We must avoid repeating the North Korea crisis of the 1990s
This year is almost over, and I would like to take a look back at the latter half of 2017 by referring to my essays from the August issue published in July to the December issue. These discussions were mainly focused on North Korea. On November 4, the Morning Edition of The Asahi Shimbun
newspaper included an editorial entitled, “Visit from the President: Not Just a Honeymoon.” It included statements such as, “The most important thing is to warn President Donald J. Trump to avoid the use of military force against North Korea,” “Prime Minister Shinzo Abe must not encourage Trump, who is hinting at the use of military power,” and “Pressure is essentially a method to encourage dialogues.”
However, historical facts demonstrate the problems with The Asahi Shimbun
’s way of thinking. In 1994, American President Bill Clinton was preparing to exercise military force in a precise attack on nuclear facilities on the Korean Peninsula. South Korean President Kim Young Sam assiduously opposed this because of the threat that Seoul would be turned into a “sea of fire,” and the military strike did not take place. However, more than 10 years later, I heard Kim Young Sam express remorse and say that his resistance was mistaken. Moreover, because North Korean nuclear weapon and ballistic missile performance has been remarkably improved since 1994, I have insisted that we must not allow this nuclear crisis to become a repeat of what happened in the past.
My essay in the August issue was entitled, “Information Warfare is Always Rampant Across the World
.” I described the background to the current North Korea issue as follows:
Japan enjoyed rapid economic growth as it profited while other countries fought in the Cold War, but this structure collapsed with the end of the war. In the post-Cold War era, the intelligence agencies of various countries have survived by transforming themselves into institutions for industrial espionage. Many overseas Japanese businesses have failed because of this, the economy has inevitably shrunk, and Japan is now worn out. To remedy this, I felt that I must teach many people about Japan’s true modern history and restore its pride. I wrote Unreported Modern History in 2008, which opened the eyes of readers to historical truths in a rather bold way.
One example is the discord between Kim Il Sung and his son Kim Jong Il of North Korea. Former President Jimmy Carter brokered an agreement between the United States and North Korea, which was experiencing a severe famine and needed international aid. The conditions were that North Korea freeze its nuclear development program, switch to the provided light-water reactors (for which there is a low risk of nuclear proliferation), and receive 500,000 tons of fuel oil annually. Kim Jong Il removed Kim Il Sung, who had abandoned nuclear development in this way; secretly continued nuclear development since right after the deal; and announced in 2003 (when its weapons were near completion) that North Korea would withdraw from the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). It is very possible that this scared Jiang Zemin of China, so he ordered Kim Jong Il to visit China and tried to persuade him to cease nuclear development. Kim Jong Il didn’t agree to this, so Jiang Zemin may have planned to kill him with a bomb on his way home from China and made preparations some time before by deeply burying explosives underneath the branch line along the main line at Ryongchon Station. In April 2004, an entire train was blown up with 800 tons of TNT.
East Asian peace has been affected by the major European and American powers
My September essay was entitled, “World War II was a Plot Against Japan by the White Nations
.” Under the sub-heading, “The white nations schemed to divide Japan and China to maintain their global control,” I exposed the white nations’ Asian strategy that had existed since before World War II:
We must calmly look back at the history of the Second Sino-Japanese War. The Japan-China relationship started worsening after the 1928 Huanggutun Incident. The prevailing historical view says the culprit was Colonel Daisaku Komoto of the Kwantung Army, but it has recently become evident that the incident was actually carried out by the Soviet secret service, which falsely portrayed the Kwantung Army as culpable. A report sent home by the Far East bureau of the British Directorate of Military Intelligence directly after the incident said the Soviet Union was responsible (this report was made available to the public in 2007 in the National Archives). Japan owned up to the offense, so Britain ordered a second investigation. The results once again said that the perpetrator was the Soviet secret service, based on the fact that the blasting powder was made in the Soviet Union. Russian author Dmitri Prokhorov also wrote a book based on his original research indicating that the Soviet secret service carried out the Huanggutun Incident. His work was cited in global bestseller Mao: The Unknown Story by husband-and-wife team Jung Chang and Jon Halliday. I went to Saint Petersburg to meet with Prokhorov and invited him to Japan afterwards for a press conference, which the major Japanese media outlets totally ignored. After Zhang Zuolin was assassinated, his devotedly anti-Japanese son Zhang Xueliang caused the Xi’an Incident (a coup d’état in which Zhang [of the Northeastern Army] arrested Chiang Kai-shek [of the KMT] in Xi’an, and forced Chiang to agree to ending the Chinese Civil War). This led to the Second United Front against Japan in 1937. In this way, the Soviet Union worked to encourage greater division between Japan and China.
Why did the Soviet Union tear Japan and China apart? In his book The World is Full of Schemes: Freely Sharing My Views
, journalist Masayuki Takayama writes:
In the 19th century, Vasily Golovnin, who was arrested in the Matsumae Domain, reported, “If Japan and China join hands, it will be the greatest threat faced by the white nations in 100 years.” Benito Mussolini said the same thing afterwards, and before World War II British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Edward Wood, 1st Earl of Halifax, wrote, “It would be good for the Sino-Japanese war to drag on. Reconciliation between these two countries would not be in the interest of the Western nations” (Allies of a Kind: the United States, Britain, and the War Against Japan by Christopher Thorne).
The world belonged to the white race until the first half of the 20th century. Qing Dynasty China was for all practical purposes divided and ruled by the white nations based on their own interests.
While China was divided and governed in this way, Japan was victorious in the First Sino-Japanese War that broke out over the Korean Peninsula in 1894. Regarding the interests Japan won in this conflict, the white nations of France, Germany, and Russia carried out the Triple Intervention to make Japan return the Liaodong Peninsula to Qing Dynasty China, by which Russia cleverly leased Port Arthur (Lüshun Port). This was an indirect cause of the Russo-Japanese War in 1904. The white countries, which wanted to ruin both Japan and China, saw Japanese victory as a significant threat, so they devoted efforts to separating Japan and China while weakening both.
North Korea held on to its nuclear weapons to guard against a Chinese invasion
My October essay was entitled, “Nuclear Sharing Would Maintain a Power Balance in East Asia
.” Under the sub-heading, “Trump’s extreme remarks are to distract from allegations regarding Russiagate,” I wrote about the true nature of the recent nuclear crisis on the North Korean peninsula:
Two years ago, North Korea launched a short-range Scud-C ballistic missile towards the Sea of Japan at the time of the military exercise. It fired Pukkuksong-1, a submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM), during the exercises last year. This year the military is putting together a plan for firing Hwasong-12 IRBMs to the international waters around 30 to 40 kilometers from Guam. The military said it would report this plan to Kim Jong Un and wait for his decision. Trump’s response to North Korea’s annual remonstrance can be described as excessive and also totally unlike past presidents. The media is also thrown into an uproar, making it seem like North Korea is going to strike Guam with a ballistic missile and that war is imminent. The Japanese news reports copy the American media, and ignorant commentators are constantly making asinine statements on TV. However, Trump continues alternately taking a hard and soft line. He is saying things like “If he does something in Guam, it will be an event the likes of which nobody has seen before, what will happen in North Korea,” and “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen,” while also saying he would “always consider negotiations” with North Korea and that he wants a “peaceful solution.” The North Korean military merely reported to Kim Jong Un its plans to shoot a long-range ballistic missile into the international waters off Guam. With his series of statements, Trump is trying to draw major attention to this issue and distract from the allegations he is facing about Russiagate. I suspect Kim Jong Un is the person who is most astounded by Trump’s response.
My essay in the November issue was, “Japan Should Rethink its Three Non-Nuclear Principles and Quickly Conclude a Nuclear Sharing Arrangement.” In it, I described the 1994 nuclear crisis in detail:
The world is currently anxious about North Korea’s nuclear weapon and missile provocation. In considering how to respond to this, we must look back chronologically at the history of North Korea’s nuclear program. In 1994, the Clinton administration was considering the use of military force against North Korea in a precise strike of nuclear facilities. The year before, in March 1993, North Korea declared that it would withdraw from the NPT, and in May it went ahead with missile tests on Nodong missiles launched into the Sea of Japan. At a working-level meeting at the inter-Korean summit held in Panmunjom in March 1994, North Korean representative Park Young Soo stated Seoul would be a “sea of fire” if war broke out. Moreover, North Korea announced its immediate withdrawal from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in June 1994 and declared that it would refuse further inspections. Due to these increasingly tense circumstances, Clinton was considering a precise raid on North Korean nuclear facilities, but he ended up abandoning this plan because of fervent opposition from South Korean President Kim Young Sam, who feared a counteroffensive against Seoul.
Instead, Clinton sent Carter to North Korea on June 16, 1994 as an attempt to defuse the crisis. Carter met with Kim Il Sung, who insisted that North Korea lacked the capabilities to make nuclear weapons and did not need to develop them anyway. North Korea was suffering a severe famine, and Kim Il Sung saw reorganizing agriculture and achieving a stable food supply as the matter of highest priority to maintain his regime. However, Kim Jong Il, his son, was confident that the nuclear development program was the only way to achieve this. Apparently, father and son were in extremely vehement confrontation regarding policy. On July 8, just half a month after the meeting with Carter, Kim Il Sung died of a heart attack on the first day of the third American-North Korean talks in Geneva. Journalist Ryo Hagiwara claims that Kim Jong Il assassinated his father.
My essay in the December issue was entitled, “Nuclear Arms are the Ultimate Self-Defense Weapon
.” Under the sub-heading, “Allowing North Korea’s nuclear weapons will destabilize East Asia,” I laid out my analysis as follows:
Japan is surrounded by nuclear states, including North Korea, China, and Russia. Nuclear arms are the ultimate self-defense weapon for protecting one’s country, as well as a weapon for threatening non-nuclear powers. Considering this, it is possible to understand North Korea’s nuclear armament due to its precarious geopolitical position next to China. However, we definitely cannot allow this from the viewpoint of Japan’s national security. Approving these weapons will lead to an eternal threat, and also means being asked to pay unreasonable reparations and pre- and post-war compensation. Japan is already being subjected to unfair attacks about historical fabrications by China, which says that 300,000 people were killed in the Nanjing Massacre, and by South Korea, which claims that 200,000 comfort women were forcibly transported. If we add North Korea to this, the situation in East Asian will certainly grow more unstable.
North will eventually annex South Korea, creating a federation with nuclear weapons
To sum up all of these circumstances, Abe should insist to Trump that North Korea’s possession of nuclear weapons cannot be allowed. North Korea’s nuclear arms are weapons to threaten Japan, which has no nuclear weapons. If things continue in this way, North Korea will eventually build a federation with South Korea. This nation in possession of nuclear arms would have a population of roughly 80 million people – and would be clearly hostile to Japan – on the Korean Peninsula, a location from which it could attack Japan from the side. This “Korean Federation” could use criticisms of the fabricated comfort women and conscripted worker issues – inherited from South Korea – to demand apologies and reparations from Japan. It might also request trillions of yen from Japan as pre- and post-war indemnities, an issue inherited from North Korea. After annexing the Korean Peninsula, Japan actually invested huge amounts of funds to build the Sup’ung Dam (then referred to as the top dam in the Orient), railways, roads, and water and sewer facilities. It also established 5,200 elementary schools, 470 junior high schools, and 15 normal schools including Keijo Imperial University. This was the sixth imperial university and was founded seven years before Osaka Imperial University. It also had a bigger budget than Tokyo Imperial University. Japan also opened and outfitted approximately 1,000 specialized schools. This was the foundation of today’s Korean Peninsula, and considering the enormous Japanese assets that were left behind after the end of the war, there is absolutely no need for Japan to pay any compensation. When the Treaty on Basic Relations between Japan and the Republic of Korea was concluded with then-President Park Chung Hee, Japan paid vast amounts of reparations that led to South Korea’s major economic growth referred to as the “Miracle on the Han River.” We must not forget that Japan’s economic and technical assistance after that point resulted in the rapid development of South Korea’s economy. However, I think the Korean Federation would ignore this history and repeatedly force demands upon Japan backed up by nuclear intimidation. We must avoid this somehow.
Military power is essential for both coercion and dialogues; no countries would give up their nuclear arms based on discussions alone. I believe the best resolution to the Korean Peninsula crisis from Japan’s standpoint is a limited air strike by the U.S., with warning given in advance, as I have advocated for some time. The North Korean government is an inconvenient one, but it is a necessary buffer state for Russia, China, and the U.S. to maintain a balance of power. The current administration could be maintained and Kim Jong Un could maintain his position, with merely the policies changed. The U.S. should announce the date and time of its air strike in advance to give civilians and other persons time to evacuate. Then, it should use cruise missiles and bombers to thoroughly destroy nuclear- and ballistic missile-related facilities only. Abe should tell Trump the total opposite of what The Asahi Shimbun
’s editorial says. If not, Japan – the only country that has been the victim of an atomic bomb – will be unable to avoid the eternal threat of a third nuclear attack. If these facilities are not destroyed, Japan must obtain nuclear arms. The most realistic option is a nuclear sharing arrangement with the U.S., like that already concluded with Germany and Italy (other countries defeated in World War II) in Europe. To that end we must of course abolish the Three Non-Nuclear Principles, remove the two clauses of Article 9 of the constitution, and make Japan into a country capable of independent self-defense. I believe now is the time for each citizen to think seriously about how Japan can ensure its future safety.
If Trump – who espouses an “America First” policy – takes wild actions to implement policies aimed solely at his re-election, China will someday take over Japan (home to anti-Japanese citizens) and Asia, using the Korean Federation as its advance guard. The world was previously ruled by the white man, but it may become a colored world centered on China, which has an overwhelmingly large population. For the sake of world peace and prosperity, the U.S. should allow Japan’s nuclear armament or at least conclude a nuclear sharing agreement with Japan to maintain a balance of power with China and the nuclear Korean Federation.
November 13 (Monday), 10:00 a.m.
November 13 (Monday), 10:00 a.m.