‘Cannibals & murderers’: Pyongyang’s shocking anti-US propaganda prints revealed (GRAPHIC IMAGES)

‘Cannibals & murderers’: Pyongyang’s shocking anti-US propaganda prints revealed (GRAPHIC IMAGES)

 

Tensions between the US and North Korea are rapidly escalating with both countries engaged in a bitter war of words. Gruesome sketches showing alleged US atrocities that Pyongyang uses in its propaganda campaign against Washington have been published online.

The graphic prints, showing US soldiers executing North Koreans, setting dogs on civilians, torturing women and leaving children to die during the 1950-1953 Korean War, constitute part of a collection of the North Korean Museum of American War Atrocities. They are believed to be mostly created around 2005.

Located in the town of Sinchon in the North’s south-western South Hwanghae Province, the museum commemorates what Pyongyang claims to be the Sinchon Massacre that reportedly claimed the lives of more than 35,000 people.

The Sinchon Massacre was committed in 1950 primarily by South Korean forces with the active collaboration of the US military, according to the North’s narrative. The atrocities reportedly lasted for about 52 days and left a quarter of the town’s population dead. According to some reports, the US Air Force also used illegal bacteriological weapons in the area.

The pictures featured in the museum established in the town that has since been turned into national shrine and now a cornerstone of the North Korean propaganda machine, show American soldiers directly participating in various atrocities against North Korean civilians.

In one picture, American soldiers are shown torturing a North Korean woman by removing her teeth with pliers while another one depicts them burning a man with hot metal. Other disturbing pictures show US servicemen slicing a man’s head with a jagged blade, driving a nail into the head of a female prisoner and burning a man at stake.

The gruesome images also show US soldiers leaving a toddler to die in a mass grave, while burying civilians that were apparently shot dead. One shows them holding a gun to an infant girl’s head as she weeps at the sight of her dead family on another.
Further shocking drawings show US forces taking North Korean children from their mothers and kicking bound women and children into a trench in the ground with an apparent intention to bury them alive.

Established in 1958, the grim museum that also exhibits personal belongings of those who are claimed to have fallen victims to the Sinchon Massacre atrocities, has repeatedly been visited by the North Korean leaders.

Kim Jong-un visited the venue in 2014 together with his sister. At that time, he reportedly denounced Americans as “cannibals and murderers seeking pleasure in slaughter.”

Tensions around the Korean Peninsula continue to escalate following the North’s nuclear and missile tests in early September. Earlier Thursday, the North Korean KCNA state news agency reported that nearly five million people have volunteered to join or re-enlist in the North Korean military to fight the US.

The news came after Kim vowed to “tame” US President Donald Trump “with fire.” The day before, Trump said the US is ready to strike North Korea if necessary with “devastating” consequences for the Asian country.

On September 19, Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea, a country with 26 million people, in his first UN address. He also later said that the North Korean leader “won’t be around much longer.”

Not to be outdone, Pyongyang has also fired off equally aggressive statements. On September 25, the North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong-ho accused the US of “declaring war” and said North Korea now has “the right to shoot down US strategic bombers even when they are not inside the airspace border of our country.”

As Pyongyang and Washington are whipping up tensions, Moscow and Beijing are urging calm. Russia and China are calling for the implementation of the so-called “double freeze” initiative that envisages North Korea suspending its nuclear and missile program in exchange for the US and South Korea abandoning their military exercises in the region.

The US, however, continues to reject this proposal.

Turkey agrees to ‘only deal with Baghdad’ over oil exports

by Jim W. Dean, VT Editor   … with Press TV,  Tehran

Will the Iraqi Kurds be smiling a year from now?

[ Editor’s Note: As I have been covering in my interviews on the Kurdistan referendum, despite the military huffing and puffing, there will be no hasty moves made, as Iran, Turkey, Baghdad and Syria have a full inventory of economic warfare options via sanctions and virtually no international recognition.

As I watched the Kurdish people dance in the streets with joy, I was astounded to see the unconcern over losing their oil export revenue, or control of their airspace and borders, even for imports. Yes this will cost Turkey a lot of trade revenue, but a lot less than a war would.

And if Turkey needs to use its army, Erdogan will be saving it for the unsettled Kurdish issue in his own country and for the growing Syrian Kurdish issue, with a newly combat-experienced SDF army on his border. Still missing from that risk equation is any movement by Erdogan to reach a permanent diplomatic settlement, which I suggest would be to the benefit of all.

The Iraqi Kurds have been getting 25% of the country’s oil revenues for sending 550,000 barrels of oil a day through Baghdad. But this 650,000 barrels a day figure below, going out through Turkey with a good chunk of it being stolen by the Barzani family and where the international banks are partners in the theft, has gotten little Western media press. Why not?

When some Kurdish government workers are months behind on being paid, how could they be so happy, not only having been robbed like that, but about to have what could be the harshest and most effective sanctions to date on any country? That said, China announced today the closing of all North Korean firms and partnerships in China, showing that it is fully on board the last round of UN sanctions.

On the flip side we see the US coalition, as part of its dying gasp in Syria, is actually using the SDF Kurds to take control of the Iraqi border east of Deir Ezzor. This is a militarily offensive act and is in violation of all kinds of UN-charter agreements, any of which are ignored by the US in the pursuit of “its interests”, which is the magic term used to ignore any international laws it chooses. You just can’t make this stuff upJim W. Dean ]

Jim’s Editor’s Notes are solely crowdfunded via PayPalJimWDean@aol.com

This includes research, needed field trips, Heritage TV Legacy archiving, and more – Thanks for helping out

*

–  First published  …  September 28, 2017  –

In a major U-turn, Turkey has agreed to solely deal with the central Iraqi government over crude oil exports, following a contentious secession referendum held by Iraq’s semi-autonomous Kurdistan region, the Baghdad government says.

The office of the Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi reported Ankara’s change of mode on Thursday, following a phone call between Abadi and his Turkish counterpart, Binali Yildirim.

Yildirim “confirmed the support of his country on all decisions” taken by the Iraqi government, said the statement. As part of the measures, Turkey would restrict oil export operations to the Baghdad government, it added.

The Turkish PM also emphasized Ankara’s “commitment to cooperate and coordinate fully with the Iraqi government to implement all necessary steps for imposing of federal authorities at land and air ports,” according to the statement.

Ankara has long been buying oil from the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) in defiance of Baghdad’s stiff opposition. Oil exports serve as the KRG’s main source of income. The Kurdistan region exports an estimated 650,000 barrels of oil per day through Turkey’s Ceyhan pipeline.

Turkish government spokesman Bekir Bozdag also said Thursday that Ankara is set to conduct its dealings in Iraq with the central government, and that the two premiers will sit down down for talks soon. Turkey is furious at the Monday referendum, which saw over 90 percent of the voters say ‘Yes’ to secession from Iraq, according to regional Kurdish officials.

The unconstitutional referendum, which went ahead despite Baghdad’s objections, has sparked angry reactions from the international community and Iraq’s neighbors, particularly Turkey.The regime in Israel is the only voice supporting the plebiscite.

In a strong-worded speech on Wednesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also said Ankara will seal its border with the Kurdistan region and threatened the Kurdish leaders with blocking their key oil exports to other buyers.

Turkey, which is home to the largest Kurdish population in the region, fears that the Kurdistan plebiscite would embolden the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in its push for autonomy in southeastern areas at home.

In the aftermath of the vote, pressure has been building on officials in Erbil, Kurdistan’s regional capital, over the referendum, with regional carriers, including Turkish Airlines, EgyptAir and Lebanon’s Middle East Airlines submitting to Baghdad’s request to suspend their flights serving Iraqi Kurdistan.

A Friend in Deed: Russia Writes Off Over $20Bln for African Countries

A woman carries a vessel

Moscow continues its policy of relieving developing countries of their debts.

“We have written off more than $20 billion inof African countries’ debts as part of an initiative to help out the world’s poorest and most deeply indebted nations,” President Vladimir Putin told reporters after meeting with his Guinean counterpart Alfa Conde on Thursday.

He added that in 2016 Russia had lined up $5 million as part of the World Health Organization’s African aid program.Russia has written off debts to a number of Soviet-era allies such as Cuba and North Korea.

In June, Moscow similarly wrote off all of Kyrgyzstan’s debt to Russia, totaling $240 million.

High Bypass Turbofan Jet Engines, Geoengineering, And The Contrail Lie

 

Dane Wigington
GeoengineeringWatch.org

Refuting the “its just condensation trails” official lie is easily done if specific fundamental facts are understood and remembered. The short article and 7 minute video tutorial below provide essential information for debunking the “condensation trail” false narrative.

We are told by all “official sources” that the sun blocking weather disrupting jet dispersed trails we see in our skies are only “condensation trails”. The “condensation trail” official narrative is perhaps the greatest lie the power structure has ever perpetrated to pacify the masses into ignoring the immense threat posed by climate engineering operations occurring over our heads on a daily basis. Without knowing any of the related science facts on this issue, anyone with a sense of reason should be able to determine the fact that our skies are being sprayed. Trails that are turned on and off, grid patterns one day and nothing the next (in spite of often identical atmospheric conditions). Witnessing one jet leaving a trail from horizon to horizon adjacent to another jet at a similar altitude that leaves virtually nothing. Trails of completely dissimilar compositions and colors. There are misaligned plumes behind some jets (usually lower flying military tankers) that do not match the alignment of the engines themselves. This causes some of the sprayed dispursion trails to shoot out slightly to one side of the aircraft (not parallel due to misaligned nozzles). There is also of course the fact that all climate science circles and governments around the globe are clamoring for climate engineering to be deployed (though none in these communities will yet admit to the truth, geoengineering has was fully deployed decades ago). Our society has been well trained to accept the official narrative on countless issues which is how those in power hide their crimes in plain site. The fact that official explanations for what we see in our skies are completely contrary to deductive reasoning and the laws of physics has, so far, seemed not to matter to the majority of the population.

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Again, we are told by all official sources, agencies, and elected officials, that all we are seeing in our skies are “condensation trails”. They say that it is perfectly normal for this “condensation” so stay in the sky for hours or days, widening and spreading until whole horizons are completely blotted out. What we see is exactly what they say they want to do with solar radiation management (SRM), but they assure us that geoengineering is not actually going on, yet. Those that choose to believe these blatant lies simply do not yet want to wake up. Here is the fact of the matter, all commercial jet aircraft and all military tankers are fitted with a type of jet engine that is by design nearly incapable of producing any condensation trail except under the most extreme circumstances, the high bypass turbofan. 

7 minute high bypass turbofan tutorial

The fight to expose and halt climate engineering is a challenge that must be won or nothing else will matter. If we just go about our lives without making this battle a top priority, we are failing in our responsibility toward our children and the greater good. Help us to sound the alarm, make your voice heard, every single day counts.
DW

Almost all Iranian missiles capable of pinpoint strikes: IRGC chief

Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (file photo)
Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (file photo)

The chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) says nearly all Iranian missiles are now capable of pinpoint strikes and that the Islamic Republic will use them whenever necessary.

Iranian missiles hit Daesh headquarters in Syria’s Dayr al-Zawr province on June 18 in the first such attack on targets outside Iran, in which more than 170 Takfiri terrorists were killed and their heavy weapons and communication equipment destroyed.

In a televised interview aired Wednesday night, Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari said, “I think the biggest message was that the missiles of the Islamic Republic of Iran could fly over a second country like Iraq and enter a third country like Syria and land in a very tight area of 50 x 100 meters.”

“No one believed that the Islamic Republic’s missiles and the IRGC’s missiles could strike with pinpoint precision,” he added.

“It is now several years since we announced that we have achieved this technology. Now, we promise to all Iranian people that almost all IRGC missiles are equipped with this technology,” Jafari said.

The missile attack came in response to a terrorist assault on June 7 when Daesh terrorists opened fire at ordinary people in Tehran, leaving 18 people dead and over 50 others wounded.

Jafari said the IRGC took the retaliation plan to Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei who gave his blessing provided that it did not harm civilians.

The handout picture provided by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) on June 18, 2017 shows the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) launching a missile from an undisclosed location in western Iran towards Daesh bases in Syria. (Via AFP)

Asked about the possibility of launching further such attacks, the commander said, “We will use them whenever necessary, especially for those who should understand and feel the threat from this capability of the Islamic Republic, [even though] they have already felt it.”

Jafari also emphasized that Iran’s missile and defensive capability was not negotiable, apparently referring to US pressures on the UN to bring Tehran’s missile program under inspections similar to the Islamic Republic’s nuclear activities.

“No one can bargain over this (missile capability) and the enemy will definitely take this wish to the grave,” he said.

No inspection of military sites

Jafari said “no authority in Iran, whether political or military, would allow outsiders to visit military sites under the pretext of the nuclear issue,” adding any pressure to this effect would further unite Iranian authorities and political currents.

In August, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley traveled to Vienna, where the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is headquartered, to press the agency on access to Iranian military sites.

The move was regarded as an attempt by Washington to undermine the multilateral nuclear deal, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

The JCPOA was reached between Iran and the P5+1 group of countries, including US, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany, in July 2015 and took effect in January 2016. Under the deal, Iran undertook to put limitations on its nuclear program in exchange for the termination of all nuclear-related sanctions against Tehran.

Very dangerous escalation in Syria

By now many of you must have heard the news: a Russian Lieutenant-General, Valery Asapov, and two Colonels have been killed in what appears to be a very precisely targeted mortar attack.  Just as in the case of the Russian military police unit recently attacked near Deir ez-Zor, the Russians are accusing the Americans of being behind this attack.  To make things even worse, the Russians are now also officially accusing the Americans of actively collaborating with ISIS:

US Special Operations Forces  units enable US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces units to smoothly advance through the ISIS formations.  Facing no resistance of the ISIS militants, the SDF units are advancing along the left shore of the Euphrates towards Deir-ez-Zor.  The aerial photos made on September 8-12 over the ISIS locations recorded a large number of American Hummer vehicles, which are in service with the America’s SOF.  The shots clearly show the US SOF units located at strongholds that had been equipped by the ISIS terrorists. Though there is no evidence of assault, struggle or any US-led coalition airstrikes to drive out the militants.  Despite that the US strongholds being located in the ISIS areas, no screening patrol has been organized at them. This suggests that the US troops feel safe in terrorist controlled regions.

These are the maps and aerial photos provided by the Russians (for higher resolution, click here)

What this all seems to point to is that the Pentagon has now apparently decided to attack Russian forces directly, albeit unofficially.   From the Pentagon’s point of view, this (almost) makes sense.

First, by now it is pretty darn clear that the “good terrorists” and the “bad terrorists” have lost the civil war in Syria.  Simply put, the USA has been defeated, Syria, Russia, Iran and Hezbollah have won and the Israelis are now freaking out.

Second, the American plan to use the Kurds as foot-soldiers/canon-fodder has failed.  The Kurds are clearly too smart to be pulled in such a losing proposition.

Third, the American plan-B option, the partition of Syria, is now itself directly threatened by the Syrian military successes.

Last and not least, the Americans by now are deeply humiliated and enraged at the Russian success in Syria.

Lieutenant-General Valery Asapov

Hence they have now apparently taken the decision to directly target Russian military personnel and they are using their considerable reconnaissance capabilities combined with US Special Forces on the ground, working side by side with “good” and “bad” terrorists, to target and attack Russian military personnel.

This is not the first time, by the way.  There is pretty good evidence that a Russian hospital near Aleppo was targeted using means not available to the local Daesh franchise.  This time, however, the Americans are not even trying to hide.  The message seems to be this all-time American favorite “watcha gonna do about it?“.

There is a lot the Russians could do about it, in fact.  I wrote about this in my article “Using plausible deniability against a systematically lying adversary“.  If the folks at CENTCOM really believe that their generals are all safe and out of reach they are deeply mistaken.  Unlike the Russians and, even more so, the Iranians, US Generals are mostly risk averse and hard to get to in Syria.  But who said that Russia would have to retaliate in Syria?  Or, for that matter, that Russia would have to use Russian forces to retaliate.  Yes, Russia does have special units trained in the assassination of high-value targets in hostile countries, but that does not at all mean that they would decide to use them.  Accidents can happen anywhere and the roads are notoriously dangerous in the Middle-East.  Why do I mention that?  To illustrate that Russia does have options short of overtly going to war.

Of course, the Russians could simply fire a volley of Kalibr cruise missile at any of the ISIS positions shown in the photos above and then go “oops, you had personnel embedded with these al-Qaeda types?  Really?  We had no idea, no idea at all“.  Syria also have a pretty solid arsenal of tactical ballistic missiles.  The Syrians could mistakenly hit any such ISIS+US positions and express consternation at the presence of US military personnel in the midst of terrorists.  There is also Hezbollah who, in the past, has even seized Israelis soldiers in raids across the border and who could decide to capture themselves some US SOF types.    And let’s not forget the Iranians who have not had such an golden opportunity to finally get their hands on US military personnel since many years.

The three key weakness of the US force posture in Syria are: first, their own force in Syria is too small to make a difference, but big enough to represent a lucrative target and, second, all the boots on the ground which matter are against them (Syrians, Iran, Turkey, Hezbollah and the Russians).  Finally, the only two real US allies in the region are too afraid to put boots on the ground: Israel and the Saudis.

The bottom line is that if the Americans think that the Russians and their allies don’t have options they are deeply mistaken.  They also should seriously consider the consequence of having US SOF operating in forward positions.  The Syrians are closing the distance fast and this might not be the best time to hunt Russian military personnel.

So far the Russians have only limited themselves to protests and expressions of disgust.  This has clearly not been an effective strategy.  The Russians apparently don’t realize that very few people care and that the more the complain, the less credible their warnings sound.  This is not a sustainable approach and the Russians will so “have to do something about it”, to use the American expression.

Things might become very dangerous, very fast and very soon.

Oklahoma Beheading Trial: Is Obeying the Qur’an a Form of Mental Illness?

Koran editions at the 30th International Book Fair in Moscow. (Ekaterina Chesnokova/Sputnik via AP)

The trial of Alton Alexander Nolen — a.k.a. Jah’Keem Yisrael, who beheaded a coworker, Colleen Hufford, and tried to behead another, Traci Johnson, at Vaughan Foods in Moore, Oklahoma in September 2014 — has revealed anew the incoherence and inconsistency of our official response to the jihad threat.

Nolen insists he was merely following the Qur’an. In statements he made days after the attack that have just been revealed during his trial, Nolen couldn’t have been clearer about his mindset, worldview, and motivations. When he was read his rights, he responded:

I’m a Muslim.

When asked why he beheaded Hufford, he answered:

I just feel like … I did what I needed to do. What Allah … says in the Qur’an to do. Oppressors don’t need to be here.

Nolen has a case. The Qur’an says:

When you meet the unbelievers, strike the necks (47:4).

Nolen thought Colleen Hufford was not just an unbeliever, but something even worse: she was, he explained, a “slave to the devil.” Nolen himself, on the other hand, was a “slave to Allah.” He told police:

You know the Muslim is somebody who submits their will to Allah … Whatever he wants done, that’s what we do … And you know he wants us to get the oppressors out of this place.

When asked if he regretted murdering Hufford, Nolen answered:

This wasn’t nothing but a trial for me. I passed it … because, like I said, I felt oppressed. … I knew for sure that … if I was to die right then … I was going to heaven.

He added:

I feel, you know, you know what I’m saying, if I was to die in five or 10 minutes I’m going to Heaven. That’s all that matters to me.

Here again, Nolen has a case. The Qur’an promises Paradise to those who “kill and are killed” for Allah (9:111). Nolen is, of course, still alive, but like the Fort Hood jihad mass murderer Nidal Malik Hasan, he likely believes that if he were to be executed, it would complete the requirements of the passage, and ensure his ticket to Paradise.

When asked if anyone had told him to behead unbelievers, he was quite clear about where he got the idea:

Uh, no. I read the Qur’an. Like I say, the Qur’an is easy to understand. … No one guides me but Allah.

Nolen also confirmed that he screamed “Allahu akbar” as he beheaded Hufford.

Both prosecuting and defense attorneys, however, seem to be discounting Nolen’s statements. The Oklahoman reported:

[H]is court-appointed defense attorneys are asking the jury to find him not guilty by reason of insanity. They have told jurors he is mentally ill and believed what he was doing was right because of delusional misinterpretations of Islamic teachings.

Cleveland County District Attorney Greg Mashburn, meanwhile, went even farther, saying:

[Nolen] didn’t know the difference between right and wrong, and didn’t know the consequences of his actions.

Nonsense. He knows very well the difference between right and wrong. The Qur’an says: “When you meet the unbelievers, strike the necks,” and as far as he is concerned, that is right, and he knows that as a consequence of his actions, he will go to Paradise.

Mashburn is saying that standard Islamic belief is tantamount to insanity. Does he have any idea of how “Islamophobic” he is being?

We have seen this before. In Montreal last March, a police complaint was filed against the Dar Al-Arqam Mosque in Montreal for hosting an imam, Sheikh Muhammad bin Musa Al Nasr, who preached:

O Muslim, O servant of Allah, O Muslim, O servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him.

But this is a quotation that is attributed to Muhammad. Are the Canadian police really going to stop imams from quoting Muhammad? Are Oklahoma authorities really going to ascribe obedience to Qur’anic commands to insanity?

At some point, Western officials are going to have to face the contents of Islamic teaching, and recognize that bringing large numbers of Muslims into the West is only going to increase the number of beheadings and exhortations to kill Jews, as both those things are taught in Islamic texts.

Right now it is “Islamophobic” to point this out, as I detail in my forthcoming book Confessions of an Islamophobe. But this enforced fantasy cannot forever obscure unwelcome facts. Before too long, the contents of Islamic teachings will be abundantly clear to everyone.

Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book is The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Free Speech (and Its Enemies). Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.

Russia Threatens To Ban Facebook

Nearly a year after Russia blocked career-focused social network LinkedIn, Russian telecom authorities are threatening to block Facebook unless the company complies with the country’s laws governing data storage, according to the Hill, which cited local media reports.

“The law is mandatory for everyone, and therefore there is no doubt – in any case, we will either achieve the law to be implemented, or the company will stop working in Russia, as, unfortunately, happened with LinkedIn,” said Alexander Zharov, the head of the Federal Service for Supervision in the Sphere of Telecom, Information Technology, and Mass Communications, known in Russia as Roskomnadzor.

“There are no exceptions,” he added.

The Russian watchdog banned access to LinkedIn last November after a court ruling found the social networking site broke the same data laws that Facebook is now allegedly violating. The case set a precedent for US technology firms operating in the country.

Notably, Russia’s threat comes one day after China decided to block the Facebook-owned messaging app WhatsApp. Facebook has been banned in China since 2009. In another coincidence, the threats come as Facebook is preparing to turn over some 3,000 political advertisements that were surreptitiously purchased on its platform by a Russia-linked troll farm. The controversy has caused some Democratic lawmakers to speculate (loudly) that they may have finally found a “smoking gun” that proves Russia intended to meddle in the US election…as if $100,000 worth of ads could sway an election.

LinkedIn’s issues stem from a law passed in 2014 and came into effect the next year that requires companies to store user data on Russian soil, something the US technology firm currently doesn’t do. Roskomnadzor’s decision to block LinkedIn followed a lower court ruling this year that said LinkedIn did not adhere to Russia’s data protection rules. This was later upheld by a higher court in Moscow.

‘Pyongyang will fear us more’: South Korea wants to transfer wartime army command from US

‘Pyongyang will fear us more’: South Korea wants to transfer wartime army command from US

‘Dangerous direction: If Japan’s Abe wins snap election, he’ll join US in confronting N.Korea’

f Japan’s Prime Minister Abe wins the snap election, he’ll develop cooperation with the US and join in its willingness to take risks in confronting North Korea, said Gregory Clark, head of the Research Japan Office. That’s a dangerous direction, he adds.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has dissolved the lower house of the parliament, paving the way for a snap election next month. Abe wants to capitalize on high approval ratings to get a mandate for tougher defense policies toward North Korea.

RT: Does Abe effectively use the “North Korean threat” as a pretext to get more power and to militarize the country?

Gregory Clark: This has been going on for more than a decade. This all began back in 2004, when then-Prime Minister Mr. (Junichiro) Koizumi made a major breakthrough in relations with North Korea, namely solving the abduction issue. North Korea had in the 1970’s and 1980’s abducted a number of Japanese people and used them for teaching Japanese and so on to spies. Japan’s foreign ministry had negotiated secretly with North Korea and obtained the release of the five abductees who were still alive. North Korea said the rest had died.

Now, Mr. Abe seized on this to say: “Oh, they are hiding some of these people they abducted, they are still hiding them. There must be more than five.” But there is no reason why North Korea would want to hide them. At the time the then-Prime Minister Koizumi put out what’s called the Pyongyang Declaration, which promised the normalization of relations with North Korea. In other words, there would be a Chinese embassy or consulate in Pyongyang, and aid North Korea to develop energy without having to rely on nuclear energy, and so on.

This was a threat to Mr. Abe – that relations with North Korea would improve, and he would lose the pretext he needed for Japan’s moving to the right; for Japan’s getting closer to the US, and for Japan’s rearmament. So he moved firmly, consciously and deliberately to sabotage the Pyongyang Declaration, using in the first instance the abduction question.

Then America did the same thing with its sabotaging of the 1994 agreed framework, which would also have promised normalization. But under the (George W.) Bush regime these two were broken. So North Korea did the obvious thing – it said: “Ok, we have to develop our nuclear weapons, as other people have refused to normalize relations.” Then Mr. Abe uses the North Korean development of nuclear weapons as a reason for an even harder line against North Korea…

RT: Do you think that Abe uses fear mongering to achieve his goals? How effective is that?

GC: Yes, it is very effective. The Japanese are rather emotional people, and they don’t think about things very logically. They don’t think why North Korea had to develop nuclear weapons. When America applies pressure to try to stop North Korea developing these weapons, North Korea makes loud noises and starts firing rockers. Some of them have to go over Japan as they want to test long-distance rockets. This is denounced as illegal, and a threat to Japan and they have rocket alerts with children in the schools having to hide under their desks, and so on. No one has mentioned the fact that the rockets go more than 100 kilometers into the air. They are in space – space is international territory. They have as much right to put rockers there as America has to put satellites there…

RT: What could be the consequences of further militarization?

GC: I am not too worried because the Japanese now are not really interested in the military – the young people at least. There is full employment. The military is a hard life. Young Japanese don’t like a hard life…

RT: If Abe wins would this mean further militarization of the country? Which pro-militarization steps do you expect from him?

GC: Of course they will change the Constitution somewhat to allow the existence of military forces. At that moment the existence is prohibited. It already has been the status quo – that already has been the situation for many years. So that is not that much of a change. What he will do – is rather than develop Japans’ military forces,… he’ll emphasize even more cooperation with the US. America, of course, is very willing to take risks in confronting North Korea, and Japan would join America in doing that. That would be a major step in, what I see a dangerous direction.

‘Dangerous direction: If Japan’s Abe wins snap election, he’ll join US in confronting N.Korea’