Tuesday 29 June 2010

Solving a problem like Korea

We’ve not long passed the sixtieth anniversary of the outbreak of the Korean War on 25 June, 1950. The official line in North Korea, which provoked the war by attacking the South, is that it was a defensive struggle against American “aggression.” This rewriting of history was long supported by China, which intervened in the conflict in when Kim II-sung’s communist regime was in danger of being wiped out after the American victory in the Battle of Inchon.

From that time onwards the conflict, which lasted until the ceasefire of 1953, was referred to as “The War to Resist America and Aid Korea.” According to history textbooks, it began when the United States assembled a United Nations army of fifteen countries, invaded the North, carrying the war to China’s border with Korea on the Yalu River.

Now the Chinese have finally admitted the truth. On Friday the official government news agency published a special report in which it was said that “On June 25, 1950, the North Korean army marched over the 38th Parallel and started the attack. Three days later, Seoul fell.” The Global Times, a government-run newspaper, said that it was high time to renew and strengthen the efforts by Chinese scholars to “discover the truth about the Korean War.” North Korea, with no great surprise, celebrated the anniversary by trotting out the same old lies.

It’s commendable to see the Chinese dedicate themselves to a new spirit of truth and scholarship. But things are never that simple, are they, when it comes to matters like this? One should always look for a subliminal message, a sub-text of some kind.

North Korea is still China’s friend, but a more tiresome and unstable friend is difficult to imagine. The sinking of the South Korea naval vessel in March, followed by denials and hysterical war-mongering in the North, shows how dangerously unpredictable this frightful termite nation can be. I rather suspect that the Chinese are making it plain that the North can expect no aid from them in any planned or future “defence”.


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  2. Thanks, Adam. Actually even papers like The Sun are put together with a high degree of journalistic skill.

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  5. The solution was simple.

    Five Star General Douglas MacArthur wanted to attack the Chinese that were facilitating the North Koreans.

    But, pussy liberals (hey I am a liberal as well, just not a pussy) like Harry Truman didn't have the balls to widen the war.

    MacArthur was forced from his position and the rest is history as the saying goes.

    I doubt North Korea would be a problem had General MacArthur had his way.

  6. "From that time onwards the conflict, which lasted until the ceasefire of 1953, was referred to as “The War to Resist America and Aid Korea.” According to history textbooks, it began when the United States assembled a United Nations army of fifteen countries, invaded the North, carrying the war to China’s border with Korea on the Yalu River."

    As far as it goes, thats not wrong.
    The "war to resist america and aid korea" did start because China was convinced the UN Coalition would not stop its advance from the North/South border at the Chinese border.
    That Korea started an earlier war isnt hugely relevent to that.

    "The Great Patriotic War" didnt start in 1939 when Germany refused to leave Poland, it started with Barbarossa.

  7. Very powerful image and great writing for this post. As tensions grow between the North and South...it reminds me how fragile peace really is.

  8. Ana, My guess is that the Korean war was ideological and based on a collective Communist hegemony. It said that in 1950 Stalin and Mao met up in Moscow. Of course, further Communist control of Vietnam in the 1960's led to more American intervention but Vietnam was not Korea and the geopolitics had changed by this time; China and the Soviet Union had fallen out. Communism was no longer united under one baner. Moreover, Mao Ze Dong feared a Soviet nuclear strike in the late 1960's. Troop border clashes near Mongolia exacerbated the tension between former Communist friends. In January 2007 I visited what is described by some as 'the underground city' in Peking. It was difficult to imagine in Deng Xiao Ping's Capitalist China that in 1970 some 200,000 people were living underground on Mao's orders. In 1972 they surfaced because many were have breathing problems in the damp and quite probably squalid conditions.

  9. Ana, don't worry too much about the lied history in China. People are happily cheated there. I am more and more convinced it might be necessary to re-write every historical happening just for the people's happiness' sake!
    Great post anyway!

  10. Thanks, guys. Sorry, I'm a little unfocused this morning but I can still see that there are some good contributions here. :-)

  11. On 29 April 1904, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad received the Word from God 'Korea is in a dangerous situation. Eastern power.' The footnote to the annotated edition of the collection of his revelations records a slightly different word-order:

    When the war started between Japan and Russia, and Japan had not yet achieved any significant victory, the Promised Messiah received this revelation: 'An Eastern power and Korea's delicate situation.' Many members of our Jama‘at [Community], especially those who live in Qadian, know about this revelation. I regret that I failed to publish this earlier. I am recording it now because I feel that this new Eastern power has a special relevance to the Ahmadiyyah Jama‘at. (Allah knows best.)

    Note by Maulana Abdul Latif Bahawalpuri: Before the war between Russia and Japan, Korea was under the control of the Russia. This war was concluded with a peace treaty on May 27–28, 1905. The first clause in the treaty was that Japan will have complete sovereignty over Korea. Thus with the victory of the Eastern power (Japan) and the defeat of Korea, this prophecy of the Promised Messiahas was clearly fulfilled. It should be noted that the prophecies have multiple fulfilments. Now that the East is gaining greater prominence on the international scene, it seems that the future events will unfold a new commentary of this revelation, [As Allah the Almighty so

    (Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Tadhkirah. Second English Editon. Islam International Publications LTD, 2009. 667, 668).

    The second Caliph of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community writes about this as one of the prophetic miracles of a political nature shown to Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (the founder of the Community) and states that he received this revelation as the The Russo–Japanese War began:

    As is evident from the words of this revelation it was vouchsafed therein that Japan would be the victor in this war and that it would receive such a glorious victory that it will be able to fulfil its wish of capturing Korea. But the Koreans will not like this and a dangerous chaos and insurrection will take place which will destroy the country. Although at the time this revelation was published even the greatest of political statesmean and those in government could not have uttered such a thing and some people were not even willing to accept that Japan will emerge victorious let alone entertain such a hope and thought that Russia is still ignorant of the impact this war. They thought that in time it will use its endless resources to crush Japan and nobody would have imagined that if Japan won they will have to fulfil its demands but see how the events of the future unfolded to prove the truth of this Word? Japan won and Russia fell victim to such diabolical rioting that it had to make peace and succumb to Japan's demands and accept its power over Korea but the Korean hated this greatly and seeing Japan's insistence it raised the flag of revolt against it and this country remained in a state of danger for many many years thereafter and the way the peace there has been disturbed cries at the top of its voice in approval of its delicate state that was revealed to His Holiness the Promised Messiah.

    (Hadhrat al-Hajj Mirza Bashirudeen Mahmood Ahmad - Khalifatul Masih II. Gift to the Prince of Wales. In vol 6. 520, 521).

    The fifth Caliph mentioned this prophecy in his Friday Sermon of 9 May 2003 and said that the situation in Korea is unstable to date.