks on North Korea, especially under President Obama and has continued to point missiles and advanced weaponry at North Korea. The people of the United States need to realize that the US military has been the aggressor in Korea and the media and government have been misleading us on the role our government is playing in destabilizing the region.
By Alice Slater for Popular Resistance. This latest terrifying and dreadful underground nuclear test by North Korea should be a warning to the United States and the other nuclear weapons states, that the longer we continue to modernize and cling to our nuclear arsenals and promote a nuclear deterrence policy which promise catastrophic threats of nuclear retaliation if attacked, the more additional countries will be seeking to get their own “deterrent”, just as North Korea has done creating ever greater threats of accidental or deliberate nuclear disaster.. It is telling that at the same time we made the deal with Iran to rein in their “peaceful” nuclear power program and secure their enriched uranium in Russia, we promised “peaceful” nuclear reactors to Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Turkey so they too will have their bomb in the basement.
An international group of women activists, including Gloria Steinem and two Nobel Peace laureates, on Sunday crossed the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea in a call for global peace and reconciliation. “We are walking for a peaceful world, we are walking for a peaceful world,” the activists sang as they crossed one section of the heavily fortified two-mile-wide zone. WomenCrossDMZ hit a brief roadblock when the activists were denied an attempt to walk across the final stretch, but they were able to make the crossing by bus. “Not only have we received the blessing for our historic crossing, we’ve gotten both Korean governments to communicate. That is a success,” one of the Nobel Peace laureates, Leymah Gbowee, who was recognized in 2011 for her role in Liberian peace movement, told CBS News.
Following my conscience to challenge US policies began with my resignation as a US diplomat in 2003 in opposition to the Bush war on Iraq. Before working as a diplomat I was a US Army Reserve Colonel. Over the past 12 years, my conscience has taken me on life’s journey to see the effect of US policies on Gaza, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Cuba, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Iran. My conscience is taking me now to North Korea. Today, as a citizen diplomat, I am part of a delegation of 30 international women peacemakers from around the world who will walk with Korean women, north and south, to call for an end to the Korean War and for a new beginning for a reunified Korea. We will hold international peace symposiums in Pyongyang and Seoul where we can listen to Korean women and share our experiences and ideas of mobilizing women to bring an end to violent conflict. On 24 May, our hope is to cross the two-mile wide De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) that separates millions of Korean families as a symbolic act of peace.
International, Northern and Southern Korean women activists who plan to cross the Korean Demilitarized Zone said Wednesday they are determined to move forward with their walk, despite the announcement that United Nations authorities can’t guarantee their safety if they walk from the North to the South at Panmunjom. Panmunjom is where the Korean War armistice agreement was signed, and it is critical to the delegates that the DMZ crossing take place at this symbolic site. Officials in Pyongyang have informed organizer Christine Ahn, a Korean-American peace activist, that without a formal letter from Seoul approving a crossing at Panmunjom they may have to cross at another location. Ahn said the group has been advised to consider crossing from nearby Kaesong on a highway that is used mainly for civilian and commercial purposes.
In May 2015, in just under two months, 30 women from around the world will walk for peace in Korea. We are hoping to meet with North Korean women and learn about their hopes and aspirations for a reunited Korea free from war. We are also hoping to meet with South Korean women and learn about their hopes and aspirations for a reunited Korea free from war. As if that weren’t challenging enough, we hope to cross the De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) that divides them and millions of families. You can visit our website to learn more about who is walking and why we’re walking to reunite families and end the Korean War. As you can imagine, it is quite the epic journey that requires traveling through Beijing, obtaining visas, coordinating travel from a dozen different countries, and everything else that comes with such a major overseas trip. Most of our delegation of dedicated women peacemakers are paying their own way, but the reality is that it is a costly event. But the impact could be “game changing” as The Nation journalist, Tim Shorrock, tweeted last week.
A year ago, I went on this peacebuilding mission to Pyongyang to discuss an international women’s peace walk across the two-mile wide De-Militarized Zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas. To my relief, Pyongyang responded very favourably towards our proposal, but with a stern caveat: only if the conditions were favourable. Today, despite New Year calls for engagement by both Korean leaders, tensions remain very high. And this month, the United States and South Korea are conducting a two-month long period of military exercises called Key Resolve and Foal Eagle, which the North Korean Rodong Sinmun believes are “aimed to occupy the DPRK through pre-emptive strikes.” The conditions are not favourable, but we are still planning the women’s peace walk across the DMZ this May.