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The Prospect of America Attacking North Korea

by Stephen Lendman ( – Home – Stephen Lendman)

Trump threatening “fire and fury like the world has never seen” sounds like the ravings of a lunatic.

Possible nuclear war on the Korean peninsula would assure losers, not winners – for sure the DPRK destroyed, much of the country turned to rubble, along with likely millions of casualties, devastating to South Korea as well, a catastrophe vital to avoid.

Under international law, no nation may attack another except in self-defense, even then only if authorized by the Security Council – not by heads of state, legislatures or courts.

The UN Charter explains under what conditions use of force by one state against another is justified.

Article 2(3) and Article 33(1) require peaceful settlement of international disputes. Article 2(4) prohibits force or its threatened use.

Article 51 allows the “right of individual or collective self-defense if an armed attack occurs against a Member…until the Security Council has taken measures to maintain international peace and security.”

Justifiable self-defense is permissible. The Security Council has final say.

Charter Articles 2(3), 2(4), and 33 absolutely prohibit any unilateral threat or use of force not specifically allowed under Article 51 or authorized by the Security Council.

Three General Assembly resolutions are seminal, prohibiting “non-consensual” military intervention:

• the 1965 Declaration on the Inadmissibility of Intervention in the Domestic Affairs of States and the Protection of Their Independence and Sovereignty;

• the 1970 Declaration on Principles of International Law Concerning Friendly Relations and Cooperation among States in Accordance with the Charter of the United Nations; and

• the 1974 Definition of Aggression.

Despite international law (and constitutional law under the Supremacy Clause – Article VI, Clause 2), America wages war on one nation after another, clear acts of aggression, the highest of high crimes.

Apocalyptic military aggression is possible if Washington attacks North Korea, threatening the entire region.

Peace and stability depend on strict observance of international, constitutional and US statute laws, prohibiting preemptive attacks on other nations.

None since WW II threatened America, none now, not North Korea or any other country. Preemptively attacking its territory would be clear naked aggression.

A first strike is only permissible in self-defense if facing a virtually certain imminent attack.

No nation threatens America this way, not North Korea or any others, despite bluster by DPRK officials or others elsewhere.

Weapons kill and destroy, not words. No right of self-defense exists against non-imminent threats, no legal justification for current US wars and likely others planned.

Bluster aside, nothing suggests a preemptive DPRK attack on America or any other country. Yet Trump could order a strike on its country anyway, an act of madness if occurs.

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Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman
Stephen Lendman was born in 1934 in Boston, MA. In 1956, he received a BA from Harvard University. Two years of US Army service followed, then an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1960. After working seven years as a marketing research analyst, he joined the Lendman Group family business in 1967. He remained there until retiring at year end 1999. Writing on major world and national issues began in summer 2005. In early 2007, radio hosting followed. Lendman now hosts the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network three times weekly. Distinguished guests are featured. Listen live or archived. Major world and national issues are discussed. Lendman is a 2008 Project Censored winner and 2011 Mexican Journalists Club international journalism award recipient.