Immovable Object: North Korea’s 70 Years at War with Anglo American Power

REVIEWS, 9 Aug 2021

Carla Stea | Global Research - TRANSCEND Media Service

A Review of A. B. Abrams’s Book

The United Nations, to its disgrace, participated in this genocidal policy throughout the war, and continues to the present day.

3 Aug 2021 – This new publication is a masterpiece of research and analysis, and a great contribution to rectifying the false narrative perpetrated by western propaganda which demonizes the DPRK. “Immovable Object” repudiates the massive brainwashing campaign which for more than 70 years has perpetuated a despicable fabrication of the cause of the Korean War from 1950-1953, promulgating Orwellian distortions and lies with almost impenetrable consistency.

This work should be required reading at all educational institutions, globally,  as it successfully refutes the too many appalling misconceptions and dangerous and defamatory disinformation which corrupts the thinking about the DPRK by too many people in the West and elsewhere.

The book begins with a phenomenally powerful and convincing documentation of the historic context of the Korean War from 1950-1953, and the author, A.B. Abrams presents irrefutable evidence that the DPRK did not initiate that war and had no motivation to do so.

Further, Dr. Abrams presents compelling evidence that both the United States and the corrupt and fascistic government of Syngman Rhee in the South, were powerfully motivated to provoke and initiate that horrific war because the United States saw it as a springboard to gain control of Northeast Asia, in particular Taiwan, and ultimately to force regime change in the communist People’s Republic of China, replacing Mao Tse Tung with the Chiang Kai-shek.  To its infinite shame, the United Nations “coalition” under U.S. military command attacked the DPRK and later China, using overwhelming weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons (dropping thousands of tons of napalm on defenseless Korean civilians, especially women and children), biological weapons (many inspired by the Japanese war criminal, General Ishii, head of Unit 731 in Japan) and had authorized and planned the use of nuclear weapons against the DPRK and China.


Image: Kim Il Sung

The author emphasized that the DPRK received no aid from the USSR or China at the beginning of the war, or prior to the war, because the USSR and China did not want to risk a confrontation with the United States: this refutes any suggestion that the DPRK was acting at the behest of Beijing or Moscow, or that they might have initiated aggression in anticipation of aid from the USSR or China.

However, the author suggests that the initial failure to aid the DPRK was a mistaken strategy by the USSR and China, because if they had provided aid to the DPRK at the beginning, the war could have been ended within three months of its onset, as the Republic of Korea was suffering under the gross venality and repression of the Syngman Rhee regime and the tacit US occupation, and would, in large numbers have welcomed liberation by the DPRK.

The heroism of the DPRK was astounding, and the fact that they were compelled to defend their country without any assistance from the USSR or China at the beginning underscores the wisdom of their policy of “Juche” (self-reliance). On page 28 the author presents the 20 point program (essentially the constitution, it would seem) of the DPRK, issued by Kim Il Sung, Chairman of the Communist Party of Korea in 1946, and the implementation of this program provided a very high level of development for the DPRK, and a very high standard of living for its people, in glaring contrast to the extremely degraded standard of living of South Korea under Syngman Rhee and the US occupation.

The opening five chapters of this book are a masterpiece of accuracy, with multiple pages of quotes from U.S. sources, including the leaders of the U.S. military, confirming the essentially genocidal character of the war. It is difficult and painful to read some detailed passages, as the criminal injustice of the war is both obvious and intolerable.

Chapters 6 and 7 describe, in graphic detail, the barbaric and generally sadistic character of the U.S. military aggressors, and the pathological racism that probably underlies it. However, motivating their cruelty was most probably also arrogant vengeance for their injured pride when they discovered that the North Korean fighters were so skilled that they initially succeeded in defeating the invasion by the excessively armed U.S. military, and such humiliating defeats were unexpected by the U.S, which responded with unspeakable sadism.

The author understates the ideological differences between the two opposing forces during that war. However, the fact that both North Korea and the People’s Republic of  China were socialist, and extremely successful examples of the superiority of the socialist development model was undoubtedly one of the primary motives of the U.S. invasion of the DPRK and China.  The capitalist determination to “roll-back” socialism by any  means seems to be and to have been one of the most powerful and primary bases for US policy since the 1947 “Truman Doctrine of National Security.”

Much of the author’s cited information was publicly available in the United States, even while that war was raging. However, following the victory of the Chinese Communists over both the Japanese and Chiang-Kai-shek in 1949, the panic in the U.S. government over “who lost China” led to the period of McCarthyism in the United States, with the terrorization of Americans by the U.S. government itself, crippling most Americans with the fear of speaking out, lest their work, their homes, their families, their very lives be destroyed by Senator McCarthy and his “House Un-American Activities Committee.”

School teachers were tasked with indoctrinating American children with hatred of communism, hatred of North Koreans and Asians in general. The appalling, stultifying legacy of this fear continues to cripple the capacity for critical thinking, and, indeed, creative thinking among many Americans, and, indeed in many areas of the world. There were a few courageous and notable exceptions, including the great musical play, “South Pacific,” by Rogers and Hammerstein, which attacked the culture of racism, and did reach the hearts of many Americans. The words of the song “You’ve Got To Be Taught To Hate and Fear” are immortal, even today.

Chapter 8 of this book, entitled “Ending the War: Maximum Pressure and a Hard Lesson on American Power”, is, perhaps one of the most damning indictments of Western, particularly U.S. military barbarism in history.  When it became clear that a stalemate existed, and that U.S. plans for hegemony over all of Northeast Asia were conspicuously failing, with President Truman refusing General McArthur’s  call for  the reckless nuclear bombing of North Korea and China, “peace negotiations” for an armistice began.  With the U.S. holding enormous air power of unimaginable ferocity, of course, the dragging out of peace negotiations for two years while the saturation bombing of the DPRK and China continued throughout the two years of “negotiation” is an example of cynical cruelty possibly unmatched in human history.

While it is difficult to conceive of atrocity beyond what has preceded, yet the west’s demand for a “policy” of “voluntary repatriation” surpasses everything:

P.216: ”The prisoner of war issue became so heated in light of the wholly unexpected and illegal new Western demands that the signing of the ceasefire was effectively delayed for eighteen months—with Western warplanes, artillery and warships all the while continuing to bombard northern Korea.” “The importance of engineering prisoner defections went beyond the need for a propaganda victory for the West however – and would come to form the basis of the American claim to be a benevolent as opposed to an imperial power. Western rhetoric increasingly placed a new emphasis on moral universalism to frame the rationale of its interventionism abroad in a new light.  A world order based on the dominance of Western military might ever-present across the globe would remain as it had in the colonial era—but the pretext for this order and for Western interventionism would change. The West’s wars were now ‘humanity’s wars’ fought on behalf of mankind, and those such as the Chinese and North Koreans who resisted the West were thus portrayed to be acting not only against Western interests—but against the interests of humanity, the ‘international community’ and even their own people. The will of the ‘free world’ and the ‘international community’ and the designs of the West were to be indistinguishable. The first use of this rhetoric, and new justification for Western dominated order and the quashing of independent anti-imperial forces by Western might came in Korea.”

”Hugh Deane, American reporter and former Coordinator of Information and naval intelligence officer on General MacArthur’s staff, reported on the U.S. strategy which necessitated a high number of defections from the armies of the East Asian allied powers:…”President Truman and an increasing number of others in the leadership had come to envisage a substitute for the victory the U.S. had failed to win on the battlefield—a propaganda triumph in line with the rollback doctrine that was prevailing over mere containment. An impressive number of prisoners were to refuse adamantly and publicly to go home to the communist evils awaiting them. To do the brunt of the dirty work in selected compounds (there were 32 of them on Koje, all overcrowded) the U.S. secured some 75 persuaders from Taiwan, mostly from Chiang Kai-shek’s equivalent of the Gestapo, and a larger number of members of terrorist youth groups sent in by the Syngman Rhee government. Some wore neat American uniforms, others were posing as prisoners…Their continuing task was to locate prisoners who wished repatriation and to do whatever was necessary to dissuade them. Control of the food supplies was a powerful means, and that, threats, beatings, slashings and the killing of the  most stubborn led to a gratifying number who muttered ‘Taiwan, Taiwan, Taiwan’ when asked the key question…Thus many Chinese who didn’t want to go to Taiwan found themselves there.  Of the Chinese prisoners, 6,670 were repatriated to China, 14, 235 were sent to Taiwan.”

John Nuccio, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Korea (South Korea), himself alleged that the Taiwanese representatives involved in repatriation were “members of Chiang Kai-shek’s Gestapo.” “He passed on reports that Chinese prisoners were being forced to sign petitions in blood and undergo tattooing to prove that they were anti-communists and wanted to go to Taiwan. One report stated: ‘In early 1952 the brigade leader, Li Da’an wanted to tattoo every prisoner in Compound 72 with an anti-Communist slogan…He ordered the prison guards to beat those who refused the tattoo in front of the five thousand prisoners.  Some of those who couldn’t stand the beatings gave up and agreed to the tattoo. One prisoner, however, Lin Xuepu, continued to refuse the tattoo. Li Da’an finally dragged Lin up to the stage and in a loud voice asked Lin: ‘Do you want it or not?’ Bleeding and barely able to stand up, Lin, a nineteen year old college freshman, replied with a loud ‘No!’ Li Da’an responded by cutting off one of Lin’s arms with his big dagger. Lin screamed but still shook his head when Li repeated the question. Humiliated and angry, Li followed by stabbing Lin with his dagger… Li yelled to all the prisoners in the field: ‘whoever dares to refuse the tattoo will be like him.’” Muccio would later refer to news on the treatment and coercion of Chinese and Korean prisoners as ‘very disturbing reports of horrors being perpetuated in the prisoners camps,’ for which he said the United States was responsible.”

Asymmetry in possession and control of nuclear weapons, with the West able to dangle the nuclear sword of Damocles over the Chinese and North Korean participants in “negotiations” for the “armistice,” ultimately resulted in an armistice with conditions vastly favorable to the West, and the East Asians essentially forced to relinquish their own interests to a vast degree. This lesson was not lost on either the Chinese or the DPRK, with a spokesman for the Chinese stating: “only when we ourselves have the atomic weapon, and are fully prepared, is it possible for the frenzied warmongers to listen to our just and reasonable proposals for ending the war.” The DPRK has learned the deadly lessons of history, repeated throughout the Korean war of the 1950’s and up to the terrifying example of Libya’s renunciation of their nuclear program. Anyone who fails to respect the DPRK’s need for the only adequate defense against its own destruction must be considered either ignorant or dangerous.

Image below: Comfort women (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

“Immovable Object” continues, in following chapters, to describe the  degradation of a majority of South Korean women, forced to prostitution by economic destitution throughout the U.S. military occupation following the war, becoming the equivalent of the “comfort women” they previously were, sexual slaves of the Japanese, and now virtually sexual slaves for the U.S. military occupiers. The self-hatred and total loss of pride in their cultural identity has turned South Korea into the capital of plastic surgery, as South Korean women physically alter their appearance in an effort to emulate the “superior” Western facial features of their conqueror.

One of the book’s most important contributions is its accurate description of the DPRK’s period of almost insurmountable hardship throughout “The 1990’s: An Arduous March and a New World Order,” Chapter 12 of Part Three: “State Survival in the Unipolar Era.”

As the DPRK had been an integrated part of the Soviet economic system, the collapse of the Soviet Union left the DPRK on the verge of economic collapse, with all its economic partners sharing that disastrous economic and social catastrophe.  With its people lacking often barest necessities, hitherto provided in economic exchanges with the former Soviet Union, and climate catastrophies in the form of flooding, drowning crops, drowning entire villages and all methods of agricultural production,  millions died.

There is a politically sinister Western narrative that accuses the government of the DPRK of intentionally killing millions of its citizens. Only willful ignorance, based on crudest prejudice can make such venal allegations.   The large numbers of deaths of victims of a now demolished economic system that had previously sustained the DPRK, exacerbated by climate disasters of staggering proportions, can only be considered an overwhelming national tragedy.

368: “The DPRK’s energy-intensive food production was seriously threatened by the Soviet collapse and the resulting closure of fuel and fertilizer imports from the USSR. Blacklisted as a ‘rogue state’ by the Western Bloc and placed under harsh economic sanctions, the DPRK struggled to import necessary inputs for its agriculture sector from other sources. International organizations such as the World Food Programme responsible for preventing famine remained widely inactive at this time, allowing the crisis to worsen. Although the DPRK was not facing famine, its agriculture was struggling due to the unforeseen political events of the early 1990s. Food shortages in North Korea only reached critical levels when the situation was exacerbated by natural disaster, with independent observers reporting floods of ‘biblical proportions’ and devastated crops, arable land and economic infrastructure. The United Nations Department of Humanitarian Affairs reported: ‘between July 30 and 18 August 1995 torrential rains caused devastating floods in the DPRK. In one area, in Pyongsan county in North Hwanghae province, 877 mm of rain were recorded to have fallen in just seven hours, an intensity of precipitation unheard of in this area…water flow in the engorged Amnoc River which runs along the Korea/China border was estimated at 4.8 billion tons over a 72 hour period.  Flooding of this magnitude had not been recorded in at least 70 years.” “A number of reports indicate that the United States and its allies took more direct measures, alongside their economic sanctions policy to exacerbate crisis in the DPRK during the Arduous March.” “During the Arduous March when food reserves were empty and farming was impossible, the U.S. blocked oil from coming in so 70% of our factories were shut down. We couldn’t produce anything. The state needed produce to distribute to the people but we had nothing. All of a sudden (from 1995) our collective food source was devastated. We simply had no choice but to starve.”

Exploiting this tragic devastation of North Korea, the CIA connived a savagely ugly strategy to destroy even the simplest agricultural efforts  of the people of the DPRK to produce food to survive, preying upon the innocence of DPRK citizens.

Previously quoted U.S. reporter Hugh Deane, former Coordinator of Information and naval intelligence officer on General MacArthur’s staff, wrote regarding the causes of the Korean agricultural crisis:

“In 1995 the Yalu River, along the northern border, flooded south as torrential rains fell, causing mountain avalanches and rock slides as well as inundated villages. The Korean People’s Army evacuated many people in peril, dropping down in helicopters when necessary. The 1996 flood came when the earlier flood had not entirely receded and the damage was even more extensive.  Close to a million acres of paddy and dry field were covered with mud or otherwise taken out of cultivation. A million tons of stored grain were washed away. Railroads, roads, bridges, dams and irrigation systems suffered, coal mines were flooded, some to such an extent that they have been abandoned. More industries were lost, some soon torn down for scrap. Then this year the usual rainy season was rainless. Nearly all the maize crop, normally a million tons, was lost. The rice crop was reduced, both because of the drought and because there was no fertilizer to apply to it. Such are the circumstances that brought hunger and starvation to a great many.” (Page 369)

Nevertheless, “against the near unanimous expectations of U.S. intelligence, the DPRK did not collapse and would begin a slow recovery from crisis in the late 1990’s.”

During his visits throughout socialist countries, Cuba’s Minister of Industries, Ernesto Che Guevara stated that the DPRK was the most advanced of all countries he saw. This, too, was my own impression when I visited the DPRK in 2017. It is a testament to the almost superhuman strength, intelligence, and resilience of the people and government of the DPRK that they have not only survived, but have created one of the most intellectually sophisticated and humanitarian economic and social systems in history.

Perhaps a clue to the extraordinary success in surviving catastrophic wars, economic and environmental disasters, and egregiously cruel sanctions may be found in the symbol of the DPRK created by Kim Il Sung, a symbol which is unique among socialist countries or any other country throughout the world. Although the symbol of most socialist countries is the sickle and the hammer, representing the agricultural and industrial worker, the symbol of the socialist DPRK has a brush standing in the center of the symbol, emblematic not only of the agricultural and industrial workers, but including the artists and the intellectuals of their society, according them the same prestige as the other two groups in the symbol. This was an act of genius by Kim Il Sung, because by granting such prestige to the artistic and intellectual members of society, their talents were developed and available to help devise methods of withstanding the horrors and almost inconceivable disasters which the DPRK has endured. That unique symbol expresses the attitude of a nation which embraces all that is greatest in humanity, and provides a model and blazes a trail toward a more humane and civilized world order.

Chapters 14, “Introducing Mutual Vulnerability:  Implications of North Korea Attaining a Nuclear-Tipped ICBM” through Chapter 19:  “Information War:  The Final Frontier” describes the multiple methods the west, in particular the U.S. is using to undermine, demoralize, and weaken, by attrition, the economic, social, and cultural strength indispensable for the survival of the DPRK.  The violation of the sanctity of the values of the entire DPRK is incessant, as the west continues to devise and concoct more and more devious and covert methods of aggression.

Among the most barbaric and criminal methods of attack against the people of the DPRK are the United Nations Security Council sanctions, which have been attempting to strangle the country, especially those sanctions passed since 2017, which altogether must be described as genocidal.  The so-called “humanitarian exemptions” have failed, almost completely, and this disgraceful United Nations policy must change.  The famous neurosurgeon, Dr. Kee Park, Director of The Korea Health Policy Project at Harvard Medical School has described, in graphic detail, how his surgery on patients in the DPRK has become impossible, as surgical instruments required for complex neurosurgery operations are prohibited, by the sanctions, from entering the DPRK.  Humanitarian medical assistance for the crucial treatment of multi-drug resistant tuberculosis patients has become impossible as the result of the sanctions.  The government of the DPRK has welcomed these humanitarian workers so desperately needed by their people.  The United Nations Security Council sanctions are obstructing these highly skilled humanitarian workers, especially medical workers, from assisting the people of the DPRK.  These Security Council sanctions constitute violation of International Humanitarian Law, and ultimately constitute crimes against humanity.

The author also points out another fact of vital importance: the cost of the nuclear program of the DPRK is vastly less than the cost of maintaining a conventional army, an army which would be needed, overwhelmingly, in the event of another military attack by the U.S. and/or its allies. This often overlooked fact completely undercuts the allegation that the DPRK nuclear program is depriving its people of needed social services. In fact, this nuclear program is freeing up money crucial for these social services.  In view of the fact that the overt and covert aggression against the DPRK is unlikely to diminish anytime soon, the DPRK has no alternative other than to protect itself with the only deterrent capacity that would most likely shield them from a repetition of prior military devastation.

“Immovable Object,” interestingly, describes the extreme disinformation regarding the leadership of the DPRK, adding the words of  former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright, who is quoted saying:

“After meeting Kim Jong Il she expressed her surprise that the way he had been portrayed to her had been completely wrong. ‘He was actually quite charming…He was very, very well prepared, responded without notes, was not only respectful but also interested in what I had to say.’ To her complete surprise the talks were a success” “In an interview nineteen years later, the former State Secretary’s impression remained unchanged, stating: ‘I do think that what is interesting is how smart and informed Kim Jong Il was…he technically knew an awful lot of things. We were actually talking about missile limits at the time. He did not consult his experts. He really was able to talk about various aspects of the programs. And he spent a lot of time on it. It was very interesting. He also could be very gracious. I mean, it was all kinds of dinners and all kinds of things. But I think that he was determined to make some progress…I was surprise by how technically adept and smart he was.’ According to Albright, the success of future negotiations would rely heavily on whether or not American leaders would recognize how adept and capable the North Korean leadership was—in sharp contrast to what briefings based on U.S. intelligence had led her to believe.”

“Immovable Object” describes the people and government of an extraordinarily advanced nation, the DPRK, with objectivity, and even more importantly, with massive, fully credible documentation refuting all bigoted efforts to demonize and destroy this remarkable people by all means.  As such, it is a desperately needed contribution to the accurate understanding of North Korea.


Carla Stea is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) and Global Research’s Correspondent at UN headquarters, New York. 

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