Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/287/20253

From The Socialist newspaper, 14 February 2003

North Korea - The 'Evil' George W. Bush Can Live With

HERE'S A test. Which of these two regimes appears the most threatening?

Regime 1 - Reneges on its international treaties including nuclear non-proliferation; kicks out weapons inspectors; sells its ballistic technology abroad; puts its one million troops on a state of high alert; threatens a pre-emptive nuclear strike against its neighbour.

Regime 2 - Agrees to UN resolutions; lets UN inspectors in to disarm its weapons of mass destruction; is subjected to military and economic sanctions; has no proven links with Al Qa'ida terrorists.

That's right, it's regime 2 - Iraq. Well that's what the US administration says. For while George Bush pursues a strategy of toppling Saddam Hussein's dictatorship to impose a pro-US regime and exploit that country's oil reserves, when it comes to regime 1 (North Korea) his response is 'diplomatic talks'.

Hypocrisy is never in short supply in the White House. But, in reality, to fight two simultaneous wars, especially when one of them is pitched against a heavily armed foe like North Korea (that possibly possesses a limited nuclear capability), would put overwhelming pressure on the US military and economy.

But the tense situation in the Korean peninsula isn't merely the result of a bellicose, fossilised Stalinist regime in the north. The crisis has come about by Bush's hawkish foreign policy that seeks to isolate Kim Jong-il's dictatorship.

Having deemed North Korea part of the 'axis of evil' Bush tore up the 1994 'agreed framework' between the US and North Korea (under which the North would mothball its nuclear weapons programme in exchange for economic aid).

This prompted Kim Jong-il's regime to restart its nuclear weapons programme, confounding the US hawks. This resulted in South Korea and Japan cutting off oil supplies.

Cold War legacy

NORTH KOREA has been under a strategic siege from the US since the 1950-53 Korean War ended (a peace treaty was never agreed and the north and south are still, technically, at war).

After the Soviet Union (North Korea's principal backer), collapsed in 1990 its economy, weighed down by a heavily militarised bureaucracy has faced catastrophe, including a severe famine in the mid-1990s which caused up to two million deaths from starvation.

This disaster forced the regime to let private markets develop in agriculture and to open up special enterprise zones for foreign capitalists to invest and exploit the country's cheap labour.

Now, North Korea is taking advantage of the US conflict with Iraq to use its weapons programme as a bargaining tool to gain economic and security concessions.

After the Korean War a US-backed dictatorship emerged in the South, propped up by American forces (37,000 US troops are still stationed in South Korea), which lasted into the 1990s.

South Korea's capitalists, living under the threat of a new and possible deadly nuclear war, have tried to mollify the North's rulers by making concessions and, diplomatically, by diverging from US foreign policy.

Many working-class and middle-class South Koreans are angered by the US's role in meddling in its affairs. This anger recently boiled over into mass street protests when two US marines were acquitted by a US military tribunal after their armoured truck killed two schoolchildren.

Although 'experts' dismiss the North's war-like noises as mere rhetoric, the fear is that if the US pursues a confrontational course a desperate North could seek a way out of the impasse by attacking the South - a horrendous prospect.

For a fuller analysis of North Korea, see the present issue of Socialism Today.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 14 February 2003:

After the 15 February mass demo: Where Do We Go From Here?

Anti-war news

No War For Oil

Building The Resistance

BP Protest - no blood for oil

Firefighters Stand Up To Labour

Fighting For System Change

North Korea - The 'Evil' George W. Bush Can Live With

Israel: What Way Out Of The "Bloody Trap"?


 

Home   |   The Socialist 14 February 2003   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

North Korea:

triangleA world in crisis, ripe for revolution

triangleHackney Socialist Party: Will North Korea use nuclear weapons?

triangleKorean peninsula: is nuclear war likely?

triangleCardiff East Socialist Party: North Korea and the threat of nuclear war

triangleTrump escalates geopolitical tensions on Korean peninsula

Korea:

triangleAttacks ratchet-up Syrian conflict and fuel tensions between powers

triangleHiroshima - 70 years on

triangleHackney & Islington Socialist Party: The 1919 Limerick Soviet

US:

triangleTrump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

triangleThem & Us

triangleRetail sector crunch: nationalise to save jobs

War:

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangleComprehensive account of bloody conflict

International

International

13/12/17

Israel

Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian conflict

13/12/17

CWI

A world in crisis, ripe for revolution

6/12/17

US

Trump's tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse

6/12/17

Ireland

Irish capitalist state: rotten to the core

6/12/17

Women

Fighting sexism, violence and capitalism - an international struggle

22/11/17

US

Trump's tax attacks

22/11/17

Australia

Australia: massive yes vote for marriage equality

21/11/17

Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe: Mugabe gone - but his regime remains in power

15/11/17

Minneapolis

USA: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

10/11/17

Minneapolis

US: Historic vote for Ginger Jentzen campaign in Minneapolis

8/11/17

Sweden

Sweden: 'Revolution2017' success

8/11/17

Spain

Spain: Madrid rally celebrates October revolution

8/11/17

Minneapolis

US: Minneapolis Socialist chimes with voters

8/11/17

Ireland

Ireland: rail workers demand share of 'recovery'

8/11/17

Ireland

Ireland: dangerous ideas for the ruling class

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

triangle13 Dec Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

EU parliament, Strasbourg

triangle13 Dec Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2