- by Seamus Carey
- The Guardian
- Issue #1955
In mid-March, Reuters – followed immediately by CNN and other western media outlets – ran a story stating that “a senior Biden administration official” told them that “North Korea has not responded to behind-the-scenes diplomatic outreach since mid-February by President Joe Biden’s administration.”
The Reuters article describes the official’s 13th March “disclosure” as offered “on condition of anonymity,” conjuring an image of this event as a secretive leak that the Biden administration has no interest in publicising.
The context in which this “disclosure” occurred reveals this appearance to be an obvious and deliberate falsification.
Less than a week earlier, on the 8th of March, the United States and South Korean militaries began their twice-yearly joint military exercises. These exercises are regarded by the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) as a provocative act of the highest magnitude, a rehearsal for invasion.
Furthermore, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin arrived in South Korea on the 17th of March for talks with South Korean officials, having just come from similar talks in Japan. This tour and the fact that the issue of “hostile North Korea” was high on the agenda received wide publicity.
The impression propagated by the media monopolies cannot be anything but a conscious, manipulative fabrication, another demonstration (if any more were needed) that these media outlets, which love to call themselves trusted and reputable, are willing stooges for the designs of the US government. It is quite clear that US officials wanted this news out, but wanted to make themselves look the earnest and honourable side, making honest efforts to reach out but receiving an apparently arbitrary and rude silence. The facts show that this is a disgustingly extreme misrepresentation.
The US has a history of nothing but broken promises to the DPRK. In 1994, the two countries signed an “Agreed Framework” that included the DPRK’s commitment to complete denuclearisation, including dismantling their nuclear energy program, in exchange for the US providing two light water reactors as compensation for the nuclear reactors, making a formal assurance against use of nuclear weapons against the DPRK, and normalising political and trade relations.
The DPRK followed the framework and ceased its nuclear program, and allowed American nuclear engineers in the country to monitor until 2002, the year when George Bush named the DPRK part of the “Axis of Evil.” By that time, the US had still failed to make any effort to provide the promised light water reactors, refused to make any commitment to not using nuclear weapons against the DPRK, and continued its campaign of sanctions and diplomatic hostility. It was clear that the US, in its arrogance and hypocrisy, had expected that the DPRK government would fall before anyone noticed. After almost a decade of patience, the DPRK declared the agreement a dead letter.
Trump’s more recent promises to the DPRK were of yet less substance, but even those were completely broken. The “Joint Statement” between Trump and now-General Secretary Kim Jong Un included a reaffirmation of the 2018 Panmunjom Declaration with South Korea, which included commitment to “cease all hostile acts” and move towards the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula – which must include the absence of American nuclear weapons.
However, the US has continued with its hostile acts in full, including the military drills, economic blockade, and refusing to rule out pre-emptive nuclear strike or the stationing of American nuclear weapons in South Korea. Trump also chose to re-include the DPRK on the farcical US list of state sponsors of terrorism, without even claiming to have any evidence whatsoever to back it up.
Biden has not done a single thing to change this course. The US, the same country that bombed Korea to the ground and killed millions, and continues to try to starve them through sanctions, has no right to expect dialogue if it persists in making demands while refusing to abstain from its hostile acts.