Is North Korea Next?

Before the war on Iraq, the U.S. government had marked Stalinist North Korea as part of the “Axis of Evil,” and since the war, attention has turned toward North Korea as a possible second front for U.S. military aggression. Although both North and South Korea have been trying to negotiate Korean unification, the current U.S. administration has purposefully provoked and maligned North Korea with the intent of thwarting reunification so the U.S. won’t have to face an East Asian arms race between a nuclearized Korea, China and potentially, Japan. North Korea, in return, wishes to “normalize relations” with the U.S. and thus participate fully in global capitalist exploitation.

This article covers some background information on the recent history and current situation with U.S./North Korea relations.

As U.S. military confrontation in Iraq de-escalates, the war-mongering Bush Administration now has the time and resources to attack other regions. North Korea, along with Iran and prewar Iraq, was named by Bush as part of an “axis of evil” and may be next on the list. Bush has said that he “loathes Kim Jong Il”, the North Korean President. Bush asserts that North Korea does not do enough to fight terrorism and continues to sell ballistic missile technology to countries designated by the U.S. as states sponsoring terrorism. North Korea, reacting to these verbal attacks along with Bush’s doctrine of preemptive strikes, has been threatened with a possible war with the U.S.. North Korea has restarted its nuclear weapons manufacturing projects and is using them as a bargaining tool while trying to negotiate a peace treaty.

On April 23, the U.S., China, and North Korea met in Beijing to discuss North Korea’s nuclear weapons, U.S. economic sanctions on North Korea, and possible resolutions to the stressed North Korean/U.S. relations. North Korea is requesting normalized economic exchanges and diplomatic relations with Washington as well as a promise they will not be attacked. The U.S. refuses to negotiate until North Korea dismantles its nuclear facilities and allows verification of their weapons manufacturing.

Pyongyang (the North Korean capital) is understandably wary of this demand considering the U.S. hostile policy towards North Korea and believes verification–the hunt for weapons of mass destruction–in Iraq was a pretext to start the war. Indeed, U.N. reports on their findings of weapons manufacturing in Iraq went straight back to Washington where they were used to map targets during the war. The North Korean state news agency said, “The inspection and disarmament forced by the U.S. upon an independent state in violation of its sovereignty and its right to existence without any proper reason and ground are only aimed to justify and legalize aggression and war.”

The U.S. currently has 37,000 troops based along the border between North and South Korea. The Pentagon has drafted and recently modified plans for strikes to take out North Koreas key nuclear production sites which are located in the Yongbyon region. An attack on Pyongyang’s nuclear facilities could spread lethal radiation over China, Japan, South Korea, and Russia. In December, the U.S. began circulating proposals for a policy of “tailed containment” under which U.S. naval ships would block North Korean exports. North Korea asserts it will halt all nuclear programs if Washington recognizes their sovereignty and provides credible assurances of non-aggression. They are not asking for money, however they have offered to entirely scrap its ballistic missiles program in exchange for oil, energy, and economic exchange and normal relations . Bush says, “they’re back to the old blackmail game”.

It serves U.S. interests to have a hostile North Korean regime, to justify military spending and military activities in the region. The U.S. Department of Defense stated in 1993 that the U.S. needed an army capable of fighting two regional conflicts against mid-sized third world countries with large modern armies. The greatest danger cited was simultaneous military actions by Iraq and North Korea. North Korea is a highly militarized country that makes a large portion of its small economy on weapons sales. Bush has been quoted as saying, “Its not what they’ve got, but where it goes.” U.S. Admiral Charles R. Larson, former commander of U.S. forces in the Pacific, argued that a strong military presence in Asia was necessary to ensure security and guarantee America a dominant role in trade.

The history of stressed U.S.-Korean relations began after the Second World War when the U.S. arrived on the peninsula to accept the surrender of Japanese troops. The commander of U.S. forces informed his officers that Korea was “an enemy of the United States” and should be treated as such because they opposed U.S. dominance. The U.S. is primarily responsible for the division of Korea, has oppressed popular movements for a unified democratic Korea, encouraged Japanese hegemony, instituted unpopular military leaders friendly to U.S. interests…the U.S. itself introduced the nuclear threat to the peninsula when it threatened to use nuclear weapons during the Korean War. Every time the U.S. and North Korea meet, the talks quickly degenerate into discussions of North Korea’s nuclear program. North Korea had a working nuclear research reactor in 1987, but had signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty in 1985. By 1993 all nuclear weapons facilities, including a weapons-grade plutonium reprocessing plant, were shut down in North Korea. For years Pyongyang has used the status of its nuclear program to draw the U.S. into negotiations over normalization of relations. North Korea has been consistently seeking to negotiate a peace treaty to end the standoff that began with the Korean War. It is the U.S. which refuses to end the hostile relations.


The U.S. is standing in the way of reunification movements in Korea. Former South Korean President Kim Dae Jung instituted a “sunshine policy” towards North Korea to encourage cooperation between the countries. Present South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun, a former human rights lawyer, is continuing this policy, which Washington is unhappy about. Anti-U.S. sentiment in South Korea is strong after U.S. support for military dictators and presence in the region. In June 2002, two U.S. soldiers accidentally killed two South Korean schoolgirls when they ran them over with their vehicle. Tens of thousands showed up in Seoul to protest against the acquittal of the soldiers in U.S. military court and demand an end to U.S. military presence on the p

Volunteer Opportunities with the Argentina Automista Project

The Argentina Autonomista Project (AAP) and the Inter-American Center for the Arts, Sustainability, and Action (CASA) will again work with a vast array of social organizations in Buenos Aires, Argentina, such as the Coordinadora Anibal Veron, unemployed workers, the popular neighborhood assemblies, community artists, and radical University of Buenos Aires faculty and students who are struggling to create space for the masses of poor and unemployed left by the recession, continuous austerity and structural adjustment programs, privatizations, and inept governments.

Over the last year an incredible wave of social protest and action has engulfed Argentina. In the midst of a severe economic crisis there have been massive street protests, over eighty factory take-overs, more than three hundred coordinated microenterprise cooperatives organized by unemployed women and men, countless neighborhood associations formed, and many other autonomous popular initiatives. Yet, little is heard about this in the United States or in Europe.

The purpose of the Argentina autonomista project is to bring news about events in Argentina to North America through people-to-people exchanges and the internet (web and email) and to facilitate non-hierarchical communication within Argentina, especially among groups with a minimum of resources.

In the past, the AAP coordinator, Graciela Monteagudo, has helped organize a number of street theater actions with local groups in Argentina and in the U.S. covering both global and local social justice issues. Recently, the the AAP coordinated a delegation of two community artists and organizers to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where they collaborated with the Coordinadora Anibal Veron, unemployed workers, neighborhood assemblies, community artists, FEAS, autonomous feminists, and radical university faculty and students. Over the course of three weeks the artists lived with these communities and participated in the organization of an interactive artistic and cultural gathering of 5,000 people in demand for human rights in Argentina.

Working alongside with these communities as a member of this delegation, volunteers can have the opportunity to provide a meaningful service to the microenterprise coops by working in their bakeries, organic gardens and cheap art stores. Also, opportunities are available to participate in direct democracy processes of decision and action while practicing the Spanish language and being a delegate for social change. These opportunities are self-funded, so participating individuals will be responsible for their own food, transport and lodging.

For information or contributions contact:

Graciela Monteagudo

188 Barre St.

Montpelier, VT 05602

Graciela can be reached via her cell phone in Buenos Aires at 011-54-9-11-4156-5847 or when she’s in the US, via her home phone at (802) 223-8445 or her cell phone at (802) 272-5606.

2003 Summer Action Tour

Cascadia Summer • Oregon, N. California, and S. Washington

June – August

Come to Cascadia to protect endangered forests. In the last year, eco-activists have seen a rapid increase in the level of forest destruction on public lands, the erosion of hard-fought legal protections (as inadequate as they were, they were better than nothing), and a rise in the amount of government repression on groups fighting for social and environmental justice. The Cascadia Summer campaign is made up of a diverse group of local conservationists fighting to protect forests, streams, and wildlife. We recognize and value strength in diversity of tactics. During Cascadia Summer, activists will be engaging in a wide range of tactics from civil disobedience, tree-sits, public outreach in urban and rural areas, lawsuits, political pressure, and popular education. Trainings in direct action, non-violence, blockading, legal issues, and much more will be provided. Come out and join us this summer for a few days, a week, or three months to protect Native Forests, Old Growth trees, Salmon, Owls, and Rivers. Contact Cascadia Summer, 1540 SE Clinton St, Portland, OR 97202

FTAA Miami, Anti-Capitalist Consulta • Louisville, KY

June 7-8, 2003

Attend the anti-capitalist consulta to organize resistance to the Free Trade Area of the Americas treaty. This planning meeting will begin preparations for actions against the FTAA ministerial meeting being held in Miami, Florida from November 20-22. Help build a broad based, diverse anti-capitalist response to the ministerial. Within the framework of creative militant action we hope to create new models of resistance that strengthen and revitalize our anti-capitalist/anti-authoritarian community. Affinity groups, student groups, community organizations, radical labor organizations, collectives and all others opposed to capitalism and the FTAA are invited. Please pre-register:

Massasauga Earth First! Action Camp • Michigan

June 13-15

A weekend of skill sharing, workshops, and strategy sessions. Contact POB 44173, Detroit, MI 48212 313-410-4155;

Allied Media Conference • Bowling Green, Ohio

June 13-15

Conference for creators and supporters of independent press, radio, music, TV, web, movies, etc. Contact AMC, PO Box 1225, Bowling Green, Ohio 43402 (419) 494-6850;

Eastern Forest Defense Camp • Southeast Ohio

June 16-23

Training camp with direct action workshops.

Disrupt the EU Summit • Thessaloniki, Greece

June 20-21

The European Union leaders will meet in order to impose new anti-popular measures to follow up previous reactionary decisions. People from all over will be on hand to disrupt the summit.

Biodevastation Conference • Washington, DC

June 20-22

Gathering to protest the annual convention of the Biotechnology Industry Organization. Contact

Stop the World Trade Organization Summit of Ministers of Trade, Agriculture, and Environment • Sacramento, Calif.

June 23-25, 2003

Stop the WTO and the United States’ effort to force genetically engineered food and corporate factory famring on the rest of the world. Mass actions ranging from militant direct action to legal protests, street theatre, public education forums etc. Contact 916-497-1111

BikeSummer 2003 • New York City

June 27 – July 26

BikeSummer — an annual tradition — is a month-long festival celebrating the bicycle with educational rides, street theater, classes, art workshops, eco tours, advocacy discussions, music, films, and more. New York City not only boasts one of the best mass transportation systems in the world, but also one of the greatest urban cycling experiences. P.O. Box 249, NY, NY 10002, 212-330-7083

North American Rainbow Gathering

July 1 – 7

This year to be in the Great Basin states (Utah, Nevada, California). No definite location as of press time — go ask a hippie on the street for directions.

Green Anarchist gathering • Pennsylvania

July 10-13

Gathering with discussion and wilderness skills training. Contact Black & Green, POB 835, Greensburg, PA 15601;

Portland Zine Symposium

August 1-3

Three-day conference and zine social, exploring facets of underground publishing and D.I.Y. culture. PSU college in downtown Portland, Oregon.

San Francisco Zine Fest

August 9-10, 10 AM – 4 PM

Two-day zine event celebrating local small press and out-of-town zine folks. SF location TBA.

Los Angeles Zine Fiesta

August 16, 12-6 PM

Zine conference and get-together at Plummer Park Community Center, 7377 Santa Monica Boulevard West, Hollywood.

Shut down the WTO Ministerial • Cancun, Mexico

September 10 -15

Join thousands of people in shutting down the WTO’s Fifth Ministerial Summit in Cancún. There is also a call for an International Day of Action with local actions to disrupt commerce around the globe.

New Orleans Book Fair

October 25

Celebrate D.I.Y. and micropress at this gathering in the Big Easy. Barrister’s Gallery, 1724 Orthea Castle Haley Blvd.

2nd Toronto Anarchist Bookfair 2003

October 25-26

Check out the bookfair, with workshops the next day. 519 Church Street Community Centre, in downtown Toronto. Requests for tables at the bookfair and proposals for workshops should be sent in writing to by August 1.

Disrupt the FTAA Miami Ministerial Summit • Miami Florida

November 17 – 21

Join thousands of people around the world and from throughout North and South America in shutting down the Free Trade Area of the Americas ministerial meeting in downtown Miami. There may be a Day of Action on November 19 and teach-ins, seminars, reality tours, concerts, forums, rallies and marches all week long. 202 778-3320, 510 663-0888,

Break the Chains

The Break the Chains conference will be held Aug.8-10 at Univ. of Oregon in Eugene. It is dedicated to fighting repression, supporting prisoners, and eliminating prisons altogether. By providing anti-prison education, building on existing prisoner support efforts, learning from veteran prison activists, and initiating new campaigns against the prison industrial complex, this conference is intended to initiate a new era of heightened prisoner support and anti-prison activism.

Perhaps no other single issue so convincingly illustrates the struggle for total liberation, as does the prison industrial complex. Resisting prisons is resisting state repression and blatant social control; it is resisting the most terrifying examples of racism, sexism, and homophobia, the criminalization of the poor and capitalist exploitation of labor. For this reason, the Break the Chains conference hopes to exemplify the need for continued and heightened prisoner support with our ultimate goal being prison abolition. Prison abolition is a political vision that seeks to eliminate the need for prisons and acknowledges the devastating effect that prisons have on poor and marginalized communities.

Wide ranges of folks have agreed to attend and share their knowledge, including former prisoners. Organizations attending include Free Mumia Coalition, Prison Legal News, and Out of Control Lesbian Committee to Support Women in Prison. There will be people working with prisoners that are HIV/AIDS infected and Black Panther and American Indian Movement elders, as well as a participant in the Attica rebellion of the 70’s.

Any movement that does not support its political internees is a movement destined to fail. When power is challenged, it inevitably turns to violent repression and imprisonment to maintain itself. In order to avoid defeat, movements must become organized and capable of combating the repression of the state apparatus, and they must be able to support their comrades and allies in the event that they are arrested or imprisoned. Few would commit themselves to a movement that would leave them behind prison walls, or a movement that is incapable of sustaining itself in the face of state intimidation. Contact info at P.O. Box 11331, Eugene Oregon 97440 or

Leaping Leftovers

During the period leading up to the war — to try to dispel the fear and depression — our house started trying to name all of our refrigerator leftovers with radical, inspiring, funny names.

Intifada enchilada. Black Eyed Bush Salad. Orange Alert Tahini sauce.

Silly, you protest? Well, maybe this is just the kind of silliness that we need to keep sane in a world that increasingly seems to be dominated by power, violence, consumerism and blind obedience. In a system based on rationality, mechanistic capitalist economics, mass industrial production and computer technology, humor is a particularly human quality. Computers and machines can imitate all kinds of mechanical, rational human behavior, but they can’t crack jokes. Only our beautiful, biological, imprecise brains can react to the world with a new silly idea, like radical names for refrigerator leftovers.

Photo-syntho-soup. Brocc’o’leave Iraq pasta. Darn it Dahl Bush

The personal really is political. Those in power spread propaganda with their capitalist technological communications systems like television. Thus, the we need to learn how to spread the vision of liberation and life everywhere in humble, small, invisible ways. Like grass slowly growing up through the cracks in the concrete, perhaps our counter-information can eventually sneak up on the mighty machine and topple it.

Commie red spice sauce. Lentils against the war. Intersection blocking asparagus.

People in a resistance movement against imperial terrorism need to keep joy, inspiration and rebellion close at hand — like in a re-used yogurt container for your lunch. After each meal, we’d wash the dishes, wipe the counters and try to figure out what to name the food we had just eaten. After a while, we had to develop a few simple rules: the name had to give at least some vague idea of what the food was. Before the rule, the refrigerator became a collection of slogans devoid of any meaning. The rule made the game harder in a good way, because you had to figure out fancy relationships between food and a particular political message.

Coalition to marinate Tofu. Intl. Women’s Day Spread of Peace.

When your whole house is out in the street day after day resisting an unjust war — blocking intersections, hanging banners from freeway overpasses, going to meetings, tying up traffic with bike masses, painting signs — you’re going to need some good, nutritious food when you get home at night. In times of struggle, spending time to cook, eat and take care of yourself is even more important so you can be effective the next day. Cooking from scratch rather than eating out is best — and you get to name the leftovers.