The sinking of the Cheonan: Another Gulf of Tonkin incident

By Stephen Gowans While the South Korean government announced on May 20 that it has overwhelming evidence that one of its warships was sunk by a torpedo fired by a North Korean submarine, there is, in fact, no direct link between North Korea and the sunken ship. And it seems very unlikely that North Korea … Continue reading The sinking of the Cheonan: Another Gulf of Tonkin incident

South Korea’s Police State Wages War on Proponents of Democracy

By Stephen Gowans The South Korean police state has cracked down, with varying degrees of intensity over the years, on virtually any public expression of leftism, including anti-capitalism, anti-colonialism, and anti-imperialism. Some degree of intolerance of leftist dissent is emblematic of all states in capitalist societies. Even in liberal democratic societies, which are believed to … Continue reading South Korea’s Police State Wages War on Proponents of Democracy

Kim Jong-il’s Death is a Danger for North Korea, not its Neighbors

There are a few facts to keep in mind to understand what’s going on in the wake of the death this week of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. #1. US foreign policy vis-a-vis North Korea has always sought to force the latter’s collapse to pave the way for its absorption into the US-dominated South [1] … Continue reading Kim Jong-il’s Death is a Danger for North Korea, not its Neighbors

Lee Myung-bak Heats Up Cold War on Korean Peninsula

By Stephen Gowans There are three key facts that place the brinkmanship being played out on the Korean peninsula into perspective. With these facts providing the context, the recent behavior of south Korea is revealed to be that of a local bully acting on behalf of a much larger global one. The first key fact … Continue reading Lee Myung-bak Heats Up Cold War on Korean Peninsula

War Crimes Investigation of North Korea Ludicrous Beyond Words

By Stephen Gowans “The International Criminal Court has launched a preliminary investigation into allegations that North Korean forces committed war crimes when they shelled civilian areas in South Korea and allegedly sank a South Korean warship,” according to The Washington Post of 7 December. The North Koreans, it should be pointed out, didn’t shell civilian … Continue reading War Crimes Investigation of North Korea Ludicrous Beyond Words

US Ultimately to Blame for Korean Skirmishes in Yellow Sea

By Stephen Gowans There has been a lot written about the escalating tensions on the Korean peninsula, tensions touched off by the South’s firing artillery shells into disputed waters in the Yellow Sea. Much of the commentary—including my own–has only tangentially addressed the key issue: how the United States’ unilateral drawing of a sea border … Continue reading US Ultimately to Blame for Korean Skirmishes in Yellow Sea

Wrong country blamed for artillery exchange on Korean peninsula

By Stephen Gowans While North Korea has been blamed for Tuesday’s exchange of artillery fire on the Korean peninsula, a close reading of news reports shows that it was South Korea that created a tinderbox and then provided the spark. The incident happened along the Northern Limit Line, a Western sea border unilaterally drawn by … Continue reading Wrong country blamed for artillery exchange on Korean peninsula

The real story on North Korea and its healthcare

By Stephen Gowans The United States has announced that it is adding a new tranche to the Himalaya of sanctions it has built up since 1950 against North Korea, sanctions I outlined in my last article Amnesty International botches blame for North Korea’s crumbling healthcare. Calling the new sanctions “measures” – perhaps to escape the … Continue reading The real story on North Korea and its healthcare

Amnesty International botches blame for North Korea’s crumbling healthcare

“Economic sanctions are, at their core, a war against public health.” –The New England Journal of Medicine [1] By Stephen Gowans Amnesty International has released a report condemning the North Korean government for failing to meet “its obligations to respect, protect and fulfil the right to health of its citizens”, citing “significant deprivation in (North … Continue reading Amnesty International botches blame for North Korea’s crumbling healthcare