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Danger Lurks from Washington Torpedoing Korea Talks

By       Message Finian Cunningham       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     Permalink

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From youtube.com: North and South Korea hold first direct talks in years {MID-226552}
North and South Korea hold first direct talks in years
(Image by YouTube, Channel: CBS News)
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There was near-unanimous welcoming of the surprise peace talks this week between North and South Korean delegations. Even the bellicose US President Donald Trump put aside his fiery rhetoric to endorse the diplomatic engagement between the two divided Koreas, saying he "hoped something good would result."

The two Korean sides met for 11 hours of discussions in the "peace village" of Panmunjom near the Demilitarized Zone that has separated the states since the Korean War (1950-53). The cordial handshakes and friendly words exchanged raised hopes that a major breakthrough was underway -- this after a year of mounting tensions and fears of an all-out war breaking out on the Korean Peninsula.

Russia and China lauded the opening of talks this week -- the first in nearly two years of impasse -- saying it was exactly what they had been prescribing for the past several months in order to calm escalating tensions. The United Nations secretary general Antonio Guterres also praised the new commitment to dial down conflict.

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Perhaps surprising was the apparent welcome given by Washington to the talks. President Trump said he was "100 percent" behind South Korean President Moon Jae-in's initiative to invite the North to dialogue.

Previously, Washington has been adamant that there would be no talks with Communist North Korea until its leader Kim Jong-un first gave a commitment to end the country's nuclear weapons program. Evidently, Washington seems prepared for its South Korean ally to proceed with negotiations without conditions. At least for now.

Trump reportedly acceded to the South Korean leader's request for joint American military exercises to be postponed until after the Winter Olympic games and the follow-up Paralympics which end in March. That move was seen as a major concession to North Korea, which has long protested that such drills are a provocative rehearsal for war.

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With the postponement of the US-South Korea military maneuvers, Pyongyang quickly responded to agree to attend the talks this week at the DMZ with a delegation from Seoul.

Again, this is the kind of trust-building that Russia and China have been advocating. Both Moscow and Beijing have maintained that the "freezing" of US-led military exercises can lead to the North Korean side halting its nuclear missile tests, which in turn helps to consolidate negotiations for a final peace settlement to the decades-old Korean conflict. Last year, Washington rebuffed Moscow and Beijing's "freeze-freeze" proposal. But the new year opening of talks vindicates the proposal.

The progress achieved from talks this week alone is impressive. Not only has North Korea agreed to send athletes to participate in the Winter Olympics hosted by South Korea next month, thereby removing security fears over the event; the two sides went further to re-establish military-to-military dialogue in a bid to reduce tensions. They are also planning to resume reunification exchanges between families separated by the Korean War.

This is the very kind of diplomatic progress that can be achieved if mutual goodwill is permitted. It negates Washington's belligerent stance of treating North Korea as a "rogue state." The Trump administration, as with previous US administrations, has repeatedly spurned diplomacy with North Korea, preferring instead to use threats of war and "total destruction."

Trump gave himself credit for his tough rhetoric and policy of "maximum pressure" bringing North Korea to the negotiating table this week.

However, another way of looking at it is that North Korea feels ready to talk with adversaries because it has achieved as of late last year the nuclear capability to strike the US. Kim Jong-un declared the capability to hit the American mainland in this New Year address. It was in the same speech that he extended an olive branch to South Korea to open peace talks between "people of the same national heritage."

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Notably, this week the North Korean delegation warned that its nuclear weapons were pointed only at the United States, "not at our brethren in South Korea, nor at China nor Russia."

US media tended to read the talks initiative with cynical motives. In a New York Times report, headlined 'North Korea moves towards detente with Seoul', the following editorial comment dripped with cynicism: "Few in Seoul or Washington believe Mr Kim, though an avid sports fan, is motivated solely by the Olympic spirit. The Winter Games also present him with an ideal opportunity to throw a wrench in President Trump's threats of military action if the North does not agree to give up its nuclear program."

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Author and journalist. Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master's graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal (more...)
 

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3 people are discussing this page, with 7 comments  Post Comment


Jim Glover

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People don't like the truth but I don't see Kim giving up his nuclear weapons. He now has enough to deter an attack by the US and just like Israel and Russia and the US if the nuclear war happens, computers take over because there is not enough time to stop the missiles, Ships, bombers, and nuclear Subs from the electronic programing of the final War.

Just from an EMP of a nuke blown high in the atmosphere will take out all electronics and Power on the US mainland... which means only one intercontinental nuclear missile from NK would not need to survive reentry or even have very good guidance.

Now whether Trump can be persuaded of the new reality is another matter.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 13, 2018 at 3:39:38 AM

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George King

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I agree Jim, this is the issue facing SK and Japan as the false sense of safety across the Pacific Ocean is not an issue as even conventional weapons will target nuclear power plants as well as population centers. The results will be millions of deaths in the first day/s of all 3 countries. The US of Empire has reached the "Peter Principle for all to see.

There has to be a pivot by these countries to save their future and existence. They will choose One Belt--One Road trade in local currencies which are often more favorable to regional economic conditions vis--vis the US Dollar and is multilateral verses unilateral.

There is no other choice so the question is what will Empire do in its throes of death? Tucking your head between your butt cheeks and kissing your as* goodbye is not an option.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 13, 2018 at 5:49:28 AM

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George King

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Finian once again covers the real issues quite clearly and with clarity. There are a couple of reasons that the storm will not pass as long as the gathering storm clouds build from the juxtapose of the conflicting issue of war and peace. Vassal or war, multilateral and peace, those are the real issues facing not only the Korean peninsula but also the Island of Japan it is either rule of Empire or multilateral peace built on trade and cooperation not coercion.

"Washington has been adamant that there would be no talks with Communist North Korea until its leader Kim Jong-un first gave a commitment to end the country's nuclear weapons program"

"The problem is that US hegemonic ambitions in the Asia-Pacific region go beyond merely having a military garrison in South Korea. Washington needs a pretext for its military presence in the region owing to its bigger geopolitical antagonism towards Russia and China"

The nuclear option has been the only deterrent to surrender and slavery in the current environment. More and more nations are trying to gather the where with all to break that yoke of bondage for self rule for the benefit of their citizens outside of the Iron Law of Oligarchy and the partnership and conclusion of corporations with state. We all know fascism. Mussolini incorporated the two, we know it when we see it but you have to look!

The iron law of oligarchy is a political theory, first developed by the German sociologist Robert Michels in his 1911 book, Political Parties . It claims that rule by an elite, or oligarchy, is inevitable as an "iron law" within any democratic organization as part of the "tactical and technical necessities" of organization.

Michels' theory states that all complex organizations, regardless of how democratic they are when started, eventually develop into oligarchies. Michels observed that since no sufficiently large and complex organization can function purely as a direct democracy, power within an organization will always get delegated to individuals within that group, elected or otherwise.

Using anecdotes from political parties and trade unions struggling to operate democratically to build his argument in 1911, Michels addressed the application of this law to representative democracy, and stated: "Who says organization, says oligarchy." He went on to state that "Historical evolution mocks all the prophylactic measures that have been adopted for the prevention of oligarchy."

According to Michels all organizations eventually come to be run by a "leadership class", who often function as paid administrators, executives, spokespersons, political strategists, organizers, etc. for the organization. Far from being "servants of the masses", Michels argues this "leadership class," rather than the organization's membership, will inevitably grow to dominate the organization's power structures .

By controlling who has access to information, those in power can centralize their power successfully, often with little accountability, due to the apathy, indifference and non-participation most rank-and-file members have in relation to their organization's decision-making processes.

Michels argues that democratic attempts to hold leadership positions accountable are prone to fail, since with power comes the ability to reward loyalty , the ability to control information about the organization, and the ability to control what procedures the organization follows when making decisions. All of these mechanisms can be used to strongly influence the outcome of any decisions made 'democratically' by members.

Michels stated that the official goal of representative democracy of eliminating elite rule was impossible, that representative democracy is a facade legitimizing the rule of a particular elite, and that elite rule, which he refers to as oligarchy, is inevitable.

Later Michels migrated to Italy and joined Benito Mussolini 's Fascist Party , as he believed this was the next legitimate step of modern societies. The thesis became popular once more in post-war America with the publication of Union Democracy: The Internal Politics of the International Typographical Union (1956) and during the red scare brought about by McCarthyism .

The National Fascist Party ( Partito Nazionale Fascista , PNF) was an Italian political party , created by Benito Mussolini as the political expression of fascism.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 13, 2018 at 5:33:50 AM

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George King

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Well we didn't have to wait long for an answer!

US to suggest intercepting North Korea ships to allies
Let there be no mistake as this is an act of war not only seen in the Korean war but also WWII and Japan.

"We will be discussing with our partners and allies the kind of steps that we can take on maritime interdiction and also to be cutting, disrupting funding and disrupting resources," Hook said.

"And maritime interdiction helps us to disrupt resources."

The countries invited to send representatives to Vancouver are the so-called "Sending Powers," those that contributed troops or aid to the UN war effort in 1950s Korea.

Note these countries in US Generals own words "we bombed every structure standing and there was nothing left to bomb".

As such, North Korea's neighbors China and Russia are not invited, and many have questioned the utility of a conference where such influential regional players are absent.

There will be a false flag here, no doubt.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 13, 2018 at 6:08:58 AM

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Nathan Nahm

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An astute observation.

Despite SK president Moon's offer to meet with NK head Kim to discuss peaceful means of resolving all issues, anyone who has given serious thought to the fundamental problems in Korea knows that the peace offer by Moon is not going to lead to anything meaningful unless and until SK stops kowtowing 100% to the US line on NK.

Moon says that denuclearization of Korea is the ultimate goal, but at same time he says that he totally agrees with US president Trump on economic sanctions and other oppressive measures on NK, and that NK's commitment to denuclearization is the pre-condition for serious talk. This is an oxymoron because while denuclearization should be the goal of talks with NK, it cannot be a pre-condition for talks. Demanding denuclearization as a condition for talks is not an offer to talk, but a demand to surrender, pure and simple.

The reason why NK had to resort to an expensive nuclear program is because they perceived that nothing else is nearly as effective as the nuclear program to guarantee their security. In light of this, for NK, the US and SK's willingness to openly discuss NK's security issue is almost a pre-condition for any meaningful talk with US and SK.

On this most critical issue of how the US and SK can guarantee NK's security, when NK gives up nuclear weapons, to NK's satisfaction, the US is totally silent, and has not changed its position an iota for the last couple of decades. SK Moon, too, has not dared to venture to differ with the US on this issue. Rather, Moon keeps emphasizing that he totally agrees with the US original position in not even acknowledging NK's security issue as a legitimate concern on NK's part, and also agrees on related issues of sanctions and other oppressive measures designed to pressure NK to surrender, rather than invite NK to willingly accept an opportunity to talk .

In this environment, it is safe to say that the US has no reason to worry about its total control over the situation in Korea and its dominant position to prevent the two Koreas from conducting meaningful and viable diplomatic solutions. In the end, it looks like the US is happy with the status quo and SK is also reluctant to stir up any possible changes at all, at least for now.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 13, 2018 at 6:58:34 PM

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Nathan Nahm

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An astute observation.

Despite SK president Moon's offer to meet with NK head Kim to discuss peaceful means of resolving all issues, anyone who has given serious thought to the fundamental problems in Korea knows that the peace offer by Moon is not going to lead to anything meaningful unless and until SK stops kowtowing 100% to the US line on NK.

Moon says that denuclearization of Korea is the ultimate goal, but at same time he says that he totally agrees with US president Trump on economic sanctions and other oppressive measures on NK, and that NK's commitment to denuclearization is the pre-condition for serious talk. This is an oxymoron because while denuclearization should be the goal of talks with NK, it cannot be a pre-condition for talks. Demanding denuclearization as a condition for talks is not an offer to talk, but a demand to surrender, pure and simple.

The reason why NK had to resort to an expensive nuclear program is because they perceived that nothing else is nearly as effective as the nuclear program to guarantee their security. In light of this, for NK, the US and SK's willingness to openly discuss NK's security issue is almost a pre-condition for any meaningful talk with US and SK.

On this most critical issue of how the US and SK can guarantee NK's security, when NK gives up nuclear weapons, to NK's satisfaction, the US is totally silent, and has not changed its position an iota for the last couple of decades. SK Moon, too, has not dared to venture to differ with the US on this issue. Rather, Moon keeps emphasizing that he totally agrees with the US original position in not even acknowledging NK's security issue as a legitimate concern on NK's part, and also agrees on related issues of sanctions and other oppressive measures designed to pressure NK to surrender, rather than invite NK to willingly accept an opportunity to talk .

In this environment, it is safe to say that the US has no reason to worry about its total control over the situation in Korea and its dominant position to prevent the two Koreas from conducting meaningful and viable diplomatic solutions. In the end, it looks like the US is happy with the status quo and SK is also reluctant to stir up any possible changes at all, at least for now.

Submitted on Saturday, Jan 13, 2018 at 7:06:29 PM

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Nathan Nahm

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However, the current situation will not remain the same if and when China's One Belt, One Road Project advances successfully and begins to make major economic and cultural impacts on the integration of Eurasian nations.

When the people in SK realize that they could ride a Trans-Siberia, or Trans-China high speed train to travel to Moscow, Berlin, Spain, and various other major cities in Europe at hitherto unimagined speed and comfort, and that the only reason why they cannot make such fantastic, dream-come-true, trips directly from Seoul is because of the division of Korea into two warring parts, they could be mad enough to smash whatever stands as critical obstacle for the unification or at least some form of accomodation between the two regimes of NK and SK.

Super active, travel-loving South Koreans are not likely to tolerate and accept being locked out of the newly emerging historical integration of Eurasia, assuming that such change happens in some form or another. At that point, no foreign powers will be able to control the internal politics of the two Koreas and tell them what they can, or cannot, do. At that point, which isn't necessarily a distant future, the world powers are not likely to have a choice but to allow the two Koreas to make accommodation for each other based on the most natural geo-political topography.

Submitted on Sunday, Jan 14, 2018 at 6:53:55 AM

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