FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Dangerous Times: North Korea, China and the Threat of Nuclear War and Accident

Photo by MAPW Australia | CC BY 2.0

The US continues to provoke North Korea with military exercises near its borders. It also fails to live up to diplomatic agreements. Western media continue to distort the chronology of cause and effect, inverting reality to claim that North Korea is provoking the West. John Pilger (The Coming War on China) talks to T.J. Coles about the situation.

This interview contains material from our book, Voices for Peace: War, Resistance and America’s Quest for Full-Spectrum Dominance—an edited collection of original works by Pilger, as well as Noam Chomsky, Cynthia McKinney, Ilan Pappé and other leading activists and scholars (Clairview Books, 2017).

TJC: What is the threat from North Korea?

JP: The threat is from the United States, which for more than two generations has bullied and provoked North Korea while denying Koreans a treaty that would finally ended their civil war and open up numerous possibilities, including reunification. The one pause in this warmongering campaign, during the 1990s, demonstrated that negotiations can “work,” regardless of what Trump says.

In 1992, the North and South signed the Declaration of Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, what was called “An Agreed Framework” was established and resulted in a suspension of North Korea’s nuclear programmes in exchange for a US agreement to build two nuclear reactors within the terms of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

George W. Bush tore this up in 2002.

Then there were Six-Party Talks in Beijing. Today, China and Russia have said that if the US and South Korea cease their provocative military exercises—which include regime change—North Korea will stop firing its missiles. Will the Trump administration agree to this?

How do you assess Trump’s China policy, as opposed to Obama’s?

There isn’t a real difference. Obama – urged on by his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – initiated the so-called Pivot to Asia, which set the hare running of a US confrontation with China. Trump has continued this. He has, however, hosted the Chinese president and said what a great guy he is, whatever that’s worth.

Trump’s subsequent histrionics over North Korea over its provocative tests have made real the possibility of miscalculation. This is a dangerous time.

Do you see much chance of a trade war between the US and China?

No. Their interdependence has never been greater. Trump’s election campaign threat to impose 40 per cent tariffs on certain Chinese imports came to nothing.  Again, the real threat is a mistaken or accidental missile launch on China — for example, from the US’s newly-installed THAAD ‘defence system’ in South Korea. The unspoken issue is the Pentagon, which has had unprecedented power in Washington since 9/11 especially since Obama’s presidency.

More articles by:

March 21, 2019
Daniel Warner
And Now Algeria
Renee Parsons
The Supreme Court and Dual Citizenship
Eric Draitser
On Ilhan Omar, Assad Fetishism, and the Danger of Red-Brown “Anti-Imperialism”
Elizabeth Keyes
Broadway’s “Hamilton” and the Willing Suspension of Reality-Based Moral Consciousness
David Underhill
Optional Fatherhood Liberates Christians From Abortion Jihad
Nick Pemberton
Is Kamala Harris the Centrist We Need?
Dean Baker
The Wall Street Bailouts, Bernie and the Washington Post
Russell Mokhiber
The Boeing Blackout
William Astore
America’s Senior Generals Find No Exits From Endless War
Jeff Hauser – Eleanor Eagan
Boeing Debacle Shows Need to Investigate Trump-era Corruption
Ramzy Baroud
Uniting Fatah, Not Palestinians: The Dubious Role of Mohammed Shtayyeh
Nick Licata
All Southern States are Not the Same: Mississippi’s Challenge
Jesse Jackson
Trump’s Sly Encouragement of Lawless Violence
Cesar Chelala
Public Health Challenges in Latin America and the Caribbean
March 20, 2019
T.J. Coles
Countdown to “Full Spectrum Dominance”
W. T. Whitney
Re-Targeting Cuba: Why Title III of U.S. Helms-Burton Act will be a Horror Show
Kenneth Surin
Ukania’s Great Privatization Heist
Howard Lisnoff
“Say It Ain’t So, Joe:” the Latest Neoliberal from the War and Wall Street Party
Walter Clemens
Jailed Birds of a Feather May Sing Together
George Ochenski
Failing Students on Climate Change
Cesar Chelala
The Sweet Smell of Madeleine
Binoy Kampmark
Global Kids Strike
Nicky Reid
Where Have All the Flowers Gone?: Requiem for a Fictional Party
Elliot Sperber
Empedocles and You and Me 
March 19, 2019
Paul Street
Socialism Curiously Trumps Fascism in U.S. Political Threat Reporting
Jonah Raskin
Guy Standing on Anxiety, Anger and Alienation: an Interview About “The Precariat”
Patrick Cockburn
The Brutal Legacy of Bloody Sunday is a Powerful Warning to Those Hoping to Save Brexit
Robert Fisk
Turning Algeria Into a Necrocracy
John Steppling
Day of Wrath
Robin Philpot
Truth, Freedom and Peace Will Prevail in Rwanda
Victor Grossman
Women Marchers and Absentees
Binoy Kampmark
The Dangers of Values: Brenton Tarrant, Fraser Anning and the Christchurch Shootings
Jeff Sher
Let Big Pharma Build the Wall
Jimmy Centeno
Venezuela Beneath the Skin of Imperialism
Jeffrey Sommers – Christopher Fons
Scott Walker’s Failure, Progressive Wisconsin’s Win: Milwaukee’s 2020 Democratic Party Convention
Steve Early
Time for Change at NewsGuild?
March 18, 2019
Scott Poynting
Terrorism Has No Religion
Ipek S. Burnett
Black Lives on Trial
John Feffer
The World’s Most Dangerous Divide
Paul Cochrane
On the Ground in Venezuela vs. the Media Spectacle
Dean Baker
The Fed and the 3.8 Percent Unemployment Rate
Thomas Knapp
Social Media Companies “Struggle” to Help Censors Keep us in the Dark
Binoy Kampmark
Death in New Zealand: The Christchurch Shootings
Mark Weisbrot
The Reality Behind Trump’s Venezuela Regime Change Coalition
Weekend Edition
March 15, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
Is Ilhan Omar Wrong…About Anything?
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail