The U.S.-Korean crisis continues. While we can be relieved by the dog that didn’t bite – Pyongyang didn’t launch a missile test on the anniversary of Kim Il Sung’s birthday as anticipated by the U.S. media. But the crisis could grow more intense as the U.S. and South Korean navies move into the third military “exercise” near or in West Sea waters claimed by both North and South Korea.
The crisis has also added to the complexity of U.S.-Chinese relations. On the one hand, increased U.S. deployments of U.S. “missile defenses” on China’s periphery are experienced as a growing threat to China. But, the Kerry-Yang joint statement agreeing to work for a denuclearized Korean peninsula and signals about increased U.S.-Chinese cooperation on security and other issues is encouraging. We also note that sectors of China’s media have honored the reformer Hu Yoabang, and with many wonder if this is a signal indicating that Xi Jinping will be more serious about reform than his predecessor.
We’ve also included a link to “Ghosts of Jeju”, the five minute trailer for a new film which provides background to the courageous struggle of Jeju islanders to prevent the construction of a join U.S.-South Korean naval base in their World Heritage paradise.
Meanwhile, Japan’s right-wing government is moving closer to amending the constitution and is planning joint naval cooperation with Vietnam with China in mind. And Japan has drawn Taiwan toward its side in the Senkaku/Diaoyou island crisis, by increasing its fishing rights at China’s expense.
Finally, several action items:
W e urge you to phone or write the White House and your Congressional leaders urging that the U.S. suspend its dangerous war games and talk with North Korea, and to send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper urging the same. See our sample LTE.
And, there are two petitions we urge you to consider signing. First is a call for resumption of the Six Party Talks,and the other urges an end to the return of U.S. military forces to the Philippines under the misnamed “Visiting Forces Agreement.” Even if you don’t sign the Philippine petition, there’s a lot to read by signing it.
Japan/China – Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands
U.S. Warned Government Against Buying Senkaku Islands: Campbell –
China & China-U.S. Relations
Japan & Japan-US Relations
Working Group for Peace & Demilitarization in Asia & the Pacific
Cambridge, MA 02140
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