5) SINGAPORE SUMMIT: ON AGAIN, OFF AGAIN

People's Voice Editorial

          Amid the global chaos of recent years, one piece of positive news was the announcement of a person-to-person meeting between the leaders of the USA and the Democratic Peopleís Republic of Korea. Earlier events had been far more worrisome, starting with Donald Trumpís open threat last fall to kill every citizen of the DPRK. Such an act - the nuclear slaughter of an entire population of 25 million people Ė would be the worst crime in human history.

          If Trumpís threats were just words, they would still be appalling. But DPRK residents remember well that during the 1950-53 invasion of the Korean Peninsula by the US and its allies (including Canada), over 3 million Koreans perished, about ten percent of the pre-war population. Virtually every building in the north of the country was destroyed by US bombing, and the US conducted germ warfare tests, according to well-documented reports by journalist Wilfred Burchett. In other words, Trump was warning that a repeat of US genocide was being considered. The world recoiled in horror at the prospect of war, and the DPRK leadership stepped up its military preparedness.

          Fortunately, the leadership of South Korea adopted a wise diplomatic approach, bringing to Washington an offer from Kim Jong-Un to meet directly with Trump.  But the traditional aggressive approach by the US towards the DPRK may scuttle this historic opportunity. In the context of planning for a summit in Singapore, the US insistence on joint military exercises with the South Korean armed forces was a dangerous provocation. The summit was announced, then cancelled, and now it may be on again. Rash decisions at this crucial time are counter-productive. As the planned date draws nearer, the world is holding its breath, hoping that this chance to end the Korean War will not be squandered by US arrogance and demands.

  (The above article is from the June 1-15, 2018, issue of People's Voice, Canada's leading socialist newspaper. Articles can be reprinted free if the source is credited. Subscription rates in Canada: $30/year, or $15 low income rate; for U.S. readers - $45 US per year; other overseas readers - $45 US or $50 CDN per year. Send to People's Voice, c/o PV Business Manager, 706 Clark Drive, Vancouver, BC, V5L 3J1.)