President Truman said at the Peace Conference with Japan in San Francisco in Sept. 1951 that “It is a treaty that will work. It does not contain the seeds of another war. It is a treaty of reconciliation, which looks to the future, not the past…. Let us be free of malice and hate to the end that from here on there shall be neither victors nor vanquished among us, but only equals in the partnership of peace.”
The winner of the bitter war was willing to let by gones be by gones, it was a great gesture indeed.
Why, then, has America not made peace with North Korea for over 60 years? The Korea War, 1950-53, was a humiliation for U. S. which viewed itself after World War II as the Supreme Power in the Pacific. For the first time in U. S. history all they got was a stalemate. So they have stayed in South Korea ever since, refusing to sign a peace treaty and trying in every way to inflict damage and pain on the North Korean regime.
North Korea has survived more than sixty years of unrelenting American hostility. The people of North Korea continue to build the Juche (self-determination) socialism while defending their hard-won sovereignty.
How do we in America to reconcile with North Korea? Have you ever heard anything positive about North Korea on American television, radio, or in the newspapers? Everything is negative, degrading and poisonous. Any North Korean who is elevated to leadership is belittled and abused. The language is personally insulting to the highest degree and is totally subjective.
Where does this hostility come from? This is the hostility of the pure discrimination of the early slave-masters relationship.
It is particularly galling to Americans that the authority of North Korea continues to choose descendants of Kim Il-Sung to represent the state in the highest capacity. Selecting these leaders is how the Korean authority tells the world that the DPRK will continue its tradition. It remains true to the ideals that many generations of Koreans have fought for.
When Kim Jong-il died on Dec. 17, 2011, there was speculation in the West and America that there would be a power struggle in North Korea. Kim Jong-un, son of Kim Jong-il, was selected collectively by to Supreme Authority of the Regime.
There are many seasoned revolutionary leaders in North Korea who have learned how to deal with U. S. Military, diplomatically and politically. They supported Kim Jong-il’s many difficult decisions to put defense of the country at the top of their national agenda.
The Bush administration referred to North Korea as part of the “Axis of Evil”- which was a list of countries the U. S. intended to invade, and Bush administration did invade Iraq.
Now the leaders and entire country are united behind Kim Jong-un who will continue the path set by Kim Il-Sung. He will do his best to defend the sovereignty of North Korea and its right to the social system of its own choosing.
Do the political leaders in the U. S. follow the will of its people? The half of American population has now been officially classified as the poor or near poor . U. S. corporations make billions of dollars but they don’t help the people only the richest 1% of the population.
A majority of Americans don’t want foreign wars, but America is at war. People don’t want tax breaks for the rich, but the rich get them anyway, e.g. General Electric Co. made $14 billion in 2010, but did not pay tax. The people want good schools, but thousands of teachers are dismissed. The people don’t get what they need.
American people don’t trust the politicians and know that they work for the rich. 80% of the U. S. Senators and 40% of the members of the House are the millionaires. What can the people expect from them? That’s the way the American politics work, but not in North Korea. In North Korea, the wealth of society is publicly owned and is not in to hands of 1% like in America.
North Korea was completely destroyed by the U. S. in the 1950-’53 War, but they rebuilt the country. Their economy thrived in the 1960’s and 1970’s, but it has had to spend much of its resources on national defense. It has a food problem because of prolonged drought, poor climate and 80% of its territory is high mountains and narrow valleys.
Today the U. S. has pushed tough sanctions on North Korea through the UN Security Council, creating extreme hardship.
What can the American people do to help the North Korean people and help end the war in Korea? How can we help to bring reconciliation with North Korea? Long ago President Truman made an eloquent speech at the peace conference to reconcile with Japan. Why can’t the political leaders in America do the same today?
We must tell it to the American leaders again and again until they understand the problem, and what is right thing to do for America and Korea.
Today American media still believe that North Korea is a Stalinist Communist Country. That is totally wrong. North Korea is uniquely Juche Socialistic Country. The Juche Idea is based on human spirit, not Marxist materialism.
Let’s advocate that the U. S. leaders bring a peace treaty with North Korea as soon as possible, which will help to maintain a peace in the Northeast Asia, and peace in the world.
Harold W. Sunoo, Ph.D.
Distinguish Professor Emeritus of the
Central Methodist University, MO
Harold W. and Sonia S. Sunoo Korea In Peace Foundation.