PSPD in English Archive 2002-08-24   957

Bush’s Visit to Korea and Peace for Korean People

As the president Bush referred North Korea as “axis of evil,” the relation between North Korea and the United States has worsened that it was very close to an outbreak of war at a certain point. Though Powell, the secretary of state, announced that there is no plan to have war against North Korea, it is still too early to feel relieved because the U.S. will keep saying about North Korea’s mass-destroying arms. Like people say that Korea catches flu when the U.S. coughs, their notion of ‘axis of evil’ made the entire Korean Peninsula seized by panic. The notion of ‘axis of evil’ aims at Pax Americana and is like making a reservation for a war in Korean Peninsula.

Bush’s visit to Korea takes place in the midst of this contradiction where peace for the U.S. assumes a war in Korean Peninsula. Most of all, the most serious contradiction is this: The threat that the U.S. will attack North Korea first is indeed a terror. However, they are considering a war against North Korea in the name of anti-terror.

The president Bush sells high-tech arms to South Korea and, at the same time, demands North Korea to reduce their conventional-style arms. He is indeed a two-faced ‘Merchant of Death.’

The hottest issue for this summit meeting between South Korea and the U.S. is how to deal with Bush’s policy on expanding the war and South Korean government’s sunshine policy at the same time. Even if the policy of Bush did not get in the way of the sunshine policy, it has already been titular. If the things get worse with the hardliners of the U.S. who affirms the North Korea is axis of evil and the conservatives of South Korea who are hostile to North Korea, a war in Korean Peninsula could take place in any minute. If that is the case, those who are for the conservative and cold-war scheme will do anything to elect someone they like as the next president in the election in coming December.

For the well-being of Korea this year, successful elections -local autonomy election in June and presidential election in December- and the World Cup games that are free from the threat of war are depending on the Kim Dae Jung Government. To prevent war in Korean Peninsula President Kim needs to face Bush, without mumbling about the sunshine policy. I hope the president Kim stops once and for all the Bush’ intention to make more profit for his country. To control the level of crisis, Bush sits in the middle of a seesaw that has “dialogue” and “war” on each side. I request President Kim to refuse the U.S. who is pressing us that we need to purchase their F-15K for the price of sunshine policy being supported by them. For he sells high-tech arms to the South and demands the North to reduce their conventional weaponry, I would like our president to reprimand Bush, the two-faced Merchant of Death.

It is very possible that President Bush will persuade us, while intentionally mentioning about what the mass-destroying arms of the North is capable of, to participate in an expansions of armaments for pincer attack such as Missile Defense system.

The president Bush must be criticized for swaying our government to use our tax, people’s sweat and blood, to purchase enormous amount of their weaponry to knock down North Korea. It is unfair enough that in times of war we do not have the right to supervise the very arms that have cost money from everyone’s pocket. Moreover, it is a double treachery to have to participate in war with our own arms supervised by the United States who wish to sweep North Korea off. Some anti-Korean and blind pro-American politicians who applaud the belligerent foreign policy of Bush in this circumstance are indeed to be judged as ‘axis of evil.’

The reason for which Korean civil society criticizes and stands against belligerent Bush’ s visit to Korea is that his policy to expand the war threatens Korean people’s right to live and at the same time is against the reunification. War still echoes in the air because the U.S. is attached with their attempts to apply their winning model in Afghanistan to North Korea. If an accidental collision occurs now in DMZ, it could soon develop into an uncontrollable situation. This is another reason Korean people are against Bush’s belligerent policy on Korean Peninsula.

Insensitiveness to War brings insensitiveness to peace

Against Bush’s visit to Korea, lined up numbers of statements announced to affirm that there is no more war in Korean Peninsula. Right. There should be an end to the history of wars taken place by foreign supremacy and against our people’s will. To prevent at least another Nogeunri massacre, cause of war should be uprooted.

A war in Korean Peninsular could be only a matter of foreign policy. For us Koreans, however, it is whether our people fall altogether or not. It is tragic for us that on this urgent issue the President Bush holds the right to make final decision and power of life and death over our people.

Therefore, to end the tragedy of our people facing the risk of war, we need to reestablish the alliance between us and the United States. First of all, we cannot help but asking the U.S. if this is a blood alliance where plans for war, which might cause the fall of Koreans, are thoroughly considered without a single word of discussion with Korean government. True alliance would not throw kindling of war, but help unification of Korean Peninsula. If the alliance between Korea and the U.S. cannot be the foundation for peaceful reunification of Korean Peninsula, it is to be abolished.

Furthermore, there is nothing more serious than the fact that Korean government, deluded by the idea of alliance relationship, does not act as deterrent to the war plans of the U.S. The right to operate in times of war is to the U.S. As a result, the U.S. decides whether to have war or not as it will! For this reason, I would like to request leaders of Korea to reflect on themselves. Grassroots are afraid of the possible war, but there are no attempts of politicians to remove the cause. It is lamentable that both the ruling party and opposition party are only trying to please the U.S.

In addition, I would like to point out that the Korean government is blindfolded by the myth that the U.S. armed forces are war deterrent. Our government does not have countermeasures for current circumstances. People who perceive the current of international politics feel insecure because the Sunshine Policy of the government does not perform well as a war deterrent. On the other hand, considerable number of people in Korea is insensitive to war that they are carefree enough to think that war is hardly going to take place. It seems that they suppose the U.S. will protect them to the end in case of war. But would it be the case? War-fanatic Bush would not dare to commit a war in Korean Peninsula to promote benefit of his country and their own capitalism? Is the U.S. armed force in Korea still war deterrent? There is no possibility of the U.S. armed force to start a war here? Can we mortgage our life to them? Surely we Koreans have not mortgaged the life of our people to them?

The bellicose power of the United States dreams a second Korean War and wants to keep wealth of their country and life of the their military. Without realizing this, there is no way to get out of war insensitiveness to prevent another war. Insensitiveness to war brings forth insensitiveness to peace. Public awareness so strongly affected by war syndrome needs to be corrected to eliminate the insensitiveness to peace. Let us all become ‘peace keepers,’ ‘human shields against war,’ to safeguard arrows of “war against the terror” thrown at the North Koreans.

Kim Seungkuk (Peace Activist, Ph.D.)

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