Presentation to the Korea University Conference, February 7, 2021
My thoughts are with the Korean people. With my Korean friends.
I wish to express my solidarity with the Korean people in their long standing struggle waged at different periods of Korean history including the ongoing reunification campaign, which will bring North and South Korea together in a unified nation state.
I recall the movements against the presidency of Mrs Park Guen hye and the Candlelight Movement.
Among my many friends in Korea, I wish to pay tribute to Lee Seok-ki, leader of the Unified Progressive Party (UPP) for his commitment to political and civil rights.
The Korean identity and longstanding culture prevail despite acts of Japanese aggression extending back to the Joseon dynasty in the late 16th Century, and more recently, the annexation of your country by Japan in 1910, followed by the invasion by US forces in 1945, which allegedly “liberated” South Korea from Japan, while imposing a new colonial-style regime in South Korea.
We must of course also reflect on the crimes committed by US forces against the people of Korea during the Korean War (1950-53).
The 1997 Asian Crisis
My relationship with Korea extends back to 1997 when your country was the object of an outright act of “economic warfare”.
I am referring to the 1997 Asian Crisis. As we recall, the incoming president Kim Dae-jung was obliged by Washington together with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to hand over a large part of the Republic of Korea’s economic assets (including high technology corporations) to “friendly” US investors.
One case in point was the “purchase” of Korea First Bank (KFB) which was acquired by a Texas crony business entity linked to the Bush family. It was sold “at a negative price”. What this means is that the ROK government was ordered to pay subsidies to the US investors which they then used to “buy up” Korea First Bank. It was a financial fraud on behalf of global creditors.
The Corona Crisis
I mention this because it is relevant to an understanding of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis which on March 11,