People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Vol. XXX

No. 12

March 19, 2006

Bush And His ‘Axis Of Evil’: The Case Of Korea

 Suneet Chopra


THE occupation of Iraq by a war with no sanction from the ‘international community’ but rather, from a set of what can at best be described as ‘gangster states’, the threats of similar gangster-like actions against Iran and the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea and the carrot and stick policy being pursued with regard to India, are all part of a three pronged strategy of US imperialism to get a foothold on Asia to subjugate it. The points to pincer are West, South and East Asia.


Already in West Asia, we have an ‘illegal’ nuclear state – Israel – which, in alliance with the USA, has for the last four decades been expanding its territory at the cost of neighbouring Arab states and resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. Similarly, in South Asia we have Pakistan a state ruled by a general which also evolved its nuclear capability by ‘illegal’ means. Not only is it the closest US ally in South Asia, for which its people have suffered many coups and bouts of army rule, even leading to its break-up, but it is being consistently used to browbeat the Indian elite to toe the American line or face closer US-Pakistan relations. In both these regions the nuclear capability of these states was achieved with US connivance if not direct support, so one can hardly be expected to believe its anti-nuclear sentiments in the case of its diatribes against Iran and the DPRK.




The truth lies elsewhere. It is in the three pronged strategy to subjugate Asia. Iraq, Korea and the Indian sub-continent have always been part of its strategy as they are today. As far back as November 1943, at the Tehran Conference of the Allied powers, president Roosevelt insisted on US trusteeship of Korea for a period of forty years. The suggestion was rejected. Again, at the Yalta conference in February 1945, the US stated that it would be necessary to put Korea under 20 or 30 years of trusteeship to “cultivate the ability of the Koreans for self government”. The suggestion was ludicrous as the Koreans had already led a long struggle against Japanese imperialism for self-government which the US now wanted to thwart. So it was no surprise that the suggestion was rejected.


The truth behind the US effort was obvious from Report No 4849 of the Information and Investigation Bureau of the US State Department of January 28, 1949. It stated: “In view of the strategic position held by Korea in north east Asia, establishment of control over Korea and her people…will considerably strengthen our country”. This should remind one that the imperialist ruling classes have no strategic allies, they have only their own class interest which they put forward as the national interest of their people and the global interest of the international community. The extent to which the USA was prepared to serve these interests should be a lesson to all who are keen to cosy up to them even today.


At the end of World War II, when the Korean Peoples Revolutionary Army swept into the country on a wave of popular support, the US commander of the Eastern Front sent a telegram to his Japanese fascist counterpart still occupying South Korea, Abe Nobuyuki, on August 20, 1945, stating that they “should maintain public peace in South Korea entirely on their own responsibility”. No one else was allowed to maintain it, least of all the peoples committees that had come up all over the country. And if they did, they would be punished. So the fascist administration imposed on the Koreans by Japan automatically became the “peace keepers” of the US in Korea.


Nor were their only allies the Japanese fascists. The USA stretched out its hand of friendship to all those Koreans who had profited from years of enslaving their own people under Japanese colonialism. On September 7, 1945 the US occupation of South Korea began with 45000 US troops landing at Inchon. Military rule was imposed and its first declarations were to preserve the wealth and property of those who had been the mainstay of Japanese colonialism: the landlords and industrialists who collaborated with colonial rule. Their property and wealth was declared sacrosanct by military decree. Political activity was forbidden. English was enforced as the official language and death penalties enforceable by a “Military Occupation Court” were instituted. On September 9, the US General Hodges entered Seoul and took over the Japanese fascist administration as his own, dissolving the peoples committees that had emerged all over the country in the process of liberation. This indeed was a strange lesson in democracy.


By involving former fascists, criminals and anti-national elements in suppressing their own people, a predatory armed force of the worst elements of Korean society was created. On June 5, 1950, just twenty days before the Korean war began the US General Roberts boasted: “My military Advisory Group is a living demonstration of how an intelligent and intensive investment of 5000 combat-hardened American officers and men can train 100,000 men who will do the shooting for you”. If they were hardened criminals, so much the better.


He ought to have known, as he master-minded every action of cross-border terrorism at which the US have shown themselves to be adept in a number of wars since then. In 1947 alone there were 270 such instances against the North which peaked to 2617 by the end of 1949, after the foundation of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea in September 1948. Clearly, these were the preparations for a final assault on June 25, 1950.


Even the time of the invasion was fraught with fraud. As General Roberts reported to the puppet South Korean leader Syngman Rhee, “Why should we appoint June 25 as the D-day of the Korean war? Because that day is Sunday. Sunday is the Sabbath to Christian countries like USA and South Korea. Nobody can believe that we would launch a war on Sunday. And so, they will be convinced of our innocence.” A massive attack was launched, but after an initial set-back, the forces of the DPRK took Seoul itself on June 28, 1950.




Moreover, the USA launched a massive attack on the people of South Korea, itself arresting no less than 118,621 persons according to the report of the UN Commission on Korea of September 5, 1950. Worse, the UN was also brought into the war with another fraud. According to a report of the Head of the Far Eastern Section of the British Intelligence Bureau: “The verdict of guilty given against the DPRK was based on the telegram sent by the UN Commission in Seoul which said that there was no evidence as to which side had launched the attack”. From a perusal of these events it is evident that the strident campaign of “weapons of mass destruction” in Iraq or nuclear arms production being attempted by Iran and Korea are of the same order of fraud. There is no reason to believe them now.


The war was fought with all the brutality that imperialism could trump up. In this war, the US imperialist camp lost over 1,567,000 men, including 405,000 US soldiers, 12,200 aircraft and over 3250 tanks, over double the losses they had incurred in the whole Pacific War. And what was worse for them, they lost the war. Although the Korean people and their allies from socialist states faced incredible barbarity and even greater human losses, they fought to win and won. The Korean War was the first war of over 110 wars the USA fought that they lost. And after that they lost more wars. But it was the Korean people who brought home the message to the world that the US was not invincible. That is why Bush spares no lies, however far-fetched, to isolate and destroy the DPRK. Today the US army presence in Korea, with the world’s largest concentration of nuclear warheads stationed there, has made it a global flashpoint for conflict. It is the US nuclear presence in the Korean Peninsula that should be questioned, not the nuclear possibility of the DPRK.




The DPRK, on the other hand, has consistently sought to defuse the situation and ensure the peaceful reunification of North and South Korea with the aim of restoring stability once more in East Asia by sending back the US army of occupation and their nuclear warheads with them. Surely this would be the first condition for the de-nuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. This is a condition US imperialism is unwilling to comply with. That is why tension exists in the area. And the Bush administration has made the situation worse with its lies and manoeuvres.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            But the growing public opinion in South Korea is also not helping the US design. Not unnaturally, it is for the peaceful reunification and the recall of US troops from Korea. This has reflected itself in the election of president Roh, a human rights lawyer whose father was a simple chicken farmer, defeating the other contestant, Li, who was an heir to the Hyundai multinational. To check this trend the US has been forced to talk to the DPRK which it had refused to do before, and enter six-party talks to restore peace and stability in Korea. But false accusations of “counterfeiting” and laundering money, drug peddling and kidnapping, each one more far-fetched than the last, shows one that US imperialism is only looking for an excuse to defraud the international community to support its effort to bring Korea under the yoke of US imperialism at any cost both to the Korean people and the US armed forces. They lost the war in 1953. They cannot win now.


They are more likely to lose yet another war if they take on the DPRK today. The US could not get UN support for its war in Iraq, such support is even less likely for a war against Korea. But that will not prevent it from trying to do so at great cost to human lives as a result of unilateral and illegal sanctions as it has done for decades against Cuba. This should not be allowed to happen. The force of the people of the world on the streets must expose the nefarious designs of US imperialism and defeat them.


The government of India is being cajoled into agreeing to a “strategic partnership” by a rogue regime. The people of India must let the government of India know what they think of Bush and his strategy of world domination. The Indian parliament and mass protests, even when the NDA regime was in power, prevented them from joining in the US war effort in Iraq. Today more than ever we have to prevent the UPA government at the centre from kowtowing to US strategic interests in Asia as they are sought to be achieved at the cost of the sovereignty and independence of Asian states and of Asian lives. The people of India have already come forward and let the government know that they do not support its policies furthering the interests of US imperialism. They also demand a change in these policies, in keeping with our interest as a sovereign state of Asia and our non-aligned past, now under attack by the US imperialist onslaught. There is nothing “enlightened” about selling one’s country to a band of known international robbers and scamsters. Enlightenment requires we expose them and drive them out of Asia. That is what Indian foreign policy ought to be geared to, and we, the people, must assert our sovereign right in the Indian constitution to do so. This requires we pressurise our government to demand that the US troops stationed in Korea and their nuclear weapons be withdrawn immediately to ensure the peaceful reunification of Korea as its people desire.