U.S. Threatens War on Korean Peninsula

March 4, 2003

Recent military moves by the United States are escalating the risk of war on the Korean peninsula.

The Pentagon is staging two large-scale war games, beginning March 4, with South Korean armed forces. These month-long annual war games will involve up to 200,000 U.S. and South Korean soldiers conducting mock battles near the demilitarized zone that divides the north and south.

The United States also recently deployed 24 B-52 bombers to the Pacific island of Guam, and has moved warplanes and ships closer to North Korea. These include special spy planes, E6B aircraft, and the USS Invincible, a guided-missile destroyer. The U.S. Navy has also moved the nuclear aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson from San Diego to the western Pacific, where it is escorted by four destroyers and a cruiser, most equipped with guided missiles. Last week, the U.S. Army in Korea put a 90-day extension on the one-year tours of thousands of soldiers, thus guaranteeing that U.S. forces in South Korea remain at 37,000 while replacements are diverted to the Persian Gulf.

In addition to these recent wargames and military maneuvers, the U.S. has also been pushing forward, in coordination with Japan and South Korea, the deployment of its regional "ballistic missile system." During the past year, the U.S. air force test-fired missiles over the Pacific and further tests are scheduled this year.

Open Threats of War

When asked by reporters about a possible "pre-emptive strike" against North Korea, Sean McCormack, the White House National Security Council spokesman stated "all options remain on the table." A spokesman for the government of Japan also recently stated that it was considering a possible pre-emptive strike of its own against North Korea.

During the past month, numerous other senior officials from the U.S. and Japanese governments have issued similar military threats against the North.

Despite the fact that it is precisely the U.S. which is militarizing the region, carrying-out massive war games, filling the land, sea, and air with advanced military hardware and sophisticated weapons; despite the fact that it is precisely U.S. officials which are initiating threats and openly warning the Korean people of impending war; despite all this, U.S. propaganda is working overtime in an attempt to portray North Korea as the aggressor.

The Bush administration is using the phony propaganda about "weapons of mass destruction" as a pretext for fomenting tensions and trying to militarize the situation. Its goal is to turn back the tide of Korean reunification and Asian reconciliation and to justify the continued occupation of South Korea by 37,000 U.S. troops.

It is not the peaceful activities of North Korea, but rather the U.S. military forces in Korea which remain the number one source of war and conflict on the peninsula.