AuthorTopic: The Korea thread  (Read 2599 times)

Offline Palloy2

  • Administrator
  • Sous Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 6096
    • View Profile
    • Palloy's Blog
The Korea thread
« on: March 06, 2018, 12:24:25 AM »
https://www.rt.com/news/420558-satisfactory-agreement-kim-korea-talks/
Kim Jong-un reaches ‘satisfactory agreement’ with South Korean delegation
6 Mar, 2018


North Korean leader Kim Jong Un greets Chung Eui-yong, head of the presidential National Security Office, in Pyongyang, North Korea, March 6, 2018. © The Presidential Blue House/Yonhap via / Reuters

The leader of North Korea hosted a dinner with the delegation from Seoul which, according to state media, proceeded in a “compatriotic and sincere atmosphere” and laid the ground for versatile dialogue and cooperation.

“Hearing the intention of President Moon Jae In for a summit from the special envoy of the south side, [Kim Jong-un] exchanged views and made a satisfactory agreement,” North Korea’s official KCNA news agency reported on Tuesday. However, no further details of the “agreement” were provided.

Kim Jong-un also reportedly reaffirmed his “firm will to vigorously advance the north-south relations and write a new history of national reunification,” and instructed relevant authorities to “rapidly take practical steps” to accelerate the talks.

The sides also emphasized the importance of the new momentum in national reconciliation that was achieved during the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games.

“The Winter Olympics served as a very important occasion in demonstrating the stamina and prestige of our nation at home and abroad and providing a good atmosphere of reconciliation, unity and dialogue between the north and the south,” Kim Jong-un said, according to the KCNA. However, the KCNA report failed to mention possible deliberations on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula or potential direct US-North Korean dialogue on the issue.

A South Korean 10-member delegation, led by National Security Council chief Chung Eui-yong and Vice Unification Minister Kim Sang-gyun, arrived for a two-day visit to Pyongyang on Monday. The delegation was personally invited by the North Korean leader, who has signaled his willingness to improve inter-Korean relations. After Chung delivered Moon’s letter to Kim at 6:00 pm, the South Korean delegation began discussing the pressing issues with Kim Jong-un over a dinner meeting that lasted longer than four hours.

Besides the North Korean leader’s younger sister, Yo-jong, who traveled south last month to deliver her brother’s message for President Moon Jae-in, the dinner was also attended by Kim’s wife, Ri Sol-ju, Yonhap reported. Kim Yong-chol, a vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party, was also present at the meeting.
A dinner is prepared for members of the special delegation of South Korea's President in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on March 6, 2018. © KCNA/via / Reuters

The South Korean team is scheduled to have further talks with North Koreans on Tuesday, before heading home to Seoul. After Seoul, the South Korean delegation will visit the United States to brief US officials on the outcomes of their trip to North Korea.

“There were outcomes,” a senior South Korean presidential official said. “The outcomes are not disappointing. We believe the details will be announced after the envoys return to the South.”

The intra-Korean dialogue is taking shape amid an ongoing spat between Washington and Pyongyang. Despite the thaw in North-South relations, on February 23 the US announced that it was imposing its largest package of sanctions in an effort to pressure North Korea to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs. US President Donald Trump recently warned of a possible “phase two” if sanctions imposed on North Korea do not have the desired effects.
« Last Edit: May 08, 2018, 08:49:48 PM by Palloy2 »
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline Eddie

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 14663
    • View Profile
Re: Korea
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2018, 05:30:04 AM »
I expect the South Koreans to take a pacifist approach here. I applaud their efforts to solve the problem, but they're kinda stuck between the empire, on which their booming economy depends, and NK, whose intentions are (or should be) fairly suspect. I doubt Kim Young Fatty's ideas of unification are much like what Moon thinks.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Palloy2

  • Administrator
  • Sous Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 6096
    • View Profile
    • Palloy's Blog
Re: Korea
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2018, 07:33:52 PM »
We can't have all this progress towards Korean reunification, can we?  We want denuclearisation, but even if NK agrees to that, we won't believe them.

https://www.rt.com/usa/420662-sanctions-pyongyang-chemical-agent/
US sanctions North Korea over assassination of Kim Jong-nam with VX nerve agent
7 Mar, 2018

Washington has imposed additional sanctions against Pyongyang, formally accusing it of involvement in the assassination of the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Malaysia in 2017 using a chemical warfare agent.

“The United States determined under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (CBW Act) that the Government of North Korea used the chemical warfare agent VX to assassinate Kim Jong Nam, in the Kuala Lumpur airport,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

The additional sanctions against Pyongyang came into effect on Monday, after the US “officially” determined that the Pyongyang government was involved in Kim’s half-brother’s assassination, according to Nauert. Kim Jong-nam was killed with the banned chemical weapons agent VX on 13 February, 2017, when two women smeared his face with the substance at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia.

The State Department’s notice, published in the Federal Register, accused the North Korean leadership of using “chemical weapons in violation of international law or lethal chemical weapons against its own nationals.”

The notice, however, failed to elaborate on specifics. The broad list of sanctions envisaged by the law includes various measures, ranging from cutting arms sales and export of sensitive technologies to halting financial assistance and bank loans, none of which seem to be relevant in the case of North Korea, already suffering from multiple rounds of Washington’s sanctions. The new, rather symbolic measures, however, will be in place for at least one year or until further notice.

The new punitive measures also come at a time when North and South are witnessing an unprecedented level of rapprochement in their relations. This fresh US jab against N. Korea, however, seems to be a drop in the bucket after, on February 23, Washington announced its largest package of sanctions against Pyongyang to date, in an effort to pressure it to give up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

On Tuesday, US President Donald Trump once again praised his administration’s tough stance for recent diplomatic concessions made by Pyongyang and Seoul. “I think that they [North Koreans] are sincere [with negotiations],” Trump said at a news conference after meeting with Prime Minister Stefan Lofven of Sweden, which represents American interests in North Korea. “And I think they’re sincere also because of the sanctions and what we’re doing with respect to North Korea.”

Earlier in the day, Trump told reporters that the US had “come a long way, at least rhetorically” with North Korea and “statements coming out of South Korea and North Korea have been very positive.”

While Trump expressed readiness to “go hard in either direction,” either politically or militarily, his deputy Mike Pence stressed that all options are on the table as long as Pyongyang continues with its nuclear ambitions.

“Whichever direction talks with North Korea go, we will be firm in our resolve,” Pence said Tuesday. “The United States and our allies remain committed to applying maximum pressure on the Kim regime to end their nuclear program. All options are on the table and our posture toward the regime will not change until we see credible, verifiable, and concrete steps toward denuclearization.”
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline Eddie

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 14663
    • View Profile
Re: Korea
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2018, 06:32:31 AM »
As bad as I hate to say, it, I think what is driving this sudden rapprochement is that Kim Jong Fatty is afraid that Trump is crazy enough to do more than bullshit and try to put on sanctions with no teeth, which is our traditional approach to negotiations.

I'd love for the Koreans to actually work their shit out with each other without our interference, but (1) we aren't about to really allow that and (2) I think the South will be negotiating from a weak position...and (3) I don't think Kim Jong Un is the least bit sane.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Online Surly1

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 13183
    • View Profile
    • Doomstead Diner
Re: Korea
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2018, 07:21:22 AM »
As bad as I hate to say, it, I think what is driving this sudden rapprochement is that Kim Jong Fatty is afraid that Trump is crazy enough to do more than bullshit and try to put on sanctions with no teeth, which is our traditional approach to negotiations.

I'd love for the Koreans to actually work their shit out with each other without our interference, but (1) we aren't about to really allow that and (2) I think the South will be negotiating from a weak position...and (3) I don't think Kim Jong Un is the least bit sane.

The success of Nixon's "madman theory."

In a sanity test, my money is on the fat kid-- not fat Nixon.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline Palloy2

  • Administrator
  • Sous Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 6096
    • View Profile
    • Palloy's Blog
Re: Korea
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2018, 07:13:35 PM »
Trump agrees to meet Kim but says ‘sanctions will remain’ until denuclearization deal is reached
9 Mar, 2018

US President Donald Trump has been invited and agreed to meet in person with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, a senior South Korean official has announced after a meeting at the White House.

Kim said he is committed to denuclearization and said North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests, South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-yong announced on Thursday evening at the White House.

Trump responded that he will “meet Kim by May,” Chung added.

Chung made the surprise announcement after meeting with Trump and the US national security adviser H.R. McMaster on Thursday. He credited Trump’s leadership and the US policy of “maximum pressure” for bringing North Korea to the table.

The Republic of Korea and its allies “stand united in insisting we do not repeat mistakes of the past,” Chung said, declining to take questions from the press.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in is scheduled to meet with Kim at the end of April in the demilitarized zone (DMZ). “Many critical moments are ahead,” Moon said Thursday.
Read more
US President Donald Trump responds to a question about North Korea before holding a meeting with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, US © Leah Millis ‘Future of US-N. Korea relations hinges on Washington’s attitude’

The Korean peninsula has been divided since 1953, after an uneasy armistice suspended the bloody three-year conflict between the Communist North and the US-allied South that at one point involved both US and Chinese militaries. Last month, North and South Korean athletes competed together at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.

Despite the unprecedented level of negotiations between the two Koreas, which began with Kim’s New Year address seeking better ties with Seoul, Trump’s administration has put massive military and economic pressure on Pyongyang in recent months. On February 23, the US introduced a new package of sanctions on North Korea. Trump also repeatedly warned that, if sanctions do not work, the US will look at a “phase two” of action against Pyongyang.

On Tuesday, Trump once again praised his administration’s tough stance for recent diplomatic concessions made by Pyongyang and Seoul, noting that Pyongyang’s intentions for reconciliation seem “sincere” – but only because of the economic pressure. At the same time, the White House made clear that “maximum pressure” will be exerted on North Korea until concrete steps are taken towards “credible and verifiable” denuclearization.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 32554
    • View Profile
Re: Korea
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2018, 07:27:19 PM »
Trump agrees to meet Kim but says ‘sanctions will remain’ until denuclearization deal is reached
9 Mar, 2018

I'm sure that meeting will go well.  ::)  Sure would like to be a Fly on the Wall for it.

RE
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline Palloy2

  • Administrator
  • Sous Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 6096
    • View Profile
    • Palloy's Blog
Re: Korea
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2018, 12:47:34 AM »
"Our combined exercises are defense-oriented and there is no reason for North Korea to view them as a provocation".
If they think that will persuade them, US foreign policy analysis has fallen apart.

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-03-20/us-and-south-korea-will-resume-joint-military-drills-april
US And South Korea Will Resume Joint Military Drills In April
Tyler Durden
03/21/2018

Barely a month after Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he "couldn't rule out" US forces physically boarding ships caught violating US sanctions against North Korea, RT  is reporting that, despite the recent thaw in relations between the US, South Korea and North Korea, the annual "Foal Eagle" and "Key Resolve" joint military exercises involving US and South Korea forces will begin April 1.

Signs of a breakthrough in North-South relations ahead of last month's Winter Olympics prompted the US to postpone the drills, which typically elicit a vehement condemnation from the North, as well as threats of retaliation.

But now that the Games are over, the Pentagon said the planned drills will resume as scheduled - despite North Korea's offer to freeze its missile and nuclear tests ahead of a meeting between Kim Jong Un and President Donald Trump, which Trump hastily agreed to earlier this month.

South Korea's Ministry of National Defense confirmed as much to Yonhap.

    "The practice is slated to begin April 1, and it will be conducted on a similar size in previous years," the Ministry of National Defense said, according to Yonhap.

The exercises are expected to conclude toward the end of May, the Pentagon said.

    "Secretary of Defense James Mattis and the Republic of Korea Minister of National Defense Song Young-moo have agreed to resume the annual combined exercises including Foal Eagle and Key Resolve which were de-conflicted with the schedule of the Olympic Games. The exercises are expected to resume April 1, 2018, at a scale similar to that of the previous years," Pentagon spokesman Colonel Rob Manning said in a statement.

The North Koreans have been notified about the drills by the United Nations Command. The Pentagon emphasized that the drills are not a response to a specific North Korean action.

    "Our combined exercises are defense-oriented and there is no reason for North Korea to view them as a provocation," Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.

Lieutenant Colonel Christopher Logan, a Pentagon spokesman, confirmed that the drills would involve about 23,000 troops and 300,000 members of the South Korean military.

After a round of successful negotiations with South Korea, Kim sent a letter that was hand-delivered to Trump by a South Korean delegation inviting him to engage in direct talks.

Korea

Trump agreed to meet with Kim "sometime in May", ignoring pleas from diplomats and Pentagon officials that honoring the request would "legitimize" North Korea in the eyes of the world.

South Korea has assured the US that the North is "committed to denuclearization" of the Korean peninsula. Until this latest salvo, the North had insisted that it would never give up its nukes under any circumstances, while the US insisted that denuclearization would be a precondition for any lifting of sanctions.

Surprisingly, the North Korean leader suggested he'd be willing to countenance the latest round of military drills, even as the US offered no concessions in return.

* * *

A North Korea expert at the University of Chicago warned Tuesday that the US shouldn't believe the North when it says it would consider giving up its nukes, according to Yonhap.

    "North Korea is not going to give up its nuclear weapons and China will not push North Koreans to do so. The reason is that in international politics, you could never trust anybody because you cannot be certain of what their intentions are," said  John Mearsheimer, a professor at the University of Chicago, during a lecture in Seoul.

So, what do you think? Is North Korea trying to lure Trump into a diplomatic trap with the ultimate aim of embarrassing the US? Or have the many rounds of economic sanctions imposed against the regime finally started to work?
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline Palloy2

  • Administrator
  • Sous Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 6096
    • View Profile
    • Palloy's Blog
Re: Korea
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2018, 06:10:31 PM »
You would expect there to be serious China-NK talks ahead of the US-NK talks in May.  This appears to be them.

https://www.rt.com/news/422403-kim-china-visit-trump/
Kim Jong-un makes surprise visit to China ahead of planned Trump talks – reports
26 Mar, 2018


North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has made a surprise visit to China, according to reports, which described a special North Korean-style green train arriving in Beijing amid heavy security.

Japanese media described the train as green with yellow horizontal lines and 21 carriages – similar in style to the train that carried Kim’s late father, Kim Jong-il, when he visited China in 2011. Train delays of up to two hours were reported by the Beijing railway bureau.

The visit to China would be Kim’s first known trip overseas since he took power in 2011 and comes ahead of the much-hyped talks with US President Donald Trump.

Details of Kim’s trip, including how long he will stay and who he plans to meet, were not immediately available, according to three sources who spoke to Bloomberg News.

Responding to questions about the visit, China’s foreign ministry said it was “not aware of the situation”. It was also unclear whether the US had advance knowledge of the trip.

Reports of a long motorcade with a police escort making its way down Beijing’s Changan Avenue, in the direction of the Diaoyutai State Guest House, have added to speculation that North Korea’s leader was in the city.

Kim previously agreed to meet South Korean president Moon Jae-in in April, following diplomatic talks in February.

Relations between Beijing and Pyongyang have been strained, as China has backed UN sanctions on North Korea as Kim pursues his nuclear weapons program. China opposes Pyongyang’s nuclear ambitions but is also wary of any instability that would result in the region if Kim’s regime collapsed or if a war broke out on the Korean Peninsula.

Earlier this month, Trump agreed to a meeting with Kim if the North Korean leader makes certain commitments regarding its nuclear program before any meeting takes place.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline Eddie

  • Administrator
  • Master Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 14663
    • View Profile
Re: Korea
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2018, 06:56:25 PM »
Summoned, I would expect. He rules at their whim.
What makes the desert beautiful is that somewhere it hides a well.

Offline Palloy2

  • Administrator
  • Sous Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 6096
    • View Profile
    • Palloy's Blog
Re: Korea
« Reply #10 on: April 29, 2018, 06:49:52 PM »
And now for the Russian view.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/425400-korea-north-peace-us/
Peace on the horizon for Korean peninsula, but maybe not if the US has its way
Darius Shahtahmasebi
28 Apr, 2018

This week, the North and South Korean leadership held an historic meeting, eroding decades-long hostility between the two countries but does this signal the end of the “North Korean crisis,” or is it too soon to celebrate?

The United States is a country that, at any given time, is bombing at least seven (or eight) different countries, all the while threatening to bomb at least two or three more. Despite these unprecedented acts of aggression, North Korea – currently bombing no one – is inexplicably and without fail, the country that is universally branded as an uncontrollable threat to global security.

“It’s time to bomb North Korea,” wrote former government advisor Edward Luttwak in an opinion piece for Foreign Policy in January this year.

No, it isn’t. In fact, if I recall correctly, the US already bombed North Korea at least once before, committing an endless supply of potential war crimes in the process.

In the early 1950s, the US bombed North Korea so relentlessly that, according to DPRK, it destroyed over 8,700 factories, 5,000 schools, 1,000 hospitals, 600,000 homes, and eventually killed off perhaps 20 percent of the country’s population. As noted by the Asia Pacific Journal, the US dropped so many bombs that they ran out of targets to hit, so they began punishing the local population by decimating the North’s irrigation systems instead:

“By the fall of 1952, there were no effective targets left for US planes to hit. Every significant town, city and industrial area in North Korea had already been bombed. In the spring of 1953, the Air Force targeted irrigation dams on the Yalu River, both to destroy the North Korean rice crop and to pressure the Chinese, who would have to supply more food aid to the North. Five reservoirs were hit, flooding thousands of acres of farmland, inundating whole towns and laying waste to the essential food source for millions of North Koreans.”

No one considers this historical incident worth mentioning when discussing the so-called “threat” of North Korea. And this is only going to get worse. Not too long ago, Donald Trump’s now national security advisor, John Bolton, wrote an op-ed article published by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) entitled “The Legal Case for Striking North Korea First.” This is an idea so catastrophic that about a week later, the WSJ had no choice but to publish the counter viewpoint entitled “Striking North Korea First Is a Bad Proposal.”

Bolton replaced former National Security Advisor General H.R. McMaster, a man who was also reportedly one of the main architects of a secret plan to hit the North Korean leadership with a “bloody nose strike.” It speaks volumes that this man was apparently not even hawkish enough for Trump that he needed to be replaced by someone as bloodthirsty as Bolton.

How recent developments may influence North Korea’s talks with the US later this year

After this week’s historic meeting between North Korea’s Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the two countries formalized their new relationship through a statement which “confirmed” their stated “common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.” As you will be aware, this too is the apparent goal of Washington – to completely denuclearize the region.

However, this proposal comes with a catch: For North Korea, full denuclearization entails the complete withdrawal of all nuclear-capable US weapons within reach of the peninsula, as well as the withdrawal of its 28,500 troops from South Korea.This is a deal-breaker for Washington and may prove to be a sticking point, especially given that the US military still refuses to leave Japan, despite improved diplomatic relations in the decades following the end of World War Two and in addition to recent protests, some of which have last for over 5,000 consecutive days.

It is also the same reason that the US still has bases in Germany and troops in the Philippines where it is expected to increase its military footprint, even though it was formally kicked out of the country in 1991. Let’s face it, the US hardly ever leaves a country once its military has established a presence. Consider that in Syria, the US controls almost one third of the country, including Syria’s most oil-rich region, without any discernable legal basis to be there in the first place.

In other words, the US may pursue an inevitable, collapsible deal similar to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) reached with Iran in 2015, but ultimately it will never give North Korea the security that it seeks. Putting aside one’s own thoughts of the North Korean leadership, it was the US who destroyed North Korean livelihood to the point of no return in the early 1950s. Remember that Americans still struggle to reconcile with a lone attack on its sovereignty that took place seventeen years ago; surely in that context one can try to understand the plight of the North Korean people.

The real “threat” that North Korea poses

North Korea is not a threat because of its alleged nuclear weapons program. The US has over 1,000 military bases worldwide, has a military budget of $700 billion and a nuclear weapons stockpile so sophisticated that it could make entire continents uninhabitable. A war with North Korea would be no major challenge to the US.

No, North Korea is a threat for the same reason that Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, Syria and Iran are a threat: natural resources and the ability to tie the development of those resources to a currency that will challenge the status of the US dollar.

You see, North Korea sits on reserves of more than 200 minerals, including rare earth minerals, which are believed to be worth up to 10 trillion USD. North Korea’s main ally, China, is currently in the process of realizing a monumental project known as the One Belt One Road initiative, which will connect China to the Middle East, Europe, Africa, and even the Pacific to the complete detriment of the US.

China has openly said that any nation can contribute to this proposed initiative and, unfortunately for the US, they were being one hundred percent sincere. In May last year, China invited North Korea to its Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation. In other words, China might actually be years away from creating a “Silk Road” which takes advantage of these vast resources, while leaving the US out.

As of right now, China has already begun inking deals with other nations which involve the Chinese yuan, not the US dollar. It already launched its oil crude futures exchange earlier this year which opens the door for the yuan to be used to buy and sell oil on the global financial markets, further threatening the hegemony of the US dollar.

One can only imagine the effect that China’s proposal will have on the status of the dollar if this proposal comes to fruition and involves known US adversaries like North Korea.

Quote
https://t.co/I0RU9xtxxBpic.twitter.com/3kcA9cTC8m
    Two Koreas agree:
    - to completely denuclearize Korean peninsula
    - to hold multi-party talks, involving US and China
    - to have high-level military talks in May
    - to establish 'firm peace regime'
    - Kim said he hopes two Koreas will reunite

The harsh reality of the matter is that Pyongyang knows what happened to Iraq and Libya will ultimately happen to North Korea (for the second time) should they be willing to sit down with the US for peace talks without receiving the quid pro quo they have been searching for.

This is not conjecture. “The Libyan crisis is teaching the international community a grave lesson,” that the country’s decision to abandon its weapons programs in 2003 was undoubtedly “an invasion tactic to disarm the country” – according to North Korea’s Foreign Ministry. North Korea has been bombed by the US before, and they have no intention of letting that happen again. That is why, over and over again, the North Korean leadership has made it abundantly clear it will only give up its nuclear weapons program if the US meets them halfway:

“[T]he DPRK would neither put its nukes and ballistic rockets on the table of negotiations in any case nor flinch even an inch from the road of bolstering the nuclear force chosen by itself unless the U.S. hostile policy and nuclear threat to the DPRK are definitely terminated,” reads a statement from July 4, 2017.

Of course, North and South Korea are always free to pursue their own foreign policy agenda without the interference of the US. The decision to formally bring about the end of the Korean War is almost certainly progress, though one would be hard-pressed to realistically give credit for this positive development to the Trump administration, which has openly called for war in the Korean peninsula for over a year.

The presence of John Bolton in Trump’s already hawkish administration cannot be a coincidence, however, and it would appear that if the US gets its way, there will be no removal of the American military presence on North Korea’s border. Without this guarantee, North Korea will be unlikely to give up its weapons, as it has watched the US simulate an invasion of its territory every year without fail.

The current conundrum can best be described as a “hope for the best, but prepare for the worst” type scenario, in which there are too many known people behind the scenes who have ulterior motives far beyond that of the fruition of a peaceful relationship between North and South Korea – at least not until there is a government in Pyongyang that is more representative of Washington’s economic interests.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 32554
    • View Profile
🌏 KOREAN PEOPLE WANT PEACE AND REUNIFICATION. UNCLE SAM DOES NOT
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2018, 03:37:50 AM »
https://www.greanvillepost.com/2018/04/29/korean-people-want-peace-and-reunification-uncle-sam-does-not-china-rising-radio-sinoland/

KOREAN PEOPLE WANT PEACE AND REUNIFICATION. UNCLE SAM DOES NOT. CHINA RISING RADIO SINOLAND
April 29, 2018 Posted by Addison dePitt

 If you find China Rising Radio Sinoland’s work useful and appreciate its quality, please consider making a donation. Money is spent to pay for Internet costs, maintenance, the upgrade of our computer network, and development of the site. 


 
KOREAN PEOPLE WANT PEACE AND REUNIFICATION. UNCLE SAM DOES NOT. CHINA RISING RADIO SINOLAND 180428
Kim Jong Un, North Korea’s leader, left, and Moon Jae-in, South Korea’s president, shake hands and embrace after signing a deal to end a seven-decade war during the inter-Korean summit at the Peace House in the village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Paju, South Korea, on Friday, April 27, 2018. Kim and Moon agreed Friday to finally end a seven-decade war this year, and pursue the “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula. Source: Inter-Korean Summit Press Corps/Pool via Bloomberg

Downloadable SoundCloud podcast (also at the bottom of this page), as well as being syndicated on iTunes and Stitcher Radio (links below),

Picture above: DPRK Chairman Kim Jong-un (left) and ROK President Moon Jae-in (right), holding hands in symbolic reunification, while stepping back and forth over the USA’s artificially enforced border along the 38th parallel. The world will be changed forever if the Peninsula reunifies.
It is no understatement to say that Korea’s détente this week is the greatest chance for peace, so far, in the 21stcentury. After living with a US contrived ceasefire for 65 years, the two halves of the artificially divided Korean people are finally promising to sign a full peace treaty by the end of this year and create steps towards reunification (https://www.nknews.org/2018/04/two-koreas-agree-to-end-armistice-agreement-sign-peace-treaty/).

This would never have happened if any Clinton, Bush or Obama were in the White House. You can bitch all you want about US President Donald Trump’s unorthodox, chaotic foreign policy, or lack thereof, but his rapprochement with Kim Jong-un, the DPRK’s (North Korea) Chairman was key. South Korean (ROK) President Moon Jae-in also deserves credit, for his willingness to work with DPRK and Kim, remembering that there are citizens rotting in ROK prisons for publicly saying something good about the North, a crime in the South’s repressive, Western-style fascist society.

But the real kudos go to DPRK’s leader, Kim Jong-un. He held all the cards. He was in control of the situation the whole time. He had the world holding its breath about the North’s nuclear arsenal and could have kept up the suspense and the heat on the US and Japan for as long as he wanted (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/08/28/why-dprk-will-n-e-v-e-r-stop-its-nuclear-arms-program-china-rising-radio-sinoland-170828/). But, he didn’t. He masterfully played the peace card and might now win the Nobel Prize for his vision (https://anti-imperialism.org/2018/04/27/kim-jong-un-initiates-historic-summit-with-south-korean-counterparts/). I am convinced that China has been and will continue to  play a huge, behind the scenes role (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2018/03/26/breaking-news-dprk-leader-kim-jong-un-is-in-beijing-china-rising-radio-sinoland-180327/ and http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2018/03/28/breaking-news-xi-kim-photos-you-wont-see-much-behind-the-great-western-firewall-china-rising-radio-sinoland-180328/). In fact, per the ceasefire, five parties should have to sign any peace treaty: the two Koreas, China, the United States and the United Nations (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2018/04/731_248070.html).

The Western media were trying to downplay the summit, hopefully predicting that not much would transpire. They were thankfully wrong (https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/27/world/asia/north-korea-south-border.html). The final communiqué is bold, daring and visionary (http://www.koreatimes.co.kr/www/nation/2018/04/731_248077.html). If allowed to come to fruition, it will change the world forever.

I say allowed, because there are many dark forces that are going to try to destroy Korea’s reunification in its womb (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2018/02/13/us-sending-1000s-of-marines-to-asia-to-stop-chinas-belt-and-road-system-china-rising-radio-sinoland-180213/). For the last 65 years, the USA has been working tirelessly to keep the Peninsula on a war footing. It’s not about Korea, it’s all about threatening and encircling communist-socialist China, the former USSR and now anti-imperial Russia (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2017/04/18/do-trump-co-know-china-and-north-korea-have-a-mutual-defense-treaty-china-rising-radio-sinoland-140418/). Both countries have common borders with DPRK and both were instrumental in soundly defeating Uncle Sam’s “United Nations” forces in the Korean War, 1950-1953. The USA even blatantly used illegal germ warfare and carpet bombed three million North Koreans to their early graves, and still resoundingly lost to the communist DPRK-China-USSR alliance (http://chinarising.puntopress.com/2018/03/12/noose-of-truth-is-tightening-around-milton-leitenberg-co-s-collective-neck-china-rising-radio-sinoland-180310/)

I fear a Western false flag will be pulled off to scuttle the whole thing. ROK President Moon had better have a loyal security team, watch his back and triple check every mode of transport he uses. They can’t get to Kim, so the West will kill Moon in a heartbeat if they can get to him, then blame it on Kim and DPRK. See, we told you so, it was all just a sick commie ruse to fool the world. Back to the big business of war.

Korea represents many billions of dollars in military sales and contracts for Wall Street. As well, there are many fascists embedded in ROK’s military and government, as well as in Japan’s. These two countries’ militaries also reap billions of dollars in weapons and service contracts from a divided and occupied peninsula and an occupied Japan. Don’t forget that ROK’s military authority is run by the US’s generals, not Koreans. One of the biggest justifications for keeping 90,000 US troops in Japan is the “menace” of North Korea. Reunify the Peninsula and keeping Japan militarily occupied becomes more tenuous, even when we know it’s all about China and Russia.

Thousands of careers at the Pentagon, Department of State, NATO, in Brussels, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Tokyo, in Cold War-anti-communist think tanks and university professorships are all legitimized by a demonized Kim and DPRK. Capitalism’s biggest enemy is peace, thus armies of bureaucratic and business warmongers in the West and Asia will now go into overdrive to destroy the Korean people’s dream of reunification. We now have the West’s postwar communist domino theory updated to the 21st century’s anti-imperial peace domino theory. If one country says no more war, then another will do the same thing, and then another, etc.

The peace domino theory is capitalism’s worst nightmare. For now, we can exhale, smile and dream. The next year is going to be very interesting indeed.

 

Capitalism’s worst nightmare: peace breaking out all over Asia and then the rest of the world.

Come on, we have to celebrate with some music! What else, but John Lennon’s Give Peace a Chance. No wonder the CIA assassinated him (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1335479/Was-John-Lennons-murderer-Mark-Chapman-CIA-hitman-Thirty-years-theres-extraordinary-new-theory.html)

DO YOUR PART!Do NOT forget to share this post widely! Defeating the empire's
|



Or better yet, buy one of Jeff’s books offered below.
Lizard

Screen Shot 2015-08-05 at 6.19.17 PM
ABOUT JEFF BROWN

jeffBusyatDesktop

JEFF J. BROWN, Senior Editor & China Correspondent,  Dispatch from Beijing

Jeff J. Brown is a geopolitical analyst, journalist, lecturer and the author of The China Trilogy. It consists of 44 Days Backpacking in China – The Middle Kingdom in the 21st Century, with the United States, Europe and the Fate of the World in Its Looking Glass (2013); Punto Press released China Rising – Capitalist Roads, Socialist Destinations (2016); and for Badak Merah, Jeff authored China Is Communist, Dammit! – Dawn of the Red Dynasty (2017).
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline Palloy2

  • Administrator
  • Sous Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 6096
    • View Profile
    • Palloy's Blog
Re: Korea
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2018, 08:11:12 AM »
That doesn't do justice to the bunch of fascist thugs the US organised into power from 1948 to 1990, the military coups, protesters massacred, assassinations by KCIA.  From then on every president has been beset by financial scandals and impeachments for corruption, bribery and influence-pedaling, and suicide by falling off a cliff.  The recent impeachment of Park Geun-hye, daughter of the military coup leader and four times President Park Chung-hee, shows it is still going on.  Moon Jae-in got voted in on a platform of "No THAADs" and the very first thing he did was approve THAADs.  I think Kim is being lured into a Machiavellian trap because there is no way the US would allow Moon to declare Peace and Reunification.

The use of US aid to set up what became the Chaebols (oligarchic mega-corporations) mirrors the Yeltsin experience in post-Soviet Russia.
"The State is a body of armed men."

Offline RE

  • Administrator
  • Chief Cook & Bottlewasher
  • *****
  • Posts: 32554
    • View Profile
🌏 The Korean Promise: The Meeting in Panmunjom
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2018, 04:20:23 AM »
https://dissidentvoice.org/2018/04/the-korean-promise-the-meeting-in-panmunjom/

The Korean Promise: The Meeting in Panmunjom

by Binoy Kampmark / April 29th, 2018


It seems, and certainly feels, like a distant number of months since a panel of experts noshed and chatted over how best to overcome the nuclear impasse that pitted North Korea against its southern neighbour and allies.  Held in Seoul last December, the project of attendees hosted by the Korean National Diplomatic Academy was ambitious and lofty: the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

The US angle was one of continued military presence on the peninsula while acknowledging that Pyongyang would not relinquish their top option for empty guarantees.  Parties from Thailand and China felt that area should not become a security buffer zone favourable to the United States and its allies.  Good will entailed true neutrality.  The Russian and Chinese angle was an immediate push to calm the nerves: insist on a “freeze-for-freeze” (a halt to military drills and missile testing), a cold storage metaphor suggesting a seizing up on the road before catastrophe.

Across the parties was a general admission that nothing could be done, or advanced, without genuine measures to seek a state of affairs that would entrench peace even as measures to remove North Korea’s nuclear capability gathered pace.  A peace treaty, in other words, festooned with various security guarantees, would be indispensable.

Now, at the end of April, we have the leaders of Pyongyang and Seoul embracing and emitting tones of rosy confidence, promising steps of reconciliation that would have seemed as eye popping as any Trump tweet.  For the first time since 1953, one of the Kim dynasty found himself on the southern side of the demilitarised zone, chatting at the truce village of Panmunjom.

On Saturday, happy snaps were released of the previous day’s meeting between the DPRK’s Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in.  Such gestures were bound to tease the driest tear ducts, causing a necessary trickle.  Summaries on the summit points were cobbled together for press circulation.  The Seoul Shinmun was not holding back: “No war on Korean Peninsula, complete denuclearisation, formal end to Korean War this year.”

The agreement, known as the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula itself promises the machinery for “a permanent and solid peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.”  The “current unnatural state of armistice” was to be ended. “Blood relations” between the states would be reconnected; “practical steps towards the connection and modernisation of the railways and roads on the eastern transportation corridor” would be adopted.

The occasion conjures up, in terms of historical pressings, the initial stages of Ostpolitik, when East and West Germany began a warming process that eventually culminated in re-unification, even if the last stages were induced by the shock of the Iron Curtain’s retreat.  “We are living next door to each other,” claimed Kim, “there is no reason we should fight each other.”

It was impossible to expect certain big mouths to stay silent. “Please do not forget,” came President Donald Trump, “the great help that my good friend, President Xi of China, has given to the United States, particularly at the Border of North Korea.  Without him it would have been a much longer, tougher process!”  All charming, given the berating the man in the White House was giving Beijing’s leadership over previous mouths for not doing enough.

Such events are bound to leave certain parties unmoved.  The minstrel’s song will be falling on deaf ears, notably those hardened by decades of realpolitik cynicism.  Political boffins, notably in the West, continue to obsess with the utterance of the terms “complete denuclearisation”, and wonder whether this will, in fact, happen.

Former US national security advisor H. R. McMaster ran with the line that the DPRK was using its nuclear weapons capability “for nuclear blackmail, and then, to quote, ‘reunify’ the peninsula under the red banner.”  It never occurred to McMaster that pure survival is as good a reason as any, and nuclear weapons supply comforting insurance rather than offensive means.

The Washington Post was ready to throw some cold water on the cosy gathering, reminding readers of 1992, when Pyongyang signed a denuclearisation agreement with Seoul, then 1994, when the DPRK concluded one with the United States.  In April 2005, the gesture was repeated with North Korea’s four neighbours and Washington.  In 2012 came another agreement between Pyongyang and Washington.

Rather than considering the totality of these agreements, and the deeper reasons for their failures, the paper suggested one, inglorious culprit: “North Korea has never stuck to any of its agreements.” Conservative figures such as the Liberty Korea Party’s head, Hong Joon-pyo, find little room to trust, seeing a manipulative dictator highly skilled in stage management. “The inter-Korean summit was a show of fake peace,” he fumed on Facebook.

Still others, such as Michael E. O’Hanlon, are claiming that the recent moves have little to do with the wily Kim or accommodating Moon, but the brutal sanctions regime that brought suitable pressure to bear on the northern regime.  Kim’s moves suggested “that the world’s collective economic sanctions against his regime are starting to bite”.

Again, these old fictions circulate like counterfeit currency, suggesting that the DPRK’s nuclear regime – the supposed object of such measures – would be impaired.  As with all sanctions regimes, citizens tend to head the queue of punishment. Those in power are rarely scarred.

The Korean peninsula has rarely been entitled to prosper and develop on its own accord, ever at the mercy of ruthless powers and case jottings about security and self-interest.  An arbitrary border, drawn at the 38th parallel by two US colonels, one of them the future Secretary of State Dean Rusk, brought Washington and Moscow into potential conflict.

This random division of political mismanagement precipitated a neurosis between Pyongyang and Seoul, as much a product of inward enmity as it was an external inspiration, poked and prodded by those too afraid to let go.  Perhaps that time is now.

Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne and can be reached at: bkampmark@gmail.com. Read other articles by Binoy.

This article was posted on Sunday, April 29th, 2018 at 7:39am and is filed under Kim Jong-un, Korea, North Korea, United States.
SAVE AS MANY AS YOU CAN

Offline Palloy2

  • Administrator
  • Sous Chef
  • *****
  • Posts: 6096
    • View Profile
    • Palloy's Blog
Re: The Korea thread
« Reply #14 on: May 09, 2018, 01:09:16 AM »
This shows that moving US troops out of South Korea is a difficult thing to do, even when the President is all for it.  Lots of talking needed.

https://www.38north.org/2018/05/cwork050818/
US Troops in Korea: From History’s Vantage Point
Clint Work   
May 8, 2018

Robert Carlin recently observed that despite Pyongyang’s historical demands for the removal of US forces as a condition for peace, it might not want to see US forces rapidly depart. Consistent with this, there was no direct mention of US forces in the Panmunjom Declaration following the Inter-Korean Summit, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in has stated Kim Jong Un would not insist on their withdrawal. Pyongyang understands as well as anyone that the US presence is embedded within a larger geopolitical and strategic architecture.

Yet it is unclear whether or not US President Trump understands this. This matters because while Trump may be inclined to remove or at least draw down US troops, history demonstrates even a determined president cannot so easily disentangle American forces from the highly militarized peninsula. The most salient example is President Jimmy Carter, whose abortive troop withdrawal policy remains relevant today.

Upon entering office in January 1977, Carter quickly moved to implement his campaign promise to remove all US ground combat forces from South Korea. However, by July of 1979 his troop withdrawal policy had come to naught.[1]

Opposition from various quarters forced Carter to include a massive compensatory military aid package to Seoul as part of the plan and to structure the withdrawal into three phases, with the largest combat elements back-loaded into its final phase. As it happened, congressional obstruction, as well as controversy surrounding the so-called Koreagate influence-buying scandal, delayed passage of the military aid legislation, forcing Carter to draw-out the initial phase.[2] Then, in the winter of 1978-79, new intelligence revealed North Korea’s order of battle was larger and more heavily armored than previously thought. For opponents of Carter’s plan within his administration, the new intelligence was the evidence they needed to terminate a policy they never supported.

To the point, Morton Abramowitz, then deputy assistant secretary for international security affairs in the Department of Defense, remarked that from early on in the process: “we began a rear guard action—delay it, water it down, mitigate the decision as much as possible.”[3] Richard Holbrooke, assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said that even if “the bean counting had gone the other way,” meaning the intelligence on North Korea had been less worrisome, “we still would have found a reason to suspend the withdrawal.”[4]

Many throughout the US foreign policy establishment, within Congress, and among regional allies felt similarly and resisted the policy. And there are direct parallels to today.

In terms of its introduction, Carter’s policy was problematic for several reasons. First, many disagreed with a pre-set timetable for withdrawal. The Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) insisted on a four-to five-year timetable, which Carter thought was too slow. Many held that conditions instead of a pre-set timeline should determine the implementation process. Of course, as things currently stand, there is no official plan for withdrawing troops, but it is not hard to imagine Trump impetuously ordering troop removals or draw downs by a certain date, expecting his advisors and allies alike to simply follow his announced (or tweeted) policy line.

Second, Carter’s policy was precipitous as Seoul still needed time to compete its defense modernization in order to competently deter and, if need be, fight North Korea without the immediate presence of US combat forces. General John Vessey Jr., then four-star commander in chief of the USFK who was deeply skeptical of the plan, remarked: “President Carter’s decision is based on a vision of the future, a Korea four or five years from now in which United States ground troops won’t be required. That’s not the situation now.”[5]

Today, Seoul’s defense and war-fighting capabilities are far more advanced than in the late 1970s. Nevertheless, Seoul remains dependent on the US nuclear umbrella as the ultimate deterrent against North Korean attack. Additionally, Seoul depends on crucial US intelligence and early warning capabilities, even for its ostensibly independent Korea Air and Missile Defense (KAMD) system. Also, over the last 20 years, the US-ROK alliance has become progressively more interoperable and combined operations more tightly bound. Upgrading such capabilities and reconfiguring combined operations will take time and extensive training.

Third, Carter did not attempt to gain any trade-off from Pyongyang or its Chinese and Soviet allies. For opponents of the plan, he was putting the cart before the horse by removing an enormous bargaining chip without leveraging it for some sort of peace settlement or non-aggression pact. Carter did push last-minute tripartite US-South Korea-North Korea talks just before his June 1979 summit with South Korean President Park Chung-hee. However, the withdrawal was effectively dead, his own advisors viewed it as a “lousy idea” and “gimmicky,” and Pyongyang itself would not meet Seoul on equal terms.

In a sense, the present situation is different in that talks are already underway. Nonetheless, Trump faces similar issues as no actual agreements have been reached beyond jointly stated goals of peace and denuclearization. Yet, according to the New York Times, Trump already appears to be asking the bureaucracy to consider reductions before meeting Kim. Earlier, Trump’s former Senior White House advisor, Steve Bannon, was also apparently open to withdrawal. This follows an NBC News report last Monday that in February, Trump yelled at Chief of Staff, John Kelley, about removing troops. Such moves betray an astonishing lack of awareness regarding the effect such precipitous signaling has on one’s negotiating position.

Fourth, ever the so-called outsider, Carter did not properly consult with interested parties before announcing the policy. In fact, within days of his inauguration, Carter instructed the bureaucracy to study how to implement the withdrawal, not whether or not it should be done. Many in the policymaking community, not to mention allies in Seoul and Tokyo, were caught completely by surprise.

Again, we do not know for sure what President Trump has instructed advisors to do. In fact, National Security Advisor, John Bolton, called the NYT report “utter nonsense.” Still, Trump is far more of an outsider and neophyte than Carter ever was, and his administration repeatedly demonstrates official statements should be taken with some skepticism. For its part, Seoul denies such plans exist and President Moon says USFK would remain even if a peace treaty were achieved. Although, President Moon’s special advisor, Moon Chung-in, has openly questioned a continued US presence, but was recently forced to walk back those comments. That said, Trump has shown outright disdain for allies, so it is hardly a stretch to imagine him not properly consulting them.

Fifth, Carter failed to provide a clear rationale for the policy. When pressed, his administration offered several reasons: the US troop presence was never meant to be permanent; withdrawal was the natural evolution of the security relationship; and Seoul’s impressive economic growth had increased its ability to defend itself.

Trump himself is on record criticizing Seoul for free riding on American protection and arguing it needs to defend itself. However, utilizing such an argument right now (which, of course, ignores the fact that Seoul covers half of US basing costs already, including 90 percent of the cost for constructing Camp Humphreys) betrays a stunning lack of awareness of how it might affect ongoing inter-Korean and US-North Korea talks.

Importantly, despite Carter’s seemingly ex-post facto rationales, opposition persisted. Indeed, many opposed the withdrawal per se, no matter how well or poorly introduced. For them, the withdrawal posed several significant risks both on the bilateral and regional level. Again, the same risks are operative today.

Bilaterally, under Carter, reducing the American presence was seen to lower deterrence and thus increase the chance of North Korean adventurism or war.[6] More importantly, the withdrawal would diminish US influence over South Korea’s defense policy, including Seoul’s pursuit of its own nuclear capability. Just before Carter, the Ford Administration had shut down Seoul’s secret nuclear program. With news of Carter’s plans, local US commanders and South Korean officials warned the ROK might again develop its own nukes.[7]

In recent years, an increasing number of voices in Seoul have called for the development of an independent nuclear deterrent. While in direct response to Pyongyang’s own program and still not a mainstream view, any perceived or real drawdown in the US commitment would surely increase the appeal. Although Trump blithely states he thinks Seoul (and Tokyo) should have its own nukes, the overwhelming majority of the US government disagrees.

Also under Carter, there was apprehension the withdrawal would lead to contradictions in the alliance command structure. In 1978, the bilateral ROK-US Combined Forces Command (CFC) was established, which, among other things, was a cooperative means for dealing with Carter’s policy. Some were concerned the new arrangement would lead Seoul to take back operational control (OPCON) of its military and result in a mismatch between a US general overseeing the armistice while commanding a much reduced US presence, which would lack any actual ground combat component. Since there was no plan to abrogate the US-ROK alliance and some US forces would remain, the US would remain treaty bound to a situation over which it maintained less command and less control.[8]

Any withdrawal or reduction under Trump would raise similar issues. Naturally, the ROK would assume greater command responsibilities, including full wartime OPCON. Seoul has pursued this for over a decade, and President Moon has publicly affirmed as much. The rub is that unless the alliance is entirely abrogated, Trump will have to accept and sell to Congress and the American people leaving US forces under South Korean OPCON. A unified, combined military command would be required to preserve basic military preparedness. How would Trump’s America first bluster jive with the optics of a US general serving as the deputy of a Korean? The short answer: it wouldn’t.

Regionally, opponents of Carter’s plan saw the local US presence as rooted within and underpinning a broader US hegemonic structure, which they were reticent to see undone. Most immediate, was the negative consequence for the security of Japan. Many felt the withdrawal would force Japan to pursue rapid militarization and thus spur a regional arms race and instability.[9]

Today, such concerns are heightened. Tokyo’s military capabilities are more advanced, and Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his supporters have weakened aspects of Japan’s vaulted peace constitution, making further militarization easier than before. Obviously, Tokyo’s rearmament would hasten Beijing’s own well-documented military aims and spending. Again, Trump’s impetuous remarks about Japan having nuclear weapons simply add further instability to the mix.

Beyond Japan, Korea was a key node within the larger US General Military Force Structure in the Western Pacific. Added to purely military considerations, was the more intangible political and psychological value of the US presence. Removing US forces from Korea, it was believed, would undermine allies’ perception of the credibility of US commitment. In the late 1970s, at a time of increased Soviet Far Eastern deployments and as the last remaining Asian mainland deployment after the Vietnam withdrawal, both the military and psychological importance of US forces in Korea had only increased. The reaction in Tokyo and Seoul to the potential withdrawal was resounding opposition, which united otherwise intense political foes.[10]

Nowadays, the US presence within South Korea, including the largest overseas American military base in the world, US Army Garrison Humphreys, is considered the linchpin of the Trump Administration’s so-called “free and open Indo-Pacific strategy,” with the proverbial rising China in sight. At a time of growing Chinese strength and assertiveness in the region, alongside Trump’s willingness to pull out of TPP while simultaneously badger allies on trade issues, murmurs of troop removals has already unnerved Seoul and Tokyo. It is telling that Pyongyang appears more aware of the interconnectedness of the local US presence with wider considerations than Trump is.

While Trump is unaware of this, others are not. Consequently, he will face roadblocks similar to those Carter encountered in the 1970s. US combat forces have been stationed on South Korean sovereign territory for all but one year of its existence (the year the Korean War broke out). No matter how things proceed in the coming months, undoing such a deeply rooted presence is not easy and will have serious geopolitical and strategic consequences in the region.
"The State is a body of armed men."

 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
0 Replies
3401 Views
Last post April 06, 2012, 09:22:46 AM
by Surly1
11 Replies
2424 Views
Last post April 07, 2013, 12:02:22 AM
by bob
1 Replies
406 Views
Last post February 13, 2015, 02:11:54 PM
by Palloy