Jan. 23  2020
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We are against Mr. Bush셲 visit to Korea, his plot to expand the war on terrorism to other countries, and finally the unequal U.S.- Korea investment treaty!

There is mounting international concern and intensifying fears about President George W. Bush셲 grouping together of Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as an 쏿xis of evil. Bush셲 speech is an omen that turbulence is coming. The U.S. military, the only superpower today who recently invaded the poorest country in the world and mass-produced innocent victims is now attempting to expand its war on terrorism to the world.

Source  :  Korean House of International Solidarity

There is mounting international concern and intensifying fears about President George W. Bush’s grouping together of Iran, Iraq, and North Korea as an “axis of evil”. Bush’s speech is an omen that turbulence is coming. The U.S. military, the only superpower today who recently invaded the poorest country in the world and mass-produced innocent victims is now attempting to expand its war on terrorism to the world.

Bush also put the three countries on notice and argued that he would not hesitate to take preemptive action. We are threatened by, and indignant at, this simplistic and pro-war approach. The three countries are not in alliance; nor do they compare with the World War II axis countries of Germany, Italy, and Japan in terms of military and economic power. Mr. Bush has erred and his comments are poorly thought out. His bellicose remarks have raised concerns in our global society.

The U.S. has forced other countries to accept the neo-liberal capitalism that has had detrimental impacts on the poor, working class, and farmers. Globalization has been exacerbating inequality and worsening the lot of many people by eroding their incomes and increasing their vulnerability. Many truly disadvantaged groups have been left out of the fruits of globalization.

Stop attempting to expand the war on terrorism now!

We are profoundly concerned over America’s intention of military expansion and an increased defense budget. America’s overwhelming military strength is about to grow even greater. Mr. Bush is asking for a $48 billion increase in the Pentagon budget for fiscal 2003, which is the biggest increase in 20 years. The U.S. is enthusiastically augmenting all kinds of weapons and intends to use them in their own way with the self-justification of eliminating terrorists. However, only through dialogue, can we resolve problems. World peace cannot be established by any violence.

In his State of the Union address, President George W. Bush asserted that North Korea, Iran, and Iraq jointly constitute an “axis of evil”. This phrase seems to put the United States on a higher level of war preparation. In the past, North Korea has been described as a “rogue state” and accused of building weapons of mass destruction or at least pursing that technology. We are now rejecting those charges that have been argued by the United States. Mr. Bush should know that the repetition of such allegations is not going to help world peace. The United States moreover has the largest capability of weapons of mass destruction (WMD). If Bush’s budget proposal is approved, U.S. defense spending is estimated to equal the 15 next largest national military budgets combined. And this budget is nearly 250 times that of North Korea. Bush argues that it is good thing for the U.S. to possess WMD, but dangerous for North Korea to do so. This makes no sense. Bush’s proposed defense budget increase obviously shows that the U.S. wants to flex its military muscles and is using arguments about threats from North Korea and others as a pretext.

His remarks also exacerbate the tensions on the Korean peninsula. It is little short of a declaration of war and will lead to devastation. Consequences of his wrong accusation are bound to be serious. We express very deep concerns and frustration about the unilateral and irrational policy of the U.S. authorities that shows blind hostility toward North Korea. The United States is making decisions, without consulting others, based on its own view of the world and its own interests. Because of Bush’s single-minded drive to broaden the U.S. war on terrorism, expressions of dissent have surfaced. We are deeply concerned that the real subtext to Bush’s speech is that offense, not defense, has become America’s strategic posture. The price of war would be catastrophic and horrendous. By all means, we will not allow another fratricidal war to be repeated on this peninsula. We should never, and will not, let groundless conspiracies harm the national interests of South Korea.

We object to him gearing up for possible military engagement with these three countries, especially with North Korea. There is absolutely no indication that North Korea has conspired to fight the United States. North Korea’s nuclear program was dismantled in 1994 under an agreement with the United States?an agreement that has been faithfully observed by the North Koreans. Pyongyang has been respecting the 1994 Geneva agreement. Furthermore, Pyongyang agreed in 1999 to suspend flight-testing of its long-range missiles so long as the United States engaged in negotiations with North Korea on issues of mutual concern. The United States agreed to help build a power plant and lift its long-standing economic sanctions against North Korea at that time. North Korea has taken steps to open up to the world, seeking foreign investment and establishing diplomatic relations with several countries.

Why does Bush suddenly think that North Korea has become a threat in this war on terrorism? We want to ask the United States what the North has done recently to strain tensions on the peninsula and to threaten any countries. There is no ground to link North Korea with terrorism at all. North Korea appears to have abandoned the business of terrorism, even condemning terrorism. Again, his remarks demonizing North Korea as part of an axis of evil were inappropriate and wrong. His remarks could even trigger more tension in the Korean peninsula and may undermine current sincere efforts of reconciliation and re-unification talks between North and South Korea. We urge Bush to go back to the negotiation table.

Stop forcing us to join the Missile Defense (MD) system and to buy weapons.

The United States has been proceeding with development of a national missile defense system. And the U.S. subsequently abandoned the 1972 Antiballistic Missile Treaty. The U.S. intends to expand its military power and to fuel unlimited competition of military expenditure by the MD system. Following the U.S. strategic framework and the MD system, however, would be a massive burden on South Korea under this hostile environment. Stop immediately hindering reconciliation on the Korean peninsula. Otherwise, it will damage the atmosphere for seeking peaceful solutions, which would not be conducive to world and regional peace and stability. The entire Korean peninsula should not be made a scapegoat for internal U.S. problems or for any other reasons. Military power and war are not a panacea. The most vital issue in the contemporary world is how America chooses to use its power. We hope the United States does not give in to the temptation of unilateralism.

Mr. Bush is visiting South Korea this week. The trip is likely to be aimed in part at forcing South Korea to buy $4 billion fighter jets for its next-generation fighter procurement project. Bush will request that South Korea choose Boeing’s latest version of the F-15 to ensure the continued operation of the company’s troubled military aircraft business. This plan has raised suspicions that Bush’s recent hard-line statements against North Korea were partly aimed at pressing South Korea to buy Boeing’s fighter jets. President Bush is inflaming tension on the Korean peninsula and striking a combative pose. It does not make sense at all to ask North Korea to shrink its military budget, yet at the same time to ask South Korea to buy weapons to the amount of 10 billion. The U.S. should not request an astronomical amount of people’s money for their own purpose.

Stop demanding an unequal U.S.?Korea investment treaty and exporting neo-liberal capitalism.

Neo-liberal capitalism, which in a wide sense, focuses on profit maximization in opposition to the welfare of workers, while intensifying competition is now sweeping over the world economy. The result has been a growing inequality in income, wealth distribution, access to resources, adverse influences on labor law, labor unions, social services and welfare programs, even democracy. While the power of the nation-state has eroded, the U.S. is gaining more and more power over the world. Neo-liberal capitalism reinforces poverty, insecurity of workers, and massive lay-outs in a more foot-loose and fast changing world. It also impoverishes marginalized groups such as farmers affected by the huge import of agricultural products. On top of that, Neo-liberal capitalism undermines social alliances and national consensus on economic and social goals. We are against an unequal U.S.-Korea investment treaty that reinforces neo-liberal capitalism.

In the name of the 70 million people in this peninsula and global citizens who are yearning for world peace, we demand that the U.S. stop heightening tension, stop jeopardizing peace and stability on the Korean peninsula, and stop enforcing any policy driven by neo-liberal capitalism. We are urging the U.S. to listen to what we have suggested. We will continue to be on the watch for Bush’s next steps.

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