North Korea is a country that wants to be thought of for its original state ideology, what North Korea’s founder Kim Il-Sung called Juche. North Korea also wants to be thought of for its ability to unite both the non-Aligned movement and workers movements throughout the world, even though at times the country seems isolated. These sentiments are not novel, North Korea says openly what they think its greatest achievements are in multiple films and news clips.
But North Korea has achieved something else. In an age where America is more hated than Juche is universally loved (or even known), North Korea is the country which above all others stands up to America more consistently and more thoroughly than any other. This has won the admiration of people of all races and nations and those from across the political spectrum, including those who don’t necessarily wish to live in a Juche society.
An end of year 2013 poll by Gallup found that the United States is overwhelmingly considered the top threat to world peace by a majority of the world.
According to the survey whose biases if anything were pro-US as Gallup is an American company, the following is true,
“The US was the overwhelming choice (24% of respondents) for the country that represents the greatest threat to peace in the world today. This was followed by Pakistan (8%), China (6%), North Korea, Israel and Iran (5%). Respondents in Russia (54%), China (49%) and Bosnia (49%) were the most fearful of the US as a threat”.
The following map shows the results of the survey by painting countries which participated with the flag of the nation the people in that country feel is the biggest threat to world peace. Uniquely in the world, only South Korea feels North Korea is the number one threat. Japan and the United States do not feel North Korea is the number one threat and in spite of its close alliance with the US, the people of Australia feel that the US is the number one threat. NATO members Turkey and Germany also feel the same, as does Ukraine and America’s neighbour Mexico.
In the years since the survey was taken, there is no indication that the results have significantly changed.
It is against the background that many in the world who would otherwise not have any strong opinions of North Korea one way or another are seeing North Korea as a country which uniquely refuses to kowtow to US threats and as a consequence are developing a kind of geo-political admiration for North Korea’s stance. The fact that North Korea hasn’t invaded anyone, quite unlike the United States, simply reinforces North Korea’s status as a victim of American aggression in the eyes of the world.
On the 8th of August, 2017, the President of the United States threatened North Korea with,
“…fire & fury — and frankly power — the likes of which the world has never seen before”,
should Pyongyang make any further treats towards the United States.
Pyongyang responded by threatening to “envelope (the US territory of) Guam with fire”.
Russia and China continue to ask both Washington and Pyongyang to de-escolate the situation through refraining from military activities and engage in dialogue, a call echoed by Philippines. This call is a rational one and one objectively concerned with the promotion of peace in the face of nuclear war.
While the majority of people in the world do not want war, mixed messages from the US government are sending mixed signals. When the most powerful nation on earth has a Defence Secretary who threatens the annihilation of the Korean people at time when the other two nuclear superpowers are calling for peace and dialogue, it makes the United States look not only like the world’s most powerful nation but also the world’s most bellicose bully.
"The DPRK regime’s actions will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates." – Mattis pic.twitter.com/F9kJlJYilh
— Alex Rubinstein (@RealAlexRubi) August 9, 2017
This kind of brinkmanship has the effect of making the battle look like one between Pyongyang’s David and Washington’s Goliath. Most people, especially those whose countries have been subject to illegal US wars or political interference will naturally side with the underdog.
It would realistically take the United States decades to reverse the results of the aforementioned survey in which most people saw America as the number one threat to world peace, but certain specific steps could be taken to move America closer to moderate global public opinion.
All it would take is a phone call from Donald Trump to Kim Jong-Un to make the world’s wider public feel more at ease with the tensions over Korea and gradually more at ease with America’s position in the world.
Because that isn’t happening, America’s standing in the world continues to plummet while the opposite is generally true of Russia and China who consistently call for peace.
Sometimes it seems as though American politicians are allergic to the word peace. As I wrote in the prelude to the 9th of May, Russia’s celebration of the victory over fascism,
“Between 1941 and 1945, more Russian mothers had to bury their sons than any other group of mothers in the world and that’s just the mothers who themselves didn’t die during the war.
Every Russian person alive today either knows or is related to someone who fought in the Great Patriotic War. It is why on the 9th of May, every year, everyone from Vladimir Putin to ordinary people march in The Immortal Regiment to honour their loved who were veterans of that war whether they died in battle or after.
With this in mind, is it any wonder that Russians do not share the same zeal for war as those who have numerically and dare I say emotionally, not experienced the hell of war as sharply and as painfully?
It is as easy and as disgusting for alt-media trolls sitting behind their laptops to talk about Russia ‘lobbing nukes’ to show America Russia means business as it is for cretins like fake news merchant Brian Williams to call an unprovoked missile attack which killed innocent people ‘beautiful’.
This is why it should come as no surprise to anyone that First Deputy Chairman of the Federation Council’s Committee on International Affairs Vladimir Jabarov has said that,
‘We cannot be dragged into a military confrontation as it could lead to a large-scale war’.
People like John McCain may just be crazy enough to want a war between superpowers, but hardly any Russians are.
In spite of this, many in the nominally pro-Russian alt-media seem to salivate at the concept of Russia engaging with the United States in a Third World War.
Copying aggressive, militant and preemptive neo-con strategies, only under a Russian flag, is not the solution to the mess that Donald Trump has created in Syria, nor is it what any mainstream Russian politician wants whether President Putin or opposition leaders Vladimir Zhirinovsky and Gennady Zyuganov. Contrary to inaccurate reports, the Russian government and main opposition leaders are speaking with a generally unified voice; one that is calm but stern, angry and prepared but not vengeful nor fanatical”.
Like modern Russia, modern China also knows all too well what suffering under fanatical aggressive war makers is like. The Japanese occupation of China from 1931 to 1945 is a strong contender for the greatest war crime in human history after the dropping of the Atomic bomb in 1945. China suffered greatly and therefore is more reticent to make war than the United States whose mainland was untouched by war during the 1930s and 1940s.
Korea suffered doubly in the 20th century. Between 1910 and 1945 Korea was brutally occupied by Japan only to then suffer under US bombardment which reduced Pyongyang to rubble in 1950.
The Korean war has not formally ended and it seems as though the United States wants to reignite it.
As The Duran’s Alexander Mercouris wrote today,
“For North Korea to launch an unprovoked attack on the US would therefore be an act of national suicide, both on the part of its people and its leadership, and there is nothing to suggest that North Korea’s leaders are considering it. On the contrary the consistent explanation the North Koreans give for their ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programme is that it is defensive – intended to deter a US attack upon themselves – and – as I have repeatedly pointed out – that is the only explanation which makes sense”.
Why then is America behaving so belligerently? America has pushed public opinion far away from Washington with its threats, with its illegal wars and with its illegal overthrow of legitimate governments from Chile to Yugoslavia, Ukraine to Iraq, Libya to Iran. America’s bullying rhetoric only reinforces this increasingly universal fear and hatred of the US.
All it would take is one phone call to Pyongyang to put a damper on the ‘fire and fury’, but instead America’s threats get even more bombastic. North Korea refuses to lie down and die in front of America’s threats. North Korea makes defensive threats, frightening as the words may sound, as a result of every act of verbal American provocation. America’s threats are backed up by the largest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction that the world has ever known, North Korea’s threats are backed up by a much smaller arsenal of weapons, but they are backed up by pride and by an unwillingness to ever face American aggression unprepared ever again.
Is it any wonder why many in the world are feeling sympathy for a North Korea state that they otherwise may have been put off by or felt indifferent towards? There is no mystery here, except if one is as arrogant as the American leaders themselves.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.