The danger of nuclear war in North East Asia


May Day 2017

The danger of nuclear war in North East Asia

Peter Symonds

3 May 2017

This speech was delivered by Peter Symonds, national editor in Australia of the World Socialist Web Site, to the 2017 International May Day Online Rally held on April 30.

For the first time since the Cuban missile crisis in 1962, workers around the world confront the real and immediate danger of nuclear war. Amid a rising frenzy of media vilification of North Korea, the Trump administration has repeatedly declared that it will not tolerate that country’s continued nuclear- and missile-testing, and that “all options are on the table” to stop it.

In reality, the White House has already ruled out many of the obvious “options.” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has rejected any talks with the North Korean regime unless it submits to Washington’s demands in advance. He has also declared that the sanctions policy of the Obama administration—so-called “strategic patience”—has failed.

May Day 2017 Peter Symonds

Immense pressure is being applied to China to bully North Korea into submission, but the bottom line is that if Beijing does not solve the problem, the US will. The only options left are military ones. Trump has warned that “a major, major conflict” with North Korea is a definite possibility and has sent an “armada”—a full nuclear aircraft carrier strike group and a nuclear submarine—to the Korean Peninsula.

Vice-President Mike Pence has just toured Asia to brief major US allies—Japan, South Korea and Australia. Washington has military forces in all three countries as well as Guam, tied together by communications, targeting and spying systems, in which Australian bases such as Pine Gap play a central role.

The sheer recklessness of the Trump…

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