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Biden must end sanctions against North Korea — and finally end the Korean War

Biden Must End Sanctions Against North Korea — and Finally End the Korean War  Simone ChunTruthout 21 May 21,
Noam Chomsky recently argued that the Biden administration’s foreign policy remains committed to maintaining U.S. global hegemony through sanctions and nuclear weapons. Nowhere else in the world is this more evident than in the Korean Peninsula, where the U.S. is pressuring its “ally” South Korea into the front lines of a long-simmering confrontation with China, and where a nuclear standoff between the U.S. and an increasingly isolated North Korea remains a real possibility.

On the early morning of May 13, residents of the central farm town of Seongju, South Korea, joined in protest against the deployment of the latest battery of the U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system in their backyard. Chained together to form a human barrier, they physically blocked the road to the nearby U.S. base. Two thousand South Korean police forcibly dispersed them — the second time in a month they had clashed with residents protesting the missile system — injuring dozens, including women and elderly farmers.

In the wake of the ensuing public relations fiasco, South Korea’s Defense Minister reportedly admitted that the forcible removal of the villagers blocking the base was in response to a request by U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III. The South Korean government had hoped that acceding to Austin’s request would help secure President Joe Biden’s support for resuming the inter-Korean peace process.

The timing of this incident, just a week before South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s planned May 21 visit to Washington for his first summit with Biden, may foreshadow what is to come. Moon believes it is time to take action on North Korea, and is expected to press Biden to engage in diplomacy with Pyongyang. Nevertheless, in spite of the fact that the stalled denuclearization talks with the North are expected to top the summit’s agenda, odds of a breakthrough at this point seems slim.

Biden will likely tout the U.S.-South Korea alliance, which is the cornerstone of U.S. regional containment policy, and whose framework, according to historian Bruce Cumings, is based on two pillars: isolating North Korea from the rest of the world while pressuring South Korea to serve as a forward base for the U.S.’s ongoing East Asian operations. This “alliance” reduces South Korea to the status of an occupied frontline outpost, saddling it with the burgeoning cost of supporting the massive U.S. military presence on its soil, depriving it of the authority to craft independent state policy and subordinating its military to U.S. command in the event of conflict. Framed by the neocolonial subtext that favors maintenance of this one-sided status quo, inter-Korean diplomacy is dismissed as a high-risk endeavor, leaving the two Koreas in a state of perpetual war.

……….. Biden’s policy amounts to little more than a repackaging of the failed approaches of previous U.S. administrations toward Pyongyang. There has been no mention of security guarantees for North Korea, implementing a peace treaty to end the 70-year-old war or reassessing sanctions that primarily target the civilian sector

In fact, in spite of North Korea’s unilateral 2018 moratorium suspending nuclear weapons tests, Washington has not only refused to reciprocate, but has added hundreds of more brutal sanctions against the North……………

May 22, 2021 - Posted by | politics international, USA

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