America in Korea: Blood, Bombs & Blunders

Introducing a new feature for the Newsbud Community- A special segment titled Newsbud’s Asia Brief with Peter Lee. Peter Lee, who is considered one of the world’s top experts on Asia, provides in-depth coverage, vital context and background on important Asian issues. This week: America in Korea: Blood, Bombs, and Blunders.  The forgotten history of America's sixty-five-year war with North Korea.

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Show notes:

ICBM Madness in North Korea and China’s Mission Impossible

China Watch with Peter Lee

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Comments

  1. You really got me when you said that N. Korea suffered more in loss of life and infrastructure damage in the Korean War than Japan did in WWII. This is the kind of thing we need to know more about.

    Please show more maps! In this case, it would be especially good to show that Russian border where Russia sent troops into Korea after WWII. We don’t hear much about that tiny Russian border with N. Korea–but it’s juicy from a geopolitical standpoint and it would be interesting to know more. (Ditto–that little sliver of Afghanistan that separates Pakistan and Tajikistan, creating a corridor to China.) I bet there are lots of stories that could be told about these strategic locations that are important but not usually in the headlines.

    Great content–this is the kind of background that helps fill in the gaps–information not provided in the usual education, even in good schools.

    I’m still having viewing issue (interrupts in the streaming due to my bandwidth, just on the members-only content).

  2. Excellent. Keep them coming.

  3. Good short piece by the erudite Peter Lee.

  4. Mark Ribbit says:

    Yes I think this is Peter’s finest piece so far.

  5. Padraig O'Hara says:

    The Donald Should Cool It On N. Korea—-The Fat Boy Can’t Even Deliver His “Little Boy”
    Yes, Kim Jong Un allegedly likes to play with nukes, but even this whack job must recognize he has a small problem. Namely, North Korea has tested underground five tiny nuclear bombs so far (2006, 2009, 2013 and two in 2016). Yet none of them appear to have been even a “boosted” fission bomb, let alone a thermonuclear (fusion) warhead.
    Indeed, the range of estimates put the latest explosion in September 2016 at about 10 kilotons or slightly smaller in size than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima in August 1945, code-named “Little Boy”.

    Needless to say, Little Boy was not delivered by a sea-based or land-based intercontinental ballistic missile, and not just because neither had yet been invented!
    In fact, it was dropped from bay of Enola Gay, a B-29 bomber, because, as is self-evident from the photo of Little Boy below, it was just an A-bomb, not an H-bomb. It was therefore way too big and bulky to fit in the nosecone of a missile, even if the US had possessed one.
    That is, to miniaturize a nuke sufficiently to get its weight and size down to missile-riding scale, it needs to be a thermonuclear device.
    Here’s the thing. The Fat Boy of Pyongyang doesn’t have one; he’s still at the Little Boy stage.
    In fact, what he has tested so far would have to be delivered by one of his 50-year old Soviet era Il-28/H-5 bombers, which amble in the sky at slow speeds and low altitudes and would be shot down by South Korean fighters or air defenses in a heartbeat. That is to say, at the moment the only thing the Fat Boy can actually vaporize is his own country.
    There’s that, and with respect to the CNN War Channel hyperventilating about a putative nuke attack on California, there is the further fact that the Fat Boy is not remotely close to having a long-range intercontinental missile that could deliver a thermonuclear warhead, if he had one.
    So far, North Korea has developed and tested three longer range missiles including Taepodong-1, which has an estimated maximum range of about 1,500 miles; and Musudan and Taepodong-2, which have estimated maximum ranges of 2,000 miles and 3,500 miles, respectively, none of which get you to the Left Coast.
    Moreover, Taepodong-1 has had just one known test flight. Way back in April 1998, a modified space-launch configuration of the vehicle lifted off with a small satellite onboard; the launch failed.

    The realized truth of modern history is crystal clear. Washington had no business intervening in a quarrel between two no-count wanna be dictators (Syngman Rhee and Kim il Sung) on the Korean peninsula in June 1950, and surely has no business still stationing 29,000 American soldiers there 67 years latter.
    Yet owing to the institutionalized albatross of that mis-vectored history, the world is now much closer to the brink of nuclear war than at any time since the dark days of the early cold war. And the Donald has become just the latest political tourist in the Oval Office to succumb to the Deep State’s false, self-serving narrative about why the American imperium remains decamped on the 38th parallel.

    As Justin Raimondo succinctly chronicled this period:
    …….the Korean war started during the American occupation of the South, and it was Rhee, with help from his American sponsors, who initiated a series of attacks that well preceded the North Korean offensive of 1950. From 1945-1948, American forces aided Rhee in a killing spree that claimed tens of thousands of victims: the counterinsurgency campaign took a high toll in Kwangju, and on the island of Cheju-do – where as many as 60,000 people were murdered by Rhee’s US-backed forces.
    Rhee’s army and national police were drawn from the ranks of those who had collaborated with the Japanese occupation during World War II, and this was the biggest factor that made civil war inevitable. That the US backed these quislings guaranteed widespread support for the Communist forces led by Kim IL Sung, and provoked the rebellion in the South that was the prelude to open North-South hostilities. Rhee, for his part, was eager to draw in the United States, and the North Koreans, for their part, were just as eager to invoke the principle of “proletarian internationalism” to draw in the Chinese and the Russians.
    The last underlined sentence tells the whole story. When hostilities broke out between the two Korean sides in June 1950, Washington instantly transformed it into a proxy war against the Soviet Union and its fledgling ally in China, which had just fallen under Mao’s control the previous year. As Truman baldly put it, he was not going to lose another country to the “reds”.

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