Essay of Kim Kwang Hak, the Researcher of the IFAS of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, DPRK
In his report to the 7th Party Congress of the Worker’s Party of Korea (WPK) the Respected Comrade Kim Jong Un, the Chairman of the WPK, said as follows:
“The United States should squarely recognize the strategic position of our Republic, now that it has joined the front rank of nuclear powers, and the trend of the times; it should scrap its anachronistic policy of hostility towards the DPRK, replace the Armistice Agreement with a peace treaty and withdraw its forces of aggression and war material from south Korea.”
At present, the frenzied and large-scale nuclear war exercise aiming for the invasion of the North, led by the world No.1 nuclear power, is being conducted on the Korean peninsula, the biggest hotspot in the world under the pretext of being a “routine” one in the “defensive” nature.
The Korean peninsula, where the status quo of the decades-long ceasefire has been continued, is becoming the site of the showdown for power, the tensest one around the globe.
No place in the world is as much dangerous as the Korean peninsula where the great number of the vast strategic armed forces including the nuclear weapons have been intensively deployed and the joint military exercises and other warmongering military maneuvers have been conducted as frequently as the days are numbered.
Even those, who are interested in the situation on the Korean peninsula to a certain degree, would not take much trouble to witness the fact that the Korean peninsula falls into the melting pot of the cycle of the aggravation of the situation in March, April and August every year.
The situation on the Korean peninsula, at the very time of March, April and August every year, could be characterized by the enforcement of the large-scale US–south Korea joint military exercises and the self-defensive countermeasures of the DPRK.
This paper will deal with the danger and provocative character of the joint military exercises conducted by the US in collusion with south Korea, and the influence of those war drills racket on the situation of the Korean peninsula.
1. The US had decreased the scale of the military exercises in other parts of the world since the end of the Cold War.
The US, however, constantly fanned up the war fever by conducting the joint military exercises, tantamount to those during the Cold War, every year only on the Korean peninsula. Wars can be classified into two forms; wars of justice or wars of injustice according to their characters.
Same thing could be applied to the military exercises.
The military exercises can be classified by its nature; self-defensive or aggressive one. The military exercises, which the US and south Korea have been “routinely” conducting, belong to the latter one. Our Republic had never made an issue of the US military exercises, which have been conducted on the American soil or at the center of the Pacific Ocean and other places not being dangerous to it. However, the US–south Korea joint military exercises are the different matters. The unique danger which distinguishes the US-south Korea joint military exercises from the military exercises in general lies in the fact that these exercises are conducted by the US, the world No.1 nuclear power, at the doorstep of the DPRK. It is preposterous for the US to assert that these exercises are “routine” and “defensive” in nature far from the offensive one and there are no problems with them. At present, the DPRK and the US are in the state of ceasefire. This means that a life and death war would break out between the DPRK and the US at any given time. Under these circumstances, it stands to obvious reason that the DPRK could not look with folded arms on the US-south Korea joint military exercises as “routine” and “defensive” ones in nature, because the biggest nuclear weapon state and the belligerent party to the Korean War occupied the half part of its land and has been conducting these exercises at the doorstep of the DPRK by mobilizing the huge amount of its armed forces. The US is planning to hide its true identity as the “breaker” of the peace on the Korean Peninsula, and furthermore to make the DPRK “accustomed” to those exercises and being “numbed” to it in order to realize its ambition of invading the DPRK without fail. This is the main purpose which the US pursues through justifying these war games by covering them with the package of so-called “routine and defensive in nature”. First of all, the war exercises being conducted by the US in collusion with south Korea are clearly provocative and aggressive in nature, judging from the intentions, scale and other detailed specifics of these exercises. In this June, the NATO conducted the joint military exercises codenamed “Anaconda-16” in Poland, which involved only 31,000 troops from 24 countries including 14,000 US troops. However, the US-south Korea joint military exercises codenamed “Key Resolve”, “Foal Eagle 16” conducted in March and April, involved the 27,000 US troops, almost 300,000 south Korean puppet troops, “Stennis” nuclear carrier, “B-52H”, “B-2A” nuclear strategic bombers and other military materials. The fact that this huge amount of the armed forces and military materials enough for conducting an all-out war had been mobilized in these exercises reveals how dangerous the US-south Korea joint military exercises are in terms of scale. Especially, the biggest danger of these exercises lies in the fact that the ultimate goal of these exercises is to stifle the DPRK by the military means, and to further “eliminate” its supreme headquarter and “occupy the capital of DPRK.” In mid-December, 1953, the US National Security Council came out with the “Revamped Policy” in order to make a fresh attempt of invading the DPRK, and later made it more specific with the “Red Ford Strategy” which stipulated that the “Revamped Policy” would be realized in a blitzkrieg way by focusing on Korea and the other Asian countries before their national strength became stronger. In accordance with these war doctrines, the US turned south Korea into the base for war supplies in order to conduct the aggressive war against the North. At the same time, the US continued to modify and supplement the war schemes and conducted the war exercises as frequently as days are numbered to further aggravate the situation. The main examples of the joint military exercises are as follows: “Focus Lens”, “Focus Retina”, “Freedom Bolt”; All these exercises focused on the landing and airborne transporting operation for the purpose of occupying the northern part of our Republic by calling in the reinforcements from the outside of the Korean Peninsula at one time. “Team Spirit”, “Ulji Focus Lens” ; These exercises reflected the “OPLAN 5027-98” in a detailed way, which openly brought up with the preemptive attack on the DPRK． “RSOI” (“Reception, Staging, Onward movement, and Integration”), “Key Resolve”, “Foal Eagle”, “Ulji Freedom Guardian”; The purpose of all these exercises are to occupy our Republic by means of the surprise landing and the other ways of dispatching the US Troops, and at the same time to eliminate the Supreme leadership and important objects including the nuclear facilities and to make a surprise on and conquer Pyongyang, its capital, by its commando units. The names of the US-south Korea joint military exercises had been changed through the decades. However, the purpose of those exercises to stifle the DPRK with the armed forces had not been changed even a little. If somebody insists that there should have been a change, then that might be the change of the character and content of the joint military exercises, because those had been changed in a more preemptive and offensive way, and in the bluntest and the most antagonistic way by even mentioning the “eliminating of DPRK Supreme leadership”. The dangers become clearer when it comes to the operation plans initiated and unveiled by the US. Here are the examples. “OPLAN 5029”; The core content of this Operation Plan is that the US induces the DPRK into committing to the military maneuvers by imposing a large-scale pressure on the DPRK, and engages in a military way as soon as possible when the “emergency situation” occurs in the DPRK. “OPLAN 5026”; This plan is about the high-precision airstrike on the major strategic facilities of our Republic. “OPLAN 5030”; It is designed to make DPRK military strength waste by imposing the low-intensity pressure against it. All these aggressive war plans against the DPRK prove that the purposes of these exercises are not defensive; they are rather to mount a preemptive attack on the DPRK and occupy it without any prior notice. Especially, prior to the “Ulji Freedom Guardian” joint military exercises of this year, the US deployed “B-52H”, “B-1B”, “B-2A”, the 3 major nuclear strategic bombers, in the forward area on the Guam Island and made them ready for flight. Furthermore, the US is openly mentioning that they will apply the “OPLAN 5015” to the “Ulji Freedom Guardian” exercises of this year, of which the purpose is to mount a preemptive strike on the “main target” and strategic bases of our Republic. The US and south Korea conducted the exercises like the “Beheading operation”, “High-precision strike”, “Occupying Pyongyang” as a part of the exercises for the preemptive strike on our Republic during the “Key Resolve”, “Foal Eagle 16” exercises of this March and April. Judging from this fact the “main target” much-touted by the US is none other than our Supreme leadership. Allow me to take this opportunity to make a brief reference to how absurd is the US’s much-touted claim of North Korea’s threats – a justification for the aforesaid joint military exercises. The US seeks to leave no stone unturned to warrant the massive joint military exercises while accusing the DPRK of its self-defensive steps for bolstering military capabilities as “provocations” and “threats”. And there raises a question whether such US’s argument stands authentic. It is an indelible historical fact that the US has brought in ultra-modern nuclear war hardware such as 3 major nuclear strategic assets on a continual basis and staged large-scale joint military exercises on a yearly basis on the Korean peninsula and its vicinity, thus straining the situation to the extreme well before the DPRK acquired a nuclear deterrent force for self-defense. The reason why the disaster of a nuclear war has been curbed on the Korean peninsula over which dark clouds of a thermal war hang heavily at all times for well over 6 decades after the end of the Korean War is not because the US is peace loving nor somebody’s provocations or threats have been contained due to the US-south Korea joint military exercises. There is a need to look into why the gunfire of war has not been heard thus far for the past decades and the Korean people have led a peaceful and stable life on the Korean peninsula where joint military exercises involving massive nuclear war hardware and armed forces enough to wage a round of war have folded out in a frantic manner every year. It is attributable to the fact that the DPRK has steadily increased its national defense capabilities for self-defense with the result that the US’s non-stop threats of a nuclear war have been deterred.
2. The US-south Korea joint military exercises have profound implications for the situation on and around the Korean peninsula.
Firstly, the US-south Korea military exercises are a precarious act of provocations which drives the situation on the Korean peninsula into an uncontrollable state and to the brink of touch-an-go war and at the same time a key factor which disrupts peace and security on the Korean peninsula. The perils of a military exercise are largely calibrated by military hardware involved, intensity and frequency. Nobody could predict when the large-scale military exercises involving ultra-modern nuclear strategic assets and huge armed forces, which are carried out under simulated conditions of a real war, would lead to an act of war against the other. It is noteworthy that the August incident of last year took place in the period of the joint military exercise codenamed “Ulji Freedom Guardian” when an unaccounted-for, inadvertent incident drove the situation on the Korean peninsula to the brink of touch-and-go war. Frequent gathering of clouds would inevitably bode rain. A mere look at the history of a world war tells that incessant military drills can be likened to an instrument of gauging the direction of the wind, which harbingers military actions. It is inevitable for the DPRK to take self-defensive countermeasures in response to the joint military exercises held by the US on a continual basis on the Korean peninsula. It is as clear as daylight that in the course of it, any accidental incident or conflict would easily spill over into an all-out war. Recently, it is in the mainstream of international opinion that the US’s deployment of strategic assets and joint military exercises are major elements driving the situation on the Korean peninsula into an uncontrollable state. It is a foregone conclusion that the international community expresses serious concerns over the possibility of the on-going joint military exercises codenamed “Ulji Freedom Guardian” driving the situation to the brink of a war once again. Secondly, the US-south Korea joint military exercises have a hugely negative impact on ensuring peace and security in the northeast Asian region and the world at large. The Korean peninsula is shallow in terms of depth and worse still, it is a tremendously sensitive region where the interests of neighboring powers are intricately interwoven and there is no legal and institutional mechanism in place to prevent any potential military conflict. Moreover, the Korean peninsula is located at a strategically important place which borders with China and Russia regarded by the US as potential enemies. The Korean peninsula can be said to be an outpost for achieving US strategy towards Asia whereas south Korea is a military springboard where the US sets its foot on. The US’s failure to lose control over south Korea implies that the former would be deprived of an outpost for fulfilling its strategy towards Korea and its assertive ambition for Asia. It is the unwavering foreign policy of the US to accomplish its strategy of dominance over Asia with south Korea as a stronghold, and to this end, the US seeks to tighten its military control over south Korea through deployment of Terminal High Altitude Area Defense and joint military drills. The US is prone to make a reference to somebody’s misjudgment or uncertainty. In case the US’s logic is to be followed, there is no guarantee that a large-scale war would not break out on the Korean peninsula, if the United States, misjudging the strategic position of our Republic, now that it has joined the front rank of nuclear powers, persists in clinging to its anachronistic racket of military confrontation including the joint military exercises. Once an all-out war should have been broken out on the Korean peninsula where the interests of the world powers are complicatedly intertwined, because of its geopolitical value, then it will be easily followed by the world war and expanded into the unprecedented thermonuclear war. All these developments of the events would invite the terrible catastrophe to the peace and security on Korean peninsula and in the region of the northeast Asia, and further to the peace and security of the world. The US-south Korea joint military exercise is just playing the “triggering” role in aggravating the situation. It is because the scale and aggressive nature of these joint military exercises are becoming increasing and more undisguised day by day, that the Korean peninsula and the other region of northeast Asia get deeper and deeper into the crucible of the new arms race and cold war, All of these facts show that the joint military exercises being conducted by the US on the Korean peninsula should unconditionally be put to stop without fail for the guarantee of the peace and safety on the Korean peninsula and in the region of the northeast Asia and furthermore in the world.
Over the last 60 or so years since the signing of the Armistice Agreement the US has persisted in introducing the huge number of the armed forces of invasion into south Korea and the surrounding region, and conducted the frenzied nuclear war exercises against the North year after year. And this is the primary factor which aggravates the tension on the Korean peninsula and in the region. If the US is sincerely interested in the peace and stability as they like to quote, it should scrap its anachronistic policy of hostility towards the DPRK, replace the Armistice Agreement with a peace treaty and withdraw its forces of invasion and war material from south Korea. If the situation of the Korean peninsula falls into the further uncontrollable state and an incident desired by nobody happens, the US, who is possessed by its anachronistic policy of hostility towards the DPRK and persists in reckless military hostile acts, will be held wholly accountable for the ensuing consequences.