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Peace and Prosperity

Lawrence Wilkerson: ‘Irreconcilable Elements’ Stand in Way of Korean Deal

A peace deal will not be concluded among the United States, North Korea, and South Korea in the next three to five years predicts Lawrence Wilkerson, a College of William & Mary professor and the former chief of staff for Secretary of State Colin Powell, in a recent interview with host Aaron Maté at The Real News.

Wilkerson points to “irreconcilable elements” as supporting his conclusion. These irreconcilable elements, says Wilkerson, are “China’s interest in not having a unified Korea with US presence still there, the North’s interest in not surrendering all of its nuclear weapons capability, the South’s interest ultimately in — if it is a unified peninsula — having those nuclear weapons itself, and, ultimately, both Koreas — were they to be united — wanting themselves to kick the United States presence off the peninsula.”

Wilkerson, who is an Academic Board member for the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, presented this conclusion near the end of an in-depth discussion of the ongoing negotiations.

One factor related to several of the irreconcilable elements Wilkerson lists is the US military presence in South Korea. Wilkerson says he supports, and advocated during much of his military career from which her retired as an Army colonel, removing US military forces from Korea. However, “we could go forever on the reasons” such a military withdrawal will not occur, he concludes, mentioning as among the reasons pressure from the military industrial complex and the military itself for maintaining the US military’s presence.

Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview here:

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