A different look at North Korea

Published on: 5/6/2013

Let me state it clearly from the beginning.  I do not agree with much of the following quote.  But it is very surprising that the point of view expressed in the quote goes almost unnoticed by all media in the U.S.  Read it and see if you think it gives one pause to consider a wider view of events on the Korean Peninsula.

"North Korea has always served as a 'devil function,' an enormously useful enemy for the United States.

"The Korean War, coming as it did on the heels of World War II, sparked an economic boom domestically and legitimated the unprecedented worldwide garrisoning of large numbers of American troops in a network of bases around the world.  In essence, it furnished the occasion for a remilitarized remapping of the globe that in turn enabled the reconstruction of the world market under American auspices.

"It began in 1945 when the occupation line was drawn at the 38th parallel.  Two junior U.S. Army officers, Charles Bonasteel and Dean Rusk, armed with nothing more than a National Geographic map, split Korea in two within half an hour.  This separated one in three families and prompted a war of national reunification.

"During a three-year window, 3.5 million North Koreans suffered one of the most appalling, unrestrained bombing campaigns in our genocidal 20th century, and ever since they have been shouting themselves hoarse at a nation of amnesiacs [the United States] who aren't listening.

"For Americans, the Korean War may have slipped into the ash heap of history and is, at best, a vague footnote.  For the North Koreans, the so-called 'Forgotten War' has had indelible consequences.

"Never in the mainstream U.S. media do you hear that North Korea has asked the United States for a peace treaty more than 100 times.  The image of North Korea as a country that actively seeks peace is not consonant with the jingoistic caricature that we're typically confronted with in mainstream media policy discourse."

This is from a talk by Christine Hong, sponsored by WAMM MIddle East Committee, on November 29, 2012.  These quotes from that talk are presented in the WAMM Newsletter, May 2013. page one.  To contact WAMM: 4200 Cedar Ave., Suite 3, Minneaplis, MN 55407.  Phone: 612-827-5364

This brief excerpt from that talk does not do it justice.  She uses many specific references to support her thesis.  It is well presented, well thought through, and causes one to wonder where at least some small fraction of American media has been in touching on this perspective.  Too often we Americans are lead like sheep into big suppositions that may or may not be true.  These words should at least cause us pause.