Three Essential (But Shamefully Unknown or Ignored) Truths About North Korea

by Coco Das

May 24, 2018 | Revolution Newspaper |


Fiercely resisting the Trump/Pence regime’s threats against North Korea is a critical part of resisting and stopping a fascist America. Preparations for war and displays of military power are key mechanisms for fascist regimes to buy public approval and bring down the hammer on dissent, both domestically and internationally. But shamefully, too many supposedly “staunch critics” of Trump find themselves rooting for him on North Korea. While cheering him on, key Democrats have also offered their Hawkish criticisms from the right, urging Trump not to sign any deal “that would guarantee North Korea remains a nuclear power.” (Democratic Senator Chris Murphy quoted in “Dems grit their teeth and cheer for Trump on North Korea,” Politico 5/27/18). This position is inexcusable. If we allow confusion and ignorance to pull us onto a bandwagon of warmongering and forced patriotism, we are engaging in a delusion that endangers millions of people.

Here are three basic principles to keep in mind in relation to the unfolding – and very high stakes – process in relation to North Korea:

[1] WE MUST NEVER SUBSCRIBE TO THE GANGSTER LOGIC OF THIS REGIME. Never forget that Trump has repeatedly threatened to destroy North Korea, promising a “fire and fury like the world has never seen,” flaunting in front of the U.N. Security Council that the U.S. would “totally destroy” North Korea, and recently touting the use of the “Libya model” if North Korea did not concede to U.S. demands. Trump’s comments on Libya allude to the destruction of Libya and death of its leader Muammar Qadaffi in 2011, years after Libya abandoned its nuclear program. The Trump regime has made its intent on regime change in North Korea clear. The appointment of John Bolton as National Security Advisor further cements this determination. John Bolton is a key figure behind the 2003 invasion of Iraq and still defends it, and recently authored an op-ed in which he outlined a first strike attack on North Korea.

After Trump’s deplorable U.N. speech last September, wrote, “Like a wife-beating husband, Trump coupled bogus concern for the people of North Korea with a promise to incinerate them. He presented the United States as a long persecuted victim. The false claim of victimhood is a crucial part of fascist ideology. But never has there been such a gap between perceived victimhood and actual power. Trump has his finger on the nuclear trigger, and has threatened to use it. He is in command of the world’s largest military and largest nuclear arsenal – by far. He has questioned why he shouldn’t use nuclear weapons. It is not exaggeration, it is truth that the Trump regime poses a greater danger to the people of the world than Hitler did.”  This has not changed.

[2] IN THE KOREAN PENINSULA, THE TRUMP REGIME IS NOT ACTING IN THE INTEREST OF HUMANITY. It is pursuing U.S. domination of the region, not peace for the Korean people. This is consistent with entire history of American wars, most recently in Afghanistan and Iraq. Americans have remained vastly ignorant of what happens in its wars abroad, but in particular, they know very little about the Korean War, during which the U.S. carpet bombed North Korea and killed millions of civilians in order to maintain its strategic interests in relation to the Soviet Union and China. We need to read the news about North Korea not as American chauvinists but as human beings capable of critical thinking. The dominant narrative in the media is that North Korea repeatedly backs out of negotiations with the U.S. because of its irrational and unpredictable leaders. What is irrational in insisting that the U.S. and South Korea stop doing joint military exercises before an upcoming summit? What would not be alarming to North Korea about the appointment of John Bolton as National Security Advisor? And where is the evidence that a complete dismantling of its nuclear deterrent would not result in a U.S. invasion of North Korea? An invasion of North Korea and even a conventional war on the Korean peninsula, which Trump and his war cabinet continue to prepare for, would be a humanitarian disaster. A nuclear war would be devastating for all of humanity and the planet. Yet the Trump regime has treated both possibilities as completely legitimate.

[3] THE U.S. DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO DICTATE WHICH COUNTRIES CAN HAVE NUCLEAR WEAPONS. It is high time, in the name of humanity, to reject this conceit that the U.S. has the moral authority to police the world. There is only one country that has ever used its nuclear weapons – this one – killing hundreds of thousands of civilians in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in a massive crime against humanity. Israel has nuclear weapons. India and Pakistan have nuclear weapons. Russia, France, Great Britain, and China all have nuclear weapons. Nuclear weapons are abhorrent and no one should have them, but the U.S. is the only country that has used them, has repeatedly threatened to use them, has never abandoned a first strike policy, and under this regime, has argued for lowering the threshold for a nuclear strike. The same logic that is targeting North Korea (and Iran) now is the logic that gave moral cover for the destruction of Iraq: through the Gulf War of 1991, years of crippling sanctions, and the WMD-propaganda of George W. Bush’s 2003 invasion of Iraq, a series of crimes ultimately killing and displacing millions of people. And speaking of sanctions, has North Korea ever imposed international sanctions on the U.S.? The fact that this question is so utterly absurd speaks to the actual power relations between the U.S. and North Korea. We need to be very clear that when U.S. leaders talk about the weapons programs of other countries, it is always about power and never about peace. Freeing ourselves from what Bob Avakian calls the Great Tautological Fallacy, the belief that American lives are more important than other people’s lives and that U.S. military actions are a force for good in the world, is essential for keeping us grounded in our resistance and stopping this regime from carrying out its catastrophic agenda.


Volunteers Needed... for and Revolution

Send us your comments.

If you like this article, subscribe, donate to and sustain Revolution newspaper.