Letter by Roger Annis to CBC Vancouver, August 11, 2017 (with suggested background readings further below)
August 11, 2017
Hello CBC Early Edition,
I listened with interest to your interview this morning with Professor Michael Byers of the University of British Columbia concerning the situation in Korea. I believe he is correct in saying there is lots of room for negotiation and easing of tension between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the United States. He noted the key role that Chinese and Russian diplomacy is playing in seeking a resolution of tensions on the Korean peninsula, though as RT.com reports via Associated Press, U.S.-South Korean military exercises scheduled for August 21-31 are proceeding.
That said, Professor Byers failed to mention the long history of U.S. aggression towards North Korea, which dates back to the era of World War Two. That includes the long record of U.S. refusal to countenance the de-nuclearization and de-militarization of the Korean peninsula. Indeed, to this day the U.S. refuses to sign the armistice in 1953 ending its war against Korea!
The history of U.S. (and Canadian) aggression against the Korean people is a ‘secret’ that Western media–along with commentators selected by it for interviews–choose to shield from readers and listeners. The bias of such commentators is usually quite evident. For example, your afternoon counterpart on CBC Vancouver, ‘On The Coast’, interviewed Tina Park on August 8. She is the vice-president of the ‘NATO Association of Canada’ [?] and a fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto. During the interview, she referred to North Korea as “the enemy” (two hour, 11 minute mark of the program podcast).
I enclose below a list of suggested readings on the history of U.S. aggression in Korea. I recommend the 2010 book by U.S. professor Bruce Cumings on the history of the near-genocidal war that the United States, Canada and other Western powers waged against the Korean people from 1950-53: The Korean War: A History, published by Modern Library, 2010, 288 pp. ISBN 9780812978964.
Speaking of Western media bias, your program researchers may not be aware of the important new article by Patrick Lawrence published in The Nation online yesterday, August 10 (reprinted here on Consortium News) which explodes the framed-up story of ‘Russian hacking’ of the Democratic National Committee in the U.S. in the spring and summer of 2016. As you know, these alleged hackings and interference have served as the foundation of an intense propaganda drive against Russia reviving the hostile atmosphere of the Cold War of the 1950s. Patrick Lawrence’s article reports on the findings of a forensic study of the material in question which concludes that is was leaked from inside the DNC. This is consistent with what Wikileaks, which published the material, has said all along.
The new expose is largely unreported today in Western mainstream media. That is to be understood because this same media has invested heavily in the new cold war marked by the overthrow of Ukraine’s elected president in February 2014 and the subsequent coming to power of an extreme-right government in that country. One exception to the media silence is an article by Leonid Bershidsky in Bloomberg News yesterday: Why some U.S. ex-spies don’t buy the Russia story, Bloomberg News, Aug 10, 2017.
Readings on Korea:
* On Guam, resistance grows to U.S. military presence as North Korea threatens missiles off island’s coast, interview on Democracy Now! with LisaLinda Natividad and David Vine, Aug 11, 2017
LisaLinda Natividad is president of the Guahan Coalition for Peace and Justice and a member of the Guam Commission on Decolonization. She’s also a professor at the University of Guam. David Vine is an associate professor of anthropology at American University and author of Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World.
* Why is the U.S. threatening war with North Korea instead of pushing for negotiations?, interview with Tim Shorrock on Democracy Now!, Aug 10, 2017.
Tim Shorrock is a Washington-based investigative journalist with The Nation and the Korea Center for Investigative Journalism in Seoul. He grew up in Tokyo and Seoul and has been writing about the U.S. role in Korea since the late 1970s. He spent April and May 2017 in South Korea, where he interviewed South Korea’s new president, Moon Jae-in.
* This is what’s really behind North Korea’s nuclear provocations, by Bruce Cumings, The Nation, March 23, 2017
* Excerpt from an August 8, 2017 article by Australian ‘rogue journalist’ Caitlin Johnstone:
… This bizarre narrative that ‘Kim Jong-Un has nuke-button-pushing psychosis, just like his father did’ has been used as one of the many mealy-mouthed justifications for refusing to de-escalate and attempt diplomacy with North Korea, which is indeed on the table. From the excellent Moon of Alabama:
Now consider what the U.S. media don’t tell you about Korea:
Xinhua, March 8, 2017, BEIJING — China proposed “double suspension” to defuse the looming crisis on the Korean Peninsula, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday. “As a first step, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) may suspend its nuclear and missile activities in exchange for the suspension of large-scale U.S.-Republic of Korea (ROK) military exercises,” Wang told a press conference on the sidelines of the annual session of the National People’s Congress.
… Wang said the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula is mainly between the DPRK and the United States, but China, as a next-door neighbor with a lips-and-teeth relationship with the Peninsula, is indispensable to the resolution of the issue. [End Xinhua citation.]
Foreign Minister Wang, ‘the lips’, undoubtedly transmitted an authorized message from North Korea: “The offer is (still) on the table and China supports it.”
North Korea has made the very same offer in January 2015. The Obama administration rejected it. North Korea repeated the offer in April 2016 and the Obama administration rejected it again. This March, the Chinese government conveyed and supported the long-standing North Korean offer. The U.S. government, now under the Trump administration, immediately rejected it again. The offer, made and rejected three years in a row, is sensible. Its rejection only led to a bigger nuclear arsenal and to more missiles with longer reach that will eventually be able to reach the United States…
* A murderous history of Korea, by Bruce Cumings, published in London Review of Books, print edition of May 18, 2017, Vol. 39 No. 10