Washington’s threats and military maneuvers are not aimed at launching a new war on the Korean Peninsula — though, intended or not, they could precipitate one. They are part of decades of efforts by both Democratic and Republican administrations to come up with a solution that would force North Korea to back down.
The liberal bourgeois media has stoked war hysteria, talking up predictions of looming military provocations by the DPRK — like carrying out its sixth nuclear weapon test — during two recent national holidays there. Instead, North Korea marked the April 25 anniversary of the founding of its armed forces after the end of decades of Japanese colonial rule by deploying long-range artillery units for a live-fire drill on the coast.
The message? Any preemptive assault by Washington and its allies would mean a rapid response. Pyongyang has 10,000 artillery pieces capable of hitting Seoul — just 35 miles south of the border — and U.S. troop bases further south.
The U.N. Security Council will discuss North Korea April 28. Previous rounds of U.N. sanctions demanded Pyongyang give up its nuclear weapons, but said nothing about Washington’s deployment of nuclear weapons on submarines, planes and missiles that can easily target Korea.
On top of the carrier strike group, Washington has led military exercises in Korea involving tens of thousands of troops, including practice “decapitation” of the North Korean leadership.
Japanese navy destroyers are currently staging drills with the U.S. strike group as it approaches Korean waters, while the South Korean navy conducts live-fire exercises with U.S. destroyers west of the peninsula. The air forces of the U.S. and South Korea are in the middle of the April 14-28 Max Thunder annual exercise, with over 100 warplanes conducting “precision strike drills.”
Decades of Washington’s aggression
Washington’s claims to be the injured party in Korea fall apart in the face of its more than 70-year division of the peninsula and aggression there. The U.S. rulers occupied Korea at the end of the second imperialist world war. U.S. troops drowned in blood widespread protests for independence across Korea.
They imposed the Syngman Rhee dictatorship on the people of the South and ultimately provoked a war with the North. U.S. warplanes carpetbombed the North and parts of the South, leveling the major cities down to the ground. Some 4 million people were killed during the war. Still their conquest of the North failed when Beijing sent 260,000 troops to aid Korean fighters and drive Washington’s “United Nations” army back to the 38th Parallel. For the first time U.S. imperialism had failed to win a war. Washington refuses to this day to sign a peace agreement with the DPRK.
Washington seeks Beijing’s help
Washington wants Beijing’s compliance. China accounts for more than 90 per cent of all North Korea’s foreign trade. Following speculation that China would agree to sanction oil sales, the North Korean government restricted fuel sales — prices rose and shortages were reported. Chinese backing for an oil embargo would have a serious impact on the DPRK, which gets almost all its oil from Beijing.
The Chinese rulers have urged Pyongyang to suspend its missile tests in exchange for an end to U.S. military maneuvers, a proposal U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley ruled out. Beijing’s deeper concern is preventing the collapse of the government of the DPRK, leading to Washington’s troops being stationed on the Chinese border. Chinese President Xi Jinping called President Trump April 26 and urged Washington to exercise restraint while the two powers continue to seek a common way forward.
Tensions between Beijing and Washington continue over the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Aerial Defense system, a radar and anti-missile battery in South Korea. Protests broke out in South Korea April 25 when U.S. forces began moving components of the system to the former golf course where it will be set up.
Beijing sees THAAD as a spy station that violates China’s sovereignty. It has restricted Chinese travel to South Korea in retaliation.
Asia-Pacific conference in Philippines calls for end to US gov’t policies targeting Cuban Revolution
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