Koreans Demand the US End the Korean War 70 Years After Armistice

Right this moment marks the seventieth anniversary of the Korean War Armistice, which introduced a cessation of hostilities between the opposing events, however left the peninsula locked in a everlasting state of warfare.

Article IV of the armistice stipulates: “​Inside three months after the Armistice Settlement is signed and turns into efficient, a political convention of a better stage of each side beheld by representatives appointed respectively to settle by means of negotiation the questions of the withdrawal of all overseas forces from Korea [and] the peaceable settlement of the Korean query…”

Nonetheless, the U.S. has to at the present time refused to signal a everlasting peace treaty or withdraw its troops from South Korean territory.

Campaigning for an finish to the 70-year U.S. army occupation of Korea and a proper finish to the Korean Conflict, 1000’s of South Koreans will kind a human peace chain across the 3,600-acre U.S. army base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, on July 27. Often known as Camp Humphreys, the garrison is the most important U.S. abroad base on the earth, internet hosting practically 28,500 combat-ready U.S. troops and battle-ready materiel. In solidarity, 840 Korean and international organizations are holding greater than 300 peace actions all over the world to name on President Biden and Congress to formally end the Korean War with a proper peace agreement. One of many organizers of the Pyeongtaek peace chain signaled that extra such actions have been deliberate for the longer term, stating that: “July 27 will mark step one in direction of discovering peace in our land on our own terms. We’ll unfold our motion to Gunsan, Jinhae, Busan, Jeju … and won’t quit till the job is completed.”

The widespread thread on this yr’s international Korea peace motion is the renewed concentrate on the U.S.’s position in one of the vital brutal wars of the twentieth century. In three years of warfare, the U.S. dropped over 635,000 tons of bombs on the Korean Peninsula — greater than it dropped in all WWII theaters mixed. Indiscriminate carpet bombing and napalming destroyed practically 90 % of main cities and villages in North Korea, killing an estimated 4 million, greater than half of whom have been civilians. Infrastructure was obliterated, farmlands razed, households shattered and greater than 2 million kids orphaned. The world’s most militarized Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) was established alongside the thirty eighth parallel, completely dividing the nation, leaving 10 million relations separated and greater than 80 million Koreans dwelling in a state of perpetual warfare.

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In response to historian Bruce Cumings, the tragedy of Korea’s division was the results of the “wrongs of high-ranking leaders of the US who carelessly and rashly divided this historic nation after 1945” in furtherance of U.S. hegemonic pursuits and towards the need of the Korean folks. The Korean Conflict had began as a civil warfare for unification, however developed into a worldwide warfare as overseas powers perceived each threats and alternatives arising from this strategic theater. I.F. Stone, who framed the Korean Conflict within the context of the global Cold War by documenting how the US deliberately refused to let hostilities finish, famous that:

The dominant pattern in American political, financial, and army pondering was concern of peace. Normal Van Fleet summed all of it up in talking to a visiting Filipino delegation in January 1952: “Korea has been a blessing. There needed to be a Korea both right here or some place on the earth.”

Of their introduction to the brand new version of I.F. Stone’s The Hidden Historical past of the Korean Conflict, Tim Beal and Gregory Elich argue that Stone unmasked the “ugly actuality of how the US deliberately saved the warfare going gone the purpose the place both facet might make any vital features on the bottom.” They proceed:

The eruption of full-scale warfare on the Korean Peninsula offered a chance to advance U.S. geopolitical pursuits and people of key Asian shoppers and put imperialism on the heart of U.S. overseas coverage in Asia.… What resulted from it was to ‘supplant European and Japanese colonialism and exchange it with U.S. dominance’… inaugurating imperialism on the heart of U.S. overseas coverage, with the army industrial advanced on the apex.

Thus, the continuing Korean Conflict inaugurated the “everlasting warfare economic system” of the Chilly Conflict, setting the US on the trail to militarism and perpetual battle. In Korea, it meant the signing of a “Mutual Defense Treaty” in 1953 between the U.S. and South Korea that unleashed massive militarization in each the North and South; the American nuclearization of the South (1958-1991), which set in movement the North’s eventual nuclearization; increase and subjugating South Korea’s army as an appendage of U.S. power projection; extracting greater than $1 billion per yr from South Korean taxpayers for the privilege of internet hosting Washington’s community of army bases and personnel; and lowering the South Korean nation to unvoiced frontline cannon fodder in Washington’s new hegemonic “Pivot to Asia,” which is ready on a deliberate course towards warfare with China.

“Worry of Peace”: Biden Has Escalated Provocative Conflict Video games in Korea

Quick ahead to the Biden administration, and the U.S.’s “concern of peace” is manifested within the speedy militarization and escalation towards a kinetic new East Asian warfare. Washington, Seoul and Tokyo have been finishing up a collection of provocative warfare video games and drills aimed on the North, and extra importantly at China, mobilizing the nuclear plane provider U.S.S. Nimitz, the Japanese Destroyer J.S. Umigiri and superior aerial property over Korean waters, in addition to U.S. B-52s and ground-based THAAD anti-missile techniques. These “largest-ever live-fire drills” discipline some 2,500 troops and 610 weapons techniques close to the North Korean border in addition to U.S. nuclear-armed submarines, reintroducing U.S. nuclear weapons to South Korea for the primary time since 1981.

This deliberate escalation of regional tensions is significantly facilitated by South Korea’s far proper president Yoon Suk-yeol, who has systematically capitulated to Washington’s anti-China agenda towards the desires of nearly all of South Koreans, and at nice value and threat to the nation. The newly minted Washington Declaration flaunts South Korean nationwide pursuits and public opinion by forcing the nation squarely onto the entrance strains of Washington’s aggressive militaristic push into East Asia.

The seventieth anniversary of the Korean Conflict Armistice is a reminder of how U.S. imperialism has not solely thwarted peace within the Korean Peninsula however is at the moment shaping a brand new Chilly Conflict that might simply spiral right into a catastrophic nuclear battle.

Japan, which has for years used the North Korean menace as cowl for rearmament towards China, is one other driving power behind the escalation. With sustained U.S. assist, Tokyo has made nice strides towards remodeling right into a formidable army energy able to counterbalancing China. Its imperial ambitions intertwined with the U.S. hegemonic quest in East Asia, Tokyo has secured Washington’s blessing for doubling army spending throughout the subsequent 5 years, growing preemptive army strike capabilities and buying superior offensive U.S. ordnance able to reaching targets on the Chinese language mainland.

“The US Is Growing an Assault — Not Impending, However Already Underway — on China”

With the Korean Peninsula quick turning into a focus for a possible U.S.-China warfare, I invited Noam Chomsky to look at the ramifications of Washington’s new Chilly Conflict. Talking on the JNC TV-sponsored webinar, Chomsky voiced vital concern over heightening regional tensions. He characterised the Korean Peninsula as a pivotal element of U.S. hegemonic pursuits in East Asia, and defined that the U.S. purposely stokes battle as a result of a hostile North Korea justifies the continued buildup of U.S. army property in South Korea, which is essential to its hegemonic ambitions in East Asia. In his uncompromising critique of U.S. imperialism, Chomsky lays out Washington’s method to confronting China, and sounds an unequivocal warning of the hazard of warfare:

The US is growing an assault — not impending, however already underway — on China. The army dimension consists of increasing NATO, however concretely, in official terminology … “encircling China with a hoop of Sentinel States,” together with South Korea, main all the way in which to Japan and Australia, which are closely armed with U.S. superior precision weapons geared toward China … a warfare with China would imply the tip of humanity…

“For All of South Korea’s Existence, It Has Been Subordinated to the US”

Commenting on the report that 80 percent of Koreans oppose Washington’s imposition of its anti-China policy on South Korea, and that Washington’s insurance policies vis-a-vis China and North Korea run straight counter to the feelings of nearly all of South Koreans, Chomsky factors out that many of the world in truth opposes the U.S. effort to launch a serious new Chilly Conflict each in Europe and in Asia:

There’s a confrontation between two variations of world order: a multipolar versus a unipolar world. The multipolar world order is the UN-based world order and the “human-based order,” which is proposed by China, by the World South and by many of the world, which the U.S. is against. A unipolar world, which the U.S. is in favor of, is what’s known as a rules-based worldwide order, an order through which the US units the principles, and if it doesn’t like the principles, it throws them out…. Many of the world is refusing to assist the U.S. effort to launch a serious new Chilly Conflict each in Europe and in Asia. Many of the world simply says, “No, it’s not our combat. We don’t wish to be a part of within the battle with Russia or definitely not with China.”

Chomsky factors out that the brand new Chilly Conflict is a “extreme menace,” particularly towards South Korea, as a result of South Korea is “proper in the midst of it” and since the U.S. views South Korea as a “everlasting army base from which troops will be obtainable to function anyplace.” Chomsky describes the Korean predicament as being “enlisted by being occupied … for all of South Korea’s existence, it’s been subordinated to the US.”

In different phrases, Korea will inevitably be drawn into any future U.S.-led regional battle as a “power multiplier,” and frontline cannon fodder to additional U.S. imperial goals within the Asia and Pacific and past.

In response to journalist and activist K.J. Noh, Korea’s inevitable co-option into U.S.-led wars evinces its near-complete lack of sovereignty and extra particularly, U.S. domination and management of the South Korean army. Declaring that the U.S. has had steady wartime Operational Management Authority (OPCON) in South Korea for 73 years, Noh argues that the Pentagon maintains de facto and de jure management of one of many largest and best-equipped militaries on the earth, inclusive of some 600,000+ frontline Korean troops and three.1 million reservists, in addition to all army bases, weapons and infrastructure in South Korean possession. These mixed forces and materiel will not be meant to bolster the U.S.’s defensive posture for the good thing about South Korea, however in truth kind a “U.S. imperial power” and “menace projection platform” deployed on a de facto U.S. outpost, offering a ahead army presence on the Asian mainland.

“The Main Step Has to Be In direction of a Peace Treaty”

Chomsky recognized a proper peace settlement between the 2 Koreas and the restoration of South Korea’s sovereignty as essential situations for peace within the Korean Peninsula. Korean sovereignty, he burdened, should be regained on Korea’s personal phrases, including {that a} “a peace treaty is a serious step towards reaching such a aim,” with out which South Korea stays an “occupied nation”:

With regard to Korea, the most important step needs to be to maneuver in direction of a peace treaty, as North Korea has been requesting for a very long time. The U.S. has been rejecting it, however so long as there’s no peace treaty between the South and the North, South Korea is an occupied nation. Within the absence of a peace treaty, it’s going to stay so. It’s within the curiosity of all of the folks of Korea to maneuver in direction of a peace settlement, and there’s each motive to imagine that it’s attainable…. This is a matter that must be resolved in South Korea, and it gained’t be simple. The query is whether or not South Korea desires to stay subordinated to the US or be a part of many of the remainder of the world in shifting in direction of a worldwide order with unbiased sources and facilities of management, not simply the US … however that’s a choice that must be made in South Korea.

Regaining sovereignty, unity and peace based mostly on the rules of self-determination is not going to be simple. On the one hand, the U.S. is not going to willingly finish its occupation of South Korea, and, on the opposite, in response to Chomsky: “the North Korean menace supplies justification for the right-wing conservative regime within the South. Rest with North Korea would imply conservatives shedding energy within the South.”

Certainly, one of many largest present obstacles for inter-Korean peace is the “liberal” Biden administration’s assist for the acute far proper administration of Yoon Suk-yeol, who is raring to show his administration’s value as a linchpin in Washington’s new Chilly Conflict in Asia. Whereas Yoon’s regime has been rankled by approval scores as little as 22 percent and widespread protests towards endemic home crackdowns in addition to harmful brinkmanship with the North, Yoon’s “republic of prosecution” enjoys Washington’s assist so long as it eagerly toes the road of U.S. hegemonic unipolarity. Lauded because the “perfect US partner,” the Yoon administration has doubled down on inner repression whereas importing seven instances extra U.S. weapons in its first yr than within the final 5 years mixed. Biden’s bolstering and militarization of the repressive Yoon regime harkens again to Washington’s sordid historical past of propping up the brutal army dictatorship in South Korea, and what Chomsky refers to because the institutionalization of sub-fascism below U.S. tutelage.

On seventieth Anniversary of the Armistice Settlement, U.S. Imperialism Should Finish

The seventieth anniversary of the Korean Conflict Armistice is a reminder of how U.S. imperialism has not solely thwarted peace within the Korean Peninsula however is at the moment shaping a brand new Chilly Conflict that might simply spiral right into a catastrophic nuclear battle. Washington’s imperialism — the “central attribute of U.S. foreign policy” — is making the Korean Peninsula into probably the most harmful place on the earth.

Throughout probably the most intense interval of inter-Korean rapprochement below the 2002-2007 Roh Moo-hyun administration, Chomsky identified that the worldwide and historic significance of peace in Korea goes past the rapid activity of lowering regional tensions: “Progress on the Korean Peninsula is a turning level in 500 years of Western rule … creating a brand new paradigm that results in independence by means of unity and integration [by] overcoming the construction of division and disintegration, which was the everyday technique of aggression, domination, and governance by Western and American colonialists for 5 centuries.”

Opposing U.S. imperialism and brinkmanship in Korea and all through the Asia-Pacific area is extra necessary than ever. The U.S. peace movement should make opposition to U.S. imperial coverage a focus of its wrestle, and assist South Koreans as they marketing campaign to regain their sovereignty and independence, finish Korea’s neocolonization by the US and regain management of their destiny.

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