North Koreans Remember and Prepare While Trump Tweets
“In the case of the bombing of North Korea,” Blaine Harden wrote in 2015, “[the American] people never really became conscious of a major war crime committed in their name.”
To most Americans, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is some nutty kid who will only speak to one American, Dennis Rodman, and can’t seem to find a decent barber. To threaten the U.S. of A for no good reason proves he’s a psychopath. North Korea must be a nut-case state.
Donald Trump channeling the American Zeitgeist, calls Un “Little Rocket Man” and threatens to unleash fire and fury on the North Koreans. Trump supporters wonder why Tennessee Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is in the President’s face about all of this. He must just be disloyal. Right?
“I think when you’re in a situation that is as real as this one is and as sensitive as this one is, the lesser public comments you can make, the better,” Corker said. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who reportedly called the President a F*****g Moron, was trying to do what business people do and attempt negotiating with Un. Trump tweeted that Tillerson was “wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man.”
A little history provides a clue as to why Un and the North Koreans are steadfast in their wariness of Uncle Sam. Blaine Harden wrote in 2015 for The Washington Post,
The hate, though, is not all manufactured. It is rooted in a fact-based narrative, one that North Korea obsessively remembers and the United States blithely forgets.
The story dates to the early 1950s, when the U.S. Air Force, in response to the North Korean invasion that started the Korean War, bombed and napalmed cities, towns and villages across the North. It was mostly easy pickings for the Air Force, whose B-29s faced little or no opposition on many missions.
The bombing was long, leisurely and merciless, even by the assessment of America’s own leaders. “Over a period of three years or so, we killed off — what — 20 percent of the population,” Air Force Gen. Curtis LeMay, head of the Strategic Air Command during the Korean War, told the Office of Air Force History in 1984.
Harden quotes former Secretary of State Dean Rusk who,
said the United States bombed “everything that moved in North Korea, every brick standing on top of another.” After running low on urban targets, U.S. bombers destroyed hydroelectric and irrigation dams in the later stages of the war, flooding farmland and destroying crops.
Robert Koehler writes for AntiWar.com,
Specifically [from 1950 to 1953], "the US dropped 635,000 tons of explosives on North Korea, including 32,557 tons of napalm, an incendiary liquid that can clear forested areas and cause devastating burns to human skin," Tom O’Connor wrote recently in Newsweek. This is more bomb tonnage than the US dropped in the Pacific Theater during World War II.
The Korean War has fallen down the memory hole and most Americans don’t know about the war between the Big One (WWII) and Vietnam. “War reporters rarely mentioned civilian casualties from U.S. carpet-bombing. It is perhaps the most forgotten part of a forgotten war,” writes Harden.
Koehler explains, “for the North Koreans, living in fear of B-29 attacks for nearly three years, including the possibility of atomic bombs, the American air war left a deep and lasting impression.”
While Trump carelessly Tweets, North Koreans and Kim Jong Un's memories harden.