Stephen Lendman | 11 Jan 2016
Pyongyang has just cause to fear America. It knows how it raped Southeast Asia, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.
Truman’s naked aggression was devastating, turning most of North Korea to rubble during the Korean War (1950-53). General Matthew Ridgway ordered air force bombers to level Pyongyang and other strategic targets. Scorched earth death and destruction was official US strategy.
Douglas McArthur wanted commander’s discretion to use nuclear weapons – to spread a radioactive belt from the Sea of Japan to the Yellow Sea.
US terror-bombing ran out of targets. Principle ones included Pyongyang, Chongyin, Wonsan, Hungnam and Rashin.
North Korea suffered overwhelming numbers of casualties. Up to four million died, mostly civilians. Terror weapons were used, including napalm and toxic agents – chemical and biological.
In March 1952, an International Association of Democratic Lawyers (IADL) commission visited North Korea, investigated US war crimes charges. Their report included documented evidence of toxic agents used, saying:
American planes have on various occasions used asphyxiating and other gases or chemical weapons at least since 6th May, 1951.
The commission took eye witness and expert testimony. Post-mortem examinations and autopsy results argued that some chemical had been used, with a ‘disagreeable smell, resembling the smell of chlorine…
In the affected area of the city, it was noted that grass became yellow brown, objects containing an alloy of copper became blue green and rings of silver became black.
Former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark drafted a Report and Final Judgment on US Crimes in Korea (from) 1945 – 2001, showing Washington used chemical and biological agents on the peninsula.
By 1952, virtually everything in northern and central Korea was destroyed. Damage assessments showed 18 of 22 cities were half or more obliterated.
Large industrial ones were 75 – 100% destroyed. Villages were turned to “low, wide mounds of violent ashes.”
Investigative journalist IF Stone’s “Hidden History of the Korean War” called it US-led international aggression. Truman bore full responsibility for waging war together with fascist South Korean President Syngman Rhee, installed by Washington to serve its interests.
Pyongyang fears America for good reason. Truman’s war never ended. A longstanding uneasy armistice persists. Beating up on North Korea is relentless after all these years.
Washington spurns its desire for normalized relations, maintaining an undeclared state of war instead. Pyongyang is vulnerable to the whims of US imperial policy.
It sees a nuclear deterrent as its best strategic response, giving Washington pause about again waging war. At the same time, wanting peace and stability on the peninsula. US policy prevents it.
World leaders blasted Pyongyang’s latest nuclear test, its first since February 2013, while ignoring the major threat of Western arsenals and Israel’s.
Imposing new sanctions is meaningless. What else Washington plans remains to be seen. It deployed a long-range strategic B-52 bomber able to carry nuclear weapons provocatively – flying at low altitude over South Korea.
US Commander of United Nations Command, ROK-US Combined Forces Command and US Forces Korea General Curtis Scaparrotti called Saturday’s flight a “demonstrat(ion) (of) the strength and capabilities of the (so-called) alliance.”
It took off from Guam, escorted by F-15 warplanes. Commander, US Pacific Command Admiral Harry Harris stressed America’s “ironclad commitment” to regional allies, notably Japan and South Korea.
“North Korea’s nuclear test is a blatant violation of its international obligations. US joint military forces in the Indo-Asia-Pacific will continue to work with all of our regional allies and partners to maintain stability and security,” he added.
America’s regional presence remains hugely destabilizing. Another Asian war could precipitate global conflict – humanity’s greatest threat.
US imperial policy threatens world peace.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].
His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.
It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.