“My conscience leaves me no other choice than to break the betrayal of my own silences…I know that the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today is my own government.” The Reverend Martin Luther King, Recipient of the Nobel Peace prize.
“The United Nations which was created to prevent the scourge of war has become an instrument of war.” Former U.S Attorney General Ramsey Clark
Washington, D.C. White House tape recordings, April 25, 1971
President Nixon: “How many did we kill in Laos?”
National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger: “In the Laotian thing, we killed about ten, fifteen thousand”
President Nixon: “See the attack in the North Vietnam that we have in mind..power plants, whatever’s left, POL (Petroleum) the docks..and I think we ought to take the dikes out. Will that drown people?”
Kissinger: “About two hundred thousand people.”
Nixon: “I’d rather use the nuclear bomb. Have you got that Henry?”
Kissinger: “That, I think, would just be too much.”
Nixon: “The nuclear bomb, does that bother you? I just want you to think big for Christ sakes.”
May 2, 1972
Nixon: “America is not defeated. We must not lose in Vietnam…The surgical operation theory is all right, but I want that place bombed to SMITHEREENS If we draw the sword, we’re going to bomb those bastards all over the place. Let it fly, let it fly.”
Former President Jimmy Carter: “More than any other nation in the world, the US has been involved in armed conflict and has used war as a means of resolving disputes…I listed 10 or 15 wars and I could have listed 10 or 15 more. The rest of the world, almost unanimously, looks at America as the No. 1 warmonger. That we revert to armed conflict almost at the drop of a hat.” (April 10, 2014).
Upon my return, on May 25, 2017 from the DPRK I was appalled by the totalitarian mind-set revealed by the fifteen members of the UN Security Council who supported the new Chapter VII Resolution 2356, increasing the strangling sanctions against the DPRK, a heroic , progressive, admirable people desperately trying to defend themselves from any repetition of the barbaric slaughter inflicted upon their nation, with the criminal collusion of the UN Security Council, during the first Korean War, 1950-1953. The unanimous support for the new sanctions by all 15 Security Council members is shameful. All fifteen members of the Security Council, including the United States, know, categorically, that the DPRK will not attack another country unless they are attacked first, or provoked intolerably.
The United Nations is, once again, demonstrating that it is an annex of the US Pentagon. It had seemed, with the Russian-Chinese veto of Chapter VII Resolutions against Syria, in recent years, that the UN had some dignity as an independent organization. On June 2, the UN Security Council revealed that each and every member is under the thumb of the U.S., and willing to unleash a barbaric and criminal attack against a tiny Asian country that is a successful example of a socialist system, and still enduring, despite the criminal sanctions that have so far been inflicted upon that noble people by a racist society that still seeks to impose its will throughout the Eurasian continent. As General MacArthur said, “the Pacific Ocean is an Anglo-Saxon lake.”
When the great statesman, Lakhdar Brahimi was asked why the United Nations premises and personnel are attacked, repeatedly, in recent years, Brahimi replied that the UN is no longer perceived as an impartial organization, but is now perceived as a party to disputes. There is no more glaring example of the United Nations craven servility to the United States dictate than the Security Council’s unanimous support of the viciously punitive sanctions against the DPRK, a country that must be described as a paradise for children, providing excellent, up-to-date health care and education, free of charge, an achievement that few western capitalist countries can demonstrate.
Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s Minister of Propaganda, asserted that
“A lie told one thousand times becomes accepted as truth.”
One of the greatest successes in totalitarian brainwashing has been achieved by the Western Media, which dominates too many people in the West, and within the UN system, who, ignorant of the realities of life within the DPRK, nevertheless challenged me with arrogance when I described what I had discovered during my actual, personal visit to the DPRK. None, and I repeat, none of these people had ever visited the DPRK, yet they held forth with aggression exceeded only by their ignorance, insisting, like imbeciles, that they, despite their complete dearth of accurate knowledge, knew what I had seen.
After just returning from an in-depth visit to the DPRK, it is difficult, if not impossible to convey in words, or even in photographs, the absolutely awe-inspiring achievements of the people and government of North Korea, who following an unspeakably barbarous attack by the US and South Korea, which, with shameful collaboration by the United Nations, obliterated their entire country, heroically rebuilt their nation.
Today, North Koreans heroically persevere in their socialist development, despite the criminal sanctions being inflicted upon the DPRK by the UN Security Council, which is attempting, in craven servility to US “interests,” to demolish this noble example of an economically and socially equitable and democratic society. The DPRK remains an example of the courageous pursuit of social and economic justice, despite the existential menace to their survival resulting from the relentless and deadly threats from the overwhelming military power of the ongoing US and South Korean military “exercises” at their border, (exercises entitled “decapitation of the head of government,”) and economic and atomic blackmail by the US, and its servile Security Council.
Prior to my visit, I was invited to submit a list of activities and people I wanted to visit in Pyongyang. Almost all my requests were honored during this visit.
When I stepped off the Korya jet onto the airport of Pyongyang, I had no idea of what to expect, beyond the propaganda blitz and dire predictions of danger, preconceptions that had overwhelmingly corrupted the minds of almost everyone in the West, and at the United Nations at the mere mention of North Korea. I knew instinctively, based on past experience with such propaganda, that the truth must inevitably be entirely different from the horror stories I had been told by even the more educated and sophisticated of my colleagues.
But nothing I had heard had prepared me for this discovery of a nation of courageous, loving people, of great intellect, whose efforts to create a society of economic and social justice and equality were succeeding, beyond my wildest hopes and expectations, and despite the barbaric Gestapo-style sanctions inflicted upon these remarkable people by the US and its puppet creation, the UN Security Council.
My discovery began on the Air Korya jet transporting me from Beijing to Pyongyang, and the conversation I began with the North Korean man sitting next to me. He was not the dour, fearful person the propaganda had led me to expect, but a friendly and riotously funny raconteur, who described North Korea as one of the last socialist countries left in the world. As we spoke with the lovely flight attendant sitting opposite us, he whispered to me that she was a spy. I replied: “Which side is she spying for, the CIA or North Korea?” He then added the man sitting in the row behind us was a spy. I peeked through the seats, and said that the man behind us was sleeping. My new Korean acquaintance said that the man behind us was only pretending to be asleep. I finally realized that my new acquaintance was teasing me, and knowing that I am American, was playing upon the preconceptions he knew I had been indoctrinated with. We discussed the current chaotic world, and as the short flight ended, and he thanked me for an interesting conversation, I realized that these North Koreans might be more interesting, and charming than I had been led to expect.
Awaiting me at the Pyongyang airport was Mr. Jang Su Ung, the interpreter and guide I had requested when I had presented my long list of requests, in submitting my visa application from New York. The North Koreans could not have chosen a more perfect guide for my journey throughout their capital, a man whose infinite patience, sensitivity and sophisticated intellect were so well suited to my own insatiable curiosity and temperament that my entire visit became the seamlessly happy discovery of a nation of people of surpassing intelligence and dedicated to those humanitarian values I had despaired of ever finding. The totalitarian campaign demonizing North Korea had prepared me for the exact opposite.
I was whisked to the lovely Kobangsan guest house, and immediately upon arrival I was greeted by the elegant and gracious Mr. Ri Yong Pil, Deputy Director-General of the North American Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He thanked me for my prior articles about his country, and invited me to a dinner that evening. After I had changed out of my pink sneakers and into more formal attire, we enjoyed a long dinner of delicious Korean cuisine and a candid, comprehensive discussion of the current extraordinarily complex realities of today’s world, and North Korea’s unique situation within it. I asked the most probing, undiplomatic questions, avoiding evasions and confronting the most controversial issues. I raised the question of the infamous Kirby Report, which I had already studied in depth, and discovered to be a propaganda fabrication based upon reports by defectors who were highly paid for the their gruesome fabrications, and the more grotesque their stories were, the more highly paid they were. The chief defector, upon whose account Michael Kirby’s Report was chiefly based, Shin Dong-hyuk, subsequently admitted he had lied and falsified his statements, which were, in fact repudiated by the defector community itself. Knowing my questions might be embarrassing for my host, but knowing, also that my probe was essential for the authenticity of my own investigation, I asked Mr. Ri about the identity of these defectors. He replied that some of the defectors had been imprisoned for rape, and other crimes, and that these were not “political prisoners,” as Michael Kirby’s Report falsely alleged. It is important to mention that Michael Kirby has never visited North Korea, and his “commission of Inquiry” is based entirely on hearsay, which was subsequently revealed to be fraudulent. UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Simonovic admitted that the Kirby report by the Commission of Inquiry (based on statements by defectors highly paid to provide the salacious fabrications they understood were sought by the “inquiry,”) does not meet the standard of proof required for admission as evidence in a court of law.
Mr. Ri advised me that, although China had recently turned back two North Korean ships delivering coal to China, in submission to the abhorrent UN sanctions, in fact many nations and industrialists were eager to do business in North Korea, and to invest in developing the DPRK’s rich resources. The UN’s outrageous sanctions are comparable to the embargo the US placed upon Cuba for decades, and which many astute businessmen, in the US and elsewhere, regarded as counter-productive and idiotic.
Mr. Ri emphasized that the North Korean government and economy, in particular, was based upon the principle of self-reliance, and had avoided, whenever possible, becoming excessively dependant upon any other country, and this explained North Korea’s ability to sustain their progressive, humanitarian social programs despite the punitive and criminal UN sanctions which were attempting to strangle the nation. He mentioned, with greatest respect, that when, recently, severe floods devastated the northern part of the DPRK, causing many deaths and destruction of people’s homes, President Kim Jung-un immediately suspended work on less essential structures in Pyongyang, and directed the workers to go to the northern flooded area, and build new homes for the flood victims. His immediate assistance to the victims was admired by everyone in the country.
The dinner, my introduction to the DPRK government, lasted several convivial and illuminating hours, and Mr. Ri revealed zero ideological rigidity or fanaticism, and absolutely no belligerence or aggression toward any other country, including the American people. His focus was upon sustaining and protecting the economic and social programs providing dignified and fulfilling lives for the citizens of the DPRK. I disclosed to him, and to Mr. Jang, in confidence, that I was present at a reception in New York when a famous and respected American mainstream reporter, accredited to the UN said to Chinese Ambassador Liu:
“If I were Kim Jong-un witnessing the attack on Libya, and the torture-murder of Gaddafi, after he had abandoned their nuclear program, I’d hold on to my nukes!!!”
The morning of May 19 we visited the Okryu Children’s Hospital, which can only be described as a miraculous tribute to the children of North Korea, a design so comforting and respectful of children’s needs that the building itself helps to relieve the trauma, for both children and their parents, of children’s illnesses and injuries, which are treated by expertly trained physicians and nurses, with the most up-to-date equipment. There are similar hospitals throughout the country, and physicians at other facilities consult, by skype with medical staff at the main Pyongyang hospital, and where cases are too complex or cannot be handled at regional hospitals, children needing more complicated surgery or emergency treatment, are transported by helicopter to the main hospital in Pyongyang for the more extensive treatment necessary. There is a helicopter landing facility, or helipad, just outside the hospital.
All medical treatment is free of charge, and all children throughout North Korea have access to these medical facilities. I have never, anywhere, seen any children’s hospitable of comparable high quality and concern for the particular physical and emotional needs of children – and their parents. The physical therapy section for children born crippled, or with leg deformities which render them unable to walk, was absolutely extraordinary, teaching exercises which built – or rebuilt their foot and leg muscles, transforming them from cripples into children free to walk and run and play normally. And the diligence with which the children practice these healing rehabilitating exercises is both inspiring and profoundly moving.
Just prior to entering this hospital, I noticed a detail which revealed a world of information about the North Korean women. To my amazement, a woman entering the hospital with her child was wearing gold stiletto high heels – she was indeed glamourous and elegant, confounding my expectations. This exploded the stereotypical myth that Korean people are attired in drab, dowdy clothes, exposing their impoverished, degraded condition that the outside world so erroneously attributes to them. I then noticed, with fascination, that other women, too, wore glamourous high heels, often combined with elegant clothing and colorful parasols protecting them from the sun. I mentioned to Mr. Jang that I emphasize this detail, because a woman’s shoes, especially high heels, are very often an expression of her self-esteem. And these women, throughout Pyongyang, evidently enjoy high self-esteem. And as my visit progressed, I recognized that the DPRK has achieved notable progress on gender-equity, one of the UN’s 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Next, that morning, we visited the Ryugyong Ophthalmic Hospital, which provides the most modern, up-to-date treatment for everything from Glaucoma to Macular Degeneration. I can attest to the expert level of their facilities, as I had my own monovision contact-lenses checked there, and the results of their examination were identical to those of my top ophthalmologist in New York. These hospitals are filled with patients of all ages, and all of whom receive treatment completely free of charge. Mr. Jang informed me that physicians and their families have all their expenses paid by the government, so that the doctors are free to concentrate, without distraction, exclusively upon the needs of their patients, thereby providing their patients with the optimal level of care.
That afternoon we visited the Pyongyang High School No. 1, where, at my request, I visited classes of biology, chemistry and physics. They invited me to look through the microscope with which the students were examining the composition of plants, and I saw the greatly enlarged veins of a leaf. In the chemistry class, I discussed with the students the chemical substances they were studying, and when I saw the beautiful woman teaching the class I mentioned to my translator that these students might fall in love with their chemistry teacher, and like the new French President, Emanuel Macron, might marry this beautiful teacher, probably 25 years older than they, as the French President Macron had done. My remark, in jest, was conveyed to the teacher, who laughed, and understood my reference, and my translator, with sincere amusement enjoyed my observation, irreverent though my comment was! The physics students explained that the object I noticed on their desks was a gyroscope, and we discussed their plans and ambitions as the future physicists of the DPRK.
These science classes included both girls and boys. I explained that I was a visitor from the United States, and I look forward to the future friendship of our countries. All the students agreed with my hopes. They were normal, delightful, beautiful, and (I was told) occasionally mischevious children, the future of their country. Outside the school were basketball and tennis courts. The Schools throughout the country are free of charge, and education is compulsory throughout the DPRK.
Afterward, I discussed this visit with Mr. Jang, who advised me that this level of students are serious and diligent, as they are preparing for exams to enter the college and universities. I mentioned to Mr. Jang that the educational level of the parents would contribute to the students’