Wednesday, May 27, 2009
A state of war officially exists again between North and South Korea for the first time since the end of hostilities in 1953 following North Korea’s announcement that they would henceforth refuse to abide by the terms of the peace armistice.
“The Korean People’s Army will not be bound to the Armistice Agreement any longer,” the official Korean Central News Agency said in a statement today. Any attempt to inspect North Korean vessels will be countered with “prompt and strong military strikes.” South Korea’s military said it will “deal sternly with any provocation” from the North, reports Bloomberg.
As we have highlighted, any North Korean attack on South Korea will be countered by the United States, which is allied with South Korea. North Korea is allied with China, and Chinese military forces will support North Korea in any conflict just as they did in the 1950’s before the armistice was signed.
North Korea’s renouncement of the peace armistice follows yesterday’s threat by a Japanese ruling party minister that Japan should change the terms of its pacifist constitution in order to conduct cruise missile strikes on North Korea.
Meanwhile, Russia has warned that the conflict could go nuclear and has made preparations to safeguard its far eastern regions.
An interesting back story to this crisis is the fact that, as we reported in October last year, the RAND corporation has been intensely lobbying the Pentagon to become embroiled in a new war. Although North Korea was ruled out as a target because RAND demanded a bigger conflict, the eventual consequences of a war between the Koreas could lead to a global military confrontation involving Russia and China.
The origins of this whole crisis lead back to the question of how North Korea obtained its nuclear weapons in the first place, and for that we have to thank the usual suspects – the U.S. military industrial complex.
In 2004, Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the father of Pakistan’s atom bomb program, admitted sharing nuclear technology via a worldwide smuggling network that included facilities in Malaysia that manufactured key parts for centrifuges.
Khan’s collaborator B.S.A. Tahir ran a front company out of Dubai that shipped centrifuge components to North Korea.
Despite Dutch authorities being deeply suspicious of Khan’s activities as far back as 1975, the CIA prevented them from arresting him on two occasions.
“The man was followed for almost ten years and obviously he was a serious problem. But again I was told that the secret services could handle it more effectively,” former Dutch Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers said. “The Hague did not have the final say in the matter. Washington did.”
Lubbers stated that Khan was allowed to slip in and out of the Netherlands with the blessing of the CIA, eventually allowing him to become the “primary salesman of an extensive international network for the proliferation of nuclear technology and know-how,” according to George W. Bush himself, and sell nuclear secrets that allowed North Korea to build nuclear bombs.
“Lubbers suspects that Washington allowed Khan’s activities because Pakistan was a key ally in the fight against the Soviets,” reports CFP. “At the time, the US government funded and armed mujahideen such as Osama bin Laden. They were trained by Pakistani intelligence to fight Soviet troops in Afghanistan. Anwar Iqbal, Washington correspondent for the Pakistani newspaper Dawn, told ISN Security Watch that Lubbers’ assertions may be correct. “This was part of a long-term foolish strategy. The US knew Pakistan was developing nuclear weapons but couldn’t care less because it was not going to be used against them. It was a deterrent against India and possibly the Soviets.”
In September 2005 it emerged that the Amsterdam court which sentenced Khan to four years imprisonment in 1983 had lost the legal files pertaining to the case. The court’s vice-president, Judge Anita Leeser, accused the CIA of stealing the files. “Something is not right, we just don’t lose things like that,” she told Dutch news show NOVA. “I find it bewildering that people lose files with a political goal, especially if it is on request of the CIA. It is unheard of.”
In 2005, Pakistani President Pervez Musharaf acknowledged that Khan had provided centrifuges and their designs to North Korea.
With this history in mind, the shock, condemnation and indignation being expressed by the U.S. government in response to North Korea’s second nuclear bomb test is tinged with hypocrisy to say the least. Through their policies in aiding North Korea to build light water reactors, and via the CIA asset AQ Khan who was protected at every step of the way while he helped provide North Korea with the means to build a nuclear arsenal, the U.S. government itself is directly complicit in providing North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Il with the nuclear weapons that they are now condemning him for testing.