Recapitulation of the Facts of the Korean War
November 7, 1950: “Just when there was a lull in the fighting and it looked as if peace were possible, MacArthur staged a gigantic and murderous raid directly across from the Chinese frontier, destroying most of a city in an area where bombings had been forbidden to prevent border violations.” “There were reports,” The New York Times said October 15, that General MacArthur had ordered the first bombings of North Korean cities without authorization from Washington.” “General Stratemeyer, commander of the Far East Air Forces described the attack: ‘when fighter planes swept the area with machine guns, rockets, jellied gasoline bombs.
They were followed by ten of the superforts which dropped 1,000-pound high explosive bombs on railroad and highway bridges across the Yalu River and on the bridge approaches. After this, ‘the remaining planes used incendiaries exclusively on a two and a one-half mile built-up area along the southeast bank of the Yalu.’ The Air Force claimed that ninety percent of the city had been destroyed….There is an indifference to human suffering to be read between those lines which makes me as an American deeply ashamed of what was done that day at Sinuiju…
The mass bombing raid on Sinuiju November 8 was the beginning of a race between peace and provocation. A terrible retribution threatened the peoples of the Western world who so feebly permitted such acts to be done in their name. For it was by such means that the pyromaniacs hoped to set the world on fire.’” I.F. Stone, “The Hidden History of the Korean War, 1952, pages 178-179
Introduction. The Betrayal of the Founder of the United Nations, United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt
All United Nations Security Council actions against North Korea are based upon an illegal and ruthless betrayal of the intent of United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the founder of the United Nations, the cherished organization which he established to preserve world peace. Perhaps the most scandalous betrayal of President Roosevelt has been the endorsement, by the United Nations Security Council, on June 27, 1950, of the attack on North Korea, in cynical and vicious violation of Roosevelt’s trust. This is the historic context of current United Nations venal and biased actions against North Korea. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, in conceiving the United Nations, demanded that all Security Council resolutions be adopted by consensus, and only by consensus. President Roosevelt declared it categorically imperative that both the United States and the Soviet Union be in agreement in order for any United Nations action to be legitimate. As detailed in his letter to the Security Council of July 13, 1950, Soviet Deputy-Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko exposed the fact that “the Security Council, by its decision of 27 June, 1950 violated this most important principle of the United Nations organization.”
The consequence of this illegal resolution of June 27, 1950, and subsequent resolutions concerning North Korea were an attempted racist genocide of the North Korean people, and brought the world to the brink of World War III.
Part I. The History, 1950-1953
July 13, 1950, Letter from Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko to United Nations Secretary-General, Trygve Lie:
“The illegal resolution of 27 June, 1950, adopted by the Security Council under pressure from the United States Government, shows that the Security Council is acting not as a body which is charged with the main responsibility for the maintenance of peace, but as a tool utilized by ruling circles of the United States for the unleashing of war. This resolution of the Security Council constitutes a hostile act against peace. If the Security Council valued the cause of peace, it should have attempted to reconcile the fighting sides in Korea before it adopted such a scandalous resolution. Only the Security Council and the United Nations Secretary-General could have done this. However, they did not make such an attempt, evidently knowing that such peaceful action contradicts the aggressors’ plans. It is impossible not to note the unseemly role played in that whole affair by the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Trygve Lie. Being under the obligation, by virtue of his position, to observe the exact fulfillment of the United Nations Charter, the Secretary-General, during discussion of the Korean question in the Security Council, far from fulfilling his direct duties, on the contrary obsequiously helped a gross violation of the Charter on the part of the United States government and other members of the Security Council. Thereby the Secretary-General showed that he is concerned not so much with strengthening the United Nations Organization and with promoting peace, as with how to help the United States’ ruling circles to carry out their aggressive plans with regard to Korea.”
U.S. Air Force attacking railroads south of Wonsan on the eastern coast of North Korea (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
Criminally Ignored in this Security Council “consideration” of the crisis in Korea is the letter dated 7 December 1950, from North Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pak Hen En, at Sinuiju, Korea, to the Security Council, describing the monstrous military slaughter to which the North Korean people were being subjected, and which was previously acknowledged by General Stratemeyer.
“They are waging war not only against armed forces but above all and chiefly against the civilian population. With the methodicalness of civilized barbarians, the American armed forces, bombing from the air, from the sea and by other means, have destroyed all the big industrial enterprises in Korea and a majority of the medium-sized and smaller enterprises, wiped small and large towns from the face of the earth, destroyed villages, and now that winter is coming on they have begun the systematic destruction of the remaining settlements. American aircraft carry out over a thousand sorties daily to bomb Korean towns and villages. Using scorched-earth tactics, the American air force drops on towns and villages in which there are no military targets of any kind an enormous quantity of incendiary and high-explosive bombs, destroying houses and private property of peaceful inhabitants, leaving millions of persons homeless and destitute. The systematic bombing of the remaining inhabited places became especially intense in the second half of October. American aircraft bombed and destroyed the towns of Sunchon, Kyachen, Gudyan, Hichen, Denchen and Koin. In November American aircraft systematically bombed and practically completely destroyed the towns of Kanggye, Sinuiju, Yideyu, Senchen, Gusen, Tmichen, Cholsan, Buktin, Kosan, Manpo, Tyungandin, Hweren and others. In the town of Kanggye out of 8,000 buildings less than 500 remain; in Sinuiju out of 12,000 buildings about 1,000 remain, in Chinnampo out of 1,500 buildings about 200 houses remain….The American interventionists are prepared to destroy every living thing, to turn Korea into a desert in order to carry out their rapacious plans for the enslavement of the Korean people. ….The American imperialists have issued a tacit ultimatum to the Korean people, either submit to the domination of American imperialism or we will destroy every living thing in your country.”
U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk said that the United States bombed “everything that moved in North Korea, every brick standing on top of another.” After running low on urban targets, U.S. bombers destroyed hydroelectric and irrigation dams in the later stages of the war, flooding farmland and destroying crops, and, of course, starving and drowning vast numbers of North Koreans.
Part II. The Current Crisis
Today, 67 years later, no peace treaty between the US and North Korea has been signed. Various factions of the US military are now calling for “preventive war” against North Korea. North Korea is desperately attempting to protect itself from a repetition of the devastation and slaughter of the first war against the DPRK.
At the UN Security Council meeting on August 5, 2017, Chinese Ambassador Liu called for:
“the establishment of a peace mechanism based on the suspension for suspension initiative, which calls for the DPRK to suspend its nuclear and missile activities, and for the United States and the Republic of Korea to suspend their large-scale military exercises….Beefing up military deployment on the peninsula is not in the interest of realizing denuclearization there or of maintaining regional peace and stability.”
At the same Security Council meeting, Russian Ambassador Nebenzia stated:
“All must understand that progress towards the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula will be difficult so long as the DPRK perceives a direct threat to its own security. For that is how the North Koreans view the build-up in military activity in the region, which takes on the forms of frequent wide-ranging exercises and manoeuvres by the United States and allies as they deploy strategic bombers, naval forces and aircraft carriers to the region….We hope that the assurances provided by the Secretary of State of the United States were sincere, and that the United States is not seeking to dismantle the existing situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea or to forcibly unite the peninsula or intervene militarily in the country….Sanctions must not be used for the economic asphyxiation of the DPRK or to deliberately worsen the humanitarian situation. …Such sanctions may lead to the significant deterioration of the living conditions of the North Korean people –incidentally, as the United Nations humanitarian agencies are warning about.”
Resolution 2371, adopted at this meeting, can only be described as deliberate sadistic action by the drafters of the Resolution.
Resolution 2371 States:
“10. Decides that the DPRK shall not supply, sell or transfer, directly or indirectly, from its territory or by its nationals or using its flag vessel or aircraft, seafood (including fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and other aquatic invertebrates in all forms), and that all States shall prohibit the procurement of such items from the DPRK by their nationals, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, whether or not originating in the territory of the DPRK, and further decides that for sales and transactions of seafood (including fish, crustaceans, mollusks, and other aquatic invertebrates in all forms) for which written contracts have been finalized prior to the adoption of this resolution, all States may allow those shipments to be imported into their territories up to 30 days from the date of adoption of this resolution with notification provided to the Committee containing details on those imports by no later than 45 days after the date of adoption of this resolution.”
On August 18, the Associated Press in Beijing reported:
“Furious Chinese businesspeople said Friday that Beijing’s decision to enforce U.N. sanctions on North Korean seafood imports would hobble the economy of an entire northeastern city in China, sparking a rare public protest earlier this week after the surprise move suddenly choked off border trade. Anger swept the city of Hunchin, home to hundreds of seafood processing plants, after Beijing began refusing entry Tuesday to trucks carrying tons of North Korean seafood.”
Current relentless provocations of the DPRK seem designed and determined to infuriate North Korea, and seem intent upon the perpetuation of hostilities, a pattern alarmingly reminiscent of the first Korean War, endorsed, with dubious legality, by the United Nations.
On August 16, the UN Secretary-General held a stake-out with the UN press, and began by saying that more than three million people were killed in Korea, “with a civilian death rate higher than World War II. The Korean peninsula was left in ruins.” The Reuters correspondent asked :
“Ahead of the joint military exercises next week between the US and South Korea, which North Korea tends to see as an escalation of tensions, what’s your message to the North Korean leader and to President Trump ahead of those exercises?”
The Reuters correspondent phrased the question in a balanced way, which would have given the Secretary-General an opportunity for a balanced, impartial answer. Surprisingly, the Secretary-General failed to call on all parties to respect the need for de-escalation, and instead, he replied with a one-sided attribution of blame, and he stated, erroneously:
“everything started with the build-up of a potential nuclear capacity and of a number of missiles to be able to deliver that capacity.”
His accusation that North Korea was responsible for the perilous situation on the Korean peninsula is a distortion of the facts. Is he unaware of the statement by North Korean Ambassador Pak to the Security Council on October 14, 2006:
“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea has clarified more than once that it would feel no need to possess even a single nuclear weapon once it was no longer exposed to the United States’ threat and after that country had dropped its hostile policy towards the DPRK and confidence had been built between the two countries.”
The first of two Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) interceptors is launched during a successful intercept test. (Source: Wikimedia Commons)
The Secretary-General’s reply to Reuters would have satisfied the US, the UK and France, but he was clearly ignoring the explicit statements by China and Russia, both of whom place equal, if not greater responsibility for this crisis upon the United States-Republic of Korea perpetual military provocations, exacerbating tensions on the peninsula, and perpetuating the state of alarm which has necessitated North Korea arming itself by all necessary means, to prevent the repetition of the horror inflicted upon it by the US, with the blessing of the UN between 1950-1953. The Secretary–General did not address the menace of the THAAD missiles which the United States has placed in South Korea, and which both Russia and China have stated, repeatedly, present an existential threat to their own survival, and which potentially destabilize the entire Eurasian continent.
For the past decades, the DPRK has repeatedly requested the Security Council to convene, on an emergency basis, meetings todiscuss and halt the provocative US-ROK military maneuvers. All urgent requests by the DPRK have been denied by the Security Council, which holds emergency meetings called by the US so frequently that the Security Council schedule appears to be determined by the US. Although, on August 16, 2017, the Reuters correspondent provided the opportunity for the UN Secretary-General to appropriately show at least token acknowledgement and respect for the agonies of the North Korean people, who are continually terrorized by these US-ROK manoeuvers, he failed to acknowledge the destructive and provocative character of the US-ROK military manoeuvers, thereby tacitly endorsing these dangerous, chronic threats to the survival of North Korea.
And inevitably, under these circumstances, as the Chinese-Russian call for “suspension for suspension” is ignored with impunity by the US-ROK, and, indeed, by the Secretary-General, himself, and since, on August 21 the US-ROK, with impunity, held their military exercises, often provocatively entitled “Decapitation of Head of State,” and “Invasion of Pyongyang,” North Korea, understandably, subsequently, (and it must be emphasized, subsequently), on August 28 launched another ballistic missile, provoked by the recalcitrant US-ROK military exercises which had instigated this vicious spiral.
Predictably, in its servile fashion, the Security Council, which failed to hold an emergency meeting condemning the US-ROK military provocations, in its melodramatic and bellicose fashion held an emergency meeting at 8PM on August 29, “condemning the August 28 ballistic missile launch by the DPRK.” Yet, in a curiously revealing, and certainly unintended way, the Security Council confessed its barbaric cruelty toward North Korea by listing its barbaric sanction resolutions, a lengthy list of torture: Resolution 1675 (2006, 1718 (2006), 1874 (2009), 2087 (2013), 2094 (2013) 2270 (2016), 2321 (2016) 2356 (2017), 2371 (2017). In effect, when the UN Security Council is brought before the bar of history, and condemned for crimes against humanity, it will have made the investigators’ work easier by so neatly listing its attempts to strangle the life out of the North Korean people. This most recent resolution exposes the sadistic and malicious intent of these resolutions, as fish have nothing to do with construction of nuclear weapons, and the prohibition of sale of fish, one of the indispensable sources of income for the innocent people of North Korea, is one of the cruelties intended to starve the Korean people, and break their spirit. For their courage and integrity shames and condemns the opportunism, greed and psychopathology that defines the behavior of their tormenters.
Carla Stea is Global Research’s correspondent at United Nations Headquarters, New York, N.Y.