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Nov. 16  2018
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Reunification: Whose Decision?

It is no longer up to just the U.S. citizens to recognize the Bush Administration셲 regime change first method as the dangerous and senseless policy it is. Every country whose citizens may be directly effected by U.S. policy must demand accountability of their leaders regarding the U.S.셲 interests in their country. If Korean citizens want reunification, then it should be up to them to decide, not the U.S.

Source  :  BASE21


By Linda Wasson

One does not have to take a formal poll to know most S. Koreans want to reunite with N. Korea. Reunification is not only possible but entirely feasible. Much like East and West Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall, families are desperately wanting to reunite, economies could benefit greatly from cooperation and the entire Asian realm could strengthen its position in world affairs if reunification occurred.

What then, is the obstacle of reunification? It’s not without basis that a divisive peninsula best serves the U.S.’s interest as it continues to build itself as both the dominant economic and military force in Asia.

The Bush administration has consistently discouraged diplomatic solutions to reunification while simultaneously provoking N. Korea. By actively campaigning against the 1994 Agreed Framework and deterring S. Korea’s engagement policy, the U.S. has instead chosen to plan military scenarios which once more include the use of nuclear weapons in the Asian region. These military options have been outlined in preparation for a pre-emptive attack on N. Korea. John Feffer states in his book, “North Korea South Korea” the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, facilitated the goal of regime change in Pyongyang as the Bush administration moved steadily “away from traditional containment, a preference for unilateralism over multilateralism and a scorning of diplomacy in favor of preventive war.”

The U.S. spends $3 billion year building the S. Korean military. It has become one of the closest American allies and is the only one where the U.S. maintains operational control over the military. While S. Korean President Roh has stated opposition to even the review of a military strike against N. Korea, the Bush administration continues to lobby S. Korea to change its tone. To wit, in 2003 when President Roh hardened his stance against N. Korea, U.S. forces in S. Korea were upgraded by $11 billion dollars.

The U.S. repeatedly changes tactics when negotiating with N. Korea, refusing to honor promises, pulling back from the table when Kim Il Sung agrees to U.S. terms, earning the reputation it cannot be trusted. Kim Il Sung clings to his nuclear capability clearly believing it to be the only deterrent against a U.S. invasion. He is certainly aware that despite the disastrous debacle in Iraq the U.S. continues to chant the mantra of regime change. The U.S. callously ignores the Korean people and how they fit into the scheme of their country’s future, just as the Iraqi people were ignored.

The bottom line is the U.S. is pursuing its own goals within the confines of another country. The potential for tens of thousands of casualties resulting from a nuclear war the U.S. considers “winnable” are considered acceptable because it would be primarily at the expense of the Korean people. This is in absolute disregard of their rights despite how they have struggled mightily to establish their democracy. S. Korea is a country who has emerged from war, dictatorship and immense poverty to establish itself as a competitive force in technology and certainly has every right to decide its own fate as to reunification efforts.

Japan has also come to the reunification table, even as an underground rail link from Korea to Japan has been discussed. China also desires reunification for market expansion. Russia and Europe seek to establish rail links with Asia and the Far East, all which would be possible if reunification were to occur.

How then can the U.S. continue to erode away at such obviously positive efforts by so many powerful global leaders? By keeping the peninsula divided, the U.S. is better able to maintain its own economic interest in the region, sitting like a cat on a mouse hole, waiting for the mouse to appear. Here, it is the megacorporations waiting for commercial entities to go belly up, opening businesses to U.S. capital and investment, not having satiated their greed from the billions being made at the expense of the Iraqi people.

Recent deployment of S. Korean troops to Iraq may also effect reunification efforts. S. Korea, by allowing itself to be drawn into military exchanges under the pretense of peacekeeping, may further obligate itself in need of defense should the Muslim world turn on it as one of the U.S.’s more formidable allies. Certainly this is a considerable possibility as the recent murder of Kim Il Song testifies.

It is no longer up to just the U.S. citizens to recognize the Bush Administration’s regime change first method as the dangerous and senseless policy it is. Every country whose citizens may be directly effected by U.S. policy must demand accountability of their leaders regarding the U.S.’s interests in their country. If Korean citizens want reunification, then it should be up to them to decide, not the U.S.

Linda Wasson is an English Teacher currently living in S. Korea. Back in the U.S. she is a member of the independent media, a science radio journalist for WORT-FM, Madison, Wisconsin and a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Email her at backroads_linda@yahoo.com.

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