Spoiling for a Fight? - by Stephen Lendman
Washington is a world class menace, waging imperial wars for global dominance called peace, stability and democracy. In the run-up to the 1950 Korean War, Truman used South Korea to goad Pyongyang into a conflict it didn't want. Nor does it now, but events may spiral out of control unless cooler heads prevail.
Last March, the latest confrontation began when North Korea was falsely blamed for sinking a South Korean ship. At the time, evidence suggested a false flag, manufactured to blame Pyongyang.
Then on November 23, US media reports said North Korea incited the gravest incident since the July 1953 armistice. Analysts called it a deliberate provocation, even though South Korean forces fired first, goaded by the Obama administration for what Pyongyang, with good reason, called a rehearsal for invasion.
Decades of sanctions crippled its economy. Ten years under Bush/Obama were intimidating. South Korea's right-wing Lee Myung-bak Grand National Party replaced Uri Party's Roh Moo-hyun's Sunshine Policy, initiating hostile, provocative relations.
Lee rescinded his cooperative economic agreements, cancelled emergency communications between both sides to avoid possible conflict, stopped family reunions, ended the North's Mt. Kumgang tourist operations, and closed the North-South railroad benefitting both sides, keeping only a Kaesong, North Korea industrial park operating.
He also violated a 2004 agreement to halt propaganda campaigns, sending 400,000 disinformation leaflets north on balloons. Annual South Korean/US military exercises heighten tensions, especially with extra Washington/Seoul saber rattling. Pyongyang warned about current ones, calling them "reckless military provocations (in) our maritime territory." Promising another response, Reuters, on December 20, said:
"North Korea stepped back from confrontation over 'reckless' military drills by the South on Monday and reportedly issued a new offer on nuclear inspections, drawing a cautious response from Seoul and Washington," preferring confrontation to diplomacy.