War Is Coming To US SoilBy Kim Myong Chol
spokesman of Kim Jong-il and North Korea.)10/06/06 "Asia Times" -- --
The Foreign Ministry of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea announced on October 3 that the DPRK planned
to conduct a nuclear test. The Foreign Ministry stated that the planned nuclear test was in response to the grave situation
created by the US, where "the supreme national security interests of the DPRK are at stake with the Korean nation standing
at the crossroads of life and death".
The nuclear test, once conducted, will have far-reaching implications for the
Koreas and the rest of the world. It carries five messages.
The first message is that Kim Jong-il is the greatest of
the peerless national heroes Korea has ever produced. Kim is unique in that he is the first to equip Korea with sufficient
military capability to take the war all the way to the continental US. Under his leadership the DPRK has become a nuclear-weapons
state with intercontinental means of delivery. Kim is certainly in the process of achieving the long-elusive goal of neutralizing
the American intervention in Korean affairs and bringing together North and South Korea under the umbrella of a confederated
Unlike all the previous wars Korea fought, a next war will be better called the American War or the DPRK-US
War because the main theater will be the continental US, with major cities transformed into towering infernos. The DPRK is
now the fourth-most powerful nuclear weapons state just after the US, Russia, and China.
The DPRK has all types of
nuclear bombs and warheads, atomic, hydrogen and neutron, and the means of delivery, short-range, medium-range and long-range,
putting the whole of the continental US within effective range. The Korean People's Army also is capable of knocking hostile
satellites out of action.
All the past Korean heroes let the Land of Morning Calm be reduced to smoking ruins as the
wars were fought on its soil, even though they repelled the invaders. One of the two major aspirations of the Korean people
has been the buildup of military capability enough to turn enemy land into the war theater. Kim has splendidly achieved this
The other has been the neutralization and phasing out of the American presence in Korea before the two
Koreas come together as a reunified state. When President George W Bush agreed on the 2009 transfer of wartime operational
control over South Korean forces to the South Korean president, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld signaled the withdrawal
of US troops with combat troops relocated from the front line to bases behind Seoul.
The title "the greatest iron-willed,
brilliant commander" is reserved for Kim Jong-il, who has led tiny North Korea to acquire the most coveted membership of the
elite nuclear club, braving all the nuclear war threats, sanctions and isolation efforts on the part of the US. It is little
short of a miracle that the leader has outmaneuvered and outpowered the Bush administration against heavy odds.
is adding to the glory of Koguryo and Dankun Korea, vindicating the military-first policy inspired by tamul (the Koguryo term
for standing up to a major power, valuing the pride of being descendants of Dankun Korea, developing newer weapons, restoring
lost land and settling old scores with foreign invaders).
Revealing are headlines of New York Times articles. One op-ed
on February 9, 2005, by Nicholas Kristof is headlined "Bush Bites His Tongue". The article says: "There are two words the
Bush administration doesn't want you to think about: North Korea. That's because the most dangerous failure of US policy these
days is in North Korea. President Bush has been startlingly passive as North Korea has begun churning out nuclear weapons
like hot cakes."
One article dated February 13, 2005, by B R Myers is "Stranger Than Fiction". He writes: "To North
Korea, diplomacy is another form of war. Under the leadership of Kim Jong-il, the Foreign Ministry has bullied the United
Nations into submission and outwitted the United States into providing food aid - all the while developing a formidable nuclear
arsenal. This is, of course, the hardline view of North Korea that prevails in some quarters in Washington. Yet it is also
the official North Korean view of North Korea."
The February 20, 2005. article by David Sanger is headlined "America
Loses Bite," with a senior Bush administration official quoted as saying, "It's counterproductive to draw a red line for North
Korea because they will only view it as a challenge." The article notes: "In North Korea's case, red lines may be what Kim
Jong-il sees in his rear-view mirror."
In his September 9, 2006, address to the 4th Global Strategic Review of the
London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, Mitchell Reiss offered a remarkable observation:
the least-noted and most astonishing aspect of the entire diplomatic process involving North Korea during the past few years
has been the almost complete inability of four of the world's strongest military and economic powers, including three nuclear
weapons states and three members of the UN Security Council - the United States, China and Russia and Japan - to shape the
strategic environment in Northeast Asia.
"They have proven thoroughly incapable of preventing an impoverished, dysfunctional
country of only 23 million people from consistently endangering the peace and stability of the world's most economically dynamic
region. This has been nothing less than a collective failure."
The December 29, 2002, Washington Post article by Michael
Dobbs says: "US officials note that North Korea's action has been condemned by most of its neighbors and potential big-power
patrons, such as China and Russia, Japan and South Korea. Such logic is unconvincing to many experts on North Korea. They
contend that Kim is trying to set up a situation in which he wins, whatever happens."
The second point is that a nuclear
test will be a legitimate exercise of North Korea's sovereign right in supreme national-security interests of the country.
The sole reason for the development of nuclear weapons is more than 50 years of direct exposure to naked nuclear threats and
sanctions from the US. The Kim administration seeks to commit nuclear weapons to actual use against the US in case of war,
never to use them as a tool of negotiations.
It is sheer illusion to think that sanctions and isolation will stop North
Korea from the planned nuclear test. US hostility, threats and sanctions are the very engines that have propelled the development
of nuclear weapons. Absent US hostility, nuclear blackmailing, sanctions, threats of isolation and regime change, the Kim
administration would never have thought at all of acquiring nuclear deterrence.
What makes North Korea unique among
those states Bush lumped together as the "axis of evil" is that only it has been subjected to US nuclear threats and sanctions
and singled out as a prime target of nuclear preemption. The US refuses to end the state of war with North Korea while keeping
combat-ready nuclear-attack forces ready in bases in Japan and South Korea. North Korea is not host to any foreign military
bases. The US is engaged in ceaseless nuclear-attack exercises in and around Japan and South Korea.
The US, Russia,
China, the United Kingdom, France, India, Pakistan and Israel conducted numerous nuclear detonation experiments in legitimate
exercise of their sovereignty. There is no international convention or treaty that prohibits North Korea from conducting underground
nuclear tests. No country is allowed to infringe on the sovereignty of North Korea in material breach of Chapter 2 of the
UN charter, unless they are prepared to risk triggering nuclear war with North Korea.
The third message is that the
nuclear-armed North Korea will be a major boon to China and Russia. Nuclear-armed, the two countries are friendless in case
of war with the US. The US has nuclear-armed allies, such as the UK and France. The Americans have a network of military bases
around the two countries, while they have none. The presence of a mighty nuclear weapons state in Korea should be most welcome
to Russia and China.
The People's Republic of China has every reason to welcome a nuclear-armed North Korea, whatever
it may say in public. The nuclear deterrence of North Korea is a major factor in reducing US military pressure on China on
the question of the independence of Taiwan.
The fourth point is that the North Korea government of Kim does not care
at all whether Japan goes nuclear, or that South Korea and Australia follow suit. In the first place, those countries are
practically nuclear-armed because they are under the nuclear umbrella of the US and house American nuclear bases and because
Tokyo's military spending is 10 times that of Pyongyang's and Seoul's defense budget is five times that of Pyongyang's. It
is too obvious that they are capable of acquiring nuclear weapons at short notice.
The factor that has prevented them
from developing their own nuclear weapons is political pressure from the US, not because North Korea was only conventionally
armed. The US has insisted that they should be under the nuclear umbrella and buy expensive high-tech weapons from them.
becoming nuclear powers will signal that the US is no longer a reliable cop. At long last de-Americanization of the US allies
and neutralization of the US in the rest of the world will be set into motion. This is one of the reasons why the Kim administration
has every reason to secretly welcome the nuclear arming of junior US allies.
The main enemy to North Korea is the US,
the sole surviving superpower in the world. Acquisition of hundreds of nuclear weapons by Japan and South Korea will not have
any serious impact on the total balance of nuclear power. Japan and South Korea have too much to lose in a nuclear war with
North Korea, while North Korea has little.
It is important to note that the nuclear weapons and long-range means of
delivery are not aimed at South Korea and will be common property shared with South Korea under a confederated government.
fifth and last point is a long, overdue farewell to the nuclear non-proliferation regime, with the Bush administration standing
in the dock as prime defendant accused of sabotaging nuclear non-proliferation. Had the Americans been steadfast in upholding
the nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty by reducing their nuclear weapons and respecting the sovereignty and independence of
the non-nuclear states, North Korea would not have felt any need to defend itself with nuclear weapons.
A nuclear test
by North Korea will go a long way toward emboldening anti-American states around the world to acquire nuclear weapons. There
is a long line of candidate states.
It is important to note that the North Korean Foreign Ministry pledges to faithfully
implement its international commitment in the field of nuclear non-proliferation as a responsible nuclear-weapons state and
to prohibit nuclear transfer.
Kim Myong-chol is author of a number of books and papers in Korean, Japanese and English
on North Korea. He is executive director of the Center for Korean-American Peace. He has a PhD from the Democratic People's
Republic of Korea's Academy of Social Sciences and is often called an "unofficial" spokesman of Kim Jong-il and North Korea.
2006 Asia Times Online Ltd
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