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Power and Primacy

A History of Western Intervention in the Asia-Pacific

A.B. Abrams

Today the Asia-Pacific region stands on the verge of major change, with centuries of western dominated regional order being seriously challenged and quite possibly nearing its end. The emergence of a potential new order dominated by regional rather than extra-regional powers - an «Asia for the Asiatics» in the words of Japan’s pan-Asian scholars - means it is now more than ever essential to understand the history of the current western-dominated system, the full implications should it continue and the nature of the West’s intentions towards the region.

This book undertakes the task of elucidating the complex and little-known history of western intervention in the Asia-Pacific, providing information critical to understanding contemporary developments

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Chapter 9: The Korean War: Part II – Mass Destruction

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Chapter 9

The Korean War: Part II – Mass Destruction

If we keep on tearing the place apart, we can make it a most unpopular affair for the North Koreans. We ought to go right ahead.1,2

— U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Lovett

As for the allegation that the U.S. used germ warfare in the Korean War, I can only say with some shame that what I dismissed as incredible then seems altogether credible to me now.3

— George Wald, American expert from the Harvard Biological Laboratories and Nobel Prize Winner

The Bombing and Desolation of North Korea

As the Korean War escalated China was drawn into a full confrontation with the United States and its Western partners. During the war Chinese territory near the Korean border was bombed on numerous occasions, in which the Chinese reported that American planes destroyed homes and infrastructure and killed many civilians. The unprovoked bombing of Sinuiju on the Chinese border was targeting a civilian population center, and the United States was under no illusion otherwise. In July 1950 the city had 126,000 inhabitants and 14,000 buildings. The town had no industries that contributed to war production, but rather produced civilian goods according to an international commission’s report. There were only light industries producing soya, tofu, shoes, matches, salt and chopsticks when the town was firebombed by dozens of B-29 bombers in 1950. The result was that in a few...

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