17:32 GMT +325 May 2017
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    U.S. and South Korean, left, army soldiers work together to set up a floating bridge on the Hantan river during a river crossing operation, part of an annual joint military exercise between South Korea and the United States

    US to Stage Massive 'Invasion' War Games Amid New Pyongyang Penalties

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    With harsh new sanctions placed on Pyongyang, Sarah Sloan of the ANSWER Coalition talks to Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear to discuss the impact of the move, as well as America’s upcoming war games simulating an invasion of North Korea.

    "[The sanctions] include mandatory inspections of cargo that is leaving and entering North Korea by sea or air, a ban of all sales or transfers of small arms and light weapons to Pyongyang, and the expulsion of diplomats from the North, who engage in what the resolution describes as illicit activities,'" Sloan tells Loud & Clear host Brian Becker.

    "The resolution also bans the export of coal, iron, and iron ore that are being used to fund North Korea’s nuclear or ballistic missile programs – allegedly, of course – and it prohibits all exports of gold, titanium ore, vanadium ore, and rare earth materials. It also bans aviation fuel exports to the country…"

    This is only a small sampling of the many penalties placed on North Korea by the UN Security Council. The sanctions came in response to Pyongyang’s test of a nuclear bomb in January, as well a satellite launch last month, which the UN determined was a veiled attempt to demonstrate North Korea’s long-range ballistic missile capabilities.

    While the United Nations insists that the sanctions will have no detrimental impact on the civilian population of the DPRK, collateral damage may be inevitable.

    "We saw this in Iraq, where the sanctions were imposed by the United Nations and they had a disastrous impact, where the United Nations own agencies…admitted that this was the case. That there were over 1 million children who had died as a direct result of the sanctions," Sloan says.

    "And there too, they claimed that they were sanctioning military items," she adds. "Sanctions really are a form of warfare. They’re used by the United States and other imperialist countries to try and have a quieter form of warfare."

    Sanctions can also only be yielded by powerful countries against smaller ones, like North Korea and Iraq.

    "What we saw take place in Iraq…certainly was an act of genocide against the population there, and that’s something that is happening now in North Korea," Sloan says.

    "The reality is that in North Korea, the government has done everything it can to elevate the standard of living of the people to deal with the fact that it’s had this sanctions regime imposed on it, and that despite the sanctions…they’ve done everything in their power to try to support and preserve and keep the population as healthy as possible…"

    These penalties also seem hypocritical given that world powers conduct the same type of tests for which Pyongyang is being punished. While the DPRK is being demonized for aggression, the United States is currently preparing to conduct military exercises which deliberately mimic an invasion of North Korea.

    Pyongyang even offered to cease its nuclear programs if the United States agreed to end these war games, but Washington declined.

    "It’s really an incredible thing where the United States works with South Korea…to carry out these war games immediately off the shores of North Korea that literally simulate the bombing, invasion, and complete destruction of the country at the same time that they’re openly threatening to carry out these acts if North Korea doesn’t bend to their will," Sloan says.

    "Everyone in North Korea…knows the great destruction that was reaped principally by the United States on the country…where there were millions of Korean people killed, where the country was divided, where families were separated, where the bombing carried out was so intense that the US bombers were complaining that they had no targets…left standing."

    Related:

    UNSC Adopts Resolution Expanding Sanctions Against North Korea
    US Accommodates Some Russian Concerns on N. Korea Sanctions Resolution
    EU Considers Additional Sanctions Against North Korea - Source
    Tags:
    Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), nuclear tests, sanctions, UN Security Council, United Nations, Sarah Sloan, United States
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