"Nuclear Showdown in North Korea" by Subha Xavier (Mar/April), is as poorly researched and distorted as any article I've seen in recent print.
Xavier's shallow claims include: 1) "The U.S made several concessions in reassuring North Korea, giving in to an obvious case of nuclear blackmail and yet hoping to spark a country rich in resources into the free market." 2) "North Korea, with a shrinking economy, a declining Gross National Product, a very low supply of food...." 3) "If Kim Jong Il's intentions are, on the contrary, to violate the [NPT] agreement, as his father violated numerous accords...."
As to the first point, the U.S. has regularly threatened nuclear obliteration to states unwilling to bow to the master superpower. And, if North Korea were to enter this "free market," it would do so on the same restrictive terms applied to all Third World nations: valued resources stripped off by U.S. firms entering tariff-free; manufactured goods facing extraordinarily high tariffs.
As to point two, perhaps Xavier missed the outpouring of emotion that followed the death of Kim, when millions of well-dressed and obviously healthy North Koreans paraded to mourn him.
Regarding point three, Xavier's statement truly reaches propaganda levels of Stalinist times. No other nation has disregarded and violated treaties and accords like the U.S. The great hypocrisy of demanding North Korean adherence to the NPT while simultaneously refusing to apply the same standard to Israel reveals the sham of American duplicity.
I must also comment on the interview with Robert Schaeffer, "Secession and its Outcomes" (May/June). There is a vital point which seems to have evaded both you and Schaeffer. I refer to the dialogue in which, referring to China, he states: "Partition actually reduced that conflict- mostly because the Taiwanese were set up across a body of water, the Taiwan Straits, which made them hard to get to." To which you reply: "Weren't the Taiwanese held in check by the U.S.?"
Schaeffer either misstated himself or else is quite unaware that Chiang's Kuomintang actually invaded Taiwan, then known as Formosa, massacring thousands of natives. This former pimp, thief, extortionist, murderer, and drug dealer was a recipient of billions (on the premise that his army would fight the Japanese during W.W.II - which he never did, choosing to fight Mao and the Communists instead). And when the people abandoned Chiang and his Kuomintang to join up with Mao, he headed across the Formosan Straits to Formosa.
It was Gen. Douglas MacArthur who fashioned these mass-murderers into a palatable product for U.S. consumption. In 1950, he flew to Formosa and struck a deal with Chiang. Soon more arms and money would be pouring into the hands of yet another neo-Nazi thug favored by the U.S. power elite.
I should like to comment also re Andrew Pakula's fine article on Yugoslavia, "War and Peace: Yugoslavia, the World's Failure" (May/June). His proposed new arm of the U.N. to be set up as a rapid reaction force is simply dreaming. Not that such a force can't or won't be created (it is being discussed at present), but rather that it will make any significant difference in the resolution of conflict. As Philip Agee, Ralph McGhee, and John Stockwell among other ex-CIA have pointed out, a country whose economy is at least 50% dependent on arms manufacturing needs enemies.
Robert S. Rodvik, Gibsons, B.C.