The cause of the tension on the Korean Peninsula: a North Korean perspective

N. Korean researcher argues that the DPRK was forced to pursue a nuclear program by U.S. hostility

Kim Kwang Hak
April 7th, 2017

This article was contributed to NK News by the DPRK’s Institute of American Studies under the country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. While it has been edited for content and to conform with most aspects of NK News style, the North Korean state media custom of lower-casing the first letters in “north” and “south” Korea – reflecting the view that they are legitimately one nation – has been maintained. 

Throughout the centuries the Korean Peninsula has been drawn to a vortex of the vicious cycle of the escalation of the tension year after year.

There surely exists a problem on the Korean Peninsula, which has drawn the attentions and interests of the world and also made a number of politicians, policymakers and experts argue over the “solutions” for some decades.

The dominant viewpoint of most experts on Korean affairs is that the “the Korean Peninsula Issue is the North Korean Nuclear Issue” and the prospect of its solution seems vague like a “chicken and egg story”.

They are “differentiating” the Korean Peninsula by asserting that there should never be nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula and the possession of the nuclear weapons by the DPRK invites more tension on the Korean Peninsula.

In other words, those assertions are based on the logic that there is no problem with thousands of nuclear weapons and the delivery systems possessed by the existing nuclear powers and with those deployed in the place where the nuclear powers have interests in, while the nuclear weapons possessed by the DPRK for the purpose of the self-defense should never be allowed.

I have questions for those who look like setting great value on the “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” by “enthusiastically asserting” that “there should not be nuclear weapons on the Korean Peninsula under no circumstances”.

Why are you turning blind eyes to the fact that the U.S. frequently introduces the nuclear assets, including the nuclear aircraft carriers, nuclear strategic bombers, nuclear submarines into the vicinity of the Korean Peninsula, while not satisfied by the fact that they had already deployed more than 1,000 nuclear weapons of the various kinds in south Korea during the Cold War?

Why are you keeping silence on the fact that south Korea is under the “nuclear umbrella” provided by the U.S.?

Why could you not say a “flat No” to the U.S., the one which is most loudly talking about the keeping of the “nuclear non-proliferation system” and the observation of the international law, is turning the blind eye to the nuclear weapons and the test-fire of the ICBM of the countries in which it has interests, and to the fact that the U.S. committed the brutal armed aggression upon the countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya in defiance of the international law?

The calls of the U.S. and some nuclear weapon states for the “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” are absolutely based on their sinister aims and interests, far from defending peace and security on the Korean Peninsula.

The problem with the Korean Peninsula has nothing to do with the possession of the nuclear weapons by the DPRK.

The problem with the Korean Peninsula is none other than the issue of the decades-long hostile policy towards the DPRK pursued by the U.S., the so-called “sole superpower” and the biggest nuclear power, which drove a nonnuclear country to go nuclear in order to safeguard its sovereignty, dignity and the right to existence.  

The U.S. hostile policy towards the DPRK had been initiated since it never recognized the sovereignty of the DPRK from the very first days of its founding, and it had been further consolidated into the unprecedented political, economic and military pressures which had been lasting for more than half a century.

In other words, it is the U.S., not the DPRK, which took first in pursuing the hostile policy, and that policy generated the Korean Peninsula Issue which was extended to the breakout of the nuclear issue.

The “achievements” performed by the U.S. on the Korean Peninsula, who likes to portray itself as the “Guardian of the world peace and stability”, are none other than the division of the territory, invitation of the irreparable misfortunes of the war, and making the Korean nation, an homogenous nation which shared the same blood and lead a harmonious life from the ancient times to be hostile against each other and engage in the fratricidal war.

At the same time, the U.S. had deployed number of nuclear weapons in south Korea and pursued the hostile policy by resorting to the constant nuclear blackmailing and threats, economic sanctions for the past several decades, thus it gravely threatened the sovereignty and right to existence of the DPRK constantly.

The U.S. pursued the hostile policy towards the DPRK, neither because the DPRK threatened the security of the U.S. nor did a great deal of harm to it.

The ridiculous “reasons” for the pursuit of that policy are the fact that the ideology and system of the DPRK differ from those of the U.S., and the DPRK does not obey the U.S. and furthermore the DPRK could be an obstacle in realizing its strategy to dominate the Asian region.

The U.S. hostility towards the DPRK is not a simple hostility because it is based on the inveterate sense of rejection to seek the criminal purpose of obliterating the DPRK by all means.

The U.S. hostility towards the DPRK has been pursued by the most vicious means, not by the simple means of sanctions or military threats; the U.S. has completely blocked the air, ground and sea of the DPRK to stifle it and at the same time the U.S. has posed a direct threat against it with thousands of nuclear weapons to directly threaten the right to existence.

If you want to solve the problem, you should have a clear understanding of the root cause of it.

The root cause of the escalation of the tension on the Korean Peninsula lies in the fact that the U.S. has been pursuing the hostile policy towards the DRPK.

The root cause of the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula lies in the fact that the U.S. gravely threatens the sovereignty and right to existence of the DPRK with the nuclear weapons by deploying them in south Korea.

It is crystal clear that the DPRK could not afford to focus on developing its economy under the current situation where the biggest nuclear power is steeped in threatening and blackmailing the DPRK, of which population and the depth are not so great, by continuously introducing the nuclear assets for more than half a century.

We can only expect the development and the future as long as we survive.

It is preposterous to talk about the peace, development, and prosperity under the grave situation where the right to existence is severely threatened.

The powers, regarding that the nuclear weapons play an important role in achieving their political and military goals, abused the successes of the latest science and technology to develop the nuclear weapons and hastened the increase of their nuclear arsenal in quality and quantity in the past.

Even now, the nuclear weapons states justify their possession of the nuclear weapons by asserting that the defending of the domestic and international peace and stability and the prevention of the conflicts could be mainly ensured by the possession of the nuclear weapons.

The purposes of the possession of the nuclear weapons can be divided into 2 kinds: one is to assume the hegemony by means of the nuclear blackmails and threats, while the other is to neutralize this kind of threats and to defend itself.

The first one means the nuclear possession of the injustice and the second one can be interpreted as the one of justice.

The DPRK had no ambition to go nuclear. Its possession of the nuclear weapons can be interpreted as of the justice, because it had inevitably possessed the nuclear weapons in order to defend its right to existence and the sovereignty against the constant nuclear threats from the US.

The DPRK had never threatened the world with the nuclear weapons, and moreover it had never practically used them like the U.S.

From the first, the DPRK’s standpoint was no nuclear and anti-nuclear.

The DPRK came out with several proposals to create the nuclear-free and peaceful zone on the Korean Peninsula and made sincere efforts to realize it, for example through the DPRK Government Statement dated June 23, 1986 and the DPRK MFA Statement dated July 30, 1991.

In the past, the DPRK tried to eliminate the ever increasing nuclear threats of the U.S. through the means of negotiations and dialogues, and the international law.

However, all these efforts were met by the open hostility and military threats from the U.S., including designation of the DPRK as the “axis of evil”, “rogue nation”, “outpost of tyranny” and “the target of the nuclear preemptive strikes” etc.

All the efforts through the dialogues and international laws went to nothing and the DPRK had become more exposed to the biggest-ever nuclear threats of the nuclear superpower.

Under this situation, the only option left for the DPRK was to resist “nukes with nukes.”

The nuclear deterrent forces of the DPRK are not intended to threaten others for no good reason.

Furthermore, it is not the bargaining chip with which the DPRK intimidates someone in order to obtain economic assistance, the respect for its system and guarantee for its security.

The DPRK had no ambition to go nuclear

The mighty nuclear deterrent forces of the DPRK are the nuclear treasured sword of justice with which the DPRK defends its sovereignty and right to existence of the people against the ever increasing hostile policy and nuclear threats of the U.S..

The issue on the Korean Peninsula is the issue of the hostile policy caused by the anachronistic hostile policy and the nuclear threats of the U.S. towards the DPRK, far from the “nuclear issue” of someone.

The prospect of its solution depends on whether those kinds of policy could be withdrawn or not.

The U.S. hostile policy towards the DPRK is an extremely dangerous and unwarranted policy that completely undermines the right to existence of tens of millions of the Korean nation and further peace and security in the rest of the northeast Asian region and the world at large.

Firstly, the U.S. hostile policy against the DPRK is dreadfully unjust policy.

There are a number of countries at hostile relationship worldwide due to the aftereffect of World Wars and international disputes.

However, incomparably, the U.S. hostility towards the DPRK derives from an inveterate and deep-rooted sense of rejection of the other party.

It is absurd that a variety of policy plans advanced by the successive administrations and policy research institutes of the United States are based on the common theory that the DPRK’s political system is “unstable and irrational”, such an “irrational” State which, doomed to collapse, must be prevented from possessing nuclear weapons.

A couple of weeks ago, Tillerson, the U.S. Secretary of State acknowledged that the U.S. policy towards the DPRK of the last 20 years has failed while making an Asian tour including Japan and south Korea.

The reason why the U.S. policy on the DPRK has failed and will be doomed to fail is because it derives from the morbid sense of rejection that the DPRK should be obliterated by all possible coercive means as the DPRK’s lines of policy are illegal and the DPRK itself is a threat to international peace and security.

Such a U.S.’s inveterate sense of rejection of the DPRK, which is built on the perception that the latter is banned from doing anything others can do, has failed to offer successive U.S. administrations little opportunity to map out a Korea policy based on a correct viewpoint and thereby, it rather drove the U.S. to slip into a trap of its own.

The U.S.’s blatant hypocrisy is well vindicated by its rejection of attending the UN conference on negotiating a convention on prohibiting the nuclear weapons while touting much about preserving the non-proliferation regime and building a nuclear-free world, its connivance on pursuit of nuclear weapons and test-fires of intercontinental missiles by some other countries beyond expectation and others.

A couple of days ago, the U.S. ambassador to the UN argued that prohibition of nuclear weapons worldwide is unrealistic and use of nuclear weapons may be necessary for the sake of the security due to untrustworthy “bad actors”. It clearly proves the ulterior motive behind the U.S.’s demand of nuclear abandonment.

The U.S. targets the DPRK’s survival and development itself beyond its nuclear weapons.

Secondly, the U.S. hostile policy towards the DPRK is an extremely risky policy.

The nature of the U.S. hostile policy against the DPRK is to obliterate politically, isolate economically and stifle by use of force the latter.

The U.S. has blatantly spitted out all sorts of wicked words against the DPRK such as “axis of evil”, “evil place”, “rogue nation”, “state sponsor of terrorism” etc., and it even took a president to make a blast about seeking a “regime collapse” of the DPRK through the means of “change”.

Apart from sanctions subject to the UNSC’s resolutions, the U.S. has imposed unilateral sanctions under dozens of domestic laws according to different reasons of “non-market oriented economy”, “engagement in proliferation of weapons of mass destruction” and etc. It also stands in the way of the DPRK’s economic development by following through all sorts of presidential executive orders.

The U.S. Congress has paid lip service to its expressed concerns about the Korean people’s “difficulties in life” and its call for “channeling fund into raising the living standard”.

However, it has recently expanded the scope of sanctions to banning sales of foodstuff, agricultural products, textile and minerals irrelevant to the “development of weapons of mass destruction”. Worse still, it has sponsored “the Korea Interdiction and Modernization of Sanctions Act”. All in all, it lays bare to the American-style hypocrisy and deception.

The U.S. has committed massive strategic nuclear assets to south Korea and surrounding areas of the Korean peninsula; it poses the gravest threat ever on the DPRK by staging the so-called “annual” and “defensive” joint military exercises at the threshold of the DPRK. This is the height of the U.S. hostile policy against the DPRK. The U.S. has enlisted the most advanced nuclear war hardware it has at its disposal in the on-going exercises.

Worse still, it is openly elaborating and conducting several operations; the “Decapitation Operation” targeting the supreme leadership of the DPRK, “Tweezers Operation” to blow up the nuclear and rocket bases of the DPRK, the “Offensive operation into the deeper inlands of the North” and the “Pyongyang Occupation Operation” to ensure the “regime collapse” of the DPRK, even the “High-precision strike exercises” to attack the offices of the supreme leadership of the DPRK.

Moreover, the special mission units have been hurled into the exercises; the “Dav Guru” (a.k.a.“Navy Seal” Team 6) known as “Warriors’ Unit using the occult art of transforming” which specializes in the “operations for removing the headquarters” and “Delta Force”, known as “detached force of the White House”, belonging to the joint special warfare headquarters.

All these facts vividly show that the ultimate goal sought by the U.S. is none other than the “physical elimination” of the DPRK’s supreme headquarters.

No country in the world would condone such attempts at eliminating its headquarters.

Much more is it the case with the people of the DPRK who regard their Leader as the whole of their lives and destiny.

Any U.S. attempt to “hurt and murder” the noble feelings of the people of the DPRK is bound to invite the toughest backlash from all the service personnel and people of the DPRK.

The world still remembers “ABLE ARCHER-83”, a nuclear preemptive strike exercise that NATO staged back in Nov. 1983 – an incident that could have invited a nuclear preemptive strike of the USSR (then).

Military insiders, at that time, rated that incident in 1983 more perilous than the “Crisis in the Caribbean Sea” in 1962, saying that if the “ABLE ARCHER-83” lasted for more 24 hours, the USSR would have unleashed a nuclear preemptive strike.

Such hostile moves of U.S. against the DPRK such as the nuclear blackmails and joint military exercises could invite a “nuclear Armageddon” which the world has never experienced before.

In case a nuclear war breaks out on the Korean peninsula, the war would not be confined to the region alone; the entire Northeast Asia, North America and the whole world would be engulfed in a nuclear holocaust.

According to an estimate, the outbreak of war on the Korean peninsula would bring four devastating calamities: an economic loss worth of $2 billion, devastation of 500 mega-cities, and death toll of 1 billion people, and deserted of the whole world.

The U.S. hostile policy towards the DPRK is dreadfully unjust policy as it poses a grave threat not only to the peace and security on the Korean peninsula but also to the world at large.

Some people are saying that the vicious cycle of the escalating tension on the Korean Peninsula is like “putting more noodles in case of much water and putting more water in case of many noodles”.

The DPRK is bolstering up its nuclear arms to protect its sovereignty and right to existence; the U.S. poses persistent nuclear threat and blackmail to the DPRK, the prime example of which are the large-scale joint military exercises, which are rooted out from the anachronistic hostile viewpoint on the DPRK. Putting these two facts on the same footing is nonsense.

The DPRK is taking the measures of bolstering up its nuclear arms to cope with the nuclear threat and blackmail coming from the U.S. and its vassal forces.

All these measures are being taken on a routine basis in line with the Byungjin policy, the national line, and have nothing to do further strain of tension.

The more powerful the DPRK’s nuclear deterrence of the self-defensive nature becomes, the safer and more peaceful the Korean peninsula will be.

The new U.S. administration should squarely recognize the strategic position of the DPRK, now that it has risen to the position of the nuclear power in the east, and the military giant; it should make a resolute decision to scrap its anachronistic hostile policy towards the DRPK, the root cause of the escalating tension on the Korean Peninsula.

We will continue to build up our self-defense capability, the pivot of which is the nuclear forces, and the capability for preemptive strike, as long as the United States and its vassal forces keep on nuclear threat and blackmail and as long as they do not stop their war games they stage at our doorstep disguising them as annual events. 

About the author: Kim Kwang Hak is a researcher at the IFAS of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DPRK

Source: NK News


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