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KIM'S RESOLVE TO 'PUT THE PAST BEHIND US', Trump’s Commitment to Stop the War Games? What Next?

Carla Stea

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n reply to allegations that “Vladimir Putin is a killer,” Trump stated: “There are a lot of killers. You think our country is so innocent?”

In reply to Fox news host Bret Baier’s allegation that Kim Jong-un has “done some really bad things,” Trump replied: 

“Yeah, but so have a lot of other people done some really bad things. I could go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done.”

Though it is much too early to predict the course or outcome of the Singapore summit, in a  powerful gesture of reconciliation, following his supremely diplomatic meeting with DPRK Chairman Kim Jong-un, (diplomacy during which Trump respectfully saluted a North Korean general, who had already saluted him,) President Trump unexpectedly announced his decision to halt the war games routinely held between the US and the ROK, which President Trump described as tremendously costly and “provocative.” 

Although the U.S. military attempted to characterize the war games as routine and defensive, their intolerable threat to the DPRK is exposed in the naming of recent war games, explicitly titled:  “Decapitation of the Leadership of North Korea.” 

Trump’s decision to halt the war games indicated his respect for the most urgent concerns of the DPRK, and for their point of view in general.   Trump specifically mentioned B-52s and B-1s that regularly fly near the Korean peninsula:

“We fly in bombers from Guam.  That’s six and a half hours away.  That’s a long time for these big massive planes to be flying to South Korea to practice and then drop bombs all over the place and then go back to Guam.  I know a lot about airplanes.  It’s very expensive.  I don’t like it.  What I did say is I think it’s very provocative.”

These war games, including “Ulchi Freedom Guardian” are one of the largest military exercises in the world.  They include almost 18,000 American forces and 50,000 South Korean troops.  The most recent “Max Thunder” war games includes the largest-ever drill involving B-52 strategic nuclear bombers, F-11 Raptor stealth fighters and other nuclear strategic assets.

It is unfortunate that former Vice President Joe Biden asserts that the Trump administration has given the DPRK many sought after wins up front without getting anything in return. 

“So far this is not a deal that advantages the USA or makes us safer.” 

Would Biden prefer nuclear winter, which we risked prior to the deal?


Critics of the deal are evidently historically ignorant.  In declaring, as Kim Jong un did, that “we agree to leave the past behind,” he made an enormous concession and sacrifice.  The history of the Korean war, 1950-1953, is a history of US command of UN forces that attempted to perpetrate a genocide of the North Korean people, and massacred 2-3 million North Koreans in barbaric fashion, while destroying the entire country – bombing and totally demolishing the complete infrastructure necessary to support human life in North Korea, reducing to rubble every building in Pyongyang, destroying farmland, killing livestock, and when every visible structure had been smashed, US pilots were ordered to fly low, and bomb everything still living.  As most of the younger men were still away in the army, only women and children and the most elderly were visible, and the US-UN pilots murdered everyone above ground they saw.


Pyongyang, 1953, totally destroyed as a result of US bombings

 Pyongyang Today. Compare to the Trump Tower in Manhattan

one of many Pyongyang theatres copy

one of many Pyongyang theatres

Crimes against Humanity

The hideous massacres at Sinchon county (massacres repeated in every other county) included atrocities committed against the more than 1,000 women and children who had sought protection in an underground air-raid shelter, into which the US-UN soldiers then poured gasoline which they ignited into a raging fire, roasting to death the women  and children within. 

Almost 40,000 inhabitants of Sinchon County alone were massacred. These atrocities were repeated in 30 other counties, including Anak, Unryul, Haeju, Pyoksong, Songhwa, Onchon, Thaethan, Phyongchon, Yonan, Jaeryong, Jangyon, Ragyon, Phyongsan, Thosan, Pongsan, Songrim, Sariwon, Anju, Kangso, Nampho, Kaechon, Sunchon, Pakchon, Shosan, Huichon, Yangyang, Cholwon, Wonsan, Hamju, Tanchon. 

The heinous actions committed by the US-UN forces constitute war crimes and crimes against humanity, a holocaust for which the DPRK is legally entitled to claim war reparations, which, if destruction of human lives,  property, and infrastructure are calculated, should amount to at least one trillion dollars.

Kim Jong un’s agreement to “put the past behind” saved Donald Trump and the US taxpayers (whose salaries funded that atrocious war), approximately one trillion dollars in war reparations.  In agreeing to “forget the past” in the interest of peace, the DPRK Chairman Kim made an enormous concession up front, agreeing to forego legitimate claims for reparations.

The major question now is how serious and reliable is Trump’s agreement to stop war games, which could be resumed at any moment, and how serious and reliable are pledges to lift the criminal and abhorrent UN sanctions which are causing the spread of disease and malnutrition among the people of the DPRK, and are currently rotting the very infrastructure necessary to sustain human life in North Korea.  According to the Wall Street Journal of June 15, Mr. Pompeo told a joint press conference in Beijing that

“China, Japan and South Korea had agreed that the UN sanctions should ‘remain in place until such time as that denuclearization is in fact complete.’” 

This is  violation of the spirit of the Singapore agreement, and a criminal violation of the human rights of the people of the DPRK.  On May 19, 2018, The New York Times published the report of Professsor Siegfried S. Heckar, the most experienced US federal government adviser, former director of Los Alamos weapons laboratory in New Mexico and currently at Stanford University.  Professor Heckar stated unequivocally that denuclearization of the DPRK would probably take up to 15 years. 

“Dr. Hecker’s time frame stands in stark contrast with what the US initially demanded, which could be a key sticking point in any summit meeting between President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong un.”

The UN sanctions are genocidal, and all UN member states supporting the sanctions are complicit in crimes against humanity.  According to the Wall Street Journal,

“Ensuring Continued Chinese pressure on Pyongyang is one of the top priorities for Washington following the summit.” 

By contrast, according to the Wall Street Journal,

“immediately after the summit, Beijing called for a UN Security Council review of the sanctions…Chinese officials had been expected to press Mr. Pompeo to ease economic pressure on Pyongyang.”

It is egregious obfuscation and bad faith for the UN to claim that its sanctions are “targeted,” and not “blunt.”  This is the equivalent of saying that Sharia dictated amputation of limbs, as punishment, is done in hospitals to prevent infection, and female genital mutilation is performed by licensed doctors under sanitary conditions.  However this butchery is performed, the result is the irreparable mutilation of a human being.  “Targeted sanctions” are a notorious failure, and a rampant destruction of human lives in the DPRK. 

UN Special Rapporteur for the DPRK, Tomas Quintana expresses ”alarm” that the sanctions are preventing chemotherapy from reaching cancer patients, condemning DPRK citizens to excruciating deaths from malignant illness;  Quintana is appalled that wheelchairs are de facto blocked by the sanctions, and indispensable equipment is denied to disabled persons by the sanctions.  This is not targeted, and it is not accidental.  It is deliberate.  Thousands of boxes of “humanitarian” food aid are left to rot because sanctions technicalities block transport of food to the people of the DPRK.

Knowingly overlooked by most media, other than Bloomberg, on April 11: 

“In February, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the biggest financial contributor to TB control in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea since 2010, announced that it will close its programs there in June, citing “challenges working in the country.” 

The closure of programs is likely to lead to ‘’massive stock outs of quality-assured TB drugs nationwide,’’ wrote Harvard Medical School doctors in an open letter to the Global Fund, published on March 14 in the British medical journal the Lancet.  Such privations in the past has ‘’led to the rapid creation of drug-resistant TB strains, as doctors ration pills and patients take incomplete regimens,’’ they wrote.

“Treatment regimens that are too short or rely on inferior or inappropriate medicines are the fastest route to drug resistance,” says Jennifer Furin, a Harvard trained doctor and researcher, who’s cared for TB patients for 23 years. 

Cutting funding to programs in North Korea, she says, will undermine disease-control efforts beyond North Korea. 

“This will be a disaster that the global health community will pay for later,” Furin says.  ‘’This is a politically created problem that will turn into a health catastrophe, not just for the people living in the DPRK, but for everybody in the region.”  

In an open letter to the Geneva-based organization published on March 13, Dr. Kim Hyong Hun, the DPRK’s vice minister of public health, accused the Global Fund of “bowing to the pressure of some hostile forces” in the campaign of sanctions. 

Dr. Kwonjune Seung, who was among the authors of the open letter to the Global Fund published in the Lancet, visits a dozen TB centers in North Korea twice a year as medical director of the Eugene Bell Foundation.  Dr. Seung and his colleagues wrote in the Lancet: 

“The decision to suspend the Global Fund projects in North Korea, with almost no transparency or publicity, runs counter to the ethical aspiration of the global health community, which is to prevent death and suffering due to disease, irrespective of the government under which people live.” 

Dr. Jennifer Furin states: 

“This is a way to punish the DPRK.  But this is a weapon of destruction in and of itself.  TB is an airborne disease.  It doesn’t stay within borders.”

Deliberately preventing treatment of diseases which, if left untreated morph into deadly variants, (in this case untreated TB leads to fatal drug-resistant strains of TB) is nothing less than a covert form of biological warfare that is in complete violation of international laws prohibiting biological warfare.  This is a modern day version of the earlier British and American practise of sending smallpox infested blankets to the Mapuche Indians, and other indigenous people in territories invaded and stolen from them by the British and American conquistadors.

But as Dr. Jennifer Furin states: 

”This is a weapon of destruction in and of itself.  TB is an airborne disease.  It doesn’t stay within borders.”

Perhaps, one day the same people who support the UN sanctions on the DPRK, and refuse to take responsibility for the agony they are inflicting on the people of the DPRK, perhaps these very same people will one day see their own loved ones die agonizing deaths of drug-resistant TB, ironically, and ultimately resulting from the very same UN sanctions now devastating the DPRK.  Perhaps that would be a tragic form of retributive justice.

The sanctimonious and hypocritical criticism of the DPRK for human rights issues, is even more unacceptable and ludicrous, coming from a nation built upon the slaughter of native Americans, and the slavery of kidnapped Africans.  On June 3, The New York Times’  ”Arts and Leisure” section published:  “Remembering Lynching’s Toll”:  a memorial recording  the lynching of slaves in America.  ”The act of lynching was, by calculation, intensely visual.  Its central, recurring image of controlling white bodies surrounding a tortured black one projected a message meant to grind a black population down with fear.  As with all terrorism, unpredictability and arbitrariness were tactical tools.  Lynching was intended to demonstrate that any black person, male or female, adult or child could be accused of any offense and be ritually slaughtered.  The law was no protection, and guilt was presumed, because being black was the real crime.  The Memorial for Peace and Justice is dedicated to more than 4,000 African-Americans…placing lynching within a broader context of white-on-black terrorism that goes back to the trans-Atlantic slave trade, in which Montgomery played a role, and forward to the warehousing of black men in prisons today.

Lynching in the USA persisted, obscenely, throughout the Twentieth Century and still occurs. Currently, prisons are America’s gulags, in which mostly African-American men, and poor white men, are forced to perform slave labor.  It is merely a disguised and updated form of slavery. 

Donald Trump cannot possibly lecture the DPRK on human rights.  He recognizes that “we are not innocent,” and he is one of the few presidents in office willing to admit this.  There is no legitimate evidence of human rights abuses in the DPRK.  The UN  “Commission of Inquiry” was exposed as a fabrication and a tissue of lies, a propaganda device which even the UN Assistant-Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs, Ivan Simonovic, acknowledged “does not meet the standard of proof required to be admitted as evidence in a court of law.”  Perhaps even Donald Trump cannot stomach this disgraceful hypocrisy.


Carla Stea is Global Research’s correspondent at United Nations Headquarters, New York, N.Y.