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Sunday, July 16, 2006

Who is the aggressor?

Workers World Editorial (July 5 2006)

What aggressive, militarist regime recently held war maneuvers in the Pacific and tested intercontinental missiles that could carry nuclear warheads for 4,800 miles?

The wrong answer to this question is the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

The right answer is the United States.

On June 14, the US Air Force held what it called "a quality control test" for its fleet of 500 Minuteman III missiles. One missile traveled 4,800 miles towards the central Pacific, and three test warheads landed near the Marshall Islands. According to the Air Force, that was where they were supposed to land. The Pentagon is supposed to have almost 10,000 nuclear warheads available.

At the same time, three US Navy carrier battle groups - including three aircraft carriers, 22,000 troops, dozens of fighter planes and several heavy bombers - were assembled in the western Pacific off Guam for the first time since the Vietnam War. They were supposedly engaged in long-planned exercises with ships of other nations, but their presence can only be seen as a threat to Asian countries. Right off the coast of North Korea are the USS Curtis Wilbur and the USS Fitzgerald, both guided-missile destroyers. That's destroyers, not love boats. The US also sent spy planes on 170 missions over North Korea.

Remember that President George W Bush named the DPRK, along with Iraq and Iran, as one of the "axis of evil". Remember too that since 1999 the US has bombed and occupied Yugoslavia, Afghanistan and Iraq, invading the last two countries. North Korean troops haven't left home.

The DRPK government has many times tried to get the US to end the state of war that still exists since the 1950 US invasion and the 1950-53 Korean War and to sign a peace treaty that would normalize relations between the two countries. The US always refuses.

Considering the US missile test, the military maneuvers, recent US history and the constant stream of threats against the DPRK from both the Republican administration and the Democratic Party leaders, it is quite clear that the Pyongyang government faces a serious threat from the most belligerent and heavily armed military in the world.

The DPRK's tests on July 4 and 5 of its rockets were completely within that country's rights as a sovereign state. It is perfectly understandable for the government in Pyongyang to take whatever measures it can to convince the rogue US leaders that if it is attacked or invaded, then the aggressor too will face retaliation. This much maligned and attacked country deserves the support of anti-war forces around the world.

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Bill Totten


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