Why, one would ask, does a country that has most of its people in penury, spend all it's money on arms? Let me think on that. Maybe because they are STILL AT WAR WITH AMERICA?
Contrary to popular belief the Korean War has never ended. The conflict may have ceased and the ceasefire holds, but the USA has steadfastly refused to sign any peace agreement. That agreement, if signed in 1953 would have resulted in elections being held in both the north and the south of Korea with the ultimate aim of reuniting the country after a bitter civil war. Korea, up to the end of WWII, was a colony of Japan, and was split in two along the 38th parallel by the USA and USSR in 1945; a decision oppposed by almost all Koreans.
Since the cessation of the armed conflict (1950-53), North Korea has never made any sign of attacking any other country, but still the USA has had nuclear weapons installed along the North Korean border with the South. No other country has lived under the threat of nuclear attack by the USA longer than North Korea, almost 56 years. That being so and while, technically, still at war with the USA, is it any wonder that a "military first" attitude exists in North Korea?
North Korea has made many requests to bring the USA to the table to resolve the issues, but to no avail. However, after Korea set out to build a graphite nuclear reactor program, the Clinton administration threatened nuclear attack in 1993 as part of the "Team Spirit" military exercises along the border between North and South Korea. North Korea ceased its nuclear programme as under the nuclear non-proliferation treaty countries without nuclear weapons cannot be threatened by those who have them. When Team Spirit ceased the North Koreans rejoined the non-proliferaton treaty and in 1994 Clinton made an "Agreed Framework" with North Korea within which North Korea would abandon their nuclear programme and accept two light water reactors (from which no weapons grade materials can be extracted) to provide much needed power generation. In the meantime, 3.3 million barrels of oil a year would be supplied for energy production. The ultimate move here was to normalise relations between the USA and North Korea, and end the war.
In 1999 the Democrat Clinton left office, the Republican George Bush junior took over. Republicans had always opposed the Agreed Framework, and Bush immediately set about dismantling it. He cut off the oil and left Korea with little ability to generate power. Bush went on to label the country part of an axis of evil, and in March 2002 a leaked memo reviewed it a "potential nuclear target". In November that year James Kelly, assitant Secretary of State, claimed that North Korean "officials" admitted to having reinstated their nuclear programme. Of course at the time North Korea strongly denied this. However, the claim by Kelly led to the collapse of the Framework. No political analyst can come up with a reason why the North Koreans would have made such a claim, even if it were true, given the threat to themselves at that time. It seems beyond doubt that Korea had kept its side of the Framework, but the USA reneged on almost every aspect of it, abandoning any attempt to normalize relations between the two countries.
When it abandoned its nuclear programme North Korea became completely dependant on energy imports. When Bush Embargoed these it was no surprise that this energy starved country would renew its nuclear programme.
Having just watched Iraq (which had no weapons of mass destruction) being pulverised by the USA, is it any wonder that North Korea went on to use that programme to develop a weapon of mass destruction as a bargaining chip against the same treatment? North Korea has lived under numerous threats of nuclear attack for over fifty years. It is well known that it was only the USA's fear of possible nuclear reprisal by the USSR that saved North Korea from that very fate during the Korean War.
Being already a desperately poor country, if enforced isolation and trade and economic sanctions have driven North Korea to develop "the bomb" after it had mothballed its plants and allowed its plutonuim control rods to be locked away under the watch of the IAEA in favour of light water reactors for electricity (which it never received), would not further isolation and sanctions drive them closer to the possibility of using it?
No longer a communist state, North Korea, has become pretty much an cult induced monarchy with Kim Jong Il at its head. No-one is denying that Kim Jong Il is a brutal dictator, but he knows only too well he must open out to the rest of the world. After the death of his father, Kim Il Sung, in 1994 he made attempts to do so . It was a big move for Kim because it created a great difficulty: how to open up the country, but keep a hold on his power.
Why does Bush behave in the way that he does towards North Korea? The Korean problem was created by America, it has been sustained by America, and when a solution was in sight the whole problem was reset to the beginning by America. Why?
Because America needs North Korea to be a problem in South East Asia if it wants to maintain its control of the region. If there was no North Korean threat then South Korea and Japan would no longer require American protection. If that were so there would be no reason for having American bases on their soil; this is not the way to maintain a global miltary hegemony. The cynics among us may see the behaviour of the USA in all of this as a deliberate tactic, forcing North Korea into making itself a legitimate target once more.
What also puzzles me is why intelligent journalists who know all these things do not relate all the facts, instead tell us lies by omission, masking the depravity of the American government, and our own here in Britain? Don't they and their children live in this more dangerous world along with the rest of us?
It is the stuff of 1984 and all that ... some rulers need to rule by keeping us all frightened of boogiemen and the media is their main tool of implementation. That being the case, am I more worried about Bush and Blair and what they do in the world than all the so-called terrorists put together? Well, I am a bit worried about the latter now, but in the same way I would be bothered if someone took a stick to wasp byke in my back garden where my kids were playing!