By Prof. Jose Maria Sison
Chairperson, International Coordinating Committee
International League of Peoples’ Struggle
August 31, 2009
The International League of Peoples’ Struggle (ILPS) joins the Korean people and other peace-loving peoples of the world in condemning the military exercises held recently by the United States and the Republic of Korea from August 17 to 27. These exercises are designed to prepare preemptive US nuclear attack on the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). They are insulting and provocative. They threaten the peaceloving people of the East Asian region.
The joint military exercises called “Ulji Freedom Guardian” involved the US-ROK Combined Forces Command. Participating in the maneuvers were the commands of army corps and fleet and flying corps of the South Korean armed forces and more than 56,000 troops and at least 10,000 US troops based in South Korea and overseas.
It simulated a new operational scenario “OPLAN 5027”, practicing the rapid deployment of US troops, breaking through of the military demarcation line and incursions to the northern part of the Korean peninsula. The war games were larger in scale and duration than in previous years.
The thinly disguised provocations of the US such as the series of war games with its South Korean partner such as “Key Resolve”, “Eagle”, “Ulji Focus Lens, ” and others, together with importation of the latest types of military equipment, and the rapid increase of the air and navy attack forces threatens the people in the region and is aimed to practice an invasion of the north, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, up to its borders with the People’s Republic of China
East Asia has the largest U.S. military presence outside of Europe with 100,000 troops based in 180 military installations, including the US navy’s largest and most strategically important overseas base at Yokosuka, Japan. The establishment and maintenance of these bases is complemented by access arrangements and “status of forces” agreements which, combined, give the US virtual basing rights in the host country.
The United States deployed nuclear weapons in South Korea in 1958. Since 1991 when it claimed to have withdrawn nuclear weapons from South Korean soil, the US has openly declared South Korea and Japan as being under the US nuclear umbrella. This admittedly consists of weapons deployed in the US mainland and offshore and carried by ballistic missile submarines deployed in the Pacific Ocean. The US has constantly made it known that it is capable of and willing to unleash these weapons of mass destruction against defiant states anytime.
We remember that the US is the sole state to have used the atomic bomb in an attack. It killed more than 220,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki even though Japan had already made surrender overtures and was in fact ready to surrender. The US unleashed the atom bombs in order to demonstrate to the world its new nuclear might and make a show of force to impress the Soviet Union specifically.
To this day, the US has the largest verified stockpile of nuclear weapons of mass destruction. It has 2,126 operationally deployed strategic nuclear warheads out of approximately active 5,200 warheads in its total nuclear weapons stockpile. It has a total of 9,200 warheads , out of the more than 23,000 warheads that are intact in the arsenals of the nuclear powers, including Russia, United Kingdom, France, China and others..
While the US used its nuclear bombs in Hiroshima and Nagasaki to intimidate and blackmail the whole world into submission to its wishes, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) frustrated the US design and ended US monopoly of these weapons of mass destruction. This served as a deterrence on the US from using further its nuclear weapons of mass destruction. Subsequently, other countries, including Britain, France and China, were able to produce their own atomic weapons.
The imperialist states that possess nuclear weapons try to keep their advantage by denying other states the same weapons technology while ignoring calls to have genuine and complete nuclear disarmament in the world. The nuclear states use the issue of non-proliferation to intrude upon nations upholding their national sovereignty. Those states that invoke their national independence have been the targets of various attacks including economic sanctions, nuclear blackmail and wars of aggression.
President Barack Obama has called for a new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty with the Russians and urged ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty after several decades of the US stalling. Yet while it announces these moves, the US continues its programs to support India’s nuclear research and condones Israel’s nuclear weaponry. It has kept more than 2,000 nuclear warheads ready to deploy at any time from its sea- and land-based launching pads.
The US has kept its role as the world’s biggest merchant of death as its foreign military sales agreements have jumped to nearly four times its 2005 levels in 2008. While keeping India and the US military-industrial complex happy with a new bilateral nuclear cooperation agreement between the two countries, the US arms Pakistan with F-16s, anti-tank missiles, howitzers and communications equipment. While hypocritically denouncing the DPRK with sanctions and cutting off its supply lines, it has increased its military sales to South Korea by nearly $200 million bringing its total to around $798 million.
It is no surprise then that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) has been trying all possible and necessary ways of defending itself from aggression. For more than half a century, the US has imposed a military and economic blockade on the DPRK, positioned US nuclear weapons in South Korea and never ceased to beat its war drums against the DPRK. The DPRK’s development and testing of its own nuclear bomb and missiles are a matter of self-defense and are within their prerogative as a sovereign nation. They are precisely their protection against US aggression and persistent US nuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The ILPS joins the world’s peoples in resolutely and militantly condemning and opposing the US imperialists’ continuing use of nuclear blackmail as the US escalates its wars of aggression and military intervention through exercises such as Ulji Freedom Guardian. These exercises are hostile to the just demands and aspirations of the Korean people and other peace loving peoples of the world to establish a genuine peace mechanism on the Korean peninsula to replace the existing armistice agreement signed 57 years ago. Such a peace mechanism to eliminate a vestige of US cold war policies is needed not only for the reunification and peace of Korea but also for the peace and stability of northeast Asia, the whole of East Asia and the rest of the world.
The issues of nuclear disarmament and nuclear proliferation are inextricably linked. Without nuclear disarmament, nuclear proliferation will surely increase. Genuine regional security can be achieved in East Asia only if the U.S. would pull out its troops and nuclear weapons from the region and allow truly equal relations among nations in the region to be established and further developed, without the interference of any Western power. It is the complete prohibition and destruction of all nuclear weapons, including those of the U.S., Russia, China and others, not just for selected states, that should be pursued. All nuclear weapons must be banned and entirely destroyed. A common agreement to this effect and no less must be immediately made by all nuclear-armed countries.
The ILPS calls on its member-organization and the entire people of the world to persevere in militant struggle against U.S. imperialism. Already bogged down by a severe financial and economic crisis and by two costly wars of aggression, the U.S. imperialism tends to become more aggressive, show off its military prowess and engage in nuclear blackmail in a futile attempt to intimidate the people of the world and discourage their resistance . But in fact the people of the world have become ever more determined to wage all forms of struggle against imperialism and all reaction and for national liberation, democracy and socialism. ###.