The artillery shelling ofYeong Peong Island in the Yellow Sea off the coast f Korea is an almost inevitable result of policies putting U.S. interests, as perceived by U.S. leadership, ahead of the welfare of the Korean people.
VFP believes the U.S. should stop flexing its military muscle in the Far East and adopt a more realistic, peaceful approach to healing the wounds of that ancient war in Korea. It would mean the abandonment of a long-standing policy of isolating sanctions and military provocation against one side in a civil conflict which began over 65 years ago.
After WWII, the U.S. occupied the southern portion of Korea and colluded with the Soviet Union in arbitrarily partitioning that country. The U.S., through the use of the Japanese-trained National Police in the South, maintained in power the hated Koreans who had collaborated with the Japanese during their 36-year occupation and inflicted upon them a president who had been living in exile in the U.S. for many years. This was done in spite of opposition from a substantial portion of Koreans.
Whole villages were destroyed and over 100,000 lives were lost in the South before the civil war exploded further into hostilities at the 38th parallel. Many Koreans from the South fled North and North Koreans fled South. Many became guerrillas in the South in opposition to the US puppet government. Isolation of the North was the inevitable result of these initial US military policies.
The current crisis is the natural outcome of the US policy of marginalizing North Korea with sanctions, threatening her with military exercises in disputed waters near her shores, and a broken promise of aid in the form of a light water nuclear reactor offered way back in the time of President Clinton.
If the US does not change its policies, the Korean people will continue to be divided and more distrust will result that could result in a major war. A new report claims the US is considering the reintroduction of nuclear weapons that had previously been removed from the peninsula.
The United States and China must re-design its policies in the Far East; policies that will accept the fact that the Korean people should be free of outside interference so they may decide their nation’s future themselves, to their own and the world’s great advantage.
Relinquishing the US government’s hegemonic claims on that entire region is more likely to result in peace than persisting in using the only tool left in the US kit; the military option. Relying on force will only invite more violence and the eventual denial of access to resources and markets in that part of the world.
The situation is exacerbated by reports of a struggle for leadership in the North. VFP suggests caution regarding these reports because no evidence has been offered to substantiate them and they may be calculated to divert attention away from the actions of the South and the US that either led to or contributed to the current crises.
The US government has achieved what it wanted from the beginning; the establishment of a wholly defensive North Korea that isrequired to rely on its own military, which diverts resources needed to develop the civilian economy to the extent of completely impoverishing its citizens.
The cost of the US military presence in South Korea and the support the US provides the South Korean military is contributing to our own economic hardships in America. If Korea was to unite peacefully, the US government’s stated reason for having a military presence in South Korea would disappear and the Koreans would be left to resolve their own affairs without U.S. interference. Both nations could then put more effort into their respective economies to the benefit of hundreds of millions of people.
Contributors: Woody Powell, Sandy Kelson, Peter Shaw