North Korea

Obama’s “playbook” and the threat of nuclear war in Asia

By Peter Symonds, 5 April 2013

The US has deliberately inflamed the Korean peninsula, one of Asia’s most dangerous flash points, and heightened the danger of war.

China appeals for calm amid fears of war over US escalation in Korea

By Alex Lantier, 4 April 2013

Chinese officials appealed for calm on the Korean peninsula yesterday, as the United States deployed missiles and further military forces to East Asia.

US escalates military tensions over North Korean nuclear program

By Alex Lantier, 3 April 2013

The major powers in the region are holding military exercises amid fears of war driven by the US “pivot to Asia” and moves against North Korea’s nuclear program.

US sends fighter-bombers to Korea amid rising risk of war

By Alex Lantier, 1 April 2013

American F-22 stealth fighter planes arrived in South Korea yesterday, placing East Asia on hair-trigger alert as the US escalated its confrontation with North Korea.

US deployment of stealth bombers escalates military standoff in Korea

By Alex Lantier, 30 March 2013

On Thursday, US officials announced that B-2 stealth bombers had flown from Whiteman Air Force Base in the United States to South Korea.

US intensifies pressure on China over North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 21 March 2013

China has warned that the US boosting of anti-ballistic missile systems in the Asia Pacific will only intensify geo-political antagonisms.

US to boost anti-ballistic missile systems in Asia Pacific

By Peter Symonds, 16 March 2013

The US is exploiting North Korea’s limited nuclear and missile capability to justify the build-up of anti-missile systems aimed primarily against China.

UN imposes harsh new sanctions on North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 8 March 2013

The UN resolution was the outcome of protracted diplomatic haggling, in which the US pressed China to agree to more severe penalties.

North Korea tests third nuclear device

By Peter Symonds, 13 February 2013

The Obama administration has exploited the nuclear test to push for new sanctions and apply pressure to China.

UN sanctions prompt North Korea to threaten nuclear test

By John Chan, 1 February 2013

The US will exploit any North Korean nuclear test to further expand its aggressive “pivot” to Asia directed against China.

US warns of “consequences” over North Korean rocket launch

By Peter Symonds, 13 December 2012

For the Obama administration, it provides a convenient pretext for stepping up the US strategic “pivot” to Asia aimed against China, North Korea’s ally.

Signs of a North Korean power shift

By Peter Symonds, 30 July 2012

The abrupt removal of Vice Marshal Ri Yong-ho has been interpreted as a move by Kim Jong-un to tighten his grip over the country’s military.

US intensifies pressure on North Korea after rocket launch

By Peter Symonds, 14 April 2012

The three-stage rocket, which was closely monitored by the US, Japan and South Korea, broke up less than two minutes after liftoff yesterday.

Obama uses nuclear summit to issue new threats against North Korea and Iran

By Peter Symonds, 27 March 2012

While the international summit in South Korea is supposedly about nuclear disarmament and peace, Obama utilised it as a platform to threaten new wars of aggression in the Middle East and Asia.

US condemns North Korea’s planned satellite launch

By John Chan, 23 March 2012

The Obama administration has threatened to cut off food aid to North Korea, effectively ending a deal signed in February to ease tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear program.

US downplays North Korean regime’s overtures

By James Cogan, 29 February 2012

Pyongyang’s push for renewed talks appears to be a desperate bid for some form of rapprochement.

The death of Kim Jong-il

By Peter Symonds, 20 December 2011

The death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has produced a mind-numbing deluge of articles in the international press presenting the regime in Pyongyang as a dangerous threat to stability in North East Asia.

Famine threatening millions in North Korea

By Will Morrow, 15 October 2011

The United Nations has warned that more than six million North Koreans—or one quarter of the population—are threatened with malnutrition.

Washington and Seoul ramp up tensions on Korean peninsula

By John Roberts, 4 March 2011

South Korea’s latest joint military exercises with the US dovetail with the Obama administration’s aggressive efforts to contain China’s influence in North East Asia.

Backed by Washington, South Korea stages further military provocations

By John Chan, 23 December 2010

Today’s live-fire drill further demonstrates the reckless determination of the South Korean regime and its chief backer, the Obama administration, to intensify pressure on North Korea and China, regardless of the danger of war.

Washington’s incendiary role in Asia

By Bill Van Auken, 22 December 2010

Washington’s encouragement of South Korea’s live-fire military exercise in disputed waters off the North Korean coast is emblematic of the increasingly incendiary role played by US imperialism in Asia.

Korean tensions ease—temporarily

By John Chan, 21 December 2010

The Obama administration engineered this crisis as part of its ongoing campaign directed primarily at undermining China’s growing influence in Asia.

South Korean military exercise raises danger of war

By John Chan, 20 December 2010

In a calculated and reckless provocation directed in the first instance against North Korea, the Obama administration has encouraged South Korea to proceed with live-fire drills in the vicinity of Yeonpyeong Island.

US-China tensions mount amid widening war exercises

By Bill Van Auken, 7 December 2010

A late Sunday phone call between the US and Chinese presidents underscored the mounting tensions between the two countries as Washington and its allies stage a series of military exercises.

US and China in a diplomatic standoff over North Korea

By John Chan, 3 December 2010

While repeatedly declaring that China must intervene to contain North Korea, Washington and its allies have rebuffed China’s diplomatic efforts to calm the Korean confrontation.

US stages show of force as China calls for crisis talks on Korea

By Bill Van Auken, 29 November 2010

The US and South Korean militaries launched a major show of force in the Yellow Sea.

The Korean crisis and the threat of a wider war

By Bill Van Auken, 27 November 2010

Six decades after US and Chinese troops waged bitter hand-to-hand combat south of the Yalu River, tensions on the Korean peninsula are being fed by and are in turn exacerbating great power conflicts between Washington and Beijing.

US exploits Korean clash to step up pressure on China

By John Chan, 25 November 2010

The US decision to send an aircraft carrier to the highly sensitive Yellow Sea following Tuesday’s exchange of shelling between the two Koreas has heightened regional tensions.

Artillery exchange heightens tensions on Korean peninsula

By Bill Van Auken, 24 November 2010

An exchange of artillery fire between North and South Korea on Tuesday provoked angry denunciations from Washington and warnings from Beijing and Moscow that mounting military tensions could provoke a disaster.

Pentagon ratchets up Korea tensions over nuclear facility

By Bill Van Auken, 23 November 2010

An American scientist’s report on North Korea’s development of a new uranium enrichment plant has provoked dire warnings from top US military and political officials.

US and China at odds over North Korea

By John Chan, 8 September 2010

Rising US-China rivalry in Asia was expressed last week when Beijing pushed for Pyongyang to open up to foreign investors, while Washington announced new sanctions that would impede such plans.

US naval exercise heightens tensions in Asia

By John Chan, 24 July 2010

The war games involve around 20 South Korean and US warships, including the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS George Washington, 200 aircraft and 8,000 military personnel.

Tense standoff between two Koreas

By Peter Symonds, 28 May 2010

The confrontation between North and South Korea over the sinking of a South Korean warship intensified this week after Seoul, backed by Washington, announced a series of retaliatory measures.

South Korea imposes penalties on North over naval incident

By Peter Symonds, 25 May 2010

Tensions on the Korean Peninsula have escalated markedly after Seoul accused Pyongyang of deliberately sinking the Cheonan, a South Korean warship, on March 26.

China’s plans to open up North Korea for foreign investment

By John Chan, 14 May 2010

The visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong-il to China last week was driven by the country’s acute economic crisis. China is exploiting the opportunity to open up the country for foreign investment.

Washington nuclear conference promotes US campaign against Iran, North Korea

By Patrick Martin, 13 April 2010

President Barack Obama opened the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington Monday, a two-day event that, in the guise of promoting disarmament and opposing terrorism, seeks to line up international support for the US campaign to isolate, pressure and ultimately overthrow the governments of Iran and North Korea.

North Korean currency reform fuels social tensions

By John Chan, 19 February 2010

Social unrest has emerged in North Korea since the Stalinist regime’s currency reform produced an economic disaster.

Naval clash between two Koreas as Obama heads to Asia

By John Chan, 12 November 2009

Just days before US President Barack Obama commences his first major visit to Asia, a brief exchange of fire took place between South and North Korean naval vessels.

Bill Clinton’s visit to North Korea: a tactical shift in US foreign policy

By John Chan, 6 August 2009

Former US President Bill Clinton arrived in North Korea Tuesday to broker the release of two detained American journalists. Described by the Obama administration as a private mission, the visit signalled a tactical shift by Washington.

US warship shadows North Korean cargo vessel

By John Chan, 27 June 2009

While the Obama administration has hailed the “unity” of the UN Security Council in imposing new sanctions on North Korea, tensions between the US and China remain, especially over the interdiction of North Korean ships in international waters.

North Korean nuclear crisis enters a new stage

By John Chan, 19 June 2009

A UN Security Council resolution last Friday imposing harsher sanctions on North Korea and the subsequent threats by Pyongyang, indicate the prolonged crisis on the Korean Peninsula has entered a more dangerous phase.

Obama moves aggressively against North Korea

By Peter Symonds, 10 June 2009

The US administration has signalled a more aggressive stance toward North Korea that will only compound an already tense situation in North East Asia.

North Korean nuclear test triggers international tensions

By Peter Symonds, 27 May 2009

North Korea’s detonation of a small nuclear bomb on Monday provoked immediate condemnation by the UN Security Council and sharply raised tensions in North East Asia.

UN Security Council convened over North Korean missile test

By Patrick Martin, 6 April 2009

The United Nations Security Council held an emergency meeting Sunday in response to the test launching of a long-range missile by North Korea earlier in the day.

Impending North Korean missile test raises regional tensions

By John Chan and Peter Symonds, 3 April 2009

North Korean plans to fire a long-range Taepodong-2 rocket are heightening tensions in North East Asia. While Pyongyang claims to be launching a satellite, the US and Japan insist it is carrying out a missile test.

US general menaces North Korea with the “military option”

By Peter Symonds, 11 February 2009

A provocative threat against North Korea by the top US general in South Korea is a clear indication that President Obama intends to continue the Bush administration’s belligerent stance toward Pyongyang.