Relevant article selected from the GR archive, first published in March 2016.
“The UN which was created to prevent the scourge of war, has become an instrument of war”. Ramsey Clark, Former U.S. Attorney General, Re: United Nations Security Council Resolution 678:
One of the most infamous and provocative resolutions adopted in the history of the United Nations Security Council is Resolution 2270, adopted under Chapter VII of the UN Charter on March 2, 2016. The unconscionable cruelty of this resolution literally taunts and baits the DPRK to react, as the resoslution strangles the economy of the DPRK, inevitably causing intolerable suffering to the people of that bullied nation.
The demonization of North Korea is based on the grossest of double standards, and fraudulent testimony by defectors from the DPRK who were paid large sums of money to provide sensational and gruesome descriptions of human rights abuses in the DPRK, testimony both lurid and lucrative, and which was later proven to be false, and withdrawn by these same defectors who had so blatantly lied. This has been documented by The New York Times and the The Guardian of Britain.
It is impossible to ignore the possibility that Resolution 2270 is intended to facilitate a sinister agenda, which could very likely culminate in largescale warfare in East Asia, pulverizing North Korea, inevitably leading to massive bloodshed in both North and South Korea, and forcing the People’s Republic of China to increase military spending to the detriment of its social programs and its success in raising hundreds of millions of its citizens out of poverty.
The hypocrisy and double standards of this resolution are brazen to the point of barbarity, considering the enormity of suffering it inflicts upon the lives of North Koreans as a consequence of this action, which shames the United Nations Security Council.
By prohibiting ( No. “30” of the resolution) the DPRK’s export and sale of 50% of the minerals ( gold, titanium, vanadium, rare earth minerals, probably coal), upon the export of which the survival of the country’s economy depends, this resolution devastates North Korea’s economy, and condemns the citizens of the DPRK to rampant starvation.
No. “17” of the resolution
“Decides that all Member States shall prevent specialized teaching or training of DPRK nationals within their territories or by their nationals…of advanced physics, advanced computer simulation and related computer sciences, geospatial navigation, nuclear engineering and related disciplines.”
Resolution 2270 thereby condemns the DPRK to intellectual impoverishment, and a primitive level in science, and, especially medicine (so much of which now depends on advanced, sophisticated computer technology and advanced nuclear engineering for swift diagnosis and options indispensable for treatment of cancers and other pathological medical conditions and illnesses, etc.
This resolution is a consequence of the ongoing demonization of North Korea, a tiny, country which proudly defends a social and economic system which is anathema to the capitalist “west” and US-NATO powers, unlike obedient South Korea, which is regarded by the USA as merely a military base, to the humiliation of the South Koreans, many of whom cautiously confide their anger at being a mere colony hostage to the West.
The contrivances and slanders used to degrade and torment the DPRK follow the now predictable pattern that we saw with the UN Security Council adoption of Resolution 678 in 1990, which led to the annihilation of Iraq and murder of Saddam Hussein, and the spread of the most vicious terrorism; the adoption of Resolution 1973 which obliterated Libya as a functioning state, lawlessly committed the extrajudicial murder of Khaddafi, and transformed Libya into an incubator of exponentially increasing terrorism, worldwide. And now, on December 22, 2014, in violation of its mandate, and following reports of human rights abuses which have been exposed as fraudulent, the Security Council, against the opposition by Russia and China, put the “Situation of Human Rights in the DPRK” on its agenda, urging the Security Council to refer this concocted matter to the International Criminal Court, despite the fact that at a press stakeout after that meeting, Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights Ivan Simonovic admitted that the testimony of defectors which was used as the basis for the Report of the Commission of Inquiry (S/2014/276) would not meet the standard of proof required for consideration as evidence admissible in court.
At that December, 2014 meeting the Permanent Representative of the United States, who ferrets out the most lurid and practically pornographic details, stated at that Council meeting: “A former guard testified that the baby of a political prisoner had been cooked and fed to animals.” The US permanent Representative ignored the fact that the US Senate Torture Report had been recently released (after fierce attempts to conceal its findings) confirming (in grossly redacted form) that often innocent prisoners of the US Army had been subjected to horrifying tortures, several prisoners had been waterboarded more than 180 times, along with other atrocities.
And her conveniently, or irresponsibly selective memory ignores the fact that the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, in Chile, installed and supported by the US government, had a standard practice of forcing live rats up the vaginas of female political prisoners, after submerging their heads in vats of excrement, and in an op ed piece by Anthony Lewis of the NY Times, he reported documentation of the Chilean government forcing hungry live rats up the bleeding naked legs and torso of political prisoner Sergio Buschman, enabling the rats to eat whatever they found most edible. When it comes to pornographic torture of political prisoners, the inventiveness of the US military and its client states is probably unsurpassed. Veronica di Negri, one of the Chilean women who suffered the sexual torture using rats, had a teenage son who participated in a peaceful demonstration to restore democracy in Chile; the Chilean military poured gasoline over her son, Rodrigo Rojas di Negri, set him on fire and he died in agony. All this is documented in The Washington Post in an article by David Remnick.
This is only the prelude. Reports in the NY Times and the British Guardian document that not only are many of the DPRK defectors’ reports proven to be fraudulent, those very defectors, upon whose fraudulent testimony the UN Commission of Inquiry is based, (testimony which was later retracted by the defectors themselves), had initially been paid large sums of money – upwards of $500 per hour for the most sensational, shocking inventions.
Shin Dong-hyuk, whose fanciful 2012 book “Escape from Camp 14” translated into 27 languages, met with Navi Pillay, the former UN Human Rights Chief, and his fabrications formed the basis for the UN Commission of inquiry. Shin subsequently retracted central parts of his account, and apologized for betraying the trust of the gullible “investigators” who eagerly sought and seized upon his lurid details. According to the Guardian:
“Shin is not alone. Another North Korean defector, Lee Soon-ok offered testimony to the US House of Representatives in 2004 describing torture and the killing of Christians in hot iron liquid in a North Korean political prison. But Lee’s testimony was challenged by Chang In-suk, then head of the North Korean defector’s association in Seoul, who knew first hand that Lee had never been a political prisoner. Many former DPRK citizens agreed Lee’s accounts were unlikely to be true….Cash payments in return for interviews with North Korean refugees have been standard practice in the field for years….A government official from the South Korean ministry of unification said the range of fees could vary wildly, depending on the quality of the information….How does the payment change the relation between a researcher and an interviewee, and what effect will it have on the story itself? This practice drives the demand for “salable stories,” the more shocking or emotional, the higher the fee.”
So much for the double standards which dictate Security Council action. There is now more than reasonable doubt about the validity of the Commission of Inquiry report upon which the UN Security Council is basing its effort to refer the DPRK to the International Criminal Court. Isolation, stigmatization, slander, defamation and demonization of DPRK is so fashionable and lucrative an industry today that there can be little doubt about the agenda driving this. “Crimes of War,” edited by Dr. Richard Falk and psychologist Robert Jay Lifton documents stage one in preparing an attack upon a people: dehumanization, and this stage has already been accomplished among those conforming with the program. Once dehumanized, it is easy to massacre and exterminate a people, overtly or covertly. DPRK is one of the few remaining socialist countries in the world, proud and defiant of the will of the capitalist behemoth, and for this it is being crucified.
On September 27, 2014, Foreign Minister Ri Su Yong of the DPRK stated at the UN General Assembly:
“The situation on the Korean Peninsula had reached the touch-and-go brink of war last year. It was started with the United States-South Korea joint military exercises aimed at “occupying” the capital city, Pyongyang of the DPRK. In January this year, the government of the DPRK made a proposal to stop military hostile acts against each other on the Korean peninsula, but these provocative joint military exercises against the DPRK were forcibly conducted in March-April and in August as well. The government of the DPRK officially referred to the Security Council the issue of suspending such war exercises which seriously endanger peace and security of the Korean peninsula and the region as a whole. However the Security Council turned its back… At present, the government of the DPRK set forth the economic construction and improvement of people’s living standard as its major task. Accordingly, peaceful environment is a vital necessity for us to lead the just picked-up upward trend of the national economy to a sustainable development.”
According to Al Jazeera last week:
“If the current sanctions are enforced systematically, North Korea would suffer a major blow. Its economy, which began to recover in recent years, is likely to shrink again, and its living standards will certainly go down. According to Foster Klug on CNS news, “Analysts say one part of North Korea’s traditional anger over drills is that they force the impoverished country to respond with its own costly war games.”
On March 2, the UN Security Council inflicted this brutal resolution on the DPRK, crippling the country’s economy. Five days later, the US and South Korea began the two month military operation “Key Resolve,” and ”Foal Eagle,” which include the “beheading operation” that plans to remove the DPRK government, colorfully describing the fate of the North Korean President in a manner identical to the practice of ISIS: beheading. According to China Daily, “The exercises this year are reported to be carried out on the largest scale, mobilizing the highest tech weapons.”
After witnessing the fate of Libya’s country and leader after Khadaffi abandoned his nuclear program, under no realistic circumstances could the DPRK abandon its nuclear program. Further, the question must be asked: who has the right to demand this? There are nine nuclear powers today, and only the US has ever used nuclear weapons, as a demonstration exercise on civilian human guinea pigs, to intimidate the USSR.
At the March 2, 2016 Security Council meeting, once again, gross hypocrisy and double standards were revealed by the Permanent Representative of the US, who sanctimoniously and disingenuously began:
“In looking at the DPRK, it can at times feel as though one is seeing two entirely different realities. One is the DPRK that is expending tremendous resources in pursuing advanced technology to build an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of carrying out a nuclear strike a continent away. The other is the DPRK in which according to a joint assessment conducted by the World Food Program and the North Korean government, 25 per cent of children under the age of five suffer from stunted growth as a result of chronic malnutrition.”
One can only question the US Permanent Representative’s awareness of reality in the country she represents: last weekend the US government celebrated the launching of the attack submarine named “Washington,” the cost of building which was huge, and the US yearly spends more than 612 billion dollars for the military, which it deploys in 150 countries around the world, while only 9 weeks before, the Financial Times reported, December 11, 2015, that twenty percent of US citizens live below the poverty line, and homelessness is a national scandal. The US Permanent Representative’s description of North Korea appears to be a paranoid projection of the economic priorities of the country she currently represents.
While 17,000 US troops and 300,000 South Korean troops threaten the DPRK’s survival with yearly military drills rehearsing “occupying Pyongyang” and “Beheading operation,” which would justify the DPRK’s invoking Article 51 of the UN Charter guaranteeing the “inherent right of self defense” against armed attack, the US-South Korean military has widened its threat and its target, and is now engaged in preparations to deploy THAAD missiles (Terminal High Altitude Area Defense) in South Korea. In an interview with Reuters in Munich, Germany, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated:
“China is gravely concerned about the US’s such probable move. The coverage of the THAAD missile defense system, especially the monitoring scope of its X-Band radar, goes far beyond the defense need of the Korean Peninsula. It will reach deep into the hinterland of Asia, which will not only directly damage China’s strategic security interests, but also do harm to the security interests of other countries in this region. There are two old Chinese sayings, one of which goes: ‘Xiang Zuang performed the sword dance as a cover for his attempt on Liu Bang’s life,’ and the other one goes: ‘Sima Zhao’s trick is obvious to everyone on the street-the villainous design is apparent.’ We firmly oppose any country to utilize the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula to jeopardize China’s legitimate rights and interests.”
On January 27, 2016 The New York Times reported that “China has accused Washington of using the North Korean nuclear tests as an excuse to deploy the THAAD missile system in South Korea.” According to Wang Junsheng, a research fellow on Northeast Asia at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences: “It is simply the US technically trying to deter China and Russia with these missiles, and strategically alienating South Korea from China.” Foreign Minister Wang Yi stated:
“It doesn’t require experts. Ordinary people know that the deployment of the THAAD system is not just to defend South Korea, but a wider agenda and may even serve the possibility of targeting China.”
Indeed, Japan’s “apology” to South Korea over the “comfort women” issue was made under pressure from the United States, which seeks to cement a coalition of Japan, South Korea and other Asian “allies” to confront and encircle China. In February 2014 the annual exercise between Japan and the US in Camp Pendleton California, called “Iron Fist,” was the largest operation ever, and included drones and air support used to cover troops bombing and invading an island prior to its capture. Russia is encircled by NATO bases in the West, and THAAD missiles in South Korea would complete the encirclement of Russia with the THAAD missile system on the East.
There is the ominous possibility that the recklessly punitive Resolution 2270 could entirely collapse the DPRK, driving a flood of refugees into China fleeing the oncoming hordes of the United States and South Korea. This would inflame the entire area, and one cannot expect China to remain passive with hostile troops on its border. Slightly more than two years ago, the Yale Journal of International Affairs published an extraordinary article by the great sociologist and former adviser to President Jimmy Carter, Dr. Amitai Etzioni. Dr. Etzioni’s article is entitled: “Who Authorized Preparations for War with China?” Last year Dr. Etzioni discussed with me, personally, his alarm over these stealthy preparations.
As usual every effort will be made to provide a cosmetic veneer of legitimacy for such an act of aggression, as step by step the infrastructure is being contrived for a terrifying outcome which will very likely become inevitable. The destruction of Korea will be merely “collateral damage” in any deadly confrontation between two global super powers. And the United Nations Security Council has been distorted and manipulated to facilitate, once again, the scourge of war. This is irresponsible to an extreme.
The purpose of Reagan’s “Star Wars” was to lure the USSR into an arms race requiring vast investment in the military, to the detriment of the social programs of socialism, resulting in the Soviet people’s frustration and disillusionment, which contributed to the collapse of the Soviet state. The capitalist powers could then gloat that “socialism failed.” The purpose of THAAD is to lure China into a similar distortion of its economic investment priorities, so that after having lifted a half billion people out of poverty, evidence of the extraordinary success of their economic system (as confirmed by Nobel Laureate economist Joseph Stiglitz), they will become trapped in an arms race which will cripple their ability to continue raising the living standards of their people, leading to social frustration and disillusionment similar to that suffered by the Soviet peoples during their arms race, and ultimately weakening the structure, and possibly the viability of the Chinese state.
In 1992 I had a long, personal conversation with Ambassador Yuliy Vorontsev, the last Soviet Ambassador to the UN, and the first Russian Ambassador to the UN, regarding this very arms race. Ambassador Vorontsev stated:
“We had enough weapons to defend ourselves. But we were provoked to invest more in the military, and we should not have risen to the bait. To quote Tallyrand: ‘We committed something worse than a crime; we committed a blunder.’”
With the destruction of the DPRK, China would become extremely vulnerable, and with the placement of THAAD in South Korea, an arms race would be provoked. This would be profitable for the “one percent” in the capitalist powers, who profit from the military-industrial arms buildup, and profit enormously from war. But it would destroy all that China has accomplished, and its model for a saner, more humanitarian world. And the ensuing tsunami of bloodshed would be the legacy of the United Nations Security Council. One can only question why Russia and China did not veto SC Resolution2270, especially as Russia stated during that meeting:
“Russia is very seriously worried about the negative trends and the way the situation in North-East Asia has been developing. We are concerned about attempts to use the actions of Pyongyang as a justification for military build-up in the region including of offensive weapons and the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system. The resolution we have adopted today should not be used to choke off the North Korean economy. In that regard we are concerned about the hasty introduction, even before today’s resolution was adopted, of unilateral sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, which could have very negative humanitarian consequences for the many millions of inhabitants of the country, especially those who are most vulnerable.”
“China opposes the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense anti-missile system on the Korean peninsula because such an action harms the strategic security interests of China and other countries of the region, goes against the goal of maintaining peace, security and stability of the peninsula and will seriously undermine the efforts of the international community to find a political solution to the question of the Korean peninsula.”
It is the passionate dream of many of the Korean people, both North and South, to reunify. The passage of UNSC Resolution 2270 makes this dream now a fantasy, and a form of magical thinking in a context where, absent dramatic change in the global economic architecture, war and bloodshed are most likely.
Under the best of circumstances this long cherished Korean hope for reunification will be excruciatingly difficult to accomplish. However, the current situation seems to be the worst of circumstances. Transformation of the economic structure and priorities of the capitalist West would provide the most favorable context in which this more than half-century longing of the Korean peoples for reunification may finally become a reality.