The war hawks are wrong when they say that past negotiations, like the 1994 Agreed Framework, didn’t make a difference. August 2017 was a reminder of the scariest, and riskiest, days of the Cold War. All month long, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un engaged in a bitter war of words that escalated into tit-for-tat displays of military might and ended with mutual threats of mass destruction.
As a former chief of staff under South Korea’s previous liberal president, Roh Moo-hyun, Moon is expected to consider goodwill measures towards the North, including the reopening of the jointly run Kaesong industrial park and the resumption of aid. Moon has also pledged to rein in the power of the chaebol – once-revered companies that are now seen as a symbol of the country’s domestic ills of corruption and inequality.
The Korean War was central to the militarization of our society and to the creation a national security state. It was an essential element in fostering racism, sexism and in the cutting of social programs - creating growing inequality. Today, the threat of a cataclysmic war between Washington and North Korea cannot be discounted. It is vital for the US public to know that North Korea has been asking for a peace treaty with Washington and Seoul for sixty-four years.
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South Korea's unions, once one of the best organized segments of the global labor movement, have suffered setbacks since the late 1990s, when the government made it easier for employers to lay off workers and hire casuals. Fewer than one in 10 workers is now unionized, the country’s lowest level ever. South Korea’s government and business leaders want to put Han away because he represents a pivotal segment of what is left of labor militancy.