by Finian Cunningham, via Strategic Culture
Germany and France have backed the stance of Russia and China for negotiations to avert the Korea crisis. South Korea and Japan also seem to be amenable to recent calls by Russian President Vladimir Putin for exclusively diplomatic efforts. Any other option in the alarming standoff with North Korea over its nuclear weapons program portends disaster.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has endorsed the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran as a model for possible negotiations.
That puts the United States on the margin of international consensus, with its repeated threats to use military force as an option against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea).
Last week, following another North Korean ballistic missile test that overflew Japan, US President Donald Trump’s top national security adviser reiterated Washington’s self-declared right to use pre-emptive military force, tacitly including the deployment of nuclear weapons.
«For those who have been commenting on a lack of a military option, there is a military option», said General HR McMaster to reporters in Washington.
While McMaster and President Trump, as well as Pentagon chief James Mattis, have said on other occasions that the US would prefer to seek a diplomatic solution to the Korea crisis, such purported preferences do not inspire confidence.
For a start, the whole doctrine of «pre-emptive» or «preventive» war is a violation of international law, if not outrightly criminal. The concept was earlier formulated by Nazi Germany as a pretext for aggression, and was duly criminalized at the Nuremberg Trials. Today, the United States stands alone as the only nation to invoke the self-declared prerogative to use military violence in «self-defense».
Also, when Washington talks about a «diplomatic solution» what it is referring to is a unilateral «denuclearization» by North Korea. There is absolutely no indication from the US that it reciprocates a responsibility to stand down its «overwhelming» military power aimed at the Korean Peninsula. Thus, what Washington means by «peace» is a one-sided surrender by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
For this reason, international calls for diplomacy and negotiations have to be underpinned by a proper foundational premise.
The proper starting point is for the US to finally sign a full peace treaty with North Korea to mark the definitive end of the Korean War. It seems almost bizarre that 64 years after the end of that war (1950-53), the US refuses to commit to a peace treaty. The matter is hardly permitted into public discourse by the US government and Western news media. Even though the issue is key to finding a peaceful solution.
The absence of a binding peace settlement means that, technically, the US and North Korea still view each other at being in a state of war. This gives profound substance to North Korea’s existential fears over the US continually conducting «war games» around the peninsula.
Former US President Jimmy Carter and former US ambassador to South Korea James Laney have both recognized the fundamental onus on Washington of now, at last, having to abide by international norms towards Korea.
The US-based Campaign to End the Korean War quotes ambassador Laney as saying: «One of the things that have bedeviled all talks until now is the unresolved status of the Korean War. A peace treaty would provide a baseline for relationships, eliminating the question of the other’s legitimacy and its right to exist. Absent such a peace treaty, every dispute presents afresh the question of the other side’s legitimacy. Only with a treaty in place will both sides be relieved of the political demand to see each move as conferring approval or not.»
Nevertheless, despite these reasonable voices from within the US, the dominant position of Washington is one of strong-arming North Korea to capitulate to American demands – or face the threat of catastrophic military force.
Such an American position is totally unacceptable to international norms. Russia, China and Europe must take a firm stand and let Washington know in no uncertain terms that its unilateralism is unacceptable, and at worst, a reckless collision course for a nuclear war.
Diplomats from Russia and China last week both condemned US threats of violence against North Korea, as well as censuring Pyongyang for its missile tests.
Russia’s ambassador to the UN, Vassily Nebenzia, pointed out that the latest UN resolution 2375 voted on September 11 explicitly calls on all parties, including the United States, to re-engage in multilateral talks. Those talks involving North Korea were abandoned during the GW Bush administration more than a decade ago. How is that dereliction of diplomacy by Washington even remotely acceptable?
But, again, the push for diplomacy and negotiations must be founded on a proper and viable premise.
This is where German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s proposal to pursue a P5+1 formula comes unstuck. The Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) signed in July 2015 between the US, Russia, China, Europe and Iran has been continually undermined by the Trump administration.
Iran committed to stringent limits on its nuclear energy program in return for sanctions relief. The UN nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has filed seven reports since January 2016 confirming Iran’s full compliance with the JCPOA.
Yet, the Trump administration is threatening to scrap its participation in the internationally binding nuclear accord with Iran. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has made the wholly irrational claim that Iran’s «technical compliance» with the JCPOA is not enough. He and US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, have said that Iran «is not living up to the spirit of the deal». Absurdly, Washington is claiming that Iran’s support for the Syrian state in its war to defeat US-backed terror groups is grounds for resiling from the JCPOA.
President Trump has called it the «worst deal ever». He said that a White House review due next month may finally signal the US walking away from it. If that happens, Washington will be able to reimpose sanctions on Iran, and extend those sanctions to Europe, Russia and China for doing legitimate business with the Islamic Republic.
Clearly, the US rulers cannot be trusted. If they cannot comply with obligations under an international legal agreement, which has been ratified by the UN Security Council, then any residual trust in US diplomacy is completely shattered.
North Korea has no doubt taken note of the US bad faith over Iran. Pyongyang has already pointed to the grim fate of Iraq and Libya which were invaded and destroyed by the US when it became evident neither possessed chemical or nuclear weapons.
Western corporate news media tend to portray North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as «crazy». The reality is that Kim would be crazy if he were to somehow surrender the country’s nuclear weapons under prevailing conditions.
Washington’s hints at diplomacy are threadbare and have no credibility. Any proposed negotiations to genuinely resolve the Korean crisis must start with the US signing a peace treaty with North Korea and forswearing the use of any military force. Any other format is bereft of confidence building, as the Iranian nuclear deal is unfortunately showing.
A declaration by the US that the Korean War is over is a bare minimum requirement in order to begin peace and security talks. Even then it still not failsafe given Washington’s perfidy.
However, anything less than a peace treaty signed by the US is not feasible to end the spiral of conflict over Korea.
Incredible as it seems, the demand on the US is to simply abide by international law and to stop using aggression as a foreign policy. How damning is that.
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The author is 100% correct!
The idea of ‘law’ requires the practice of enforcing compliance – unless it is the law of the heart to which alignment is freely given. So if the US (I am referring to the code label here for whatever is actually operating what we nominally call the USa), If the US is effectively unwilling to comply, abide by or answer to any law it is simply using such concepts as International Law when it suits but making its own ‘law’ by acting with impunity or framing, condemning and punishing its non-compliers or resisters with all the tricks in the playbook or rather, war book.
Do the ‘powers that operate the world narrative WANT a peace treaty?
Is the divided Korea too ‘useful’ on too many levels – possibly including the ‘justifiction’ for a open war war with NUKES overshadowing all? If NUKES did not exist would man have to invent them? And all and every other terror device/deceit that prevents peace breaking out.
“Israel” wags its dog – but again it isn’t Israel as such – but an agency through which power lust seeks its gratification and that is worked on the Jewish identity as it is on any other.
The powerless interpret everything in terms of their belief and the belief in being powerful clings tenaciously to what it refuses to relinquish or allow to weaken – and thus holds ‘my way or NO way’ as a legacy of denying everyone else what it fails to win for itself.
If all substitute for joy is given to ‘fighting and winning the game/war’ then victory would be game over – and so the idea is to keep the carrot forever out of reach and the stick ever poised or thrashing – and hold up this image of power in reverence. Addiction operates under denial until breaking social trust and persists as such in refusal to hear anything anyone says while at times pretending to go along with ‘peace plans’. It isn’t that the capacity for growing trust is not latent – but while the addict’s narrative identity finds support – it operates lawlessly – that is in disregard for the law of the heart – and the laws of containment and check for the imposition of violence, robbery and destructive deceit. Note that the ‘baddie’ is often the compelling part of an otherwise crappy film or ‘news’ item. Without the bad cop – how would you get anyone to willing identify in the alternative?
Regardless whether the world (as we know it) is about to end by – means of the media publicized dangers – or the actual spectrum of toxic and damaging exposures being systematically synergised to operate genocide in the open – and yet largely unseen – I hold that we each have and are a Choice – and living what is true of us in the day we live is living the life we have the capacity to be the unfolding and sharing of.
Fear always operates a self-fulfilling prophecy when denied or kept hidden – especially under false beliefs it has been escaped or is being protected against. Fear operates a protection racket via every kind of externalised substitute for true being. And the harvest of the fear-driven agenda is to induce fear as a ‘herd immunity’ to the peace in which love abides. Indeed to those in fear, love is a weak, despicable heresy and scourging its example, a unifying mob sport – because that operates socially what is in act intra-personally – though in truth there is no such ‘person’ being denied so much as a persona-addiction demanding subjugation of true for its survival.
If the persona-mask is a defence far outliving the timing of its need is it time to say – its ok – you can come out now? Allowing for that we are all triggered by each other in sometimes unexpected ways and need to hold reaction in check long enough to engage a genuine checking in of naked communication. If the belief in treachery of others is so deeply entrenched as to deny the possibility of actual communication – can that not be openly declared and actually heard? Or even inwardly recognized and owned? For unless communication is first allowed ‘within’ ourself, how shall it proceed?
Binra, I just caught your comment before it disappeared from sight — it was marked spam, perhaps because of its length. I suggest that such long comments be broken into 2-3 shorter ones so they don’t get automatically classified as spam by the system.
How long is within range?
Perhaps you could include a character limit recommendation near the comment box – according to the parameters of your spam filter?
(Or have it enforced by software as do some other commenting systems?).
Our webmaster is currently ill and I, unfortunately, don’t know the answers to your questions.
I appreciate your courtesy.
But in due timing I feel it worth letting commenters know that over n characters is moved to a spam trap.
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The condescending gobshjte , Fallon hasn’t counted out a first strike either, which of course you wouldn’t expect because what the warmongering yanks do the UK will be inches behind them, more so now with parrot head trying to run the place
Right on Reg!
The bottom line is that the CIA and deep state /MIC have completely taken over foreign policy .Trump is now just a figure head , a lame duck president.How and if they got to him , only Trump would know.
Maybe it was back when he was bailed out of bankruptcy?
Does the CIA know who it is?
A deep state of self hypnosis?
Trump operates as one with power behind him – but not as one who rests in it. As for what Trump knows – is it not all on a need to know basis – and the President is not in the ‘need to know’ what the actual agenda is – and so is given a script in which he cuts a deal and believes he won it – or an offer he couldn’t refuse. He has to believe something enough to function – but that doesn’t mean he believes anything he says!
Been like that since 63 mate.