The Politics of Provocation
The Panmunjom Declaration of April 27 signed by the leaders of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the Republic of Korea (ROK) made important headway by taking up measures to find a peaceful solution to the problems of the division of the Korean nation and danger of war on the Korean Peninsula. Since then, the DPRK has made many proactive gestures towards the U.S. in the interest of peace and positive bilateral relations. These include: releasing on May 9 three jailed U.S. citizens of Korean nationality charged and found guilty of crimes against the state; agreeing to the U.S. proposal that the DPRK -U.S. Summit slated for June 12 be held in Singapore instead of the DPRK’s proposal of its capital Pyongyang; and, most importantly, by pledging to dismantle its nuclear missile plant at Punggye-ri in front of the whole world, the preparations for which have already begun.
The U.S. has not responded in kind. Far from engaging with the DPRK in response to its overtures for diplomacy and peace on the Korean Peninsula, the U.S. and the south Korean armed forces which are under its command are carrying out the warmongering 2018 Max Thunder Joint Air Combat Drill which targets the DPRK. These war exercises started on May 11 and continue to May 25. They involve more than 100 aircraft, including a B-52 strategic nuclear bomber and F-22 Raptor stealth fighters.
“[E]ven before the ink on the historic April 27 Declaration was dry, the south Korean authorities and the U.S. started the war exercises against the DPRK, as a response to all the peace-loving efforts and good intentions shown by the DPRK,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) wrote on May 16. This is “arousing serious concern and disappointment among all Koreans and the international community, who want the declaration to be implemented,” it said.
It specifically decried the involvement of nuclear strategic assets in the drill which underscores that denuclearization is a two-way street, not a one-way street the way the U.S. is suggesting. The threat this poses to the security of the DPRK and peace on the Korean Peninsula is obvious.
These war exercises were then coupled with the U.S. putting pre-conditions on negotiations with the DPRK in the form of demands that it must unilaterally denuclearize.
These provocations are not conducive to solving any problem on the Korean Peninsula. They perpetuate the tensions and danger of war. These provocations are aimed at sabotaging any possibility of peace on the Korean Peninsula and blaming the DPRK for being intransigent.
With these war drills aimed at the DPRK taking place, the DPRK was forced to postpone the inter-Korean talks scheduled for May 16. It also warned that the aggressive war games jeopardize the June 12 summit as well.
“The historic Panmunjom Declaration cannot be implemented by the efforts of a single party, and it can only reach fruition when the two parties create the favourable conditions and climate by pooling their efforts,” the KCNA wrote on May 16.
“We cannot but take the step of suspending the north-south high-level talks scheduled for May 16 […]. The U.S. will have to think twice about the fate of the DPRK-U.S. summit, now high on the agenda, in light of the provocative military exercises against the DPRK in league with the south Korean authorities,” the KCNA added.
On many previous occasions, the DPRK has been forced to withdraw from peace or nuclear negotiations when the U.S. and/or south Korean authorities staged similar provocations that made clear that their aims were not for peace and that the DPRK did not have a willing interlocutor in the talks. It remains to be seen if south Korea and the U.S. will reverse course and rise to the occasion.
Politics of provocation are rejected by the peoples of the world who received the Panmunjom Declaration with great joy and want the U.S. to sign a peace treaty with the DPRK to end the Korean War, and stop using the Korean Peninsula in its striving for hegemony over the region so as to embroil China and Russia in its war aims.
The world’s people reject politics of provocation pursued by the U.S. on the Korean Peninsula and the warmongering of imperialist media and countries such as Canada and others who were belligerents during the Korean War, and are today following the lead of the U.S. imperialists and operating under their command.
The peoples of the world want the U.S. to act properly and stop its hooligan undiplomatic and provocateur behaviour which only raises tensions and destroys any attempts to find peaceful solutions. The peoples of the world want the U.S. to show by its deeds before the whole world that it is sincere in wanting peace on the Korean Peninsula. A just peace will be achieved because the entire Korean nation wants national reunification and peace on the Korean Peninsula. The Korean question is central to the cause of world peace. Ending the Korean War with a peace treaty will help spare the Korean people further hardship and the possibility of war, along with the peoples of the countries in the region, and humankind as a whole.