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View Full Version : The roots of North Korea and its present situation



antiestablishmentarian
20-12-2011, 05:23 PM
Given yesterday's events, there has obviously been alot of discussion of North Korea and much of that has naturally focused on why that state is in the situation it is, and why. I've long had an interest in North Korea and Korean culture and history, so I think it is fitting that I try to explain a few of the trends that have contributed to making North Korea what it is today.

Korea has always been known as a hermit kingdom. It was isolated for much of its history from the rest of North east Asia by geography, and culture- Korea has always been culturally independent, and their language and civilisation are unique (Korean itself is a language isolate, ie it has no living linguistic relations, being unique). That said, they have been influenced by the culture of some surrounding countries, notably China, which provided Korea with the Confucian ethos that pervades Korean society (emphasising respect for elders, ancestors and authority), and Hanja, the original alphabet for the Korean language, based on Chinese characters.

Despite its isolation, Korean kingdoms fought many wars to maintain their independence from outsiders, and as they lagged behind the modern world in the late 19th century, the US made attempts to penetrate Korea and open it up to the outside world. The General Sherman, a US steamship, went as far inland as Pyongyang, then capital of the Joseon dynasty, before being destroyed by Korean sailors (including Kim Jong-Il's great grandfather). In spite of this success, Korea was forced to sign trade treaties with Japan and the US a short time later and in 1910, Korea was invaded and annexed outright by the Japanese. They attempted to stamp out the Korean language, used Koreans as slave labour, and notoriously made sexual slaves of hundreds of thousands of Korean women during World War 2, the so-called comfort women. This occupation was carried out with the full support of the US, in return for Japanese backing for the US occupation of the Philippines in 1898.

Many Koreans resisted Japanese rule, Kim Il-Sung being one of them. He led a small guerrilla band in Manchuria, which had a number of small scale successes against the Japanese occupiers but who were eventually forced to withdraw to the USSR to prevent their utter destruction. There they joined the Red Army, with Kim Il-Sung being promoted to a major, and their camp was at Khaborovsk, where Kim Jong-Il was born in 1941. Following the end of the war in Europe, the Red Army invaded Manchuria, and the Korean battalion accompanied them into Korea, which they succeeded in freeing up to the 38th parallel.

Following the US victory over Japan, it was agreed to divide Korea in two with a Soviet sphere in the North and a US sphere in the South. Kim Il-Sung was put in as the Soviet puppet ruler in the North, Syngman Rhee was put in as the US puppet in the South (he was a Korean patriot who had lived in the US for most of his adult life, but who held a grudge against the US for not liberating Korea earlier). Following a botched pro-Comunist uprising on Jeju in 1948, hopes of reunification were put off and tensions increased until the North invaded the South in June 1950. The North advanced swiftly, then was repulsed equally swiftly by US and UN forces, who were repulsed in turn by a Chinese volunteer force. The war was bloody, and the North suffered large casualties, with one tone of bombs per inhaitant dropped on Pyongyang and the rest of the North left in ruins. Over three million civilians died, with people fleeing across the border in both directions (landowners and businessmen form purges in the North, communist sympathisers from the Bodo League massacres in the South, which were estimated to have resulted in over 200,000 deaths).

The war was a pivotal event in the history of the North. US intervention and lack of support from the Soviets made Kim Il-Sung suspicious of outsiders. He spent the rest of the 1950s rebuilding the North and purging his opponents, then he began to implement his Juche self-reliance philosophy, which drew as much on confucianism as marxism-leninism for its inspiration. The North aimed to become as self sufficient as possible, cutting ties on various occasions with both China and the USSR, while succeeding to a limited extent in building an industrial base and providing basics such as food and electricity for its citizens. As North Korea's isolation increased in the late 70s and 80s with the decline of stalinism in the USSR and the switch to capitalism in China, so did the economy, and by the early 90s the North was bankrupt, having defaulted on foreign loans and was unable to feed itself. Fuel, which had been imported at cost price from the USSR, became too expensive and industry and power generation began to fail; overuse of pesticides and deforestation began to erode the soil and affect agricultural yields, and without its major trade partners the DPRK was in big trouble.

Following Kim Il-Sung's death in 1994, the North was hit by massive floods and landslides, which wiped out much of the agricultural production and brought on the 'Arduous March', the great famine in the 1990s. The regime was in a state of flux at the time due to Kim Jong-Il's succession, and it has been alleged that the regime practised triage, concentrating its food reserves on the political and military priorities of the capital Pyongyang, the ricebowl of southwestern North Korea, and the Army, while cutting supplies to the less important North Eastern provinces of North and South Hamgyong, which suffered the greatest mortality rates during the famine.

At the same time, Kim began the programme of Songun, or military-first, which aimed to solidify his rule internally and in the face of what he perceived were external threats to his rule from the US and South Korea. Since the collapse of the USSR and Russias withdrawal of the nuclear umbrella from North Korea in t he 1980s, the Kim regime had felt itself vulnerable, and had taken steps to build up its military, including it nuclear programme. This programme is seen by the regime as a shield (protection from invasion), a sword (a potentially game-changing weapon in the event the regime decided to invade the South), as a bargaining chip for winning economic concessions from outside, and as a badge of pride internally for the regime. The need to develop its deterrent was exacerbated by the invasion of Iraq and the fate of Saddam Hussein, which taught the regime that nuclear weapons were the only device that guaranteed its safety from invasion. The nuclear game has continued up to the present, and has accelerated as the North has continued to weaken economically.

These are a few of the factors making North Korea what it is today. The collapse of the economy has brought the regime towards illegal activities, as a major producer of amphetamines, counterfeit currency and an exporter of military technology. As things stand, the economic crisis has more or less destroyed the state internally, with increasing bribery and diminishing material gains corrupting the state bureaucracy and very low morale within the army. Kim Jong-Un faces a huge uphill struggle to restore his power, and it remains to be seen how he will do. The signs are not encouraging for him, but then external 'experts' said the same for his father.

TotalMayhem
20-12-2011, 05:41 PM
And not a word about the Commie cult of personality, foisted upon the people of North Korea... their ruling elite is a criminal gang of murderous bastards. Yes, Korea has suffered terribly throughout history but I don't see how anyone by any stretch of the imagination could blame the Japanese and Americans for their regime.

Kev Bar
20-12-2011, 05:42 PM
The lust for badges of military pride while deciding to starve sections of your people wld almost make you long for the old familiar logic of capitalism.

antiestablishmentarian
20-12-2011, 05:44 PM
And not a word about the Commie cult of personality, foisted upon the people of North Korea... their ruling elite is a criminal gang of murderous bastards. Yes, Korea has suffered terribly throughout history but I don't see how anyone by any stretch of the imagination could blame the Japanese and Americans for their regime.I direct you to the section about confucianism. This is not a justification for the regime, just an attempt to illuminate why it is the way it is.

Kev Bar
20-12-2011, 05:49 PM
And not a word about the Commie cult of personality, foisted upon the people of North Korea... their ruling elite is a criminal gang of murderous bastards. Yes, Korea has suffered terribly throughout history but I don't see how anyone by any stretch of the imagination could blame the Japanese and Americans for their regime.

Don DeLillo painted a good pic of this religio-politico authoritarian pop star vibe in Mao II.

Somehow I think if the great leaders wore Armani and expressed themselves in the language of more conventional kleptocrats rather than hiding their criminocracy in the shadow of a Marxist/Maoist corpse, I do believe there would be a marked difference in the tone of Anti's thesis.


This is not a justification for the regime, just an attempt to illuminate why it is the way it is.

I make the comments about the tone despite your above statement.

antiestablishmentarian
20-12-2011, 06:04 PM
Don DeLillo painted a good pic of this religio-politico authoritarian pop star vibe in Mao II.

Somehow I think if the great leaders wore Armani and expressed themselves in the language of more conventional kleptocrats rather than hiding their criminocracy in the shadow of a Marxist/Maoist corpse, I do believe there would be a marked difference in the tone of Anti's thesis.



I make the comments about the tone despite your above statement.
So trying to discuss the history of North Korea without taking a 'strident tone' makes one a sneaking regarder does it (which is effectively what you are stating with tone of your post, implying that I take a lenient or indulgent view of the North's regime)?

C. Flower
20-12-2011, 06:38 PM
Somehow I think if the great leaders wore Armani and expressed themselves in the language of more conventional kleptocrats rather than hiding their criminocracy in the shadow of a Marxist/Maoist corpse, I do believe there would be a marked difference in the tone of Anti's thesis.

I make the comments about the tone despite your above statement.

Why make them then? They appear not to be based anyothing in Anti-e's posts.

C. Flower
20-12-2011, 06:44 PM
Anti-e - surely there was more than a "botched rising" at the end of WW2?

There as a discussion on this in an earlier thread -

http://www.politicalworld.org/showthread.php?t=550&highlight=North+Korea&page=6


The Peoples Republic of Korea was the entity established by the Korean people to run their entire country upon the surrender of the Japanese. Here is information on it from Wiki:

"The Japanese colonial authorities requested that a government be established to ensure the safety of their persons and property after the occupation ended. Under the leadership of Yeo Un-hyeong, the newly-formed Committee for the Preparation of Korean Independence (CPKI) organized people's committees throughout the country to coordinate the transition to independence. On August 28th, the CPKI announced that it would function as the temporary national government of Korea.[1] On September 6, CPKI activists met in Seoul and established the PRK.

The program of the PRK was presented in its September 14th twenty-seven point program. The program included: "the confiscation without compensation of lands held by the Japanese and collaborators; free distribution of that land to the peasants; rent limits on the nonredistributed land; nationalization of such major industries as mining, transportation, banking, and communication; state supervision of small and mid-sized companies; ... guaranteed basic human rights and freedoms, including those of speech, press, assembly, and faith; universal suffrage to adults over the age of eighteen; equality for women; labor law reforms including an eight-hour day, a minimum wage, and prohibition of child labor; and "establishment of close relations with the United States, USSR, England, and China, and positive opposition to any foreign influences interfering with the domestic affairs of the state."[2][3]

Shortly after the American landing in September 1945, the new United States Army Military Government in Korea, which controlled the peninsula south of the 38th parallel, abolished the PRK government by military decree, primarily because of suspicions that it was Communist."

It should be noted that the administration that the US installed to replace south of the 38th parallel the PRK was the old Japanese colonial collaborationist one.

Then we had the election of 1948 held under US military occupation. Again from Wiki:

"The South Korean election of 1948 was held on May 10, 1948. It was South Korea's first general election. It was held under the American military occupation, with supervision from the United Nations. The election was originally intended to be held throughout the Korean peninsula, but US and Soviet forces were unable to agree on the terms of such an election. It was therefore held only in the US-administered territory.However one hundred seats were left open in Parliament for North Koreans to vote on when they were able. [1] The voters elected members of parliament, who then voted on the constitution and elected the president. The overwhelming majority of Koreans opposed the election and the division of Korea that would result.[2] The elections were filled with terrorism resulting in 600 deaths between March and May.[3]

This election was followed by the establishment of the First Republic of South Korea under Syngman Rhee, the country's first independent government since the fall of the Joseon Dynasty in 1910.

The first general election in North Korea was held in August.

As far as the recognition of the legitimacy of the elections for the creation of a nation-state, at least two historians say that

None of the UNTCOK members thought of the elections as creating a national parliament, but after seven week's debate and continuing United States pressure, and only in the absence of the Syrian and Australian delegates, agreement was reached to declare the elections "a valid expression of the free will of the electorate in those parts of Korea which were accessible to the Commission.[4]"

There were two uprisings in the South, both suppressed with much loss of life by the South Korean Army, with US backing (advisors and logistical support).

Garibaldy
20-12-2011, 08:00 PM
The collapse of the economy has brought the regime towards illegal activities, as a major producer of amphetamines, counterfeit currency and an exporter of military technology.

There's a lot I could say about anti-e's piece; some of it good, some of it bad. But this seems to me raise the most concerns regarding the interpretation being offered. I assume you have evidence for making this claim. Evidence that doesn't come from the same people who brought us Saddam's WMD, the Gulf of Tonkin, the 250,000 murdered Kosoan civilians etc. Because we saw with Iraq how reliable defectors are when it comes to making claims about the regimes they leave. But still people believe any old rubbish that is said about the DPRK.

TotalMayhem
20-12-2011, 08:12 PM
The collapse of the economy has brought the regime towards illegal activities, as a major producer of amphetamines, counterfeit currency and an exporter of military technology.

So the collapse of the economy combined with ideas drawn from Confucius, Marx and Lenin made the North Korean regime counterfeiters and producers of methamphetamine and military technology (incl. nukes) and yet, despite engaging in such highly profitable endeavours, millions are starving?

Kev Bar
20-12-2011, 08:57 PM
So trying to discuss the history of North Korea without taking a 'strident tone' makes one a sneaking regarder does it (which is effectively what you are stating with tone of your post, implying that I take a lenient or indulgent view of the North's regime)?

No. I do not long for the strident. But I do note how the accounts of the pursuit of military grandeur come side by side with the accounts of a politics of starvation.

I find it somewhat lacking in a little moral verve that these issues are not linked or questioned.

And I also find it sadly amusing that if we were to read an account of mass starvation with any link to military spending emanating from any scenario with any link to the Great Satan, we would generally hear about it.
And generally the tone would be somewhat more engaged than that witnessed above.


Curiously we already had a reference to the damage done by US WW11 bombing as if it was something we must take into consideration.
Perhaps rightly so.
There was also the reference to the lack of Marshall funding which omitted the different genre of US funding.
Old money and now rusty arms were deemed necessary aspects of a picture.

I am just questioning the rather mute depiction of a contemporary tragedy of appalling scale.

And I am pondering as to what logic lies behind the sonic discretion.

And then I am questioning the possible honesty or lack thereof which may or may not lie behind what I erroneously or otherwise deem to be possible answers to tentative questions.

Do you not find your own depiction lacking in some of the passion we normally see on this site when monumental crimes against humanity are being discussed?

riposte
20-12-2011, 09:10 PM
Given yesterday's events, there has obviously been alot of discussion of North Korea and much of that has naturally focused on why that state is in the situation it is, and why. I've long had an interest in North Korea and Korean culture and history, so I think it is fitting that I try to explain a few of the trends that have contributed to making North Korea what it is today.

Korea has always been known as a hermit kingdom. It was isolated for much of its history from the rest of North east Asia by geography, and culture- Korea has always been culturally independent, and their language and civilisation are unique (Korean itself is a language isolate, ie it has no living linguistic relations, being unique). That said, they have been influenced by the culture of some surrounding countries, notably China, which provided Korea with the Confucian ethos that pervades Korean society (emphasising respect for elders, ancestors and authority), and Hanja, the original alphabet for the Korean language, based on Chinese characters.

Despite its isolation, Korean kingdoms fought many wars to maintain their independence from outsiders, and as they lagged behind the modern world in the late 19th century, the US made attempts to penetrate Korea and open it up to the outside world. The General Sherman, a US steamship, went as far inland as Pyongyang, then capital of the Joseon dynasty, before being destroyed by Korean sailors (including Kim Jong-Il's great grandfather). In spite of this success, Korea was forced to sign trade treaties with Japan and the US a short time later and in 1910, Korea was invaded and annexed outright by the Japanese. They attempted to stamp out the Korean language, used Koreans as slave labour, and notoriously made sexual slaves of hundreds of thousands of Korean women during World War 2, the so-called comfort women. This occupation was carried out with the full support of the US, in return for Japanese backing for the US occupation of the Philippines in 1898.

Many Koreans resisted Japanese rule, Kim Il-Sung being one of them. He led a small guerrilla band in Manchuria, which had a number of small scale successes against the Japanese occupiers but who were eventually forced to withdraw to the USSR to prevent their utter destruction. There they joined the Red Army, with Kim Il-Sung being promoted to a major, and their camp was at Khaborovsk, where Kim Jong-Il was born in 1941. Following the end of the war in Europe, the Red Army invaded Manchuria, and the Korean battalion accompanied them into Korea, which they succeeded in freeing up to the 38th parallel.

Following the US victory over Japan, it was agreed to divide Korea in two with a Soviet sphere in the North and a US sphere in the South. Kim Il-Sung was put in as the Soviet puppet ruler in the North, Syngman Rhee was put in as the US puppet in the South (he was a Korean patriot who had lived in the US for most of his adult life, but who held a grudge against the US for not liberating Korea earlier). Following a botched pro-Comunist uprising on Jeju in 1948, hopes of reunification were put off and tensions increased until the North invaded the South in June 1950. The North advanced swiftly, then was repulsed equally swiftly by US and UN forces, who were repulsed in turn by a Chinese volunteer force. The war was bloody, and the North suffered large casualties, with one tone of bombs per inhaitant dropped on Pyongyang and the rest of the North left in ruins. Over three million civilians died, with people fleeing across the border in both directions (landowners and businessmen form purges in the North, communist sympathisers from the Bodo League massacres in the South, which were estimated to have resulted in over 200,000 deaths).

The war was a pivotal event in the history of the North. US intervention and lack of support from the Soviets made Kim Il-Sung suspicious of outsiders. He spent the rest of the 1950s rebuilding the North and purging his opponents, then he began to implement his Juche self-reliance philosophy, which drew as much on confucianism as marxism-leninism for its inspiration. The North aimed to become as self sufficient as possible, cutting ties on various occasions with both China and the USSR, while succeeding to a limited extent in building an industrial base and providing basics such as food and electricity for its citizens. As North Korea's isolation increased in the late 70s and 80s with the decline of stalinism in the USSR and the switch to capitalism in China, so did the economy, and by the early 90s the North was bankrupt, having defaulted on foreign loans and was unable to feed itself. Fuel, which had been imported at cost price from the USSR, became too expensive and industry and power generation began to fail; overuse of pesticides and deforestation began to erode the soil and affect agricultural yields, and without its major trade partners the DPRK was in big trouble.

Following Kim Il-Sung's death in 1994, the North was hit by massive floods and landslides, which wiped out much of the agricultural production and brought on the 'Arduous March', the great famine in the 1990s. The regime was in a state of flux at the time due to Kim Jong-Il's succession, and it has been alleged that the regime practised triage, concentrating its food reserves on the political and military priorities of the capital Pyongyang, the ricebowl of southwestern North Korea, and the Army, while cutting supplies to the less important North Eastern provinces of North and South Hamgyong, which suffered the greatest mortality rates during the famine.

At the same time, Kim began the programme of Songun, or military-first, which aimed to solidify his rule internally and in the face of what he perceived were external threats to his rule from the US and South Korea. Since the collapse of the USSR and Russias withdrawal of the nuclear umbrella from North Korea in t he 1980s, the Kim regime had felt itself vulnerable, and had taken steps to build up its military, including it nuclear programme. This programme is seen by the regime as a shield (protection from invasion), a sword (a potentially game-changing weapon in the event the regime decided to invade the South), as a bargaining chip for winning economic concessions from outside, and as a badge of pride internally for the regime. The need to develop its deterrent was exacerbated by the invasion of Iraq and the fate of Saddam Hussein, which taught the regime that nuclear weapons were the only device that guaranteed its safety from invasion. The nuclear game has continued up to the present, and has accelerated as the North has continued to weaken economically.

These are a few of the factors making North Korea what it is today. The collapse of the economy has brought the regime towards illegal activities, as a major producer of amphetamines, counterfeit currency and an exporter of military technology. As things stand, the economic crisis has more or less destroyed the state internally, with increasing bribery and diminishing material gains corrupting the state bureaucracy and very low morale within the army. Kim Jong-Un faces a huge uphill struggle to restore his power, and it remains to be seen how he will do. The signs are not encouraging for him, but then external 'experts' said the same for his father.

Thanks Anti......... a great read.

C. Flower
20-12-2011, 09:11 PM
Korea has never been given the opportunity to be a united modern state. It has been occupied by Japan, the US and the USSR. Its undefended cities were levelled by the US in 1952. It has been under constant threat of nuclear attack by the West. Given that tens of thousands of Korean POWs died from US nuclear bombs in Japan, this could not have been considered to be an abstract threat.

The first part of a timeline of nuclear threats -


Timeline of Nuclear Threats on the Korean Peninsula

August 6 & 9, 1945. Atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Some 40,000 Koreans, who were drafted to work in the Japanese factories in the two cities, die from the atomic bombings by the end of 1945.

I) During the Korean War
June 25, 1950. Border skirmishes escalate into a full-scale war between North and South Armies.
July 9, 1950. Two weeks into the war, General MacArthur requests the use of Abombs against North Korean troops. The U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff sends out a study team to investigate the feasibility of using atomic bombs on the Korean battlefield.
November 30, 1950. At a press conference, President Truman states publicly that U.S. might use any weapon in its arsenal and that the use of atomic bombs is under “active consideration.”
December 24, 1950. General MacArthur requests the use of 34 atomic bombs, including commander’s discretion to use them in the Korean theatre. In interview published posthumously, he said: “I would have dropped between 30 and 50 atomic bombs…strung across the neck of Manchuria” and spread “a belt of radioactive cobalt, which has an active life of between 60 and 100 years.”
Winter 1950-51. U.S. B-29s drops Tarzon bombs on Kanggye to kill North Korean leaders. This enormous bomb, deployed for the first time, had the explosive force of 12,000 pounds of TNT.
March 10, 1951. General MacArthur requests again “’D’ Day atomic capability.”
On April 6, President Truman signs an order to use atomic bombs against Chinese and North Korean targets. Bombs were not used because Chinese and North Koreans did not escalate the war and Gen. MacArthur was removed from command.
May 1951. General Ridgway, who replaced MacArthur, asks for 38 atomic bombs.
Sept. & Oct. 1951. U.S. military flies single B-29s over North Korea, simulating a nuclear bombing runs (“Operation Hudson Harbor”) for practice.
December 1952. Just about everything in northern and central Korea was completely leveled by U.S. bombing, including cities and towns. Surviving civilians fled into caves.
May 20 1953. President Eisenhower and the National Security Council approves the use of atomic bombs if the Chinese and North Koreans did not sign the Armistice agreement. Such message was conveyed to the Chinese through third parties such as India. North Koreans and Chinese cave in to the nuclear blackmail, and armistice talks intensify.
July 27, 1953. The Armistice Agreement is signed between the generals of U.S., North Korea, and China.
II) Post-Korean War Period, 1953-1992.
December 3, 1953. U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff recommends to NSC that the U.S. should launch a “massive atomic air strike” against North Korea and China if the Korean War is renewed.2
1956. North Korea sends 30 students to study nuclear physics in the Soviet Union.
January 1958. U.S. military brings into South Korea 280-mm atomic cannons and Honest John nuclear-capable missiles, in violation of the Armistice Agreement. A year later, the Air Force “permanently stationed a squadron of nuclear-tipped Matador cruise missiles in Korea.”
1965. Soviet Union helps building a nuclear research reactor at Yongbyon.
1968. North Korea captures Pueblo, a U.S. Navy spy ship. In response, Johnson administration considers use of nuclear option.
1969. North Korea shoots down a U.S. EC-121 spy plane over its territory. In response, nuclear-capable B-52 bombers headed for North Korea from Guam and veered off just before reaching the DMZ.
Mid-1970s. South Korea had three nuclear power reactors in operation and six under construction. Under 1974 agreement, U.S. supplied the enriched uranium used to fuel South Korean nuclear reactors. In return, American inspectors could check on the nuclear facilities any time.
March 4, 1975. An inter-agency U.S. intelligence study concludes that Seoul was “proceeding with the initial phases of a nuclear weapons development program.” South Korean President Park Chung-Hee pursued a secret program to develop nuclear weapons capability until he is assassinated in 1979 by director of South Korean CIA.
June 20, 1975. Secretary of Defense James R. Schlesinger confirms openly that the U.S. “have deployed nuclear weapons in Europe and Korea along with our forces, and those nuclear weapons are available as options for the President.”
1976. Ax Murder Incident at Panmunjom. As in the EC-121 case, U.S. dispatch B-52s from Guam to fly near North Korean border.
Early 1980s. North Korea begins construction of 5-megawatt gas-graphite nuclear reactor in Yongbyon.
December 12, 1985. North Korea joins the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).
However, North Korea delays completion of a safeguards agreement with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) until U.S. completes withdrawal of its nuclear weapons from South Korea.
May 1991. DPRK joins the United Nations.
September 27, 1991. U.S. announces the withdrawal of all naval and land-based tactical nuclear weapons from abroad, including South Korea. About 100 tactical nuclear weapons were reportedly withdrawn. However, no international inspectors ever verified the withdrawal of the nuclear weapons from South Korea. The U.S. also continues to maintain its “nuclear umbrella” protection policy over South Korea

The end of it...


March 2001. Upon taking office, one of President Bush’s first foreign policy moves is to suspend dialogue with North Korea. Bush distances himself from the “Sunshine Policy” of the South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung during the leaders’ first meeting in Washington.
January 29, 2002. Bush declares in his State of Union address that North Korea is part of an “Axis of Evil.”
March 13, 2002. DPRK’s Foreign Ministry spokesman says, “Now that nuclear lunatics are in office in the White House, we are compelled to examine all arrangements with the U.S.,” an apparent reference to the 1994 agreement.
June 2002. Bush outlines a “preemptive strike” strategy at West Point address.
October 3-5, 2002. Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly visits Pyongyang for first high-level talks with North Korea under the Bush administration.
October 16, 2002. U.S. announces that North Korea admitted to Kelly a secret program to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons. North Korea denies the claim, stating that what they told Kelly was that they were “entitled” to develop any weapons if the U.S. continues its hostile policy toward North Korea. This controversy escalates the second crisis with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program.
November 2002. KEDO, at insistence of the U.S., halts its heavy oil delivery to North Korea, which was required under the 1994 agreement.
December 2002. Pentagon completes a new, secret Nuclear Posture Review policy.
North Korea is named as one of seven nations to be attacked with nuclear weapons preemptively to destroy weapons of mass destruction facilities or in case of special developments.
January 2003. North Korea asks IAEA inspectors to leave North Korea. North Korea also announces full withdrawal from the NPT.
June 2003. First Six-Party Talks is held in Beijing to resolve the nuclear issue with North Korea.
February 10, 2005. North Korea declares that it “manufactured nukes” as “deterrent for self-defense.”

http://www.veteransforpeace.org/File/pdf/timeline_of_nuclear_threats.pdf

riposte
20-12-2011, 09:20 PM
What I found unnerving about the reaction to the death Kim jong Il was the jokous nature of the News coverage all over the west.

Like, what do people in the west think 24 million North Koreans do every day?

C. Flower
20-12-2011, 09:23 PM
No. I do not long for the strident. But I do note how the accounts of the pursuit of military grandeur come side by side with the accounts of a politics of starvation.

I find it somewhat lacking in a little moral verve that these issues are not linked or questioned.

And I also find it sadly amusing that if we were to read an account of mass starvation with any link to military spending emanating from any scenario with any link to the Great Satan, we would generally hear about it.
And generally the tone would be somewhat more engaged than that witnessed above.


Curiously we already had a reference to the damage done by US WW11 bombing as if it was something we must take into consideration.
Perhaps rightly so.
There was also the reference to the lack of Marshall funding which omitted the different genre of US funding.
Old money and now rusty arms were deemed necessary aspects of a picture.

I am just questioning the rather mute depiction of a contemporary tragedy of appalling scale.

And I am pondering as to what logic lies behind the sonic discretion.

And then I am questioning the possible honesty or lack thereof which may or may not lie behind what I erroneously or otherwise deem to be possible answers to tentative questions.

Do you not find your own depiction lacking in some of the passion we normally see on this site when monumental crimes against humanity are being discussed?

Anti-e is in my view far, far too soft on the role of the US government.

I would draw a connection between the starvation and the partition and devastation of Korea by the US, followed by relentless military pressure.

The North Koreans had every reason to expect to be attacked. Please see my last post.

C. Flower
20-12-2011, 09:25 PM
What I found unnerving about the reaction to the death Kim jong Il was the jokous nature of the News coverage all over the west.

Like, what do people in the west think 24 million North Koreans do every day?

RTE's John Murray Show excelled itself with some jolly racist jokes in funny accents.

The mourning is a curious phenomenon (although no more so than the hysteria over the death of Princess Diana). But anti-e's thread may make it more understandable.

TotalMayhem
20-12-2011, 09:33 PM
Korea has never been given the opportunity to be a united modern state.

States are not "given" such opportunities. More accurately, you might argue that the Koreans have been deprived of such developments, however, that doesn't justify the communist regime's cruelty towards their people.


It has been occupied by ... the USSR.

Is that really you talking, Miss Flower? ^^


It has been under constant threat of nuclear attack by the West.

I think we can scratch France and Britain of that list, and the only American nuclear threat I am aware of, was McArthur wanting to nuke the shlt out of the Chinese (not the Koreans, mind you) but the man was clearly a nutter.

Kev Bar
20-12-2011, 09:57 PM
There's a lot I could say about anti-e's piece; some of it good, some of it bad. But this seems to me raise the most concerns regarding the interpretation being offered. I assume you have evidence for making this claim. Evidence that doesn't come from the same people who brought us Saddam's WMD, the Gulf of Tonkin, the 250,000 murdered Kosoan civilians etc. Because we saw with Iraq how reliable defectors are when it comes to making claims about the regimes they leave. But still people believe any old rubbish that is said about the DPRK.

There was a mega bust off Australia's coast a decade or so ago with mega millions of smack and a rubber dinghy come a cropper in a storm - bit like the recent coke bust in Cork.
But there was a trawler off shore - with a sheeet load of high tech kit for fishing.

Currency - ask Sean Garland.
But I remember coming home from Cambodia in 92 at this precise time. I had three grand in 100 dollar notes and they would not change one of them at the airport.
Had to go to BoI Baggot St next day where they spent hours examining each note before they changed all bar three they were not sure of.
Top notch forgeries by all accounts.
The work of North Korea I was informed.

Check the backdrop to the Garland case.
An awful lot of homework for a minor role.
Given the shambolic work done on WMD - which was a gig of Oscar winning proportions, audacious and ambitious - it seems unlikely they would have pulled off such sterling direction on Garland etc - a mere indie art house script.

Garibaldy
20-12-2011, 10:27 PM
There was a mega bust off Australia's coast a decade or so ago with mega millions of smack and a rubber dinghy come a cropper in a storm - bit like the recent coke bust in Cork.
But there was a trawler off shore - with a sheeet load of high tech kit for fishing.

Currency - ask Sean Garland.
But I remember coming home from Cambodia in 92 at this precise time. I had three grand in 100 dollar notes and they would not change one of them at the airport.
Had to go to BoI Baggot St next day where they spent hours examining each note before they changed all bar three they were not sure of.
Top notch forgeries by all accounts.
The work of North Korea I was informed.

Check the backdrop to the Garland case.
An awful lot of homework for a minor role.
Given the shambolic work done on WMD - which was a gig of Oscar winning proportions, audacious and ambitious - it seems unlikely they would have pulled off such sterling direction on Garland etc - a mere indie art house script.

I'm not unaware of the details of the Garland accusations. I'm still waiting for credible evidence that the desciptions proferred by the US right-wing think tanks and Republicans of the DRPK as a Sopranos state or a narcostate or whatever have any factual basis whatsoever. People might be better off reading the likes of the stuff linked below, especially the McGlynn articles, than the stuff pumped out by the neo-cons.

http://seangarlandextradition.wordpress.com/where-is-the-evidence-an-examination-by-journalist-john-mcglynn/

http://www.japanfocus.org/-John-McGlynn/2423

and this

http://www.dias-online.org/65.0.html

A bit of critical thinking is in order.

C. Flower
21-12-2011, 12:06 AM
States are not "given" such opportunities. More accurately, you might argue that the Koreans have been deprived of such developments, however, that doesn't justify the communist regime's cruelty towards their people.


Is that really you talking, Miss Flower? ^^


I think we can scratch France and Britain of that list, and the only American nuclear threat I am aware of, was McArthur wanting to nuke the shlt out of the Chinese (not the Koreans, mind you) but the man was clearly a nutter.

I think that you missed my post on the nuclear threats to Korea on the previous page.

http://www.politicalworld.org/showpost.php?p=212989&postcount=13

antiestablishmentarian
21-12-2011, 03:43 AM
No. I do not long for the strident. But I do note how the accounts of the pursuit of military grandeur come side by side with the accounts of a politics of starvation.

I find it somewhat lacking in a little moral verve that these issues are not linked or questioned.

And I also find it sadly amusing that if we were to read an account of mass starvation with any link to military spending emanating from any scenario with any link to the Great Satan, we would generally hear about it.
And generally the tone would be somewhat more engaged than that witnessed above.


Curiously we already had a reference to the damage done by US WW11 bombing as if it was something we must take into consideration.
Perhaps rightly so.
There was also the reference to the lack of Marshall funding which omitted the different genre of US funding.
Old money and now rusty arms were deemed necessary aspects of a picture.

I am just questioning the rather mute depiction of a contemporary tragedy of appalling scale.

And I am pondering as to what logic lies behind the sonic discretion.

And then I am questioning the possible honesty or lack thereof which may or may not lie behind what I erroneously or otherwise deem to be possible answers to tentative questions.

Do you not find your own depiction lacking in some of the passion we normally see on this site when monumental crimes against humanity are being discussed?Say something out loud if you're going to say it- you clearly insinuate that I'm an apologist for the Kims and are beating around the bush and trying to say it indirectly. I put this thread up to cover broader Korean history, and how that has made the regime what it is today, it was not intended to be a fully comprehensive discussion of the Kim regime. Trying to take a detached look at this from an 'amoral' perspective is what any historian should do.

Kev Bar
21-12-2011, 04:49 AM
Say something out loud if you're going to say it- you clearly insinuate that I'm an apologist for the Kims and are beating around the bush and trying to say it indirectly. I put this thread up to cover broader Korean history, and how that has made the regime what it is today, it was not intended to be a fully comprehensive discussion of the Kim regime. Trying to take a detached look at this from an 'amoral' perspective is what any historian should do.

I don't necessarily say you are a Kim apologist.
Though I do say that you seem way more tolerant of Kim crime than Sam crime.
And I wonder why that is.
Perhaps we should cut to the quick...do you deem Kim crime less heinous than Kissinger crime?
Can you discuss the US and what made it what it is today from an 'amoral' perspective.
Can you goose/gander?
Or do we have a selective and heavily edited menu?

Kev Bar
21-12-2011, 04:56 AM
I'm not unaware of the details of the Garland accusations. I'm still waiting for credible evidence that the desciptions proferred by the US right-wing think tanks and Republicans of the DRPK as a Sopranos state or a narcostate or whatever have any factual basis whatsoever. People might be better off reading the likes of the stuff linked below, especially the McGlynn articles, than the stuff pumped out by the neo-cons.

http://seangarlandextradition.wordpress.com/where-is-the-evidence-an-examination-by-journalist-john-mcglynn/

http://www.japanfocus.org/-John-McGlynn/2423

and this

http://www.dias-online.org/65.0.html

A bit of critical thinking is in order.

A bit of critical thinking is indeed called for.
Jesus man!
The last link dimisses the possibility of North Korea doing the forgeries cos the NUCLEAR POWER does not have the technical capacity.

Get a grip!


Anti-e is in my view far, far too soft on the role of the US government.

I would draw a connection between the starvation and the partition and devastation of Korea by the US, followed by relentless military pressure.

The North Koreans had every reason to expect to be attacked. Please see my last post.

While I am well aware that you would do so sadly does lend any greater credence to the concept.

If you can arm a vast army, you can feed your people.

If you choose to arm a vast army and let your people starve to death, you are a scum bag pure and simple.

And it does not matter how you choose to dress your scum bag body in the morning. Nor what mantra you shout about.

Nor does it really matter what genre of scum baggery may have been visited upon you in the past.

antiestablishmentarian
21-12-2011, 05:09 AM
I don't necessarily say you are a Kim apologist.
Though I do say that you seem way more tolerant of Kim crime than Sam crime.
And I wonder why that is.
Perhaps we should cut to the quick...do you deem Kim crime less heinous than Kissinger crime?
Can you discuss the US and what made it what it is today from an 'amoral' perspective.
Can you goose/gander?
Or do we have a selective and heavily edited menu?

I've over 4,000 posts on this forum. Trawl through them and draw your own conclusions.

Kev Bar
21-12-2011, 05:15 AM
I've over 4,000 posts on this forum. Trawl through them and draw your own conclusions.

4,000!

Jesus why make me do all that work?

And I am not sufficiently interested in doing vast research on anti attitude.

I am asking you a simple question here and now.

Is there a difference between Kim and Kissinger.

Simple question.

Simple answer.

What's with the evasiveness?

I suspect you are being a tad dishonest.

And I feel for your pain.

I would imagine being a closet admirer of outdated dysfunctional authoritarian regimes is about as fashionable as being a paedophile these days.

But if I draw conclusions as you tell me to do, you might scream you are being unjustly portrayed.

So it would be a whole lot simpler if you had the gumption to speak for yourself.

I'm all ears.

antiestablishmentarian
21-12-2011, 05:18 AM
jesus why make me do all that work?

I am asking you a simple question here and now.

Is there a difference between Kim and Kissinger.

Simple question.

Simple answer.

What's with the evasiveness?
Why? Well you've made insinuations on a number of occasions on this thread that I am a supporter or apologist for the North Korean regime. You can do the work yourself and draw your own conclusions.

Kev Bar
21-12-2011, 05:27 AM
Why? Well you've made insinuations on a number of occasions on this thread that I am a supporter or apologist for the North Korean regime. You can do the work yourself and draw your own conclusions.

One two three four what are we fighting for?

OK

But please don't object to the conclusions i might draw.

You can't have it every way.



(although no more so than the hysteria over the death of Princess Diana)

Good point Cactus.

Count Bobulescu
21-12-2011, 05:38 AM
Ok, I know this will go down like a cup of cold sick in some quarters, but here’s a discussion with an ex CIA guy, now Stanford Prof, who’s been to North Korea thirty times.


http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/world/july-dec11/nkorea2_12-20.html

antiestablishmentarian
21-12-2011, 05:48 AM
I suspect you are being a tad dishonest.

And I feel for your pain.

I would imagine being a closet admirer of outdated dysfunctional authoritarian regimes is about as fashionable as being a paedophile these days.

But if I draw conclusions as you tell me to do, you might scream you are being unjustly portrayed.

So it would be a whole lot simpler if you had the gumption to speak for yourself.

I'm all ears.I'm not taking this pointless discussion any further. I have the 'gumption' to speak for myself, which is why I'm pointing you in the direction of my previous posts. Other posters are welcome to draw their own conclusions about my alleged support for the Kims.

Garibaldy
21-12-2011, 09:19 AM
A bit of critical thinking is indeed called for.
Jesus man!
The last link dimisses the possibility of North Korea doing the forgeries cos the NUCLEAR POWER does not have the technical capacity.

Get a grip!



While I am well aware that you would do so sadly does lend any greater credence to the concept.

If you can arm a vast army, you can feed your people.

If you choose to arm a vast army and let your people starve to death, you are a scum bag pure and simple.

And it does not matter how you choose to dress your scum bag body in the morning. Nor what mantra you shout about.

Nor does it really matter what genre of scum baggery may have been visited upon you in the past.

The last link isn't the main point though, is it? The main point of the links was the McGlynn articles, as I noted. The other main point is that many people don't like the politics of the DPRK, and so they will go along with any rubbish, regardless of where it comes from, as long as it reinforces their prejudices.

TotalMayhem
21-12-2011, 09:47 AM
I think that you missed my post on the nuclear threats to Korea on the previous page.

It doesn't wash with me, the Commies in Eastern Germany faced much more American nukes than the Koreans and yet, as crooked as the regime was, they didn't starve millions to death or exported crystal meth for the betterment of their rulers.

C. Flower
26-12-2011, 08:53 PM
Before taking part in this thread, I had never read anything about Kim Jong Il.

His origins and background are interesting and have a bearing on how he is seen in Korea.

His father - Kim il-Sung was a revolutionary from his teenage years on, and did time in jail for his political activities. From the wiki entry, the truth about him is midway between the demonisation of the south, and the iconisation of the north. I suppose it's the same for his son.


The exact history of Kim's family is somewhat obscure. According to Kim himself the family was neither very poor nor comfortably well-off, but was always a step away from poverty. Kim claims he was raised in a Presbyterian family, that his maternal grandfather was a Protestant minister, that his father had gone to a missionary school and was an elder in the Presbyterian Church, and that his parents were very active in the religious community.[5][6][7] According to the official version, Kim’s family participated in anti-Japanese activities and in 1920 they fled to Manchuria. Another view seems to be that his family settled in Manchuria like many Koreans at the time to escape famine. Nonetheless, Kim’s parents apparently did play a minor role in some activist groups, though whether their cause was missionary, nationalist, or both is unclear.[8][9]

Kim's father died in 1926, when Kim was fourteen years old. In October 1926, Kim founded the Down-With-Imperialism Union. Kim attended Whasung Military Academy in 1926, but when later finding the academy's training methods outdated, he quit in 1927. From that time, he attended Yuwen Middle School in Jilin up to 1930,[10] where he rejected the feudal traditions of older generation Koreans and became interested in Communist ideologies; his formal education ended when he was arrested and jailed for his subversive activities. At seventeen, Kim had become the youngest member of an underground Marxist organization with fewer than twenty members, led by Hŏ So, who belonged to the South Manchurian Communist Youth Association. The police discovered the group three weeks after it was formed in 1929, and jailed Kim for several months.[11][12]


The Communist Party of Korea had been founded in 1925, but had been thrown out of the Comintern in the early 1930s for being too nationalist. In 1931, Kim had joined the Communist Party of China. He joined various anti-Japanese guerrilla groups in northern China, and in 1935 he became a member of the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army, a guerrilla group led by the Communist Party of China. Kim was appointed the same year to serve as political commissar for the 3rd detachment of the second division, around 160 soldiers.[8] It was here that Kim met the man who would become his mentor as a Communist, Wei Zhengmin, Kim’s immediate superior officer, who was serving at the time as chairman of the Political Committee of the Northeast Anti-Japanese United Army. Wei reported directly to Kang Sheng, a high-ranking party member close to Mao Zedong in Yan'an, until Wei’s death on 8 March 1941.[13]

He certainly may have started out as a Stalinist puppet -
When the Soviet Union declared war on Japan in August 1945, it fully expected a long, drawn-out conflict. However, much to Stalin's surprise, the Red Army churned into Pyongyang with almost no resistance on 15 August. Stalin realized he needed someone to head a new government so he asked Lavrenty Beria to recommend possible candidates. Beria met Kim several times before recommending him to Stalin.

Kim arrived in North Korea on 22 August after 26 years in exile. According to Leonid Vassin, an officer with the Soviet MVD, Kim was essentially "created from zero." For one, his Korean was marginal at best; he'd only had eight years of formal education, all of it in Chinese. He needed considerable coaching to read a speech the MVD prepared for him at a Communist Party congress three days after he arrived. They also systematically destroyed most of the true leaders of the resistance who ended up north of the 38th parallel.[9]

Kim Jong il's original first name was Yuri.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kim_Jong-il

The situation of North and South Korea it seems can best be understood in the context of the world revolution which, through historical happenstance, cracked through a wormhole in Russia and rippled out across neighbouring territories.

TotalMayhem
26-12-2011, 09:02 PM
Kim il-Sung was a revolutionary from his teenage years on

That always strikes a chord with you, doesn't it?

However, his family came a long way and now they augment the state's very limited economy, by pursuing a variety of illicit and proliferation activities that include: counterfeiting currency, military equipment sales, and sales of illegal narcotics and counterfeit cigarettes and pharmaceuticals. The regime's criminal activities are estimated to be responsible for 35 to 40 percent of North Korea’s exports.

C. Flower
26-12-2011, 09:04 PM
That always strikes a chord with you, doesn't it?

However, his family came a long way and now they augment the state's very limited economy, by pursuing a variety of illicit and proliferation activities that include: counterfeiting currency, military equipment sales, and sales of illegal narcotics and counterfeit cigarettes and pharmaceuticals. The regime's criminal activities are estimated to be responsible for 35 to 40 percent of North Korea’s exports.

Maybe (I haven't got to that part of the dynasty, yet;)), but in terms of the grief (fake and real) experienced in N. Korea last week the origins of the dynasty are relevant.