News Release

Afghanistan and Korea: Exploding the Myths


The New York Times reports: “Trump Settles on Afghan Strategy Expected to Raise Troop Levels.” Trump is scheduled to make a prime-time address on the Afghan war at 9 p.m. ET tonight.

MATTHEW HOH, [currently in D.C. area] matthew_hoh at
Hoh just wrote the piece “Trump’s Turn To Lie About Afghanistan,” which states: “American politicians, pundits and generals will speak about ‘progress’ made by the 70,000 American troops put into Afghanistan by President Obama beginning in 2009, along with an additional 30,000 European troops and 100,000 private contractors. However, the hard and awful true reality is that the war in Afghanistan has only escalated since 2009, never stabilizing or de-escalating; the Taliban has increased in strength by tens of thousands, despite tens of thousands of casualties and prisoners; and American and Afghan casualties have continued to grow every year of the conflict, with U.S. casualties declining only when U.S. forces began to withdraw in mass numbers from parts of Afghanistan in 2011, while Afghan security forces and civilians have experienced record casualties every year since those numbers began to be kept by the UN.”

Matthew Hoh is a member of the advisory boards of Expose Facts, Veterans For Peace and World Beyond War. In 2009 he resigned his position with the State Department in Afghanistan in protest of the escalation of the Afghan War by the Obama Administration. He previously had been in Iraq with a State Department team and with the U.S. Marines. He is a senior fellow with the Center for International Policy.

The U.S. government is launching “war games” targeting North Korea today. The New York Times reports: “Talk of ‘Preventive War’ Rises Over North Korea Issue.” RootsAction petition “Push back against Trump’s threats of nuclear war” has 13,000 signers.

Hong is an associate professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and an executive board member of the Korea Policy Institute. She said today: “Far from being an intractable foe, North Korea has repeatedly asked the United States to sign a peace treaty that would bring the unresolved Korean War to a long overdue end. It has also proposed that the United States cease its annual war games with South Korea. North Korea has cautioned the United States not to treat war as a game, especially in the form of the simulated invasion and occupation of North Korea, the ‘decapitation’ of its leadership, and rehearsals of a … nuclear strike — all of which pose an existential threat to North Korean society. In return, North Korea will cap its nuclear weapons testing. China and Russia have reiterated this proposal. The United States, however, maintains its war games with South Korea are simply business as usual and on August 21, plans to proceed with its annual Ulchi-Freedom Guardian joint war exercises.”

HYUN LEE, [in NYC] zoominkorea at
Managing editor of ZoominKorea, Lee said today: “North Korea legitimately withdrew from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). Article X of the NPT says parties have the right to withdraw from the treaty if ‘extraordinary events have jeopardized their supreme interests.’ In 1993, after the fall of the Soviet Union, the United States announced that it was retargeting some of its strategic nuclear weapons away from the former Soviet Union to North Korea. Then, it conducted military exercises near the North Korean border involving tens of thousands of U.S. soldiers as well as B-1B and B-52 bombers and naval vessels with cruise missiles. In 2002, George W. Bush listed North Korea among seven countries that are potential targets of U.S. … nuclear attack. North Korea determined that these constitute ‘extraordinary events that jeopardize its supreme interests’ and followed the proper procedure as outlined in the NPT to pull out of the treaty.

“The United States, on the contrary, is in violation of the NPT, which says parties to the treaty that have nuclear weapons should reduce their arsenal toward complete elimination. The United States spends billions of dollars each year to modernize its nuclear arsenals.

“Most importantly, North Korea has declared a ‘no first strike’ policy, meaning it will … only use them defensively. The United States, notably, does not have this policy.”