North Korea has canceled peace talks with South Korea scheduled for today.
They reached this decision based on joint military exercises between SK and the US on the NK border, simulating invasion and military attack on NK.
At first response, one may consider this a bad idea on the part of NK. However, when considered more closely, this is absolutely the most appropriate response NK could have made. This is telling SK that as long as they remain under the control and direction of the US war machine, there is no chance of peace on the Korean peninsula.
In the first talks, North and South made agreements to full denuclearization of the entire Korean peninsula. That would have to include removal of US nuclear weapons from SK. That alone would be a difficult agreement to reach with the US but is completely reasonable.
With the war games now continuing, SK has demonstrated a lack of faith. It may have even been more acceptable to NK if the South had allowed US forces to engage in such games but not taken active part themselves. By not only allowing these war games to continue but taking active part in them, the South has shown they will bow to the wishes of the US, no matter the cost. This is not mere allowance, this is an intentional intimidating action.
All Americans and South Koreans should be against these war games. These games consume massive resources. Personnel, equipment and money are utilized in the games. Even if the test missiles contain no explosive charges (doubtful, as the intent is projecting as much noise and aggression as possible), one must assume the missiles fired contain the same targeting systems used in live weapons. The targeting and navigation systems are the most expensive parts of these weapons. The bombs being used cost an average of $80,000 EACH. That’s just the bomb. That does not include the launch platform, such as jets, drones, etc. That does not include the cost of delivering the bombs to the country.
There are many things I do not know about these games and it is highly unlikely I would find clear answers if I tried to find them. Do they clean up used weaponry after the games? Then you have to have trained Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) experts to do so. Do they bring in additional US military personnel and equipment which is not typically present? Then you spend millions bringing it there. Using equipment causes wear and breakage. So then you have repairs to pay for.
Considering the many $millions spent on these games of aggression, one must ask how many children go hungry to pay for these things? How many elderly go without life saving medication? How many bridges collapse that this money could pay for? How many teachers could have a pay increase if the money were spent that way?
The biggest question one must ask is- What positive does this accomplish? If the goal is peace and peace talks had begun, this is NO different than a cease fire between sides. Countries do not tend to hold peace talks if their opponent is still pointing guns and acting like they are killing each other. Peace takes actions, not just words. Would you talk about peace with someone holding a gun in your face?
It is not too much to ask that expensive, aggressive, intimidating and useless war games be suspended during talks. Not even completely ceased, just suspended until agreements are reached. It is not too much to ask that South Korea rein in the foreign military force occupying their country long enough for these talks to happen. We can have no illusions about the US goal in this arrangement. The goal is not peace but surrender. And that is too much to ask.