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US escalating North Korean tensions to militarily encircle China: Analyst

Creating and maintaining a state of crisis allows the US to intervene anywhere it wants in order to supposedly protect its self-proclaimed vital national interests, says a political commentator.

The United States has refused to deescalate tensions on the Korean Peninsula in order to maintain its “network of military bases” in East Asia and contain China, says Professor Dennis Etler, an American political analyst who has a decades-long interest in international affairs.

Etler, a professor of Anthropology at Cabrillo College in Aptos, California, made the remarks in an interview with Press TV on Sunday while commenting on US threats of maintaining a military presence in East Asia against North Korea.

“After over 60 years of intransigence, the US still wishes to maintain the de facto division of Korea into North and South. There is only one reason for this and why every US administration seeks to quarantine the DPRK, it allows the US to maintain a military presence in East Asia with the stationing of troops and other assets in the Republic of Korea (ROK) and Japan,” Professor Etler said.

“If not for tensions on the Korean peninsula, the US would lose its rational for its network of military bases in the region, which are primarily meant to threaten and contain China. The US will resist all attempts to arrive at a peaceful resolution of the conflict since that would be antithetical to its real aims. The DPRK is not a threat to its neighbors. There is no reason why it would unilaterally initiate hostilities with either the ROK, Japan or the USA, as any direct military action on its part would elicit devastating retaliation,” he added.

Washington has expressed profound concern over North Korea’s nuclear program, which Pyongyang says is a deterrent against a possible military invasion by the US or its ally, South Korea.

On Sunday, US Vice President Mike Pence arrived in South Korea amid rising concerns that the simmering tensions on the Korean Peninsula would eventually turn into a full-scale military confrontation between the US and North Korea.

“All options are on the table to achieve the objectives and ensure the stability of the people of this country," he said. “There was a period of strategic patience but the era of strategic patience is over.”

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Professor Etler said that "the Trump administration’s foreign policy of brinkmanship is meant to create a sense of instability wherever it wants to gain an advantage."

"By threatening unspecified actions against its adversaries, be it in Syria, Yemen, Afghanistan, Korea or the South China Sea, the US hopes to gain concessions and force them to retreat. The aim is to keep its rivals off balance and continue the decades-old policy of maintaining regional instability in critical areas of the world,” he added.

US Vice President Mike Pence (C) during his visit at an observation post in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on the border between North and South Korea on April 17, 2017 (Photo by AFP)

“Creating and maintaining a state of perpetual crisis allows the US to intervene anywhere it wants in order to supposedly protect its self-proclaimed vital national interest, which is simply global hegemony,” the analyst stressed. 

President Donald Trump has been seeking Beijing's help in denuclearizing Pyongyang, threatening to act alone if China is not willing to offer assistance.

The United States is moving an aircraft carrier toward the Korean Peninsula in a show of force, which the North sees as a declaration of war.

Etler said that former President Barack Obama had a similar policy, but "sought to impose US imperialist rule by subterfuge, fomenting color revolutions and proxy wars to destabilize targeted nations for regime change.”

“Trump’s alternative of gunboat diplomacy, threats and bullying will, however, not fare any better. China, Russia, Iran and the vast majority of the world’s nations do not want to play US war games. They desire peace and development, not war and destruction. It is clear to all the world’s people who is the aggressor and who are the victims of aggression," Etler said.

"The US seeks to assert its dominance, to paraphrase Trump, to make US imperialism great again. But its dream of 'America uber alles' is doomed to failure and will come to naught,” he concluded. 

Meanwhile, Russia has repeatedly warned the United States against any "unilateral action" against North Korea, saying any response to Pyongyang's nuclear activities should not violate "international law," amid reports of a potential military confrontation between North Korea and the US.


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