Editors’ note: Eva Bartlett, the Canadian journalist, has done extraordinary and courageous work in exposing the false NATO/US narrative on Syria. Here she takes up the imperialism-contrived image of North Korea.
By Eva Bartlett
Dec. 19, 2017
Accounts of the nation’s military prowess and threat generally ignore (asnoted here) the presence of the 28,500 U.S. troops occupying South Korea, their 38 military installations, and more recently their Terminal High-Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) battery in South Korea – “a U.S. radar system opposed by the Korean people, in the North and South, as well as China.”
On September 19, 2017, in the forum of the United Nations General Assembly, U.S. President DonaldTrump vowedto “totally destroy” North Korea.
This is not the first time threats against the DPRK have been issued. Colin Powell in 1995threatened toturn North Korea into “a charcoal briquette” and in 2013reiterated that threatto “destroy” the country.
Not broadcast in corporate media is the fact that America had already annihilated North Korea, destroying the capital city, Pyongyang, and cities around the country, with 635,000 tons of bombs, including 32,557 tons of Napalm – indeed turning the North into a ‘charcoal briquette’.
Retired U.S. General Curtis E. LeMay, who headed the Strategic Air Command during that earlier war,saidthat they had “burned down every town in North Korea.” InLeMay’s words, “Over a period of three years or so we killed off, what, 20 percent of the population of Korea, as direct casualties of war or from starvation and exposure?”
Also omitted in news on North Korea are the criminal sanctions against the North,enforced since 1950, making even more difficult the efforts to rebuild following decimation.The sanctions are against the people, affecting all sectors of life (as humorously notedin this clip). Yet, in spite of all odds, the country maintains an enviable health system. As Professor Michel Chossudovskynoted: “North Korea’s health system is the envy of the developing world.” And,according to World Health Organization DirectorGeneral Margaret Chan, North Korea has “no lack of doctors and nurses.”
Further obfuscated in Western reporting are the simulated attacks (what America euphemistically calls ‘war games’) on North Korea twice a year. Involving “hundreds of thousands of troops.” As researcher and author Stephen Gowansnoted, “It is never clear to the North Korean military whether the U.S.-directed maneuvers are defensive exercises or preparations for an invasion.”
A purposeful and familiar crime against reality
The absurdly cartoonish “news” one hears in Western media about North Korea is meant to detract from America’s past and current crimes against the Korean people, and to garner support for yet another American-led slaughter of innocent people.
The stories are designed to vilify the leadership and provide no context, while completely ignoring the North Korean perspective. This is standard operating procedure with respect to countries like Syria, Libya, Venezuela, Cuba, and wherever America and its allies have set their sights on establishing control (and military bases). As historian Bruce Cumingswrote:
We are meant to believe that the North Korean leader is a maniac, inexplicably hell-bent on bombing America. Utterly deleted from the story is the fact that North Koreans have a different perspective: the right to a deterrent against yet another U.S. annihilation of their country. The right to self-defense.
In response to Trump’s threats of annihilation, DPRK Minister for Foreign Affairs, Ri Yong Ho,on September 23, stated:
North Koreans as seen through a visitor’s lens
Propaganda and history aside, what we hardly ever see in articles on North Korea is the human side, some of the faces among the 25 million people at risk of being murdered or maimed by an American-led attack.
From August 24 to 31, 2017, I was part of a three-person delegation that independently visited the DPRK, with the intent of hearing from Koreans themselves about their country and history.
As it turned out, we heard also about their wishes for reunification with the South, their past efforts towards that goal, their desire for peace, but their refusal to be destroyed again. Following are snapshots and videos from my week in the country, with an effort to show the people and some of the impressive infrastructure and developments that corporate media almost certainly will never show.
Impact of U.S. travel ban on unfiltered views of North Korea
My visit coincided with the impending U.S. travel ban to the DPRK, which came into effect one day after I left the country.
As a dual citizen holding Canadian and U.S. citizenship, I can still choose to return to the DPRK after September 2017 on my Canadian passport. However, for Americans, the ban means they will only in limited instances be permitted to travel to the DPRK. The U.S. State Department advisorynotes:
“Persons who wish to travel to North Korea on a U.S. passport after that time must obtain a special passport validation under22 C.F.R. 51.64, and such validations will be granted only under very limited circumstances.”
While the U.S.pretends that the travel ban is for the safetyof U.S. citizens, the same advisory contains this threat:
This wording reveals that the intent of the ban is far more likely to prevent the American public from seeing the human face, and positive aspects, of the DPRK.
Indeed, in anAugust 2017Forbesessay on North Korea, amid the predictable Western rhetoric were surprising admissions of truths:
For more photos and videos from the DPRK, please seemy Facebook albumandmy Youtube playlist, and watchmy conversation withthe creators of the satirical documentary, “The Haircut, a North Korean Adventure.”