Category Archives: DPRK

BREAKING: North Korea Tests Nuclear Device

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Large seismic activity reported near known nuclear test site

February 11, 2013

Update 1300EST: North Korea’s offiicial state mouthpiece the KCNA said the nuclear explosion ‘great, stronger and higher’ than last time, and had ‘no negative impacts’.

Update 1248EST: The Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary said in a press conference at 1330 local time they would take “all possible measures to prepare for any contingencies in order to ensure safety and peace of mind of the public” and asked that people “carry on with their normal lives and activities as normal.

Update 1245EST: South Korean President-elect Park Geun-hye received an emergency briefing from transition team officials Tuesday on what appeared to be North Korea’s third nuclear test, officials said.

Update 1237EST: South Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman said Minister Kim Sung-hwan spoke with U.S. Sec of State John Kerry after nuclear test reports.

Update 1205 EST: USGS upgrades report of 4.9 magnitude test to 5.1.

Update 1203 EST: Earthquake of 4.6M reported in China just two minutes before suspected North Korean nuclear detonation. Earthquake took place near Tibet. (http://bit.ly/XtzSN1)

Update 1148 EST: CTBTO Executive Secretary Tibor Toth makes a statement on activity:  ”The event shows explosion-like characteristics and its location is roughly congruent with the 2006 and 2009 DPRK nuclear tests…If confirmed as a nuclear test, this act would constitute a clear threat to international peace and security.” 

Update 1142EST: Steve Herman at Voice of America reports that a source in Yanji, China, reported that a swaying motion was felt for 10 seconds around the time of the blast. Yonhap add that 163 nationals residing in the Kaesong Industrial Complex are reported to be safe.

Update 1139EST: Reports suggest the test could have been anywhere between 6-10 kilotons. South Korean authorities are currently warning of the potential for a second test imminently. 

Update 1114EST: United Nations Security Council will convene at 9AM tomorrow to discuss the test. South Korea holds the current presidency of the Security Council. 

Update 10:58 EST: South Korean President Lee Myung-bak announces emergency meeting with the National Security Council at 1300KST, while other reports suggest North Korea already warned U.S. and China of test

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Reports suggest that North Korea may have conducted a third nuclear test following reports of a 4.9 magnitude earthquake in DPRK territory.

The U.S. Geological Survey (UGCS) has reported large seismic activity in northern North Korea on 02:57:51 UTC Tuesday, not far from the site of the secretive regime’s two previous nuclear tests.

The area around the reported epicenter of the magnitude 4.9 disturbance has little or no history of earthquakes or natural seismic hazards, according to U.S. Geological Survey maps. The disturbance took place at a depth of about 1 kilometer in Punggye-ri, the USGS said, 24km ENE of Kilju County, North Hamkyung Province.

Pyongyang gave “advanced notice” of the test to the U.S. and China, a South Korean official told theYonhap news agency. John Swenson-Wright, Chatham House fellow and Senior Lecturer in East Asian studies at the University of Cambridge said:

“The test is no surprise, although reports from South Korea that the North had informed the US and China a day before the test are unusual. This may indicate a desire (perhaps misguided and naive) on the part of Pyongyang to minimize the political consequences of having tested.”

“A key question now will be determining the size and nature of the test. Expect governments and scientists to be looking for evidence of radioactive isotope gas traces, alongside signs of seismic activity, to gauge nature of tests.”

In terms of the yield, North Korea nuclear expert Jeffrey Lewis said on Twitter that the seismic reaction would mean a nuclear device of,

Current estimates put the yield of the device as 6 to 7 kilotonnes. The first device detonated by North Korea in October 2006 produced an explosive yield at less than 1 kiloton of TNT. A second test in May 2009 was believed to be approximately in the range of 2-4 kilotons.

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UPDATE: N.Korean satellite successfully launches into space

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December 11, 2012

An American space expert says North Korea has succeeded in launching a satellite into space.

Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics says the three-stage Unha-3 rocket launched early Wednesday morning delivered the satellite into orbit and constituted “a perfect success for North Korea.”

He says that based on his own calculations an object identified by U.S. space command as “39026, 2012-072A” was from the North Korean satellite.

The apparent North Korean success comes after two earlier failures with the Unha-3 rocket, including one in April that flamed out after only 90 seconds.

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BREAKING: North Korea Launches Satellite Missile

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UPDATE: N.Korean satellite successfully launches into space

The following article below was originally published by NK News

BREAKING: North Korea Launches Rocket

December 12, 2012

North Korea launched its rocket just before 10am this morning from its Sohae Satellite Launching Station on the West coast of the Korean peninsula, and has claimed to have successfully put its satellite in orbit . A report from North Korean state moutpiece the KCNA said:

The launching of the satellite ‘Gwangmyongsong-3′ using the “Unha-3″ rocket was a success, and the satellite has entered into its planned orbit.

According to some, it is too soon to feasibly confirm if the satellite launch has been a success, but the KCNA has announced that there will be a special broadcast on state television in the next five minutes.

South Korean government spokesman Kim Min-seok told South Korean media gathered for a press conference at the Ministry of Defence in Seoul:

At 0951 this morning, the [North Korean] rocket was launched from the Tongch’ang-dong Space Launch Center. The rocket was tracked until 0958, when the object passed over the West of Okinawa

Kim also told reporters that there were indications of the launch since yesterday, but this information was not revealed to the public. South Korean President Lee Myung-bak has reportedly called an immediate national security meeting and Japan has requested that the UN Security Council convene today [Wednesday] and Japanese Prime Minister Noda has called a national security meeting for 1055 Tokyo time.

Speaking to CNN, a senior US official said that they were “surprised” by the launch and that it was “not expected”.

A Japanese government spokesperson also said they estimate rocket debris to have  fallen in Korean coastal waters at 0958KST, and that the first stage of the rocket is likely to drop in the Pacific Ocean, 300km to the East of the Philippines.

Most analysts had predicted the rocket would not be fired until after December 21st. Only yesterday, South Korean media reported that the rocket had been dismantled, and a North Korean press release announced that they had extended the launch window to December 29th.

Speaking from Seoul, John Swenson-Wright, Senior lecturer in East Asian International Relations at the University of Cambridge told NK News “It’s difficult to determine, at this point, whether the launch constitutes a success, but the range of the missile – with reports indicating that it has overflown Okinawa and landed well east of the Philippines may indicate that Pyongyang has succeeded in its ability to test a long-range rocket.”

“Japan’s decision not to intercept the missile in flight was doubtless a wise-one and will not have raised questions about the reliabilty of its missile defence capabilities in the first instance.”

“The decision by Japan and the ROK leaderships to convene two separate national security meetings is a measure of the gravity of the situation. It is likely that this will be seen as a success on the part of the North Korean leadership, which has again demonstrated its independence and ability to challenge and surprise the international community” said Swenson-Wright, who is also a Senior Consulting Fellow at Chatham House.

Nicholas Hamisevicz, Director of Research and Academic Affairs at the Korea Economic Institute in Washington D.C. said “The launch definitely indicates that Pyongyang has calculated that the immediate benefits from a launch outweigh the perceived gains they may receive in 2013.”

Markets have remained stable in response to the news so far, with the Japanese Nikkei up 5%.

More details to follow on NK News. Follow us on Twitter @nknewsorg for more breaking news updates

No, the North Korean government did not claim it found evidence of unicorns

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The following article below was originally published by the io9 science blog. While the author of the article does appear to show some hostility toward People’s Korea, the re-publishing of this article is solely done so to address all bourgeois media’s hyped propaganda against the nation: 

The Kirin (D&D's Oriental Adventures)

The Kirin (D&D’s Oriental Adventures)

By Lauren Davis
December 1, 2012

Yesterday, we wrote about a story that’s been making the rounds across the blogosphere: that North Korea discovered the lair of a Kirin (or Qilin), a mythical creature often associated with the Western unicorn. However, while North Korea’s claim is about a place called Kiringul, which translates to “Kirin’s Grotto,” the government wasn’t claiming to have found proof of the existence of the mythical beast. But what they are claiming still raises a few archaeological eyebrows.

Top image from D&D’s Oriental Adventures, one example of the Kirin being closely linked to the unicorn.

Sixiang Wang, a PhD student at Columbia University whose focus is Korea-China relations from the 13th to the 16th centuries, wrote in to provide some context for the announcement. North Korea actually announced this discovery in 2011, but only recently released the announcement in English. The English release poorly translated the name of a historical location, Kiringul, as “Unicorn Lair,” a very evocative name for Westerners. But in Korean history, the name Kiringul has a rather different significance. Kiringul is one of the sites associated with King Tongmyŏng, the founder of Koguryŏ, an ancient Korean kingdom. The thrust of the North Korean government’s announcement is that it claims to have discovered Kiringul, and thus to have proven that Pyongyang is the modern site of the ancient capital of Koguryŏ.

Now there are links between King Tongmyŏng and the myth of Kirin; folkloric stories include tales of the ruler riding a Kirin. But Wang notes that it’s important to distinguish historical associations with Kiringul from mythological ones. He likens the association of Kiringul with Kirin to the association of Troy with the mythological aspects of the Trojan war, pointing out that archaeological discoveries surrounding the historical city of Troy don’t result in claims that the warrior Achilles was half-immortal. Today, the name Kiringul is simply regarded as a colorful name, much like “Devil’s Peak” or “Phoenix, Arizona.”

https://i1.wp.com/img.gawkerassets.com/img/18717hax7noa8jpg/original.jpgBut even though it’s not laying claim to unicorns (or other mythological beasts), North Korea’s claims about Kiringul do raise some questions. For one thing, Kiringul was never lost in the first place. The photo of a man-made tunnel found in Pyongyang described as Kiringul at the left appears in Jeon Kwan Su’s article “Kiringul sinhwa yŏngu” (Study of the Kirin-gul Myth), published in the Korean journal Tongpang Hakji in 2009. The North Korean press release is unclear on exactly what was discovered, whether it was an older inscription marking the location of Kiringul or the cave itself—or whether it is referencing the already documented Kiringul.

And if North Korean archaeologists did discover an older inscription in Pyongyang (and, Wang notes, there is always the possibility that their supposed discovery was fabricated), it may be far newer than the press release would suggest. Wang provides this poem (with his notes) by a famous poet of the Koryŏ dynasty, Yi Saek (1328-1396):

“Last night I passed by Yŏngmyŏng temple (the one mentioned in the North Korean press release),

And for a moment I stood atop the Pavilion of Floating Jade (Bubyokru, mentioned also in the KCNA release).

The city is all empty, under one expanse of moonlight.

The stone is now old; the clouds has passed for a thousand autumns.

The kirin steed has now gone and not returned;

Where now does the scion of the heavens [referring to Tongmyŏng, because of his divine origin] now travel?

I let out a long sigh, and lean next to the wind-blown steps.

The mountains are green, and the river’s water flows on.”

However, the court official Hŏ Pong (1551-1588) reported when traveling through Pyongyang that even the steps in these locations seemed rather new, and doubted that these locations were actually from the time of Tongmyŏng. Similarly, Jeon Kwan Su believes that the Kiringul in the photo is a newer rather than an ancient construction. Kiringul may have simply been an old name applied to a much newer site.

On top of that, many historians doubt that, at the time of its founding, Koguryŏ was even located in Pyongyang. The original location of Koguryŏ is hotly debated, but many believe that the kingdom moved to Pyongyang later in its history.

But, while North Korea may not have been presenting evidence of Kirin to the world, Wang believes that the link between the creatures and the government’s announcement may not be completely incidental. After all, the Kirin was supposed to appear to wise rulers. North Korean officials may have been hoping to secure Pyongyang’s connection to the ancient kingdom of Koguryŏ, while creating an association between their own president, Kim Jong-un, and the larger-than-life rulers of old.

Huge thanks to Sixiang Wang for all of his help with this!

U.S. imperialism steps up war plans against China

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The following article below was originally published by Lalkar, journal of the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist-Leninist)

Having previously announced a strategic “pivot to Asia”, US imperialism has, over recent months, been engaged in a whole series of military and diplomatic activities, whose common aim is to threaten, encircle and weaken the People’s Republic of China, ultimately preparing for a devastating war against the world’s most populous nation and second largest economy, a course that US imperialism sees as its only way out from its inexorable and deepening crisis.

New missile defence plans

On 23 August, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported that the US was planning a major escalation of its “missile defence” programme, ostensibly targeted at the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), but in reality leaving China more vulnerable to US nuclear threats.

Adam Entous and Julian E Barnes put matters perfectly succinctly in the opening lines of their article: “The US is planning a major expansion of missile defences in Asia, a move American officials say is designed to contain threats from North Korea, but one that could also be used to counter China’s military.”

Stating that, “the planned build-up is part of a defensive array that could cover large swaths of Asia, with a new radar in southern Japan and possibly another in Southeast Asia tied to missile-defence ships and land-based interceptors”, the WSJ went on to note that:

It is part of the Obama administration’s new defence strategy to shift resources to an Asian-Pacific region critical to the US economy after a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The expansion comes at a time when the US and its allies in the region voice growing alarm about a North Korean missile threat. They are also increasingly worried about China’s aggressive stance in disputed waters such as the South China Sea

US defence planners are particularly concerned about China’s development of anti-ship ballistic missiles that could threaten the Navy’s fleet of aircraft carriers, critical to the US projection of power in Asia.

“‘The focus of our rhetoric is North Korea,’ said Steven Hildreth, a missile defence expert with the Congressional Research Service, an advisory arm of Congress. ‘The reality is that we’re also looking longer term at the elephant in the room, which is China’.”

According to the journal, the centrepiece of the new programme would be the deployment of a powerful early-warning radar, known as an X-Band, on a southern Japanese island. The Pentagon is currently discussing that prospect with Japan, one of Washington’s closest allies, which is also embroiled in its own disputes with China over territorial and other issues. According to US officials, the radar could be installed within months of Japan’s agreement and would supplement an X-Band the US placed in Aomori Prefecture in northern Japan in 2006.

Officials with the US military’s Pacific Command and Missile Defence Agency have also been evaluating sites in Southeast Asia for a third X-Band radar. According to the WSJ, “this would create an arc that would allow the US and its regional allies to more accurately track any ballistic missiles launched from North Korea, as well as from parts of China.”

In plain words, it would be a further and major step to a military encirclement of China. So far, the most likely site for any third X-Band is the Philippines, one of the south east Asian countries that has, with US instigation and encouragement, taken an extremely aggressive stance towards China over recent months.

Pentagon press secretary George Little claims that: “North Korea is the immediate threat that is driving our missile defence decision making.” But the WSJ report, clearly based on the intimate ties between this right wing newspaper and the US security and defence establishment, continues:

The Pentagon is particularly concerned about the growing imbalance of power across the Taiwan Strait. China has been developing advanced ballistic missiles and anti-ship ballistic missiles that could target US naval forces in the region.

China has between 1,000 and 1,200 short-range ballistic missiles aimed at Taiwan, and has been developing longer range cruise and ballistic missiles, including one designed to hit a moving ship more than 930 miles away, says the Pentagon’s latest annual report on China’s military.

The proposed X-Band arc would allow the US to not only cover all of North Korea, but to peer deeper into China, say current and former U.S. officials.

“‘Physics is physics’, a senior US official said. ‘You’re either blocking North Korea and China or you’re not blocking either of them.’”

The WSJ continued: “US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta said during a visit Wednesday to the USS John C. Stennis warship in Washington state that the US would ‘focus and project our force into the Pacific’

In addition to the new X-Band site in southern Japan, the US plans to increase the number of marines in Okinawa in the near term before relocating them to Guam. As the marines are pulled out of Afghanistan, going from 21,000 to less than 7,000, the number of forces on Okinawa will rise, from about 15,000 to 19,000, officials said.”

The report makes clear that a major part of the US strategy is to protect the separatist authorities on the Chinese island province of Taiwan, thereby preventing the Chinese people from realising their cause of national reunification and preserving a pro-imperialist base in the region: “Jeffrey Lewis, director of the East Asia non-proliferation programme at the Monterey Institute of International Studies in California, said any missile defence deployments in the Asian theatre will alarm the Chinese, particularly if they believe the systems are designed to cover Taiwan. ‘If you’re putting one in southern Japan and one in the Philippines, you’re sort of bracketing Taiwan,’ Mr. Lewis said. ‘So it does look like you’re making sure that you can put a missile defence cap over the Taiwanese.”

Mr. Hildreth of the Congressional Research Service said the US was ‘laying the foundations’ for a region-wide missile defence system that would combine US ballistic missile defences with those of regional powers, particularly Japan, South Korea and Australia.” (‘US plans new Asia missile defences’, 23 August 2012)

Think tank prepares war blueprint

The news of the enhanced US missile defence programme followed just weeks after a major think tank report outlined US imperialism’s strategic plans for enhanced military confrontation with China.

A paper by the Washington think tank, the Centre for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), entitled ‘US Force Posture Strategy in the Asia Pacific Region: An Independent Assessment’, effectively amounts to a blueprint for the Obama administration’s military preparations for conflict with China.

Although the CSIS is officially a non-government body, its assessment was commissioned by the US Defence Department, as required by the 2012 National Defence Authorisation Act, giving its findings and proposals at least semi-official status.

The paper is based, inter alia, on extensive discussions with top US military personnel throughout the Pentagon’s Pacific Command. It was delivered to the Pentagon on 27 June, but gained media exposure only after its principal authors – David Berteau and Michael Green – testified before the US House Armed Services Committee on 1 August.

The CSIS asserts that the underlying US geostrategic objective in the Asia-Pacific region has been to prevent “the rise of any hegemonic state from within the region that could threaten US interests by seeking to obstruct American access or dominate the maritime domain. From that perspective, the most significant problem for the United States in Asia today is China’s rising power, influence, and expectations of regional pre-eminence”. What this means in reality is that US imperialist domination must continue and no power must be allowed to challenge it.

The document is clear that military strategy is bound up with economic needs. It identifies “trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the US-[south] Korea Free Trade Agreement” as crucial to “a sustainable trans-Pacific trade architecture that sustains US access and influence in the region”. Whilst claiming that the US “must integrate all of these instruments of national power and not rely excessively on US military capabilities,” the reality is that it is precisely the USA’s stark economic decline, and the rise of China, that is driving the use of brute military power to maintain imperialist dominance in Asia-Pacific, just as in the Middle East.

The report’s authors reject any suggestion of a power-sharing arrangement with China, or, as described to the armed services committee, “a bipolar condominium that acknowledges Beijing’s core interests and implicitly divides the region”, which some US commentators have advanced as the only means of preventing a major war sooner or later. And the report rejects any pull back by the US from Asia.

Having ruled out peaceful alternatives, the CSIS paper sets out a military strategy. The authors are too clever to openly advocate war with China, declaring, with weasel-like caveats, that “the consequences of conflict with that nation are almost unthinkable and should be avoided to the greatest extent possible, consistent with US interests”.

But they specifically do not exclude the possibility of conflict in the event that US interests are at stake, adding that the ability to “maintain a favourable peace” depends on the perception that the US can prevail in the event of conflict.

US force posture must demonstrate a readiness and capacity to fight and win, even under more challenging circumstances associated with A2AD [anti-access/area denial] and other threats to US military operations in the Western Pacific,” the report states.

Just as Hitler did before them, the US imperialists, whilst mouthing sanctimonious words of peace, are actively preparing for a devastating world war, this time taking China as their main enemy.

The CSIS report approves of the repositioning and strengthening of US military forces in the Western Pacific, a process that has accelerated under the Obama administration’s “rebalance” to Asia. Already this has meant consolidating US bases, troops and military assets in Japan and south Korea; building up US forces on Guam and the Northern Mariana islands, strategically located in the Western Pacific; stationing littoral combat ships in Singapore – relatively small, fast, flexible warships capable of intelligence gathering, special operations and landing troops with armoured vehicles; and making greater use of Australian naval and air bases and stationing 2,500 Marines in the northern city of Darwin. In addition, the paper confirms that the US has held discussions with Thailand, the Philippines and Vietnam over possible access to bases and joint training.

The report also reviews US efforts to strengthen military ties throughout Asia-Pacific, from India to New Zealand. Significantly, in ranking military contingencies from low to high intensity, it identifies Australia, Japan and South Korea as critical allies “at the higher spectrum of intensity” – in other words, outright military conflict with China – “with other allies and partners at the lower spectrum of intensity”.

While broadly dealing with all contingencies, the CSIS assessment is mainly focussed on “high intensity”. Its recommendations involve the further development of military agreements with South Korea, Japan and Australia, and also between these allies.

The CSIS document couches its statements as recommendations and it considers all scenarios, including maintaining the status quo and drawing back US forces from the Asia Pacific region. However, it rejects both of these options. Rather, it details a substantial list of steps that could be taken to markedly strengthen the US military throughout the region.

As well as basing a US nuclear aircraft carrier in Western Australia, they include: doubling the number of nuclear attack submarines based at Guam; deploying littoral combat ships to south Korea; doubling the size of amphibious forces in Hawaii; permanently basing a bomber squadron on Guam; boosting manned and unmanned surveillance assets in Australia or Guam; upgrading anti-missile defences in Japan, south Korea and Guam; and strengthening US ground forces. While recommending consideration of all these options, the CSIS specifically calls for more attack submarines to be stationed at Guam, within easy striking distance of vital Chinese shipping routes as well as the country’s key naval bases.

The CSIS assessment points to potential flashpoints, from the Korean peninsula and the Taiwan Straits to the South China Sea and the disputed border between India and China. It clearly represents widespread thinking within the Obama administration, as well as top US military and intelligence circles, which are recklessly preparing and planning for a war against China.

South China Sea – an American lake?

Besides the Korean peninsula and the Taiwan Straits, the South China Sea, where a number of countries have territorial disputes with China, constitutes an increasingly important front in the US war plan against the People’s Republic.

At an ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) summit in 2010, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated for the first time that the US had “a national interest” in ensuring “freedom of navigation” in the South China Sea. She also offered to “mediate” in the territorial disputes, thereby effectively undermining a decade of Chinese diplomacy aimed at resolving the outstanding issues peacefully and bilaterally with its neighbours without outside interference.

Under the spurious signboard of “freedom of navigation” (which nobody except the US is threatening), the US is seeking to reassert its naval dominance over strategic waters close to the Chinese mainland and, in doing so, is encouraging countries like the Philippines and Vietnam to more aggressively press their territorial claims against China.

Clinton has hinted on several occasions that the US would come to the aid of the Philippines under their Mutual Defence Treaty in the event of conflict with China.

And the Obama administration has been actively strengthening the Philippines armed forces. In a recent confrontation with China over the disputed Scarborough Shoal (known in China as Huangyan Island), the vessel first deployed to the area was a former US coastguard cutter that had been supplied to the Philippines last year. Another is due to be provided soon, along with more sophisticated warplanes and other military hardware.

Clinton made clear Washington’s support for the former American colony, and present-day neo-colony, when she visited Manila last November. Amid rising tensions with China, she reaffirmed the 1951 US-Philippines mutual defence treaty, declaring that “the United States will always be in the corner of the Philippines”. Clinton also pointedly referred to the South China Sea as the “the West Philippines Sea”, a new name recently minted by chauvinists in Manila.

Washington is also in discussions with Manila over an agreement to access Philippine military bases. This will be along the lines of the agreement announced last November in Canberra that stations marines in Darwin and expands the US use of Australian naval and air bases. These and other moves are all part of a comprehensive strategy, in keeping with which Defence Secretary Panetta has announced plans to station 60 percent of US naval forces in the Asia-Pacific region.

US naval dominance of the South China Sea, as well as key “choke points” through South East Asia, such as the Malacca Straits, poses a direct threat to China, which relies on these shipping routes to import energy and raw materials from the Middle East and Africa. In the event of a conflict, the US could impose an economic blockade on China.

By such means, the Obama administration has transformed what were previously relatively minor maritime disputes into a major international issue involving the world’s two largest economies.

The divisions this has opened up were evident at July’s ASEAN ministerial summit. On one side, the Philippines and Vietnam, supported by the US, pressed for a discussion on a regional “code of conduct”. The Philippines even insisted that its dispute with China over the Scarborough Shoal be mentioned in the final communiqué. Cambodia opposed these proposals and, for the first time in ASEAN’s 45-year history, no final joint statement was issued.

A speech in Singapore

The announcement that the United States will deploy the majority of its naval forces to the Asia-Pacific region over the next decade was made by Defence Secretary Panetta in a 2 June speech to the annual Shangri-La security conference organised in Singapore by the International Institute of Strategic Studies (IISS).

The mobilisation of warships will be accompanied by an increase in the number of military exercises conducted by the US in the region, involving air, sea and land forces. Most will be carried out in conjunction with countries that are openly or tacitly allied with the US against China, including Japan, south Korea, Australia and the Philippines.

In his speech, Panetta elaborated on the “pivot to Asia” announced by Obama last year, in which he indicated that the withdrawal of most US forces from Iraq and the beginning of a similar withdrawal from Afghanistan would allow the US military to deploy far greater resources to the Far East.

All of the US military services are focused on implementing the president’s guidance to make the Asia-Pacific a top priority,” Panetta said, adding: “While the US military will remain a global force for security and stability, we will of necessity rebalance towards the Asia-Pacific region.”

The current deployment of the US Navy is approximately a 50-50 split between the Atlantic and Pacific. This will change by 2020 to a 60-40 split in favour of the Pacific, Panetta said: “That will include six aircraft carriers in this region, a majority of our cruisers, destroyers, littoral combat ships, and submarines.” He called these forces “the core of our commitment to this region”.

Panetta singled out for praise the agreement reached last autumn with the Australian government for the deployment of US Marines in northern Australia, calling it “a critical component” of the US military build-up.

This Marine Air-Ground Task Force will be capable of rapidly deploying across the Asia-Pacific region,” he said, thereby confirming that it will be able to be deployed in any confrontation with China.

He reconfirmed that the US is negotiating a similar agreement for stationing ground forces on a rotating basis in the Philippines and that it is pursuing such arrangements with other countries in the region, although he did not name them. In 2011, the US military conducted 172 military exercises in the Asia-Pacific region, a number that will be surpassed this year.

And, just in case anyone had any doubts as to the point of all this military build-up, Panetta closed his address with this invocation of the history of US wars in the region:

Over the course of history, the United States has fought wars, we have spilled blood, we have deployed our forces time and time again to defend our vital interests in the Asia-Pacific region.”

Panetta followed his appearance in Singapore with visits to Vietnam, where he became the highest-ranking US official to visit the strategic port of Cam Ranh Bay since the end of the Vietnam war in 1975, and to India.

Speaking to the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in New Delhi, Panetta stated:

In particular, we will expand our partnerships and our presence in the arc extending from the Western Pacific and East Asia into the Indian Ocean region and South Asia,” thereby almost perfectly describing an encirclement of China from the east, south and west.

For the last more than two decades, since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the US has plunged headlong into one war after another, in Iraq, Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere, in an attempt to preserve its hegemony and reverse its economic decline. However, Obama’s “pivot” to Asia has dramatically raised the stakes, by removing any shadow of doubt that the US’s main target is a nuclear power, the People’s Republic of China.

As in the 1930s, imperialism perceives that its only way out is war. The duty of the entire international working class is to do everything in its power to prevent that war of aggression and to pursue unto victory its own war against imperialist and capitalist barbarism. US imperialism’s selection of China is not by chance – it is the main and most powerful force standing in the way of US domination of the planet.

Notwithstanding the very real issues and concerns regarding many of the internal developments in China’s economy and society, the communist and workers’ parties of all countries should unite in common struggle, demanding:

Hands off China!

Death to US imperialism!

People’s Korea rebukes false rumors about DPRK leadership

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The following article below was originally published by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA):

Pyongyang, July 20 (KCNA) — The U.S., south Korea and other forces hostile toward the DPRK are spreading false rumors as regards the organizational matter dealt with at a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

Taking the lead in the smear campaign are FOX News, CNN, VOA, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and other U.S. media and Chosun Ilbo, Dong-A Ilbo, Korean Broadcasting System and other south Korean conservative media.

They fed the public with misinformation that there is serious power scrambles within the leadership in the DPRK and it has shifted its line from the military-first policy to the party-first policy emphasizing party’s control over the army.

Who is dismissed and appointed in the DPRK is not a matter of concern of other countries.

The rumors put it that the illness was not the cause of dismissal, a wanton infringement on the state sovereignty by those steeped in bitterness toward the DPRK to the marrow of their bones. The aim is to break the single-minded unity which represents the biggest might of the DPRK, lead it to deviate from the path of its already chosen option and stifle it.

It is by no means fortuitous that traitor Lee Myung Bak of south Korea, timed to coincide with the false rumors, said that “unification under liberal democracy” has drawn near while trumpeting “bigger unified Republic of Korea.”

This is, however, nothing but a daydream.

The situation in the DPRK proves that there is no change in its stand to keep to the path of Songun, path of independence, pioneered and led by President Kim Il Sung and leaderKim Jong Il.

Unbreakable is the single-minded unity in the country. The army and people of the DPRK have grasped the greatness of the dear respected Kim Jong Un through their experiences. Absolute and boundless is their trust in Kim Jong Un who devotes his all to the people, always considerate of them.

The change in line and power scrambles touted by the hostile forces are an intolerable insult and challenge to the headquarters of the Korean revolution, the party, state, army and people of the DPRK.

What is extremely regretful is that some media of those countries around the DPRK have been embroiled in the wicked campaign.

As the KCNA stated at the recent second world media summit, it is prerequisite for media to strictly abide by the principles of objectivity, impartiality and accuracy, away from prejudice, if they are to live up to their mission as a pace-setter and organizer of the public opinion.

Individual media of those countries around the DPRK are echoing false rumors with an eye to popularity and “peculiarity”. This does not conform to the mission of media which should regard authenticity, impartiality and accuracy as their life and there is no benefit in view of the development of relations between countries.

They should not be taken in by childish trick of those fools. They should think back if they remained true to the prestige and dignity of media.

No matter how desperately the hostile forces may hatch cunning plots, they can never check the dynamic advance of the army and people of the DPRK along the path of Juche, rallied close behind Marshal Kim Jong Un.

Time will prove the ridiculous nature of the rumors spread by the anti-DPRK tricksters.

U.S.-RoK backed terrorist plot against People’s Korea thwarted

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The following article below was originally published by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA): 

Arrested Terrorist Interviewed

Jon Yong Chol

Pyongyang, July 19 (KCNA) — Jon Yong Chol, defector to south Korea from the north, was interviewed by reporters at the People’s Palace of Culture on Thursday. He was arrested as he was trying to perpetrate hideous crime of destroying statues and monuments in the DPRK at the instructions of the U.S. and south Korean intelligence agencies.

Present at the interview were reporters of DPRK and the General Association of Korean Residents in Japan and Chinese, Russian, U.S. and Japanese reporters.

Overseas compatriots took part in the interview as observers.

Jon Yong Chol spoke first. He lived in Songrim-dong No. 2, Songphyong District, Chongjin City of North Hamgyong Province before defecting to south Korea and joining in the moves for destroying monuments of the DPRK by the U.S. and south Korean intelligence agency.

Jon said that he is an unpardonable criminal as he betrayed the motherland and took the criminal path. But he requested for a press conference thinking that he could not die before indicting the south Korean puppet regime for its heinous terrorist plot, he said, and went on:

Finding it hard to overcome temporary difficulties I had been engaged in illegal trading, broking, etc. I received money from a woman and helped her cross the border. Fear of punishment following its disclosure, I fled to China on April 24, 2010.

Wandering here and there I was tempted by an agent of the south Korean Intelligence Service (IS) surnamed Pak and gave him information about the inner situation of the DPRK several times. Guided by him, I went to south Korea. After going through investigation by IS agents and “education” at “Hanawon” I could live in Thoegye-dong, Chunchon City in Kangwon Province of south Korea from March last year.

Referring to the whole story about the course by which he received a terrorist mission from IS agents, Jon Yong Chol went on:

On around November 8 last year when I was frivoling time away without any job, I happened to meet Kim Song Min, who introduced him as representative of the anti-DPRK plot-breeding organization “Front for Liberation of North Korean People” in Seoul with the help of Ri Su Bok whom I got known at “Hanawon.”

Kim Song Min is a bad man who defected to south Korea after committing crimes.

He formed a “statue demolition society” in the above-said front. He said that the U.S. and south Korean “government” authorities actively back the “society” with deep interest in it, and persistently persuaded me to join it if I want to make a huge amount of money.

A few days later, Ko Tong Gyun who looked around 40 years old and a man surnamed Sim who looked about 50 called on me saying that they were sent by Kim Song Min.

They said that they provided Kim Song Min with a lot of money for the formation of the “statue demolition society” and terrorist acts but every attempt failed, adding that I seemed to be most suitable to do the job.

They were agents of the south Korean intelligence body who manipulate Kim Song Min behind the scene.

Early in December last year, a “section chief” reminded me of the operation of the “statue demolition society” and briefed me on statue-blowing program and explosive device which was already in preparation.

According to it, the explosive device (launcher) is latest equipment which looked like a thermos bottle capable of destroying at the target within 150-300 meters.

For 12 hours since the target was leveled, it will be in automatic state. When the man who set it switches it on by remote controller within 4-6 kilometers, it will be automatically launched to blow the target.

They told me about the process of the “undertaking”.

When the manufacture of explosive device was completed, the user first was to go to the area of China bordering the DPRK and be on standby after casing the target. The explosive device is a terrorist weapon under worldwide control. It consists of three parts. The three parts were to be smuggled separately through different routes and assembled on the spot before undergoing performance test. Finally it was to be handed over to the man who was to carry out the “undertaking”. The terrorist would go to the DPRK via secret route and set the device ready to go off. When the exploding time is set on the spot, a satellite would photograph the area while staying in the sky above the area for 30 minutes or an hour before the explosion.

Jon Yong Chol then elaborated on how the south Korean puppet regime drew up the operation and tried to put it into practice.

At about 8:30 a.m. on December 21 last year, the “section chief” and two agents again called on me to give me the operation program they had worked out, Jon said, adding:

According to it, I was to get disguised as smuggler and prepare two same boxes which looked like the box of personal belongings. I was to give one box with bribes in it to a smuggler who opened up the secret border path and carry another one containing the launcher to my mother’s, to stave off his suspicion.

I was to go up to the rooftop of an apartment before the statue and set the explosive device under the roof and then drop in at my mother’s house. There I was to give a mobile phone containing the remote controller to my mother and request her to press the button of the mobile phone (button of remote controller) to call me if there is no news from me until 7 o’clock in the morning. Then I was to leave the house.

I was to cross the border again to China with the smuggler’s help and destroy the statue by pressing the button of another remote controller which I was carrying.

According to the program, if my remote controller does not work for any impairment, my mother was to press the button to call me and then the statue will automatically be destroyed.

Those agents sped to the U.S. saying that the program should finally be approved by the U.S. to get funded.

On December 27, the agents called on me to say that the program was approved by the U.S. and I must succeed this time.

I set February as the month for demolition, but the “undertaking” had to be prolonged to April as the explosive device was not prepared.

They said if April 15 is set as the day of the “undertaking”, it would spoil the atmosphere for celebrations of the Day of the Sun which the north had prepared with much effort, spread the rumor and stir up the mindset of the people in the north, adding that it will thus spark off a big furor. They emphasized that the incident should be spread to have been committed by the people in the DPRK not by outside forces.

This was the purpose sought by the U.S. and south Korean puppet regime.

On March 24, 2012, I arrived in Yanji, China by air.

But, the “undertaking” slated for April had to be postponed again because explosive device was not ready.

According to the “undertaking” program slated for 00:00 on July 27, the anniversary of the victory in the Fatherland Liberation War, I went to China again together with Ko Tong Gyun on May 5.

When we were standing by in Yanji, Ko showed me the technical manual of the explosive device which included detailed information about assembling and use of the launcher and the results of explosion, etc.

If succeeded, the explosion will reduce the target to ashes and the remaining parts of the explosive device will also go off. So, no one will be able to know about it except the one who remote-controlled it.

I, together with Ko, made preparations to open the border route as indicated by Sim.

At around 9:30 p.m. on May 13, I went to the opposite shore of Tuman River with Ko and Sim to assure them of the security of the secret border route.

That day Sim told me to wait for future instruction, saying blasting installations would be ready by the end of June.

In the meantime I constantly got in touch with Sim who returned to south Korea and a guy called Son Ki Man who introduced himself as chief of the Defense Security Command of the south Korean army.

This indicates the general mobilization of south Korean intelligence and plot-breeding organs.

As it is not bad to confirm the spot, I crossed the border at around 11:00 p.m. on June 18 and made my way to the border city in the DPRK side. After learning about the statue and its surrounding area, I was going back to the border side when I was arrested at around 2:00 a.m.

However, this did not mean an end to mean plot of the enemies.

Though I was detected and arrested, the U.S. and the south Korean intelligence organs would continue producing more Jon Yong Chol and make desperate efforts to put into practice hideous terrorist plots which they failed this time.

I came to clearly know through my experiences that their reckless acts are just as foolish a daydream as trying to sweep the sea with a broom.

Answering questions raised by journalists, Jon Yong Chol said that the south Korean regime set up “groups” and “organizations” with defectors to the south, other betrayers and wicked hostile elements, kicking up madcap anti-DPRK confrontation rackets.

He named the “Front for Liberation of North Korean People” as a typical example. This is a plot-breeding organization the purpose of which is to undermine the DPRK and “overturn its social system.”

Recently, they are hatching a mean plot to infiltrate “special operation team” into the DPRK being assigned the duty of raising “turmoil” in it.

An organization specializes in writing graffiti on public buildings and spreading false rumors at markets in the north.

South Korean conservative media as well as “Radio Free North Korea” and “Radio North Korean Reform” mainly consisting of defectors to the south are being engaged in slandering the DPRK almost every day.

Meanwhile, the regime prods ultra-right conservative organizations and gangsters to hold “lectures”, “round-table talks”, “seminar” and the like every day to find fault with the DPRK.

Jon cited detailed facts to prove that the U.S. is being deeply involved in the recent hideous political-motivated terrorist case.

He confessed that he not only betrayed his family, home and the country but also perpetrated the high treason of hurting them, being preoccupied with getting money.

Those who get involved in the south Korean regime’s terrorist acts and sabotage, being bribed by money, will only meet disgrace and death being branded as traitors, he said, adding: I would like to advise them to take a proper way for the country and people though belatedly.

The U.S. and south Korean regime had better stop imprudent acts, well aware that they can never break the close single-minded unity in the DPRK, no matter how desperately they may try to escalate confrontation with it.

“Propaganda” – North Korean film exposing Western propaganda

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People’s Korea: Protests denouncing Lee Myung Bak group held in Jagang Province, Rason City

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The following article below was originally published by the Korean Central News Agency

Pyongyang, April 23 (KCNA) — Servicepersons and people in Jagang Province and Rason City of the DPRK met on Monday to vow to wipe out the rat-like Lee Myung Bak group in this land and sky.

Present there were officials of party and power organs and working people’s organizations, service personnel of the Korean People’s Army and the Korean People’s Internal Security Forces, people of different social standings and youth and students in the province and city.

The statement issued by a spokesman for the KPA Supreme Command was read out to be followed by speeches.

The speakers said that they could never pardon the rat-like Lee group who hurt the dignity of the supreme leadership of the DPRK by mobilizing elder reactionaries no better than paupers, gangster-like students and ultra-right conservative media persons.

The strong revolutionary armed forces of Mt. Paektu will search every rat hole and hang the whole rat-like Lee group, the sworn enemy, till all of them are dried up and perish, they declared.

The rat-like Lee group will bitterly experience what severe final punishment the merciless sacred war launched by the DPRK will mete out to them for the indelible crimes they have committed so far, they noted.

Service persons and people will beat to death the Lee group and blow up their bases for provocations and build on this land a reunified thriving nation shining with the august name of the great sun.

Then followed protest demonstrations.

A Tale of Two Rocket Launches

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By Stephen Gowans
April 22, 2012

A tale of the two rocket launches: North Korea's Kwangmyŏngsŏng-3 (left) and India's Agni-V (right).

North Korea launched a rocket on April 13 to loft a satellite into space–part of the country’s civilian space program. The rocket, based on ballistic missile technology, broke up only minutes after launch. Western state officials and media rebuked Pyongyang for directing part of its strained budget to a rocket launch when it depends on outside food aid. Along with other countries, India “voiced deep concern.” [1]

Six days later, India launched Agni-V, a ballistic missile capable of delivering a 1.5 ton nuclear warhead to any point in China. India–which the American Federation of Scientists estimates has an arsenal of 80 to 100 nuclear weapons—boasted that the launch represented “another milestone” in its “quest to add to the credibility” of its “security and preparedness.” [2]

Both launches violated UN Security Council resolutions. Security Council Resolution 1172 (1998) calls upon India “to cease development of ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons.” [3] Security Council Resolutions 1718 (2006) [4] and 1874 (2009) [5] direct North Korea to do the same.

On April 16, North Korea was censured by the Security Council for violating resolutions 1718 and 1874. [6] India has not been censured for violating resolution 1172. Indeed, that a Security Council resolution exists which prohibits India’s ballistic missile program has been almost completely ignored.

What’s more, while North Korea was savagely attacked in the Western media for its satellite launch, the same media treated India’s long-range ballistic missile test with either indifference or approval. India’s massive poverty was not juxtaposed against its decision to allocate resources to building nuclear warheads and the missiles to carry them.

North Korea’s nuclear weapons

The United States was the first country to introduce nuclear weapons to the Korean peninsula, in the form of tactical battlefield weapons. Later, when the USSR dissolved, Lee Butler, the head of the US Strategic Command, announced that the United States would retarget some of its strategic ballistic nuclear missiles from the former Soviet Union to North Korea. One month later, Pyongyang withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty. [7]

A cardinal principle of nuclear nonproliferation is that countries with nuclear weapons should not target countries without them. Doing so provides the targeted country with a reason to develop its own nuclear weapons as a deterrent.

After North Korea’s first underground nuclear test, on October 9, 2006, the UN Security Council met to impose sanctions. At the meeting, North Korean ambassador Pak Gil Yon explained that North Korea initiated its nuclear weapons program because it felt compelled to protect itself from the danger of war from the United States.

This was hardly paranoid. Washington’s desire to see the collapse of North Korea is undoubted. An ideological competitor vis-à-vis the United States whose zeal for economic and political independence is second to none, North Korea remains one of the few remaining challenges to the US-led neo-liberal world economic order. In an attempt to crush the fiercely independent state, Washington has made North Korea the most heavily sanctioned country on earth—and hasn’t relieved the pressure in six decades.

This, on top of tactical and strategic nuclear weapons threats, nearly 30,000 US troops on the Korean peninsula, the incessant visits of nuclear weapons-equipped US warships and warplanes to South Korean ports and airbases, and the Pentagon’s de facto control of the South Korean military in peacetime and de jure control in wartime, constitutes a significant existential threat to North Korea.

In 2003, the Bush administration ratcheted up the threat by naming North Korea as part of an “axis of evil.” It then invaded the first country on its list, Iraq, and warned the other two to “draw the appropriate lesson.” [8] In light of this, Pak’s explanation that North Korea conducted the nuclear test to “bolster its self-defense” and that it “wouldn’t need nuclear weapons if the US dropped its hostile policies” rings true. [9]

Since then, the United States has delivered an additional reason for Pyongyang to draw the appropriate lesson—though not the one it hoped. Nato’s intervention in Libya on behalf of al-Qaeda-connected rebels likely wouldn’t have happened had the country’s leader, Muammar Gaddafi, not given up his chemical and nuclear weapons programs in exchange for reversal of sanctions and Western investment.

Hypocrisy

Washington says that it believes China sold North Korea the chassis for a missile-transport vehicle displayed in a North Korean military parade shortly after the failed satellite launch and would use “the episode to tighten pressure to better enforce United Nations sanctions forbidding the sale of weapons or technology to North Korea that would aid its ballistic missile and technology program.” [10]

Security Council resolution 1718 directs member states not to supply North Korea with battle tanks, armored combat vehicles, artillery, combat aircraft, attack helicopters, missiles or missile systems. A truck chassis hardly fits the list, and is clearly not a nuclear weapon or technology.

But why does a resolution—which concerns a nuclear test—ban sales to North Korea of conventional military equipment? Resolution 1172, dealing with India’s and Pakistan’s nuclear tests, imposed no similar sanctions on these countries. The likely explanation is that the resolution aims to deny Pyongyang an effective means of self-defense, both nuclear and conventional. In other words, the Security Council used North Korea’s efforts to tighten its security as a pretext to block its access to the equipment, technology and materials it needs for self-defense. By contrast, since the United States dropped its sanctions on India last decade, the latter has been permitted to add to the credibility of its security and preparedness without impediment.

Moreover, why was North Korea sanctioned at all? Having withdrawn from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty under the threat posed by US strategic missiles, Pyongyang was bound by no international covenant prohibiting it from developing nuclear weapons. The Security Council justified the sanctions on the grounds that the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction is a threat to international peace and security. Invoking authority to prevent possible outbreaks of war between nations, however, has become a convenient way for the Security Council to legitimize arbitrary actions. It simply describes some incident as a threat to peace between nations—whether it is or not–and thereby hands itself authority to act.

Have North Korea’s nuclear tests truly represented a threat to international peace and security, or only a threat to the ability of certain permanent Security Council members to target North Korea with nuclear weapons free from the risk of nuclear retaliation? The United States, Britain and other countries that have nuclear weapons emphasize the deterrent nature of their nuclear arsenals. Rather than threatening international peace and security, these countries maintain that their WMDs preserve it. Why, then, should WMDs in the hands of countries threatened with nuclear annihilation constitute threats, while in the hands of the countries that pose the threat, nuclear weapons are considered a buttress to international peace and security? It seems more likely that peace and security between nations would be strengthened were the United States to cease targeting North Korea with nuclear weapons or were it deterred by Pyongyang’s possible nuclear retaliation.

Obviously (though not so obviously to Washington) a truck chassis is not a nuclear weapon or technology, but it is not unknown for Washington to broaden the definition of banned items to turn ostensibly narrow sanctions into broad-based ones. [11] UN Security Resolutions 1718 and 1874 do the same. While they appear to be limited to prohibiting North Korea from developing ballistic missile technology for military use, they have been interpreted by the Security Council to prohibit civilian use, as well. Hence, in censuring Pyongyang for its satellite launch, the president of the Security Council noted that any rocket launch that uses ballistic missile technology, even for civilian use, is a violation of the UN Security Council resolutions. [12] This means that as far as the Security Council is concerned, North Korea cannot have a civilian space program.

The United States’ criticism of China for selling North Korea a truck chassis, on grounds that the sale is a violation of a Security Council resolution, is not only baseless, it’s hypocritical. Washington has agreed to sell India spent nuclear fuel and nuclear technology, not only to “bring tens of billions in business to the United States” but to also cement “a new partnership between the two nations to counter China’s rise.” [13] Yet Security Council resolution 1172 directs “all States to prevent the export of equipment, materials or technology that could in any way assist programs in India or Pakistan for nuclear weapons.” Hence, while the United States accuses China of violating a Security Council resolution by selling the North Koreans truck parts, Washington itself has cleared the way to export equipment, material and technology to India to assist its nuclear program in violation of a Security Council resolution. Canada, too, which is selling uranium to India, is violating the same Security Council resolution. [14]

There are, then, four sets of double-standards that mark the West’s reaction to North Korea’s satellite launch.

• North Korea was censured by the Security Council for launching a satellite as part of a civilian space program, but India escaped censure for launching a ballistic missile whose purpose would be to destroy Chinese cities. Both launches violated Security Council resolutions, but the Security Council and Western media ignore the resolution prohibiting India’s ballistic missile program.

• North Korea’s attempt to loft a satellite into space was reviled by Western media and presented as a threat, while India’s launch of a long-range missile capable of carrying a payload to wipe Chinese cities off the map merited few critical remarks.

• North Korea was rebuked for what was widely described as an extravagant expenditure on a rocket launch at a time Pyongyang is dependent on outside help to feed its people [15], while India’s widespread and profound poverty hardly seemed a consideration to a Western media that could find little critical to say about India’s expensive nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program.

• China has been criticized by the United States for selling truck parts to North Korea, presumably in violation of a Security Council resolution prohibiting sales of conventional military equipment to Pyongyang, while it has approved the sale of spent nuclear fuel and nuclear technology to India in violation of Security Council Resolution 1172.

India’s efforts to add to the credibility of its security and preparedness are accepted as legitimate by Western governments and media because they’re directed at China. Pyongyang’s efforts to add to the credibility of its security and preparedness are reviled and censured because they’re aimed at bolstering North Korea’s defense against hegemonic threats. India’s actions—insofar as they contribute to the United States’ new military strategic focus of containing the challenge of China’s rise—is in Wall Street’s interests. North Korea’s actions—in challenging the United States’ ability to forcibly integrate the country into the US-led neo-liberal world economic order—is against Wall Street’s interests. Accordingly, one rocket launch is condoned, the other condemned.

1. “India’s role in Asia-Pacific enormously important: US”, The Economic Times, April 17, 2012.
2. Simon Denyer, “India tests missile capable of reaching Beijing”, The Washington Post, April 19, 2012.
3. http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N98/158/60/PDF/N9815860.pdf?OpenElement
4. http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N06/572/07/PDF/N0657207.pdf?OpenElement
5. http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N09/368/49/PDF/N0936849.pdf?OpenElement
6. http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N12/295/91/PDF/N1229591.pdf?OpenElement
7. Bruce Cumings, Korea’s Place in the Sun: A Modern History, W.W. Norton & Company, 2005. 488-489.
8. The warning was issued by US Undersecretary of State John Bolton. The other country on the list was Iran, now subjected to economic warfare, assassinations, sabotage, incursions by US reconnaissance drones, attacks by proxy terrorist armies, destabilization and threats of military intervention by the United States, its invariable cobelligerent Britain, and Israel.
9. http://daccess-dds-ny.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N06/572/07/PDF/N0657207.pdf?OpenElement
10. Mark Landler, “Suspected sale by China stirs concern at White House”, The New York Times, April 20, 2012.
11. Similarly, Nato bombing campaigns notoriously broaden the definition of legitimate military targets to cover civilian infrastructure, including roads, bridges, TV and radio broadcasting facilities, factories and even farms.
12. The combined implication of the resolutions is that:

• North Korea cannot lawfully defend itself against the threat of nuclear attack;
• It cannot lawfully be sold conventional military equipment for self-defense;
• It cannot lawfully have a civilian space program.
13. Simon Denyer and Pama Lakshmi, “U.S.-India nuclear deal drifts dangerously”, The Washington Post, July 15, 2011.
14. Bill Curry, “Canada signs nuclear deal with India”, The Globe and Mail (Toronto), June 27, 2010.
15. Sanctions contribute heavily to North Korea’s food security problems.

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