Stop the war threats against Korea!

May 18, 2018

May 17 — The International Action Center condemns the threatening moves made by the Trump administration and the Pentagon that have deliberately undercut the momentum and planning for a June 12 summit meeting between the U.S. and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. It is the U.S. government’s actions and statements that have called into question the planned discussions to improve relations between the two nuclear powers.

At this very moment, the U.S. and South Korea are conducting joint military exercises simulating an invasion of the DPRK. Called operation Max Thunder, these exercises involve some 100 warplanes, including nuclear-capable B-52 bombers and F-22 Raptor stealth fighter jets.

Last month, similarly threatening U.S.-S.K. military operations — Foal Eagle and Key Resolve — took place despite efforts by the DPRK to decrease tensions by meeting with South Korean officials and inviting President Donald Trump to a summit with Kim Jong Un.

The U.S. calls its military provocations “defensive.” There is nothing defensive about them. They are taking place thousands of miles away from the U.S., on the very border of the DPRK, a country the U.S. ravaged from 1950 to 1953. While the Pentagon killed millions of Korean people in that war, it could not defeat the revolutionary government that had liberated the north from Japanese colonial rule at the end of World War II. But Washington has never agreed to end the formal state of war that continues to exist now, 65 years later.

Trump’s appointment of John Bolton to national security adviser in late March was a sign that the White House was moving toward greater confrontation with the DPRK. Bolton is an unapologetic war hawk who has gone on record advocating a pre-emptive strike against the DPRK. Bolton has threatened the Koreans with the fate of Libya if it does not immediately denuclearize, and Trump has repeated his words. Libya gave up trying to acquire nuclear weapons on the promise of peace, but instead was invaded and dismembered.

But the DPRK is not Libya. It is a nuclear power and can retaliate if attacked.

On May 16, Kim Kye Gwan, first vice minister of Foreign Affairs of the DPRK, released a statement saying: “If the Trump administration takes an approach to the DPRK-U.S. summit with sincerity for improved DPRK-U.S. relations, it will receive a deserved response from us. However, if the U.S. is trying to drive us into a corner to force our unilateral nuclear abandonment, we will no longer be interested in such dialogue and cannot but reconsider our proceeding to the DPRK-U.S. summit.”

In the interests of the people of the U.S. and Korea, we call on anti-war forces in the U.S. to urgently denounce this dangerous maneuvering by the reactionary Trump administration.

We must demand that the U.S. cease its hostile war “games,” sign a peace treaty with the DPRK, end its military occupation of South Korea and bring the troops home!