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:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
April 02, 2020
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
The Dark Secrets in the Fed’s Last Wall Street Bailout Are Getting a Devious Makeover in Today’s Bailout
Jason Hirthler
The Temple of Self-Gratification
Eve Ottenberg
Prisons are a COVID-19 Petri Dish
P. Sainath
What We Should Do About COVID-19
Rev. William Alberts
The Coronavirus Rained on Trump’s Easter Charade
Stephen Corry
It’s Time to Clean Ecofascism Out of Environmentalism
Binoy Kampmark
The Swedish Alternative: Coronavirus as a Grand Gamble
Rebecca Gordon
The Future May Be Female, But the Pandemic is Patriarchal
Thomas Knapp
By The Time We Notice We’re Hungry, It May Be Too Late
David Rovics
An Open Letter to My Landlord #CancelRent
Simone Chun
Appeal for Humanitarian Diplomacy in the Korean Peninsula
Liu Jian
How COVID-19 Changed Our Lives: a Report From Beijing
Dean Baker
The Return of Infrastructure Week
Mike Garrity
Alliance for the Wild Rockies Sues Feds to Stop a Project That Will Kill 72 Yellowstone Grizzly Bears in Wyoming’s Upper Green and Gros Ventre Rivers
Elliot Sperber
Plague Days
April 01, 2020
Steve Early - Suzanne Gordon
No Pandemic-Related Pause? VA Privatization Leaves Veterans Waist Deep in Another Big Muddy 
Kenneth Surin
The UK and Covid-19 Crisis
Jack Wareham - Dylan Burgoon
“Whose University? Our University!” The Struggle for a COLA at UC Berkeley
Erik Molvar
Oil industry Exploits Pandemic as Excuse to Dodge Federal Regulations, Fees
Robert Jensen
Apocalypse, Now and Forever
Jake Johnston – Kira Paulemon
COVID-19 in Haiti: the Current Response and Challenges
Jen Moore
Guatemalan Water Protectors Persist, Despite Mining Company Threats
Danny Shaw
“The Coronavirus is Man-Made:” the Conspiracy Theory Trap 
Nafeez Ahmed
Former WHO Director: 8-Week Suppression Strategy Could Stop US COVID Crisis in Its Tracks
Frances Madeson
Death Camps in the Making: New York’s Prisons During a Time of Pandemic
Clark T. Scott
The White House and the CDC are United in Stupidity
George Ochenski
What Does COVID-19 Have to Do With Industrial Pollution?
Norman Solomon
Trump’s Mass Negligent Homicide Doesn’t Let Democratic Leaders Off the Hook
Scott Owen
Another New Peace
Elizabeth Schmidt
Lessons From Africa: Military Intervention Fails to Counter Terrorism
Greta Anderson
What’s the Hang Up on Releasing Adult Lobos?
Ted Rall
The Speech Trump Must But Cannot Give
Marshall Sahlins
Trumpty’s Country
March 31, 2020
Jonathan Cook
Netanyahu Uses Coronavirus to Lure Rival Gantz into ‘Emergency’ Government
Vijay Prashad, Du Xiaojun – Weiyan Zhu
Growing Xenophobia Against China in the Midst of CoronaShock
Patrick Cockburn
Trump’s Chernobyl Moment: the US May Lose Its Status as World Superpower and Not Recover
Roger Harris
Beyond Chutzpah: US Charges Venezuela With Nacro-Terrorism
M. K. Bhadrakumar
Has America Reached Its Endgame in Afghanistan?
Thomas Klikauer
COVID-19 in Germany: Explaining a Low Death Rate
Dave Lindorff
We’ve Met the Enemy and It’s a Tiny Virus
Binoy Kampmark
Barbaric Decisions: Coronavirus, Refusing Bail and Julian Assange
Nicolas J S Davies
Why is the U.S. so Exceptionally Vulnerable to Covid-19?
James Bovard
The Deep State’s Demolition of Democracy
Michael Doliner
Face Off: the Problem With Social Distancing
John Feffer
The Politics of COVID-19
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail