David Stockman provides some sorely needed perspective on the North Korean threat. From Stockman at antiwar.com:
The realized truth of modern history is crystal clear. Washington had no business intervening in a quarrel between two no-count wanna be dictators (Syngman Rhee and Kim il Sung) on the Korean peninsula in June 1950, and surely has no business still stationing 29,000 American soldiers there 67 years latter.
Yet owing to the institutionalized albatross of that mis-vectored history, the world is now much closer to the brink of nuclear war than at any time since the dark days of the early cold war. And the Donald has become just the latest political tourist in the Oval Office to succumb to the Deep State’s false, self-serving narrative about why the American imperium remains decamped on the 38th parallel.
For sure, it was never about the real estate. After 40 years of brutal and predatory Japanese occupation, post-war Korea was an economic backwater with the GDP of perhaps Cleveland, Ohio. It had been divided at the 38th parallel by Truman and Stalin as an afterthought at Potsdam (July 1945). Far from any intent to create separate nations on a peninsula that had been ethnically and politically unified for centuries, the line only marked a convenient staging grounds for the impending final attack on Japan that Stalin had committed to aid.
In fact, Washington’s suave original cold warrior, Dean Acheson, had described the Potsdam demarcation as a mere “surveyors line”. But as US/Soviet tensions heated up in the late 1940’s, the US occupation forces in the south encouraged the puppet government they had established under ex-pat and Washington dandy, Syngman Rhee, to cleanse the country of left-wing influences and prepare to eventually rule the entire penninsula.