Well the answer is quite simple - it has nothing to do with North Korea - and Peter gives a documented quote from Condoleezza Rice. US Secretary of State
Saying what it does do, is expose the extreme cynicism of the situation and the complete lack of respect for other human life if you are not American.
Quote - “the North Koreans are like some sort of road kill on the highway of history …”
What is really going on is about America - and the US containment of China - policy
Most people do not know that there was no peace treaty signed by North Korea and the USA - so a ceasefire was arranged - as both sides knew that they could
not prevail. Evidently this still irks the US military.
Peter still reckons that up until 1971 - they were still keen to have a go at ousting the other - but US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger went to China
and President Nixon a year later, changed the geopolitical map - and North Korea suddenly realised that if another war happened that they may not now
be able to rely on China so - after weighing this US China dialogue - they decided to ask South Korea to have a peace treaty and get closer together
again. - and though they had some talks and it was thought a good idea - nothing really happened (and every year up until today - the successive Kim’s
have in their New Year speech proposed and asked for a Peace Treaty.) Hence the above overture to the USA.
Peter Wilson of the NZ DPRK Society - New Zealand - Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Society - (Also known as North Korea.)
Peter Wilson is a freelance consultant who worked for the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Food and Agricultural Organisation, including alongside
the UN in the UN Development Program - where previously he had worked for long term projects like 2 years in Papua New Guinea and 4 years in the Philippines
- implementing long term projects and that eventually morphed into short term projects - like project planning and supervising and troubleshooting.
He ended up working twice for the UN in North Korea the first time being in 1997.
For decades North Korea is a country that the media has always portrayed as an: impoverished rogue state; secretive state; the world’s most isolated and
Orwellian state; the whole rotten carcass of the North Korean state; a nuclear weapons state; instability within the rogue state; Stalinist state/the
last Stalinist state; a failed state with nuclear weapons/ nuclear weapons state; the state as a religious cult; the world’s most closed state; police
state; failed state.
Peter says that in the study of the media’s description of North Korea’s state of well being - that every different adjective is used as a prefix before
ending in the words ‘North Korea’ and when compared with South Korea there is no such prefix used in front of the words South Korea. Which shows huge
amounts of bias. So that we have all been conditioned to see North Korea in a decidedly negative way. However when he looks at where the articles in
the media come from they are Bloomberg, Reuters (head office New York) Time New York Times, Washington Post - they are all American sources and reflects
the Washington line - And Peter states that Washington looks at the world through a different type of prism from what we in NZ look through. And it
(Yet, the fact that Donald Trump calls these above publications (that include CNN) being fake news agencies - brings Peter to laugh about the ironies of
The situation of North Korea
Having worked for a small UN Agency 20 years ago in Pyongyang called the International Fund for Agricultural Development - Peter had access to virtually
the whole of North Korea in 1997 - where he witnessed first hand the plight of the famine at that time. Though it was bad - it was nowhere as near
as horrendous as the Western media portrayed and that the reason why this drought lead famine was due to continuous bad weather and climatic conditions
and the fact that North Korea was kept out of the international system - due to the USA locking them out of the International Monetary Fund - which
meant they could not belong to the World Bank - or to the regional development banks like the Asian Development Bank - That Peter says that the Americans
one day, must have blinked and North Korea became a member of the International Fund for Development - which is just a tiny extension, as a multilateral
Peter has spent the last 40 years of his entire professional career having worked in 21 different Asian countries especially in all the poorest and problem
areas which in 1997 took him to North Korea - because they were at the height of their food crisis. It was a US$50 million project dealing in fertiliser
and improved crop production of which Peter was involved in $13 million of that - for increasing production of small livestock such as ducks, geese,
sheep and goats. When he first went there he had little knowledge about that country - probably less that the average person today knows - mainly because
today we are getting more news coverage.
However what little he didn’t know really did not stand upon to that he really saw on the ground. That life in North Korea is very different as to what
is portrayed by the media - in this case the US media.
His most recent visit was last month, August 2017 having worked there on two occasions and on the 5 other occasions he has visited he has represented the
NZ DPRK society. This time he came back a little bit staggered.
The Economy is Growing Fast
He said the economy was booming!
He estimated at least three times the numbers of cars on Pyongyang streets since he was last there exactly two years ago. The shops are bursting with consumer
goods. Their military deterrence missile/nuclear programme has accelerated.
It was brought home to him that sanctions are totally farcical. They just don't work!
From all we are told by the media, North Korea is an aggressive threat to the world. They are not. North Korea's crime is to stand up to the United States
and not allow US Corporations to trade there!
The South Korean Central Bank’s latest study maintains the North Korean economy grew at least 3.9% last year - However Peter thinks that the growth could
be a lot more than this 3.9%, due to the way the GNP is assessed by the South Koreans.
Peter says that over his numerous times of visiting that he can easily see that the standards of living are increasing and it is quite different from what
is portrayed in our media i.e they are not having to eat grass!
As Peter has been working in a large number of Asian countries for 40 years, that to be effective he said you have to understand the system - where the
power is - who is up who - and if you don’t understand that political context - plus the social context you will not get what’s going on in these countries.
So in having to visit many strange situations, assess them all and then be productive - that was the factors that he dealt with.
This interview covers:
US basketball player Dennis Rodman and his frequent visits to North Korea to assist in sporting skills and opening more understanding. That Rodman wants to play peace-keeper between Trump and Kim
That Peter in 1997 was asked to be on the ground to see exactly what the drought was like and the famine that the Western media told us about. He says
it was a privilege to be selected for this UN assessment trip which as an extension of the World Food Program and Food and Agricultural Organisation.
They were awake to this as there definitely, was a problem. So this team - possibly the first Western team ever was able to travel extensively right
through the country because for the aid money to go to North Korea, the United Nations had to know the seriousness of this event.
But what they were looking at didn’t actually gel with what North Korea was telling the world -because people were not dying by the thousands (or eating
grass) and though there was hunger there were not nearly as serious - a problem as we had heard from the Western media - and Peter was able to see
that there was not a huge increase in the deaths of elderly and children.
Climate: the ground in North Korea is frozen hard for 6 months a year and that only 15% of the land can be used for arable farming.
The North Koreans say they have 172 frost free days a year - they don’t say that they have so many sunshine days a year, or so many rainy days like we
do in NZ. So for 6 months of the year they have to work really hard through this time to grow enough food - but as North Korea is a very mountainous
country with only 15% arable land they just can not produce enough food in that small area - and they utilise whatever space they can. Peter says that
historically they have to work really diligently, and though their agriculture is technically very good - he says they have to make sure that they
have enough food for the coming winter.
The Failure of the Soviet Economy affected North Korea
This is where the deconstruction of the Soviet Union comes in, in the early 1990’s - for when it deconstructed the USSR - North Korea and also Cuba had
always been subsidised by the Soviets, and as they were going broke - they were not able to give food to their ex client states (like Cuba too). That
when the bad weather hit North Korea - there was a major shortfall. Because they could not source cheap diesel and fertiliser and when it came to food
- especially grain, it all stopped because they had no trading system with the West at all.
So that when Russia finally emerged out of the USSR it was broke - and needing hard currency themselves wanted payments for goods in hard currency e.g
US$ - but North Korea had none of that either.
So the North Koreans actually exaggerated their circumstances a little and they were able to receive free food from Oxfam and the other charity agencies.
Which he said was quite clever of them.
Peter then states that to this day - certain overseas mouth pieces state that two to three million people died - but he says - that’s not true - and that
sure, there were some deaths - maybe 250,000 over many years maybe up to 750,000 people, Peter says that there may have been 3 to 400,000 premature
deaths that happened. Note NZ contributed aid at that time
However when George Bush 2 came to power he swapped the game plan and instead sent food to Africa. So the North Koreans still need to now top up their
food requirements - grain wise and they they have been able to buy this on the international market as they have the cash. What is not known is that
the US put the first sanctions on North Korea in 1950 and they are proposing to do it even more. - but it is clearly not working … as the North
Koreans are making their own consumer goods as well.
Consumers Goods & Military development is accelerating
So North Korea’s military development has accelerated and so has their standard of living and the economy is growing and the sanctions just don’t work.
Nuclear Tests, Missile tests and Satellite systems
Containment of China: The reason why America does not want a peace treaty of any sort is, because it's all to do the US containment policy of China. The
US wants forward defense in South Korea and Japan, and as far away from the United States of America, however Kim is bringing home to the Pentagon
and the State Department - that he has the technology to build missiles that will one day be able to reach the heartland of the US, but North Korea
is yet not in the arena of placing a nuclear warhead on a missile.
Meanwhile across the radio waves, TV, satellite systems and the internet the US is ramping up North Korea as the bandit nation that will definitely send
an intercontinental missile to America or any of its allies - and this story has been fanned by the US corporate media - and the South Korean people
have bought it - plus the Japanese public and 99.5% of the whole world - have been taken in by this continuous rhetoric.
US wanting to be the Dominant Country on Earth
(With hundreds of bases globally the US wants to be the only dominant player on planet earth. They are not looking for partners other than the Anglo American
alliance, with Israel somehow inserting itself into the equation as well. China is still in the ascendancy and is overtaking America in most areas
of production and trade and modernising its military very rapidly. Thus China is seen as the greatest threat).
General Wesley Clark Youtube (Mentioned in this interview by Tim)
The reason the refugee crises came to Europe over the last number of years was given by General Wesley Clark about 10 days after 911 when he went to the
Pentagon and was told by another General that the US was going to take down about 7 Middle Eastern countries. And this has basically happened and is
still happening under cover of the Arab Spring revolutions. Syria being the latest and then - on to Iran. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9RC1Mepk_Sw
The Neo-Cons in the US are the ones directing these actions. Plus, an unconscious humanity not taking any responsibility throughout the West to address
the Neo-Con agenda.
Peter mentions William Blum - ex CIA agent who tells about the list of 57 countries since WW2 that the USA has been involved in attempting and in most
cases changing a regime to whom they wanted . https://williamblum.org
The fact that is: of all the countries that have stood up to the USA - it is North Korea. Which regrettably makes them more hated by Uncle Sam who uses
all means of propaganda that can be trained on them by US corporations to constantly demonise this country. Note NZ was demonised when it became Nuclear
Free and thus was ejected out of ANZUS, by the US.
Rejection by the US Government - again
In January last year - the North Koreans made a proposal to the United States - and said that if you halt your war-games with South Korea - they will freeze
their nuclear development program - and this will give us the space to talk - Washington said NO.
Because of the US military controlled Governmental intransigence - this has driven China and Russia even more closer together. Plus, Putin has come out
supporting this freeze - but to no avail.
New Zealand's Role - the Helen Clark Labour Government many years ago opened up diplomatic contact with North Korea and was consistent in remaining in
contact - however the National Government under Sir John Key has cut this link - and there has been no contact for 3 years and Peter states that it
is Wellington’s fault, because Pyongyang wants to talk.
Being Shunned - At the time of Nobel Peace Prize winner, Barack Obama’s 2nd Presidential election North Korea sent a letter to him asking for the cessation
of hostilities stating that they wanted a Peace Treaty.
- Recognition of their sovereignty
- Wanting the lifting of sanctions
- Wanting all foreign troops out of the Korean Peninsular
- Finally asking to talk about an implemented and Internationally agreed upon Nuclear Free Korean Peninsular
The answer from Obama - nothing ….
Peter states that today this is still the North Korean Policy of wanting a Peace treaty
Finding Neutral Nations to broker an agreement (Where is NZ?)
Norway is seen as a country with the courage and the vision to get out into the world and forge peace and bring people to the table - whereas NZ shies
away from any ‘major global engagement’ and for reason we do not understand.
Ache in Indonesia, Palestine, Sri Lanka are mentioned as having Norwegian involvement and Peter tells of meeting a diplomat from Norway by chance in Pyongyang
and asking him why not North Korea seeing Norway's has been so worldly active? With the diplomat saying the reason there is no action on the Korean
peninsular is because the USA would not be happy.
Other Subject Matter Covered
The North Korean Voting System
Covering of the Leadership of the three Kim's since the 1950’s and why only them? Peter stating that they are following a Confucian model and it is not
really that different from China or Vietnam and or Laos. That North Korea, also sees flaws in these systems - saying that the rural people in both
China and Vietnam are being left out of the equation.
The North Korean’s are making their own business model and not following exactly what China or Vietnam are doing - they are doing their own version of
business - because they know that the people in the cities in China are doing well but as above the people in the countryside are not and the North
Korean Government want to even the playing field. They are conscious of this inequality in Vietnam as they see it as worse than that of China - and
Peter says they look him straight in the eye and they’ll tell him “it is no better in the West - where the rich are getting richer and the poor remain
They say that they are still looking for a better way - whilst still holding to their socialist ideals being egalitarian and they are modernising and getting
ready to interact with the global economy and have a fairer society for their people.
Listen to Peter …
English is now being taught in Primary, Secondary & Universities Whereas in 1997, it was only being taught in universities so as to teach diplomats
and so forth..
Agricultural food production
30% of food is now traded by sole traders - where as many years ago it was all run by the state.
Health and Medicine
Hospitals are very good - well trained personnel.
They were using interactive TV technologies communicating with other doctors and nurses in the other towns and cities.
In the last 20 years - Peter surmises that nearly the whole country has rebuilt or modernised all it’s housing and apartment blocks, in the 20 years he
has been visiting the country - where in 1997 it was just a country of square concrete grey block houses - but today huge changes and now there are
some architecturally stunning apartment blocks been built.
Peter encourages whatever new New Zealand Government that gets elected to restore relations with North Korea, just like Helens Clark’s Labour Government
did prior to this previous National administration.
There was only 54 minutes to cram as much as we could into this interview.
US Activist Gloria Steinem and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maireed Maguire an Irish Peace Activist - Marched for Peace in Pyongyang 23rd May 2015
NZ DPRK Society
The article entitled "The Demonisation of North Korea."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QaNA9eSQVE 18 minute video (with Anchor NZ butter)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=387&v=yPYxrmxOvcQ fly over better
The orchestrated “Korean crisis” is not about North Korea. It is an orchestration that lets Washington put nuclear missile bases on China’s border, just as the orchestrated “Iranian crisis” was the excuse for putting nuclear missile bases on Russia’s borders.
Paul Craig Roberts: Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury for Economic Policy and ex Associate Editor of the Wall St Journal.