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North Korea stand-off: Obama raises the stakes

category international | anti-war / imperialism | other press author Friday April 05, 2013 13:55author by Turing Test - Donner Party Report this post to the editors

Eddie Ford doesn't like Kim or the bizarre North Korean regime but he looks behind the headlines to examine how the US is stirring things up. Full story at url.

Over the last week there has been a considerable escalation of tensions between North and South Korea. To some degree, of course, this is ‘business as usual’ rhetoric, eg, Pyongyang on March 31 declared that it was in a “state of war” with Seoul (actually that has been the case since the 1953 armistice). But there is more going on than heightened rhetoric - though so far, thankfully, not a single missile has been fired.

Now, I am no admirer of the North Korean regime. It is a brutal and very odd Stalinist dictatorship, which quite literally deifies its leaders - whether the current tyrant, the Great Successor, Kim Jong-un, or his grandfather and Great Leader, Kim Il-sung, the “eternal president” who died in 1994 and presumably still guides the nation, albeit in his new, other-worldly form. To think that such a repressive system could be a workers’ state of any kind, deformed or otherwise, is a grotesque abnegation of genuine socialist politics.

Kim Jung-un: rising to provocation
Kim Jung-un: rising to provocation

But, having said that, there seems little doubt that the current crisis is predominantly the result of United States provocation. Just because Pyongyang says something it does not automatically mean that it is crazy. The facts surely speak for themselves. Since the beginning of March, the US has been engaged in joint military exercises with South Korea scheduled to last two months. This has involved nuclear-capable B-52 bombers buzzing around the Korean peninsular - not to mention long-range B-2 stealth bombers and F-22 stealth fighters, out to prove (if proof was needed) that US imperialism is capable of conducting “long-range, precision strikes quickly and at will”, dropping dummy munitions on a South Korean-claimed island very close to North Korean territory. If that were not enough, the USS John McCain, an Aegis-class destroyer capable of intercepting missiles, has been positioned off the Korean peninsula and a second destroyer - the USS Decatur - has been sent to the region. It is an open secret that these exercises simulate an invasion and occupation of North Korea.

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