North Korea Agreed to Denuclearize, But US Refuses Despite Treaty Obligation

After North Korea agreed in principle to get rid of its nukes, the U.S. continues to ignore its obligation under the NPT to also eliminate its nuclear weapons, as Marjorie Cohn explains.

By Marjorie Cohn

A powerful economic incentive continues to drive the nuclear arms race. After the Singapore Summit, the stock values of all major defense contractors — including Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Boeing and General Dynamics — declined.

Given his allegiance to boosting corporate profits, it’s no surprise that Donald Trump is counterbalancing the effects of the Singapore Summit’s steps toward denuclearization with a Nuclear Posture Review that steers the US toward developing leaner and meaner nukes and lowers the threshold for using them.

The United States has allocated $1.7 trillion to streamline our nuclear arsenal, despite having agreed in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1968 to work toward nuclear disarmament.

Meanwhile, the US maintains a stockpile of 7,000 nuclear weapons, some 900 of them on “hair trigger alert,” according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

If weapons are used they need to be replaced,” Brand McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network has argued. “That makes war a growth story for these stocks, and one of the big potential growth stories recently has been North Korea. What the agreement does, at least for a while, is take military conflict off the table.”

Moreover, economic incentives surrounding conventional weapons also cut against the promise of peace on the Korean Peninsula. Eric Sirotkin, founder of Lawyers for Demilitarization and Peace in Korea, has pointed out that South Korea is one of the largest importers of conventional weapons from the United States. If North and South Korea achieve “a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula,” as envisioned by the agreement between Trump and Kim Jong Un, the market for US weapons could dry up, according to Sirotkin.

Even so, US defense spending will continue to increase, according to Bloomberg Intelligence aerospace expert George Ferguson. “If North Korea turns from a pariah state to being welcomed in the world community, there are still enough trouble spots that require strong defense spending, supporting revenue and profit growth at prime defense contractors.”

The US Lags Behind on Denuclearization

Last year, more than 120 countries in the UN General Assembly approved the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, which requires ratifying countries “never under any circumstances to develop, test, produce, manufacture, otherwise acquire, possess or stockpile nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices.” It also prohibits the transfer of, use of, or threat to use nuclear weapons or nuclear explosive devices.

Since the treaty opened for signature on September 20, 2017, 58 countries have signed and 10 have ratified it. Fifty countries must ratify the treaty for it to enter into force, hopefully in 2019.

The final General Assembly tally on the treaty to ban nuclear weapons. (Click to enlarge.)

The five original nuclear-armed nations — the United States, Britain, France, Russia and China — boycotted the treaty negotiations and the voting. North Korea, Israel, Pakistan and India, which also have nuclear weapons, refrained from participating in the final vote. During negotiations, in October 2016, North Korea had voted for the treaty.

In advance of the Singapore Summit, dozens of Korean American organizations and allies signed a statement of unity, which says:

Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula means not only eliminating North Korea’s nuclear weapons but also denuclearizing the land, air, and seas of the entire peninsula. This is not North Korea’s obligation alone. South Korea and the United States, which has in the past introduced and deployed close to one thousand tactical nuclear weapons in the southern half of the peninsula, also need to take concrete steps to create a nuclear-free peninsula.”

Prospects for a Denuclearized Peninsula

Denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula means not only eliminating North Korea’s nuclear weapons but also denuclearizing the land, air, and seas of the entire peninsula. This is not North Korea’s obligation alone. South Korea and the United States, which has in the past introduced and deployed close to one thousand tactical nuclear weapons in the southern half of the peninsula, also need to take concrete steps to create a nuclear-free peninsula.

The jury is out on whether the statement signed by Trump and Kim after months of hurling incendiary nuclear threats at each other will prevent future nuclear threats and pave the way for global denuclearization.

On April 27, 2018, the Panmunjom Declaration, a momentous agreement between South Korea and North Korea, set the stage for the Singapore Summit. It reads, “The two leaders [of North and South Korea] solemnly declared before the 80 million Korean people and the whole world that there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and thus a new era of peace has begun.”

The Trump-Kim statement explicitly reaffirmed the Panmunjom Declaration and said North Korea “commits to work towards complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

However, when the summit was in the planning stages and before Trump anointed John Bolton as National Security Adviser, Bolton skeptically predicted the summit would not deter North Korea from acquiring nuclear weapons.

Bolton wants regime change in North Korea. His invocation of the Libya model — in which Muammar Qaddafi relinquished his nuclear weapons and was then viciously murdered — nearly derailed the summit. Bolton cynically hoped the summit would provide “a way to foreshorten the amount of time that we’re going to waste in negotiations that will never produce the result we want.”

Sirotkin said in an interview, “Sadly, [the summit] may be set up in this way to please the John Bolton neocon wing as this offers nothing but the peace we agreed to after World War II for all countries of the world in the UN Charter.”

North Korea: Has agreed to give them up. (US Naval Institute)

Meanwhile, Trump claims he has achieved something his predecessors — particularly his nemesis Barack Obama — were unable to pull off. “There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea,” Trump tweeted upon landing in the United States after the summit. Five minutes later, he again took to Twitter, declaring, “Before taking office people were assuming we were going to War with North Korea. President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem. No longer – sleep well tonight.”

In an analysis shared via Facebook, H. Bruce Franklin, professor emeritus at Rutgers University, pointed out that — in a sideways fashion — Trump was correct when he tweeted there is no longer a nuclear threat from North Korea:

[Trump] of course omitted the simple fact that there never was a realistic nuclear threat from North Korea, which has been frantically building a nuclear capability to act as a deterrent against U.S. aggression. If the U.S. stops threatening North Korea, North Korea will have no motive to threaten the U.S. with retaliation. The United States never faced any nuclear threat until we forced the Soviet Union to create one in 1949 to serve as a deterrent against our aggression.”

The significance of the Singapore Summit should not be underestimated. Trump is the first U.S. president to meet with the leader of North Korea. Trump showed Kim respect, and Kim responded in kind. Trump and Kim made a major commitment to peace. We should applaud and support it, and encourage Trump to sit down with Iran’s leaders as well.

The joint agreement signed by the two leaders in Singapore was admittedly sketchy, and denuclearization will not happen overnight. But the agreement was a critical first step in a process of rapprochement between two countries that have, in effect, been at war since 1950.

Indeed, the United States has continued to carry out military exercises with South Korea, which North Korea considers preparation for an invasion. In a critical move, Trump stated at the post-summit press conference that the United States would suspend its “very provocative” war games.

Trump also announced a freeze on any new US sanctions against North Korea and indicated that the United States could lift the current harsh sanctions even before accomplishing total denuclearization. Kim promised to halt nuclear testing and destroy a testing site for ballistic missile engines.

Ultimately, however, it is only global denuclearization that will eliminate the unimaginable threat of nuclear war.

This article is reprinted with permission from TruthOut.

Marjorie Cohn is professor emerita at Thomas Jefferson School of Law, former president of the National Lawyers Guild, deputy secretary general of the International Association of Democratic Lawyers and an advisory board member of Veterans for Peace. An updated edition of her book, Drones and Targeted Killing: Legal, Moral, and Geopolitical Issues, was recently published. Visit her website: http://marjoriecohn.com.

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60 comments for “North Korea Agreed to Denuclearize, But US Refuses Despite Treaty Obligation

  1. Gregory Kruse
    June 25, 2018 at 2:42 pm

    I like the quote from professor Franklin, but I disagree with Cohn’s assertion that the US and NK have been “in effect, at war since 1950”. The Korean War was never a war, and that’s not because the US government called it a “police action”. It was at best a war with Russia and China, and at worst a racist military riot. Those were the early days of the American empire, and that action was part of securing global hegemony. The leaders of and major participants in WWII had no scruples, no morality, and no mercy. They thought they could do literally anything, and we are only now bumping up against our limitations. The US may force NK to destroy their own defenses, but the US will never give up the means to dominate the world, and now they have the right man in charge to accomplish it.

  2. j. D. D.
    June 25, 2018 at 2:16 pm

    There is an ongoing shift underway in the world, as the era of geopolitics, with its destruction of nations through financial manipulations and wars, is being challenged by the emergence of a new era of “win-win” policies of mutual benefit, spearheaded by China’s Belt and Road Initiative. The Trump-Kim summit in Singapore and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Qingdao, China, provide examples which show that peaceful economic cooperation is not only possible, but is already underway. Of course there were previous agreements at peace, in particular the Agreed Framework, but it was canceled by Bush/Chaney and kept buries by Obama, knowing it would mean a restart of the DPRK nuclear weapons program. Why? Because the real target has always been China,not Korea, as Obama proved with his THAD deployment, his “pivot to Asia” and his TPP. However, the Singpore model, which promises to link the two Koreas into the Chinese and Russian economies in exchange for denuclearization is a model of Big Power cooperation (U.S., Russia, China) to clear away the trigger points for war. It must now be applied globally as a template for a viable solution all the hostpots.

  3. June 24, 2018 at 5:05 pm

    A forceful, courageous, lucid, comprehensive review of how our national leaders have misled and betrayed the electorate that entrusted them to lead America into an era of universally binding disarmament agreements. This masterpiece is required reading for everyone who cares about the future of humanity.

  4. mike k
    June 24, 2018 at 8:09 am
  5. mike k
    June 24, 2018 at 7:56 am

    That the masses elected Super Rich Billionaire Donald Trump President of the US, is a sign of how clueless they are. And Super Rich Hillary would have been no better. The US elections have devolved into an Oligarchic Beauty Contest.

    • j. D. D.
      June 25, 2018 at 2:36 pm

      Money and wealth by themselves, mean nothing, not now, not ever What is important is not the size of leader’s bank account, but the ideas they promote and represent. The two greatest American presidents of the past century, FDR and JFK, both came from wealthy, privileged backgrounds, yet both were detested by Wall Street, considered traitors to their class. Hillary Clinton proved to be a money-hungry craven Wall Street lackey, and often admitted her disdain for those less fortunate and left behind the system of Empire. Trump, for all his wealth, is an inexperienced outsider who was targetted for early removal by British intelligence and its American allies, not because of his power, but because of his unrepentent and continuing insistence on a cooperative relationship with Putin’s Russia.

      • elmerfudzie
        June 25, 2018 at 3:42 pm

        Reply to j.D.D. I enjoyed reading your commentaries here in particular, the SCO observation. Corporations with a global presence have leaned towards the Italian Fascist government model of the 1930’s, and has accelerated towards this direction, since the JFK assassination. All western Occident judicial experts need to re-examine the entire process of incorporation papers, to create statutory laws that subject these legal entities to a mandatory and annual review by the local communities where-ever they physically reside. I’d love to witness the day, to see the rise of a dedicated group of well-heeled and (perhaps) retired, international lawyers, emerge and design their own web page for the proles of this world. Citizens at large would finally get to vote, input new ideas, participate actively at this web site. To challenge corporations everywhere, with law, local referendum and class action for the disobedient CEO’s. Again, to hold corporations, on an annual basis, review the individual incorporation papers and examine their ethical, legal, moral conduct over the last year.

        • j. D. D.
          June 25, 2018 at 4:51 pm

          Thank you. Actually, our manufacturing-industrial corporations are struggling.The most urgently need law is a return to the Glass-Stagall Act of 1933, thus removing government protection for the speculative enterprises of our casino economy. That would wipe out most of Wall Street. Alone it is not sufficient, it would need be combined with creation of Hamiltonian-style national bank to funnel federal credit into the real economy and advanced scientific research, such as nuclear fusion and space exploration, but that’s a start.

          • elmerfudzie
            June 25, 2018 at 6:55 pm

            j.D.D. That reinstatement G.S. Act is good enough for me. Any undoing of that, Clinton mob, is definitely okay !
            I can recommend the CEC Report from Australia, it’s a “humdinger” when it means, waving a finger at big banks and fiat money..Take a tour at http://www.cecaust.com.au. Just bursting with goodies about Glass-Steagall !

  6. mike k
    June 24, 2018 at 7:41 am

    “Nothing is as it seems.” Indeed. And in the deep dimension selfishness works it’s evil magic, poisoning everything we do. The desire to have more than one’s neighbor morphs into the insane greed to own all the wealth in the world – and violence ensues.

    Until this fatal hubris infecting humanity is overcome, and replaced with equality, mutual care, and benevolence – our lives together will end tragically, and in the end we will destroy each other.

    Our real problems reside in our minds and hearts, and it is only there that they can be resolved. Until enough of us realize this basic truth, and begin the work of recovering our sanity, the human world will spiral deeper into nightmare. The way out of this morass is simple and clear, but the deluded masses lost in the maze of cultural myths and propaganda have lost their way and cannot see the simple truth confronting them – namely that the Super Rich are destroying everything and leading us inexorably towards extinction.

  7. GMC
    June 24, 2018 at 5:35 am

    This ” Treaty” will end up like the Minsk Treaty in Ukraine vs Donbass. One party will start to adhere to the Treaty N.K.{ Donbass } and the other one { U S } will skate around, fake some actions and end up blaming the other for not implementing the – ” Treaty”. One Treaty is all about putting troops on the Russian borders and the other one is to keep China looking at 30,000 American troops in the Koreas.

  8. Kalen
    June 23, 2018 at 11:55 pm

    The title is deceiving since Kim Jong Un promised no such a thing as end of his nuclear program, in fact he promised no freeze of the program but suspending nuclear weapon physical test under Chinese monitoring, IN EXCHANGE for delivery of Chinese supercomputers to simulate NEW NUKE tests of CADD designed nukes (that is what ALL nuke countries do as ALL suspended physical testing as expensive, dangerous and in fact useless ).

    What he was taking about was denuclearization of Korean Peninsula which covers denuclearization of entire South Korea including US troops withdrawal as US is nuclear state. and only 65% of NK territory leaving in tact 90% of NK nuclear weapons development sites, since they are not on geographic Korean Penisula but along Chinese border.

    Trump as realist in fact acquiesced to NK nukes asked for saving face declaration and Chinese commitment to take care of the PR problem so NK seize infuriating his narcissistic ego, public statements feeding anti Trump frenzy Back in US MSM.

    All political theater, although it does not mean that Trump not inadvertently started the end to communist regime in NK AS Nixon started begining of the end of Chinese communist regime that continues in name only.

    Kim Jung Un infatuated with western culture like his father wants to join GLOBAL oligarchic class, to hollow up his regime from ideas of communism as Chinese did, and introduce devastating state monopolistic markets as a way to destroy his own country communal culture, societal attitudes of dominant social equality, sharing and cooperation for animalistic exploitation for private profit and by that attract foreign investments he himself will profit from.

    Nothing is what it seems.

    • elmerfudzie
      June 24, 2018 at 12:37 am

      Kalen, excellent points! That fat, illegitimate son of the four dragons cannot be counted on to act on behalf of his gaunt and starved people. Bad enough, that most Western democracies cannot spare their people(s) and economies from needless, now endless, bankers wars. Can we trust, that a totalitarian satrap like Kim Jong Un will surrender his undeserved and self appointed Kingship to a very intrusive, United Nations monitoring plan and again, surrender all his nuclear weapons? I think not, this whole new effort by Trump and company, is a total waste of time. I hope I’m one hundred percent wrong about all this.

      • Paranam Kid
        June 24, 2018 at 2:58 am

        Can we trust a lying, cheating US satrap who tears up signed agreements, who foments & wages war on all & sundry?
        “This whole new effort” by Trump is an effort at deceiving KJU because KJU outsmarted the “biggest dealmaker in history” and that whole gang of henchmen around him. KUJ forced Trump to the negotiating table because KJU proved incontrovertibly that the nuclear deterrent works, even against the world’s biggest bully and threat to peace and stability in the world.

      • Kalen
        June 24, 2018 at 10:27 am

        What I described , abandonment of Korean Socialism, is the only plausible way of political reunification of both Koreas in long term under state do,inat capitalism (not that I like it) , short of war, both, in fact the same, Koreans do not want as they know what devastation, death and starvation it means.

        Many on the west do not realize that for Koreans the is only one Korean nation and always will be and that is fundamental condition for surviving of the nation as a whole, strong economically, with nukes and given their history of continually being invaded by Japan and to lesser degree by Mongols and China over last 1000 years it is not surprise or unreasonable condition and guarantee given recent 40 year occupation by Japan that ended in 1945 and both Korean governments in full agreement with population seek reparations from Japan in tens of $trillions. It is a major obstacle to Japan signing post WWII peace treaty.

        • elmerfudzie
          June 24, 2018 at 7:14 pm

          Kalen, Reunification, at least for now, seems to be a bit of a pipe dream. The two Korea’s have been separate cultures for, way too long. Example; would Kim be politely asked to just, quietly, leave the scene? would he be free to do so? Can the South, suddenly, assimilate twenty five million people without crashing their own economy? Only West Germany was financially strong enough to see it through. Of course, every man has his price and perhaps a dollar figure could be extended to that CCP fat, satrap. I suggest that the offer be something akin to a big Dasha, in Switzerland, with wide doorways and fancy rosewood chairs, brass and mahogany wet bars! gilded, this and that, and lots of ready cash at K. J. Un’s disposal !

          In my view, it would be ecstatically good news, should reunification take place. That is, under the direction, and total control, by the South Korean government. Damn, I wouldn’t care where the hell those nukes were then! Rest-a sure, the atomic stockpiles would be carefully accounted for and more importantly, in responsible, secure hands.

          ASIDE: Mr. Abe, Mr. As?, friends! don’t panic!… We, the USPAC alliance, promise to lock the North’s, A-bombs up in a deep vault somewhere. Mr. Prime minister, Mr. Abe, go ahead, buy a few of them, see if we care. Prime minister Abe, if I were you (and I’m so glad I’m not in your shoes) I’d recommend that trusted party diplomats meet with your brother “Abel”, the South Korean government, and sign a treaty, to kick us, the USPACOM out of your two countries.

          Moon Jae-in! and Prime minister Lee Nak-yeon!, buy the (self elected) fatso off, then rejoice!, like the German’s did..Uncle Sam has a Pacific Naval fleet nearby and five army’s worth of foot solders south of the DMZ, all there to preserve those new possibilities in place, that is, until you-all, the two dragons, kick us, the U.S. -out !

          It’s about love, baby, love, and without conditional anything. Usually, when necessary and long overdue, a civilized divorce is indeed, sweet. No hard feelings! I say to the two dragons, and well in advance of the destiny that awaits you both, good bye and good luck!

    • rosemerry
      June 25, 2018 at 4:46 pm

      I sincerely hope that your very negative comments are completely wrong. Like so many MSM pundits you assume the position of NK is deceptive and Kim’s offers full of lies, as that is the way the USA behaves. However, history shows what the Koreas have been through since the end of Japanese occupation, and South Korea has had the “help” of US arms, including nukes for 33 years up to 1991, to threaten North Korea. The war games have disrupted DPRK planting and harvesting of crops for decades, besides the fear of attack, and nukes are seen as the only way to deter US violence to allow “normal life” in the North. If the threat is taken away (yes, that DOES mean the unnecessary US troops and arms) North Korea could be able to live in peace, not needing nukes (nobody needs them, of course).

      • elmerfudzie
        June 25, 2018 at 7:17 pm

        Reply to rosemary. Off-topic: rosemary, every time I see that name it reminds me of the US Intel community and their annual Rosemary Award
        On topic: rosemary, let’s not get too presuming here about elmerfudzie’s intellectual disposition’s Frankly, I never listen to or promote any position by Fox, MSN, AOL CBS NBC or any other corporate propaganda/diatribes. Nor do I listen to Clear Channel Corps radio programming.

        I assume NOTHING about about NK. I only see that their citizenry at large, are in an Orwellian circumstance. Their throats held by the “claws” of a self appointed autocrat, mired in the best example of a completely totalitarian state apparatus, not witnessed since the day’s of Stalin-ism. Please review domestic photo op’s of Kim Jong Un, and you’ll see starving gaunt subordinates all around him, but Un! that rotund, satrap, cannot hope to B.S.me. Perhaps he’s B. S.ed you? how in heaven’s name could that happen ! This commentary section has provoked several entires, by this writer, many of my opinions (and they are just that) about Un are perfectly clear, and justified!

  9. mike k
    June 23, 2018 at 6:47 pm

    @ elmerfudzie:
    Thanks for your polite response to my attempt to needle you a bit. A lesson in good internet manners that I needed. You make some good points that I agree with.

  10. June 23, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    Nuclear weapons, the most dangerous products ever devised by mankind, have destructive power and overkill capacity insanely out of proportion to their original intended purpose. Even a 5-year-old child recognizes nuclear weapons are wrong, and would respond to any inquiry along the lines of “Should we get rid of these things?” with an immediate “yes”.

    Any sober adult will understand the urgency in bringing about the total elimination of nuclear weapons from the face of the Earth – even if it means taking the necessary step of bringing the death penalty to those who persist in keeping these absolutely evil monstrosities in their possession.

  11. mike k
    June 23, 2018 at 8:47 am

    In a world suffering from a Real Love deficiency state, paranoia and violence escalating towards mass extinction are inevitable. This is a cosmic law governing emerging intelligent beings throughout the Universe. Love or perish.

    How to treat this situation is our real problem, and failure to do so will be fatal for our species, no matter what inadequate fixes we may choose to employ. Waking up to the gravity of this underlying problem is a difficult first step, but it is necessary if we are to deal with it effectively. Gathering in small groups dedicated to awakening to the reality we are confronting is a good way to discover the ways out of our dead end death spiral currently playing out. The time is indeed late for this, but I know of no other real solution to our desperate crisis.

  12. exiled off mainstreet
    June 23, 2018 at 2:14 am

    I don’t know what the legalities are, but I suspect it would be difficult for the yankee imperium to continue its occupation of South Korea if Moon demanded their departure. The fear of such a demand may have been a motivating factor of the Singapore summit. Realistically, I think that the yankee regime lacks the level of civilization required to get rid of nuclear weapons, certainly a laudable goal, but impossible under the present regime framework.

  13. jose
    June 22, 2018 at 11:33 pm

    Why am I not surprise at US refusal to denuclearize. Actually, nobody should be caught by surprise by US nuclear weapons policy. If memory serves me well, president Obama endorsed and approved $1 trillion on developing an upgrading arsenal of nuclear weapons. US is not going to get rid of its nuclear toys after spending trillions. I hope I am wrong.

    • Joe Tedesky
      June 23, 2018 at 1:27 am

      Yes Jose, if the U.S. weren’t to spend it all on nuclear proliferation or purchasing more bombs every 12 minutes, I mean, what else would we possibly spend this massive amount of taxpayer dollars on other than more expensive war enhancements? What’s even more of a let down, is with the MSM that we have little more than a mention of this kind of news has a snowball chance in Haiti of denuclearization has to preempt whatever fixated nonsense our hilarious MSM is pushing on us to believe this current 24 hour news cycle. It Orwell, but it’s our Orwell, which means we created a lie to implement a fortune to rest heavily upon our debt… and for what? A brief moment in time just to say you controlled the 3rd planet from the sun. So as we pan away from this rapidly choking earth as seen through the laughing eyes of the universe this is all ‘Just Priceless’! Joe

      • jose
        June 23, 2018 at 9:22 am

        I like you cited Orwell in your post because it fits perfectly to our current situation. Please Joe, do not forget that not only the national media are duplicitous and corrupt but also the people share a great responsibility here. The National media have lied repeatedly and yet they are still follow by millions to lazy to use independent news sources. I mean, if people did not to pay attention to this issue, is not because the information is not out there. Part of that trillion is spent to convince the public about the supposedly need to have and develop a nuclear arsenal. People ought to wake up and smell the coffee. Good and incite post.

        • Joe Tedesky
          June 23, 2018 at 9:54 am

          I often say, that you really need to work hard to get to the truth of our world’s news, and after listening to our MSM it’s no joke. The MSM if ever it were to go up against a Nuremberg Tribunal would certainly find many in our MSM guilty of war crimes, but in today’s America it’s treated like with ‘who cares’ while they profit from commercial TV, and ad space. I blame the MSM for 90% of the illiteracy that is to be found among the American public, and like you Jose I wish these people would reach out into the alternative press, and further their own education of our current events. It’s one thing to be ignorant of the truth, and it’s entirely another thing to believe in a reported lie.

          Good one Jose. Joe

          • eyesopen
            June 23, 2018 at 10:53 am

            Unfortunately the Nuremberg tribunal was another Orwellian propaganda-exercise by the inventors of modern propaganda – the Bernays – Freud grouping. A shame that the fine characteristics that we have been told Nuremberg represented were in fact completely ignored.

            google( Tyranny at Nuremberg paul craig roberts )

            google( Edward Bernays’ Brother-in-Law Designed The Nuremberg Trials renegade )

          • Joe Tedesky
            June 23, 2018 at 11:55 am

            I’m aware of the Nuremberg theatrical qualities, in fact I thought the Spence Tracy movie was much better than the real trail, but for lack of another reference I thought I’d refer to the Nuremberg trail anyway. It’s good you raised the point you did eyesopen, or otherwise someone would think my idea was creditable. Joe

  14. elmerfudzie
    June 22, 2018 at 7:18 pm

    I sincerely hope that Kim Jong Un has not miscalculated the U.S.position here, or our firm determination to eliminate all his stores of nuclear weapons.

    If I were in the shoes of top brass at the Pentagon and at the same time, a representative of U.S. alliances for the USPAC, my assessment to the POTUS could be summed up this way:

    Mr President, at any time the USD can turn into paper confetti and before it does, we must leave in place a very specific military posture in the far east. This implies that, to rely on Russia for assistance of any kind, ignores the fact that she has a two trillion dollar economy-at best. Their naval resources are tied up, monitoring and protecting a thirty eight thousand kilometer coastline (among other things) North Korea’s other contiguous neighbor, China (aside from the DMZ of course) has exactly one aircraft carrier, assigned to protect it’s cargo ships that sail through the Strait of Malacca, for example, from ongoing piratry. Other major military interests in the Asia-pacific region, are China’s long range plans to extract oil beneath the ocean floors near the Spratly Islands and preserve their sovereignty over Taiwan – a stubbornness that makes my belly ache Mr President.

    Until, unless, Un accounts for, and surrenders (perhaps to, a neutral third party) every milligram of fissionable material(s), that exists outside the two commercial reactor cores, the alliance cannot hope to guaranty a future, free of nuclear weapons.

    Un may, already be under some invisible “heel” or subject to some variation of blackmail. For all we know he may be in the throes of an internal military coup. Un is aledgedly, not in good health and what will unfold, after his sudden death? Who will be the new Leader, dictator and president of North Korea then? perhaps a fanatical general(s)?

    A possibility now exists for a diversion of the North’s nuclear materials/technology to terrorist and or non-state actors. While these political conditions have yet to visibly surface, they soon very well may, and thus we, the USPAC-Pentagon alliance, will not be in a position to ever, faithfully broadcast to the world, that the N-S peninsula is now, completely free of the nuclear weapons menace.

    To sum up our “big picture” evaluation, Mr. President… There’s little time left to the dominance of, and the reserve status of, our U.S.D. Consequently, very little time remains, should Kim Jong Un be exposed as nothing short of a deceiver or procrastinator, with the hidden plan to wait for the next 1929 to repeat itself. The final decision on what to do, rests with you Mr President

    • F. G. Sanford
      June 22, 2018 at 9:47 pm

      Elmer, wasn’t there a John Wayne movie where Bull Halsey said exactly the same thing to Harry Truman? Maybe he left out the piratry, but I swear, I think it was pretty close to those same words.

      • elmerfudzie
        June 23, 2018 at 12:56 am

        Reply to F.G. Sanford. Your sarcastic innuendo? was actually an inspiration! In 1969, John Wayne starred in the movie, True Grit. The theme of it can only strengthen my argument(s). John Wayne’s role illustrates where the present world position is for the USA; strong, experienced, much older and infested with an incurable cancer that will soon overtake, “the Hero”. This cancer’s name is, fiat money. In our nation’s case, the bitter end is only hastened by Ponzi scheme(s) such as derivatives markets, commodity future speculations, Clinton’s dissolution of the Glass-Steagall Banking Act….and so on. Consequently, all the elements of the 1929 stock market crash, loom limitless over our entire global military posture. There’s very little time left to undo those damages created by political intrigues (assassinations) and lack of vigilance on the part(s) of the Western Occident Intel agencies , CIA FBI, Interpol, MI6, (Mossad), and Germany’s Bundesnachrichtendienst, among others. Damages such as, the seemingly unstoppable spread, of nuclear materials and proliferation, i.e., services and technical know-how of A.Q. Khan and his network.

        My greatest fear is, today’s nuclear weapons discoveries and developments in, terms of time lag, are no longer linear but logarithmic, thus improvements in laser atomic separation, circumvention of the Plutonium 240 contaminant issue for nuclear fission, are just a few examples that demonstrate a real urgency on both technical and political grounds. The unique individualism and character so symbolic of John Wayne and the U.S of A. indeed, won’t be around forever.

        • F. G. Sanford
          June 23, 2018 at 4:17 am

          Elmer, you’re priceless! We in the western Occident may not have John Wayne anymore, but at least we’ve got re-runs. Personally, I can’t wait to see Gengas Khan again. That network thing was just spectacular. All the best-

        • mike k
          June 23, 2018 at 8:18 am

          Elmer, you seem to be a big fan of US world dominance. I wonder how a great intellectual like John Wayne would handle the situation of nuclear war chicken that the US is provoking – Draw Pardner! and shoot ’em dead?

          My question to you is: If you could play any character in the movie Dr. Strangelove, which one would you choose?

          My second question is: Who do you work for?

          • elmerfudzie
            June 23, 2018 at 10:37 am

            mike k. Back in the 1960’s, a collection of various “intellectuals” warned us all of impending food, water and resource (energy) grabs by first world countries (corporate entities) . The warnings have, more or less, become truisms. For example; Muammar Gaddafi’s oil and his deep water reservoir project, Afghanistan’s mineral treasures, ditto frictions between South and North Sudan over oil revenues, ditto again for untapped Yemeni oil and gas fields, Monsanto’s GMO project et cetera.

            The John Wayne allusion to a nuclear gun fight is not so simple, as the individual duels of the old west were. First, the US is a just a cog in the wheel of six major nuclear powers. In terms of social and political order, and for the sake of peacekeeping, transferring the authority to kill, such as the town sheriff, branches of military, Intel operatives, are part of any culture or people. That said, a new and disturbing political issue has resurfaced. The real problem is global corporate fascism and it’s power to overwhelm and compromise the state policing apparatus (Italy in the 1930’s) and in our case, corrupting the officialdom within all three branches of government. All I’m suggesting is, it’s not the “old stuff” of a gun toting US image anymore, provoking confrontation. The rise of corporate entities who are resource grabbers, political corrupter’s and usurpers of the peoples democratically elected sheriffs to do the authorized killing (when necessary for social order) is the outstanding issue of our time. For example; during the Katrina disaster in New Orleans, private policing agencies were hired to protect property rights over human life and they were killing blacks left and right. Anther example; the dissolution of the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878 making it possible for a military policing presence at major sports events or at riots like Ferguson Missouri. This is only the beginning of our problems and unless stopped, will end with nuclear weapons stockpiles transferred into the hands of private corporate entities. A country’s political beliefs, systems, like who’s a commie, peacenik, warmonger, socialist, has virtually nothing to do with what the new reality is: Unrestrained predatory capitalism, the anarchy it brings and the nihilism it promises. I can’t laugh about the Russian’s and “excretions” (Stragelove) and crazy colonel’s anymore, the situation is critical!

    • Jeff Harrison
      June 23, 2018 at 1:03 am

      Fudzie, first of all, his name is Kim, Un is his first name. In Korean, my name would be Harrison Jeff. Everybody makes it out like Kim is the bad actor. He’s not. The US has been the bad actor. Korea was implementing the agreed framework they signed with Clinton. The US failed to live up to our side of the bargain and didn’t build the light water reactors we were supposed to and a couple of other things. And then Shrub canceled the agreement. Much like he canceled the ABM treaty. Americans for some reason seem to think that if we abrogate a treaty, the other party (s) will continue to honor it.

      • elmerfudzie
        June 23, 2018 at 1:44 am

        Reply to Jeff Harrison. Un has somehow become a nickname of sorts, I don’t know how it got started. In any case, your correct. Kim Jong Un, it is. Never the less, looking back on U.S. treaties and agreements, President Nixon and the USSR’s Brezhnev signed historic arms agreement and we didn’t do so bad either working with the new Russian Federation, perestroika, and glasnost.

        As for the Korean commentary, in 1991 Bush the elder began his Presidential Nuclear Initiative and withdrew tactical nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula. The following year, a Joint Declaration, binding both sides not to test, or in any way deploy or store nuclear weapons entered into force. The North ignored it’s public commitment and secretly continued it’s nuclear program.

        In my view, the entire investment for commercial nuclear in North Korea was a failure. I’ve said it many times before; Perhaps you’ve often heard the phrase, Problem, Reaction then Solution. First, the international corporations create the problem. For example, the people React- frequently in a self destructive way, followed by a political and or economic “Solution” that the originators of the problem create in the first place! Case in point, North Korea. where Illinois very own Donald Rumsfeld (a dubious distinction to say the least) lobbied congress and then President Clinton signed off, authorizing the construction of two nuclear reactors for North Korea (contracted out to ABB ltd. Zurich?). After completion, their near vicinity neighbors saw two nuclear bomb factories. That Neo-Con Rumsfeld made a lot of dough for being a D.C. lobbyist and was, at one time, on the board of ABB Zurich . You know the rest of the story….an ever revolving door between congress, corporate military and world instability.

        • Jeff Harrison
          June 23, 2018 at 11:15 am

          Problem is the US never built the two light water reactors for NK that we were supposed to under the agreed framework.

          • elmerfudzie
            June 23, 2018 at 3:46 pm

            Reply to Jeff Harrison: The “problem” is the two reactors are now built and fully operational. As I’ve stated in several prior commentaries, supervision is another key word here. Once the (United Nations) reactor room monitoring camera’s came down, the issue was handed over to the U.S. military. Without the proverbial infiltration by western “spy networks”, satellite data won’t reveal much at all. No-one knows what’s really going on with the North’s plutonium stream. There’s a reasonable suspicion that Yongbyon’s reactor has been converted to a breeder. Their scientists may be tinkering with the Fast Breeder Reactor (FBR) concept. In any case, it spells trouble, for everyone, everywhere, unless or until Kim Jong Un cooperates with Trump and to the fullest extent possible.

            Mr Harrison, ask yourself an important question, North Korea has a rich deposit of coal sufficient for all it’s long term domestic electrical generation needs, so why did such an impoverished nation decide to bear the full brunt of a “very dirty” Plutonium-Uranium reactor core cycle, lest we forget, additional costs of permanent waste storage?

            Not to wander too far off the subject, but then again, it’s important to emphasize; The thing about Neo-Cons like Rumsfeld is, they needn’t plan or try for a successful outcome to
            any project they advance to “sucker” nations, they always make a fortune anyway. He starts off as a US senator from Illinois and ends up a multi-millionaire, never mind all the political blunders like North Korea, or wars and destructive foibles like Iraq and Afghanistan.

      • Piotr Berman
        June 23, 2018 at 1:29 pm

        I misunderstood you initially. Reagan was a good actor, not as good as Obama, and Hillary sucked, whether she pretended to be a homicidal maniac or to be worried “about the children”. I know Prez. Kim only from photos and snippets without dialogue, so I will not comment on him.

        But “bad actor” may also mean “evil doer”, and you seem to pay no attention to the artistic angle.

    • Den Lille Abe
      June 23, 2018 at 8:46 am

      But how do we make the warcriminals in Washington give up the Nukes? And how do we stop them from interfering in countries they are not welcome? Or just droning brown people?
      Tell, please do tell..

  15. June 22, 2018 at 6:54 pm

    Interesting article at link below.
    ———————————————————————-
    Sexy metal: the missing element in the Korean puzzle

    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo knows the importance of rare earth elements, and North Korea has reportedly found one of the world’s biggest deposits 150km from Pyongyang; is this another factor behind the recent thaw with the US?

    By PEPE ESCOBAR JUNE 20, 2018 7:37 PM (UTC+8)

    http://www.atimes.com/article/sexy-metal-the-missing-element-in-the-korean-puzzle/

    • elmerfudzie
      June 23, 2018 at 1:17 am

      Steven J. The global appetite for and scarcity of rare earth metals, can be filled by tapping into those resources found in Japan and Afghanistan. The real issue hinges on one particular (rare-earth) element, Praseodymium. If memory serves, China’s got most of the world’s known reserves of this metal. Any geologists out there in CONSORTIUMNEWS land? we need technical assistance, please.

      • Paranam Kid
        June 24, 2018 at 3:15 am

        @elmerfudzie: Afghanistan, another one of your “sucker” countries (you forgot to include the US itself, or do you include with the sh*thole countries?) where the US is staying more or less permanently to get its hands on the $1 trillion treasure trove of minerals, inc. rare earths. For now Japan remains a potential producer.

        Japan may have some rare earths but it certainly is not a big producer, and does not appear to have the potential.

        So bringing up these 2 countries as potential suppliers demonstrates that you are comparing apples with …. well, anything except apples.

  16. John G
    June 22, 2018 at 6:45 pm

    I would like to point out, that the $1.7 trillion that was allocated to streamline and update our nuclear arsenal was done under Obama’s watch.

    • Paranam Kid
      June 24, 2018 at 3:17 am

      @John G: sure, but Trump, contrary to his slew of cancellations of other Obama policies, did not not revoke this one. So, what is the point you are making?

  17. Jeff Harrison
    June 22, 2018 at 5:48 pm

    I never understood how we could pull off massive sanctions against Iran for violating the NNPT which Iran denied and which subsequent review by the IAEA demonstrated had not been violated while the US blythely violates on a daily basis and we suffer no repercussions. This is why the UN is a failure and why we will be at war soon. The UN is unable to force the “great powers” to follow the rules. Leona Helmsley famously said that taxes are for the little people. And the US might as well say that complying with international rules is for lesser countries.

    • KiwiAntz
      June 22, 2018 at 6:13 pm

      If the UN was a proper functioning Organization, the US would be hauled before the Hague, like the Nazi’s War criminals were & trialled for War crimes against humanity & it’s Political Leaders & Elite Class put to death & hanged for those crimes of genocidal murder!

    • Revenant
      June 23, 2018 at 12:42 am

      Agreed!

  18. Realist
    June 22, 2018 at 5:38 pm

    From the Dictionary of American Newspeak

    “American Exceptionalism:” Practice of hypocrisy on the grandest scale in the histories of the English language and the human race, ruthlessly applied in the service of absolute global hegemony by the American state exclusively to the benefit of the country’s extant ruling plutocracy regardless of consequences to human liberty, human rights and all life on the planet itself. Most notable example of the principle called “Doublethink” in American Newspeak. Practice traces to adages dating from antiquity commonly expressed in the form, “do what I say, not what I do.” American Newspeak traces directly to Ing-Soc Newspeak elucidated first by British author Eric Blair (aka George Orwell) and supposedly spoken in the mythical country of Oceania, roughly corresponding to the NATO countries before dissolution of the Soviet Union.

    When moral and ethical perversions are ingrained into the language itself the previously unthinkable becomes reflexively accepted without question. Torture becomes “enhanced interrogation.” Being kidnapped and thrown into a torture cell becomes “extreme rendition.” Political debate in the media becomes “fake news,” “trolling” or “stealing America’s democracy.” Insider leaks and whistleblowing becomes “hacking by Russia,” attribution requiring no evidence whatsoever. War becomes the new “peace,” civilisations are demolished, entire populations slaughtered and democracies overthrown to allegedly save the people and bring them the blessings of American Exceptionalism. The end result for the targeted society is an additional jurisdiction for the American Empire to rule, to garrison with American troops, to strip of natural resources, to forcibly sell its products (mostly weaponry and loans) and to irrevocably burden with debt, making the process well “worth it” according to the standard rhetoric emanating from Washington.

    Some analysts claim to discern parallels between the modus operandi of the expansionist American militarist state and the fictional “Borg” from a futuristic television program popular in the 1990’s. Though the technological tools and weaponry at the disposal of these two predatory entities are highly disparate, their interface with intended victims through ultimata is of a kind, embodied in the undeviating warning that ” resistance if futile” and “you will be assimilated.” There is no third way offered. You cannot be their partner, only a vassal. As a target your destruction or capitulation is just a matter of time, since both the Borg and the American Empire have unlimited resources at their disposal. Right? (After all, the Empire can expect limitless revenues from its American citizenry. Right?)

    • KiwiAntz
      June 22, 2018 at 6:07 pm

      We are the American Borg Empire! Resistance is futile! We will add your biological, technological & Oil resources to own own! You must comply? Sounds like a plan for the new American Century right there! Pity the Russians & Chinese have thrown a spanner into that Borg Cube, to clog up the works!

      • Realist
        June 22, 2018 at 7:25 pm

        Maybe the empire will start to collapse, no longer allowing its military to rampage at will across the globe, once our overlords have sucked dry the domestic economy, including all revenues from a pauperized 99%. What remains of the uber capitalist class will not cotton to having their assets nationalized to pursue more world conquest. Within the plutocracy is where the great civil war will be played out.

        Watch California carefully for the first traces of such collapse, as that state has been in the vanguard for so much of America’s march into the future. Already they are internally feuding, with factions pushing to fragment the polity into three independent realms, even as a massive reverse Dust Bowl migration ensues. Middle class and public sector debt will not be serviceable in the foreseeable future, just as in the Rust Belt and on the East Coast. Gates, Zuckerman, Bezos, Brin and the rest of the West Coast aristocrats (Hillary’s base) will not be willing to prop up the country after they’ve bled it dry. Even Mexico will not want the territory back after they’ve reconquered it through numbers. There will be dying in the streets after ownership turns off the power grid and other lines of supply just as sure as there would be following a nuclear- or solar-induced EMP. I hope people took good notes while watching all the apocalyptic television fare. Maybe it’s still possible to learn a lesson about what can happen after Uncle Sam decided to starve out Venezuela. Such is hope for the world.

        • Skip Scott
          June 23, 2018 at 8:14 am

          One of my favorite authors is Cormac McCarthy. If you haven’t checked out his post apocalyptic novel “The Road”, you should give it a read. Very dark stuff, but McCarthy is a great writer.

          I’m hoping that when TSHTF the first A-bomb lands right on my noggin.

    • mike k
      June 22, 2018 at 6:29 pm

      Sounds really real to me. Too real for comfort.

    • Revenant
      June 23, 2018 at 12:46 am

      You had me at Hypocrisy. So glad to read comments from those who are wide awake. Bravo!

  19. Joe Tedesky
    June 22, 2018 at 4:31 pm

    Odd how the 120 nation vote within the UN General Assembly approved the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and hardly any mention of it in our fabulous MSM news. Why, one would think that a treaty signed by this many countries to denuclearization this beat up planet of ours, would be breaking news in any person’s country. In fact, if mankind is to evolve then denuclearization would certainly be on the table for man’s advancement to live a better life. Once again in the Western world profits out class the fate of us humans. I mean how stupid of a species are we?

    • Realist
      June 23, 2018 at 6:46 am

      And, what’s the nature of those “profits?” A number in a ledger representing a pile of petrobucks that the Bureau of Printing and Engraving cranks out at the behest of the Federal Reserve Bank when it creates more debt through loans? That “wealth” is worth nothing if there are no natural resources, no usable energy, no food, and no value-added products to buy because the planet has been exhausted of them, on a day certain which is coming sooner than anyone realises.

      It was really “brilliant” of H.sapiens to squander all those necessities of modern life (to say nothing of millions of actual lives lost as well) in pursuit of purely symbolic dollars. What the public is sold as conventional “wisdom” is really madness when you think about it in depth, preferably in terms of thermodynamics, stripped of the facile slogans, jargon and platitudes of marketplace economics in which the true value of anything is made subservient to its theoretical fungible equivalent in dollars, a mere symbol, having no intrinsic worth, the value of which can vanish in response to a single world event.

      The stark reality is that the present eight billion humans (with more coming on line every minute) are dissipating available delta G (Gibbs free energy), that which is required to discover, create or extract the aforementioned necessities, faster than more can be discovered, recovered, renewed or captured and irreversibly increasing delta S (entropy) in the form of toxic wastes, pollution, and atmospheric change that redound (yes) even to the global climate. The planet is already overpopulated and peak oil, peak water, peak copper, tin, uranium, rare earth elements and peak everything else needed to sustain modern life is upon us or just around the corner, certainly for a world population that will top 12 billion at mid-century. That’s only halfway to 2100! What will change the growth kinetics before then? War, famine, disease, or mere tyranny if we are lucky? Our air, water, topsoil and other essential resources are not only being depleted but despoiled, contaminated due to the inexorable entropy increase that accompanies our industrial processes, making these essentials less available and less safe every day.

      As if these inadvertent but unavoidable deleterious changes in our environment, baked into the cake by the very laws of thermodynamics, weren’t enough of a challenge to our future, humankind in its monumental hubris, has to enormously exacerbate the problem by waging constant costly warfare, weapons development (most notably nuclear but plenty of other expensive high tech devices as well–with drones, lasers, microwave and ultrasonic beam weapons, robots, and AI, Skynet is virtually upon us), and massive troop deployments in every corner of the globe. There is no entity on the planet which wastes as much energy reserves and produces as much pollution and toxic waste, including the most deadly radionuclides ever to exist upon the Earth, than the U.S. military. The Russians, the Chinese and a few other countries add to the problem, but NONE of them, even all added together, hold a candle to the destructive effects of the American military machine, which would represent a major problem even if it were not engaged in multiple hot wars at any given point in time.

      That’s how stupid the human species is, Joe. And, H.sapiens.americanus seems a whole lot denser than most of its fellow conspecifics. If not more stupid, maybe we are a lot crazier than the rest.

      • Skip Scott
        June 23, 2018 at 8:06 am

        7 pct. of American adults think chocolate milk comes from brown cows. That’s almost 17 million American ADULTS. If your post doesn’t make us depressed enough and H.sapiens.americanus stupidity, this should do it.

      • Joe Tedesky
        June 23, 2018 at 10:13 am

        I’d much prefer this news you report to us, was delivered by a washing machine mechanic, but Realist you are a scientist and coming from you your report is downright scary… I mean scary.

        I sometimes think, that the partaking of the forbidden fruit was meant to symbolize man’s denial of nature. On the other hand it is a lot more simpler that we humans respect earth’s natural abundance of clean air, and useable soil, etc.

        Great comment Realist. Joe

  20. dfnslblty
    June 22, 2018 at 3:45 pm

    bullyboy potus and its appointees do NOT know the meaning of nor how to negotiate; Fear is rampant among their ilk, and greed is master.
    SoS is the pry bar for fascism and oligarchy.
    Protest Loudly

    Excellent essay

  21. Sally Snyder
    June 22, 2018 at 3:23 pm

    As shown in this article, the North Koreans have a good reason to believe that the United States is not trustworthy:

    https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2018/06/war-crimes-in-korea-guilty-as-charged.html

    The Korean people have paid a very heavy price simply because of their unfortunate geographic location immediately adjacent to the world’s largest Communist state

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