North Korea and the Dangers of Nuclear War. The Demilitarization of the Korean Peninsula. Towards a Peace Agreement.

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by Prof Michel Chossudovsky, Global Research:

Fire and Fury” was not invented by Donald Trump. It is a concept deeply embedded in US military doctrine. It has characterized US military interventions since the end of World War II. 

What distinguishes Trump from his predecessors in the White House is his political narrative.  

We are nonetheless at a dangerous crossroads. Foreign policy miscalculation could lead to the unthinkable. Bear in mind that “MISTAKES” are often what determine the course of World History.

Insanity in US foreign policy, not to mention the fiction that nuclear weapons are an “instrument of peace” as formulated by the Trump administration could lead to the unthinkable. Decision-makers in high office believe in their own propaganda.

A Pre-emptive first strike US nuclear attack against North Korea could potentially precipitate a Third World War.

About-turn in January? President Trump not only confirmed his support for the North-South Pyeongchang inter-Korean dialogue, he also stated his resolve to establish a direct dialogue with Pyongyang. A few weeks later, this peace-making rhetoric was replaced by a new gush of military threats against the DPRK.

From a strategic point of view, the US is intent upon undermining the North-South dialogue. In recent developments, reported by the US media a “powerful military-intelligence faction within the Trump administration is pushing for a pre-emptive military strike on North Korea” to take place during or in the immediate wake of the Winter Olympics. 

The operation is labelled by Washington as a “bloody nose” attack consisting of a either a conventional or low yield tactical nuclear weapon attack against North Korean’s missile facilities. 

Even if nuclear weapons were not immediately used, the death toll in South Korea alone is estimated in the tens of thousands on the first day, in a conflict that could rapidly draw in nuclear-armed powers such as China and Russia.

Yet, such an act of recklessness and savagery is precisely what is being discussed, debated and prepared in the upper echelons of the White House and the US security-intelligence apparatus. Within top military-foreign policy circles, the advanced nature of the plans is so well known that it is generating fears and opposition. (Peter Symonds, Trump Considers “Bloody Nose” Strike on North Korea, wsws.org, February 6, 2018

The “bloody nose” is a “military concept” which is based on the notion that tactical nuclear weapons or mini-nukes are “harmless to civilians”, namely minimal collateral damage.

Meanwhile, the Winter Olympics have been accompanied by a process of inter-Korean dialogue and negotiation which is being boycotted by the US. What is at stake is a US led War against Peace.

The “More Usable “Peace-Making” Nuclear Bombs. The Mini-nukes

Trump’s 2018 Nuclear Posture Review is categorical in its resolve against North Korea. While the first strike pre-emptive nuclear doctrine was first formulated in 2001 under the Bush administration (NPR 2001 adopted by Senate in 2002), the 2018 NPR –which is coupled with a 1.2 trillion nuclear weapons program–, focusses on the development of  “more usable” low yield nuclear weapons on a first strike basis against both nuclear and non-nuclear states.

The “more usable” nuclear weapons pertain to the so-called mini-nukes (B61-11, B61-12) with an explosive capacity of one third to up to twelve times a Hiroshima bomb. These “more usable” nukes, i.e. bunker buster bombs with a nuclear warhead, are said to be “harmless to the surrounding civilian population, because the explosion is underground” according to “scientific opinion” on contract the the Pentagon.

It is worth noting that in the wake of the Olympics, large scale joint US-ROK war games are envisaged.

 There is a real danger that these  joint war games could evolve towards active warfare, particularly in view of the pressures exerted within the US military-intelligence establishment to proceed with the so-called “bloody nose” option.

America’s commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula as contained in the 2018 NPR is a smokescreen. The US has been threatening the Korean people with nuclear war for sixty seven years. The denuclearization of the Korean peninsula as formulated in the NPR is directed solely against the DPRK. It does not address the massive build-up of US nuclear capabilities.

It is worth noting, in this regard that the DPRK was the only nuclear weapons state which voted in favor of UN General Assembly resolution L.41 to convene negotiations on a “legally binding instrument to prohibit nuclear weapons, leading towards their total elimination”.

It is the more useable “peace making” bunker buster mini-nukes which may be contemplated under the “bloody nose” option for use against both North Korea and Iran.

Although the threats emanating from the US military-intelligence pertain to North Korea, under present circumstances, the Pentagon may choose to test the mini-nuke against a non-nuclear state.

The US historically has sought in major military operations to ensure that it’s close allies act on its behalf. Militarily the US  would not act alone against North Korea. In this regard, what is also at stake is the US-ROK Combined Forces Command (CFC) which puts all South Korean Forces under the command of the Pentagon rather than under the jurisdiction of president Moon.

The refusal of South Korea to engage in war games must be categorical; the repeal of the US-ROK Combined Forces Command (CFC) is crucial. Without the ROK’s military engagement, the chances of the US acting unilaterally are significantly reduced.

The Breakdown in Diplomatic Channels

We recall the  circumstances of the Cuban Missile Crisis, fifty-five years ago in October 1962.

What distinguishes October 1962 to today’s realities is that the leaders on both sides, namely John F. Kennedy and Nikita S. Khrushchev were accutely aware of the dangers of nuclear annihilation.

In contrast, president Donald Trump is misinformed regarding the dangers of nuclear war neither does he have concern in avoiding the massive killings of civilians: “We will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea” accusing Kim Jong-un, of being a “rocket man” on “a suicide mission.”

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