We as Black people need to think, see and listen for ourselves as the U.S. asserts its right to take preemptive military action against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) to knock out its nuclear capabilities. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush had these alternatives on the table. Barack Obama’s policies had them on the table, but proceeded with strategic patience.
The U.S. was the first country to devise nuclear weapons and use them against civilian populations in Nagasaki and Hiroshima Japan. According to the Plowshares Fund, the U.S. has 6,800 nuclear weapons not counting those that its allies possess.
The DPRK has less than 15. At least some of the 30 submarines in the Pacific are packing nuclear weapons. The U.S. maintains the capability to destroy any nuclear missiles aimed at it or its allies. Dare we talk about U.S. non-nuclear capability? Washington just recently dropped the “the mother of all bombs” below nuclear capability in Afghanistan.
The most recent U.S. – South Korean military exercise reportedly involves over 300,000 military personnel that are supported by a sophisticated array of U.S. sea and air weaponry along with structures to assassinate Pyongyang’s leadership and is no joke to North Korea. The U.S. still boasts the largest military budget in the world.
U.S. involvement with Korea and China reveals much. The U.S. partnered with the Soviet Union to divide Korea. It ruthlessly governed South Korea for over two years. It snuffed out any attempts to unify Korea. It denied the Korean people the right to determine their own form of government. It tried to bomb North Korea into kingdom come. Four million people were killed in the Korean War. Two million were civilians. It backed two ruthless dictators Sigmund Rhee (Korea) and Chiang Kai-shek (China).
Besides, the North Korean issue provides a smokescreen for the U.S. problems with China whose economic growth is sucking away the U.S. economic largess from its WWII victory, and who itself has built a large trade deficit with China. Washington no longer dominates Far East trade and military might because of China’s military build up and challenges to the U.S.
What then should Black people’s policy demands be given the past and Trump’s march? Tell Washington to keep their hands off of North Korea. Take U.S. troops, planes, ships, and anti-ballistic systems out of Korea. End all economic sanctions. Call for a nuclear free Korea. Spend the money saved for jobs, housing, and other social benefits.
Dr. Ken Morgan is a human rights activist and faculty member at Coppin State University.