U.S. Korea Policy, “Mutually Assured Madness”

By: David William Pear

Published 24-9-2017

“if you have nukes, never give them up–if you don’t have them, get them”. —Dan Coats, Director of National Intelligence.

Those were the words of President Trump’s Director of National Intelligence, about the lessons taught from the U.S. destruction of Libya and the assassination of Muammar Gaddafi.

That is why North Korea is a nuclear power. That is the reality and eventually the U.S. will have to accept “Mutually Assured Madness“. The U.S. has nobody to blame for its self-inflected wounds. It is called Blowback.

The propaganda mill and the mainstream media greatly exaggerate the US national security risk to the American people, and it is for their own greedy self-interest to spread panic and paranoia among the American people.

If Kim Jong-un wanted to kill Americans out of insane hatred, he has that capability now with conventional weapons. There are over a quarter of a million American citizens living in Seoul, 100 miles from Pyongyang. Kim Jong-un has not attacked Seoul to kill Americans because he is not insane or suicidal, and that is according to experts on North Korea such as Dan Coats and Donald Gregg, and others.

Forget the propaganda: it is nonsense aimed at selling extremely expensive Thermal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missiles and further encircle and threaten China and Russia . THAAD’s installed in South Korea at a cost of $1 billion are ineffective and useless against North Korean missiles in the early stage of launching.  Lawrence Wilkerson, Professor of Government and Public Policy and former Chief of Staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell (2002-05), has spoken in interviews extensively on this subject.

For North Korea to fear the U.S. is realism. To want a nuclear deterrent is sanity.

President Trump’s Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats spoke truth publicly. Speaking at the Aspen Institute on July 21, 2017, Coats said he does not think that Kim Jong-un is insane, and that he would have to be insane to surrender his nuclear weapons. He told his audience that the lesson of Libya is that:

if you have nukes, never give them up–if you don’t have them, get them“.

Trump should have listened to Steve Bannon when he said:

There’s no military solution, forget it. Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that ten million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about, there’s no military solution here, and they got us.”

North Korea is not playing “gotcha”. For them it is not a game, like it is to the US planners. North Korea rightly fears for its life and its existence. We may not like the way they live, but that is not for us to decide. It is for the North Koreans to determine.

This is the 21st century, not the 19th century of Kipling’s “white man’s burden” (which Theodore Roosevelt said “made good sense, from the expansionists point of view“). If the U.S. wants to do something good for human rights, it should start with its own cabal of right-wing dictators and their death squads.

Trump says he is going to succeed where Obama and Bush failed. He should take a page from President Bill Clinton, who successfully negotiated with North Korea, until Bush destroyed the agreement. Trump talks big and the mainstream media and Trump backers as well as a great many Democratic Party supporters love it.  It is the cowboy image that so many Americans romanticize and identify with.

Trump says he is going to kick down Kim Jong-un’s door, take away his rockets and free his people. That is insanity, cowboy insanity.  But it is nothing new for America.  U.S. history is a history of wars of aggression, sold to the public as “making the world safe for democracy“ but waged for the profits of tycoons.

When Anglo-American migrants followed their Manifest Destiny and hit the Pacific Ocean, they just kept on going until they got to Asia. When they got there, they started kicking down doors. They discovered civilizations that did not know they were lost, and then kicked their doors down to sell them trinkets for treasures, and steal their resources of natural and human capital.

This is now called nation building. First the U.S. destroys a nation, then sends in the contractors to rebuild, and turn a tidy profit too. It is war-profiteering insanity that leaves a pile of human corpses in the rubble.

When America discovered the 5,000 year civilization of Korea in the late 1800’s, the Koreans wanted nothing to do with the foreigners. So the Americans sent the gunboats to Korea’s Ganghwa Island and took it hostage. When the Koreans defended it, President Ulysses S. Grant sent the U.S. Korean Expeditionary Force in 1871. Night raids and kicking down doors followed until the Koreans changed their behavior. All the Koreans wanted were to be left alone. During their long history, they had learned from experience that no matter how friendly foreigners seemed at first, eventually they brought war, conquest and subjugation. North Korea is simply remembering the lessons inflicted on the nation over centuries by abject invaders and aggressors.

Skip forward to 1945. There is a lot of U.S. history in between, and most of it is repetitions. Only the names and dates change, but not the plot. Invasion followed by invasion.

During the early 20th century, the U.S. proxy Japan had bitten off more of Asia than the U.S. thought they should chew, as the U.S. wanted to chew on it themselves. The U.S. appetite for empire did not end in 1945 with the end of WW2. It was just getting its second wind.

At the end of WW2, both the U.S. and Soviet Russia had liberated Korea from Japan. So the Americans and the Russians split the difference at the 38th parallel.

In the north half of Korea, the Soviets established Kim Jong-un’s grandfather, Kim Il-sung to head the communist government. The Grandfather Kim had been a communist revolutionary and freedom fighter against Japanese occupation. Later he fought in China with Mao Zedong’s communists against the U.S. backed nationalists of Chiang Kai-shek. After Chiang’s defeat, the deposed autocrat fled to the Chinese island of Formosa, along with his entourage of wealthy Chinese businessmen and intellectuals. With U.S. blessing, Chiang ruled as a brutal military dictator, committing hundreds of massacres of his own people. He imprisoned, tortured and executed thousands, anybody that he suspected of being a dissident to his dictates. Today Formosa is Taiwan; it is not a member of the UN and has formal diplomatic relations with few countries, not even the U.S.

If Trump is so concerned about “Rocket Man’s” human rights record, then Trump would make a good start by reading U.S. history, and correcting the behaviour of the dozens of U.S. backed right-wing dictators. He could learn from history about the military dictatorships and human rights violations of U.S. backed military dictatorships of South Korea. After the U.S. military rule from 1945 to 1948, the U.S. installed the military dictatorship of Syngman Rhee, and later Park Chung-hee. You won’t hear about it from “Hair Man” Trump or Fox News – or the CNN, MSNBC and any of the other US networks either.

Nor will you hear much about the new progressive president of South Korea Moon Jae-in. He ran on a popular campaign of bettering relations with North Korea, much like the “Sunshine Policy” of former president Kim Dae Jung (1998 to 2003), for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2000.

Better relations between South Korea and North Korea is not what the U.S. wants. Bush killed it, Obama embalmed it, and Trump is trying to bury it. The U.S. neocons could not be happier. Better relations, normalization, a peace treaty and eventual reunification are against the U.S. Empire’s interest. That is why South Korea’s wishes are never mentioned, except in rare staged events. Strange, since Koreans are said to be our thankful beneficiaries.

The U.S. is undermining and pressuring Moon to drop his efforts at better relations. Putting in THAAD’s before Moon could take office was an embarrassment and a loss of face for Moon. U.S. domineering is not unnoticed by South Koreans, and anti-Americanism is on the rise again.

Most Americans believe that South Korea became an economic miracle by following the U.S. mythological example of democracy and free-market competition. The propagandists and repeaters never get tired of waxing eloquent with that fairytale, singing the praises of capitalism and U.S.-style democracy. South Korea did not develop economically under democracy, free-trade and free-markets. It developed under military dictators, state-corporate monopolies and free-flowing U.S. economic aid. Ditto Taiwan.

Trump talks about “fire and fury”. Both North and South Korea know what U.S. fire and fury are from the 3 years of the Korean War (1950 to 1953). The history of the Korean War would be enough for the Nuremberg Tribunal to hang President Truman and all of his generals. Air Force Curtis LeMay and the State Department’s Dean Rusk tell the gores of the war. LeMay was in command of the bombing of Korea, and said about U.S. fire and fury:

LeMay: We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea anyway, some way or another, and some in South Korea too.” Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — twenty percent of the population of Korea as direct casualties of war, or from starvation and exposure?

Dean Rusk was the Assistant Secretary of State for Far Eastern Affairs during the Korean War and later he was the Secretary of State. Here is what Dean Rusk had to say:

“The United States bombed “everything that moved in North Korea, every brick standing on top of another.” After running low on urban targets, U.S. bombers destroyed hydroelectric and irrigation dams in the later stages of the war, flooding farmland and destroying crops .” (VOX.co)

Kim Jong-un does not need teaching on fire and fury. In the past 30 years the U.S. has taught North Korea and anybody else about fire and fury. The U.S. has committed military aggression against approximately 20 countries in the past 30 years, (not including covert operations and support of proxies) and none of those countries had a nuclear deterrent.

The North Koreans especially observed Libya, as Bush advised them to. The North Koreans saw what happened to Muammar Gaddafi when he gave up his nuclear project. They saw the glee it brought Hillary. U.S. agreements are meaningless. How could North Koreans have missed George W. Bush’s message to listen up? It was specifically addressed to them:

If a country like Libya was to show transparency and active cooperation, that can open the doors, a complete change of face, it is a lesson for North Korea to observe.”–Bush 2003

The mainstream media cannot stop saying that Kim Jong-un is irrational, unstable, unpredictable and paranoid. And that he refuses to come to the negotiation table. Many experts say that the former is not so, and the U.S. State Department confirms that it is the U.S. that refuses to negotiate. On August 15, 2017 a press conference at the State Department must be a record for insanity.

Here is a partial transcript of one of the strangest press conferences at the State Department, August 15, 2017. The spokesperson for the State Department is Heather Nauert:

Question: Is it still the position of the administration that the North Koreans have to do something other than just say “we want to talk” before you’ll sit down with them?

Answer: I think so. I mean, the Secretary, I think, was pretty clear about that today. Just a couple days ago he spoke about this as well. He said, look, we’ll talk, but they have to take some serious steps. Susan Thornton, our acting assistant secretary for East Asia Pacific, who’s been very engaged with the Secretary on this issue, has said the same thing. Look, we’re willing to sit down and talk with them, but it appears that that’s not — that’s not going to happen imminently. They have to take some serious steps before we get there. — So just to be clear, not launching ballistic missiles towards Guam is not enough— the Secretary has been clear about we will see it — they know what they need to do to get us to come to the negotiating table

Question: Okay. So just to put the finest point on it possible, you’re not going to go and sit down with them then unless they take steps that they know that they have to do? That’s — just them saying we’re open or we’re not — we’re going to hold off on sending missiles towards Guam is not going to get you interested in having a dialogue; that is correct?

Answer: I think they would have to do quite a bit more.

QuestionSo if they know what they have to do and our allies in South Korea and Japan know what they have to do, it’s only the U.S. people and our readers who don’t know what they have to do?

The above shows how low the public is held in the U.S. government’s esteem. It also shows how the mainstream does not report inconvenient facts. It is called contempt for the public. North Korea is willing to negotiate. They have negotiated in the past. They have made offers to negotiate. They have no preconditions. They want a peace treaty. The U.S. knows it. The mainstream media knows it. And both are lying.

Realistically, the most that the U.S. can hope for in negotiations is that North Korea agrees to freeze its nuclear program, accept inspection, and sign the Non-Proliferation Treaty. The holdup is that the U.S. does not know what it is willing to give up in return, and is holding out for as little as possible. Trump’s top advisors know that North Korea will not agree to give up its nukes.

Donald Gregg is one of the best experts America has on North Korea (bio here). In an interview reported in Time Magazine July 24, 2017 he said, “We can’t deal with them if we don’t understand them, and we won’t understand them if we aren’t talking to each other”. He says to forget preconditions. Gregg also says that Kim Jong-un is “smart, tough, and a risk taker” who sees his nuclear arsenal as protection against a U.S. attack. “The North Koreans aren’t suicidal. They don’t want a war—North Korea’s leaders are “thoughtful, well-educated pragmatists.” Like Coats, Gregg does not believe that North Korea will give up its nuclear weapons.

The other alternative to negotiations, the military option of “fire and fury”: that would be insane.

If the U.S. tries to wipe North Korea off the face of the earth with “fire and furry,” not only will it kill tens of millions of North Koreans, but before they go North Koreans will take millions of South Koreans, hundreds of thousands of U.S. expats living in Seoul, and 25,000 U.S. troops with them.  A US attempt to obliterate North Korea could also lead to war with China, Russia and a nuclear holocaust which will take us all.

Whether the U.S. agrees to negotiations or not, North Korea is keeping its nukes. The old Cold War policy of mutually assured destruction is now Mutually Assured Madness.


David William Pear is a Senior Editor for OpEdNews.com and a Senior Contributing Editor for The Greanville Post. His articles have been published by The Real News Network, Truth Out, Consortium News, Global Research, Russia Insider, Pravda,and many other publications.
In 2016 David spent 10 weeks in Palestine with the Palestinian lead non-violent resistance group International Solidarity Movement. In November of 2015 he was a delegate with CodePink to Palestine to show solidarity with Palestinians. In February of 2015 he was part of a people-to-people delegation to Cuba with CodePink. David frequently makes extended people-to-people trips to Russia as a private citizen.
David is a Vietnam veteran having served as a member of the 5th Special Forces Group as a combat advisor to the Army of the Republic of (South) Viet Nam.