Friday, April 12, 2013

Revisiting History of Korea Again--Part 1

In his 2004 book, Target Korea: Pushing North Korea To The Brink of Nuclear Catastrophe, Australian National University Professor Gavan McCormack provided some historical background to the current crisis in Korea, when he wrote the following:

"Nearly 37,000 Americans, and an estimated three million Koreans, died in the Korean War of 1950-1953...

"...We now know that many of the greatest atrocities in that awful [Korean] war were committed by the South Koreans and the United States--at Nogunri, Taejon, and elsewhere--and then by the United States alone, when in its air campaign against the North it devastated dams, power stations, and the infrastructure of social life in breach of international law. In other words,...much of the terror was inflicted by the forces acting in the name of the United Nations...

"...The United States, to suit its global needs, divided a country that had been united for over a thousand years and whose culture and tradition were extraordinarily coherent...In the State Department an arbitrary line was drawn across the map at the 38th parallel, a geographical marker of no previous political or cultural significance, which had the effect of placing Korea's capital, Seoul, and most of its population under American influence...

"Koreans below the 38th parallel who welcomed liberation from Japanese imperialism...were forced instead to accept a subordinate state...The objectives of American policy-makers were...to establish a cooperative regime that would reflect U.S. strategic interests...Nationalist aspiration was anathema to the Americans and had to be crushed..."

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