|Asia News Digest
Perry Threatens North Korea with Preemptive War
Former Clinton Defense Secretary William Perry, George Shultz's partner in promoting "coercive diplomacy," threatened North Korea with preemptive war, and blamed South Korea and China! Speaking at a Nov. 4 emergency international symposium in Japan, titled "North Korean Nuclear Test and Security in East Asia," hosted by the Japanese daily Yomiuri Shimbun, Perry held South Korea and China responsible for his threat to preemptively attack North Korea. According to Yomiuri Nov. 6, Perry said that if China and South Korea "did not provide the coercion" by threatening to cut off their supply of food and oil to North Korea in the event it completed construction of its large nuclear reactor, the United States "might take the only meaningful coercive action available to itdestroying the reactor before it could come on line."
Responding to this threat, U.S. Democratic Party statesman Lyndon LaRouche said he wanted to send this message to Bill Perry: "Stop masturbating, you stupid son-of-a-bitch! You may get a kick out of it, but it's not worth general warfare."
Two former government officials had similar, if less direct, comments in discussion with EIR. A former leading intelligence hand with close ties to Korea said that he did not believe anyone in the administration actually wants a war on North Korea, since "they know how many millions of people it would incinerate," but that the PSI (Proliferation Security Initiative, the plan to stop North Korean ships on the high seas, which the administration claims, falsely, is incorporated into the UN sanctions resolution) does indeed carry the danger of provoking a full-scale war, as South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun has warned.
A second source, a leading U.S. weapons inspector, said that "North Korea's bomb is not a military weaponit's a political weapon. North Korea is very rationalthey won't go to war over this." He said that U.S. military and intelligence officials are keeping quiet publicly, but are very angry about U.S. policy on Korea privately. He added that in 1994, Defense Secretary Perry and his partner Ashton Carter were chomping at the bit to go to war against North Korea, to test out their military "counter-proliferation" theory, and were not pleased that Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton intervened to reach a peaceful settlement. "Now these guys are damn crazy, calling for war again," he said.
South Korean President Rejects War with North
South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun told the National Assembly Nov. 6 that he rejects war with the North, and would proceed with the Sunshine policy, of continuing overtures to Pyongyang. Even as George Shultz's criminal cohort on the "Democratic" side, William Perry, was threatening a U.S. attack on the North if South Korea and China do not impose "coercive actions" on the North (see above), President Roh told the South Korea General Assembly that: "Some argue that we should not shy away from going to war, which is truly irresponsible and dangerous."
As to the U.S. demand that the two main projects of the Sunshine Policy, the joint industrial park at Kaesong and the tourist project at Mount Kumgang, be scrapped, Roh said these are "symbols of peace and stability on the peninsula," and that "Under any circumstances, inter-Korean dialogue must be sustained and the government will stick to the basic policy for peace and prosperity."
On the UN resolution, also signed by Seoul, Roh said, "The Mount Kumgang and Kaesong projects will be continued, but carried out in a way that conforms to the spirit and purport of the UN sanctions resolution against North Korea."
The speech was read by Prime Minister Han Myeong-sook.
'Iron Silk Road' Comes Closer to Reality
"Asia's 40-year dream of an 'Iron Silk Road'" has come closer to reality, the Malaysia Sun wrote Nov. 7. Transport ministers and officials from 43 countries gathered in Busan, South Korea, the Asian terminal of the Great Eurasian Landbridge Nov. 6, for this year's ministerial conference on transport organized by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP). The highlight of the six-day conference will be the signing Nov. 10 of the Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-Asian Railway (TAR)the "Iron Silk Road." The 81,000-kilometer (50,200-mile) network, first mooted by the UN back in 1960, would link capitals, ports, and industrial hubs across 28 Asian countries "from Busan to Rotterdam." The project has been carried worldwide by the international LaRouche movement as the necessary physical economic basis for a new world financial system.
Twelve of the world's 30 land-locked countries are in Asia, said Barry Cable, director of Unescap's Transport and Tourism Division.
"The agreement lays a framework for coordinated development of internationally important rail routes," UNESCAP chief Kim Hak-Su said in a statement.
Kim noted that Asia boasts 13 of the world's top 20 container seaports, but it has fewer than 100 "dry ports"inland container depotswhile Europe has 200 and the United States has 370.
Taiwan First Lady Indicted; Chen Likely To Follow
Taiwan President Chen Shui-bian's wife was indicted on embezzlement and forgery charges Nov. 4, and the prosecution said that Chen would also be indicted as soon as he left office. He is constitutionally protected as long as he's President, but the already very unpopular Chen, the darling of the U.S. neo-cons for pushing confrontation with China and independence for Taiwan, is under huge pressure to step down immediately. The charges involve taking government funds under false pretenses to use for "secret diplomacy"i.e., paying off countries to recognize Taiwan instead of Chinaand for personal use. Chen announced that he would address the nation over the Nov. 11-12 weekend.
China-Africa Cooperation Takes Leap Forward
Chinese President Hu Jintao laid out an ambitious perspective for enhancing cooperation between China and the nations of Africa, China News reported Nov. 4. Speaking at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC), Hu proposed major Chinese projects in Africa, including: $3 billion of preferential loans and $2 billion of preferential buyer's credits in the next three years; a China-Africa development fund of $5 billion to encourage Chinese companies to invest in Africa; cancellation of the some loans owed by the heavily indebted poor countries and the least developed countries in Africa; increasing from 190 to over 440 the number of export items to China receiving zero-tariff treatment from the least developed countries in Africa; establish three to five trade and economic cooperation zones in Africa in the next three years; train 15,000 African professionals; send 100 senior agricultural experts; set up 10 special agricultural technology demonstration centres; build 30 hospitals; dispatch 300 youth volunteers to Africa; build 100 rural schools; and increase the number of Chinese government scholarships to African students from the current 2000 per year to 4000 per year by 2009. (For more on this, see last week's Africa Digest.)