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Vol. 77/No. 11      March 25, 2013

US gov’t presses stiffer sanctions,
military threats against N Korea
(lead article)
At Washington’s prodding, the U.N. Security Council voted March 7 to impose tougher sanctions on North Korea, as the U.S. military conducts large-scale exercises with South Korean forces on the peninsula and in its skies and waters. Using the pretext of Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile technology, the U.S. rulers are piling these measures on top of more than six decades of aggression against Korean sovereignty, aimed at quarantining the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and inflicting hardship on the Korean people.

Among other things, the latest sanctions, adopted 15-0, slap new restrictions on the DPRK’s financial transactions, credit, and overseas travel; call for stiffer interdiction of its ships and aircraft; and expand the list of banned imports.

The resolution was co-drafted by the U.S. government and the People’s Republic of China, which borders the DPRK to the north and is its main trading partner.

The pretext was Pyongyang’s third nuclear detonation test, conducted Feb. 12. Last December the DPRK launched a long-range rocket bearing a satellite into orbit, something only a handful of nations have accomplished. Washington and the Security Council it bullies and directs responded with a Jan. 22 resolution imposing further sanctions on North Korean banks, companies, organizations and individuals. The North Korean nuclear test was conducted in response to that resolution, Pyongyang says.

There have been thousands of nuclear tests and satellite launches, mostly by Washington, since the U.N. was founded in 1945, North Korea’s Foreign Ministry pointed out, calling the sanctions an “infringement on the DPRK’s sovereignty.” A week after the U.N. resolution the South Korean government launched its first satellite without a peep from Washington.

History of trampling on Korean sovereignty

Korean sovereignty has been trampled underfoot by imperialism for more than a century. In the wake of World War II, after 50 years of Japanese colonial rule and pillage of Korea, Washington forcibly partitioned the country at the 38th parallel. The South was placed under direct U.S. military rule until rigged elections conducted under U.N. cover in 1948 consolidated the subservient dictatorship of Syngman Rhee.

After the outbreak of military conflict between the North and South in 1950, Washington engineered a U.N. vote as a cloak to launch a bloody war involving almost 6 million U.S. troops. Over three years of war, U.S. forces dropped 635,000 tons of bombs, leveling nearly every building in the North and devastating parts of the South—more tonnage than in the entire Pacific theater during World War II. The U.S. administration of Harry Truman threatened to use nuclear weapons several times. Some 4 million Koreans were killed, the vast majority civilians.

Despite the scope of Washington’s destruction, the Korean people dealt U.S. imperialism its first military defeat, forcing a cease-fire in July 1953. To this day, however, the U.S. rulers refuse to sign a peace treaty and remain officially at war with the DPRK. Washington maintains some 28,500 troops in Korea. The division at the 38th parallel is the only unresolved partition of a country, imposed against the will of its people, coming out of World War II.

U.S. military maneuvers target DPRK

Between March 1 and April 30, U.S. and South Korean forces are engaged in Foal Eagle, a joint military maneuver involving some 10,000 U.S. troops, most not based in Korea, and as many as 200,000 South Korean soldiers. Another joint maneuver, Key Resolve, is taking place simultaneously March 11-21, involving some 10,000 South Korean and 3,500 U.S. troops.

Shortly before the maneuvers began, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported that Washington and Seoul were weighing deployment of a nuclear-powered aircraft carrier and B-52 nuclear-capable bombers this year. The South Korean paper The Hankyoreh reported March 11 that the exercises include B-52 bombers, F-22 stealth fighters and two Aegis nuclear-capable destroyers.

As part of its “Asia pivot” directed at China and North Korea, Washington has redeployed 14 Trident nuclear submarines, which carry some 1,000 nuclear warheads, more than half such weapons in the U.S. arsenal. Nine now ply the Pacific and five the Atlantic, a shift from seven and seven, according to a Jan. 14 Congressional Research Service report. “The shift allows the United States to improve its coverage of targets in China and North Korea,” the report said.

The North Korean government responded to the most recent sanctions and military maneuvers by declaring the 1953 cease-fire agreement void and cutting off some direct military lines of communication with U.N. and South Korean forces. At the same time, the DPRK continues to operate and maintain communication at the Kaesong industrial complex, a joint enterprise in the North involving substantial South Korean capital.

The DPRK has also reiterated its commitment to fight for Korea’s national reunification.

“Looking back on history, the Korean people have neither shot a single arrow nor thrown a single stone at U.S. soil,” said a March 5 DPRK statement.
Related articles:
Lift sanctions! Korea is one!
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