Unification News for March 2002

Bush and the Axis of Evil: A UTS Lecture by Dr. Mark P. Barry

Chris Corcoran
March, 2002

President George W. Bush may be trying to provoke division within North Korea by calling the regime "evil" and linking it with Iran and Iraq, according to adjunct UTS professor Dr. Mark P. Barry.

Barry, whose speech was prompted by Bush’s recent remarks in which he called North Korea, Iran and Iraq an "axis of evil", spoke at UTS on February 27 to a group of students, faculty and administrators.

A senior research associate with the Summit Council for World Peace, Barry visited North Korea twice on peace missions and met the late President Kim Il Sung. In his speech he outlined US -- North Korean relations over the last decade and the role the Summit Council for World Peace has played in facilitating dialogue between the US and North Korea. The Summit Council, an association of former heads of state and government, was founded by Rev. Sun Myung Moon.

"President Bush and other senior officials in his administration may have a ‘collapsist mentality’," said Barry, explaining they likely view that an inward implosion of the North Korean regime may be preferable, at this point, to a continuation of the regime’s current policies of producing and exporting weapons of mass destruction.

Barry made clear that his views were his personal opinion and did not necessarily represent those of the Summit Council.

"President Bush is committed to the freedom of the North Korean people," said Barry. "Bush’s recent remarks are similar to when President Reagan called upon Soviet President Gorbachev to ‘tear down that wall’ " he said.

However, the problem in advocating a North Korean collapse is that Seoul lies only 34 miles from the most massive concentration of firepower on earth, Barry observed. North Korea has short-range missiles and long range artillery that can decimate Seoul in 24 hours, for which there is no defense.

Another reason President Bush has become more strident in his rhetoric is because North Korea is usually cited as the chief reason to build a National Missile Defense, even though the real motivation is protection from China, Barry explained

In his 90-minute speech, Barry gave a year-by-year analysis of the often heart-stopping diplomatic intrigues which emerged during the Summit Council’s efforts to bring reconciliation to the Korean peninsula, including a pivotal role the Summit Council played in enabling CNN to cover and publicize former President Carter’s highly successful visit to Pyongyang in 1994.

President Bush visited South Korea on February 19-20, where he explained the rationale for his "evil axis’ comment, arguing that any government that allows starvation -- perhaps one to three million people dead of hunger -- deserves the label of evil and the condemnation of the civilized world.

Bush’s comments drew strong protests from many South Korean people, who felt his comments not only exacerbated an already tense situation but were once again evidence of how big powers have historically intervened in the fate of Korea.

Barry noted that South Koreans understandably see Bush’s remarks as needlessly putting South Korea at risk by raising tensions without seriously considering the consequences to them. South Korean President Kim Dae Jung believes that a North Korean collapse would pose unacceptable risks and untold dangers; for him the only viable policy -- for which he won the 2000 Noble Peace Prize -- is constructive engagement while maintaining peace and stability on the peninsula.

The Summit Council continues to concern itself with facilitating dialogue and building of trust between the United States and North Korea.

Dr. Barry, who received his Ph.D. in foreign affairs from the University of Virginia, will teach "Leadership and Organizational Planning" at UTS this Spring term.

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