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Trump And Kim’s Tug-Of-War Over President Moon

By Andrew KORYBKO – Oriental Review – 03/03/2018

North Korea is reportedly willing to engage in talks with South Korea and the US.

The message was apparently conveyed after a high-level North Korean official met with the South Korean President, Moon Jae-In, who had previously campaigned on a promise to revive the so-called “Sunshine Policy” of some of his predecessors in actively seeking a rapprochement with Pyongyang. The course of developments in the 9 months since his election, especially regarding US actions towards North Korea and its preplanned calculated responses to it, made it almost impossible to advance this idea, but the recently concluded Pyeongchang Winter Olympics proved to be the perfect opportunity for breathing new life into this stalemated but nevertheless promising vision.

China and Russia previously proposed what they called the “Double Freeze” whereby the US and South Korea would indefinitely halt their joint military drills with one another in exchange for North Korea doing the same with its missile and nuclear tests. Washington took the first step in announcing the postponement of its planned exercises with Seoul, which created an amicable atmosphere for Pyongyang to do its part in making the Olympic Games a diplomatic success for everyone and infusing fresh optimism into the “Double Freeze” proposal. As could have been expected, however, the US recently said that it would be resuming its military games with South Korea and even deploying attack drones to the peninsula, which drew sharp condemnation from North Korea who accused America of endangering the incipient peace process.

Even so, this hasn’t yet resulted in any characteristically ostentatious moves from Pyongyang, which can be interpreted in one of two ways. The first is how Trump and his team are likely perceiving this, which is that North Korea is indicating its receptivity to talks from a position of weakness, especially after the US’ new sanctions against the country. The second, though, is more probable, and it’s that North Korea doesn’t want to be seen as being the first one to break the “Double Freeze” , especially since it’s betting that its recent “charm offensive” during the Olympics was enough to convince President Moon of Kim Jong-Un’s sincerity in holding talks with him.

Basically, the North Koreans are trying to deepen the divide between the US and their military allies in South Korea in an attempt to embolden Seoul to flex its independence and proactively take the initiative to further the positive gains achieved during the “Olympic Peace” and “Double Freeze”. Pyongyang has gone to great lengths to “humble itself” before the eyes of the world in presenting its peaceful intentions, which it’s hoping was successful in creating space for President Moon to once more try his hand at reviving the “Sunshine Policy”. Kim will try to encourage him, Trump will try to deter him, but what everything essentially comes down to is which of the two ultimately comes out on top in this tug-of-war over President Moon.

The post presented is the partial transcript of the CONTEXT COUNTDOWN radio program on Sputnik News, aired on Friday Mar 2, 2018.

March 3, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | Leave a comment

South Korea’s Moon informs Trump of plan to send special envoy to North Korea

Press TV – March 1, 2018

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has told his American counterpart Donald Trump that he intends to send a special envoy to Pyongyang in response to an invitation by Kim Jong-un, the North’s leader, following the recent Olympic-driven detente between the two Koreas.

“In response to the visit by North Korea’s special envoy Kim Yo Jong, … Moon conveyed to Trump his plans to dispatch a special envoy to the North soon,” Seoul’s presidential office said in a statement on Thursday, following their phone conversation.

It added that Moon and Trump further “agreed to continue their efforts to maintain the momentum for South-North dialogue so it may lead to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

The development came after Pyongyang, in a rare move, participated in the 2018 Winter Olympics held in South Korea, providing an opportunity for the two neighbors to resolve long-running hostilities. The two sides have exchanged diplomatic and high-level visits, and there is hope that relations could improve effectively.

The two neighbors have been separated by a heavily-militarized border since the three-year Korean War came to an end in 1953. The conflict ended with an armistice rather than a formal peace treaty and left many families separated on the two sides.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula has been tense due to Pyongyang’s development of its nuclear and missile programs.

Moon has sought to use the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, which concluded on Sunday, to open dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang in the hopes of easing a nuclear standoff that has caused global security fears.

The South Korean leader said earlier this week that Washington needed to “lower the threshold for talks” with Pyongyang.

Furthermore, senior North Korean officials visiting the South for the Winter Olympics said on Sunday that Pyongyang was open to talks with Washington.

However, the US has ruled out any possibility of negotiations before the North, which last year conducted multiple missile and nuclear tests, takes steps towards denuclearization.

The US and its allies in the West and in Asia engineered tough UN sanctions on North Korea last year when Pyongyang test-fired two missiles in July and then carried out its most powerful nuclear test in August.

However, many said the sanctions would not deter North Korea from pursuing its nuclear and missile program, which Pyongyang insists is part of its defense policy against the US. Critics have repeatedly warned that sanctions would more affect North Korean people rather than its military and the government.

March 1, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , | 4 Comments

Activist: Time to ‘Formally End the Korean War’ After 65 Years of Armistice

Sputnik – 23.02.2018

The brief respite on the Korean Peninsula seems fated to end with the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang after North Korean leaders canceled a planned secret meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence. Washington is also expected to soon resume postponed military exercises alongside South Korea, exercises that North Korea has labeled provocative.

​Brian Becker and John Kiriakou of Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear were joined by Christine Ahn, a co-founder of the Korea Policy Institute, a think tank that advises American politicians to foster diplomacy and friendship with both Koreas, as well as the International Coordinator of Women Cross DMZ, an organization of peace activists.

“I feel like we’re in a funhouse with a lot of smoke and mirrors and doublespeak and confusion, especially coming from the Trump administration,” said Ahn. “This spin coming from the White House that it’s North Korea that canceled the secret meeting, but [the US] were also noting that they were just going to reiterate their hardline stance — which they publicly did in Tokyo as [Pence] was meeting with [Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo] Abe.”

“As for the military exercises — I have heard different things. I have heard that South Korea has now been in conversation that they will consider stalling the military exercises, and we have the US jumping the gun and saying that the exercises are going to resume. We are in a critical window and it is urgent now for the US peace movement to raise our voices and to say we must support the inter-Korean peace process that is underway.”

“We must urge our government to halt the military exercises, to listen to the people of Korea — both North and South — that want the inter-Korean reconciliation to continue. Clearly resuming these military exercises, that include provocative decapitation strikes and regime-change exercises, would intrude on inter-Korean dialogue,” she went on to say.

In response to North Korea’s myriad missile tests, the US, South Korea and Japan launched a series of military exercises on and near the peninsula. This includes December air drills between the US and South Korea that involved hundreds of aircraft, including nuclear-capable B-1B bombers.

“The national security law in South Korea [considers] any contact with North Koreans to be a threat to their national security,” said Ahn. “I think you have a situation where South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has gone to the 2007 summit in North Korea, having his mother come from the northern part of the Korean Peninsula before it was divided, deeply understands the complex situation that South Korea is in.”

“They have this ‘alliance’ with the US which includes wartime operational control over South Korea’s military. I think you also have… this older generation, who are maintaining that Cold War paradigm that has really hobbled the advancement of South Korean democracy.”

“It’s a historic moment, we know that. [Moon] has said he is trying to get a peace treaty between the US and North Korea, as promised under the armistice agreement that was signed in 1953.”

The agreement that ended hostilities on the Korean Peninsula, was not a peace treaty, merely an armistice, so the Korean War technically continues 65 years later. While the stated intention of the armistice was to eventually replace it with a permanent peace treaty, attempts to actually do so have never gotten far.

“It’s time right now for Americans to really put pressure on our government to formally end the Korean War,” said Ahn. “Not just for the Korean people, but also for the soul of this nation.”

February 22, 2018 Posted by | Militarism, Solidarity and Activism, Timeless or most popular | , , | 2 Comments

US to Deploy Lethal Drones to Korean Peninsula After Olympic Games – Report

Sputnik – 21.02.2018

Recent reports by South Korean news media claim that the US will deploy attack drones to the Korean Peninsula in the next few months.

Twelve attack drones that can target North Korean leaders and military targets will be deployed in March or April, South Korean newspaper Chosun Ilbo reported this week.

According to the report, a hangar has already been constructed for the Gray Eagle drones. In addition, support facilities and personnel have reportedly already arrived at the US air base at Kunsan on the west coast.

The General Atomics MQ-1C Gray Eagle is an unmanned aircraft system developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems for the US Army. The Gray Eagle, which has an 18-yard wingspan, can conduct various missions including attack, reconnaissance, surveillance and infiltration. Its 248-mile range gives it enough reach to cover most of North Korean territory.

This is not the first time that the US has sent attack drones to South Korea. Last March, the US deployed attack drones in response to “provocative actions” by North Korea, although this threat has not deterred the North from conducting nearly a nearly a dozen missile tests since then.

Earlier this week, a US forces spokesperson also announced that military drills between the US and South Korea will begin again once the Paralympic Games in Pyeongchang end in March, military.com reported.

February 21, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | , | Leave a comment

US, S. Korean militaries to conduct joint drills despite detente with Pyongyang

RT | February 20, 2018

The US and South Korea will go ahead with military drills off the Korean peninsula despite the “Peace Olympics” and the recent thaw in North-South relations, the South’s defense ministry said in a report to the National Assembly.

In the run-up to the Olympic Games in PyeongChang, Seoul was able to convince Washington to delay the start of their annual winter/springtime joint military exercises until after the games. The temporary halt to the annual Foal Eagle/Key Resolve US-South Korea joint military exercises allowed North and South Korea to develop a dialogue that the South hopes will ease the mounting tension in the region.

On Tuesday, a day after Pyongyang warned against the resumption of the military drills, South Korea’s defense ministry announced that the allies will still hold the Key Resolve and Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercises. Holding the drills this year, the S. Korean military said it will enhance the so-called 4D Operational Concept amid allies which aims “to detect, disrupt, destroy and defend against North Korean missile threats,” the ministry said in a report to the National Assembly, Yonhap reports.

No concrete schedule for the drills has yet been announced for 2018, and the report did not mention the fate of the Foal Eagle drills. A Key Resolve computer-simulated command post exercise was held March 8-23 last year. The 2017 Ulchi Freedom Guardian exercise involving some 17,500 US service members took place August 21-31.

The North has long urged the allies to stop their joint military training, and on Monday reiterated its objection to war games on its borders. “Resuming the war exercises is a wild act of ruthlessly trampling even a small sprout of peace that has been seen on the Korean peninsula,” North Korean KCNA said in an official commentary.

N. Korea particularly accused Donald Trump’s administration of seeking “war” in the region, blaming the US for using the “most powerful weapon in the world” to coerce Pyongyang. “The Trump group has to ponder over the catastrophic consequences to be entailed by its reckless saber-rattling, and make a responsible choice,” KCNA said.

“We are ready for dialogue and war.”

The latest statement comes amid the war of words and muscle flexing in the region between Pyongyang and Washington. As the US again threatens to pursue a military option to neutralize North Korea, Russia and China have been calling for calm. Moscow and China have consistently urged for a diplomatic solution to the crisis based on the ‘double freeze’ initiative. The simple Sino-Russian proposal, firmly rejected by Washington, seeks a simultaneous suspension of both nuclear tests by Pyongyang and the large-scale military exercises by Washington and Seoul.

Read more:

S. Korean army launches ‘decapitation unit’ against Kim Jong-un’s govt – report

February 20, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | , , | 1 Comment

US feels uneasy about inter-Korean amity

By M K Bhadrakumar | Indian Punchline | February 11, 2018

The North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has upset all doomsday predictions that once the Winter Olympics Games are over, the tensions on the Korean peninsula would reappear. Kim’s invitation to South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang can be regarded as a ‘game changer’. Moon has been non-committal, saying conditions need to be created first. The important thing is that Moon neither accepted Kim’s invitation nor declined. As a senior South Korean official put it, Moon has “practically accepted” the invitation. Thereby hangs a tale.

Left to himself Moon may want to visit Pyongyang. But a number of factors come into play. First and foremost, North Korea should refrain from missile tests, especially nuclear tests. Kim’s invitation to Moon implies that Pyongyang intends to hold back on missile and nuclear tests even after the Winter Games are over. On the contrary, if the joint US-South Korean military drills resume, all bets are off.

Therefore, Moon faces the daunting challenge of persuading the Trump administration to defer military drills. Now, that is not going to be easy. The US insists that North Korea should unilaterally suspend its missile and nuclear tests and does not accept any linkage with the US-South Korean military drills. Indeed, the sensible thing to do is to follow the suggestion by China and Russia on ‘double suspension’ – ie., US and South Korea suspending military drills and North Korea reciprocally suspending missile and nuclear tests.

China can be expected to play a major role here in bridge-building. Xinhua news agency reported that during the visit by Chinese State Councilor Yang Jiechi to Washington on February 8-9, he “exchanged ideas on the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula.” Yang was received by President Trump and he also had meetings with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Advisor HR McMaster and the president’s senior advisor and son-in-law Jared Kushner. Xinhua cited Yang as calling for “global support for the inter-Korean rapport in a bid to maintain the tension-easing momentum on the peninsula.” Yang said Beijing hopes to keep “communication and coordination” with Washington with a view to seek a solution to the North Korean issue.

Significantly, Chinese president Xi Jinping also deputed a special envoy to meet Moon in the weekend. Accordingly, on Saturday Han Zheng, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, met Moon. (Moon received Han before hosting a lunch for the high-ranking North Korean delegation led by Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly on Saturday.) Xinhua reported Han as voicing support for the “conciliation and cooperation” between North and South Korea and expressing hope that “relevant parties would meet each other half way and make joint efforts to further ease tensions”

While things look hazy as of now and it is difficult to foresee how things may work out, the odds are that Moon will visit Pyongyang eventually. Put differently, South Korea may not be in a tearing hurry to resume the military drills with the US anytime soon. According to reports, Moon already had a testy exchange with the Japanese Prime Minister on the matter. They sparred, with Moon bluntly rejecting Abe’s call to resume the US-South Korean military drills without delay.

Meanwhile, the popular opinion in South Korea is visibly changing. It turned out to be a brilliant maneuver on the part of the North Korean leader to depute his younger sister Kim Yo Jong as part of the high-level delegation to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics. She is the first member of the ruling family in Pyongyang to visit the South since the Korean War broke out in 1950, and South Koreans were enthralled. Clearly, North Korea’s participation in the Olympics has already broken the momentum of the US’ pressure campaign. Some sanctions against North Korea are already suspended temporarily until the Winter Olympics ends. The big question is whether the US’ pressure campaign can be resumed in the changed climate between the two Koreas.

Moon is walking on eggshells. Surely, he won’t want to miss the window of opportunity for a peace engagement with Kim. But then, it is far too risky to go to Pyongyang unconditionally. By going out on a limb, not only would Moon be angering the Trump administration, but the reality is that Kim has not given any signals so far that he is willing to discuss denuclearization. Equally, it could be that Kim is simply buying time for his country’s nuclear weapon program. Above all, US backing is vital for Moon to negotiate with Kim.

However, Washington is not exactly pleased about the recent improvement in inter-Korean ties. There are already signs of discord in the US-South Korean alliance. Read a dispatch by Associated PressPence’s bid to isolate North Korea at Olympics falls flat.

February 11, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , | 4 Comments

Seoul won’t rush to renew joint military drills with US as new intra-Korean summit solidifies

RT | February 10, 2018

South Korean President Moon Jae-in reportedly rejected a call from Japan to quickly resume joint US-Korean military drills. Moon has been invited to visit Pyongyang for what may become the first top-level summit in over a decade.

At a bilateral summit on Friday, Moon called on the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to wait before resuming the drills, Yonhap reported, citing a government official. The drills have been paused for the duration of the Winter Olympics, as part of Seoul’s attempt to mend relations with Pyongyang. North Korea considers the drills a major threat to its national security, saying they may be used to conceal a build-up for an invasion.

According to the report, Abe argued that the time to delay exercises scheduled for spring was not right and that Pyongyang had to change its behavior before receiving concessions.

“I understand what Prime Minister Abe said is not to delay South Korea-U.S. military drills until there is progress in the denuclearization of North Korea. But the issue is about our sovereignty and intervention in our domestic affairs,” Moon told the Japanese leader, according to the unnamed official. “The president said it was not appropriate for the prime minister to directly mention the issue.”

North Korea’s successful development last year of a ballistic missile, which is apparently capable of reaching the US mainland, as well as carrying a small thermonuclear device, triggered a major security crisis on the Korean Peninsula. As US President Donald Trump threatened to use military force to destroy Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities, a new left-wing government in Seoul took several symbolic steps to deflate the tension, including agreeing to have a joint athletic delegation with North Korea at the Olympics.

This week, Moon received an invitation from his northern counterpart, Kim Jong-un to visit Pyongyang for a top-level summit. If accepted, it would be the first diplomatic event of its kind since 2007, when the government of President Roh Moo-hyun in Seoul attempted to mend relations as part of the Sunshine Policy.

Roh’s successor, Lee Myung-bak, came from the other side of the political spectrum and took a hardline stance on intra-Korean relations, as did President Park Geun-hye, who came from the same conservative camp. After Park was impeached, Moon was elected partially on the promise of reviving the Sunshine Policy.

February 10, 2018 Posted by | Militarism | , , , | 1 Comment

Seoul says military solution to N Korea crisis ‘unacceptable’

Press TV – January 25, 2018

South Korea has hinted for the first time since the start of a standoff with the North over Pyongyang’s nuclear program last year that a military solution would be no answer to the crisis and that differences should be settled diplomatically.

South Korea’s Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said on Thursday that talks were the only viable option for resolving the crisis over North Korea’s nuclear program.

“The nuclear issue has to be solved through negotiations and diplomatic endeavors. This idea of a military solution is unacceptable,” said Kang while addressing reporters on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

The top diplomat said she was positive the United States, her country’s main ally in the standoff with North Korea, would obtain South Korea’s approval before any military action on the issue.

“I‘m assured that anything the US administration does on this front is done in close consultation with us,” Kang said, adding, “This is our fate that is at stake. Any option that is to be taken on the Korean peninsula cannot be implemented without us going along.”

The remarks come amid a relative ease in the months-long tensions over North Korea’s weapons and nuclear activities. A series of advanced missile and nuclear tests by the country last year prompted the US and its allies in the region to pile maximum pressure on Pyongyang.

Washington has engineered rounds of international sanctions on North Korea. It has also expanded the scope of its joint military drills with Seoul. Many fear that an all-out war could break out in the region as the North and the US have on a number of occasions threatened each other with nuclear attacks.

However, Seoul has offered an olive branch to Pyongyang by inviting the North’s athletes to this year’s Winter Olympics while representatives from the two countries have held limited talks on some military issues.

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Aletho News | , | 1 Comment

Washington and Allies Go Orwellian on Korea Peace Talks

By Finian CUNNINGHAM | Strategic Culture Foundation | 19.01.2018

Just as North and South Korea achieve important peaceful exchanges, Washington and its NATO allies appear to be moving with determination to sabotage the initiative for averting war on the East Asian peninsula.

Further, the reckless, gratuitous provocations beg the conclusion that the United States is indeed trying to start a war.

Meanwhile, unprecedented accusations this week by US President Donald Trump that Russia is supporting North Korea to evade United Nations sanctions also point to the danger that any conflict could spiral out of control to engulf world nuclear powers.

Moscow rejected the unsubstantiated claims leveled by Trump, saying that Russia is abiding by UN trade restrictions over North Korea, and that the American president’s allegations were “entirely unfounded”.

Trump’s verbal broadside suggests that Washington is trying to undermine the nascent talks between the two Koreas, talks which Russia and China have both applauded as a long-overdue diplomatic effort to resolve the Korean conflict.

Separately, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov deplored a summit held in Vancouver, Canada, earlier this week in which the US and 19 other nations – most of them NATO members – called for sharper sanctions on North Korea that go beyond the remit of the United Nations. The conference, co-hosted by Canada’s Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, issued a stridently bellicose statement, calling in effect for North Korea to surrender its nuclear weapons or face US-led military action.

Significantly, and pointedly, China and Russia were not invited to the Canadian summit.

Most of the attending states were part of the original US-led military force which fought against North Korea during the 1950-53 war. A war which killed as many as two million North Koreans.

Russia admonished that the conference was “harmful” to current peace talks between North and South Korea. China rebuked the Canadian event as being stuck in “Cold War thinking”.

The anachronism of countries like Britain, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, Netherlands and Norway attending a conference on the Korean crisis while Asia-Pacific powers Russia and China being excluded was noted by Russia’s Sergei Lavrov. The anachronism is not only absurd, he said, it reprises a provocative “war summit” message.

Disturbingly, what the Vancouver gathering demonstrated was the willingness by the US and its allies to circumvent the United Nations Security Council and the previously established regional Six-Party forum involving the two Koreas, China, Japan, Russia and the US.

At the Vancouver event, Tillerson laid out a belligerent agenda that was endorsed by the other attendees. The agenda included the precondition of North Korea giving up its nuclear program unilaterally; and it also flatly rejected the proposal made by Russia and China for a “freeze” in all military activities on the Korean Peninsula as a step to get comprehensive settlement talks going.

Tillerson made the following sinister ultimatum: “We have to recognize that that threat [of North Korea’s nuclear weapons] is growing. And if North Korea does not choose the path of engagement, discussion, negotiation, [that is, surrender] then they themselves will trigger an option [US military action].”

The US diplomat also warned that the American public must be “sober” about the possibility of war breaking out. Tillerson said the risk of such a war on the Korean Peninsula “continues to grow”. This was echoed by President Trump a day later in an interview with the Reuters news agency in which he also warned of possible war. It was the same interview in which Trump blamed Russia for aiding and abetting North Korea.

This sounds like US leaders are intensifying the conditioning of the American public to accept use of the military option, which they have been threatening for the past year in a pre-emptive attack on North Korea.

The Vancouver summit also called for proactive interdiction of international ships suspected of breaching UN sanctions on North Korea. That raises the danger of the US and its allies interfering with Russian and Chinese vessels – which would further escalate tensions.

These reprehensible developments are a reflection of the increasingly Orwellian worldview held by Washington and its partners, whereby “war is presented as peace” and “peace is perceived as war”.

Just this week, North and South Korea held a third round of peace negotiations in as many weeks. Even Western news media hailed “Olympic breakthrough” after the two adversaries agreed to participate in the opening ceremony of the forthcoming winter games next month as a unified nation under a neutral flag.

After two years of no inter-Korean talks and mounting war tensions on the peninsula, surely the quickening pace of peace overtures this month should be welcomed and encouraged. Russia, China and the UN have indeed endorsed the bilateral Korean exchange. Even President Trump said he welcomed it.

Nevertheless, as the Vancouver summit this week shows, the US and its NATO allies appear to be doing everything to torpedo the inter-Korean dialogue. Issuing ultimatums and warning of “military options” seems intended to blow up the delicate dynamic towards confidence and trust.

Two reports this week in the New York Times conveyed the contorted Orwellian mindset gripping Washington and its allies.

First, there was the report: “Military quietly prepares for a last resort: War with North Korea”. The NY Times actually reported extensive Pentagon plans for a preemptive air assault on North Korea involving a “deep attack” manned by 82nd Airborne paratroopers and special forces. The paper spun the provocative war plans as a “last resort”. In other words, war is sold here as peace.

Which raises the question of who is trying to wreck the Olympic Games being held in South Korea in February. For months, Western media have been warning that North Korea was intending to carry out some kind of sabotage. Now, it looks like the sabotage is actually coming from the US, albeit sanitized by the NY Times.

The second report in the NY Times had the telling headline: “Olympic détente upends US strategy on North Korea”.

So, let’s get our head around that display of dubious logic. A peaceful development of détente between two adversaries is somehow presented as a pernicious “upending of US strategy on North Korea”. In other words, peace is sold here as war.

Take for example this choice editorial comment from the NY Times in the second report: “This latest gesture of unity, the most dramatic in a decade, could add to fears in Washington that Pyongyang is making progress on a more far-reaching agenda.”

And what, one wonders, would that “far-reaching agenda” entail?

Again the NY Times elaborates: “White House officials warn that the ultimate goal of [North Korean leader] Mr Kim is to evict American troops from the Korean Peninsula and to reunify the two Koreas under a single flag… For the United States, the fear has been that North Korea’s gestures will drive a wedge between it and its ally, South Korea.”

Only in a perverse Orwellian worldview would an initiative to calm tensions and build peaceful relations be construed as something to “fear” and be opposed to.

Only in a perverse Orwellian worldview would peaceful dialogue provoke plans for pre-emptive war.

But that is precisely the kind of dystopian world that Washington and its lackeys inhabit.

January 19, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering, Militarism | , , , , , | 2 Comments

‘When US sidelined, Koreas can work towards peace & stability, talks suggest’

RT | January 18, 2018

US policy is a distraction from the ongoing Korean talks, which Seoul hopes will eventually lead to the denuclearization of the entire peninsula, security analyst Charles Shoebridge told RT.

The third session of inter-Korean talks in a week signalled a significant breakthrough in the frosty ties between the two Koreas. And while the thaw in relations was welcomed by Seoul, the recent rapprochement was greeted with skepticism by 20 foreign ministers of the so-called “Vancouver Group,” which defended South Korea during the Korean War more than five decades ago.

“It is particularly ironic… That while this… Thawing of tensions is going on between North and South… It’s happening… In Vancouver, the former allies of South Korea are tightening the noose, increasing the rhetoric, raising the temperature,” Shoebridge told RT after the US-led group decided to consider unilateral sanctions against Pyongyang Tuesday.

The US is adamant that it will apply not only economic and diplomatic pressure, but also issue military threats to force N. Korea to disarm. On Wednesday, Seoul and Washington “reaffirmed its security commitment to the defense of South Korea using all categories of its military capabilities,” the Ministry of National Defense said. The allies also “agreed to continue the rotational deployment of US strategic assets to South Korea and nearby areas as long as North Korea’s nuclear and missile threats persist.”

The decision to keep up with military threats comes the same day as Donald Trump expressed doubt that the intra-Korean talks will lead to “anything meaningful.” The US president also warned that it is “very possible” that the standoff with North Korea might not be resolved peacefully. Charles Shoebridge criticized Washington’s foreign policy, pointing out that Seoul and Pyongyang can achieve much more if the US stops interfering in their “considerable diplomatic achievement.”

“These talks themselves started on the back of South Korea agreeing to persuade America to at least pause its military exercises,” Shoebridge told RT. “It appears to be the case when the interests and the foreign policy, and the actions of the United States are put to one side, local players are, to some degree at least, able to start finding local solutions, [and] make some progress towards securing their local interests, which are usually peace and stability.”

China and Russia – two major regional players who were not invited to participate in the Vancouver summit this week – criticized Washington’s pessimistic outlook of the Korean diplomatic process. Participants that gathered in Canada, while rejecting the Chinese-Russian ‘double freeze’ roadmap for easing Korean tensions, failed to provide any alternative, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

In July 2017, Moscow and Beijing proposed the initiative that would see the US and its allies halting all major military exercises in the region in exchange for Pyongyang suspending its nuclear and ballistic missile program. The ‘double freeze’ initiative, however, was once again rebuffed by Washington Tuesday during the Vancouver summit.

Beijing also slammed the meeting, saying it was driven by a Cold War mentality. “When major parties to the Korean Peninsula issue are not present, such a meeting will not contribute to properly resolving the issue,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang pointed out Wednesday. “All parties should cherish the hard-won momentum of easing tension on the peninsula, support the efforts made by the DPRK and the ROK in improving ties, and double their commitment in alleviating the situation and promoting dialogues.”

On Wednesday, North Korea agreed to allow a joint women’s ice hockey team to participate at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics (February 9-25) and march together as one with their southern neighbor under a “unified Korea” flag at the opening ceremony.

The North also consented to send a 150-member delegation of athletes and cheerleaders to the Paralympic games in March. South Korean President Moon Jae-in once again expressed hope Wednesday that the inter-Korean talks will pave the way for broader dialogue between the United States and the North which could eventually lead to the resolution of the North Korean nuclear standoff.

January 18, 2018 Posted by | Mainstream Media, Warmongering | , , , | Leave a comment

CIA and the Assassination of Leaders Overseas

By Vladimir Platov – New Eastern Outlook – 14.01.2018

The history of the US Central Intelligence Agency is replete with numerous examples of political assassinations, not only in the US, but also of leaders of countries Washington disagrees with. So today, the CIA has actively begun developing various methods for the deliberate elimination of the US’s newest political opponent, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, involving not only special forces in this task, but also the special services of countries that cooperate closely with the CIA.

Evidence of this, in particular, can be found in the $310,000 of the country’s defense budget for 2018, officially laid out by the South Korean government; the cost of eliminating North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un. These funds will be spent on training and equipping a special “decapitation unit” dedicated to the North Korean leadership, the creation of which became known on December 1. The squad will include about one thousand commandos, whose task in the event of a war will be to find and kill Kim Jong-un and other top leaders of the neighboring state. As a source in the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Korea told the newspaper Korea Herald, the squad’s special equipment will include drones, suicide bombers, reconnaissance drones and even heavy grenade launchers. The structure and training plans of the squad are classified, but according to the information of the South Korean media, the soldiers of the new squad will train according to methodology used by the US special purpose team SEAL Team Six, which assassinated Osama bin Laden.

At the same time, it should be remembered that an attempt to create a special squad in South Korea in 1968 with similar goals ended in tragedy. At the time, 31 South Korean criminals were promised a pardon if the squad they formed killed Kim Il-sung. The group underwent intensive training, during which three people were killed, and in the end they were sent on rubber boats to the DPRK, but halfway were recalled. The prisoners were not released, the exhausting training continued, and the date of the new operation was set. In 1971, members of the squad rebelled, killed their instructors, tried to get to Seoul and, when they were blocked by the army, blew themselves up with grenades. The four survivors were later executed. In 2003 the South Korean film “Silmido” was made about this tragic episode.

Such radical plans to get rid of political opponents are hardly surprising, especially when these plans are developed and supervised by the CIA, which is adept in these matters. And it’s no wonder that even the director of the US Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Pompeo, spoke in October at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies forum in Washington, saying that if the CIA liquidates the leader of the DPRK, Kim Jong-un, he would not acknowledge involvement of American agents in the assassination.

Everyone knows that in order to maintain their dominance, the US stops at nothing, including the murders of undesirables. During the 50s and 60s, they killed the largest number of foreign leaders and public figures who were fighting not for communism, but for their countries’ national independence. Then came a certain lull, connected both with the policy of “detente” and with scandalous exposures of the CIA’s activities by the Senate Commission of F. Church in 1975. The committee’s conclusions about the illegal activities of American intelligence services (in particular, evidence of murders and numerous attempts on the lives of foreign statesmen) led to the adoption by US President J. Ford of an order banning “officially sanctioned” murders of foreign leaders. However, in 1981 this presidential decree was overturned by Reagan, and the list of victims began to grow rapidly once again.

After numerous media discussions, longstanding interest is not letting up in the secret of Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez’s fast-developing infection and subsequent death with a new form of biological weapon: a cancer virus and the American special services’ involvement in this.

However, another highly strange and inexplicable fact (other than the special operation of the US special services), is that, besides Hugo Chavez, a number of other Latin American leaders, clearly disliked by Washington, “unexpectedly” fell ill with cancer all at the same time. Among them were Argentine President Nestor Kirchner (succeeded by Christine Kirchner), Brazilian President I. Lula da Silva (after whom Dilma Roussef came to power), and Paraguayan President Fernando Lugo (who was overthrown during the CIA’s coup d’état in 2012; shortly thereafter he was diagnosed with cancer). It is also curious that after the conservative and pro-American president of Colombia, Juan Manuel Santos, began peace talks with the partisans of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), he also “unexpectedly” contracted cancer.

Venezuelan writer Luis Brito Garcia counted more than 900 attempts on the life of Cuban leader Fidel Castro organized by the CIA. And in the last years of his life, Castro also suffered a mysterious oncological bowel disease, which struck him after the 2006 “People’s Summit” in the Argentine city of Cordoba.

We also recall the very strange death of former Palestinian President (PLO) Yasser Arafat, who suffered … leukemia in 2004.

It is also not unreasonable to cite WikiLeaks’ revelations that in 2008 the CIA asked its embassy in Paraguay to collect biometric data, including DNA, of all four presidential candidates. With knowledge of a person’s DNA code, it is easy to develop an oncogene for each individual. And if we assume that such data were obtained on the eve of the elections in Brazil, then Dilma Roussef’s cancer, contracted in 2009, fits perfectly into this theory.

So, in addition to forceful options for eliminating political opponents (as, in particular, happened with Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein or Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi), it is unlikely that the CIA would be above infecting them with cancer viruses. Moreover, similar experiments have been conducted for a long time in the secret laboratories of the CIA, where they became a “military trophy of the American special services” based on the brutal concentration camp human experimentation of Josef Mengele, and before that “on the experience” of the American, Cornelius “Doctor Death” Rhoads. This pathologist from the Rockefeller Institute of Medical Research started work in Puerto Rico and became a “pioneer” in virtually all areas of the creation of new technologies for killing people, from chemical and biological methods to radiation. With funding from the Rockefeller Institute, he conducted experiments in Puerto Rico in the early 30s infecting people with cancer cells, which work was conducted inside a secret “Building No. 439″.

Is cancer the effect of a new weapon of the American intelligence agencies, fitting in well with the “modus vivendi” of the agonizing North American empire? We note only that the disease affected only those politicians whose political direction was contrary to the dominant position of the United States.

The US is on the edge of economic collapse and remains afloat only because it can launch a printing press to re-credit its economy, constantly growing its military budget and secret CIA operations. Therefore, it is entirely logical to assume that “the craftsmen of Langley” found new quick and inexpensive methods of effectively eliminating opponents. The most important advantage of these methods is that they leave no traces, are disguised as cancer or a heart attack and eliminate the possibility of exposure and direct liability.

January 14, 2018 Posted by | Deception, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

Sabotaging Peace in Korea

By Jacob G. Hornberger | FFF | January 3, 2018

It just might be that the two Koreas are figuring out a way to avoid war, much to the anger and chagrin of President Trump and the U.S. national-security establishment, who are obviously increasingly viewing war as inevitable and even in the best interests of the United States.

Why, even the U.S. mainstream press, which oftentimes seems to operate as an ex officio spokesman for the U.S. government, appears irritated over North Korea’s initiation of talks with South Korea. The press describes North Korea’s overtures not as an attempt to avoid war but instead as a cynical attempt to “drive a wedge” between the United States and South Korea.

Actually, it’s President Trump, who is obviously upset that the Koreas are marginalizing him, that is using his ridiculous and dangerous tweeting abilities to further provoke North Korea, with the obvious intent of “driving a wedge” between North Korea and South Korea, a wedge that could conceivably sabotage talks between them.

Let’s first get to the root of the problem in Korea. That root is the U.S. government, specifically the U.S. national-security branch of the government, i.e., the Pentagon and the CIA. That’s the reason there is a crisis in Korea. That’s the reason why war could suddenly break out, killing hundreds of thousands of people and more if it the war turns nuclear.

The U.S. government and its acolytes in the mainstream press say that the problem is with North Korea’s nuclear development program.

Balderdash! The problem is with the Pentagon’s and CIA’s decades-old aim to effect regime change in North Korea, a Cold War aim that they have never been able to let go of. That’s why the Pentagon has some 35,000 troops stationed in South Korea. That’s why they have regular military exercises over there. That’s why they have those bomber fly-overs. They want regime change, bad, just like they still do in Cuba and Iran, and just like they wanted (and got) in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, Chile, Guatemala, Indonesia, and so many other countries.

That’s why North Korea wants nuclear bombs — to protect its communist regime by deterring the United States from attacking and fulfilling its decades-old aim of regime change. North Korea knows that a nuclear deterrent is the only thing that might deter the Pentagon and the CIA from attacking.

The nuclear deterrent strategy certainly worked for Cuba during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Once the Soviet Union installed nuclear missiles in Cuba, that stopped the Pentagon and the CIA from attacking and invading the island again and even caused President Kennedy to vow that the Pentagon and the CIA would not again invade the island.

North Korea also has seen what happens to impoverished Third World regimes that don’t have nuclear weapons, like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. They go down quickly to defeat and regime change at the hands of an all-powerful First World country.

Here’s the big point: Korea is none of the U.S. government’s business. Never has been and never will be. The Korean conflict was always nothing more than a civil war. A civil war in an Asian country is none of the U.S. government’s business. It wasn’t in the 1950s when the war broke out. It still isn’t. Korea is the business of the Korean people.

Keep in mind also that U.S. interventionism into the Korean War was always illegal under our form of constitutional government. The Constitution, which the president, the Pentagon, and the CIA, swear to uphold, requires a congressional declaration of war. There was never a congressional declaration of war against North Korea. That means that U.S. troops and CIA agents had no legal right to kill anyone in Korea, not with rifles, artillery, carpet bombing, or with the use of germ warfare against the North Korean people.

The Pentagon and the CIA claimed that it was necessary to illegally intervene in Korea because the communists were coming to get us. It was a lie, just as the entire Cold War was a lie. It was all just one great big fear-mongering racket to solidify the power and control of the military and intelligence services over the American people.

Those 35,000 U.S. troops in Korea today have no business being there, not only because the communists are still not coming to get us but also because they are simply the outgrowth of the original illegal intervention in the 1950s. The Pentagon has those troops there for one reason and only one reason: No, not to defend and protect the South Korean people, who are of minor importance to U.S. officials compared to the United States, but rather to serve as “tripwire” to guarantee U.S. involvement should war once again break out between the two Koreas.

In other words, no congressional deliberation on a declaration of war on whether to get involved should war break out. No national debate. Once tens of thousands of troops are automatically killed, the United States is, as a practical matter, stuck, trapped, committed. That’s why the Pentagon and the CIA have those troops there — to box in the American people — to deprive them of a choice on whether to get involved in another land war in Asia or not.

That makes U.S. soldiers in Korea nothing more than little pawns. Their assigned role is to die in order to ensure that Congress has no say on whether the U.S. gets involved in another land war in Asia. The Pentagon and the CIA, not Congress, remain in charge.

Why hasn’t the U.S. already attacked North Korea? One big reason: China. It says that if the United States starts the war, it’s coming in on the side of North Korea. China has lots of troops that could easily be sent into Korea to fight against U.S. forces. It also has a nuclear capability that can easily hit the United States.

So, that leaves Trump and his national security establishment doing their best to provoke North Korea into “firing the first shot,” or at least making it look like they have fired the first shot, like what happened at the Gulf of Tonkin or what the Pentagon hoped to accomplish with Operation Northwoods and a concocted war against Cuba.

If Trump can successfully taunt, tease, antagonize, and provoke North Korea into attacking first, then he and his national-security establishment can exclaim, “We’ve been attacked by the communists! We’re shocked! We’re innocent! We have no choice but to protect America by carpet-bombing North Korea again, this time with nuclear bombs.”

And as long as it’s not the United States that suffers the death and destruction, it will all be considered acceptable. Tens of thousands of U.S. troops will be dead. Hundreds of thousands of Koreans will also be dead. Both countries will be devastated. But the United States will remain intact and, equally important, will no longer be threatened by North Korea’s growing nuclear capability. It will all be considered a victory as far as the United States is concerned.

That’s why the South Koreans are smart in agreeing to talk to North Korea. If they were really smart, they would give Trump, the Pentagon, and the CIA the boot. The best thing South Korea could ever do is immediately kick out every U.S. soldier and every CIA agent out of their country. Send them packing back to the United States.

Sure, Trump would be hopping bad, just as the Pentagon and the CIA would be. So what? It would be the best thing that could ever happen to Korea, the United States, and the world.

January 4, 2018 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Timeless or most popular, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment