On April 7, Hyun In-taek, the South Korean Unification Minister, said the recent earthquake in Japan and the unrest in the Middle East had increased the importance reunifying the Korean peninsula.I should have added a few more things to this article. I forgot to mention that the leader of South Korea during the war, Syngman Rhee, is yet another leader who was radicalized by the West (he went to Harvard). I also should have included the following video, which shows how the front line changed during the war.
“The peaceful reunification of Korea and the process to reach it will not only bring the two Koreas together, but also create a new peace structure of regional stability and prosperity,” he said.
Hyun also said that everyone needed to agree on a process to realize reunification, noting that China wanted to resume the six party talks while America and South Korea wanted North Korea to apologize before negotiations restarted. Basically, if everyone has a different idea on how things should proceed, nothing happens.
The next day, on April 8, the Russian, American, and Japanese Ambassadors to South Korea held a symposium on reunification, and guess what, they all said they were for it. Based on what has happened for the past 60 odd years that seems unlikely.
The existence of North Korea gives America an excuse for maintaining its military forces in the region. Everyone likes this. As long as American military forces are stationed in the region, Japan can keep its military spending low. China likes it because, without North Korea, American forces might still be in the region and then they would be there to defend against China. What’s more, American forces might even be stationed in what is now North Korea, which would be right on China’s border. America likes it because it allows America to retain influence in the region. It also allows America to make some money, as Japan pays for the stationing of American troops on its soil. In fact, unless I’ve completely lost it, I believe that Paul Wolfowitz even said that reunification of the Korean peninsula was not in America’s interests. For some reason, I can’t find the citation on that, however.
There is another, less well known reason why East Asia likes the current situation. China, South Korea, and Japan, while pretending to be enemies of North Korea, are in fact its allies. And whenever America does something that those countries don’t like, North Korea has a way of doing something that America doesn’t like. For example, in 1968, North Korea seized the USS Pueblo, which it still has.
It is a shame that North Korea and South Korea are still split. At a time when East Asia has undergone unprecedented growth, North Korea remains behind, the only country in East Asia not making progress (except perhaps Burma). It is a shame that other countries, in particular America, continue to cling to a divided Korean peninsula. After all, America is responsible for much of the pain and agony that has occurred on that peninsula, including the Korean War.
In 1988, Thames Television, a British television network, aired a documentary called, “Korea: The Unknown War.” The documentary ended with a quote by Chong-sik Lee.
“Neither North or South Korea can be said to have won the war because the destruction was too heavy,” said Lee. “The human and material cost was overwhelming. China did intervene but they suffered greatly in terms of human resources. They had to delay their modernization efforts considerably. China’s relations with the United States deteriorated considerably. It had a very large impact on China’s future. The United States was not a victor. It suffered greatly in terms of material and human lives. The only one who I can see who has won the war, who has benefited from the war was Japan.”
Of course, the fact that Britain produced this documentary at the height of Japan-phobia should make everyone suspicious. The Japanese economy did benefit from the war because America allowed it to. But then the question is why did America allow the Japanese economy to benefit from the war? And the answer is: because America rewarded Japan for making the war.
Japan annexed Korea in 1910. With that annexation, Japan obviously gained an enormous amount influence in the Korean peninsula. After World War II, America wanted to rid the Korean peninsula of that influence and used the Korean War to do that, or at least try to do that. America needed to kill all those collaborators, and what better way to do that than to split a country, install two different systems of government on each side, install two leaders hell bent on reunifying the peninsula, and have them both go at it.
During the war, America dropped 635,000 tons of bombs on Korea, which is more than it used in the Pacific theater during World War II. Of course, America conducted its largest massacres at the places where Japan occupied Korea before the war.
As I noted in one of my earlier posts, American historians often rate Harry Truman as one of the best American presidents. That shows you what kind of people our historians are.
You may be wondering why, if America and Japan don’t want to change, don’t want to tell the truth, why do they keep pretending like they do? By the way, the same could be said of Europe as well. Each side recognizes that the truth would be devastating to its interests, but they realize that the truth would be devastating to the other side’s interests as well. That’s why everyone keeps pretending like they will soon tell the truth. They are using the truth as leverage against other countries. Of course, the truth never reaches the public and therefore what has been said has little value. But the threat sure is scary.
For my part, I still believe that the Internet changes everything. I still believe that one person can write one story and, if enough people read that story, a new world will be born. That is my hope and that is what I am trying to do.
You can see that the front line moved from the middle of the peninsula, to the bottom of the peninsula, up to the top of the peninsula, and then returned to where the war began. I do not believe this happened accidentally. I believe that we wanted the front line to pass through every single town and village in Korea. I believe we wanted to wipe out every single person who might have been sympathetic to Japan before or during World War II. In order to do that, we needed to make the war pass through every single inch of the Korean peninsula.
Around the time of the 60th anniversary of the start of the war, the New York Times published an article in which a Korean said something like, “I think America had its own reasons for fighting the Korean War.”
I can’t find that article on the New York Times website anymore. I wonder why.