Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Contributing producers: Carolyn Coe, Denis Howard
Segment 1: Bruce Gagnon on Korea, BIW and the US “Pivot to the Asia-Pacific”
Maine-based peace activist Bruce Gagnon spoke in Deer Isle on August 3rd about what’s being called the US “Pivot to the Asia-Pacific”. Gagnon has traveled to South Korea and worked with peace activists there and elsewhere in the region who oppose US military bases in their countries. He has also made the connection with the destroyers being built here in Maine at Bath Iron Works and has been arrested for civil disobedience at BIW. Although he spoke before President Trump’s recent comments about “fire and fury” in North Korea, Gagnon’s views on the region provide insight not heard in the mainstream media. He is a senior fellow at the Nuclear Policy Research Institute, and is a member of the “Working Group for Peace and Demilitarization in Asia and the Pacific” a consortium of acclaimed scholars sharing a focus on the region. (Recorded by Carolyn Coe, edited by Amy Browne)
UPDATE: We contacted Bruce Gagnon this week for a comment following the escalation of tensions in the region after he spoke in Deer Isle. Here is his response:
“In a new report, published by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, missile experts (including Ted Postol from MIT) write that North Korea does not have the rocket capability that Washington and the corporate media are claiming. They state, “The Hwasong-14 does not currently constitute a nuclear threat to the lower 48 states of the United States. The flight tests on July 4 and 28 were a carefully choreographed deception by North Korea to create a false impression that the Hwasong-14 is a near-ICBM that poses a nuclear threat to the continental US. The Hwasong-14 tested on July 4 and 28 may not even be able to deliver a North Korean atomic bomb to Anchorage, Alaska.”
The US to this day refuses to sign a peace treaty with North Korea – thus the war legally continues. On July 27, 1953 the US signed an Armistice (ceasefire) with North Korea but that is it. Thus the continuous US-South Korean war games right along the North Korean border must make Pyongyang wonder – is this the real thing? Did the Pentagon decide to invade us for real this time like they have done in Vietnam, Yugoslavia, Granada, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Yemen?
Embedded deep beneath North Korea’s mountainous zones are some 200 varieties of minerals, including gold, iron, copper, zinc, magnesite, limestone, tungsten, and graphite. Some of these stockpiles are among the largest in the world, and North Korea, a tiny and cash-strapped nation, frequently uses them to bring in additional revenue — no matter the laws against doing so.
The total value of these minerals lies somewhere between $6 trillion and $10 trillion. Could much of this war hype be a plan to grab their resources?
In the end I think it important to say that North Korea is really a foil – the US does not fear NK which only has 4 nuclear warheads while the US has 6,800 of them. Clearly the demonization and scare campaign around NK is intended to justify the US military ‘pivot’ of 60% of Pentagon forces into the Asia-Pacific to be aimed at China and Russia – the real prizes that Washington has on the regime change list.”
Segment 2: WERU’s Denis Howard talks with Peter Alexander about his new rock opera “One Way Trip To Mars” — opening at the Waterville Opera House on August 24th. Tune in to hear what went into creating the project and get a sneak preview of the music!
Maine Currents- independent local news, views and culture, every Tuesday at 4pm on WERU-FM and weru.org