News Release

Analysts on Korea Crisis

CHALMERS JOHNSON
Author of Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire and Okinawa: Cold War Island, Johnson is a specialist on the politics and economics of East Asia and a veteran of the Korean War. He said today: “Bush came into office saying that he did not want to negotiate with North Korea. Even under Clinton, the U.S. was failing to fulfill its agreements with the North Koreans. The U.S. has essentially caused the current crisis with its belligerent stance toward North Korea, including its rebuff of South Korean President Kim’s peace initiative (for which he won the 2000 Nobel Peace Prize), the ‘axis of evil’ speech, the new National Security Strategy Directive of September 2002 endorsing ‘preventive’ war by the U.S., and the policy advocating the use of nuclear weapons in the interests of maintaining American hegemony. South Korea is a genuine democracy, created in 1987 when Koreans revolted against 25 years of American-supported military dictators. The U.S. still has more than 100 military bases in South Korea…. How would we feel if it were reversed? … Another source of resentment is the South Korean economic meltdown a few years ago, which was essentially caused by the IMF, largely controlled by the U.S. government. South Korea has recovered brilliantly but it still resents American interference and arrogance….”
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MARGO OKAZAWA-REY
Director of the Women’s Leadership Institute and a visiting professor at Mills College in California, Okazawa-Rey has authored a number of papers on U.S. bases in East Asia. She said today: “As recurring incidents of killings or rapes of South Koreans keep illustrating, the Status of Forces Agreements between the U.S. and host governments ensure legal protection for U.S. bases and military personnel but do not adequately protect local communities from crime by U.S. troops. That’s the basis of the structural inequality, the entitlement, and the arrogance of the military presence.”
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TIM SHORROCK
Shorrock is a journalist who has written about U.S. relations with Korea for over 20 years.
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KATHY MOON
Author of Sex Among Allies: Military Prostitution in U.S.-Korea Relations, Moon is a professor of political science at Wellesley College, currently visiting at the Wilson Center and George Washington University. She said today: “Some of these forms of ‘anti-Americanisms’ reflect a democracy at work, trying to make its way. Policymakers in the U.S. cannot continue to expect policymakers in Korea to ‘control the masses’ as in former days.”

KARIN LEE
Senior associate at the East Asia Policy Education Project at the Friends Committee on National Legislation, Lee is a regular contributor to Korean Quarterly. She said today: “Although the ‘Sunshine Policy’ is at times dismissed in the U.S., it has been a huge success. People-to-people contact has skyrocketed; in 1989, there were no visits to the South and only one to the North; in 2000 there were over 700 to the South and over 7,000 to the North.”

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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167