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News ::
16 Sep 2003
Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the Sept. 18, 2003
issue of Workers World newspaper


The problem for any ruling class that wields a huge propaganda apparatus designed to feed whatever it wants to the public is that it can so effectively turn night into day and fantasy into virtual reality that it can start to believe its own lies.

Take the false picture of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea
that is repeated endlessly, usually in the same pat phrases, by all the capitalist media in this country. Disparaging terms like "hermit
kingdom" assume that the DPRK is a pariah among nations that shuns
society and has no contact with or friends in the rest of the world. The editorial writers who toss off such phrases seem totally oblivious to the fact that most of the world today sees the U.S., not North Korea, as the pariah, the international outlaw, the huge threat to peace, from the Middle East to the Far East.

When U.S. representatives went to Beijing in early September for a six-nation meeting on Korea, they assumed that the other countries would acquiesce in Washington's strong-arm tactics against the DPRK. The north had been asking for one-on-one meetings with Washington to finally get a peace treaty ending the Korean War of 1950-53, or at the very least a pact with the U.S. that would be a guarantee against aggression.

The Koreans have pressed this issue ever since Bush put them on his
"Axis of Evil" list and the Pentagon openly stated its right to start a war with Korea--the so-called "first-strike" policy.

The Bush administration thought it would put more pressure on the DPRK by making Russia, China, Japan and South Korea sit down at the table, too. After all, it has enormous economic and military leverage in the world and is used to getting its way.

But the administration is in trouble--in Iraq, in the world and at home, too. Everyone knows that now. The kind of brutal demands it is used to flinging out don't have the same weight they once did.

So when the U.S. representatives made it very clear that all they want
is to disarm North Korea without giving it any guarantees not to attack, the Koreans rejected such a non-offer. China's vice foreign minister, Wang Yi, the host of the six-nation talks, then declared the United States was "the main obstacle" to any settlement.

It was another taste of reality--not the virtual kind--that the Bush
gang hadn't bargained for.

Meanwhile, in South Korea, the population was ecstatically welcoming the DPRK's soccer team. A Washington Post reporter wrote on Sept. 8 from Seoul about the tumultuous welcome given a group of the team's
cheerleaders. "'They give me chills of excitement,' said Park Seung Jin, a 27-year-old restaurateur who came to the games just to see the women. 'We are one nation divided by foreign powers. These women help us to see Korea as one. ... North Korea is no longer my enemy. It is not South Korea's enemy either.'"

- END -

(Copyright Workers World Service: Everyone is permitted to copy and
distribute verbatim copies of this document, but changing it is not
allowed. For more information contact Workers World, 55 W. 17 St., NY,
NY 10011; via e-mail: ww (at) Subscribe wwnews-
on (at) Unsubscribe wwnews-off (at) Support the
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