6/26 U.S. War on Korea: Cold War to Terror War, 60 Years of Defeats for U.S.

KOREA DELIVERED A MAJOR DEFEAT TO U.S WORLD-DESTROYING CRUSADE FOR GLOBAL DOMINATION

"The Korean War established that the USA was prepared to intervene militarily to stop the spread of communism. After 1953 the Korean peninsula remained a Cold War battleground."
encyclopedia.farlex.com/KoreanWar

"Top U.S. General Draws Comparison Between Korean War, Afghanistan ... honors veterans of the Korean War, which began 60 years ago this week. ..."
www.fox4kc.com/news/wdaf-gen-petraeus-korean-war-vets-062110,0,3824262.s...
INDEPENDENCE, MO - U.S. Army General David Petraeus, America's top commander in Afghanistan, told an audience of about 400 Korean War vets that just as they faced a new kind of threat 60 years ago, so do our troops in the Middle East today.... just as it took decades to win the Cold War, the same is true in the fight against the Taliban and Al-Qaeda... Nearly 1.8 million American troops fought in Korea, 34,000 Americans died and another 92,000 were injured in the war that began 60 years ago this week...a war often called America's 'Forgotten War,' and Petraeus says that he wants to make sure doesn't happen...

The Korean Crisis Breaking News, Cui Bono?
by F. William Engdahl*
11 June 2010
The alleged North Korean sinking of a South Korean boat in March has dramatically escalated tensions between north and south Korea. It has also caused a reversal of a planned Japanese government push to close the US military base on Okinawa. The major question in the bizarre affair is Cui Bono?...
North Korea vehemently denies it fired the torpedo and has accused Washington of provoking the clash. North Korea, angered by the accusations, has declared it is cutting all ties with Seoul and allegedly has ordered its 1.2- million armed forces to get ready for combat. The United States and South Korea will hold joint military drills to practice interception of submarines "in the near future," a Pentagon spokesman has stated, calling the maneuvers “a result of the findings of this recent incident." The Obama Administration has said Pyongyang should face consequences and expressed its "unequivocal" support to South Korea. Obama has directed his military commanders to coordinate with South Korea to "ensure readiness" and "deter future aggression."...
In 1999 this writer spoke with a former US Ambassador to Beijing, a career CIA officer and close friend of the Bush family. The former diplomat stated, in an incautious moment, “If North Korea did not exist, we would have to create it. They allow us to keep our fleet in the Japanese waters despite the end of the Cold War.” Perhaps the sudden heating up of Korea tensions is also related to a longer-term Pentagon agenda for the region. If we ask Cui Bono, the clear reply is Washington.

u.s./ proxy brainwash fails
South Korean teens fuzzy on who started Korean War | Reuters
www.reuters.com/article/idUSSEO21540820080624
The survey was taken by the Ministry of Public Administration and Security to mark the anniversary of North Korea's invasion of the South on June 25, 1950.
"Middle school and high school students seem to be confused about national security, and many of them get the facts wrong," ministry official Bae Im-tae told local media.
Only 48 percent of teens correctly said the war was started by the North, according to the survey of about 1,000 junior and senior high school students.

Korea, Like Vietnam: A War Originated and Maintained by Deceit
www.brianwillson.com/korea-like-vietnam-a-war-originated-and-maintained-...
December 1, 1999
"We slipped a note…under the door into the Pentagon and said, ‘Look, let us go up there…and burn down five of the biggest towns in North Korea — and they’re not very big — and that ought to stop it.’ Well, the answer to that was four or five screams — ‘You’ll kill a lot of noncombatants!’ — and ‘It’s too horrible!’ Yet over a period of three years or so…we burned down every town in North Korea and South Korea, too….Now, over a period of three years this is palatable, but to kill a few people to stop this from happening — a lot of people can’t stomach it."
–Former U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay

"Chiang Kai-Shek and Rhee…feared that peace would be the end of them. Dulles feared that peace would fatally interfere with the plan to rebuild the old Axis powers for a new anti-Soviet crusade…the dominant trend in American political, economic and military thinking was fear of peace. General Van Fleet summed it all up in speaking to a visiting Filipino delegation in January, 1952: ‘Korea has been a blessing. There had to be a Korea either here or someplace in the world.’ In this simple-minded confession lies the key to the hidden history of the Korean War."
–I. F. Stone, The Hidden History of the Korean War (New York: Monthly Review Press, 1952)

ng we learned about Vietnam had its forerunner in Korea: U.S. support of a corrupt, tyrannical ruler; regular atrocities; mass slaughter of civilians; torture and imprisonment of dissidents not assassinated; cities and many agricultural areas bombed to total destruction; intense and calculated management of the news about the war; and consistent sabotaging of peace talks throughout the war’s duration. Earlier suppressed reports of atrocities committed by U.S. ground and air forces were re-affirmed in 1999 by eyewitness accounts of Korean survivors and American military veterans who had been ordered to kill large numbers of civilians, as well as declassified U.S. Air Force documents. In one case some 2,000 Korean civilians were forced into an open mountain area near Yongdong and slaughtered from the air. In other cases hundreds of civilian refugees were blown up as they fled across detonated bridges or machine-gunned as they sought protection under viaducts.

The death and destruction inflicted, especially in the northern part of the Peninsula, defies imagination. It is now believed that more than four million people died in the war, perhaps as many as three million of whom were from the North of a population, at the time, of about nine million.

All major cities, about five dozen, were totally destroyed in the North by U.S. airpower. At the beginning of the war, U.S. General Curtis LeMay asked the Pentagon "to turn SAC [Strategic Air Command] loose with incendiaries" on North Korea. Though Truman rejected such a blitzkrieg, SAC was ultimately authorized to bomb urban and rural areas anyway, "piecemeal." Most villages were destroyed as well, especially if they were "suspected of aiding the enemy." Most dams and dikes were destroyed, wiping out most rice crops. Saturation bombing and scorched earth policies were commonly used throughout the war. U.S. extensively used napalm in Korea long before it became a household word in Vietnam. There is growing evidence to support North Korea’s accusations that substantial germ and biological warfare was utilized during 1952 bombings as some U.S. pilots had originally confessed while in captivity. Over a period of about three years, LeMay remarked: "We killed off – what – twenty percent of the population of North Korea." [...]

Unknown Truth About Korea: U.S. Sanctioned Death Squads and War Crimes, 1945-1953
Brian Willson, January 1, 2000
www.brianwillson.com/the-unknown-truth-about-korea-u-s-sanctioned-death-...

United States Biological Warfare during the Korean War: rhetoric and reality
Stephen Endicott & Edward Hagerman, York University
http://www.yorku.ca/sendicot/ReplytoColCrane.htm
In the past few years a number of American scholars and journalists have come forward to reinforce US government denials that it made use of biological weapons during the Korean War. It is the purpose of this article to consider the validity of these claims and arguments in light of the research which we conducted in preparing our recent book, The United States and Biological Warfare: secrets of the Early Cold War and Korea.(5) In that book we conclude that the United States engaged in large-scale field tests of biological weapons against the Asian countries and with some additional evidence we continue to believe that is the case. (....)
The threat to the planet from weapons of mass destruction (biological, chemical and nuclear) lies not mainly in some weak, poor world countries, but chiefly in powerful countries such as the United States itself and its closest allies. The threat comes from a political culture that allows the executive branch and the military to lie to Congress and the American people, and to proceed, in spite of moral and legal restraints to introduce weapons of mass destruction such as biological weapons in a time of crisis. The US government still covers-up its biological warfare experiments in the Korean War. Can people who make false denials be trusted to keep their promises?
- Stephen Endicott & Edward Hagerman , June 2002, Toronto, ON., Canada.

STATE SPONSORED TERRORISM
P20G: Into the Dark: The Pentagon Plan to Foment Terrorism
Darkness Visible: The Pentagon Plan to Foment Terrorism is Now in Operation 1-25-05 follow-up to "Into the Dark."
http://collectioncf72.blogspot.com/2005/04/darkness-visible-pentagon-pla...

Fabricating Incidents to Start Wars
National Security Council Directive 68: The Master Plan for the Cold War
A study of NSC-68 will conclude that, besides being a master plan for the Cold War, this directive was a perception management instrument to stampede government officials into accepting a high military posture. That analysis and the crisis facing the developed Western world are confirmed. Secretary of State Dean Acheson, one of the primary architects of NSC-68, sums it up:
Western Europe … shattered by its civil war, was disintegrating politically, economically, socially, and psychologically. Every effort to bestir itself was paralyzed by two devastating winters and the overshadowing fear of the Soviet Union no longer contained by the stoppers on the east, west, and south—Japan, Germany, and British India…. It was in this period [the first 3 years after the beginning of the Cold War] that we awakened fully to the facts of the surrounding world and to the scope and kind of action required by the interests of the United States; the second period, that of President Truman’s second administration, became the time for full action upon those conclusions and for meeting the whole gamut of reactions—favorable, hostile, and merely recalcitrant foreign and domestic—that they produced. In the first period, the main lines of policy were set and begun; in the second, they were put into full effect amid the smoke and confusion of battle…. The purpose of NSC-68 [the master plan for the Cold War] was to so bludgeon the mass mind of “top government” that not only could the president make a decision but that the decision could be carried out.[3]
...the fact that the finalized NSC-68 was presented to President Truman on April 16, 1950, but it not being signed until September 30, 1950, as NSC-68/2, three months after the start of the Korean War, demonstrates the likelihood the American president was one of the “top government officials” the designers of the Cold War were stampeding into a war posture through the strategy of tension of [portraying] communists as the aggressor of the Korean war and this foretelling more communist aggressions worldwide. .....

L. Fletcher Prouty was one of three officers who wrote the how-to books on covert operations for the CIA. In his JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, And the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy, we learn that strategies of tensions, terrorist bombings, attacks by our own covert forces dressed as the enemy, counterfeit papers, and the drumbeat of the CIA’s Mighty Wurlitzer, were managing perception throughout the world to control elections and to gain acceptance for the military suppressions of the many breaks for freedom. American intelligence service manuals on terrorism teach that, at the sites of their acts of state terrorism, [to] always leave evidence the opposition was responsible.[2]

The Korean War a Strategy of Tension Justifying the Cold War Slaughter of Millions
www.ied.info/articles/fabricating-incidents-to-start-wars/the-korean-war...
...The political instrument to put NSC-68 into effect was the Korean War starting 72 days after the directive was finalized and presented to President Truman.
When I.F. Stone wrote The Hidden History of the Korean War in 1952, NSC-68 was still classified. But his book demonstrates the Korean War was a strategy of tension imposing the policies of America’s managers of state upon the world and the most important political event since WW II.
No empire, or nation, instigates a war on the periphery that is already politically won, but they do instigate actual wars when loss of control is imminent.
But this planned war was not only to save an outpost on the periphery of empire; this was a war to save the empire. There was nothing to lose in Korea; without a war it was going to be lost anyway and there was an entire world to gain through a strategy of tension mobilizing the citizens of the imperial centers for a war to suppress the renewed breaks for economic freedom of the emerging world....
North and South Korea were going to rejoin outside Western control; South Korean troops had pulled back from the 38th parallel the day before the war started; South Korean government press releases were saying a North Korean attack was imminent; the UN had inspected the 38th parallel just hours before the war started and concluded there was no imminent attack; an intelligence briefings stated North Korea was not prepared for war...yet ships were in place to evacuate American families.[...]

US, Provoker of Korean War
www.kcna.co.jp/item/2010/201006/news22/20100622-10ee.html
Pyongyang, June 22 (KCNA) -- The U.S. imperialists instigated the Syngman Rhee puppet clique of south Korea to start a war in Korea on June 25, 1950...an extension and infallible result of their foreign policy of aggression.... the Korean Peninsula was a bridgehead for aggression on the continent...in a bid to dominate the whole of Korea, sent warmongers to south Korea to grasp its political and military situation before setting up a pro-U.S. puppet government in south Korea and making preparations for an aggressive war. U.S. imperialists stepped up the construction of military roads, airfields and naval ports in south Korea, beefing up the armed forces of aggression. They forward-deployed all the armed forces in south Korea in many offensive positions along the 38th parallel. They also kept aircraft carriers and large bombers ready for action from the U.S. mainland and the Far East. After making such preparations, they launched a surprise invasion of the DPRK...
That four million people were killed, half of them women and children, and millions more wounded, that the entire Korean peninsula was scorched earth, that another 10 million would be violently killed as other breaks for economic freedom were suppressed all over the world, that tens of millions more would be wounded, that hundreds of millions would die from starvation and disease as the economies of impoverished countries struggling for freedom were shattered, that billions would remain impoverished as their governments were covertly overthrown or that trillions of dollars of the world’s resources would be wasted, could not deflect the managers of state from their decisions.
Thanks to the hysteria of the Korean War, which locked Western citizenry within a belief system that the West was under imminent threat of attack, South Korea and Taiwan were kept within the sphere of Western influence... To lose those natural resources, cheap labor, and those markets, was to lose their power and their wealth....
The Korean War could not be permitted to end until the West’s war machine was fully rebuilt, not until treaties were signed with Japan and Germany fully committing them to the West, and not until the entire Western world was raised to a high level of tension believing they were at high risk of being attacked. The Korean War was necessary...so that other overt and covert wars to suppress the world’s break for freedom could be successfully fought....the Cold War...continues under the cover of a “War on Terrorism.”

AP: U.S. Okayed Korean War Massacres
July 5, 2008 /AP_U.S._Okayed_Korean_War_Massacres_0705.html
SEOUL The American colonel, troubled by what he was hearing, tried to stall at first. But the now declassified record shows he finally told his South Korean counterpart it "would be permitted" to machine-gun 3,500 political prisoners, to keep them from joining approaching enemy forces.In the early days of the Korean War, other American officers observed, photographed and confidentially reported on such wholesale executions by their South Korean ally, a secretive slaughter believed to have killed 100,000 or more leftists and supposed sympathizers, usually without charge or trial, in a few weeks in mid-1950.Extensive archival research by The Associated Press has found no indication Far East commander Gen. Douglas MacArthur took action to stem the summary mass killing, knowledge of which reached top levels of the Pentagon and State Department in Washington, where it was classified "secret" and filed away...
In 1947, two years after Washington and Moscow divided Korea into southern and northern halves, a U.S. military government declared the Korean Labor Party, the southern communists, to be illegal. President Syngman Rhee's southern regime, gaining sovereignty in 1948, suppressed all leftist political activity, put down a guerrilla uprising and held up to 30,000 political prisoners by the time communist North Korea invaded on June 25, 1950.
As war broke out, southern authorities also rounded up members of the 300,000-strong National Guidance Alliance, a "re-education" body to which they had assigned leftist sympathizers, and whose membership quotas also were filled by illiterate peasants lured by promises of jobs and other benefits.Commission investigators, extrapolating from initial evidence and surveys of family survivors, believe most alliance members were killed in the wave of executions...this passage, omitted from the published Army history, is the first documentation unearthed showing advance sanction by the U.S. military for such killings....The bloody anticommunist purge, begun immediately after the invasion, is believed by the fall of 1950 to have filled some 150 mass graves in secluded spots stretching to the peninsula's southernmost counties...

The AP has extensively researched U.S. military and diplomatic archives from the Korean War in recent years, at times relying on once-secret documents it obtained through Freedom of Information Act requests and declassification reviews. The declassified U.S. record and other sources offer further glimpses of the mass killings.
A North Korean newspaper said 1,000 prisoners were slain in Incheon, just west of Seoul, in late June 1950 — a report partly corroborated by a declassified U.S. Eighth Army document of July 1950 saying "400 Communists" had been killed in Incheon. The North Korean report claimed a U.S. military adviser had given the order.
As the front moved south, in July's first days, Air Force intelligence officer Donald Nichols witnessed and photographed the shooting of an estimated 1,800 prisoners in Suwon, 20 miles south of Seoul, Nichols reported in a little-noted memoir in 1981, a decade before his death. Around the same time, farther south, the Daejeon killings began...
Journalist Alan Winnington, of the British communist Daily Worker newspaper, entered Daejeon with North Korean troops after July 20 and reported that the killings were carried out for three days in early July and two or three days in mid-July. He wrote that his witnesses claimed jeeploads of American officers "supervised the butchery." Secret CIA and Army intelligence communications reported on the Daejeon and Suwon killings as early as July 3...
To quiet the protests, the South Koreans barred journalists from execution sites and the State Department told diplomats to avoid commenting on atrocity reports. Earlier, the U.S. Embassy in London had denounced as "fabrication" Winnington's Daily Worker reporting on the Daejeon slaughter. The Army eventually blamed all the thousands of Daejeon deaths on the North Koreans, who in fact had carried out executions of rightists there and elsewhere.
American historian of the Korean War, the University of Chicago's Bruce Cumings: "After the fact with thousands murdered the U.S. not only did nothing, but covered up the Daejeon massacres," he said....

U.S. IMPERIALISTS STARTED THE KOREAN WAR
This book explains North Korean perspective on the geopolitical events that led up to the Korean War, and the the Korean War itself. Includes extensive references to Western sources such as the New York Times and U.S. archives to the arguments and analysis put forth.bolster its case. Of particular interest are chapters detailing atrocities committed by U.S. and allied troops, including information on America's Germ Warfare program.

Korean War June 25, 1950: U.S. Beaten by Revolutionary War
June 25, 2010
Sixty years ago, the U.S. army continued to occupy southern Korea, five long years after Japan had been defeated. It was clear to the whole world that the U.S. did not intend to leave Korea, but had instituted its own colonial occupation in the place of the Japanese. And it was also clear that this forward basing of U.S. troops was intended as a foothold on the mainland of Asia — a military threat to the new revolution in China.
On June 25, 1950, war broke out on the Korean peninsula as newly formed armies of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea engaged and drove back the U.S. occupiers. A bitter three-year war had started. This is the story about a historic and unprecedented U.S. defeat — the first direct confrontation between a triumphant U.S. imperialism and the new revolutionary forces they were fighting to contain.
Under U.S. General MacArthur, the Americans were first driven back, to their southern enclave at Pusan, and then (after the Inchon landing) started to push the DPRK forces north, toward the Yalu River and China itself. Clearly they had visions of taking back China. And we now know how extensive their secret debates were — about using nuclear weapons against revolutionary China.
The following is a little known story about the intervention of revolutionary Chinese troops into the Korea war, and how they drove the U.S. Army back from their borders by applying revolutionary methods of warfare in the Revolutionary Worker newspaper on the 50th anniversary of the Korea war
Tearing Up the U.S. Paper Tiger in Korea revcom.us/a/v22/1052-059/1059/korea.htm
Part 1: How 300,000 Chinese Troops Snuck into Korea & Kicked the Ass of the U.S. Armed Forces

capitalist restoration...capitalist revision...
6/25/2010 China finally rewrites history of Korean War
China and North Korea were "as close as lips and teeth," said Mao Tse-tung...Chinese history textbooks state the Korean War began when "the United States assembled a United Nations army of 15 countries and defiantly marched across the border and invaded North Korea, spreading the flames of war to our Yalu river." ... On the 60th anniversary of the Korean War, China has finally rewritten its history of how the conflict began to point the finger of responsibility at North Korea.. In a special report, Xinhua's International Affairs journal said: "On June 25, 1950, the North Korean army marched over 38th Parallel and started the attack. Three days later, Seoul fell." www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/southkorea/7853746/China-rewrite...

warning...
The Korean crisis is China's chance to show the world it has changed
Beijing has taken the first step – now it must persuade Pyongyang to back down
By Con Coughli 28 May 2009
The Korean peninsula stands once more on the brink of war. To the nuclear-armed north, the massed ranks of Kim Jong-il's army stand ready to attack; to the south, American and South Korean troops have been placed on their highest state of alert. Yet in the midst of the crisis, there is also an extraordinary opportunity: for China, which stands uneasily between the two sides, to emerge as a true global superpower, which can be trusted to make the world a better place.Certainly, there has never been a more opportune time for Beijing to demonstrate a positive influence. Even by the standards of North Korea's renowned powers of brinkmanship, it is not difficult to see how the current crisis could spiral out of control.
In the past week, the North Koreans have defied the outside world by successfully test-firing their second nuclear device, firing a volley of ballistic missiles and tearing up the 56-year truce with their southern neighbours. Now they are threatening to launch military action if US warships carry out their threat to interdict North Korean ships suspected of carrying weapons of mass destruction. Suddenly, Pyongyang's pledge that the Korean peninsula will return "to a state of war" no longer seems an empty threat....
Even though China, together with the US, has played a leading role in the six-power negotiations to persuade Pyongyang to decommission its illicit nuclear programme, the Chinese have been reluctant to criticise the regime, on the grounds that it is not their policy to interfere in the internal affairs of other states. But the more China continues its emergence as a leading world power, the less it can afford to hide behind such convenient excuses...
The almost insatiable appetite of Chinese industry for oil and other natural resources has seen a massive expansion in the country's activity throughout the globe, particularly in the Arabian Gulf and Africa. And the need to protect the new, commerce-led trade routes has obliged Beijing to develop a number of strategic military alliances. China's willingness to arm the Sri Lankan government was not so much motivated by its support for that nation's cause as by Beijing's desire to gain access to a key naval base in the Indian Ocean.
Likewise, the immense financial clout that China has acquired through its industrial revolution has transformed its international economic standing. A country that was once dismissed as a Third World peasant economy is now helping to bail out the developed world, as the main purchaser of US Treasury debt.
The result is that China has emerged from its Cold War role as a purely military power to become a global financial player. But with power comes responsibility – and China's deepening involvement across the world means that it is no longer in Beijing's interests to shy away from the obligations that go with its newly acquired status.
Until recently, for example, China was regarded as the unofficial leader of the awkward squad on the UN Security Council. Whether it involved the heated debate over invading Iraq, or how to tackle Iran's nuclear programme, China had remained steadfastly on the sidelines, stubbornly registering its abstention from all the major votes.
But as the North Korean crisis has demonstrated, this non-confrontational approach is no longer tenable if China is really serious about protecting its interests. This is a fact the authorities in Beijing now appear to accept: they decided to support this week's UN condemnation of North Korea. This was a good first step. But now the Chinese need to follow it up by bringing all their influence to bear to persuade Pyongyang to back away from a military confrontation with the West that can only bring disaster.

China Seriously Concerned Over U.S. Aircraft Carrier Reports
http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/china/2010-06/22/c_13363630.htm
June 22, 2010
BEIJING: China was seriously concerned over reports that a U.S. aircraft carrier might join a military exercise with the Republic of Korea (ROK), Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Tuesday.
The United States and the ROK reportedly decided to hold a military drill and the U.S. side was considering sending an aircraft carrier to join the exercise in the Yellow Sea off the ROK's western coast, according to media reports. "Under current situations, relevant parties should exercise restraint and refrain from doing things that may escalate tensions and harm the interests of the countries in the region," said Qin. Posted by: "Rick Rozoff" rwrozoff@yahoo.com   rwrozoff

South & North Korea - The Geopolitics of the World Cup
South Korea
In both football and geopolitics, South Korea has exceeded the world's expectations. Stuck between China and Japan, the giants of Northeast Asia, the Koreans learned early in their history that speed, flexibility and smarts were critical to survival. Once freed from Japanese rule following World War II, Seoul benefitted from US military and economic support, which allowed its assets to blossom.
The result was a remarkable evolution. A nation of rice farmers in the far corner of a craggy peninsula became a sophisticated industrial and technological powerhouse in a matter of decades. Flexibility, resourcefulness and a national sense of mission enabled South Korea to bounce back from both the Asian financial crisis of the late 90’s and the recent global economic crisis in a relatively short time. Enmeshed in global trade, Korea has a wide range of trading partners and continues to compete with its bigger and stronger neighbors in everything from shipbuilding to electronics.
This vitality is also reflected in South Korea's football playing, where it has emerged as the leading Asian team. South Korea made it to the semi-finals in the 2002 World Cup, which it hosted along with Japan, and it has competed in the past seven tournaments. In the 2010 World Cup, South Korea recovered from a drubbing by Argentina to advance to the knock-out phase, where it stands a chance of moving past Uruguay. Ultimately the challenge for South Korean football is the same as the nation's strategic challenge: using its wits and speed to outmaneuver bigger and more established opponents.

North Korea
There is little reliable intelligence on what goes on inside the country whether it’s soccer or anything else. The secretive communist state keeps its doors closed tight and maintains total control of news media.... The one reliable way to gauge the North is to expect the unexpected: last time the DPRK participated in the World Cup -- in 1966 -- it surprised everyone by blasting through to the quarterfinals. The first match in 2010, against Brazil, exemplified North Korea's geopolitical strategy and tactics. Few would have guessed that North Korea was capable of competing with Brazil, the team that has won the most World Cup championships. But for decades the same combination of uncompromising loyalty to the group and the element of surprise have enabled Pyongyang to maintain power despite being surrounded by the likes of greater powers -- the United States, Russia, Japan, China and South Korea. This is not to exaggerate North Korea's strengths -- its economy is a shambles, and despite its military's size, its capabilities are limited. Fear of defeat by foreign competition is why the North rarely ventures abroad, earning the nickname the "Hermit Kingdom." Pyongyang knows that public humiliation could weaken the group morale that is essential for the regime to survive. But as with its array of missile tests, it is at least able to use the team's participation on the global stage as domestic propaganda.