Dangerous Times: North Korea, China and the
Threat of Nuclear War and Accident
By John Pilger and T.J. Coles
September 07, 2017 "Information
- The threat is from the United States,
which for more than two generations has
bullied and provoked North Korea.
continues to provoke North Korea with
military exercises near its borders. It also
fails to live up to diplomatic agreements.
Western media continue to distort the
chronology of cause and effect, inverting
reality to claim that North Korea is
provoking the West. John Pilger, author of
"The Coming War on China,"
talks to T.J. Coles about the situation.
contains material from our book,
"Voices for Peace: War, Resistance and
America’s Quest for Full-Spectrum
collection of original works by Pilger, as
well as Noam Chomsky, Cynthia McKinney, Ilan
Pappe and other leading activists and
scholars published by Clairview Books, 2017.
Coles: What is the threat from North Korea?
The threat is from the United States, which
for more than two generations has bullied
and provoked North Korea while denying
Koreans a treaty that would finally end
their civil war and open up numerous
possibilities, including reunification. The
one pause in this warmongering campaign,
during the 1990s, demonstrated that
negotiations can “work,” regardless of what
(President Donald) Trump says.
1992, the North and South signed the
Declaration of Denuclearization of the
Korean Peninsula called, “An Agreed
Framework,” which established and resulted
in a suspension of North Korea’s nuclear
programs in exchange for a U.S. agreement to
build two nuclear reactors within the terms
of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
George W. Bush tore this up in 2002.
Then there were six-party talks in Beijing.
Today, China and Russia have said that if
the U.S. and South Korea cease their
provocative military exercises – which
include regime change – North Korea will
stop firing its missiles. Will the Trump
administration agree to this?
Coles: How do you assess Trump’s China
policy, as opposed to (former president
There isn’t a real difference. Obama – urged
on by his Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
– initiated the so-called Pivot to Asia,
which set the hare running of a U.S.
confrontation with China. Trump has
continued this. He has, however, hosted the
Chinese president and said what a great guy
he is, whatever that’s worth.
Trump’s subsequent histrionics over North
Korea, over its provocative tests, have made
real the possibility of miscalculation. This
is a dangerous time.
Coles: Do you see much chance of a trade war
between the U.S. and China?
No. Their interdependence has never been
greater. Trump’s election campaign threat to
impose 40 percent tariffs on certain Chinese
imports came to nothing. Again, the real
threat is a mistaken or accidental missile
launch on China – for example, from the
U.S.’s newly-installed THAAD ‘defense
system’ in South Korea. The unspoken issue
is the Pentagon, which has had unprecedented
power in Washington since 9/11, especially
since Obama’s presidency.
This article was first published by
Plymouth Institute for