Operation War Shift: Position Paper, Second (Revised) Edition
Operation War Shift
Second (Revised) Edition
American-Korean Friendship and Information Center
160 5th Avenue, Suite 809
New York, N.Y. 10010
Telephone: (212) 242-0240
The year 1950 saw the beginning of the war in Korea.
The American war in Vietnam was launched in 1960.
Will the decade of the 1970s witness a new Vietnam in Korea?
There is a grave danger that it may.
In a letter on November 12, 1969, to the New Mobilization Committee, a major American peace organization, the president of the Korean Institute in Washington, Yongjeung Kim, wrote:
“If the United States stays in Korea to keep its ‘friends’ in power, Korea may soon turn into a ‘second Vietnam.’ Peace in Vietnam alone will not stop American bloodshed in Asia. A greater menace is building up in Korea. Evil forces are fanning flames which can scorch the earth. The American people should be alert to this [sic] smouldering danger before it is too late.”
One year later, on November 19, 1970, Yongjeung Kim, deeply disturbed by the lack of action on Korea, sent a cablegram directly to Presidnet Park Chung Hee of South Korea, urging him to negotiate directly with Premier Kim Il Sung of North Korea to resolve the problem of national reunification. He insisted that the government at Seoul move forthwith for the withdrawal of all United States forces from South Korea, and the withdrawal of South Korean forces from Vietnam. The cable read in part:
“We must get out of this vicious circle before our nation disintegrates under the pressure of foreign intervention and internal dissension . . . We must restore the honor of tour beloved Kore a. . . We must be the masters of our own country and run it ourselves under whatever political system our people may choose. Until then, we are not free and independent.”
In response to earlier communications from Yongjeung Kim, and Byungcholl Koh, head of the United Front for Korean Democracy, in New York, both Premier Kim Il Sung and the North Korean Committee for Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland, made similar points. They repeated their willing ness, despite the presence of foreign troops on South Korean soil, to enter negotiations for the exchange of mail, visits, and trade, and otherwise normalizing relations between the two Koreas. They were willing, further, to talk even to the present authoritieis in South Korea about reunification, providing that “they take an independent stand, abandoning their reliance on outside forces.”
The Revolutionary Party for Reunification, operating as an illegal organization, is struggling within South Korea to create an authority which will move for the reunification of Korea. But there remains a major undertaking for the anti-war forces in the country of the occupying power – the United States – to seek to stem the grave danger of a new war in Korea.
Utmost pressure must be exerted upon the government in Washington to abandon its disastrous policy in Asia, to withdraw all its troops, on a genuine basis, from Korea – and all other military equipment – and to permit the people of Korea to determine their own future, develop their own resources for the benefit of their own people, and choose a form of government according to their own needs and desires.
On an immediate and urgent issue, there must be concerted protest against any military appropriations for South Korea.
Such pressure can be exerted only by an informed and enlightened American public. Toward this end, an American-Korean Friendship and Information Center has been created, guided by and composed of American experts on Asia of anti-imperialist tendencies, artists and professional persons, trade unionists, clergy, students, working youth and members of minority groups who, because of their color, know only too well the proclivity of American imperialism to seek to exert its domination on people of color – black, brown, red and yellow.
The Center will publish material about Korea and foreign involvement, both on a regular and an informal basis, organize forums and discussion groups, engage in correspondence and exchange, and in general seek to present the most informed kind of information to enable the American public to assess the situation surrounding Korea in as open and as enlightened a manner as possible.
It will be frankly an anti-imperialist undertaking, in the best American interest, designed to help prevent a new holocaust which could take the lives of thousands of civilians and soldiers in Korea – and the lives of thousands of young Americans. Above all it is designed to help alter the seemingly immutable destiny of young America from one of death and destruction to a vision of life and constructive work and happiness in harmony with the Korean people, and all the people of Asia.
This “Position Paper on Korea” (second and revised edition) is presented as one of a series of such “position papers” in the interest of an informed and enlightened American public.
The Korean peninsula in northeast Asia divides the Yellow Sea from the Sea of Japan. With a land mass of about 85,000 square miles, it has an 11-mile border with the Soviet Union (Siberia) and a long Yalu River-Tumen River boundary with the People’s Republic of China (Manchuria). Since 1945 it has been demarcated at the 38th parallel into two Koreas.
To the south is the Republic of Korea (31,000,000 pop.), with its capital at Seoul, comprising 38,000 square miles. It was traditionally an agricultural region. Until the end of World War II it was believed to supply Japan’s food needs. In the last years it has been developing an industrial base, largely with American and Japanese capital. It supplies 18 per cent of the capitalist world’s tungsten needs, and has been expanding its textile industry for export. The textile industry accounts for 30 per cent of all employment. It has an ostensibly democratic form of government, with a president (Park Chung Hee), and elected assembly, and a constitution. It also has a standing army of 620,000 men (the fourth largest army in the world), a force of thousands of armed reservists, a constabulary of 2 million armed men, an armed police force of many thousands of men and a protecting occupation force of 64,000 United States troops, under the flag of the United Nations but responsible only to Washington.
To the north is the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea, (13,000,000 pop.), with its capital at Pyongyang, comprising 46,500 square miles. It has a large industrial base, and ranks among the first five countries in the world output of tungsten, graphite and [sic] magnesite. Under Japanese colonial rule this part of Korea was a food deficit area. It is now self-sufficient in food. It has a socialist form of government, with a premier (Kim Il Sung), and a standing army which has been estimated by Western sources, at 350,000. It also has a people’s militia of more than a million. There are no foreign troops on North Korean territory.
For 35 years since 1910, Japan ruled all of Korea under the terms of the Russo-Japanese peace treaty. The arrangement was made by peace treaty arbiter President Theodore Roosevelt as part of a deal to divert the Japanese challenge to American domination of the Philippines. Japanese rules over Korea came to an end on August 15, 1945, when the main Japanese forces in Korea were caught in a giant encirclement by the Soviet army, which had entered the war against Japan by agreement with the United States at Potsdam, and the revolutionary Korean forces under Kim Il Sung, which had been waging unremitting guerrilla warfare against the Japanese for years. Together they smashed the Japanese forces.
At Potsdam in July 1945, the 38th Parallel was discussed by the United States and the Soviet Union only as a line indicating the northernmost range of United States air operations. A month later, the United States government unilaterally fixed the area south of the 38th Parallel as a zone of occupation.
On September 8, 1945, a popular front government, the Korean People’s Republic, replaced the Japanese authorities, set up a capital at Seoul and exercised political authority over all Korea. It was headed by a non-Communist newspaper editor, Lyuh Woon Hyun, who sought to establish cordial relations with the American occupation army in the belief that the United States authorities would acknowledge his government’s popularity throughout Korea.
The United States command, however, under General Hodge, rebuffed Lyuh’s efforts, replaced his administrators with Japanese, and suppressed his administration entirely in December 1945. As part of this maneuver, Syngman Rhee was brought back to Korea from his exile in Washington, and put forward as the American-approved leader. For more than two years the democratic forces in South Korea were harassed by the 80,000-man United States occupation forces, and strikes and demonstrations were brutally suppressed. By June 1947, 20,000 persons were in prison. In May 1948, Syngman Rhee was formally installed as president of the Republic of Korea. Washington proceeded to fashion a government in South Korea of hated political and economic business hustlers who simply switched from serving the Japanese to serving the U.S.A. Following are two of the many commentaries characterizing this government:
“…its perpetuation [the South Korean regime] is based on total dependence on the U.S., that is to say, on the U.S.A.’s economic, political and military support.” New York Times, June 27, 1950.
“President Syngman Rhee and his clique can maintain their limited authority in Seoul and in larger cities only through a regime of military and police terror and thanks only to American aid. The South Korean state system, which from the very beginning has stood on weak feet, has to resort to open totalitarian means.” Swiss newspaper, Die Tat, June 26, 1950. Little has changed since then except the name of the puppet.
In June 1947, after long and fruitless negotiations between the Soviet Union and the United States about establishing a provisional Korean national government under international trusteeship – negotiations which were bound to fail because of the institution of the Cold War – the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea was established at Pyongyang. It was not recognized by the United States.
(In this connection, it should be clear, because of subsequent United Nations involvement in Korea, that the Charter of the UN specifically denies it competence in question arising from World War II, such as arrangements for enemy-occupied territories.)
The Soviet army left the area above the 38th Parallel before the end of 1948. The United States withdrew its army officially from the South in June 1949, leaving behind a Korean “constabulary”, under United States tutelage, a cadre of 500 American officers – and dark poverty. The North Koreans insist that in fact the United States has maintained a military presence below the 38th Parallel ever since the end of World War II.
Rhee’s regime was marked by terror. By the spring of 1950, 48,000 persons were in prison on charges of violating the catch-all National Security law. Guerrilla movements had taken shape in the mountains, the students were engaged in mass protests, and there was labor unrest. Rhee appealed to Washington for massive assistance. John Foster Dulles, then Republican advisor to Secretary of State Dean Acheson, went to Seoul and in a speech to the South Korean assembly pledged American support against the encroachment of Communism. There was stepped-up activity at the United States High Command in Tokyo.
The Korean War
War erupted on June 25, 1950, between north and south. Although most people in the United States were led to believe that the war was instigated by the North, no proof has ever been established. In fact, first news stories, later suppressed, repored incursions by Rhee’s armies into North Korea, where they were repulsed and pursued south. Whatever the origin of the fighting, it was clear that Rhee’s days were numbered without a national emergency. Another reason for Rhee’s desperate aggression was the elections of May 30, 1950, in which less than 20 per cent of his supporters were elected, despite the extensive use of thugs to intimidate voters. Repeated overtures toward reunification from the North, where remarkable economic progress was being made, had been met with repeated rebuff.
War was not in the interest of the government at Pyongyang, and it was apparent that the Soviet Union, generally blamed by the American government and in the American press for the outbreak of the war, was caught by surprise. Its representative had been absent from the United Nations Security Council because of the UN's refusal to seat the People's Republic of China. Its delegates were not present even when the Council sanctioned the creation of a "unified command" (July 7, 1950) as an umbrella for the United States to intervene with troops in South Korea.
Without this incursion, and the introduction of the United States Seventh Fleet in the South China Sea (where it remains today), the war would have been over quickly, and Korea would have been reunified by a decision of the Korean people. The entry of the Chinese volunteer armies on the side of the North Koreans, after General MacArthur had ignored repeated warnings to keep clear of China's borders, created a military stalemate, and led to truce talks undertaken at the initiative of the Soviet Union. On July 27, 1953, a military armistice was agreed to at Panmunjom by the North Koreans and the Chinese on the one side, and the United Nations Command (the United States), on the other.
The armistice has been an uneasy one. There have been frequent clashes and reports of clashes in the so-called demilitarized zone in the intervening years. The South has charged infiltration by agents of the North, and the North has charged incursions by the South, and by the United States military reconnaissance planes and vessels. The seizure by the North Koreans of the Pueblo in 1968 created an international incident, and ended only when the United States government conceded that the Navy craft had violated the territorial waters of North Korea. The crew was then released. In 1969, the North Koreans shot down an American intelligence plane. In all, Pyongyang has compiled a record of more than 50,000 alleged violations of North Korean territory since the armistice.
Chinese troops were withdrawn from North Korea in 1958. The United States forces have never left South Korea. At the end of 1970, there were in South Korea 64,000 American troops, including two infantry diYisions-the Second and the Seventh-and Air Force personnel with about 150 aircraft. There has been no Soviet personnel in North Korea since the troop withdrawal in 1948.
South Korea Today – “Kingdom of Poverty”
American military aid and economic investment enabled Syngman Rhee to maintain power in an administration marked by repression, terror, electoral fraud, bribery and corruption. But by 1960, popular unrest had reached such proportions-climaxed by the student uprisings-that Washington was forced to dispose of Rhee in !\larch 1960 as a liability. An unstated reason, in addition, was Rhee's stubbom refusal to accede to the return of Japanese capital, a condition which was becoming a vital part of developing United States policy in Asia.
Rhee was succeeded as head of the South Korean government by John M. Chang, a vacillating man of the middle, friendly to the United States, but aware of the intense reaction in the country to years of repression, and the desire for unification with the North. Demonstrations for unification were an almost daily occurence, and a student march was scheduled to culminate in a meeting with North Korean students on May 19, 1961, in Panmunjom. The day before the meeting, a military coup toppled Chang, under the pretext that his policies were leading to a Communist takeover of the government General Park Chung Hee emerged as the "strong man" leader.
The Park regime has, if anything, been even more repressive than that of Syngman Rhee. A vast network of spies and informers, under the direction of the Korean Central intelligence Agency, infests the country. Children are paid for bringing protest leaflets to police stations. Thousands have been imprisoned under the 1961 Anti-Communist Act, and executions have been frequent. Peasants are rounded up in anti-guerrilla campaigns, and the student movement is dealt with ruthlessly. In short, South Korea is a police state government that depends on the support and approval of the United States government for its existence.
Economically, there is a gloss of prosperity in the cities, and the growth rate is favorable. But, according to the London Financial Times, this growth rate is dependent on the low wage rate of the 1.5 million employees of manufacturing industries, and South Korea's ability to export its products-now principally finished textile goods. Recent moves in the United States Congress to limit entry of these exports may play havoc with the South Korean economy.
Industry and U.S. investments in South Korea, which in the past were limited in the main to the textile industry, have increasingly expanded into the electronic industries involving the biggest U.S. companies.
Major American electronic firms, taking advantage of South Korea's anti-union and anti-strike laws, are shipping parts for assembly in factories in South Korea, where workers, at a starvation-wage level, turn out the finished products for shipment to markets in Asia and the United States. Officials in Taiwan report that South Korean workers complete 15 television sets for the same wages paid to an American worker for completing one set.
United States government support for international runaway shops to South Korea, and the massive support given to the Japanese monopolies, are increasing exploitation of the Korean workers while at the same time eliminating tens of thousands of jobs for American workers. The result is rising unemployment in the United States in textile, apparel, shoe and leather, electrical appliances, and the electronic industries.
In a letter to the New York Times, July 13, 1970, Howard D. Samuel, a vice president of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America, said:
" ... So far as textile and apparel are concerned, many of the manufacturing facilities in Taiwan and South Korea ... are owned by Japanese manufacturers. The greater damage to our economy, incidentally, would come not from inflation but from rising unemployment caused by unregulated flood of imports."
In the countryside, the condition of the peasants remains at an extremely poor level, and thousands are pouring into the cities where the veneer or prosperity depends in large measure on the presence of United States installations. These installations and their personnel have been a corrupting influence on Korean culture and values. A life-long resident of Munsam told a correspondent of the New York Times (June 20, 1970): "This used to be a quiet, peaceful little town. Now we have prostitutes and other vices we never had before . . . I am afraid we really are becoming degraded."
The condition of the peasants was confirmed in a two-part series of articles by John B. Oakes, editor of the editorial page of the New York Times, based on a visit to South Korea late in November 1970. While the articles as a whole seemed designed to warn the government of the United States against the projected reduction of forces in South Korea, some significant facts appeared. Oakes wrote:
"An extraordinary economic development [is] reflected in the boom-town atmosphere of this raucous capital [Seoul]. Skyscrapers and factories are going up every day; roads are being built; cars are multiplying.
"But in the process, the farmers, who still constitute two-thirds of South Korea's 31 million people, have been hard-pressed in their crowded uttle villages by a combination of rising costs and inadequate prices. Though the city dwellers are relatively prosperous, they too suffer increasingly from inflation, lack of social services and housing, gross inequity in the distribution of wealth (the familiar cry of 'rich getting richer, poor poorer' is heard here with rising stridency) and from the constant cloud of corruption and repression hanging over this highly literate, articulate and volatile society."
The boom-town atmosphere has been created by the pouring of $7.5 billion into South
Korea (Oakes's figure), but it has succeeded only in establishing an unbalanced nation living in fear, repression, and economic distress. Despite this, Oakes saw the need for maintaining the American military presence in South Korea as a "distinct responsibility" and in the "immediate interest" of the United States. The reason? The supposed danger of "aggression" from North Korea which Oakes pictured as a country existing at the whim of the Soviet Union and China, with economic conditions "incomparably worse" than those in South Korea.
There are reporters who have not had to inspect North Korea from below the 38th Parallel, and their impressions are vastly different from those of the Time's editorial page
North Korea Today
In the preface to his book Again Korea, Wilfred Burchett, perhaps the most knowledgeable western reporter in Asia, wrote in January 1968: "When I last saw North Korea l8 years ago, it was a country totally devastated-the prototype of the devastation in North Vietnam by the terrifying, indiscriminate, and unrestricted use of the United States air power. Not a city, village, factory, school, hospital or pagoda was left intact. In the name of the United Nations,
North Korea's populated areas had been reduced to wastelands of ashes and rubble, its factories to heaps of twisted scrap iron." United States authorities estimated that it would take 100 years to rebuild North Korea.
In the June 1970 issue of Monthly Review, Ellen Brun, a Danish writer, recorded her impressions of a visit to North Korea a few months earlier. She reported a country entirely rebuilt from the ruins, a well-dressed, well-fed, and well-educated population enjoying, as they said, "a happy life." Based on its own resources, the industrial progress has been remarkable. With a firm grounding in heavy industry, machine building and light industry have been developed as well. Cut off from the agricultural south, agrarian reforms and the establishment of cooperatives have enabled North Korea to become self-sufficient in food.
The driving force behind the progress has been the principle of Juche – “reliance on own forces” – as advocated by Premier Kim Il Sung whose government remains stable, in close contact with the people, and obviously enjoying its support, as it does also among the South Korean people. Miss Brun wrote: "Today, almost everything which meets the eye in [North] Korea, from the smallest consumer goods to the most impressive products, has been produced m the country itself: electric locomotives, tractors, houses, bulldozers, cranes, buses, and military vehicles. . . . It is true that North Korea received a generous amount of aid from socialist countries just after the Korean war. But today everything has been repaid, and the country is completely free of foreign debts."
Hope of reunification remains a dominant feature of life in North Korea. Another overriding consideration is the threat – even the expectation – of another devastating conflict.
Toward this eventuality, one-third of the North Korean budget is expended for military preparations, a figure which must be taken .into account when economic growth – real and potential – is considered.
Within the socialist bloc, North Korea has maintained a position of neutrality, particularly in the conflict between China and the Soviet Union. In this regard – and perhaps because its war experience is similar – it is most often compared with North Vietnam. In the socialist framework, as Premier Kim 11 Sung put it in 1966, "the attitude toward United States imperialism is a major yardstick to verify the position of the Communist and Workers' parties."
The Policy and The Problem
The major objectives of American policy in Asia are the containment of China and the Soviet Union, and the suppression of all movements of national liberation – a policy under which even neutrality (Cambodia, for example) is regarded as inimical to the interests of the United States. This policy, as it concerns Korea, is based on four premises:
1. Korea must be maintained as a base of military operations against China and the Soviet Union.
2. Reunification of Korea must be prevented, except under conditions of dominance by the government at Seoul under the guidance of the United States.
3. All of Korea must be encompassed in the revived "Greater East Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere" – the goal of Japan before and during World War II-in which Japan would be the moving force both militarily and economically under the protection of the United States nuclear umbrella and in partnership with United States monopolies.
4. Since the implementation of ·this policy is impossible with half of Korea under socialist management and orientation, North Korea must be brought to heel by any means necessary, even considering the possibility of a confrontation with China or the Soviet Union, or both.
The first step in the implementation of this policy was the restoration of Japanese military power. A Japanese "Defense Agency" was set up 1952, backed up by a United States-Japanese Joint Staff Council in 1954, and converted into a "National Defense Council" in 1956. Accompanying these military moves, the Japanese industrial monopolies were rekindled to life and became the chief suppliers to the United States forces during the Korean War-a total of $2.9 billion in arms-and to reviving the Japanese armed forces. The war in Vietnam proved a further incentive to Japanese war production and profits.
By 1966, Japan had a "self-defense" army of 270,000, with an over-size officer corps capable of directing an -armed force of more than a million men. The Japanese forces were in effect put at the disposal of the United States by means of the United States-Japan Security Treaty, pushed through the Diet in 1960 over the overwhelming opposition of the Japanese people. The treaty was renewed in June 1970, again despite bitter protests in Japan.
The extent to which the Sato government in Japan, with Washington's approval, has circumvented the "no war" clause in the Japanese constitution (drawn up shortly after the end of World War II) was revealed in 1965, when Sato was forced by the opposition parties to disclose secret plans for a joint United States-Japanese invasion of North Korea. The plans were contingent upon United States success in Southeast Asia. The unexpected resistance of the North
Vietnamese and the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam apparently forced a postponement of the operation.
Re-entry of Japan – The Tripartite Military Alliance
Japan and Vietnam play a key role in Washington's continuing support of the Park government in Seoul. This support rests on two conditions: (1) reopening South Korea to Japanese economic investment; (2) dispatching South Korean soldiers to assist in the war in South Vietnam. The first condition was accomplished, 14 years after the end of the Korean War, by the South Korean-Japanese Treaty, signed in Tokyo on June 22, 1965. The second was met by the gradual shipment of South Korean soldiers to South Vietnam, for a total by 1970 of 75,000.
While United States investment remains the largest of the foreign powers in South Korea
(40 per cent), the Japanese are rapidly catching up. The estimate in June 1970 was $180 million (26 per cent of foreign capital). Fifty Japanese industrial firms are in South Korea, and the
Mitsubishi Bank and the Bank of Tokyo have branches there.
There are, in addition, arrangements between the Mitsubishi and Ishikawajima heavy industries and Chrysler, General .Electric and other American arms manufacturers to provide the apparatus for policing operations in South Korea. The Japanese military budget for 1970 was 22 per cent greater than for 1969. A major buildup m the naval forces is contemplated, as well as m missiles, tanks, and aircraft. Sixty Japanese firms have contracts with American aerospace firms to develop Japanese rocket and intelligence satellites.
At the third regular Japanese-South Korean ministerial conference in Tokyo in August
1969, the South Koreans openly bid for the return of Japanese investment. The Japanese, already building a steel mill at Pohang, agreed also to take over the South Korean automobile and electric industries. The South Koreans have pledged a "safe atmosphere" for Japanese investment.
Three months later, in November 1969, [sic] Pri-me Minister Sato made an official visit to Washington. This resulted in a joint United States-Japanese statement foreign the final agreement for the strategy whereby Japan would assume the major share of responsibility for implementing United States policy in Korea and northeast Asia. The policy, under the headline appelation [sic] of the "Nixon Doctrine," provides for Asians to fight Asians with military equipment and economic assistance from the United States.
In the statement, Sato declared that (1) "the security of the countries of the Far East is a matter of serious concern for Japan"; (2) South Korea is "essential to Japan's own security”; (3) Taiwan "is also a most important factor for the security of Japan"; (4) South Vietnam 15 linked to the "security" of Japan.
If the implications of the joint statement were not clear enough, they were spelled out by members of the Sato government in the Diet in succeeding months. They declared that in the event of a new war in Korea, Japan "will not remain an observer," and spoke even of the possibility of a "preemptive war" against North Korea. This apparently was a reference to the aborted but still active secret agreement between Washington and Tokyo revealed in 1965. Thus a tripartite military alliance has virtually been formed among United States imperialism, the Sato government of Japan and the South Korean puppet government through bilateral military agreements.
The United Nations Role
The diplomatic arm of the strategy to permit Japan to become the auxiliary police of the
United States in Asia is attached to the United Nations. Since 1965, Japan has contributed heavily to the UN's police-keeping forces, including the UN force in the Congo in 1960, which led to a severe financial crisis in the UN. Once again, Japan came to the rescue, purchasing million in UN bonds in 1962, and making a contribution of $2.5 million in 1965.
Behind this seeming benevolence lies a plan whereby Japan, under United Nations auspices and with United States approval, would become the "peace-keeper" in Korea. In the UN First
Political Committee in the fall of 1969, the United States bloc pressed for a full-scale hearing on Korea in 1970. Under this plan, South Korea would be invited directly, but the Committee would merely state "its willingness to invite a representative of (North Korea) ... provided it first unequivocally accepts the competence and the authority of the United Nations within the terms of the Charter to take action on the Korean question."
In effect, the UN was asking Pyongyang to accept as an authoritative arbiter an organization with which it is still to all intents and purposes at war (the armistice remains in effect, but there has never been a Korean peace treaty), and to which it has consistently been denied membership. In the UN committee debate, the Japanese delegate, Senjin Tsuruoka, asked how North Korea could play a constructive role in the debate if it denied the competence of the UN. The headline over the story in the Japan Times reporting Tsuruoka's speech read: "Japan Leads UN Bid to Block Pyongyang."
Agreement to permit representatives of Roosevelt gave Korea to Japan at Portsmouth, the UN could expose the United States-Japan North Korea to speak, without conditions, in
Japanese "peace-keepers" as arbiter Theodoreese plan to tum Korea over once again to the New Hampshire, in 1905.
On October 30, 1970, the UN political Committee, under pressure from the United States, once again routinely voted down a proposal to invite both Koreas to the debate on the "Korean question." It then adopted an American proposal to invite South Korea only.
In a letter to the New York Times, November 8, 1970, Gregory Henderson, a professor at Tufts University's Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and a former Foreign Service officer at Seoul, wrote:
"If debates are to continue . . . the United States should cease to frustrate an invitation to North Korea to give its views on its own problem. Such policy has, in 17 years, produced not a jot of positive outcome, delayed the start of any meaningful contract between the two Koreas on the East-West German model, and is contrary to our own concepts of adversary procedure.
"By drawing the 38th Parallel in the Pentagon on August 10, 1945, the United States itself began the process which resulted in the division of Korea and the Korean War. Our historic responsibility is real, its discharge serious."
Japanese Colonialists Practicing Their Profession
As Japanese imperialism moves back into Korea with the blessings of Park and the connivance of the Nixon Administration, the Japanese government is stepping up discrimination and repressive measures against the 600,000 Koreans who live in Japan.
Utilizing alienated and anarchistic elements and hired hoodlums, as well as its own "Self.
Defense" personnel, the Japanese government has instigated physical attacks on Korean stu-
dents, teachers, and schools. These attacks have become increasingly frequent and are now a daily occurrence. Scores of Korean students and teachers have been injured and many arrested.
These abuses of the Korean population in Japan, as well as Japan's announced intentions toward Korea and other countries of Asia, belie the pious assertions of the Japanese imperialists that Japan is a "colored" nation striving to protect other "colored" peoples.
The disfranchisement and persecution of Koreans arc also clear demonstrations of what the Japanese monopolists and politicians mean by "protection."
The Okinawa Issue
A major objective in Sato's visit to Washington in 1969 was the return to Japan of Okinawa, at present a major American military base. Pressure toward this end in Japan was great. Sato apparently succeeded in his mission, but again the agreement was a camouflage for an even more far-reaching military alliance with the United States.
Part of the price for Okinawa's return was the extension of the Security Treaty of 1960, which in effect makes all of Japan a military base for the United States. Further, Okinawa's final return will not be effected until 1972. The United States in the meantime will expend $60 million in new installations on Okinawa, an odd decision for a departing power, made even more odd by the announcement that the American building program will extend into 1976, four years after scheduled Japanese takeover.
“Koreanization” and “Japanization”
President Park, in the last week of June 1970, declared that it would be "absolutely necessary" for the American forces to remain "until we have developed our own capability to cope successfully with North Korea.” Park's schedule calls for five years and $2 bi1lion in additional assistance (Washington has promised more than $1 billion in any case). The New
York Times, in an editorial on June 25, 1970, characterized the reported withdrawal as "Koreanization" of the situation in Korea, and compared it with the "Vietnamization" of the war in Southeast Asia. It regarded Park's "declaration of continuing dependency" as "both unbecoming and unjustified."
It may well be that the Oakes visit to Korea will produce a reconsideration of the Times'seditorial position-that is, urging the United States to maintain its strength in South Korea – particularly in light of the Times's current reversion to an extreme Cold war policy toward the Soviet Union.
In fact, a report in the New York Times of January 3, 1971, from its Pentagon correspondent William Beecher, said that the Defense Department had delayed indefinitely plans for troop withdrawals from South Korea beyond the 20,000 scheduled to be removed by June
1971. A spokesman said the "long-range plan ... to get down to a token force ... has been pushed off to the indefinite future." It remains to be seen whether even the 20,000 will be removed.
In any case, Park's statement may be classed in the same category as the repeated statements on American withdrawal by President Thieu of South Vietnam. Both generals, dependent as they are upon American support for their own survival, understand and approve American policy. In Parks case, he realizes that a more accurate word for the reported American withdrawal from South Korea would be "Japanization."
The reason for Mr. Park's concern over the withdrawal of U.S. troops was expressed by a spokesman of his regime. According to the New York Times of June 17, 1970, this spokesman stated "that an American pull-out might lead many poor South Koreans to consider switching their allegiance to the Communists of North Korea."
Park is aware, of course, of the recent American-Japanese naval maneuvers in South
Korean waters, and of the vast expansion of American bases in Japan (there are 126 at present, encompassing a total area of about one-sixth the size of Tokyo). He knows also that partial withdrawal of American ground troops for economic and diplomatic purposes in no way envisions any withdrawal of the most sophisticated forms of destructive warfare-and that
American and/or Japanese troops can be reintroduced immediately.
In the context of the facts listed in this presentation, the scheduled decision of the United
States to remove its troops from South Korea falls into place. The withdrawal, if it does take place, will be partial and gradual, and will allow for an Air Force contingent to remain. The plans for such troop withdrawal do not guarantee an end to United States interference in the internal affairs of the Korean nation and people. Defense Secretary Melvin R. Laird spelled out the Administration's intentions with regard to the much [sic] trumpted troop withdrawal by stating at a press conference on July 9, as reported in the New York Times, July 10, 1970:
"There will be a substantial presence of Americans after this reduction is made."
Further, the withdrawal of ground troops from South Korea would be in line with the withdrawal of ground troops from South Vietnam. In neither case does the United States intend to loosen its grip on these areas of its own volition. Rather, the strategy is to rely increasingly on air power and on strategic weapons. The renewed bombing of North Vietnam in November 1970 may have been a test case for this strategy.
Beyond this, new fortifications have been built between Seoul and the armistice line separating the two Koreas. In fact, the work on these fortifications was hastened following President Nixon's statement of July 1969 that the defense of Asia is primarily a responsibility to be borne by Asians. The White House and the Pentagon have gone to considerable lengths since this statement was made to indicate that it did not mean what it said.
Thus the danger is clear. Step by step. in Washington, in Tokyo, in Seoul, a confrontation is being prepared, as indicated in this position paper. On the other hand, it should be made clear that there is a determination in Pyongyang and throughout North Korea to resist a new American-sponsored incursion. There have been warnings from the People's Re-
public of China and from the Soviet Union that they will honor their commitments of mutual assistance to the government of North Korea. The validity of these commitments was proved by the Chinese action in the Korean War.
As the year 1970 came to an end, an article on the Op Ed page of the New York Times
(December 31, 1970) movingly captured the loneliness, fear, and despair of the American troops stationed in the dem1htarized zone between South and North Korea. It was written by U.S. Army lieutenant Richard W. Woodman from the DMZ, and it said:
"Although I cannot see, my mind reconstructs the famous landmarks of another war. Another war? The war has never ended-it's just forgotten [the Korean War, 1950-1953] ...
A sudden flare illuminates T-Bone Ridge. T-Bone. I think of my father-on T-Bone 18 years Ago. . . Do I hate the yellow men who keep me here? Or do I hate the white ones who, years ago, made the decisions which prevented that solution to a war for which no substitute has yet been found? …Many questions-few answers…Will my son, now only 10 months old, stand on this ridge-line 20 years from now?"
There is time to avoid confrontation, but it grows shorter. The American people, its peace movement, and the developing anti-imperialist sentiments among the militant youth, the black liberation movement, and rank-and-file trade unionists, have the potential organized unity and power to avert this catastrophe.
In this belief, the Center of American-Korean Friendship and Information solicits your help in the cause of peace in Asia and throughout the world.
Let Asians Fight Asians – The Nixon Doctrine
In order to reduce further the U.S. military presence abroad, the Nixon Administration seeks to modernize and strengthen our mercenary armies in the Third World. This policy, the so-called "Nixon Doctrine," clearly requires a vast increase in Military Assistance Program funding. (Vietnamization alone will cost another $6 billion in the next few years, while Koreanization will cost an estimated $1·2 billion.) ... In describing the Administration's defense strategy to Congress, Defense Secretary Melvin Laird stated on March 10, 1970 that:
"The basic policy of decreasing direct U.S. military involvement cannot be successful unless we provide our friends arid allies, whether through grant aid or credit sales, with the material assistance necessary to assure the most effective possible contribution by the manpower they are willing and able to commit to their own and the common defense. Many of them simply do not command the resources or technical capabilities to assume greater responsibility for their own defense without such assistance. The challenging aspects of our new policy can, therefore, best be achieved when each partner does its share and contributes what it best can to the common effort. In the majority of cases, this means indigenous manpower organized into properly equipped and well-trained armed forces with the help of material, training, technology and specialized skills furnished by the United States through the Military Assistance Program or as Foreign Military Sales." (Emphasis added.) (Foreign Assistance 1971, p. 307).
According to Laird, the Military Assistance Program is "the essential ingredient" of the
Nixon policy "if we are to honor our obligations, support our allies, and yet reduce the likelihood of having to commit American ground combat units. When looked at in these terms, a Military Assistance Program dollar is of far greater value than a dollar spent directly on U.S. forces." (U.S. Department of Defense, Fiscal Year 1971 Defense Program and Budget) (Washington, D.C. 1970).
The substitution of mercenaries for American troops in counter-insurgency warfare has many advantages for the U.S. Military Establishment: Domestic opposition to foreign operations is reduced because our involvement is less visible and less costly; opposition abroad is reduced because people are not confronted with the overt presence of our expeditionary forces; and, finally troops cost the U.S. much less to maintain. These benefits were summed up by former
Defense Secretary Clark Clifford in an unusually candid statement to the Congress on Jan. 15, 1969: "Clearly, the overriding goal of our collective defense efforts in Asia must be to assist our allies in building a capability to defend themselves. Besidescosting substantially less (an Asian soldier costs about 1/15th as much as his American counterpart) there are
compelling political and psychological advantages on both sides of the Pacific for such a policy.
(Emphasis added.) (U.S. Department of Defense, The 1970 Defense Budget and Defense Program for Fiscal Years 1970-74) Washington, D.C., 1969).
-From NACLA Newsletter, Vol. 4, No. 7-1970-"The
Mercenarization of the Third World" by Michael Klare.
Source Material on Korea
Again Korea, by Wilfred Burchett, International Publishers, 1968, $5.95.
The Hidden History of the Korean War, by I. F. Stone, 1952; republished by Monthly Review
Press, 1969, $7.50.
Korea Today, by George M. McCune, Harvard University Press, 1950, $3.50.
American Imperialism, by Victor Perlo, International Publishers, 1951, .$2.25.
The Press and the Cold War, by James Aronson, Bobbs-Merrill, 1970, $8.
American Foreign Policy and the Cold War, by Dr. Herbert Aptheker, New Century Publishers,
Thus Wars Are Made! by Albert Norden, Zeit und Bild Verlag, 801 Dresden, Julian-Grimau
Allee, German Democratic Republic.
Modern Korea: The Socialist North, Revolutionary Prospectives in the South, and Unification,
by Kim Byong Sik, International Publishers, 1970, 336 pp. Cloth $8.95;
Political Affairs, January 1970: "U.S. and Japan-Economic Rivalry," by Victor Perla.
Monthly Review, June 1970: "North Korea: A Case of Real Development," by Ellen Brun.
The Nation, March 8, 1970: "The Great South Asian War," by Michael Klare.
Additional references and source material:
Letters exchange between Premier Kim Il Sung and Yongjeung Kim, president of the Korean
Affairs Institute in Washington, D.C. Also, Kim's letter to President Park, November 19, 1970.
Letters exchange between Byungcholl Koh, president of the United Front for Democracy, in
New York, and the North Korean Committee for Peaceful Reunification of
the Fatherland, in Pyongyang. United States Security Agreements and Commitments
Abroad, Part 6-Republic of Korea (U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S.
Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 1970)
Dr. John Somerville, ETHICS, Vol. LXXVI, No. I, October, 1965. HUMANIST, May/June,
1967. World Congress of Sociology, 1970. Paper read "The Relation of Morality
and Law to Contemporary Youth Protests in the U.S.A."
BULLETIN of the Committee of Concerned Asians Scholars (CCAS), Vol. 2, No. 3, AprilJuly
1970, 9 Sutter St., San Francisco, Calif. 94104.
NEWSLETTER of the CCAS, 2168 Shattuck Ave., Room 316, Berkeley, Calif. 94704.
For current news and analytical articles on Korea, see current and back issues:
THE NEW YORK TIMES
A complete record of Park Chung Hee’s background may be obtained on request from AKFIC.
A position paper of the American-Korean Friendship and Information Center, describing the organization's objectives in the context of the Vietnam War.
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