Korea ‘Crisis’: Blaming the North – A Replay of U.S. Tactic for Iraq’s Invasion in 2003

The West, championed by the United States of America has heavily condemned the shelling of South Korea’s island, – Yeonpyeong, by North Korea. Again, like in other crisis between the two Koreas, the North has come under criticisms and condemnation by several western administrations; altogether deliberately ignoring why Pyongyang launched such artillery strikes on the South.

North Korea's Leader - Kim Jong Il

North Korea shelled the island of Yeonpyeong on November 23 at 2:34 p.m., Korean time, following a series of warnings against prolonged provocative military drills in the peninsular by South Korea. Despite Pyongyang’s requests that such provocative military exercises be stopped, the drills continued, and the world was silent, even the U.S.

South Korea had mobilized some 70,000 military personnel for the so-called war exercises just off the borderline between the North and the South – which is a territory disputed by both camps. South Korea has even admitted to having fired shells into waters that the Democratic Peoples’ Republic of Korea (DPRK) considers its territory at 1:00 p.m. — more than an hour before the north’s response. When this drama – the provocative military drills and the subsequent firing of shells into a disputed territory – unfolded, the U.S., and its allies in other parts of the world were silent; CNN was silent; and the greater part of the world was quiet, but for China that consistently appealed for calm, dialogue, and now, restraint from both sides.

It is clear that the provocative military drills, together with the firing of shells by South Korea into a disputed borderline territory, about 90 minutes earlier, pushed the North to launch artillery strikes on the South on that same day.

South Korean President - Lee Myung Bak

If South Korea, and its huge sponsor, the U.S., had wanted to avoid confrontation with the DPRK, they would not have fired shells into a disputed area, especially since the DPRK had already declared that the military maneuvers were “simulating an invasion of the north”. The provocation comes from the U.S. and the right-wing South Korean regime, not the DPRK.

The blames therefore can not be heaped on North Korea. When the South fired shells during a so-called military exercises in the disputed borderline territory, no reaction of condemnation came from any of the governments who today blame North Korea for responding to the provocative drills. But instead, a campaign to vindicate or rather portray South Korea as a “saint” is on. The United States, Britain and other allies have all condemned the North, while some western media reports even refer to the strikes by the North on the South as “provocative” act.

Although North Korea has warned that should South Korea continue with further provocative military drills, it will fire more artillery strikes on the South, the 70,000-troop military “exercise” by the South Korean regime is however scheduled to continue until November 30 – and there has still been no official statement from the U.S. and its allies around the world on the need for South Korea to immediately stop the exercises.

In the meantime, although the U.S. officially denies being part of South Korea’s military exercises that provoked the current ‘crisis’ situation, CNN.com on November 23 reported that “some U.S. forces had been helping the South Koreans in a military training exercise, but were not in the shelled area.” Indeed! They were part of the provocation but stayed out of range.

In fact, Deirdre Griswold in her article “Korea crisis made in Washington” notes that “the South Korean military is deeply integrated with the U.S. Pentagon. In July, the two countries held joint ‘exercises’ in the same waters, off the west coast of the Korean Peninsula. The maneuvers involved 200 aircraft and 20 ships, including the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier the USS George Washington.”

With eyes on China as a key actor in seeking a possible truce on the current situation which analysts say might degenerate into a full scale war between the two Koreas, the corporate media in the West are saying that the DPRK’s “belligerence” is trying the patience of China. Wrong! China has been an ally of the DPRK since 1950, when U.S. forces invaded North Korea, bombed all its cities, and threatened the new revolutionary government of China with nuclear war.

However, while China is seeking a peaceful solution to the present crisis, there can be no doubt that some quarters regard U.S. belligerence toward the DPRK as a threat to China’s own peaceful development.

Li Jie, a researcher with the Chinese Navy’s Military Academy, wrote on July 12 in China Daily about the U.S. – South Korean “exercises” scheduled for later that month.

Li said “a joint drill with the ROK [South Korea] in the key waters off its Asian military bases will help the U.S. realize multiple strategic goals in the Asia-Pacific region.”

“First, the drill will help the U.S. maintain high-pressure against what it calls a restive DPRK regime. It is also believed to be an explicit indication of the U.S. stance that the world’s sole superpower would stand firmly behind the ROK and Japan in case of a military conflict between Pyongyang and Washington’s two traditional Asian allies,” said Li.

“In addition, a well-deliberated military exercise in the Yellow Sea will also help the U.S. collect geographic and military information about some Asian countries [especially China] bordering the vast waters,” Li added.

At this point it is of utmost importance that the rest of the world stays awake, alert, conscious, and very focused, with regards to the type of stories they read, watch and listen to, from media organizations located especially in the United States, Britain and other key traditional allies of the U.S. Currently, the media in such countries are framing the Korea ‘crisis’ in a way that each information that is churned out to the public utterly blames and condemns the North for attacking the South. News from the corporate western media also paints North Korea as a regime with a huge nuclear capacity capable of committing enormous atrocities in the Peninsular. Western media reports are already saying that North Korea’s nuclear development program is much more advanced than the country’s leaders admitted on previous occasions.

Western scientists said to be visiting North Korea’s nuclear facilities are now being quoted as saying “…they [North Korea’s nuclear facilities] could easily be converted to production of nuclear weapons.”

Remember, this was the same type of framing which Saddam Hussein and his regime in Iraq were given by Western media reports, and few weeks later, Iraq was invaded by the Bush (Jr.) administration. When Washington succeeded in the destitution of Iraq, and the later hanging of Saddam Hussein – mission having been accomplished – new information began emerging that no weapons of mass destruction were in Iraq. The most shameful part of the 2003 drama was that it had been known well ahead of time (before Iraq was invaded by the U.S.) that there were no weapons of mass destruction; but the corporate western media decided to dance to the tunes of American politicians and their key ally – Britain, and censored the information from a desperate public which heavily relied on any thing that came from Western media.

Today, it is North Korea. Same tactics are being adopted. The public should be on a high alert, and should not remain at the mercy of western media mass deception and even fabrication of content. Journalists, Commentators, Analysts and other media practitioners as well as audiences in Africa, Latin America, Asia, Middle East, Europe, Australia, and even in North America should highly exercise caution in sourcing for news on the situation in the Korean Peninsular.

The Author, Mr. Manzie Vincent Doh, is the Assistant Editor at The 4th Media, English Webnews of the April Media Group.

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