Republican and Media Idiocy on North Korea

Screenshot 2016-02-21 11.10.43Democracy Now! has published the full transcript of my February 8 interview on North Korea’s latest satellite launch. Since that day, President Obama has dispatched nuclear-armed F-22s into Korea as a “warning” to Pyongyang and signed tough sanctions passed unanimously by the US Senate. Meanwhile, South Korea has shut the doors of the Kaesong Industrial Zone just north of the DMZ, bringing to a close the last project from the days of Kim Dae Jung’s Sunshine policy. All in all, a pretty depressing turn.

I begin here with a scathing critique of ABC reporter Martha Raddadz for the idiotic question she asked at the beginning of a Republican debate in which most of the candidates pushed for an all-out war with North Korea. This pretty much sums up what I think:

Well, first of all, Martha Raddatz’s question was completely irresponsible and shows the militarism that’s endemic in the U.S. media toward North Korea. They did not launch an ICBM. They put a satellite in orbit. And even the Pentagon has confirmed this, that it was a satellite. You can track this satellite going around the world on the Internet right now. They’ve been developing missiles for many years, and they’ve been testing them. They haven’t tested one for about four years. To say this was a ICBM ready to launch a nuclear attack is ridiculous.

The response by the Republicans is scary and frightening, that they would call for a preemptive strike on North Korea when there’s a situation highly—you know, highly volatile situation on the Korean Peninsula, with millions of innocent people within a hundred miles of the DMZ between North and South Korea. To call for a war that could affect—kill hundreds of thousands of people in the first few minutes is ridiculous.

Correction: Dangerous and criminal, not only ridiculous. To hear the full interview, click here.

Meanwhile, US and South Korean forces are preparing for a major military drill in March when they will once again practice invasion and regime change in North Korea.

The two allies will try to boost their capability to infiltrate deep into North Korean territory and destroy the North’s key facilities, such as its nuclear and missile test sites, the official said.

The two countries will double the period of the exercise and widen the area covered from last year.

The drill will involve some 10,000 South Korean sailors and 7,000 U.S. ones, the largest scale since the drill, known as Ssangyong, was launched in 2012.

This risks and dangers grow greater by the day. It’s about time for some peace talks, don’t you think?

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