Thanks for your comment, Hezekiah. I agree with your assessment of the DPRK’s motivation to obtain nuclear weapons; in their position it is (and has been proven) an undeniably prudent strategy, and one that brought the US to the negotiating table. This is not to endorse proliferation, only to address their strategic situation and the hypocrisy of American — particularly the Republican — hysteria that “North Korea can never be allowed to get the Bomb!” (I wrote about this at length in an earlier piece, “An End to Nuclear Fairytales,”

But when it comes to the context of the Korean crisis, I would argue that you are the one who is blinded by bias— in your case, on behalf of the DPRK.

Per above, I agree that Pyongyang’s actions in terms of its nuclear policy have been perfectly rational from a purely pragmatic point of view. But I take issue with your laying the blame for generations of brutal cult-of-personality rule by the Kim family on the doorstep of the West, or anyone else. I don’t begrudge Pyongyang’s desire to defend itself; what I object to is that desire being treated as synonymous with Kim’s self-serving desire to maintain his personal death grip on power.

Your defense of the Kim dynasty’s stewardship of the welfare of the North Korean people is mind-boggling. Plenty of nations oppose US hegemony without engaging in the brutal totalitarian atrocities that Kim and his father and grandfather before him have. Indeed, your entire portrayal of the Korean situation over the past 68 years is suspiciously generous and admiring toward Pyongyang and forgiving of all its sins (indeed, unwilling even to acknowledge any). To state that the ROK and US/UN invaded the DPRK in 1950, not the other way around, is absurd, a position that calls your entire argument into question as shameless agitprop on behalf of a police state. The brutality of the ensuing war is undeniable, but your depiction of it as some sort of American pogrom in which the North Korean regime was an innocent victim is equally off base.

You cite MacArthur’s hawkishness and desire to use nuclear weapons, which is highly ironic as MacArthur was fired for precisely that sort of bellicosity. Far from being an example of a genocidal US policy, he was cashiered for his insubordination in suggesting it. I am not denying that there have been American voices advocating for terrible military measures (Curt LeMay comes to mind during the US’s next Asian misadventure). But it’s disngenuous to imply that there were the US policymakers, rather than the aberrant lunatic fringe, and their fates support my point.

You portray the ROK as an American puppet, which is debatable (especially now), but don’t see the DPRK as a satellite of the USSR, and later, China? Again, your bias toward one of the most tyrannical regimes on the planet is bizarre.

In short, I am very clear-eyed about US imperialism in Asia and elsewhere, and the venality and incompetence of the current presidential administration. On that much we seem to agree. But you are shockingly blind to the horrors of the Kim regime.

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Writer, filmmaker, and veteran — blogging at The King’s Necktie @TheKingsNecktie

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