If we look at North Korea, it would be very easy to assess only the present, and say that there is torture, repression of dissent, poverty, and a leadership cult in the nation. (In fact, it would be easy to say many of these things about several countries, but those friendly with the US, of course, don’t usually need to worry about negative press.) However, if we look at why there is so much anger towards the USA in North Korea, we simply need to look back to the former’s imperialist intervention on the Korean peninsula in the early 1950s.
The USA committed real horrors in North Korea, one of the worst examples being the destruction of North Korea’s main irrigation dams in 1953, just after the rice had been planted. A video on retronewser.com recounts how, “as the Peace Talks resumed, US planes hit five of the biggest dams near Pyongyang, causing gigantic flooding”. This action would inevitably lead to massive food shortages, starvation, and slow death for the people of North Korea.
It is worth pointing out the hypocrisy here as, when the Nazis did something similar in Holland during World War II, they were prosecuted for war crimes at Nuremburg. This disrespect for internationally-accepted norms, supported and held on high when convenient, is a recurrent theme in the imperialist history of the USA. (http://retronewser.com/2013/05/u-s-bombs-toksan-dam-in-north-korea-60-years-ago-today-1953/)
Freda Kirchwey spoke of the general indifference of the American public to the destruction, born partly from trust of the righteousness of their government’s actions, and partly from a lack of true historical knowledge and critical analysis:
“A force which subordinates everything to the job of killing the enemy becomes an enemy itself… and thus the cause itself becomes hateful. This has happened in Korea. Soon, as we learn the facts, it will overtake us here in America.” (http://hnn.us/article/67717)
According to author, peace activist and Vietnam war veteran Brian Willson, “it is now believed that [North Korea] lost nearly a third its population of 8 – 9 million” between 1950 and 1953. Subsequent “US-South Korea war games… constitute a deliberate act of provocation by the World’s foremost military power”. If these acts of actual aggression or simulated aggression weren’t enough, North Korea has also been “the object of economic sanctions for the past sixty years”. No matter what happens inside North Korea politically, the fact is that there is no smoke without fire – no hatred without incitation. If there is fervent anti-US propaganda, there are many legitimate reasons for it. Take away those reasons, and maybe things will improve.
Michel Chossudovsky says that “the media consensus – which nobody dares to challenge – is that North Korea, rather than the US, is a threat to global security”. The true threat is the media and education systems that allow the continuous demonisation of a people who have suffered immensely as a direct result of US actions. The same is true about US interference in Iran, Cuba, and many other nations in the world. The only difference in these nations, compared to others where the US has committed crimes against innocent citizens, is that the governments of these nations are aware of this history and remain on the defensive as a result. As soon as the workers of the USA (and other bourgeois political systems controlled by corporate imperialist interests) understand the history of the world better, they will realise that peace will only come when they themselves take political power away from the plutocratic elites who currently hold it.