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Liberals, Conservatives Worry About Korean Peace Threat

Liberals, Conservatives Worry About Korean Peace Threat

Gregory Shupak

Commentators across the spectrum of acceptable establishment opinion are alarmed by the possibility of peace breaking out on the Korean peninsula.

Some oppose the idea of talks between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on principle. Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin (3/9/18), for instance, suggested that Trump should not meet with Kim:


Over 60 years ago, the USA bombed “everything that moved in North Korea, every brick standing on top of another” (the later Secretary of State Dean Rusk), killing 10% of the population in the process. The war was a draw but ever since the USA has been itching to replace those communists in North Korea with a more pliant leadership. Peace is eagerly sought by those on the Korean peninsular and would greatly benefit the region.

In a similar vein, the USA has been keen to replace the regime in Iran since 1979 (when their puppet, the Shah of Persia, was toppled). The first attempt was the 1980 - 1988 proxy war, where our then close ally Saddam Hussein was the pit-bull, though US Intelligence helped direct the gassing of Iranians when Iraq was at risk of losing.

The US Military Industrial Complex needs these external threats and wars, otherwise their budgets dry up. Read about the Pentagon’s mad scramble for new “enemies” when the Soviet Union suddenly collapsed in 1989!


Correct as far as you go, but to understand the Korean wish for peace, you have to remember that the US gave the northern part of the peninsula to one set of commies, who couldn’t deal while they were picking themselves up from WWII. China took the opportunity to confront the US, which went on oblivious to the history and desires of the Korean people. Families were divided and remain so today. They had a brief period when they weren’t colonized by China, Japan, or the US. They all want their country back. And I believe the Koreans together have come up with a play to djt’s hungry ego that has put Kim on the acceptable world stage at no cost or risk to him. It started with the joint Olympics, and it’s brilliant.

And no, I don’t really care what “the spectrum of acceptable establishment opinion” is. We must work for peace in every case and in every way. In this case, we can start with insisting on calling the parties by their correct names, the Republic of Korea and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. There is no North or South.


It is simplicity itself - these commentators dance to the tune of their sponsors. These sponsors make untold billions with war, the threat of war and the never ending selling of fear. Peace is the enemy and is to be stopped at all costs! The cliche of “follow the money” holds true yesterday, today and tomorrow.


Your thoughtful comment prompts me to also respond. I had composed a long comment for another recent article here about Korea then decided to delete it. I have to believe also that (ordinary) Koreans want re-unification, but I don’t see how this will happen any time soon. It isn’t reasonable to expect that the Kim dynasty and all the layers and beneficiaries of that system would relinquish authority, and it is equally unlikely that most in the ROK would agree to live under the antiquated moribund system of the DPRK. I also believe that China rather likes the current state of affairs, a relatively cost-free geographic buffer to the western/US ally/client/proxy. As for the powers-that-be in the US, well enough has been said and speculated about these world-class sociopaths that I won’t add to it here.

The only conclusion I’ve come to so far is that I’m glad that the minute hand on the nuclear annihilation clock has been moved back, if even by a miniscule amount.


I’m happy to trust the Koreans to negotiate their reunification.


Bks writes:

“the US gave the northern part of the peninsula to one set of commies, who couldn’t deal while they were picking themselves up from WWII”

You assume, of course, that the US had the right to “give the northern part” to “one set of commies.” And in one sense you are: the division was the work of the US under Bonesteel and Rusk, who drew up the dividing line and then presented Stalin with a fait accompli. This was not acceptable for that “set of commies” who already had their people setting up local self-governments in much of the country. It was to demolish these local entities that massacres by the US-selected Synman Rhee puppet government, such as those at CheJu island, occurred.

As for China taking “the opportunity” to confront the US, that must be a joke. China had just suffered a devastating civil war, and its coastal areas facing Taiwan were still suffering from intermittent sabotage attempts from Chiang Kaishek, and war anywhere was the last thing they wanted. But they certainly wouldn’t want American troops at their border, so they requested the Indian ambassador K. M. Panikkar to tell the US that China wouldn’t intervene in any conflict between North and South. China, however, would not stand idly by if US troops were to invade the North right up to its border, that was, the Yalu River. China’s warning was received with contempt - some Americans laughed at the idea of those peasants daring to face the strongest armed forces in the world, and there were talks about “one American can defeat nine Chinese” etc, etc. Worse, MacArthur was saying in Tokyo about first going to the Yalu River, then on to Manchuria and the rest of China. It was a war that China could not afford NOT to fight. Some ideas could be gleaned from Bevin Alexander’s book “MacArthur’s War” regarding China’s entry into the conflict.


I assume nothing. I learned from Koreans I know. I was born the month the “police action” ended, and I knew almost nothing about Korea until I was an adult, and after I’d been to the Soviet Union and learned what a state that nation was in to be handed a chunk of Germany, the north of Korea. Why was it “the Red Chinese” associated with the “police action,” and not the Soviets? And when I got to know Koreans, through my church, and went there, even if for only a week, and stood at the open wound of the DMZ, I was ashamed of what I learned.

You glean even more from human relationships than from what we used to call in graduate school “secondary sources.”

The “brilliant swoosh of a a diplomatic wand” meme was pasted everywhere as soon as trump announced he would meet. I’ve never heard anymore details (tweets, the new reality maker, don’t give many details). Trump visited asia and met with SK and China. Something happened then and comtinues today. I don’t know, either do you, who deserves credit for these positive developments, but acting like it has nothing to do with trump is naive.

It is also easy to think your experience and conversations reflect the whole population. Not to downplay the importance of first hand perspective, but it is by definition a biased view.

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Thank you for your sane article Gregory Shupak! What crazy times, reality brought to you by crazed pundits. (Oh Rachel please stop) And the whole tweet thing is out of hand. Somehow they are “news.” “Trending tweets” is an oxymoron as twitter now steers traffic and blocks what they don’t like, ie anything anti-establishment, or coming from the gop.
I am quite happy about developments regarding korea, and would love to see the US pull out of the peninsula, starting with the latest base opened under obama that displaced an indigenous culture and desicrated a world heritage sight.
Peace Out!


“It is also easy to think your experience and conversations reflect the whole population. Not to downplay the importance”

Exactly, MRR. I’ve also talked with Koreans, many of them college students, and also studied and taught history, including Korean history. Before that I was still in school in Southeast Asia when two neighbors returned to China to fight in Korea. Another person also volunteered later and died in that war. The unilateral division of Korea by the US is a historical fact, as was the choice of Syngman Rhee by the US which initially even used the hated Japanese occupying forces - instead of sending them back to Japan - to help in suppressing local, mainly leftist groups like the one at Cheju island.

As for the police action, the US government was able to do that partly because Mao called his armed forces “volunteers.” According to Bevin Alexander, that suited the US government, for it limited the conflict and did not result in a full-scale war with China which could very well resulted in WW3, as MacArthur wanted.

I think that liberal “jingoism” (warmongering) long predates “[r]ecent commentary.”

I think that how Korea would be united is solely the problem of Koreans, not the US. It’s the way should be. Its’s the to stop intevening and spreading hegemoney all over the world when common people are starving inside the nation.


I would add the frequent US meddling in the Republic of Korea’s elections, whenever their leader of choice was too soft on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and seeking improved relations. To me, any form of talks is far better than sabre-rattling, and as you write, we must work for peace in every case.

I must admit that I’m pretty worried for both Korea and Iran after the latest reshuffle at the White House.